Monday, 19 March 2018

Spring, where for art thou?

So there's a pathetic amount of snow by the coast. And I'm feeling irked. I wanted proper snow days for the children - you know, that glorious sound of muffled silence when you wake up and just know that snow has fallen in gargantuan amounts. Deep, crunchy, powdery snow.

We would have fun snowball fighting sessions in the mornings, the rosy-cheeked children gazing at me with sheer happiness at school being cancelled, then we would be sledging down steep hills which glisten and sparkle in their snow-clad blankets. The afternoon would be spent indulgently thawing out by a roaring log fire while dozing and semi-watching a cosy old-fashioned film through one eye vaguely open, and a cashmere throw hugs us all. Fairy lights would twinkle and it would feel almost Christmassy.

That's obviously my fantasy world which flairs up from time to time.

The truth is this. We had a miniscule amount of snow. School carried on as normal. There was no muffled silence when I woke up, I just heard yelling children asking me where their uniform was and whether they could go and watch TV rather than clean their teeth.

There are no rosy cheeks. Everyone looks tired and pale (probably because everyone refuses to eat my meals. I don't always burn it. Sometimes there's success (like, you know, baked beans) but they still don't trust me.

Oh, and there's no roaring log fire either. There's a naff gas fire which we pretend is real but the rabbit has eaten most of the fake coal because he has a charcoal obsession. He's also eaten through the fairy lights cable so there's not much twinkling happening either (more of an "it's electrifying!" moment). And I can't afford cashmere. We huddle under a crochet blanket I made but the kids have pulled it apart (cos crochet isn't my forte) so there's a gaping hole in the centre. I can't often watch nice films as the kids want the TV for their X Box. This is why I fantasise.
Anyway, I want spring now. Proper spring.

Snow (even hopeless amounts) brings lethargy and hunger (or is it just me?). I just want to sleep and eat. A sort of hibernation if you will. Lots of hot buttered toast and mugs of steaming tea.
But in reality, spring should be here. We should be waking up and feeling alive. ALIVE! Where are the blue skies, and gentle frosts which melt under a warming sun. Where are the lambs? It's Easter in a couple of weeks and I for one am concerned.

I always go lambing at Easter and I haven't seen one woolly blighter. Go away now snow we don't require your services anymore. And I'm not just saying this because all my family in Somerset have a snow day today and are sledging and guzzling hot chocolate, honest.

Look at the feeble snow. Charity shops items here include my daughter's red hat, her coat and my skirt. The faux fur coat was donated to me by my mother in law.

Making the most of half a centimetre...

Here's Sweet Child on Saturday morning, as the snowflakes slowly swept their way over to us.

This was a week ago and it really did feel marvellous and warm. Come back please sunshine, you're missed.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

The old ones are the best.

Evening all. HOW cold is it tonight? Blimmin' arctic.

I've been a busy bee bumbling around the charity shops recently. I bought a pink coat originally from Boden for £4. It was one of those "I'm not sure" moments but I haven't worn anything else since and can't imagine life without it. I love charity shop purchases like that.

Only problem is that everything from the high street then seems so over priced when you are used to a bargain. I saw a dress today for £20 and I was like "Twenty quid? It's daylight robbery is that..." which of course it clearly isn't.

Here is my coat. Ooh, and the shoes are from the Scope charity shop, Bertie brogues, £5.

The sea is my happy place as you can clearly see above. Thank the good lord you can't also hear me shrieking! The waves do that to me.

I shrieked on Saturday when I stupidly turned my back on the ocean for a brief moment and got two brogues full of icy salty sea water.

I can't stop wearing my new (old) coat...

In other utterly boring news, I feel so tired at the moment, I am seriously considering hibernation until late spring for future years. I don't do this weather, it makes me weary and grumpy. Meh. I haven't been running for over a week, I just can't muster the energy. I need to give myself a sharp talking to (alone, or otherwise I'll look like a right weirdo.)

I also think I'm having a midlife crisis. I've started watched The Inbetweeners and finding it far more hilarious than I should. I keep tittering and I think the Husband is finding it slightly irritating. He wants Question Time. I want to know when Will will finally get to bed a woman.

But on the flip side, I'm also maturing because on a Monday I hang out with a lovely group of people. The average age is 85. We have such a laugh but it's so refreshing that none of it is the smutty humour I get with some of the mums on the school run.

A few things I've learnt from my older friends, is that none of them are scared of death, they all drink very anaemic tea, they all believe in God, they are all exceptionally bright, they all feel 35 mentally and none of them drink alcohol. The downside of these firm friendships with a large age gap is that I am scared about them dying as I can't imagine my Mondays without them, and I can't discuss the merits of Bon Jovi or gin cocktails. But you know what? I'm happy with that. These men and women are a breath of fresh air!

Right, I am so tired I'm going to sign off now and go to bed but I'll be back soon.

In the meantime, support the circular economy, keep things out of landfill and buy more items from charity shops. I'd love to hear about your fab purchases.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

I got busy, innit

Honestly, I had the best intentions to get my blog alive and breathing with regular updates, but then I discovered Instagram. And First Dates. And the charity shops have kept me pretty busy if I'm honest.

But now I've discovered two lovely readers have recently left me comments, asking where I am. How nice is that?

So I'm back! Cooeeeeee! This will have to be brief as I'm tired from a hectic but wonderful weekend with my sister, who came to stay. Both of us woke up from a late night out feeling rather fragile but good fun!

Right what's been occurring since my last blog post....well, I'm older, not wiser, more haggard, more tired, trying to get fitter (midlife crisis = attempting to run...badly...think Phoebe in Friends), I'm obsessed with blueberry muffin flavoured Naked bars, I gave up refined sugar in June last year (but have lost ZERO weight, prob due to the Naked bars), and we have our first family pet. A semi-house rabbit. Who fancies me. Big time.

I think the pom pom on my slippers gave it the wrong impression as he now thinks I am his mate for life and that I have a fluffy rabbit tail.

First the butterfly, Paul, and now another creature has charmed his way into my life. I never thought I was a rabbit lover. Sure, Thumper was cute, but Milo is more puppy than bunny. Come on, look at him. Feast your eyes! He is just recovering from being castrated which I hope will calm his hormones down. He was way too horny and I love him, just not in that way, y'know. Those Freddie Mercury teeth just don't appeal.

So it's like having a fourth child in the house (and I have a teenager and a tot, and an eight-year-old boy in the middle) so its all rather hectic.

But I will get back into blogging, it was so nice to be missed.

I'll be back again soon with charity shop purchases, woeful tales of naughty children, oooh and I'll tell you about my new bunch of friends...half are in their mid 80's and we have a bit of banter every Monday!

Right, I'd better stop rabbiting on...

Friday, 9 September 2016

I believed he could fly....

So, the Butterfly Affair. Or what my kids refer to as Mum's Weird Moment.

We got one of those Butterfly Garden sets where you buy a butterfly netted enclosure, send the included voucher off to the company and within days you receive a pot of five tiny caterpillars. To be honest, I wasn't all that impressed. We've done the butterfly project before, it's sweet, but it's not life affirming.

This time we watched those teeny creepy crawlies transform into ....well, hairy beasts really. They got huge. After a good few days they turn into chrysalides and then it got boring for a few days.

But then, the magic happened and a new relationship formed between me and one of the butterflies. This was my Weird Moment. Gradually each one shed its skin and transformed into a beautiful butterfly.

All were perfect except Paul. Paul had a damaged wing. I called him Paul after Paul McCartney, who was in Wings. (Naff aren't I?!)

Now this disabled butterfly and his Painted Lady siblings were soon freed into our warm sunny garden. 

Four of them took off happily, after fluttering around my children and gently landing on their faces. All except Paul.

His disability meant he couldn't fly far. 

He stayed put on my hydrangea for a full hour. I helped him on his way again but he didn't get far. Eventually I realised he wasn't going to survive for long in our garden, so I decided to bring him into our home and he became a house butterfly. He joined in with most things:

I became rather attached to him. 

But I think I realised I was slightly losing the plot when Paul joined me and my friends for lunch one day and then sat on my finger and watched old Ab Fab re-runs one Friday night. 

There I was, glass of wine in one hand, Paul on the other. He was my actual pet. One that didn't have fur to trigger my asthma. Didn't make a mess, noise or bite. I didn't even see him poo. He was beautiful, I saved his life, we had a blast. 

Here we are ACTUALLY watching Ab Fab...

The husband thought I was a loony. But to be fair, Paul was probably just making him jealous. 


Sadly Paul died a week later. Ants got to him after I tucked him up in bed in his netted enclosure and put him under shelter in the garden one balmy night.

I raced down the next morning (like the boy in The Snowman when he discovered his icy friend has melted) to feed Paul his daily nectar, and............

It wasn't so much Walking in the Air. Poor thing wasn't even Flying in the Air. I now hate ants. HATE them, I tell thee.

But Paul, if you are reading this, you were loved. Even if the conversation wasn't all that great. I guess sometimes looks ARE everything.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Life is like a butterfly

I am back on the blog baby! Too much time has passed, nine months, really? REALLY?

I'll be back wittering on about charity shop bargains, my love of the sea, the daily craziness of life (my brief love affair with a butterfly that had a damaged wing being one ) and how my tiny baby Sweet Child O'Mine will be three at Christmas.

How? Just how?

Laters (school holidays mean I'm not allowed to do anything for me for more than two minutes, which means time is up then...)

Psst, this is not the butterfly with the damaged wing. Oh no. This is my Italian holiday romance butterfly Paolo...and he was equally lush.

I'll tell you all about it in my next blog...bear with me, it will tug at your heart strings 😂

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Charity, birthdays and a performance

See this heavenly festive jug?

This splendid Father Christmas is a 1950's vintage Bird's Eye custard jug. My parents have an identical one passed down from my sadly departed grandparents, which ONLY comes out at Christmas.
And guess what?! I have picked up an identical one from the Scope charity shop for £1.50. I can't tell you how excited I was when I unearthed it. I have always loved this little Toby jug since I was a young child.

He was, I believe, a limited edition Toby jug and my father can remember going shopping with his mother and buying the jug in Woolworths at a very young age. I have seen copious amounts of custard poured from the top of his jolly head. Cream for our mince pies and Christmas pudding. Possibly a cheeky beer once as a teenager, which was guzzled straight from Santa's bonce, but I won't linger on that in case my parents read this. It is a treasured jug.

You can keep your Black Friday shenanigans, spending very little but giving something back at the same time is where I am still at. Keeping things out of landfill, being grateful for small things, re-loving items that others no longer like. It makes me happy.

This is something else that keeps me happy; reading Christmassy books to the biggest bookworm I know. She will be two in three weeks time, I can't quite believe it.

It wasn't so long ago that she looked like this:

She has been the most precious, unexpected gift to us and brings us masses of joy daily. She slots in well and the other two love her to bits. It's kind of hard not to.

In other news, the Princess has turned 12. How?!

She was also a very beautiful baby;

Her birth was hideous and traumatic and we still count our lucky stars that she is with us. 

Christmas is rushing closer and I am feeling a little stressed. Nowhere NEAR completing my Christmas shopping, I have written many Christmas cards but not addressed them. Not planned much at all. It isn't helped by Sweet Child turning two on December 23. Eek.

And on a final note, the Prince came rushing out of school the other day and proudly announced he is a leopard in the school nativity play. A leopard, I thought to myself. Why do schools have to make it so complicated for parents? Why an exotic animal? Hardly festive is it? How on earth would I source a costume? I can't sew. I lack imagination when put under pressure. I can't exactly Bet Lynch him up in a leopardprint catsuit, although it would have made a great laugh on his 18th birthday in terms of photos.

"Are you sure?" I asked. "Are you definitely going to be a leopard?"

He nodded vigorously.

"Definitely a leopard."

So I stressed silently within and unpacked his school bag once we got home.

I found the letter containing details about the nativity play.

And of course, he is going to be.....a shepherd.


(I got this book from a charity shop recently too!)

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Bye bye booby, booby bye bye

So, last week I found the toddler, Sweet Child, attempting to breastfeed her WELLY. Yup. And having had no more than two hours of broken sleep a night and feeling on the brink of utter exhaustion, I decided to finally call time at the bra. After 22 months.

I used a method I never thought I would. Vinegar. I literally doused my golden globes in lashings of Sarson's finest malt. True, I smelt like a chip shop but the Husband said it was an appetising aroma.
Anyway, Sweet Child was no longer keen to nurse so instead we had plenty of cuddles.

And here we are a week later, my boobs are a little Jordan-esque so I have to express a bit off from time to time, but ever so slowly, my body is getting the message. My breasts are now mine, and no longer mauled in the middle of the night by a tiny, over-enthusiastic person.

Onto other things, I can't believe I haven't blogged for three months, I shall have to do something about that. Like write more blog posts.

Cherry tree time. I bought this lovely John Rocha dress:

I made this for my sister's brand new baby. Wool from the charity shop, natch.

This entire outfit cost £3 from various cherry tree shops:

The hat is worn a lot. Here is a gorgeous dress below from a cherry tree shop which cost me 50p. Boots are second hand from my next door neighbour. Cardie also 50p. 

And this skirt was 50p and I love it a bit too much.

 I have a similar one which I bought from a cherry tree shop years ago and I wore on the day I turned 40, last month:

I had a wonderful birthday. It involved a small surprise gathering, a weekend away with the Husband (kid free, get in!), a surprise lunch with my family and a surprise day in London with one of my best friends:

The epic birthday cake made by my good friend.

We spent my actual birthday on the beach having lunch and soaking up the sun.

We went to Bath for the weekend to celebrate:

Then one of my besties took me to London. We ate and drank at the Sky Garden, hung out in The Savoy, went shopping, went to a caberet show in the Oscar Wilde bar at Hotel Cafe Royal. 

I was thoroughly spoilt and turning 40 has been far better than I expected.

Ooh I forgot, I also bought these from the cherry tree shop since my last post:

A fab Gisela Graham purse:

And this gorgeous writing paper which is very apt as I live by the sea:

Right, I am now heading out for my weekly volunteering position at a breastfeeding group. I love helping new mums feed their babies, but I am feeling relieved I don't have to go through the initial struggle myself. I have breastfed for a total of just over five years. It's enough.