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, February 29, 2008

My shiny thing

I didn't get any armour, what with there not being anything suitable (or of suitable price) available, but I did buy me a nice new shiny sword - well it's for me and Mstr A to share really, but still.....

Now I just have to wait for Aggie to make the pell he's been promising for a year for us to practise on.

Aggie brought himself yet another new box. Even bigger than the last new box he brought last year, which will house is ever growing tools collection. Which means I get his old medium sized box for my sewing kit, and my little box can be used for some gaming counters and such like. it never hurts to teach the kids about gambling early;-)

And of course we spent much money on yet more material to make yet more clothes for our ever growing children! Now to get sewing. Again.

Only a few weeks to go now before the season starts....


Thursday, February 28, 2008


It's been a busy week. I went to battle practise again last Sunday - there were lots more people there this time, both old and new, so we got quite a bit more fighting done. Especially sword fighting, which un fortunately I was not really armoured for (still borrowing Aggie's archers jack and company spare gloves & helmet), and one of the lords got a jolly good hit on my upper arm. It came up almost immediately, and by Monday morning was a massive purple bruise stretching right around my bicep, from elbow almost to my shoulder, and causing quite a lot of pain each time I moved it.

Ho Hum. I'm off shopping at the re-enactment market tomorrow to solve the armour problem. We're taking a few people up with us, so it should be a fun, if expensive day out:-)

I've moved at work, and have spent the week covering a secretary in property litigation, as she's gone swanning off to exotic places on hols. I find property law quite boring, but property litigation was quite interesting. Although, considering i had three lawyers to work for, it was pretty slow most of the week. I am used to a MUCH higher workload off my lawyers. I get that they probabloy can't trust me with anything interesting yet, and that diffrent departments work in different ways, but there just didn't seem to be as much work being done. I'm sure it must be - they obviously run a very profitable business there:-) Today got quite busy though, so perhaps it is just stops and starts. Next week I think i'm in property proper, meh. I don't know though. I'll just see where they send me on monday. I don't think much of this floating role - you can never settle into anything properly.

I'm starting to get into a routine properly now. But it means I'm out at 8am and not home until gone 6pm. As the kids go to bed between 6.30 & 7pm, it doesn't give me much time with them. It's going to take us all a while to get used to it. hopefully we will.

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Getting it write :-)

As I reach the end of my first full week secretarying, grammer and punctuation have been at the forefront of my mind. I don't know what they teach the yoof of today, but lawyers are right stick in the muds for proper English, so today's post is all about how to write it correctly, stolen shamelessly from but all true.....

1. Verbs HAS to agree with their subjects.
2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
3. And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction.
4. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
5. Avoid cliches like the plague. (They’re old hat)
6. Also, always avoid annoying alliteration.
7. Be more or less specific.
8. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (usually) unnecessary.
9. Also too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
10. No sentence fragments.
11. Contractions aren’t necessary and shouldn’t be used.
12. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.
13. Do not be redundant; do not use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous.
14. One should NEVER generalize.
15. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.
16. Don’t use no double negatives.
17. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
18. One-word sentences? Eliminate.
19. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
20. The passive voice is to be ignored.
21. Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary. Parenthetical words however should be enclosed in commas.
22. Never use a big word when a diminutive one would suffice.
23. Kill all exclamation points!!!
24. Use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.
25. Understatement is always the absolute best way to put forth earth shaking ideas.
26. Use the apostrophe in it’s proper place and omit it when its not needed.
27. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”
28. If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: Resist hyperbole; not one writer in a million can use it correctly.
29. Puns are for children, not groan readers.
30. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
31. Even IF a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
32. Who needs rhetorical questions?
33. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
34. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Working girl

I feel like all my time has just disappeared now I'm working properly full time. Well, I suppose it has - it's not just that I've lost my early finish, but the commute has added an extra couple of hours on to my day too, so 'm out the house from 8am until gone 6pm each day. Not horendous I know, but a big difference from 8.55-3.05!

Work had been variable so far - as they do not have a permenant place to put me yet, i am working in "support" which means I will help out anyone who needs some help. which is fine, except for the first coupleo f days apparently no-one was feeling under any pressure with work and I had virtually nothing to do! It made the day v e r y long. Today was much better as I picked up quite a few things from various departments, which I mostly sucessfully completed:-) Next week I'm covering holiday in the Agriculture dept (apparently four! people are out - but it's a pretty big team so hopefully there will still be somebody there to elp me do everything as I still don't know how lots of things work), then after that I will be in property for a few months as someone there is off on maternity leave soon, so i doubt the quiet period will last much longer.

Unfortunately, as it is a pretty "old" practise, they are still quite conservative on many things and despite its size and sucecss they do not employ legal execs, so will not assist my college course in any way. I asked if I could leave 15 mins early on Wednesdays to get to college on time and make up the time by having a 15 min shorter lunch break and was told no, which is a bummer. ll just have to be late for class for the next few months, and hope they grasp the idea of flexi-time eventually. With only 12 weeks to go to the end of the course, I don't think it is worth fighting over at the moment!

Hopefully though we will be able to do more interesting things at the weekends and school holidays. Aggie has been doing well with the three of them this week for half term, which is a relief:-) And when I get paid, it should be enough to go to fun places every now and then.

The bike is becoming less and less scary and occasionally quite fun - it would be lots of fun if it wasn't so cold! It's not the most economical of bikes, but I still reckon I'll be paying about 1/4 of what Aggie used to pay for fuel in the car back in the days he commuted. My legs are really achey from all that gripping of big thrusting machinery! Maybe it will tone me up a bit:-)

This weekend is battle practise again, so I expect to ache far more after that! But it will be fun.

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Friday, February 15, 2008


I have been on short days all week, starting at 10am and finishing at 4pm ish as it's been my induction week at the new company. Notonly have they been short days, but tbh, most of the stuff we learned was not that complicated - after all, I am capable of using word-processing, email, internet, audiotyping, spreadsheets, telephones and presentation sofware already. the only new stuff was the house document management system, and learning house styles for the documents and procedures for everything.

So how come I am so absolutely knackered?

Well, obviously apart from the fact that i didn't get much sleep on Sunday night because I was stressed, and commuting is new to me after such a long time, especially on the bike, and that the kids have got me up at least once each night all week, except last night when they managed a grand total of 5 wake-ups between them between midnight and 6am.......


Anyway, off to london this weekend to see the family - rearranged from next week which is half term, as i have to work now! It's my dads birthday nex week so Ill pop in to see him and thank him properly for the Xmas pressie - i didn't really do so at the time, it was all so unexpected:-) Now I can show him my bike and stuff and say thanks properly. Aggie has the kids at home all next week - which might be interesting.....

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Fighting talk

Just got back from my first battle practise. Despite having been reenacting for 8 years now, other tha a couple of very basic sparring rounds at my very first few events, i have not had a chance to fight at all - what with being pregnant or looking after young children all the time! But I always quite fancied the idea of wacking people with heavy lumps of metal:-) So now the kids are getting older, and Aggie is no longer fighting at all so can watch over the kids anyway, This year i get to be a combatant.

The group we are in insists that combatants must train prior to the actual reenactment season for safety and team-building reasons. A bill line is nothing unless it can work together as a team and follow commands without hesitation. Plus, a 12 foot pole with a bardbed chunk of metal on the end can do some pretty serious damage if mishandled - even through padding/armour, so it's imporatnt to know how to and how not to use them.

So every other week from Febuary until Easter, we all traipse up to Blaise Castle in Bristol and train. Today was my first session. I think i did OK:-) managed to carry the bill all the way to the top of the hill, stay in line, learn the major commands and advance on an enemy. It was much heavier then it looks when other people use it! And a tad unweildy - especialy with my short girlie arms and unused muscles! But i survived.

here's our bill line at Morimondo, italy, last year - so you can see what I'm talking about.

Then we did some sword fighting practise. I had watched Mstr A practise often enough so at least knew the concept fo the basic fives (head, L arm, r arm, L leg, R leg), but actually doing it was hard work too. those swords are heavy after a few swings - and they're not even half the weight the real things would have been! But after a few practises, I even managed to "kill" a couple of opponants - although I feel they may have being nice to me.

The we moved onto battle practise, a line of bills & swords against nother line of the smae. i died pretty quickly in all of those! But made it through the whole practise with only one major wack on the upper arm (I had borrowed Aggie's archer's padding which is armless - but will need to get my own full set soon i think), and one right in the sturnum which slipped between the buckles of my Jack.

Now I'm pretty achey and tired, but happily so. Hopefully there will be more recruits in two weeks time so we can have a really good fight:-)

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Friday, February 08, 2008

Yay me!

Gotta job:-)

It all happened rather fast in the end:

Last week i replied to an out of date vacancy on the website of a firm I quite fancy working for. the closing date was 31st December, but I didn't see it until the end of January, so wrote in thinking it was worth a try as it was still on the website! They phoned me on Wednesday and asked me to an interview today. i attended today, and felt it went pretty well. I was pretty confident of being asked back for the second interview. She told me their next induction date was 17th March. I got home about 2.30pm, and she phoned me at 4pm saying they were forgoing the second interview and would like to offer me the job. Could I start on monday?

You bet. this is a fntastic company to work for. Good staff retention, good peer reviews, and IiP'd up to the hilt. I accepted the 20% pay rise offered, plus benefits, and will be starting on monday.


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Thursday, February 07, 2008

white goods bads

I'm not very happy with modern life at the moment.

With three kids and a disabled husband constantly making a mess, I do at least one load of laundry each day, often two if beds have been changed/towels used/potty training failed etc. I need to. If I'm lazy, and miss a day, the baskets overflow, there are not enough clean clothes for the kids to wear to school and it takes days to catch up again. However, because I am lazy, i have worked out a system - i put a load on each night before i go to bed, then when I get up in the morning that load goes into the dryer, and another load goes into the machine.

Last week was no exception, other than when i woke up on Thursday morning my washing machine was not bleeping at me! I looked, and saw that it was still full of water, and wet clothes. the door was still locked, and the machine had just stopped half way through it's cycle. I tried the normal solution of turning it off and on again:-) No luck. there was power, but none of the other buttons worked. My next solution was to complain to Aggie in the hope that he could fix it, but he poked it a few times and suggested that the motherboard had probably gone.

Fortunately, knowing that we are fairly laundry intensive, we had bought a good machine a few years ago, and paid for their "lifetime" cover which the salesman assured us covered parts, labour and appliance replacement for ever - basically meaning that other than deliberate damage, we should never have to buy another machine. So i phoned them up, and gave the details over the phone.

An enineer turned up on Friday, spent approx 30 seconds looking at it, barely touched anything, agreed it was the motherboard and stomped off, saying he would order one.

So we went into the weekend already behind on laundry. It was LMD's birthday party, so my mother, sister and cousin G were staying over. So by Sunday I knew we were not going to make it through until the new part arrived. I went to the laundrette. Fortunately there is one just at the end of my road. At nearly £3 a load, and smaller machines than mine, I did two loads straight off. At a load a day, it will ake me just under two months before I have spent enough to buy a new machine altogether! I didn't pay for their dryers though - I brought it all home wet and did it there.

I phoned on tuesday to find out when the part would arrive. we were told Thursday, so it was another trip to the laundrette yesterday. Wet clothes in the dryer at home.

I woke this morning and went to get LMB some clean school clothes out of the dryer - and guess what! That had broken too - lots of noise but no tumbling going on - and still full of damp clothes! Aggie reckons it is the drive belt which he can fix, when he gets the part!

A different engineer called us today to see of it was OK to come round between 3pm and 5pm to fit the new motherboard. Not really as it was parents evening tonight, but we agreed. Aggie went to parents evening and I stayed at home and waited.

And waited.

Aggie came home. i cooked supper. we sat down. the doorbell rang. At 5.30 the engineer turned up. A nice guy, he came in, looked at it, pulled it out, fitted the new motherboard, and came to tell us that was not really the problem. The otherboard was burned out, but only because the door lock was knackered. We would need a new door lock before it could be used. he will order one and come back when it's available. Oh joy. He expects it will be another 5 days.

I'll be back to the laundrette tomorrow (not sure when as I have an interview smack across the middle of the day, but....). And Aggie is off to try to buy a new drive belt for the dryer. But we might all be dressing in paper suits pretty soon. Kudos to Tomorow's World circa 1975:-)

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008


It's pancake day here. The kids have all been reminding me about it for nearly a week, so school must have been doing something or other on it. They have all called it pancake day rather than shrove tuesday, so I wonder what they have been told about it:-) LMB woke me up this morning with the revelation that it had finally come and she "had been waiting ALL YEAR" for this day. poor thing! So, even though they have all undoubtedly stuffed themselves silly on sweet pancakes at school, I still did pancakes at home for supper.

Much to their surprise, the pancakes at home did not have the option of lemon & sugar, honey, or chocolate sauce! instead we introduced them to savoury pancakes and they had an enormous pigout of prawn pancakes, chicken and bacon pancakes and soft cheese pancakes, all with salad and washed down with fresh fruit juice. They were rather impressed:-) Who said pancakes are bad for you?

I did relent and let them have sweet pancakes for dessert - although fruit still featured heavily:-) But we are going to be naughty parents and have our own sweet pancakes, with maple syrup, ice cream and such things later, when impresionable children are all in bed!

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Monday, February 04, 2008


i saw this over at Mary Poppins and it is just so cool I had to share

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