Sunday, 31 July 2011

Horse's eye, my finger and other such random gubbins

I stuck my finger in a horse's eye today. A total accident but I can't get the squelching sensation out of my head. I really hope he was OK and not in pain.

"Get your freakin' hand away from my eye, lady"

We'd gone for a pub lunch but were early so decided to walk through some horse fields. Only this horse looked playful and I got the fear. I went to pat him, in the hope he would let me leave (he was in the way), he jerked his head towards me and I jabbed him. It felt horrid - like poking a pickled egg - and I felt queasy. He seemed fine and unscathed, but it was still horrid.

I love horses, and used to ride a bit when younger, but they are unpredictable. I remember going in the Shetland pony field near where I live once with KMMMS and we had a tub of blackberries. Error. Huge error. Thirteen little white stumpy ponies went psycho at us for our berries and we were scared. Well I was, KMMMS can speak for herself. So I was a leetle scared today. Poor horse. I named him Hector, one of my fave names.

Anyway, thanks for your lovely comments re the mental day that was yesterday. Today has been better. The husband was here until around 3pm so we finally got a few hours together. Although he is around in the day, he gets up late and I am then usually out with the Prince so we are passing ships.

But we go on hols this week for a fortnight and are really looking forward to it. Time to "just be" as my mum often says.

And I am in desperate need. I am sick of tidying bedrooms several times a day.

The Prince's room. Still to be painted so don't look closely

Oh and he'd weed on his quilted rug so it's in the wash

Oh good lord, she isn't even a teenager yet. There is no hope.

And again don't look too closely.
 It needs decorating and something nice on that wall!
Spot the cherry tree rocking donkey and Russian doll bunting.
Went out on Thursday night to our friends' house. See, I do have friends!!! A lot of them are all out tonight for a mutual friend's 40th but I couldn't get a sitter and the husband is working. But am thankful for a nice Thursday night. We troughed a delish pork casserole, then Jane made a lush rhubarb crumble and much wine was consumed.

The lovely Jane and my husband. (AKA Where's Wally?)
 The kids played in the garden and had a sleepover when they got tired.

Here come the girls...(at 50mph)

The weedy boys were too scared. Two words: Man. Up.

Feeding time at the zoo
 The Princess is a funny one. It was so hot on Friday but she stayed in watching TV and moaning that she was bored. Then it poured with rain. I mean poured. So she decided to go out and play. I do not get her sometimes! She was sodden.

The Prince spent many an hour trying to kiss my friend's baby Annabel...she resisted everytime.

She is soooo playing hard to get now.
 Oh and I bought this odd homemade dress from Barnardo's for £4.99. I thought it would be great for work as we have to wear black (I work once a week in a dental surgery) but when I got it home, I realised it showed ALL my boobs. I mean all of my boob area. Not all my boobs, as if I have three or four. I don't, I just have the regular two.

And even with a vest top underneath it doesn't look right. So alas, I shall return it and selected something else.

Very Fraline Maria don't you think?
And that leaves me to say a farewell. I get back from France in a couple of weeks so will be in touch on our return.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Sick bed

It's Friday night and just for a change, I'm on my own.

BUT, the flipside of that is that I've had two glasses of white wine in my posh crystal wine glass (wedding present, last surviving one), a huge bowl of Pad Thai (of course I didn't make it for god's sake, lovely Mr Waitrose did) and an entire bar of Green & Black's Butterscotch chocolate.

Yes I feel slightly tipsy and everso vaguely vommity, but it was worth it. All enjoyed in front of the last episode of Miranda. And I felt quite emotional at the end, although that could have been the wine.

Today has been manic and fraught but also really good fun. My friend came over for the day. I've been friends with her husband since we were 8 but now she and I am firm friends since they got together. She brought her two kids (boy and girl) over for the day.

The house got trashed with four kids enjoying themselves (including a broken jug, given as a wedding present, but hopefully glue-able) and we had a great time. Yes there was a leaky pooey nappy, a little bit of posset on my sofa bed, mashed up muffins all over the sofa, floor, and rug, tinned spaghetti all over the floor, mashed broccoli all over the floor and mud. But that's motherhood right?

This mum and I laughed about how life has changed. There was a time when she and I once ended up in bed with her husband (just to sleep after a late night fancy dress party, nothing sexual) but he suddenly vomited all the bed and bedding and passed out.

So she and I had to sit in a warm bath together to keep warm as all the other beds in the house were full of drunken people. We'd all dressed as something beginning with "M". I was Minnie the Minx, she was a Mouse, her drunken puking hubby was a Magician. Anyway we were shivering after a while so I wrapped tea towels around myself and fell asleep next to John Malkovich and a Mangle (the latter was an impressive fancy dress outfit, let me tell you).

Anyway, I digress. When I woke up, on the lounge floor - with five tea towels pretending to be a duvet over me - I found myself lying next to a Martian in very tight spandex. Oooh it was a sight to behold. He was rather handsome from what I recall and the spandex was very revealing. "Such fun" as Miranda's mother would say.

Fast forward more than ten years and here we are. No alcohol-induced vomit, no tea towels draped over us to provide warmth, no sharing baths, just a mental mayhem of whirling, swirling kids yelling orders at us.

Talking of tea towels (never thought I dull I've become), I am loving this one from Primark. Very apt.

Cherry tree purchase of the day is this top, £4 (bit pricey but I loved it) from Barnardo's. Cheap label...think it is only from Matalan or something. But it's just what I've been looking for. Yes it's rather unflattering and yes I look pregnant,  but I don't care. It's white and floaty.

Oh and I need to pass the following award on to the following three blogs, the reasons being I totally LOVE them, they are entertaining and they are a little bit different.

Happy weekend one and all. It's nearly midnight. I was meant to be in bed by 10pm after a late night out with friends last night. Yikes...

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Full moon

I saw a lady's naked bottom down by the river in Henley yesterday. Not something I was expecting to see and I am still not sure whether it was intentional or not.

I was strolling along the river with the children (they'd overdosed on ice creams, rides, bouncy castles and the park, so the riverside walk to see the pretty boats was my treat in return). There were loads of sunbathers but one caught my eye for all the wrong reasons. And I wish to dear god she hadn't...

She was in her early 30s, lying on her front, and wearing a short denim skirt with legs apart slightly. And the skirt had ridden up to reveal bottom cheeks.

And it wasn't pleasant. Pippa Middleton she was not, I can safely say.

As I walked on by, I noticed out the corner of my eye that she watched as I passed. Now I am wondering whether it was a weird cheap thrill.

Other than the bottom incident, we had such a lovely time, a train journey to get there, a picnic under a tree, running on the grass; the kids were very well behaved. But alas, I forgot my camera.

But never mind, I have cherry tree treasures to show off. Whoopee!!

I bought this checked shirt for the Princess for £1.25. It was only originally from Tu at Sainsbury's but I love the store's clothes and this is right up a Tom Boy's street!

 As you can see, she is also modelling pink Converse kindly donated by KMMMS at thingslearntthehardway. I also recently bought this book for £1 and I will not lie to you (as Uncle Bryn would say from Gavin & Stacey) but I bought the book judging it purely from its cover. I love the beach, the 1950s and beach huts. It is a love story.

I also bought this pink silk blouse from Barnado's for £3.99. It's originally from Principals. It wasn't creased when I brought it home but a certain little Prince sat on it whilst reading his "choo choo" book.

 I am really thrilled with it. It is so pretty and smooth and feminine and sparkly and...grrrrr. It needs a damn good ironing.

Talking of thrilled, I got an award this week from Ashley at Country Rose and am delighted.
So, facts about myself.

1. When I had  just started going out with the husband, his parents drove us to Whitby (Yorkshire) which was about 60 miles from their home. As young kids in love, we were very hung over from clubbing the night before and to cut a long story short, I felt violently sick and underwound the car window, pretending all was normal, wretched for England and hoped that was the end of the matter as I spewed it all out. But a gust of wind swept my bright pink sick (Watermelon Bacardi Breezer) over my hubby's dad's car AND the car behind (its windscreen wipers went manically). And sadly my father in law had to get his car resprayed as my stomach acid stripped the colour from the car. Bad times.

2. My mum, sister and I all talk in "back slang" when we don't want people to overhear us (ie in restaurants), it is a language my Nan taught us after she and her best friend Bertha picked up the lingo from a box of Cornflakes 60 years ago.  The husband can make out what we are saying and so can the Princess if we talk slowly.

3. I have a major crush on Stuart Broad, England's gorgeous golden boy in cricket.

4. I hate liver. Ever since my brother ate a piece and promptly throw up on his plate when he was about two.

5. I am a serious chocaholic. But I don't like dark chocolate. Or chocolate covered Turkish Delight. That's nearly as bad as liver...

6. I am about to train to become a breastfeeding volunteer helper and will be able to help out on the postnatal wards in the local hospital.

7. I am a freelance writer and copywriter which I somehow manage without any outside help with the children. I am not expecting a medal for this, just want to explain why I am sometimes harrassed/exhausted/ ageing.

8. I have no dishwasher. Ditto the second part of Fact 7.

9. I once got a bit too tipsy at a friend's 30th. It was fancy dress, I dressed as Siouxsie Sioux (but randomly had to wear a Cher wig as the shop ran out of Siouxsie wigs) and serenaded the room with a terrible karaoke version of Shaggy's Oh Carolina. I still cringe to this day.

10. I spotted Mr Tumble (kids' TV hero for those not in the know) in a curry house on my birthday three years ago. I grabbed him for photos with all my friends (there were a few of us who all posed for pics) and everyone else in the restaurant wondered who the hell this chubby man in an anorak was and why all these woman were going crazy for him.

I shall pass on this award tomorrow. I feel I've rambled on....anyone still there??? Zzzzzzzz.

Me and Mr Tumble. AKA Justin Fletcher, 2008

Look at the bemused bloke in the background...

Oh and me dressed as Siouxsie Sioux in a Cher wig? Of COURSE that wasn't made up...

If I could turn back time.....(I'd have got a better, more punk rock wig)

The husband was meant to be Johnny Rotten
but someone said he looked more like Ronald McDonald...

Friday, 22 July 2011

Sew rubbish

So today is break-up day. Six whole weeks. Six weeks of the house being trashed, six weeks of trying to work out what the hell to do with the kids, six weeks of praying for half decent weather, six weeks of thinking about three meals a day (god bless school dinners). But no school run. I shall remind myself of that last bit every day when I am moaning inwardly.

The Princess made this for her teacher. I knew her teacher would be swamped with chocolates and wine so asked one of my best friends (who is a teacher) what her best ever present was and she said a photo frame with something inside from the child. She could then add her own photo to the frame but keep the drawing from the child tucked behind. I loved the idea.

Been a bit of a Billy No Mates all week for some reason. It's just been the Prince and I every day and we haven't met up with any friends. Everyone was busy or away and despite the fact I've often moaned that I have too many friends and can't catch up with them all, this week it's felt like the opposite. I don't need people, but I've felt a tad lonely. There's been a lot of tumbleweed, shall we say.

Yesterday we went to the garden centre for coffee and I was on my own. Today we went to the toddler group but it had shut on Wednesday for the summer hols and I hadn't realised. So we went to the park. I chatted to a couple of mums but then they left and I felt a bit.......odd I guess.

I saw a group of yummy mummies (all with kids at school so no noisy toddlers interfering with their chatter) meeting in a cafe for their regular Friday morning gossip this morning and I felt a bit flat. I don't seem to fit into any particular group of friends. All my friends are quite different and not all from the same group, so I feel a little unsure as to where I belong.

Going back to the garden centre cafe, I started chatting to a mum of three-year-old twins who was waiting for her friend to arrive with triplets (methinks they met at a multiple births baby group!). The toilets are right back out by the car park, a good five minute walk and there is a sign in the kid's play area/cafe (which is away from the general cafe, this is aimed at kids and is grubby but great) saying Please Change Nappies in the Toilets, Not in Here.

Understandable but what happens if your child announces they are desperate and you have their twin to drag off with you. This poor mum pulled out a travelling potty and explained to me her daughter only needed a quick wee.

Behind her was a very snotty-looking mum of  two young children, with a very disapproving look on her face.  She vanished soon after. Then the mum with toddler triplets turned up, looking tired and harassed (naturally) and joined her friend with the twins.

Then the snotty other mum reappeared and behind her was one of the cafe managers who came up to the mums and told them off for the potty incident, saying it was unhygienic.

I felt sorry for the mum of twins. Her predicament was tricky. One twin was on the bouncy castle, the other was dying for a wee. By the time she would have grabbed the one off the bouncy castle and got his shoes on, the other would have already weed on the floor anyway.

I felt the snotty mum was so sneaky  to have grassed her up, rather than go up to the mum with twins and say "I don't know whether you know there is a sign over there, careful the manager doesn't see" or something. Or just mind her own business basically.

The mums with multiples said it was ridiculous that the toilets were so far away and they've never been told off before and so they decided to leave on principle. Yes, the poor mum with triplets had already bust a gut to get to the cafe and was now leaving before she had even slurped her coffee.

The snotty mum looked so smug and slagged them off to her cronies when they all arrived.  I sat there on my lonesome trying to decide who was right. I felt it was only a small wee and we all have bad days. Horrid snotty mum was the loser in my eye. It was all I could muster not to get involved and give her a piece of my mind. Huddles of mums can be very threatening I find.

Going off on a tangent (my speciality), I love all the crafty blogs of knitting, designing, baking and crocheting but have to say I can't see myself ever managing it; you know, showcasing my fabulous designs, typing out tutorials.

OK, I will show you what I mean. Here is my tutorial for Brown Bear.

1. Cut two dodgy teddy bear shapes from brown felt, sew (badly) them together but shove some wading in before it's too late.
2. Give the bear some bad eyes and a strange, vaguely sinister mouth. To draw away attention from his gammy leg.
3.Then present to daughter with a  "Look what your mummy has made you!" gasp.
4. Get the bored and unimpressed "Oh great. Can I now watch Horrid Henry please?" response and wonder why you bothered!

See what I mean about the gammy leg?

Oh yeah, the Prince has been doing the housework for me, ahem. The lazy boy's approach anyway.

The Princess was too busy tracing pictures
 and writing stories to help her brother.
I have a new addition for my Ladybird collection, this was £1.99 from Oxfam and it's so cute. I love the illustrations.

My favourite page

Oh, and on the handsome dad at school update. I sneakily tried to get a photo of him at the leavers' assembly but failed miserably. He is bent down hugging his son. I didn't want to look like a stalker so had to be discreet.

Yes, a total waste of time. You can hardly see him. And actually, whilst I do think he is handsome (if a little on the short side for a 5ft 8 lass like me), he is nothing like me. He is a picture of health, cycles 80 miles (I nearly died after Zumba on Monday) and is a serious sort. Totally my opposite.

Think I shall stick to the husband, who I celebrate nine years of marriage with next month. He's not all that bad after all. I woke up yesterday morning to find him and the Prince stroking my face and back while the husband was saying to the Prince "Don't we love mummy very much and all the things she does?" and it was so cute!

Have a great Friday night!


Thursday, 21 July 2011

The Good, the Bad and the Cherry Tree

We all have good and bad days don't we? I have days where I am tearing my hair out with my two children whingeing and fighting, and literally watch all the chores pile up and get out of control.

I have days where it's a miracle that I can fit the lid back on the laundry basket and give myself a high five if I've managed to get to school and the Princess's classmates aren't all sitting down with the register already done. And if I've managed to drag a comb through my hair, it's an added bonus.

It's a bad day if the kitchen table is still full of the breakfast bowls, toast crumbs, spilt juice and squashed fruit at 11.30am. And last night's plates are still in the washing up bowl.

It's a good day if I've already thought about the fact we will be needing an evening meal and try to cook it in advance in a bid to be Miss Organised.

It's a bad day  if we've played after school in the playground and get home at 5pm and I haven't cooked a thing. When the whining "I'm hungry, I want my tea NOW" commences, I know I'm in for a rough ride, especially as the Princess is a fussy eater (she hates so many things it would be easier to list what the heck she does eat).

But today things seem to be under control and therefore a good day. I have washing on the line (and no rain yet!) and none left in the laundry basket and the kitchen is pristine for once. I did the school run and arrived just as the bell rang. Then the Prince and I went to the garden centre for a coffee and a play together and visited the farm shop.

I returned home and made a cooked breakfast for the husband who was just rousing from the late shift. I am now his Favourite Wifelet apparently (like he's Lord Bath of Longleat with loads on the go!!!) as I also made him a lovely packed lunch for later. I like to spoil him at times. At other times I tell him to b****r off and get his own food...again, depending on a good or bad day!

Ooh am thrilled because the Prince is in two newspapers this week in Whitstable over the lost Noo Noo saga. I wrote a new story and both have used it with pics. The husband says Whitstable must be deadly quiet on the newsfront and my brother thinks the world has gone mad for some "lost blanket thing and my nephew needs to man up".

I, on the otherhand,  am so pleased. Now I feel I have truly done everything I can to get the toy back.

Despite saying I wouldn't fit it in, have actually slipped by a cherry tree shop and am THRILLED with these. Who remembers Tasseltip?

£1.99 from Oxfam. I love it because....

I already owned this one (secondhand too)!
And the below book was one of my favourites at school. Most cherry tree shops now have a section for Ladybird books. In a way it's good because I know where to head, but it takes away a bit of the thrill I get in unearthing it from between non Ladybird books. It also means they are so popular and everyone wants them.

The Prince is sleeping so I am blogging and then doing some writing work and have just made some cards.  Only simple ones that literally took seconds but pretty. I used Laura Ashley materials and hand finished some with Stickles, to add a subtle sparkle.

The Prince slept for 12 hours last night, fifth night on the trot. I've waited two years and two months for this...this certainly helps make it a good day!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The Princess - updated (Blogger was messing about earlier)

How did my dear little girl grow up so much that she leaves the infant school this week? The school where she sobbed every morning when we left her, for the first two months.

The little girl who would cry when I went in to take a reading group, because she knew I would only stay an hour and then leave her.

The little girl who plays football every lunchtime with all the boys and who hugs Jim the lollipop man every day "because he is old and sweet".

The little girl, who today, made me shed a tear at their leavers' assembly because she had a prime role to play (reading to all the parents while dressed as a news reporter).

This little girl is nearly eight and I don't know where the years have gone. She will always be my baby and I truly wish she didn't have to grow up.

The day she left pre-school 2008

First day at school, September 2008

Poor excuse for a hedgehog, Harvest Festival 2008
Very proud to be a big sister, summer 2009
Cheeky girls in a tent, summer 2009

The Princess

Because it's a mad week with end of term shenanigans, I won't be going to any cherry tree shops for a few days. How will I survive? I shall start getting withdrawal symptoms...

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Aussie memories

The dear husband and I have eaten our own weight (mine is considerable at present, thanks to evil iron tablets which have caused "trouble", shall I say in my belly) in thai curry tonight. And wine. All very delish.

We watched a depressing film called Samson & Delilah, about Aboriginal teenagers who escape to the big city, all with dire consequences.

It reminded me of our time travelling around Oz. There were times when we were broke. So poor we lived on oranges and peanut butter sandwiches. We lived in a two-man dome tent for three months solid. Sometimes we were so skint we couldn't even afford to pitch up at a proper campsite, so would pull over on the road. Some nights I craved the comfort of a bed, a room which was bigger than our canvas hang-out, a comfortable night's sleep. But we got used to it.

It seems like a dream now. The adventures, the excitement, the worry, the danger, but we stayed strong (somehow!) through it all.

I remember watching the Aboriginals when we were out there in the middle of the Australian outback, wondering why so many of them had turned to drink. This film was very poignant, very real. I could almost smell the red earth, feel the intense sun beating down on our backs, swatting off the determined flies.

It has made us grateful for what we have.

Glad to have got that off my chest (again, a considerable size, but can't blame the iron tablets for that).

Bought this funny little toy for the Prince from Oxfam for £2.99. It's solid wood and I think I love it more than he does.

"Home James"

"Oh look, we must be at the Safari Park, Gladys"

Oh dear. Someone with teething issues enjoyed this passenger...

"Yes dear, can we help you?"

Anyone know what the writing translates as?
It's now 11.30pm and we have the Princess's leavers' assembly in the morning. Have a packed lunch to make, shower and hair wash to do, and not cleared up from tonight .Oh dear. Morning won't be the most positive affair....