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, May 30, 2007

medieval concrete cows

And once again we are madly rushing around trying to get ready to go back to 1370 (ish). We're off on a four day event near Milton Keynes first thing tomorrow. It's a first for us, as we are going as us, not as part of a group. We have had a few invites to attend events as individuals before, but this is the first one we've done - partly because we've only just about got enough equipment to do it comfortably now.

Doing it ourselves means a number of things - no back up of kit from the group for one, but money in our pockets for another:-) It's only £10 per person per day, which will barely cover the food tbh, but it's still being paid direct to us (well, me) rather than into a group account:-) A few others from our group are joining us too. But mostly the event wll be attended by various other groups and individuals. I really like doing multi-group events. You learn so much from talking to other re-enactors, but our current group does hardly any multi group events (and no multi period ones wich are also fun). This one is being hosted by a famous Joust group, so there will be plenty of horsey antics for LMB to gawp at.

but it also means we have to be organised - take absolutely everything we have, including all the food for 7 people for four days, and enough clothes and bedding for the changeable British weather. Its forecast to be wet, dry, sunny, windy, cold, warm and muggy over the next four days:-) I am cooking for everyone. I love doing authentic food, and am quite looking forward to getting the chance to do so again.

We're hoping to leave by 6am tomorrow (we thought about going tonight, but I didn't finish work till late, and it would mean another night in a tent, and another night without fridge/freezer!), so having to pack up the car and get everything ready tonight. Add in the fact that I will have to leave at 6am on Monday morning as I have a course to deliver up north (we're not expecting to get home till 9pm ish on Sunday, then will have to unpack the car of re-encatment kit and re-pack it with work kit), so I have to have everything necessary for that ready too. It's all a bit hectic!

At least the kids are in bed now, so I'll get back to it.......

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

There and back again (barely)

I've been off in Surrey working today - running a first aid course for a sports club out there. It's a return job - I did them a couple of years ago, and they specifically asked for me back. I should have trusted my instincts and said no:-( But I really need to make some money for my sisters wedding in a couple of weeks, so i booked in three. This one, one next Monday up North which will be an absolute nightmare, and one in a few weeks in london, which should work out OK.

This was a particularly annoying one, only partly becuase it's a good couple of hours drive away. Also, they do not take it very seriously and it pisses me off. I arrived 20 mins early, ready to set up (as they are told I will in the confirmation letter), to be told that the classes did not finish until the time the course was due to start and I had to wait outside. Then, when the time finally did come round, I discovered that only some of the classes ahd finished - i was expected to run a course around a bunch of kids training & running around etc. By 30 mins in to the course I had needed to sit the candidates down and give them a lecture on behaviour and my expectation that they will listen to me while I am talking and complete the practical tasks correctly without wansering off for a chat. So all in all, not my favourite course. Add in the fact that 15 mins before the end of the four hour course someone came to tell me my car alarm was going off. I got out there to discovere that it must have been going for the whole time & therefore I had a flat battery..... Phoning round & searching for jump leads in the rain did not make me inclined to return in the future.

I have decided not to retake the qualification when it come up for renewal at the end of September though. I really do not have the time to go off around the country on our "spare"weekends. And Aggie finds it really difficult to cope with the kids on his own. And the money, while nice, is not really enough to make up for the hassle.

I still like the job, and still get a kick out of it. But I'm not in the industry anymore, so I have to work hard to keep up to date & spend spare time learning new stuff. And TBH, I just don't have the time to work for myself as well as my employer, study, look after the kids, Aggie and the house.....


Thursday, May 24, 2007

A long weekend in the sun

We spent last weekend in Morimondo, just outside Milan, Italy, re-enacting the battle of Caserote (you can see a video a few posts down). it's a great event for us, as we are only contracted to do the battle, and as we are severly restricted on the amount of stuff we can take with, we do not do any living history displays, just laze around in the sun all day until the evening comes round and it is cool enough to fight. Aggie shoots some arrows. I stay behind and watch (and look after the kids) although next year I'm hoing I can shoot too. Mstr A went of to battle for the first time, and was so good that he got to stay up with the gron ups till midnight singing songs round a campfire. I hope he does not repeat any of them at school!

It was a really relaxing time, although the journey home wa a bit of a nightmare. But I have finally recovered enough to post some pictures:

The rank and file ready themselves for drill. Mstr A joins in.

The rich and lordly ready themselves for battle. Mstr A joins in:-)

The girls enjoy their lunch in the shade.

We love the sunshine:-)

The heat takes its toll on LMD. Still, she was up at 5.30am, and didn't go to bed till 9.30pm each day, so it's not surprising really. Sadly, i couldn't join her...

Mstr A practises his sword skills under the watchful eye of his lord.

Daddy readies himself for battle by having a stiff drink:-)
Click on the pictures to enlarge.
Sadly, now we're back in the UK, the weather forcast is single figure tempretures if we are lucky, rain/sleet and freezing winds for this weekend. Not sure if we will make it yet. I am working on Saturday anyway, so we'll have to wait and see......

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

random tagging

I've been tagged by Em over at doing it all again to tell you 8 random things about me...

hmmmmm, what would be both interesting and not overly incriminating?

  1. I rode a motorbike every day for 9 years. I was the first person in the family to have one (although two others followed me), and it was much against my mothers wishes. It took me a whole year of working every Saturday and every Sunday to save up the money to buy it. Despite commuting round London, travelling across the country, attending various bike shows and belongi g to a bike club for all those years, I never broke any bones or even damaged myself or my bike beyond superficial surface marks. I am the only person I know who can claim this.
  2. I am incredably unco-ordinated. As a child my family learned never to even let me go into shops with breakables as it was guaranteed that I would smash them! I still have to be extremely careful in shops, and regulrly have "accidents". I stopped attending PE at age 12. The rest of my family are all quite the opposite - all three of my sisters were high class competitive athletes in artistic sports - one became the youngest qualified coach in the country and the other two both represented their country at various competitions. Despite this, i am the one who ended up working in the sports industry!
  3. I was severely bullied as a child. i distinctly remember literally fleeing in fear if my life on a number of occasions and ended up in hospital with an injury that still affects me today. It never occured to me to complain to a teacher about any of this. I tried all of the remedies suggested in the anti-bullying literature at various times. None of them worked. I have no idea what the solution is, other than get a bigger gang of your own (which is what i finally did).
  4. By the time I was a teenager, i knew I didn't want children. Or a husband. Or to be tied down to one place. I love single life, travelling and being my own boss and as selfish as I want. I have absolutely no idea how it is that i am married, with a mortgage, job and three kids. I still think I would have been perfectly happy and quite likely happier without the children, although I love them to pieces and would do absolutely anything for them.
  5. I have travelled accross Europe, the Middle East, and to Africa (well, Egypt - it's offically Africa), Russia (the soviet union then), the USA and Mexico. it is nowhere near enough and I would love to go everywhere else. And back to those places again. And off world too if possible:-) Travelling is imo undoubtedly one of the best things a person can do - if they actually travel to different cultures, visit real places, talk to real people and learn about real things! I still think the very best way to travel is by thumb. I hitch-hiked everywhere, and met the most amazing people, saw the most fantastic places and discovered that despite media representations, the VAST majority of humanity are jolly decent people! Whenever I feel depressed about our species, a quick hitch hike, or even just a walk and chat to some strangers will remind me that on the whole, people are nice:-)
  6. I honestly do not believe there is anything supernatural. No soul, no God, no ghosts, no demons or angels, fairies, elves, poltergeists, gaia, mother nature, after-life, pre-life, reincarnation or anything else spiritual, other or more. This seems to really upset an awful lot of people, even quite secular ones. Many of them either don't believe me, or think that i must be lying otherwise i would be a psychotic killer. I am not sure why poeple think we need something other than common sense to know that psychotic killing is not a good thing to do! Lots of them assume I do really believe in "something" but just haven't identified it with a name. Most ask me if I am really sure, and look quite shocked when I say yes. But the ones that really make me laugh are then ones that tell me I will go to hell for not believing in hell....... Like that is going to worry me?
  7. I am a disgusting slob. I will do pretty much anything rather than do housework. Before Aggie came along and flaked everywhere, i was quite content with a once a month vacuum, and annual dusting. I am happy to live ina room that is full of "stuff" just lurking in corners. Much as I like the concept of a place for everthing and everything in it's place, i have not yet worked out how to achieve even a quarter of the first half of this! However, my slenliness mostly stays with mess, not dirt. I try to keep the place clean by using preventative tactics - no food upstairs, all messy jobs to be done in the garden, luandry and people washed often with good soap:-) In my defence, i am not a stuff person. I would happily live in a two bed cottage, with just the barest minimum of stuff. I spend much of my time moaning about how much stuff we have and that we should get rid of it. Sadly Aggie is a hoarder. He loves his stuff and can never have too much. Yet another battle I have lost in this relationship as we have a big house and a big garden, both absolutely brimming with stuff I don't want!
  8. Everyone thinks I am a horrible partner. In fact, after a few years, even my sister asked Aggie why on earth he stays with me. However, despite the fact that i am the one who gives all the orders, seems to win every argument and choses what to do, when and how to do it and where it should be done..... I wanted to stay single, and we're married. I wanted to stay unchained to a specific place, and we've got a mortgage. I wanted to be DINK's (Dual income, no kids), and our income has halved since the kids turned up. I wanted a small house with no garden, and we have a big house and large garden one. In fact, on all the big issues, Aggie seems to be living his dream, and I have no idea how that happened:-)

Well, hopefully that's 8 fairly random and interesting things that i haven't specifically covered before. As always, i won't tag anyone, but if you want to have a go, leave me a comment and I'll link to you here.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

and now we wait

Two exams all finished. There is nothing to do now but wait until the 16th August and see what the results say.

I think i've passed. I spent all weekend cramming - well, except for Sunday where I was too hung over, so researched some historical stuff instead! And I read trough all my notes beofre the exams. I have a very short term memory, so most of that stayed in my mind for the required two hours - it will probably be gone by next week. Thats my reasoning for not revising much troughout the year anyway;-)

Now I've got writers cramp! All that writing! With a pen. on paper! It's a skill i never use any more - actually, I never used it much even when I wasyoung - i just made it inot the computer generation and typed all my school work from age about 14! At Uni, we had to type our work - handwritten stuff wasn't marked! I can't believe that ILEX couldn't manage to allow us to use stand alone computers. they wouldn't even need to ahve any storage capacity or upload/downlaod ability. They would prabably be nearly as cheap ans paper answer booklets, and would make my life easier and the examiners lives LOADS easier.

I finished my exams in 1 hour 30 mins and 1 hour 20 mins respectively. This is not something I am particularly proud of - it probably means thta my handwriting wa just a little bit less legible than necessary - but I didn't want to run out of time! And once you've written everything you can, thre is no real point in staring at the questions you didn't know for a further half hour:-)

At least it's over. Today is our wedding anniversary so Aggie is taking me out for a meal. My sister S is always so good at remembering our anniversay and each year sends me a card with a little something of the corect material. Today I got a tiny bronze bell (well, it's brass really, but we'll call it bronze cos she thought it was), which was lovely. I don't know which year is which, but sh always makes the effort to find out and send something:-) For those of you who are interested, this is our 8th anniversary.

Tomoorow it's back to work for a day, then Thursday we're of to Italy. So much to do!!!! All the kit has to be packed and delievered to the holing garage tonight as the truck will be leaving tomorrow lunch time. IT has to drive ll our weapons & heavy stuff over there, and for some reason they don't like us taking swords, axes and bows and arrows on the aeroplane:-)

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Saturday, May 12, 2007

"Nil Points"

It's Eurovision time again. A great British tradition celebrated around the country the way we will be doing tonight - with plenty of alcohol, good friends, Sir Terry Wogan's bemused commentary, and a whole load of laughs. The Brits see Eurovision raher like a Gay Pride march. Colourful, fun, and totally camp.

Unfortunately, the rest of Europe doesn't seem to share our views.

Well, the Germas seem to think it's a good excuse to be as outlandish as possible - which is always fun. Most of western Eurpoe sees it as a song competition, and take it deathoy seriously. And Eastern Europe seems to think it's a political statement of some kind.

As most of the contest is stacked with old Eastern Bloc countries now, I confidently expect to do atrociously with our spectacularly camp novelty song by total unknowns.

But as we bankroll the whole thing we get a free pass into next years competitonanyway, so it will continue to be an annual tradition.

Plus, I bet we'll have far more fun watching our lot lose, that many other countries peoples will have watching their people do well:-)

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Time is fleeting...

where did the time go? It seems that only yesterday my pencil was telling me I have a month to do my revision, and suddenly the exams are on top of me! I'm trying hard to shovel three months worth of revision into five days - around work, kids and re-enactment! argggghhhhh!

Do you think it's really irresponsible to pin my hopes on my ability to "blag" exams? :-)

Aggie has promised to take the kids out over the weekend and let me read through all my notes. I have written up most of my revision notes at least! The poblem is, that I remember it all perfectly while I've got them in front of me, but I have a VERY short term memory, so it will all be gne by the next morning! I passed my A levels by revision on the morning of, and the 30 mins before going into the exam, then scribbling everything down in ote form on scrap paper in the firts 15 mins, and using those notes to write essays around. This is a practical exam - i won't have the option of scribbling notes. In fact, they have specified that no scrap paper is allowed!

Oh well - I take a very pragmatic approach to these things nowadays. i will do as well as I do, and we'll see what happens then.

On the positive side, the year may have slid past so fats that I didn't see it, but it does mena there are only a few days until we're off to Italy for the battle of Caserote. Here's a video of the same event in 2005/6 (I hope - I've not tried this vlogging lark before!)

Looking forward to guaranteed warm, sunny and dry:-)

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Friday, May 04, 2007


We went blue:-(

Actually, we seem to have gone bluer than blue:-(

Having waited 8 years for the council to actually start re-building the town, I ow confidently expect it all to stop!

People have short memories.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Dribble, drool

No college (again) tonight. We went to the dentist after school, and I had to have a filling, so not really up to it. It's only revision anyway - not that I'm finding much time to do my own revision:-(

The dentist moaned at me that I had left it so long to come in to have the filling, and that it had go much worse than it needed to be. I pointed out tht I had phoned just before Xmas, and this was the first appointment they would give me - even though I said I would come on any day at any time (well, they did say there was one last Friday at 11am, but for the sake of two days I said I'd come along with all the family today!)

Still, the whole thing came to less than £50, which is better than I thought it might be. When I first heard I would have to wait 6 months I looked up some private dentists - they would have cost at least £200, and most wanted me to sign up to an annual plan for a lot more. So it' not as bad as it could be. Not as good a it should be either though!. But I'm lucky really. I haven't been to the dentist since it was free because of LMD being less than a year old, so that's well over a year. They had every right to chuck us off the NHS books, and the chances of gtting anothr NHS dentist is remote to say the least! The private practises are sprigig up al over the place as the town population is ever increasing!

The kids are all fine. LMD ran in saying "dentist, dentist, I like the dentist". She watched Mstr A and LMB behave perfectly and get a sticker, chattering away about dentists and chairs and teeth. She sat on the chair and waited aptiently until the dentist asked er to open her mouth, at which point she screwed her face up, held hr arms out and asked for "mummy cuddle". Nothing would induce her to open up, so we let her off this time. of course, as soon as we walked out the door, she wailed that she hadn't had the dentist look at her teeth and she wanted to go back!

Sadly, I now feel like my mouth is swollen, I can't talk properly, and I'm starving hungry! It should be wearing off soon, so it's paracetemol & pizza for me:-)