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

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A vast improvement

My new job is much better than the old one:-)

I think I'm doing pretty well there. I'm not sure what they think - but they seem happy enough. I got my contract on Friday - only two days after starting! It was wrong, but hey, no problem;-) He changed it for me without quibbling and now I've signed up for a year. yippee!

Oh yes, and finishing at 3pm three days a week is flipping fantastic! This work/life balance thing sure is true:-)

And I've made it to college without any stress, ready & willing to learn rather than trying to find reasons not to go.

See, I knew it was all for the best. Most things usually are - if you look at them in that way:-)

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Education, education, education

If my kids attended this school I would withdraw them immediately. Not only do I not wish them to learn how to kill others, I'm not keen on them attending a school where others are taught to do so!

I can't believe the DfES are apparently happy that developing children are being rountinely beaten in school, under the teachers supervision! Because that it what boxing is - regular beatings, aimed specifically at the head. It is an established medical fact that blows to the head can cause brain damage. Children's brains & skull's are still developing & so are more prone to damage.

I was hit by a boxer once as a child. He was the same age as me. I was knocked out cold. That is NOT something to teach children to do!

Boxing is criminally wrong imo. I know it's a "way out" of some of the nastiest parts of the UK. So is drug crime. It doesn't make it desirable. I would support a ban on the whole "sport" as is currently exists. I am shocked and very concerned that it is being re-introduced to schools.

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Birthday baby

It's LMD's 2nd birthday today. Where did my little baby go? How come I have this stroppy, tantrum machine? :-)

Actually, she is just gorgeous - happy & smily & giggly most of the time. Except when she is tired. Or doesn't want to do whatever it is we want her to:-)

Anyway, I managed to cobble together a present for her last night - a book and some soft balls. She has so much stuff she really doesn't need more! And at 2 years old doesn't realise that I've told most people not to bother getting her anything;-) She also got a fantastic musical instrument set from my sister, which she & the other two adore. And my head is less keen on!

She babbled about "pressies"all the way to nursery, but refused to talk to them when we arrived! oh well. Aggie met me for lunch today which was really nice, then he went off to buy a cake. He did a fantastic job, buying a swiss roll & some choccy fingers, then making a wonderful caterpillar cake with Mstr A and LMB:-) We forgot to take photo's, so he is under instructions to do it again for the party on Saturday:-)

I've no idea how many kids are turning up to the party. None from the nursery have answered *frown* But i expect it'll be a few. Now I just need to get myself organised for it!

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Monday, January 29, 2007


I don't want to spend my life bitching and whinging, but.......

Today I got up with the girls at 7am. Aggie stayed in bed till I had made breakfast and started yelling at Mstr A to get up. I fed all three of them, then got all three washed and dressed while Aggie "woke up" by sitting on the sofa. I packed their bags (and mine), supervised Mstr A while doing his homework & checked it for him, put on their shoes & coats. I took the girls to school, Aggie took Mstr A.

Then I went to work. Aggie stayed at home.

I worked all day - it's a short day today, so no lunch break. Aggie cooked himself a nice lunch, and watched a bit of TV.

I came home, after popping into the Dr's for a repeat prescription for LMD (really bad eczema poor thing). Aggie collected Mstr A, I collected the girls.

I cooked supper. I Filled and ran the dishwasher. I put some laundry on, and folded the dry stuff. I got the girls undressed and ready for bed. Aggie played on the computer with Mstr A.

I smothered LMD in her cream - after asking him to, and being told "just after this race" as she cried and scratched for 15 mins waiting for the race to finish! Aggie put them to bed because it's his turn & I insisted. I put Mstr A to bed.

I prepared tomorrows supper, put some more washing on, cleared the kitchen up a bit, put the rubbish out. Aggie watched Scrubs on the TV. The phone rang - i asked him to answer it, but as that involved getting off the sofa to pick it up, it went to answerphone.

I rang them back.

I read a chapter of my college course book, and revised some statutes. Aggie played on the laptop.

Now I'm going to have a bit of me time - and you know what? I bet he asks me to do something!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

A civilised society?

I have never understood why the USA has such a general apoplexy whenever "socialized" medicine is mentioned. It seems that even many "liberal" Americans have a blind spot about this most basic human requirement and refuse to look at possibilities, probablities and facts. It seems to me that any country that does not have universal healthcare, can barely be called civilised, but on the few times I have tried to debate it with Americans they have been even more blind to the arguments than when I debate with fundy creationalists!

We may think that the NHS has problems, and is expensive, but compared the the US system we are a picture of perfection! I've highlighted some specific examples of fellow bloggers brush with injury & illness before, but when even the msm points out:

"most personal bankruptcies in the US are the result of illness.

The story of American healthcare is one of huge expenditure for little obvious benefit.

By head of population America spends twice the amount Britain does on health.

But life expectancy here is lower and infant mortality is higher, way higher in some ethnic groups. "

Those four statements seem pretty damning in themselves, but I still regularly hear Americans arguing that social medical care would bankrupt their country/cause immigrants to "use up" all the resources/encourage unecessary procedures (because the USA is well known for it's conservatism & reticence in using medical procedures for personal reaons!)/undermine their cultural values etc....

I am confused.

Ca anyone actually come up with a good reason for keeping the US system?

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

They're like buses

Jobs that is. You don't see any for ages then two turn up at once.

Or not, in the case of buses in Weston:-)

The post came today with an interview for a job at the local secondary school, and a letter from UWE saying they are arranging dates for interviews for teacher training (not that I've been invited to interview mind - just that they need more time to arrange dates!).

Oh what a dilemma! I like this job, but I don't know if I want to be a lawyer, and staying as a legal sec for ever doesn't sound very financially rewarding. I love the idea of working school terms:-) I know I like teaching in a generic sense, but don't know if I'd like working in a school.... and I haven't actually been offered the course yet. But if I do get an interview I know the biggest deciding factor in getting the course is if I have been working in a school already (obviously not the same criteria is used for new graduates, which I reckon is age discrimination, but.....)

What to do?

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Friday, January 26, 2007

About bloody time

Finally I've been allowed to change over to new blogger.

Now I have to learn how to do all the new stuff:-)

Oh well, that's made my decision about moving to Wordpress for me - you can't import new blogger blogs into Wordpress:-(


Taking what I can get

I'm all for reducing the NHS costs with a bit of lateral thinking, and a bit less medical intervention. For years I've been saying it would be cheaper and more medically effective to send Aggie of to somewhere hot for a couple of weeks two or three times a year than to pay out £10k+ on drugs for his psoriasis and depression (although the new expensive drugs work even better thanh ot climates), but this story just made me wonder......

Can I turn up at my local clinic and claim that I am a drug addict, get a clean blood test and go shopping? Cos I sure as hell can't afford to actually become a drug addict! Or go shopping:-(

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

A dummies guide to Law for Lawyers

The new job is going really well. I'm enjoying the work, the people are nice and seem more than happy with what I'm doing, there is no expectation for me to immediately know everything, and I haven't found reading about even the ickest cases too difficult.


What is it about Lawyers that makes them think the law doesn't apply to them?

Once again, no written job offer, no Job description, no contract.

No induction, no H&S information, no workplace risk assessment.

I found the office manual today. it definitely SAYS that new employees should have all the above, so they KNOW what the law is, they just don't think it actually applies to them! I'm baffled as to why - it puts them in such a bad situation if anything goes wrong!

Still, I'm hopeful nothing will go wrong:-)

I'm certainly very happy so far. Finishing at 3pm yesterday just made so much difference. i didn't feel any of the stress, and I was even ready to go to college on time. (I really must start doing some homework this week!!). And even finishing at 5 tonight wasn't too bad - because I knew it was only twice a week, plus 5pm is a lot different to 5.15pm when after-school club closes at 5.30:-) They seem happy with me too... I've re-arranged my office, cleared a backlog of files that needed checking, started sorting out the case notes of a three year (so far) long case, typed three tapes and learned my round the computer system and some of the office procedures. I reckon I've done OK, but the three people in the Family Dept have all said I've done well, so hopefully it will carry on in the same vein.

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Monday, January 22, 2007

On the up

I got a job!

*see me doing the "I got a job" dance round the living room*

At the solicitors i went for an interview with on friday, as a legal sec for the Family Law Dept, which i reckon will be really interesting. Family Law comes quite high on my list of areas I'd like to try out before deciding on my specialisation, and I'd rather try it earlier in my career tha later in case it turns out i can't leave it behind at the end of the day. this job is working with mostly legal aid stuff, ften representing children in care, which will be great!

I'm working 9-3 three days a week and 9-5 two days. That should be OK I reckon (It's what i offered.

Starting Wednesday morning! I can't believe the way these firms work! I hope I can get the nursery places back for the girls, and they're not too pissy about me mucking them around.

Yay me.

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Here be pirates

It's wot made Britain great y'know - piracy & smuggling. Our great & glorious history in action:-)

My advice is...... salvage two BMW's, report one of them, claim the reward. It should be just about enough to pay the road tax on the other one;-)

mmmm, Devon's not that far - I wonder what will be left by tomorrow;-)

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Friday, January 19, 2007

Paying off

I phoned the DWP today to find out if they are ever going to pay me my JSA - they promised all six weeks worth of money will be in the bank on Tuesday, which will be nice:-) Although you wonder what they think I've been living off since 15th December!

My "on spec" letters have been paying off too, as i had an interview this afternoon for a job in another local solicitors. It seemed to go well, and they are happy for me to finish at 3pm, so hopefully i'll be back at work soon. Obviously, he has to speak to the partners, and get references (which is more than the last lot did), but I'm hopeful there won't be any problems.

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Blow wind, blow...ow....ow...ow!

We've got serious wind issues here again -and no, I am not talking about Aggie (although him too), but about the ridicously strong winds blowing across most of the UK.

It was way too windy to take the kids to school on the bike, so we all trundled off on foot even earlier than usual (well, Me, Mstr A and LMB were on foot. LMD was on me). We got to nursery as it opened then I trotted Mstr A to school in double time so made it with 5 mins to spare:-) There was some luckless child waiting at the gates telling every arrival to go straight to class & not stop and play:-( I know that there are real safety issues in schools about high winds, but it seems such a shame to stop the kids playing outside at all - the wind is just so much fun when you are light enough to actually be blown around.

It was a long walk home into the wind - then I had to go out again as I had forgotten the girls bags in the early morning rush! So when it came time for me to go down to town & sign on, I thought I would save the time & cycle. I'm big enough and heavy enough to weather a bit of weather!

So, off I go, out the gate, onto the road, a gust of wind blows me straight back into the curb at just the wrong angle, the buike goes over with me trapped under it & skidding/being blown 10metres down the road. Fortunately no cars were coming! But one bloody & swollen kneee, one bruised and swollen knee, one scraped elbow, on pair of ripped trousers, and the chain & saddle of my bike:-(

No time to do anyting other than change my trousers & bodge the bike, then ride more carefully down to the jobcentre arriving with 1 minute to spare.

They're running late. I sit and wait for 20 minutes as my knee slowly siezes up, and the blood trickles down my shin. I consider asking for the first aid kit, but as I didn't do it there it's a bit rude, plus I'd probably miss my appointment while getting it sorted, which isn't worth it.

I sign on, have a quick chat about how I am looking for work, honest, then hobble home leaning on the bike for support:-( And I'm starving now as it's an hour past my lunchtime!

I was going to make a shepherds pie for supper, but I don't think I want to now. I'm going to sit and blog with an ice-pack instead:-)

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Travelling people

"Take the National Express when your life's in a mess
It'll make you smile
All human life is here"

The trip to london was certaily interesting - starting from waiting at the bus stop in Weston, where a man wandered down the road past me, stopped, and asked the date. I said it was the 13th, but he was obviously looking for more - which made me wonder if I'd accidently fallen into a badly written SF Time-travel novel:-) I supplied the month, year and day, which seemed to satisfy him and he continued on his way - straight into the newsagents across the road where he bought a newspaper - which surely gave him the same information? Very Twighlight zone-y!

I was shocked when the bus turned up, and I discovered a single to Bristol now costs £5.10! 3 years ago when i commuted to bristol every day a return was £3.60! The Bristol to London ticket only cost £6.00! WTF?!

Still, I found the extra couple of pounds and made it to bristol without diffculty, and on time, then managed to find and board the London bus wthout any hassle, which also left on time! It was far ettre than i had expected - the last time I travelled on a National express bus I swore I would never do so again. It was the slowest, most uncomfortable, roundabout route i had ever had the misfortune to travel. Hitching was quicker, easier, cheaper & safer (imo)! But Today was a far differnt experience - the coach was pretty new, with cushioned leatherette seats, leg room, no soft drinks pusher, and a smooth ride. Unfortunately the air-con was stuck permently on full blast icy cold, so we were all huddled up in hats, gloves & coats with our breath misting in the air in front of us! The driver was vry apologetic, but I still think it requires a letter of complaint to HQ.

Much to my surprise, we got into Victoria early. it comes of using the M4 bus lane I guess:-) Although in all the many times I have sat in the traffic myself, i have never seen bus go past - it was nice to bypass all the cars . It's a long time since I've walked around central London. I'd pretty much forgotten how it's a culture all of it's own. I had to dodge punks having their photo taken, hoards of Japenese tourists filming statues, single minded shoppers barging people out of their way and men in suits who probably earn more every minute than I do in a year, as i transferred over to the Tube station.

the queues for tickets were some 30mins long, so i joined one of the shorter ones and passed the time watching the entertainment of someone talking themselves out of a caution for common assault and into an arrest for sexual assault and abuse of a police officer. At the machine I tried to buy a single ticket to go the 10 miles to walthamstow, but it wouldn't let me & made me buy a one day travelcard for £5.70. So....... Bristol to London 120 miles. £6.00, or 5p per mile. Zone 1 to zone 3 10 miles. £5.70 or 57p per mile. It's cheaper to drive!

More to come.......

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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Birthday blues

I'm going to London today to "celebrate" my brothers birthday. He would have been 30 today, had he not died at 25! All the siblings will be there, which isn't that common nowaday's as we're fairly spread out geographically. I'm not sure if it's a good idea or not, but it's something Sister S really wants to do, and perhaps it will be a useful ritual.

I am going by coach:-( Slow & uncomfortable, but cheap! We were all going to go up for the weekend, as Aggie knew my brother for 9 years too, and I would've liked his support there. The immediate family are having a meal this evening, so he was going to babysit with Sister S's boy-friend, but now they have split up, it seems an unecessary expense and effort to traipse us all across the country.

I'll be back tomorrow evening.

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Friday, January 12, 2007

Weathering a Princess Bride

Aggie told me last night that the weather was set to get much worse over the next few days so I decided not to try to lug the girls all the way to school and back on the bike trailer in case of high winds, and pulled out the pram, buggy board & scooter for Mstr A. The girls were delighted with the idea - confused, as LMB sat in the pram & LMD on the buggy board, but delighted. Mstr A accepted the scooter idea after a short while, and we all set out, 15 minutes earlier than usual!

Of course it wasn't long before the girls started arguing about who should be where, but we managed well enough most of the way there. Shame there was virtually no wind at all really! Because the way home was a com plete disaster - LMD wanted to walk, which was OK, but then refused to get back in the pram & and wanted "up" instead. LMB refused to walk & wanted to sit on the buggy board the whole time which pouts the whole thing well off balance!

It was quite exhausting walking the two miles in the end. I'm thinking I might well cycle up this evening and let Mstr A keep up as best he can on the scooter!

LMB is the laziest speaker in the world, and we have been working hard to try to improve her pronunciation of words. She is not very co-operative & just sulks as soon as we correct her, which is really annoying! I did finally manage to bribe her into saying "th" last night, but it hasn't lasted:-( However, she has suddenly rediscovered food, and is eateing everything and anything. I expect it means I'll have to buy even more clothes soon as she grows again. She is incredible tall now - and very skinny. All her trousers just fall off her:-(

She has also found a new word to favour: "Impossible". She uses this at least a dozen times a day. She sounds like Vizzini in The Princess Bride:-) In fact, it's probably the most coherant word she says. I despair of her being ready to start school in September!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Moving along

I have decoided to stop behaving like I am on holiday and get on with things!

The great laundry mountain is no more:-)

I sent out 8 on spec letters yeterday, applied for one job, and requested the application packs for two more. I am being sensible this time though, and only applying for Part Time posts, within walking/cycling distance. As I would have to earn way over £20k to actually take any money home, I am not getting stressed about what the pay is, and will happily take anything from minimum wage upwards, provided it gives me somewhere to go and something to do!

I have bagged up all the old clothes and put them on freecycle.

If it ever stops raining I will dig over our new vegetable patch (it was going to be a deck, but decks cost money, so now it will be a veg patch), and plant something yummy.

I have prepared tonights supper, and planned tomorrows!

I have phoned the child tax credit people, who say they won't pay out any child care costs if I am not working, even though that will mean I lose the places, so that I CAN'T work! And even though it goes against the Gov't policy of pre-school education for all 3 year olds! However, the nice lady did say that perhaps I should defer telling them about my change of circumstances for a short while and if I get another job quickly, just change the details of my work. Hmmmm, you try and do the right thing.......

Aggies arthritis was really bad earlier in the week, completely paralising his right hand and shoulder:-( So he was at home - which is my excuse for not doing alot:-) He went to his first physiotherapy session on Tuesday, and got lots of helpful advice & exercises to do. Unfortuantely he also learned that the treatments for normal arthritis do not work at all on the Psioritic kind, so he can expect it to continue deteriorating from now on:-( I have started making my plans for the future on the basis that he will not be able to look after the kids in any major way.

The wind is unbelievable here at the moment. I can cycle Mstr A to school with just three of four rotations of the pedals, as the wind freewheels me the whole way:-) Coming home is quite another matter though as I struggle just to move into the headwind! My legs are seriously feeling the burn! Still, I'm sure it's doing me some good really.

Right, blog-break over. Back to the grindstone for me.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Time wasting

You'd think I'd have more time now I'm not working, but I do 't know where it is! I seem to be busier than ever!

Yesterday I went along to my "CareerFinder" induction. This is the current name for what used to be called jobclubs - and I expect they are equally as useless at finding 21st century people "careers" as they were at finding 20th century ones jobs! However, when the nice man at the jobcentre asked if I wanted to attend I agreed as free newspapers and stamps sounds good to me. He pointed out that because I am attending voluntarily I can use it for up to three months, and leave whenever I want for any reason. OK, I can manage that say I:-) Oh, but I do have to attend the induction on Monday morning - fill in this form. I fill in the form. I tick the box that asks do I require childcare. Oh, umm, nice man looks a bit embarressed, childcare is not available for careerfinder time. Oh, well, I can arrange for Nanny A to do one morning, that'll be alright. I fill in the form and forget all about it.

Nanny A turns up at 9.10am, and I suddenly remember I'm supposed to be going:-) Rush around printing off my CV etc quickly, then off I go. There were 10 of us there. At least 6 were compulsory attendances (if you are out of work for more than a year, apparently), and two of those REALLY didn't want to be there! One had attended "a number" of times previously (obviously did a lot of good then! Although I wouldn't employ him in anything that required communication skills, literacy, punctuality, hard work or skill - which is pretty much everything really!) One was absolutely determined to be as awkward as possible & argue with everything the poor tutor said - which was quite funny for me at times, but probably very annoying for the tutor, and anyone who actually was trying to learn something!

Anyway, we do all the health & safety stuff etc, and then get given this contract to sign. It says I agree to attend 10 hours per week. I point out that I was not informed of any specific attendance requirements. Tutor says this is laid down by their contract (with the DWP) as the government states that as we are all unemployed we obviously have nothing to do all day! He does say that they are quite flexible and really only ask that we attend for at least three days, staying for a minimum of two hours if we want to claim our travel expences back. I point out that I do not need to claim any travel expences as it doesn't cost much to walk 1/2 a mile, but three two hour sessions will cost me £90 in childcare fees and can I claim that back? He says no! Good old Government policy strikes again.

I refuse to sign the contract saying that I can not attend and have no wish or need to attend 10 hours a week! I only want free stamps:-) Tutor sees a possibility of claiming a sucess story and says I can attend as and when convenient to me as long as I don't claim any travel expences. Hurrah, I get my free stamps:-)

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Spending & Saving

We spent all of the rest of our Xmas money today - plus everything I'm earning at work tomorrow, and a fair bit more, as I booked five flights to Ireland, a hire car for the weekend and rooms in a stupidly expensive hotel for my sisters wedding in June. I'm really looking forward to it, but it's going to cost us a fortune (not as much as her, obviously, but she earns twice as much as Aggie, he owns a very successful company, and they don't have three kids to eat their time and money!). It totalled some £500 today, then I have a hen night (weekend) to pay for in April, which will be at least another £300, the girls are bridesmaids and Mstr A is an usher, so they will need expensive clothes, shoes, hairdo's, jewellery etc, as well as something for Aggie & myself to wear, food & expences while out there......... My JSA is £45 a week - it's going to take a lot of saving *sigh*

Still, some good news - I managed to get the house clean for the first time since xmas today, as I collected a new (to me) vacuum cleaner from a freecycler yesterday which means I don't have to struggle with the old one that only works if you hold the hose directly over a piece of fluff for five minutes:-) Aggie wanted to buy a new one in the Boxing Day sales for £175, so i'm glad I talked him out of it:-)

Also, Mstr A attended a birthday party today. L's mum phoned me last week a bit concerned as L (his "best" friend from a few weeks ago) really wanted to invite Mstr A, but as they were going to the cinema she wasn't sure if he would be OK. So I said I'd come along too - as Mstr A is not very good at cinema's tbh. he doesn't sit still well, and can not follow the storyline through dialogue. We were supposed to watch Happy Feet, but it was sold out (oops) so we saw A Night At The Museum instead. Mstr A managed about 10 minutes sitting next to his friend, then swapped to be next to me, and I gave a running commentary on the story for him, which meant he stayed and watched the whole film! Then we all trundled off to McDonalds, where he didn't behave any worse than the other boys;-) It's the first MD's i've eaten for at least two years. YUK! However, it was definitely a success for Mstr A. I'm so happy - he didn't get any invites to birthday parties last year!

I'm working tomorrow - teaching a course near Reading. it'll be a long day, but the money's pretty good:-)

Friday, January 05, 2007

Bad mother day

I have been one of those "bad mothers" today. I've shouted at my kids for little reason, I've left them to play alone in their room. I fed them tinned spaghetti & yesterday's sausages on toast for lunch (although they also had yoghurts, fruit juice & raisins). I haven't done anything even vaguely educational with them:-(

Last night was one of those nights where I just couldn't sleep! Not for any reason, it just didn't happen, so today I have not been in the best mood.

I did manage to get everyone up, fed & dressed on time this morning. And I worked out how to put together the bike trailer we got off freecycle ages ago. I cycled them all to school & home again - those girls are getting to be heavy lumps now! Over 4 stone between them - plus the trailer - my legs were compaining by the time we got home!

But that was it for the morning. I intend to go swimming on Friday mornings, but I have to buy myself a swimsuit first, so that was my excuse for not going today. I tried to have a bit of a nap with the girls this morning - but they were having none of it:-(

This afternoon we have a birthday party to attend. I have managed to find and wrap a present for her. And organise (but not pay for) Mstr A to go to after school club. Although it's also his school disco tonight, so i'm going to have to send Aggie down with some clothes and money for him.

I think I really need to get a bit more organised!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Ch ch ch ch changes

I had to sign on today. I was due there at 12.00, but as I had loads of stuff to do in town I went out early and got started. By about 11.00 I realised that I'd left most of what I needed at home, so I thought I'd sign on, then head home, collect stuff, and come back later this afternoon to finish up.

How times have changed. They wouldn't let me sign on at 11.00. My appointment was at 12.00 and they expected me then! Years and years ago, back in the early 90's when I last signed on, along with a few million others, they didn't give a damn what time you turned up. If you managed the correct day, you were doing pretty well:-) But then again, signing on in the 90's was a bit like the crucifixion scene in Life of Brian. There were two dozen desks - all behind perspex windows - which were split into surname initials,and everyone queued up at the relevant one for a few hours and when you got to the front you could hear,

"have you looked for work over the past two weeks?"
"sign here. NEXT!"
"have you looked for work over the past two weeks?"
"sign here. NEXT!"
"have you looked for work over the past two weeks?"
"sign here. NEXT!"
"have you looked for work over the past two weeks?"
"sign here. NEXT!"

Today was all different. I returned at 11.55. There was one person in front of me. The receptionist took my details and I took a seat. My card was taken over to another lady, who was pleased that "this is the last one today", and industriously tapped away on her computer for a few minutes, before calling me over. We had a whole area to ourselves, and she not only asked if I'd looked for work, but what precisely i had done, how many jobs I'd applied for and who with, how often I checked the papers/internet etc. Then she spent 15 mins searching for any suitable jobs on her computer (unsuccesfully - it is only the 3rd January!), and had a little chat before sending me on my way.

Then I wandered over to Waterstones which sadly now owns our local bookshop. It used to be Ottakers, and an independant before them, and had a far better choice available, but at least we still have a bookshop! I went there because I wanted to exchange a book that Aggie had bought me for Xmas. I was with him when he bought it in December (I didn't see what he bought, but he just came home & immediately wrapped it while still in the bag, so I know he did buy it then & there). Being a man, he has lost the reciept, but that's not usually a problem with big stores, after xmas, especially as all i wanted was to exchange it - not get any money back or anything. However, when I asked the cashier told me I couldn't exchange it as they had not sold that particular book in the last two weeks. I replied that the last two weeks had been Xmas, but we did buy it there, and they were still selling it there, and there was no doubt it was brand new, but she was adamant, that their policy was, if we haven't sold a copy of the book in the previous two weeks, we won't exchange it!

So, now I know. Don't buy anything from Waterstones. Stick to Amazon!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

same old, same old

So it's back to normality as a SAHM for me in 2007. Aggie went back to work yesterday, and the girls went back to nursery too, and Mstr A happily spent the day playing computer games, so I spent the day catching up on the sleep that I missed over the festive period:-) Although sadly that was cut short when the nursery called to ask me to collect LMD in the early afternoon as she had a liquid poo, and so needs 48 hours off. Considering when I turned up she was giggling & laughing while running around and around in circles, I don't think there was anything more than Grandma's cooking wrong with her! But home she came.

One of the problems with working last term, is that I didn't get any info from the school as to events, trips, term dates etc. So I checked online when Mstr A's school returned and it said today, so this morning was a bit of a rush getting evryone and everything ready & out the door in time to drop off LMB at nursery then cycle LMD & Mstr A to school. I'd only gone a few metres when I suggested that I could be wrong, as there was not another child in sight, and, lo and behold, when we arrived at school it was still shut up tight for the holidays. Fortunately teachers were arriving (I assume for a training day) so they told us schoool starts properly tomorrow! So we cycled back home again, and today I have both children to amuse somehow!

I was going to take down the Xmas decorations and tidy up a bit, but Aggie locked the decoration boxes in the shed, so I can't! Ah well, a day of rest won't hurt:-) I am trying out my pressie from Nanny A though - a slow cooker. Hopefully there'll be a nice beef stew ready for as soon as Aggie gets home, and before I have to go rushing off to college this evening. This term we are doing the stuff I have to take exams in, so I'm going to have to be a bit more conscientous:-)

Monday, January 01, 2007

Home again

We're home again at last. It feels like it's been a really long haul this year!

Despite the lack of sleep, everything went pretty well. The kids all got a good haul of pressies, my father gave us a nice fat cheque which has already bought us a new food processor as the motor on the old one died jut before Xmas, and the family all managed a day together with minimal arguments:-)

LMB & cousin G played really well together pretty much all the time we were there, with LMD tgging along most of the time, and Mstr A joining in whenever he could tear himself away from the gameboy. My mother and sister both commented on the improvement in Mstr A's behaviour, which was nice as usually I get a lecture from my mother & sympathy mixed with relief that he's not hers from my sister about the way he behaves!

Sister S went out for New Year, so Cousin G had a sleepover with LMB, which delighted them both. We saw in the New Year in the normal way - with a non-alcohlic drink and watching absolute rubbish on the TV:-) I still feel pretty rubbish today though - the culmination of three nights with very little sleep. I'm quite looking forwad to everything getting back to normal (whatever that is) tomorrow, and having some time to get myself sorted out a bit.

Happy New Year to all my readers. Heres hoping 2007 will be good to us:-)