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 27, 2007

Don't worry, be happy

Hurrah! Aggie's happy pills are starting to work again after the Doc upped his dose a while back. This week he has finally started to get involved with family life again and do stuff around the house, as well as go to the gym! My life has got drastically easier, as he takes Mstr A to school in the moring, so i just have to take the girls and don't have the same sort of rush to get to work on time. he also has started cooking again, which he loves, is pretty good at, and again, releases me from a really tim consuming chore. yay!

Of course, it also means that I'm not getting much exercise any more, as I walk the girls to school at 2 year old pace, then it's only 1/2 mile cycle to work. But that's ok:-)

In theory, this should be giving me a bit more free time - maybe to do some revision? But it doesn't seem to work like that! Although part of that may be because work has been absolutely manic this week, so i've been pretty exhausted. I have managed to read through most of the syllabus, and it all seems so obvious and memorable when the book is in front of me, but in the exam it's just me and what I remember! Of course, i'm a bit annoyed at my lecturer, because I have now done three mock exams as home work, and he has lost two of them and not marked the third yet, so I have no feedback whatsoever on what I'm doing *scowl*. And because the exams were handwritten (bloody stone age lawyers), I don't even have the exams to re-submit, or read through! I'm getting a bit panic-y now. 18 days to go *gulp*

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Lazy Sunday afternoon......

......I got no mind to worry
I close my eyes and drift away....

Well, The Small Faces my have meant it in different way, but that pretty much sums up how I feel today. I just can't seem to kick start my brain at all today.

And, no. I did not drink that much yesterday!

I have managed to do a couple of things, but it's all been really hard work:-( I'm hoping I can persuade the kids jut to sped the rest of the afternoon playing out in the garden and let me veg in front of the computer - although, tbh, I haven't even got the brain power to go blog-surfing today.

Yesterday went really well though. We had a good shoot - I only shot about 20 arrows bcause my fingers are still too soft, and when they start to bleed, I stop. Unlike CQ who carried on shooting until her arm looked ready to drop off! You can see a pretty picture on her blog here if you're so inclined:-) Beginners bruise is fairly common - especially for girls, but most people STOP when it hurts! The BBQ went down well too, and for once I didn't over-cater too much. Well.... there's enough for us all to have BBQ for supper again tonight, but, I only cooked the right amount yesterday:-) Then, in the evening, all the kids were in bed before we even left, so there was no problem with CQ and "the baby who hates her" (LMD). We strolled down to the theatre in a lovely sumer evening way. Rich Hall was good, but not at his best imo. It was then end of his tour, and I think he was getting a bit tired:-) But we did get a bonus warm-up act in the shape of Greg Campbell - a Canadian, now living in Devon, who was hilarious. Then a brisk walk home in the rather chilly, ooops I forgot it was only April, evening:-)

I do like living in town. It was one of the reasons we moved here. We are within walking disatnce of a theatre, cinema, train station, beach, shops, museums....... Cool huh?

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Summer time

And the BBQ's smoking....

Yes, that time of year has come round again - nice and early this year - where the sun is shining, the temprtures are up, the pollen count is high, so naturally every Brit who can rushes out to their back garden, strips half naked to ensure maximum sunburn, and stands round a swealtering hot smokey BBQ for hours eating rubbish:-)

We have a bunch of people coming round this afternoon to eat, play with bow and arrows, and generally eat, drink & be merry in the sunshine. It looks like it's going to be gone by tmorow, so we may as well make th most of it:-)

It should be fun. Plus, this evening me and Aggie are off to see comedian Rich Hall at the local flea pit, so an evening of grown up merriment is awaiting too:-)

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

I must be doing something right

Work is still going well. I'm downstairs this week (and next week) covering reception as one of the "pool" typists is off on holidays. It's slightly annoying as I have to keep stopping what i'm doing to answer the phone or sort out something boring;-) But otherwise it's not as bad as the upstairs people were making out. Of course, I'm not very good at office politics, so maybe I'm just not noticing it too much. There is a real upstairs / downstairs feel from the people downstairs. still, I think they are right to move towards department secretaries rather than pool typists - I'm starting to be trusted to take the majority of family phone calls and ven actually talk to clients and progress the case on some things - especially when the partner is off in court. The second fee-earner has taken to saying "just write something like ormal" rather than dictating every single word, which is good too - it means I can write in proper English rather than the questionable phrases they use:-)

I've also had permission to go off and do a course. It's just a one day thing aimed at legal sec's (and paralegals), but it's something they have not sent anyone else on, so i've been asked to keep it quiet. I'm quite chuffed that they think it worth spending money on me after only a couple of months.

One of our big clients came in to the office today (big as in big case, not big as in Mr Big!), and made a special point of coming over to thank me for all the times I've spoken to her on the phone. I'm not keen on crying people, and she pretty much always cries, so it was nice to hear I'd handled it OK.

it was a bit upsetting when I left the last post, and I know that at least some of the other secretaries think I'm sciving by leaving early three days a week, so it's nice to have some affirmiation that I'm really quite good at what I do:-) Everyone needs to hear it now and again.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

What to say?

I am a bit lost for words at the moment. I havn't even found anything of use in the news - usually a good fount of rants and raves.

But what can you say about the events in Virginia yesterday? 32 people dead for no reason whatsoever. My thoughts go out to their friends and reatives. I wonder how come the first information that was released about the gunman's identity was that he was an immigrant. He moved to the US aged 8. That makes him an American to all intents and purposes. i wonder about the fact that despite his know metal instability, worries about his comprehension of reality and previous compliants against him, he was able to buy a gun & ammunition without anyone blinking an eye. But more that anything, I wonder what you can say in answer to the assertion that it was not his having a gun that was the problem, but the fact that all the other students didn't, and therefore we should be arming all our students in order to ensure there are less shootings!

What can you say as yet another day brings yet more deaths in Iraq? When even the most optimistic reports put the death toll at 60,000 Iraqi's in 3 years, how can we even start to comprehend what is happening there? How can we justify what is happening there? How can we claim that Iraq is better now than it was before? Will we stay until the death toll surpasses that under Saddam Hussein - because right now we are easily equalling it on a daily average!

Even on a more personal note I am lost for words today. Mstr A has been showing every sign of being two years old - with the size and strength of a large 6 year old. He can be so wonderful at times, still hugging and kissing me, but as soon as I tell him to do something he turns into a screaming demon. It's exhausting.

I'm trying to work out how to tell my mother that I don't want to go to my second cousin's wedding in a couple of weeks. She got so excited when I said it would be nice to attend that she went off and made special arrangements. But I'm not happy about leaving Aggie on his own with the kids again for the weekend. He found it hard going last weekend, and is in a lot of pain now. And I'm not that bothered about attending the very religious Jewish wedding of someone I have not seen for ten years. In london. Over bank Holiday weekend. It would be nice, but not something i'm desperate to do.

Oh well. Enough words seem to have come to fill up a post. Perhaps I will feel more optimistic soon. At least I have some nice stats to back up my reasons for not wanting to return "home" to London and my mother. Where she lives has just ranked second from bottom of the best places in the UK for family life:-0

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Brighton Rocks Pebbles

I've spent the weekend in Brighton, at my sister's hen night weekend. She doesn't live there, but her twin sister & best friend from uni/sister of fiance do, and as they are the chief bridesmaids, it was held there.

I don't really get the attraction of Brighton. The beach is just pebbles, the shops are mostly restuarants or bars, and everything is massively over-priced. I did see some nice stuff on the markets etc, but at approx triple what I would pay at home!

Anyway, the weekend went better than expected in most ways. I was a bit worried - all four sisters together is usually a recipe for disaster, especially with my mother added in:-) And hen nights are often a bit strained as they ahve such differing people attending. But we survived it all - and it wasn't as expensive as I feared either - mostly because a) we are all too old to party all weekend now, and b) my little sisters are stunningly dull!

Still, I managed to get my mothers hotel bill reduced by 50%, which was nice. Shame it wasn't my bill, but there you go.....

I'll fill in the details another time. It took 6 1/2 hours to get home the 200 miles by train! I reckon that's an average 35 mph *fron* I'm off to try to catch up on all the housework & laundry now!

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Looking back`

Following the news today about piloting the new "megan's law" here in the west, I was looking back over some of my old posts. I was looking for this one, which outlines my reasons why it is a stupid idea.

However, having found it, I started reading through some of my old posts. They're quite good y'know:-) much more interesting than the current stuff imo. Go have a look:-)

And because Maggie asked, and because my kids are gorgeous, here's some more pictures of our re-enactments over the past few years......

Mstr A's first day learning real soldiering. Conwy 2007.

Children playing ball. Berkeley 2006. The three on the outside are mine:-)

The girls enjoying camp life. Farleigh Hungerford 2006.

Mstr A proudly display's his first sword. In the sleet at Tutbury Castle 2003.

I can't find any from 2004. Not sure why. If they turn up, I'll post some:-) Earlier stuff will be somewhere on hard copy. Maybe I'll scan some in one day.......

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Mrs A - Domestic Goddess

It was a good event:-)

The castle is pretty big, but totally ruined. No camping was allowed witin the castle walls, so our campsite was down at the bottom of the back wall, next to the railway line. NOt too much of a problem, except it meant that everything needed to be carted from the campsite, up the driveway, along the path, across the car park, through the shop, and then straight up the steep slope & stairs into the upper keep. A full medieveal market is an awful lot of solic wood and canvas, plus all the kit, amour, boxes, food, and, on a personal note a bloody great quirn stone and three kids! I was exhausted befor the day even began!

Still, once set up, it went well. The quirn and butter churn were big hits with the MOP's (members of the public) who came visiting. The flour tended to be a bit grassy and muddy after several hundred three and four year olds "helped" grind it, but the butter came out fantastically. I now have two massive lumps of butter to eat:-) Although quite a lot was eaten on site:-) The girls quickly got into the idea, and LMB happily showed the others what to do:

Sadly LMD tended to think they were there as her own personal toys and often got a it possesive when others tried to play too - so spent a bit of time sulking on my lap!

Mstr A had a really good time learning to be a page to his young lord - who showed remarkable patience with him!

In fact, many of the group came and said how well he was doing, considering his age. He did look sweet following after his lord:-) And was ever so proud t be trusted with hi metal sword! In fact, he was so tuckered out after the first day that he just about managed to make it back to camp, then just crashed out on the floor of the tent for 30 mins cos he was too tired to get up on the bed! Ahhhhhhh!

Of course, at the end of the weekend, we also had to carry everything back down to the campsite again. Then strike camp and load the cars, before even starting the four hour drive home! Aggie was totally crippled by all the walking up and down, so I was left with the driving. We finally made it home around midnight.

Fun, but VERY exhausting.


Saturday, April 07, 2007

Easter in 1370

We're here.

Back after the Easter weekend:-)

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Friday, April 06, 2007

A little bit of fun

You Are a Seeker Soul

You are on a quest for knowledge and life challenges.
You love to be curious and ask a ton of questions.
Since you know so much, you make for an interesting conversationalist.
Mentally alert, you can outwit almost anyone (and have fun doing it!).

Very introspective, you can be silently critical of others.
And your quiet nature makes it difficult for people to get to know you.
You see yourself as a philosopher, and you take everything philosophically.
Your main talent is expressing and communicating ideas.

Souls you are most compatible with: Hunter Soul and Visionary Soul

What a nice way of saying I am argumentative and bossy:-)


Thursday, April 05, 2007

oooooooh! A TT Thursday!

Thirteen Things we have hand made for the first event of the season this weekend:
Formatting still being sortd. Sorry

1 A Tunic for Mstr A, in his house colours, as he will be a page to the young Lord Hungerford (slight historical license there, since the young lord Hungerford is not yet born:-)! )

Note the precise tailoring around the hips, showing off his pert little bottom, as per fashion of the time!

2 Some mail mitts for Mstr A, so he can practise his sword fighting skills without having his fingers chopped off! He only has a wooden sword, but they can still pack quite a punch. The mail was made by his lord and givn as a Xmas present. Aggie had to get the gloves and sew the mail on though.

Please note - these are MAIL gloves, not chainmail. That is a modern affectation, unecessary in the medieval period when there was only the one type of mail anyway!

3. And, of course, an undershirt for Mstr A. Woven wool is rather itchy, so a nice linen shirt is vital.

4. Along the same lines, here is my underdress. I am halfway through making a new overdress too, but it's not finished yet:-( The kids stuff took priority as I have one dress that fits OK enough, and they keep growing out of theirs!

You may notice that it is armless - I am hoping these will be finished by tomorrow!

You can't see it too well in the picture, but this has to be exact measurements to fit to my body. There were no bra's in the 14th century, and I am niether particularly small up top, nor "pert" after 30 mumble years and three kids! Comfort is achieved by good tailoring, which is not my forte! It's the first year I've made my own, so here's hoping it works!

5. LMB's underdress was much easier - pretty much straight up and down:-)

6. But she does get a pretty overdress to wear. Two colour, with a real silk band round the edge too. I didn't weave that though - my weaving still comes out pretty lumpy!

This year she will get her own metal clasp too - I have a nice dragon one she can use. Hopefully she won't lose it!

7. And because we ARE camping in North Wales in April, a cloak to keep her toastie warm while running around:-)

8. LMD wanted a nice new blue dress too - and was promised one - but it's not done yet:-( But she does have a lovely blue cloak. I made it for the end of last season, where it earned her the nickname Yoda, as she toddled around in her cloak, using incorrect syntax and saying "mmmmm" a lot:-) I think the group may be surprised at her speech this year!

9. She does get a pretty underdress though. Made to be wearable as a simple shift on it's own if it gets hot during the summer. And when we're in Italy next month.

10. Here's the biggie: Aggie's tunic. Not only is there a lot of Aggie to cover, but our new status as yeomen or free merchants means that we have to show off our wealth with bright multi-coloured and labour intensive clothing.

11. And lets not forget pants! Or breeches as they ought to be known. Obviously we all need these items. The ones in the picture are LMD's - so you can guess the size of the others!

12. Equally important are shoes. Aggie spent ages researching the best designs and most comfortable shoes for LMB last year. Then she went and grew out of them within weeks! Grrrr. We are slowly building up a selection of shoes now though:-)

13. And last, but not least, a fully hand sewn, authentic doll. I made two - one for each of the girls, because sticks and stones will only keep them occupied for so long. About 12 hours at a stretch as far as I can tell:-) As overheard by a MOP (member of the public) watching the kids play in the dirt "you wouldn't see modern kids playing like that". Ummm, do you think they thought there were REALLY in 1370?

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

Fools, fish and families

Happy April Fools Day.

I wasn't very impressed with BBC News' attempt this year - that teenagers attention spans were too short to play board games now, so all the traditional games were launching quick versions, playable in less than 20 mins. It was so easy to spot:-(

Although Aggie found a funnier one online here:-)

My mother's been visiting this weekend. It mostly went OK. She arrived (late) on Friday evening, so by the time we'd fed her, then put the kids to bed, there was only a couple of hours to chat. She mosty talked about my sister and whether her ex would actually leave on his deadline of th end of the month, and what sister S should do if he didn't. I diplomatically pointed ut that it was sister S's decision what to do, when to do it, and how to carry it out, which she kind of accepted. I think.

I had a horrendous night, as LMB was ill, and woke up coughing and wheezing at about 11am. I stayed with her till midnight, when her temperature had stabilised a bit, but I was still up and down with her every few hours. LMD happily interpersed those brief moments of sleep with her "Grandma's staying i need some attention" crying, and combined with my mother's midnight maraunderings around the house (I wake whenever I hear someone on the stairs), I doubt I actually hit REM sleep at any point during the night:-(

Still, Saturday was booked for shopping, as my mother swore that there was "nowhere" selling decent clothes for her to wear to my sisters wedding in June. We all emailed suggesting the major stores, which she said were either unsuitable or overpriced, and i said she MUST be able to find something - there were dozens of places down here that sold the right stuff, and we're just a small town. She lives in London! Taking me at my word, she booked th eday to find something! I sent Aggie and the kids off to Nanny A's for the day, and spent a fun morning traipsing round middle-aged dress shops. I had 6 shops on my list, she found at least one outfit in each, and finally bought the second one we'd seen.

Success achieved, we mooched around some of the show homes locally. She regularly talks about moving down here "one day", but i don't expect it to actually happen really. The homes were hopeless! We say a 4 bed house, obviously deigned for a family my size, which had a kitchen with ONE cupbord in it, and a living room which could just about squeeze a double sofa and a TV in. And that was it. You'd be hard pushed to find room to make a sandwich there, let alone a full meal for a family. No wonder no-one cooks properly any more!

I didn't get tons of sleep last night either. Although LMD had settled down, LMB was still ill, so I was pretty knackered this morning. We had promised to go out and get all the stuff for Mstr A's big fish tank which we got off freecycle as his fish had grown out of the little one. My other said she would get herself dressed and sorted out when we went out, which I thought meant she wanted a bit of peace and quiet. We were out for an hour, and when we got back, she packed up and left - without even waiting to say goodbye, which really pissed me off.

Then, to rub salt in the wound, when I came to make lunch (which for the kids was pasta, and for the grown ups was the left overs of last nights chinese, which she had shared with us, and watched me put the left overs into two bowls saying "there's lunch tomorrow sorted out") just to discover that she had sneaked half the food out of one of the bowls and eaten it already, leaving me with half a lunch:-( I don't begrudge her the food, but she knew that was lunch! grrrr Families - who'd have them?

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