Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Plague again

Darling father yesterday fell back and banged his head. Today he is achy, also he has a bad cold. He had rum tonight instead of whiskey.

He has been off form all day, though patience itself with little bear, and I am now fussing. He couldn't even stay awake for the football.

I have a cold. Dear heart has a cold and upset stomach. Little bear has a very green nose, an allergy to naps, no matter how much they are needed and showing the signs of about to come down with something dreadful.

And I am still happy, because it is Christmas.

Three and one day

Little bear is passing on a rather sticky hug to all those who wished him happy birthday.

Today he was, well, still tired. He woke up a little earlier than otherwise, I think, because he was muttering 'hand hurt, hand hurt' before counting and reciting the alphabet to himself in a quiet, contented sort of way.

He 'helped' me put away all the groceries from the delivery - it did take a while but I didn't cry and I didn't swear so I have given myself lots of points for that.

He played with Grandad without mercy. He chased evil cat. He played with the noisy alphabet his Godfather so kindly bought for him for a birthday present (for Christmas it was a noisy globe - and he dratted remembered the dratted batteries for both).

He insisted on wearing a fleece jacket over a fleece sweater, even though it was inside and didn't collapse from heat stroke.

He gave me some gorgeous cuddles.

He repeatedly touched the new television and ended up on the naughty step.

And then he went to sleep like a lamb, after lots of kisses.

Also he is still wearing the orange pumpkin bucket on his head.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

HOW much?!! (Again)

Darling father reads the Daily Mail and kindly passed me a supplement.

One of the fashion pages had an outfit that cost £8,550. Or a brand new car, from a small car range. It would pay for a sizeable chunk of a Chelsea Tractor.

Somehow I could cope with this. These were not clothes I aspired to (I thought the model looked gothically ridiculous) and if you have the money, well I suppose you can look like you were looking for an eighties video to appear in if you wanted.

What really upset me were the tights featured. They had boots for nearly £1300, £1200 for a dress - I could understand that. But at the bottom of the list of items were tights - £39. Who the hell buys tights for £39? Seriously? I mean, surely there is always a risk of a run, ladder or snag, even if you are in a roller and not the number 39 bus? How could anyone spend what I would consider a reasonable price for a skirt or top that I expected to last on tights?

And what was worse, they were awful! Even if you had Kate Moss legs they were not flattering. Normal legs would look like they were part of the upholstery! Dots and twirls - I wouldn't give them house room if they were 99p for five, and I bet you can only wear them once!

Dearie dearie me!

Happy Birthday

Little bear is three years old today...

... and there were lots of presents! So far nothing has beaten the orange pumpkin bucket for trick or treating still being worn on the head as a helmet, but some things have come close.

He had books, which were marvellous, a phonics game which he played full volume while watching Barney (who I have come to loathe) and one of the most complicated wooden 'Build a Tractor' things that I have ever seen - described as 3+.

He hasn't had his birthday cake yet. Despite being exhausted, over excited and generally all in he refused any hint of nap this afternoon and we barely managed to get his favourite pizza down him before dragging him off to bed.

Birthday cake for breakfast?

He is growing up so fast, I can see more and more a little boy when I look at him. And he misses so little. I was singing 'ten fat sausages' and when I got to the bit where there were eight and one went pop and the other went bang, he interrupted. 'Seven.' he insisted. He is used to all the rhymes that go down by ones, and he wasn't being done out of a verse. All attempts to show him on my fingers that eight less two is six were futile.

I can just tell, he is going to be the sort that will complain about a smorgasbord because they left the tops of the sandwiches off.

Undaunted spirit

Darling father is seventy eight. His father bought one of the first editions of the Daily Mail and darling father also buys it, out of loyalty.

He cannot manage without his daily paper.

Regrettably he refused to let dear heart go and get the paper today and ventured over the re-frozen half thawed snow. Of course he fell.

And was completely undaunted! He is complaining more about a cold he is developing.

I can learn a lot from my father (he was sober when it happened).

Sunday, 27 December 2009

It's the thought that counts

My sister in law visited today with presents - an extremely important point for little bear.

The biggest success - a bucket that was intended for Halloween which little bear immediately placed on his head, and has worn it ever since.

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Slippery customer?

Darling father went for a walk Christmas Eve.

There is a lot of snow lying, and the paths here are quite steep, especially compared with the flat area of Cheshire where he currently lives. But he wanted to put the lottery on. I did point out that I had a lottery account (one lucky dip, every Wednesday and Saturday, it's the only way I remember to buy a ticket). I could put his tickets on online. He decided he wanted the walk.

And the company and a pint at the local pub known to everyone as the Hanover, except for darling father who calls it the Hangover.

He went out again today. He had to have a paper.

And a brief call in the Hangover. No doubt he is becoming known.

I am happy

I am happy, it is Christmas and I am happy.

Little bear has just had some child Kaolin for a dire rear. Dear heart's flu symptoms are beginning to ebb. Evil cat gave me a non destructive cuddle and didn't try and attack me when I was ironing. Darling father is being a star looking after little bear. And whisky.

Little bear's list of presents grows apace. I have already written some thank you notes. Regrettably he is now convinced a never ending stream of presents should be heading his way. I am not impressed. He is shattered, over excited and lacking quiet time and threw the most amazing tantrum in front of dear heart and darling father. The last time he threw a real tantrum was just before he went down with a vile cough, so I am fearing the worst. I think the roof will fall in if I fail to take him to nursery when due, but they forbid little ones with dire rear, and as babies are present that is understandable.

After dragging him bodily up the stairs and fighting through a screaming fit at the absence of a toy axe he then gave me the most gorgeous smile as he calmed down temporarily, but then went back to fury when he realised that I was not allowing him to sneak out from his room again.

And yet he is still having the most lovely moments, even in the midst of the temper. I am such a soft mum.

Actually, after a relatively uneventful bedtime, I feel really content.

Friday, 25 December 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas.

Also, little bear is finally asleep after being sick. Dear heart has the flu. I am feeling a little sniffling. Darling father is fine.

And I am really happy, because it is Christmas.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Darling father has arrived, havoc commences

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

A Big Day

Little bear has gone to nursery. I pick him up @ 12.30. Then I take him in to nursery again for the party @ 2pm and then dash into town.

I race through some shops then meet darling father. Then I collect little bear @ 4pm, who by this time will be hysterical and exhausted.

Then he gets to see Grandad again!!!!

Anyone like to guess what bedtime is going to be like?

Fantastic Victory!!!!

I persuaded little bear to wear a sweater.

It may not seem like much, but it is the latest result in a string of battles. This is a fleece hoodie with a tigger on.

Coming back last night over the powdery snow I could not persuade him to countenance either hat (unless a Bob the Builder plastic hat) or gloves.

I am confident that battles will continue, but it is a step in the right direction.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Cool Yule

I am a Christian, and very happy with that.

But to any Pagans - have a wonderful Yule, and I hope that the coming year brings blessings to you.

Let them eat cake

I actually did some baking yesterday.

Two loaves of coconut bread are on there way to dear heart's work place and I made some weetabix cake, which I particularly enjoy.

Regrettably the weetabix cake is undercooked. So today, let us eat cake! I can make some more tomorrow.

A Matter of Faith

Yesterday I watched parts of two documentaries, little bear permitting etc.

One programme proved conclusively that the Bible was completely unsupported by archeology and the other was completely convincing that the Bible is shown to be true (for a given value of true) by archeology.

My view? Well, as a Christian I am happy to read the Bible, and as a history fanatic I am happy to enjoy the programmes about archeology. However I believe very strongly that these programmes say more about those making them than the Bible itself.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Hot and Cold

I have had the heating on today, as little bear has had a much needed nap in his room, and he can't be trusted with a heater. I really try and keep the heating down, there is no overall thermostat and I can't seem to get the radiators to adjust properly. Sigh.

So while he napped I had some time on the computer, and was treated to the wonderful sight of all the melted snow falling from our roof. It is so frustrating. Effectively we are heating the roof. But we don't have any access to the roof space/loft to put in insulation.

Having no access is not a bad thing - at one point one of the locals who lived in this block of eight used to go up into the roof space via one attic and dip into the other houses. This was normally to avoid the police callers at the door. I do not believe anything went missing, but it is quite a dispiriting thought.

Little bear refuses to wear a sweater, and I am refusing to coddle him too much in case it tempts him to put another layer on. He is complete distraught at the suggestion of a vest as well. And hats, and gloves, even walking back from nursery in the snow.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

The world is a very odd place

Browsing ebay (my friend) for consolation and ideas.

I just want to ask - who thought it was a good idea to have a wooden ashtray? I mean, really? And as I found them (yes, this particular idea seems to have had some favour) in the antiques section, I want to know how they lasted that long.

And again

Little bear had his hearing test this morning.

Two buses there including a protracted stop for a drum, he behaved impeccably in the test, even wore earphones when they thought he would be too nervous (little bear rarely is nervous - au contraire).

Now I know how unco-operative he can be, and he has an ear infection and he is short of sleep. I was so proud when he sat where he should, stayed sat where he should, smiled his gorgeous smile and generally was a darling. They hardly had to coax him and he demonstrated clear understanding of everything going on.

Two buses back including some token flakes of snow.

The verdict - his hearing is fine, but we want to see him again in three months.

So fed up.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

A wonderful visit

Darling uncle and darling brother arrived today.

Little bear had the time of his life - lots of toys, lots of goodies, lots of fuss. Evil cat graced us with her presence and even cuddled darling uncle - unheard of.

And his appetite has returned. Yesterday I could not persuade him to have a milky bar. Today he has had: One left over milky bar, several glasses of milk (aka silver milkshake), three of the Sainsbury dippers which are philadelphia and breadsticks, a sizeable handful of grapes, several maltesers, a foam shrimp, half a carton of expensive M&S berries, some apple pieces, a stalk of celery and a severe suck of a tomato. That list seems incomplete, because I am confident he has not stopped eating all day, but the list seems a little sparse.

Little bear today discovered the fridge and tried to investigate the contents. Later he asked for a yoghurt. I explained that we didn't have any yoghurt. Little bear showed me what he meant - a tub of brandy butter destined for Christmas puddings. He was very upset at not having a yoghurt though he had been eating more or less continually since waking.

Little bear now has a toy Santa, which he was very pleased at, and a chicken which has a light inside that changes colours. Little bear loves this chicken, and it is in danger of being promoted to an honorary pandy.

It was really wonderful to see my family. The only time that I could have cried was when darling uncle, who has no children, asked little bear if he would like a drum. Now, you never ask a little one of around three years old if they would like something unless you are about to hand it to them. Darling uncle did not have a drum on him. And the question was just before he left. Lucky him. I was interrogated regarding the drum's whereabouts all afternoon.


Little bear was banished to his room, exhausted and in need of a nap. In a fit of absent minded madness I left the keys on the hook nearest the door.

I came downstairs, feeling like a dishrag myself, and listened to little bear grumbling. It calmed down somewhat and then I heard, thump, crash, waaaahhh.

I dashed upstairs. Little bear had stood on a (ricketty) wooden box, obtained the keys and fitted the keys into the lock (which is a right fiddle for me to manage as the keys are a bit odd). He had managed to unlock the wire and then fallen off the box. The wire is particularly tricky to get out of the lock, which may have slowed him down.

So he came downstairs for an industrial sized cuddle. I managed to persuade him to watch the Numberjacks for a change, as we can both recite Adventures in Letterland now. All went well for the first ten minutes and then the Problem Blob appeared. Little bear was absolutely distraught, and a further industrial sized cuddle was required, but I coaxed him to watch to the end. I wanted him to see that the Problem Blob was chased away.

I am a bit tired.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Alternate versions

Little bear solemnly told me, 'hickory dickory dock, the mouse ran up the giraffe.'

I just thought I would share

Keeping up appearances

Little bear loves his nursery. He complains when he doesn't go and sometimes has to be dragged out of there. No, I am not exaggerating and it is quite literal. They have lots of exciting toys. Sometimes if I pick him up a little later then all the little ones are in one room, often one with different toys that little bear hasn't explored and he deeply and bitterly resents any attempt to prevent him from playing.

I thought it would be appropriate to buy a smallish box of Roses or a large quantity of something like grapes for the workers. However under the tree the parents have already started depositing large tins of chocs for the staff.

I need to keep up with the other parents for little bear's sake, I suppose, but I had hoped that this sort of competition and standards would hold off for a little longer.

Edited to add - I think I will not go down the silly large box of chocs, they must have enough to open a shop at the end of it. I think I shall take in some fruit for them, I am sure I can find a suitable basket/bowl. Deary me

Has anyone seen my sanity?

Last night I had a dream that after an emergency meeting of a knitting club (I don't belong to a knitting club) it was decided to bury the club records in Hardup Hester's garden. I have absolutely no idea where that lot came from, or why knitting club records would be such a state secret.

I am not sure if my oddest dream was when I dreamt of three headless bishops knocking on the door to come and exorcise John Barrowman or the shark infested sweetcorn, but while I do know that my dreams, however odd to me, are not that unusual.

Besides, the world is far odder. Last night I was watching a documentary and the scientist told the camera in a very matter of fact way that he had been studying the feather development in some mutant chickens and had noticed something odd. No, really! Mutant chickens? something odd? Well, I would never expect to hear those two phrases in the same sentence - what?!

The world is a very odd place.

Tiptoe tiptoe

Little bear seemed happily engrossed in his drawing, so I dashed upstairs to the loo, for a much needed visit.

I would never have realised that he had opened the bottom door and crept upstairs if I hadn't heard him whispering, 'tiptoe, tiptoe, tiptoe' as he came upstairs.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Guessing the date

Darling father was originally not coming here for Christmas - he was going away. Then he decided to come here for Christmas, but go home for New Year. Now he was coming here for Christmas and New Year and coming up a few weeks before hand. Now he is coming up probably sometime at the end of next week or the week after.

My guess is that he will arrive on the 23rd.

I am off to revise my shopping list again.

Little bear has a nap

Little bear is getting a lot better, and I hope to be able to take him to nursery tomorrow. If I don't, regardless of his state of health, little bear will declare war. I don't think it fair to ask the nursery to look after a really poorly child. I will weigh up the situation as it happens.

Well he was doing really well this morning, went upstairs for a play and a nap, and I found him, courting a relapse.

He was asleep but stirring. He was positioned head down, nappy up on a small square of flowered wallpaper that had been lining one of his drawers, on the floor. He was also chilled to the bone, which was unsurprising, as at my guess he had been there for two hours. He was also less than six inches away from a nice comfy bed with a duvet, which is his normal nap station. Absolutely no idea.

Patience running out

Just before little bear was born I obtained a new mobile phone, a motorola something. Now I am a very fidgetty person, and I quickly found that playing patience on this phone was a great thing to do with my hands. Then I found that keeping it on airplane mode meant that I could keep playing patience while I was in hospital when I was having little bear. Then I found that keeping it on silent mode meant I could play patience to keep myself awake while giving little bear a night feed. Now I find it a great thing to keep my hands occupied.

But now, after over three years and having patience played continually and having been happened to by little bear the poor old thing is getting a little frail. Today it needed all my coaxing to charge. I am going to be devastated when it finally goes.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Interruptions possible.

Little bear has a minor viral bug, with earache. Postings may be sketchy.

He was doing a very good impression of Victorian fever victim this morning (and I cuddled him for ages) but now is merely being off colour and fed up.

I hate not being able to make it all well straight away.

Poor little bear

Yesterday little bear had a lot of time on the naughty step at nursery and was a real terror to put to bed.

Today I find out why - flushed cheeks, warm to the touch, lying on the sofa watching Adventures in Letterland again!

All plans for today put on hold, and I don't care.

Quicker than I thought

I have been putting off making up the home made flavoured vodka for lovely next door for a week. Today, I just dived in, and including an extremely thorough clean it took around 15 minutes for a medium chilli vodka and a medium toffee vodka to be prepared. I thought it would take forever.

Note to self - when buying fancy bottles, ensure the mouth of the bottle big enough to take slices of chill and/or broken bits of toffee.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Another hurdle gone!

I have managed to work out how to add a picture to the side of my blog. So now you have seen little bear, his pandy, and some old man in a red suit...

All I need to do is work out how to put it into the body of text.

Dreading the nappy

Today little bear, after several days of being off his food, has eaten three bars of flapjacks illicitly obtained, sucked seriously at a pizza, eaten the centre of a small egg custard, eaten the cream and jam from a slice of cake, eaten at least a quarter of a snowman biscuit, two oranges and when he asked for a pear I found that he had necked a quarter of a bottle of ketchup as well. Oh, and one small foam shrimp.

He was supposed to be having fish and chips tonight, but I am now wracking my brains for something a little less fat laden.

I think he may have tummy ache tonight.

Little bear is curious

Little bear and I went into town. We called into the market. We called into the museum. We walked through the German Market (how much!?) Little bear was very well behaved while we were out, though I would rather gloss over some of his behaviour before and after the visit.

But every time we passed a litter bin little bear insisted on standing on tiptoes and peering in. I have no idea what he expected to find, and as the litter bins are generously distributed I was hauling him away every few yards.

Next time I may take some rubbish out so he can put an item in each one.


Found the ear protectors. Ebay is my friend...

Except the only ones I could find were in a set, which I am confident little bear will love, but it was a bit more than I wanted to spend. It was still less money than I would have spent at Makro and I sincerely hope there are here soon. I don't have much sanity and I like to try and cherish the little I have left.

And after waking at 6am, demanding dressed, wanting to go to town on the bussssss and creating holy havoc because we had to wait in for a delivery from Mr S, he is now playing lovely and quietly after the delivery.

Oh well, off to the hurricane again.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Have to spend

Some time ago little bear broke one of his favourite toys, a toy 'Bob the Builder' scrambler that had kindly been passed on from a friend. He was somewhat upset, so I purchased another, new to him from my friend ebay. With it came some toy goggles and toy ear protectors. Little bear is now far more attached to the goggles and ear protectors than the toy Scramber, and insists on wearing the ear protectors every time I blow bubbles for him (absolutely no idea).

And tonight the ear protectors got broken. Even dear heart can't mend them.

Little bear has a tenacious memory for his toys, he can remember them, ask for them even when they are hidden and will not be distracted. He doesn't usually throw a tantrum, but he enquires after a toy. Sometimes very persistently.

As an aside, last night his toy rat, Ratatouille, NEEDED a wash. I persuaded little bear to part with it for long enough to get it washed and he did not have it for bedtime. A little later we heard little bear over the monitor, apparently explaining to a pandy - 'Ratatouille, washing machine'. He missed his large rat.

So, we have a broken, temporarily more or less holding together set of Bob the Builder ear protectors and a distraught little bear. I remember seeing some in Makro, included in a lot of other toys in a set. I don't care about the other toys, just as long as I find those dratted protectors.

Antidote to spending

Another knitting magazine but I was really enjoying reading it, fascinated by a very nice, wearable man's sweater that didn't need to have stitches picked up for a collar, and in an easy rib, and chunky - I can feel next year's Christmas presents coming on...

Then I saw it. A card of quite nice buttons - £32 for nine, it was a good thing that I was sitting down.

Actually this was Simply Knitting and most of the things in there are closer to what I would consider reality. These buttons looked absolutely gorgeous and ones you would treat yourself with them for a special item and they would be worth reusing... But I am not tempted. Buttons do nothing for me. Thank goodness!

Didn't spend!

I considered getting another order from Approved Food. I thought it might be nice to get some goodies in and they still have the mini packs of apricots that little bear likes.

So trundled around the site, thinking that this looked like a good deal and that looked like a good idea. Then reviewed my basket...

... and decided we didn't need to get any of it. We have stuff in, we are within walking distance of Makro, we are within staggering distance of a chemist, two small shops selling food in reasonable condition at reasonable prices and a plethora of takeaways, we are fifteen minutes drive from either a huge Asda or a huge Sainsbury. Also I am trying to get little bear out more, so a hit and run visit to the market in town on the bus is very possible. I do not need to get anything!

I feel all liberated.

Cough cough

Little bear has another cough. And a cold. And his tummy hurts when he coughs. And his throat gets dry when he sleeps...

The night before last I managed three hours sleep and was up at 4.30 am. Last night was a little better but still broken. I am shattered. I should have napped this morning, but I just can't seem to sleep during the day.

I shouldn't really complain as little bear hardly ever gets me up at night, he is usually so good, but even if he just surfaces for a cough and then sleeps again, I am awake. Poor little mite is tired as well though.

It is such a minor cold, he is just suffering with it, poor lamb.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Little bear said 'esss'

We did some shopping today, with little bear. The first stop was Makro, where we purchased remarkably little. I looked at the toys and it was forcibly brought home - little bear did not need anything. Father Christmas will be delivering with a skip load. To add to several skiploads already here. Plus all the other bits and bobs likely to be given by the very generous people we know.

Then we went to a place called Tong Garden Centre. It is a lovely place. I can only get there if dear heart takes me, otherwise I think I would pop in more often. Obviously it is not full of plants at the moment. Instead it is full of Christmas decorations!

Little bear was wonderstruck as we trundled the trolley through the darkened room full of fibre optic trees. We looked at the pets - who always look adorable (and clean and healthy!). Little bear was horrified that the 'messy' parrot dropped a piece of banana on the floor. We all chose a Christmas decoration for this year - little bear chose red tinsel. Then the great highlight - little bear went to see Santa Claus.

It was a long wait, but little bear was very good. He went in to see Santa. Santa asked him lots of questions, like has he been good and what was the name of pandy? Then, after a lovely long fuss, he asked little bear to chose a present and little bear chose a cement mixer. Santa asked if that was what he wanted, and little bear spoke for the only time. He said, 'essss'.

Of course, he chattered freely when we got home. Mainly about the wonderful cement mixer.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Telling stories

7958 words so far, but I am concerned I am putting too much description in. I don't want it to start too slow.

But you have to introduce characters and non standard modern day settings.

The writing is making me feel so much better. Even with little bear being very. Just very. Even if the story doesn't get off to a storming start, the therapy it is giving me is excellent.

(Also, not doom, gloom angst and introspection. More looking towards mystery and action. And possibly knitting).

Average length of a modern novel is around 100,000 words, so I am not a tenth in and I have had two deaths so far, and a love interest, so I suppose it could be worse.

Ebay is my Friend

Today little bear discovered the gas cooker. He has been past it a few times and correctly identified it as 'hot' but today he discovered BUTTONS! Little bear likes pressing the buttons on crossings and lifts. And in the house there is something that has buttons as well.

So I have just ordered a set of covers for the oven knobs, a shield for the top and an oven lock.

Also considering toilet lock, fridge lock, freezer lock and microwave lock. I cannot see the immediate need for them. I am not, however, ruling out anything because little bear is little bear.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Pardon? Also dear heart is a hero

Little bear had to go for a hearing test this morning. So it was a full on no holds barred cage fighting get dressed, force breakfast in crumb by crumb, ration toys he is taking with us, and dive out of the house.

Of course little bear is as good as gold on the bus. Of course he is as good as gold at the bus stop. Then we had to change buses (two buses to get to the clinic). I left my bag on the bus.

So little bear and I were stranded at a bus stop in the rain with no ticket and no money. We did have a bag with a panda and a frog umbrella so we were not entirely without resources and a small frog bar was available to sustain little bear. And of course we had an appointment due. Fortunately I still had my mobile in my pocket, so I cuddled little bear, who was really well behaved apart from refusing to wear gloves, and rang - the bus company who 'put out a shout', and the clinic, who are sending another appt, and dear heart, who came from an hour away and rescued us. He was completely a hero and I was desperately grateful.

And the lovely driver not only kept my bag and gave it to me when the bus next came near my house, but also refused to take any money off me for a drink. I want to say that he was, I think, Polish and absolutely wonderful. All my experiences with the Polish have been good, but he was lovely. I could have hugged him! And he was really lovely to little bear who struggled to get on the bus without relinquishing his frog umbrella.

Also dear heart's boss was so good to let dear heart come, find me, watch little bear as I got my bag and then go back to work as dear heart must have been away nearly three hours and they are extremely busy.

Little bear is little bear

Yesterday I was bamboozled into purchasing a bottle of bubble mixture for little bear.

This morning, around 7am, I was awoken by a repeated, 'bubble mixure, bubble mixure' from little bear. After a three falls, two submissions and a knockout change and dressed etc we went down stairs. Little bear grabbed the bubble stuff with joy. I popped down to the kitchen for a bottle and that is when he spilt his bubble mixture. Sigh.

It was somewhat challenging to coax him into his new shirt, convince him that he did want to take some nourishment and that yes, we would get some more bubble mixture but just not right this second and yes he could watch Adventures in Letterland again.

Also, as I was so nervous about him getting out of the bedroom he is locked in with a bicycle chain on the stair gate, which he has investigated thoroughly and observed closely. He managed to knock the keys to the chain (well, wire thingy really) onto the stairs in front of the gate but just out of reach.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Just to be clear

For lunch little bear had cheese spread on toast, the Primula sort with prawns in. I put a little dab on his finger to try as it was the first time he had had it.

Just for the record, as I explained at nursery, just because a cream comes out of a yellow tube like Metanium does not mean that little bear had nappy cream on toast for lunch. No matter what he said. It was cream cheese and prawns. And yes, he had had a lot of the cream on his fingers because he thought the taste was lovely, thank you some much mother and he would take a little more if I would be so kind.

Or as he put it. 'More finger. More finger. Please.'

Also, a little triumph. At the speech therapist they were explaining how important it was for him to use two words in conjunction. Today little bear, playing helpless, said, 'Daddy pick it up.' I'll see your two words and raise you two more!

Poor little bear and evil cat

Yesterday little bear was watching Adventures in Letterland AGAIN and I was feeling poorly in the next room, listening out for him. I could hear him being happy about something and I could hear evil cat being foul mouthed but I was confident that evil cat was downstairs in the kitchen and that there was a shut stair gate between them.

Today I have found that little bear can open that stairgate and that evil cat can also get through the bars if she is determined enough (she is only skin, bone and evil).

This explains yesterday. As I was dealing with the stomach problems I heard the 'hiss, spit, wail' of evil cat getting little bear and I rushed in.

Now, before you get too concerned, evil cat had barely broken little bear's skin. You know when you catch yourself and you just get a very tiny fleck of the top layer of skin standing up in little white tufts? That is the war wound. I can't even find it today. This did not prevent little bear putting on an Oscar winning performance.

I had a lot of mixed feelings on this. First of all, I must be a bad mother as this is the third or fourth time he has been scratched in the last two years. I ought to protect him more. Then after interrogation I found that he had been holding evil cats tail so I am definitely a bad mother for raising a child that will not be kind to animals. Thirdly, but quite strongly, I thought, 'he's been scratched before - when is he going to learn that cats hurt when cuddled?' And sneaking in behind was a certain satisfaction that evil cat had been on the receiving end for a change, after regularly dishing out discomfort to me - and a tail end of guilt for that satisfaction.

Little bear had an industrial strength cuddle and evil cat had dolphin friendly tuna. They have both forgotten it.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

I love little bear

Due to major heartburn I have been unable to take antidepressants for the last few days, so I am in a bad way.

The heartburn is driving me nuts, and every time I bend over I feel sooooo sick. I think it's what is called reflux, but I think of it as a dratted nuisance. I have also had half rations of sleep last night - burning acid at the back of the throat does not aid a restful night.

And little bear has been nap proof. But bless him, I must of looked tired because he insisted that I lay down on the sofa. I felt like I had had a giant hug. And he has gone to sleep like an angel (or escaped, all bets are off!)

And every time I have tried to write I have been broken off half way through a sentence. This section isn't flowing quite as I would like. However, it is a sanity saver, not a contender for Shakespeare's crown so I am not so stressed about that.

Grumbling over, I shall see if I can finish my thousand words for today in one lump. I know I will feel so much better after that and wonder what I was complaining about. Sigh.

Monday, 30 November 2009


Little bear has man flu. He had a little nap then around 10pm woke up because his nose was blocked and his throat was sore and IT ISN'T FAIR!

Fortunately a dose of baby nurofen and a big cuddle seemed to sort him out. I would hate for him not to go to nursery tomorrow - he would be unbearable if he was stopped from going!

Actually I am feeling fairly sorry for myself with what is just a cold, and nothing more at all. I have even had a lemsip which I normally regard with complete loathing. I hate the tissue season.

One thousand a day

I have started yet another novel. Not exactly sure how it ends, but I am confident I shall enjoy the journey. So far I have written 5147 words, mostly in the right order, and I am hoping to do one thousand words a day.

The writing is really helping my 'nerves'. A few weeks ago I was in a really bad state, but being able to write is making a huge difference. I shall post here on word count, and occasional dilemmas but I won't put too much in. You see, I know on the net there are places where I can publish on the internet only for free. So when I have finished this I will publish it there for anyone who is interested and I will try not to give too much away.

Of course, the target of one thousand words a day does rather depend on little bear's co-operation, but I am optimistic. One thousand words may sound a lot, but I have been timed touch typing at 63 words per minute when I was being slow to be accurate, and that means that if I don't use the back space much, don't try and work out exactly how to describe something, don't get stuck on an idea and don't have to spend ages looking back to see if I had described a character's eyes as blue or brown then one thousand words should take just over 15 minutes.

Little bear is chained up

Little bear has a safety gate across the door to his room. The odd layout of the landing and the house means that it is the only place it can go. He can now open this gate.

Dear heart was very sympathetic coming home to me in a state of complete nervous exhaustion, but on Saturday he witnessed first hand. Little bear would play with the cars upstairs (nice safe room full of toys) for a while but then he would utter 'downstairs' and I would next have him knocking on the door to the living room.

The hard part was the lack of nap. Little bear really still needs an afternoon nap or at least quiet time. From around Thursday he had not had this and he was exhausted! By 6pm he would be ricocheting off the walls because when he is tired he speeds up. The old plan of putting him in his safe, warm bedroom with his toys and letting him wind down for a nap didn't work, because before he reached 'nap' he was downstairs demanding dvds. All attempts to cajole him to nap on the sofa failed with an epic margin. All dvds were banned and classic fm was on. All sugar was banned. However little bear was refusing to sleep and refusing to slow down. If you had seen his pitiful, exhausted face you would have felt for him.

No matter what, no matter how desperate, little bear refused to go to his room for a nap. If placed there little bear would escape.

This is normal. What concerns me is that we have particularly steep stairs with no hand rail. And if there has been a slight lapse in concentration he could find the window on the top story of a four story house open. It is normally kept completely locked. I have moved all the chemicals I can find. I need to move the tools - I have just remembered them. And stash his presents elsewhere.

In short, it isn't safe for him to wander round upstairs. Even with all the precautions, the stairs are steep. We have never re-carpeted the perfectly sound carpet on the stairs but it is navy blue in an area without natural light (whoever chose that must have been insane!). I have dislocated three shoulders on those stairs (well, yes, one of the shoulders has been dislocated twice, but it hurts every time!)

So we bought a lock. It is a long cable which goes around the stair gate and locks into the piece fixed against the wall. But if you don't wrap it enough times round the gate little bear can open the gate, push it out a little way and squeeze through the gap. As he did 6am Sunday morning.

So poor little bear is kept chained in a safe warm room with his toys for over an hour in the afternoon and hopefully some calm will return.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Feel low

I just had a phone call - they are not discharging little bear from speech therapy after all. They want to monitor his sentence development.

I did say that his favourite phrase was 'Jon do it' and he repeatedly used three words and the therapist was saying how positive he was in using two word constructions.

Of course I said yes, but I do question why. He will be going back in a few months time.

They should have witnessed the heated and in depth discussion very early this morning when I was trying to convince him to stay in bed.


Little bear and I went to speech therapy today.

The day started far too early. I had unwisely told little bear that we were going on a bus the next day. So that is why at 4am I was explaining to him that we couldn't go into town yet because all the shops were asleep.

Then I had the wonderful circus of getting ready. Now that little bear can get out of his room, getting dressed is something of a challenge. I had a wonderful moment of terror when he found a forgotten spray of furniture polish and had it pointed at his face, about to pull the trigger. My acceleration is improving.

I was so glad to get out of the house, even though I had failed to bring spare nappy/gloves/pandy. It meant I had survived breakfast.

It took two buses to the speech therapist. She was impressed and couldn't stop laughing - little bear didn't want to be bothered with her silly questions and told her firmly, 'play cars' which were enticingly set out in the corner. He was discharged.

Then into town. Little bear was insistent. He wanted to buy egg custards and he wanted to buy pizza and he wanted to buy them from the shop where you went down the steps. This is not possible when you get to the shop an hour before they make the pizza.

So we had a snack in BHS and then we rode up and down escalators (to little bear's delight) and finally we had wasted enough time to get the pizza, and we arrived just as they came out of the oven.

Finally home.

I am exhausted. Little bear is exhausted. But he won't sleep and he won't stay in his room to wind down for a nap. I think it is going to be a long afternoon.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Knitting and know how

I have a knitting pattern that promises a sweater knitted in one piece. As I loathe making up, I thought I would dig it out and look at it again. Hmm.

Well, you start knitting at the left cuff and finish at the right cuff, and you leave a hole for the head in the appropriate place and pick up the stitches and knit the neckband as you would any other sweater. And it is in chunky, so quite a quick and easy knit.

Of course, I can always find fault. One fault is that it is only 23 inches long. I prefer at least 27 and if you are knitting side to side then I am not sure about increasing the length. But that is possible. The real sticking point for me is that I would need to knit the rib at the bottom separately and sew it on. My knitting skills are okay, but I cannot see any way that I would not make a complete mess of the sewing. I suppose I could pick up the stitches, but picking up is not my favourite form of sport.

I think, however, I will look into getting a pattern in for a sweater to knit over Christmas as a sanity saver. Darling father is visiting over Christmas and New Year which will be wonderful but a little more hectic than normal.

Evil cat is evil

I had a busy day yesterday. Little bear was an imp of mischief, but still gorgeous and I got some great cuddles. However I was really looking forward to a long bubble bath.

Evil cat can not only try the limits of human endurance but can get to those limits remarkably quickly.

I sank into the bubbles, sighed and heard evil cat's version of meow. It sounds like a swear word. It sounds like a really bad swear word. Well, I ignored it. Evil cat persisted. I heard the feline version of Foul Old Ron swearing and muttering outside the bathroom door. Evil cat was the wrong side of the door - not between the bathroom and the landing but between the stairs and the living room (with fire). However she decided not to call at the door on the stairs where dear heart could hear her and let her down. She decided to give it a full 'Buggrit Millennium hand and shrimp' outside the bathroom door, where dear heart couldn't hear her but I could. And she was not next to a fire that was on! This was important to her. She let me know how important it was.

I am extremely well trained. I was in the water ten minutes. Sigh.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

A bumpy day

Little bear has been relentless today and persistently found me on the wrong foot. This is, I believe, normal for toddlers. I have not been able to blink.

And when I showed dear heart how I had had to pull out the bed in the spare room in order to forceably drag little bear out of the airing cupboard I noticed that evil cat had been considerably sick on my bed.

Not a good day.

tv thoughts

I have just been reviewing what we use the tv for.

Little bear watches his dvds on them. Cbeebies and Babytv have been dumped unceremoniously now that he has discovered the joy of repeatedly watching a single dvd until he and mummy are joining in the words. And he can tell mummy what is going to happen next. Every time.

We usually watch the local news on BBC and the start of the One Show. When darling father is up there is football, and more football. And when we roleplay or chat there is Classic FM. I also confess to a quantity of NCIS, The Mentalist and some documentaries but really I cannot see any purpose in purchasing a big tv.

I suppose strictly speaking that I don't really need to purchase a new one at all, but I am getting increasingly nervous about little bear and the tv - he has brought down a chest of drawers on himself before but that does not seem to have daunted him.
Just as an addition, I finished writing my post about the television, then as I published up came an advertisement for 32 inch tvs. I didn't click, but I did smile.

Spending again

Well, actually I haven't, but I can see it coming on. Little bear tried to scale the north face of the television, for mischief and to reach the monitor at the top. The television wasn't the best model in the world, and it is somewhat elderly. The sound is particularly poor as it used to belong to a late, deaf, great uncle. He had it on VERY LOUD and I think the not very good to start with sound took rather a battering. It is also very large and very heavy. I remember a news story about a poor toddler being killed by a falling television.

So I shall be wandering around the internet looking for the cheapest possible thin televisions, bottom of the range and not these 42 inch things. I shall try and hold out until the sales. I do worry, however, and little bear is full of energy at the moment. I daren't blink!


They're back - little bear is once again in boops, at his insistence. I thought I had got over that...


I shall always treasure the memory, however, of him cross, wet and wearing only boops and goosebumps stumping back to his room.

Monday, 23 November 2009

A Busy Day

Little bear had a very busy Saturday.

First he demonstrated beyond doubt that he can open the gate to his room - giving him free rein to lots of stairs, bathroom chemicals, tools, windows that are over forty feet in the air...

The windows are kept locked. Everything else is being rearranged and hopefully toddler proof.

Then we heard him sing Baa Baa Black Sheep all the way through for the first time on his own. I was entranced, but I am his mother and therefore entitled.

Then he looked me in the eye, and without prompts from anything or anyone said his alphabet all the way through! I am so proud.

Then he had his first spell on the naughty step for wilfully and repeatedly disobeying his Dad.

I just know I am going to struggle to keep up. He isn't three for another month!

Friday, 20 November 2009

All calm

We went in to town on the bus today. Little bear needed new shoes and got them.

Now there were the sort of incidents that mothers can fuss over, when the bus had to brake suddenly and little bear fell forward (and got a cuddle off a stranger - he is such a charmer!) and the unexpected detour into Marks and Spencers and the long wait at the bus stop to go home when he was really good

But all in all it was uneventful. We got on the bus, we bought shoes, we came home. I may try it more often.

We had just got in when Royal Mail delivered the fruits of my hunting on ebay - I had to yell out the window to leave it on the step as I couldn't find my keys...

And a Lakeland catalogue has arrived.

Little bear is now completely exhausted however, so I am predicting quite confidently an afternoon nap - much needed!

Well, my next guess...

Little bear is a little chatterbox now. I just don't always understand what he is saying. Sigh. He patiently repeats himself, humouring his mother, but the wild guesses are sometimes very wild indeed.

However there are more complications. I have absolutely no idea what little bear is thinking sometimes. He has just got very upset because I washed a box he handed me telling me 'wash up' (actually it sounded more like 'dhoosh oop' but I work with it).

He is now watching a dvd from Bee Bright for about the tenth time in twenty four hours. He finds it calming. Lucky him.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Spending again

I have bought some clothes for little bear. I bought four tops from Matalan at a very reasonable price, and I am sure that they will do well.

I also did some hunting on ebay. You see, if you are a private seller and put something on ebay for 99p you do not need to pay any fees. So I search for items at 99p, boys clothing, little bear's size, time ending soonest, and I have managed to get five long sleeve tops for little bear for just under £9 (inclusive of p&p of course), and a selection of jeans for him.

I really think that it is a good way to 'hunt' on ebay. The only thing is, you have to watch out for the postage, or it can be silly. Even so I am awaiting the outcome of my bid on a lot of four pairs of jeans - the postage is £5, but my maximum bid is 99p, so I will see if I win that. I think the postage is worth it in that case.


Another drawer has collapsed in our kitchen. There was hardly a thing in it, I think it is just wear and tear.

Before I get any more kitchen cabinets, I would like a new boiler, and a central heating system where I can switch all the radiators on. And even have the hot water on without the heating - that would be marvellous! And an adjustable thermostat!

And then I will be saving up for an open fire. Well, a stove thingy that will, I hope, heat a lot of the bricks in the house.

Then the new cabinets.

I think I need to work out how to motivate myself more to save.

Friday, 13 November 2009

HOW much?!!

Another knitting magazine - an early present from dear heart.

Another shock. This magazine is generally kinder to my blood pressure as more nearly aimed at my attitude to knitting which does not involve credit cards. However...

£39.99 for 100g of yarn. Yes, nearly forty pounds sterling for a small ball of wool. It's cashmere and silk with glittery bits. You would have to twiddle around with fancy stitches to get a scarf for forty quid. A normal scarf is likely to cost you nearer £120 - over one hundred pounds for a scarf!

I had to have a cup of tea to recover.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

The things they say

Little bear has a new phrase. Instead of the 'oops' that I have been saying at every minor mishap, he now says 'oh dear me' which I suspect he got from nursery.

I think it is the most gorgeous thing. I am a completely besotted mother.

He is wanting lots of stories read to him at the moment, which sets off my coughing. Coughing and post childbirth weakness are not a good combination. But the cuddle I get while reading is worth it.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

HOW much?

I bought a knitting magazine - I shouldn't have. Apart from anything else I don't think I was in any way part of its target audience.

You see, I remember the days when knitting was a good way of making a cheap sweater and it didn't matter that it wasn't 'branded'. I also like knitting because I occasionally finish things and it is a way of producing a sweater that is comfortable, fits, is the colour you like and the shape you like. Sometimes it is hard to find that in the shops. I don't follow fashion, so getting the sort of clothes I want is a little bit of a trial sometimes. So I knit. However, now Catherine Zeta Jones is knitting, things aren't quite the same.

I can't remember the name of the magazine, but it was beautifully artistic. It ran a feature on buttons. This included some buttons that were £5.60 EACH! My reaction was quite predictable. I mean, how much? I was used to knitting sweaters, but you can get some very respectable buttons for a tenth of that on the local market, ebay is of course your friend and the buttons on some clothes in the charity shops are beautiful. Why would you want to pay £5.60 EACH for a button? I should add that these were the sort that were bought in sixes for a cardigan or jacket.

Then there was the garment - Knit this from only £59 it proclaimed. HOW much? It would make me nervous knitting yarn that expensive in case evil cat happened. And it was promoted as the cheap knit!

And the pattern for an apron. Who knits an apron? Why knit an apron? For me an apron is to protect your clothes and wipe your hands on when you need to in a rush. For me reused flannel sheets are ideal. And if you are going to knit an apron for heaven's sake knit it longer than 10 inches unless it is for someone in primary school. 10 inches is not an apron, it is a saggy belt.

And they did a feature on yarns. Now I tend to hunt the cheaper end of the yarn market if I actually need to buy yarn (I don't, I have a flock of sheep's worth stashed) and paying more than £1.99 for 100g makes me break out into a sweat. Of course, if you are knitting for a present and that present is a fancy scarf, then perhaps I could be persuaded to buy at £2.99 for 100g.

This feature had lots of different yarns, including Stylecraft which I have found inexpensive and easy to knit and wash. It also included one, I think I have repressed the name but the yarn was £26 for 100g - yes, twenty six pounds sterling! I nearly fell off my chair. It is 49% silk and 51% bamboo. At that price it ought to be spun by angels. To knit anything remotely the size of little bear would cost over £100!

I think I am missing the point somewhere. I suppose if you have the money you pay for what you like. And I look at the hand painted, hand spun, organic, bamboo, soya, wool, silk, cotton, banana fibre (yes, banana fibre!) offerings and think that what do you do with it, half of it you couldn't wear to the shops, a lot of it is wash with extreme caution, and what do you do if you run out of people to knit scarves for?

Spend spend spend

I have just spent a FORTUNE on books for little bear. Ebay is a very fickle friend sometimes. I have bought him five sets of books - two lots of ladybird fairy tale sets which include the enormous turnip which I adored as a child, a set of Dr Seuss including the cat in the hat, a set of Dr Seuss lift up flap books, and a huge set of ladybird phonics books.

And you know, I think they are the ideal present for him. He loves reading. At the moment 'bear hunt' is his favourite, but he loves dipping into books. Reading a story to him is at the moment impossible (cough!) but one of my favourite ways of sneaking a cuddle.

As soon as I can move without coughing, and little bear is in nursery, I plan to visit Headingley. Some may talk of the rugby there, some may speak of the cricket. For me Headingley is the place with the biggest concentration of charity shops I have ever seen! If you get off the bus by the church (can't remember which one) then you start with Mind, then a local hospice, then Oxfam bookshop and Save the Children, then I think it's Age Concern - it's been a while since I have been there, so I can't remember exactly the charity shops that share the arcade with the British Heart Foundation. I am fairly confident that one of them is Cancer Research.

Once I have reached charity shop heaven I shall be scouring the children's books. So many children get given books and the books are never even opened. Besides, the words are in the same order, so why fret if the book is in a reasonable condition. I plan to stock up!

I should add that little bear has his birthday four days after Christmas, and the books are split between the two celebrations. His other big presents are a huge 258 piece pen and crayon set (I shall be standing on the bits for ever) and a garage with cars - the cars were included in the rather steep price of the garage. We are considering which to give him for which celebration. I am currently favouring the garage for Christmas. I have also purchased a small set of dressing up hats.

I really don't want to get much more for him. I know he will have a lot of presents from various uncles, aunts and family members. I have the uneasy feeling that the house will go pop if too much is bought for him. Part of me thinks that I have already gone overboard with the presents, but from what I can tell, each one will be really appreciated and enjoyed.

Also darling father will be staying for Christmas, which is an added bonus! Because darling father will of course read to little bear. And little bear will 'read' to darling father. I am really looking forward to Christmas.

(Memo to self - need to sort out proper bookcase for little bear)

Friday, 6 November 2009

The things that occur to me!

I really need to lose this temperature.

Yesterday I spent quite an amount of time trying to work out whether you could stake a vampire through the heart with a bamboo knitting needle - because you need a wooden stake and bamboo is a grass. But it looks and acts like wood, but under certain circumstances so does formica.

I got a grip eventually - it would never get past the fancy waistcoat.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

And what I say is...

I have just taken a delivery from Mr S. I stood there in the cold air coughing, while the driver very kindly dragged all my stuff in. I carefully washed my hands before signing anything.

He told me that we had lost our culture, that it was all wrong and we should all go to church.

I nodded and coughed.

My personal view is that if you don't believe in God, don't go to church, don't have a church wedding and don't have a Christening. I do believe in God, I am very grateful for the good He has brought into my life. If you want to have a fun time at Christmas then you are following in a great pagan tradition which is an amazing party to help brighten up the darkest time of the year. I do not have any quarrel with that. Just don't send a Christmas card with a manger on it.

As for culture, I don't know how I would define being British (apart from 'not French') but for me the biggest threat is from American TV. Take Halloween - when I was a child it was an excuse for a project in school but the big fun was penny for the guy and bonfires with goodies. This is Bonfire Night that may have originated in the Samhain fires but we are having the American version of Halloween, and it isn't right! (yes, I am a hypocrite on that, I would have let little bear go trick or treating with sister in law, but it still would have been better for penny for the guy, which I haven't seen for some time!)

The man seemed a nice man, and was pleasant enough, as I stood and coughed, but there just seems to be too much sloppy thinking. And of course I didn't get into an argument with him - that wouldn't be the British thing to do at all.

Plague continues

I am not used to having a cough - honestly, I hardly ever suffer from it. I have one now, and a temperature, and I am not a well bunny.

Last night as I lay there wheezing, it occurred to me that it sounded like a dragon calling to her unborn children and I had an image of eggs nestled safely in the moss streaked ruins of a medieval church.

Then I decided that I really needed to get my temperature down before I got sectioned.

Little bear is feeling LOTS better. He is really better, lots of energy, wants to do things! I cannot tell you how happy I am. Fortunately yesterday it included watching a DVD. Six times. All the way through. And that is after a few times yesterday. Little bear was joining in with the words. This did not stop him asking for it again, and again... The DVD is an educational one, Once upon a time in Letterland. I would recommend it to anyone with a little one. Not half a dozen times on the run though!

Dear heart has been wonderful, but he is in work now and I have rather shamefaced put little bear for a full day in nursery. He can play, eat good stuff and generally be an energetic little bear. I can sit here and cough.

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Whispered by little bear

This week has been extremely trying. Little bear has been poorly. I have been poorly. Dear heart has been poorly. Even evil cat is off colour and her fur is definitely not on top form.

Little bear has brought a nasty cough back from nursery to share with us all, and when he is poorly he is more prone to tantrums. He hardly ever is bad, so when he is it is a shock.

Friday he was upstairs playing quietly as I sat downstairs and coughed. I became concerned about the state of his nappy so I went upstairs. As I went upstairs I could hear a tiny whisper 'tidy oop, tidy oop.'

I had left the nappy box in. Now little bear is quite a big boy now so the damage was a distribution of wipes, a yellow moustache of metanium and the roll of bags unrolled EVERYWHERE. Little bear helpfully pointed out, 'more bags, more bags.'

Little bear, when he thinks of something, sometimes whispers what he is thinking - it is so cute. he also whispers if it is dark.

Not only had there been an attack of the nappy box, little bear obviously decided that he needed to change his pyjama trousers. So the pyjama trousers had been hung on the floor so that they wouldn't fall down and get lost and he was wearing a pair of pyjama shorts. The shorts were elderly and well washed so he had had no trouble getting both legs down one trouser and was wearing the shorts as a sort of belt with his nappy hanging down underneath it. With the yellow bum cream moustache it was quite a dashing outfit!

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

What just happened?

Little bear is not a well little bear. Thus, like many toddlers who are not well, he is challenging boundaries more than usual. So far there has been war over a changed nappy, a high level negotiation to get him to eat yoghurt with a spoon and not his fingers and a certain amount of extra cuddles.

We were having a good cuddle - we had had a tickle, wiped a door down, now we were having a cuddle and little bear seemed to be almost drifting off sitting on me. Suddenly, without a shred of warning, he starting croaking 'upstairs, upstairs, upstairs...' He is better than he was yesterday, but he is still not well, and the croak, the tears and the urgency were awful. He then sat on the bottom step of the stairs supervising me packing up the cars to go upstairs. He wouldn't come away from the stairs and seemed terrified of the tv - I had to turn it off!

We had been watching cbeebies, pretty innocuous cbeebies. I can sincerely understand a child being appalled and terrified by in the night garden, tellytubbies, waybuloo or half a dozen other oddities but little bear seemed to be horrified by a man dressed as Jack from Jack and Jill.

I am hoping he will stay awake for another forty minutes so that I can get him ready for the drs without too much trouble, but I am not optimistic. And I have absolutely no idea, really, absolutely none!

I've just realised - Halloween, fancy dress, goodness only knows what else! I just hope he can manage!

Missing dog

Next door have a large dog, which is apparently crossed with a bear, called Butch. He is elderly (seventeen!), huge, placid and has an eye for the ladies. Many local lady dogs are receptive to his advances and he does not miss an opportunity. He is also lovely with children. I wouldn't leave a child alone with a dog, but little bear has had his face washed plenty of times by Butch, who has happily tolerated little bear stroking him and various family toddlers crawling all over him. I love hearing his bark at the postman - to ensure he gets a cuddle!

He has been missing for a fortnight.

Their tom cat (indolent and occasionally terrorised by evil cat) has also gone missing. I am concerned that there is poison down with multiplying rats.

It is so hard, wondering what has happened.

Red Cross on the Door

Little bear spent most of yesterday red hot and unhappy. I actually rang the NHS for guidance as I wasn't sure about his temperature. I have managed to get a drs appt for this afternoon.

Poor little bear, he has been most unhappy. He was in need of an emergency cuddle at 3am this morning and now he is up he is even uninterested in ice cream!

Dear heart went into work with a cough, sore throat, headache... But he had to go in, they are being audited (and it is going well). He has a day's leave booked tomorrow, so I am optimistic he will be able to have a duvet day.

I have a cough, which I usually get about once a decade. I am unimpressed.

Even evil cat is not her normal malevolent self. When I went out to ask nice Mr Next Door if he was going to a shop to pick up some bread for us, evil cat couldn't even be bothered to jump on the wall. Normally she is walking up and down a wall with attitude and high tail. She has just been lying around.

I shall keep an eye on her, between coughs.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Another milestone

Little bear threw a tantrum in a local newsagents on Friday. I was absolutely mortified, especially as the nice lady there is always saying how good little bear is.

To be fair we had just been to town, little bear was wearing a thick coat and a sweater (I didn't realise how hot he was until after he got home) and he was shattered. He lay on the floor, he carried on, he tried to pull magazines from the shelves... We left before I could buy anything, I was absolutely appalled.

However I now have an idea of why he was behaving like that - he woke up with a cough like a donkey, a really high temperature and (I think) a sore throat - he is refusing just about anything except juice and ice cream. So I think he was coming down with this, which does make his unusual behaviour more understandable.

And last night I had a bath after his bedtime routine (he refused his normal bed time bottle). When I came out he was asleep at the door with the jug of water I had been using to clean his bottom, obviously concerned that things were not as he should be. It was such a wonderful feeling carrying him back to bed and tucking him in. I wish I could frame it.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Little bear 'reads' a story

There is a wonderful story for children called 'We're going on a Bear Hunt' which has a beautiful series of illustrations and a lovely, formulaic story. The first bit goes, 'We're going on a bear hunt, we're going to catch a big one. What a beautiful day, we're not scared. Uh oh grass, long wavy grass. We can't go over it, we can't go under it. Oh no! We've got to go through it, swishy swashy etc and carries on in the same way until they meet the bear and run away.

Little bear likes this story. We have a board book version and he was sitting there looking thoughtful. Then we heard, 'bear hunt. Big non. Boo day. No scared. Uh oh. Ass. un. ov. Oh no! through.'

He 'read' the book all the way through. Just by listening we could tell where he was - and he loved it. I wish I could convey the horror of 'oh no!' when read by little bear - he sounded absolutely horror struck. I was so proud. I don't for a minute believe he is actually reading the book, but he is turning the pages and telling a story, and understanding that the words mean something.

Later on, when he was allegedly going to have a sleep, we heard him 'read' the story several times to pandy. He stayed right on the story, as if he was really reading it!

It makes up for the ten minutes I spent this morning re-rolling a roll of bin liners that little bear had happened to. It makes up for everything - I am just so proud!

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Memo to self

Memo to self - do not try and knit a scarf while little bear is painting. This is especially true if it is finger paints.

Friday, 16 October 2009

A trip out

We went into town!

Now, with little bear's nappy issues I didn't want to be out too long, so we bought some yarn for a scarf for a gift, went to the museum, had a snack and a little look round and came home.

Little bear was so well behaved, I was so proud of him, because it was the first time he had gone in on reins. He was as good as gold on the bus, he waited patiently at the bus stops and he behaved lovely in the museum.

He did run up and down the aisles in the yarn shop. He wasn't being destructive, but he wasn't being good and the ladies there all are quite old fashioned. Otherwise his behaviour was immaculate.

We shall have to do it again soon (but not the wool shop).

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Painful bottom

I find that writing things down helps to fix them in my mind.

Little bear has dreadful nappy rash sometimes. It is really bad, he cries and struggles and finds it all very traumatic. At the moment he is healing up nicely (and I think a lower back molar has just broken through the gum - teeth and rash are normally linked).

He gets changed when he wakes up, usually at least twice in the morning/lunchtime, usually a minimum of once in the afternoon (depending on naps) and before he sleeps. I am always very thorough when cleaning.

I am going to try and cut down on the juice he drinks and get more water and milk in him. I had been pushing juice to help absorption of iron but I will see how he goes with a less acid liquid intake. I am not reducing his fruit but upping his proportion of bananas. I am shifting from wipes to cotton wool and water. Next outbreak I will take him to the doctors.

Poor little mite - problems with his bottom recorded online for posterity.

Getting to the bottom of things

Little bear gets bad nappy rash. I have blogged and posted about it - he gets it bad, poor mite.

The typical outbreak will be a proverbially smooth bottom at the wake up call and during the morning, so for around three nappies. Then he will have a nap for an hour and a half, having a new nappy on at the start of the nap, and at the end his bottom will be desperately sore all over and he will cry and struggle as I try and clean him up. For the next few days it is dreadful for the poor mite, and then it is back to proverbially smooth.

Nursery have noticed this, and one of the workers suggested I see a doctor with him - not in a 'neglectful mother' type of way but in a 'my little girl had the same' sort of way. We are switching to cotton wool and water.

During this discussion little bear wanted to go home, possibly due to embarrassment. Then he was tugging at the door. Then the nursery worker went to get his fingers from out of the door.

Now, little bear is a bear of cunning. He has trapped his fingers in the past and is now actually quite respectful of the painful possibilities of doors, drawers and fingers. There was no mark on his fingers, and he hadn't really let the door swing. However he was wailing and crying.

I was somewhat suspicious, but I picked him up and cuddled him. The tears continued. I said, 'Are we going home now?' The tears magically disappeared and little bear said 'esssss' (yes) and happily ran to get his coat. He had even fooled one of the nursery workers!

I have no chance.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

An afterword

After I wrote about little bear and the evidence of a guilty conscience, my own conscience nagged me - I had not seen evil cat since the incident!

So I tiptoed round, searching the house, preparing myself for a wounded evil cat. Little bear obviously didn't want to discuss exactly what led to the scratch, which was to me an admission of guilt...

She is fine. Little bear is asleep. All is well.

Little bear and a play for sympathy

I have an upset stomach. Any further information is far in excess of what you need to know.

Evil cat was doing a dither. She was standing at the open gate leading to downstairs, considering her options when I had to visit the smallest room as a matter of urgency. No delay was possible, I just shut the gate and consoled myself that evil cat in the past had hidden effectively behind the television.

After the urgency had passed, I heard little bear wailing. As any mother of a toddler knows, there are cries that demand instant attention and cries that are merely aimed at getting instant attention. He sounded upset, but not in an urgent way. However I was concerned that he may have happened to evil cat so hurried down.

Evil cat, on the whole, is pretty tolerant of little bear. She does escape as quickly as possible generally but has been known to allow him to chase her as she moved round the room at a gentle trot instead of her usual tabby tornado. She has even been known to allow a tentative stroke under close supervision. When cornered in the past she has contented herself with crying.

I think this tolerance is wearing a little thin.

When I came down little bear was sitting in my chair looking very sorry for himself. A tabby blur had passed at high speed as I had opened the door to come down, which I had assumed was evil cat. Little bear held out his hand piteously. On his right hand thumb was a scratch at least half an inch long, barely visible but reddened from the contact. He started sobbing convincingly. I took him on my lap, kissed his hand and gave him a big cuddle. Calm returned remarkably quickly. I put the tv on and when a cat appeared little bear told me with some conviction, 'Scratch'.
'What were you doing when evil cat scratched you?' I asked. Little bear immediately burst into almost convincing tears. I was unimpressed.

When dear heart came home, I asked told him about evil cat. 'What were you doing when evil cat scratched you?' asked dear heart. Once again little bear burst into almost convincing tears. By now our sympathies were completely with evil cat.

I think I shall have to give evil cat extra tuna to make up for whatever he was up to.

Interesting packaging

Ebay is my friend, as previously mentioned. Normally I buy UK only, because I sort of understand the way the UK works. I have bought incredibly successfully from the Netherlands and Turkey (Yarn Paradise is for knitters what a all you can drink for a fiver happy hour is for alcoholics, and their service and product are very good). The latest 'risk' I have taken is buying a present for my sister in law that came from Taiwan.

Now, with this particular item it was not a fake or a 'nearly'. It was an item that I had not seen anywhere else. It was not particularly expensive, so I bought it.

It is lovely, it is immaculate, good quality and exactly what I wanted. The condition in particular was unbelievably good. It was unbelievably good because I couldn't believe that it had managed to get from Taiwan to here wrapped only in a carrier bag with 'Fashion' written all over it. It was a reasonable carrier bag, better than the flimsy ones you get veg in on the market, but certainly less sturdy than a bag for life.

I think I would order from them in future, but not anything fragile.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Ebay is my friend, and I'm pretty close to Lakeland

I have most of my Christmas shopping done. I feel slightly odd about it, but at least it is done.

I am not sure who reads this who are being bought for, so I will just say that most of it is covered, I have either bought it, received it or know where to get it.

I have a stock of Christmas paper and Matalan are doing a 3 for 2 on shiny gold paper that will work for Birthdays as well. Several Januaries ago I bulk bought some Christmas cards and we have not yet run out.

Between ebay, Lakeland and Hawkin's Bazaar (significantly recommended but alas no longer on Quidco) I have nailed most of the Christmas stuff I need, together with quantity of Halloween stuff and all of the birthdays I buy for in January (really, what people get up to in May!)

I now have a slightly lost feeling, and no excuse to haunt ebay (in itself not a bad thing). I also feel a bit odd about having done a vast quantity of online shopping - I will be waiting in for parcels for weeks!

All I need to worry about how many I am feeding at Christmas and what I am feeding them, which I am actually quite chilled about.

A Beautiful Morning

Today is a beautiful autumn morning here, with truly blue skies and golden sunshine. The morning shadows are crisp and long but it is not too cold, just refreshing. So I took little bear to the park.

This time last year, even if I could physically make it, it would have been too daunting to contemplate, but today we went.

Little bear thought it was marvellous! He climbed up the climbing frame. He slid down the slide. He climbed up the slide. He tried to launch himself into mid air to reach a pole that was way out of his reach and he was way above my head (my reflexes are really improving). He had a nice run round and saw some nice doggies. It was lovely.

Poor little bear, however, because the special surface on the playground was incredibly slippy, like ice. I was being careful and little bear kept landing on his nappy to his frustration.

We got home before any deliveries could come (ebay has been very friendly lately) and now little bear is eating an apple and sultana cake and watching tv - but at least he has had some exercise.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Little bear is tired

Yesterday was a challenge for little bear. He was up at six with a serious nappy. Then he had a drs appt with a child development specialist. This was at 11am. It was running late. She said that every time she saw him he looked pale. I said he had just had a tummy bug while thinking that each time he had had an appointment due just before a nap time and they had been running late...

Apparently he is doing alright but she is sending him for hearing tests, speech therapy and considers he may be slightly under developed in understanding. In hindsight I think this is because she asked him to pretend to make a cup of tea, and due to the strange layout of our house he has never seen a cup of tea made. He seems to understand alright to me. Regrettably well in some cases.

Then it was nursery. I didn't want him to miss it, he gets so much benefit. He had a great time and came home wearing a quantity of soup.

He came home and then there was tea, followed by a bit of a play... Lots of tears as he got frustrated and tired and he had such a sore bottom. According to the specialist the bottom back teeth are now coming through and that will take some time. Sigh. More Metalin (? can't remember the exact name, recommended, fantastic stuff that little bear calls (approximately) yellow bum cream).

He had a bottle while listening to a story, got off my lap and just lay on the floor and shut his eyes. He then slept through to eight. It was wonderful.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Another party looming

Once upon a time I used to be a party person. I would be first on the dance floor and last off. I would have so much fun, chatting and drinking...

However that was then and this is now.

My sister in law has bought little bear a trick or treat costume. She didn't ask first, but I didn't mind. After all, it is little bear and he will probably enjoy it and look tremendously cute. Her daughter (21 next Jan) has also got a costume. Sister in law has 'just' got a mask.

I am not really encouraged to call them, so I am not sure whether to ring or not and ask, am I supposed to dress up and as what? The mind boggles. Is dear heart supposed to dress up? He has a lot of costume left over from a previous 'do' so that would be quite acceptable.

They are coming here first to go trick or treating in the few houses I am actually speaking to (okay, only one house I refuse to acknowledge, but when that is 25% then it seems a significant amount). So I need to sort out the house...

I have checked with next door but one and she is happy for us to knock and I said that if for any reason we missed her little ones we would save them something. Next door really enjoy Halloween, so I am sure that they will be happy to have little bear knock.

Should I decorate the house? I have been hoping to postpone this sort of thing for several years, but looking on quidco, woollies do have an acceptable range of Halloween tat with 8% cashback. And should I cook? I am not sure that my sister in law would like my cooking. We have always had a takeaway in the past but a spooky meal may be just the ticket - like the black beans and peaches recipe I found in the anticraft book. Pumpkin pie? Pork based casseroles with apples? Gingerbread? Parkin? Mulled cider (for those not on antidepressants, driving or in charge of little bears)?

Part of me says - go for it with gusto!!! If it gets too stressful I shall just get a takeaway and we can all have fun. Sister in law loves 'gothic' style items. The cherubs on her fire surround have been painted black and have red eyes. It could be really nice for her.

Part of me says - how much is this going to cost? Now, home made casserole that we would eat anyway, home made gingerbread and parkin, home made black beans and peaches will not be terribly expensive. Little bear has his costume bought for him. But I can see little bits and pieces mounting up here and there...

If this was Christmas I would be saying 'bah humbug'. And in less than 78 days I probably will.

More Sheet

On ebay, who may be my friend but sometimes leads me astray, I had a look (just out of curiosity, not with any intention, honest!) for single sheets.

Someone was selling a bundle of forty single sheets. It was a very reasonable price...

I didn't buy it. But I did look at some of the other entries.

Thank you, Hester, I have looked at the John Lewis main site and even the non seconds are actually a very reasonable price considering the wear I am likely to get out of them. I may also check out Marks and Spencers. Just checking it out, you understand, as there is absolutely no urgency to get more sheets, we have plenty, we really do not need any more, absolutely no more are needed, and no more pillowcases and definitely no more duvet covers. Honest. Nor blankets - not a one. None. Absolutely none.

I may purchase some pillows for dear heart, his are distinctly pancake shaped. My tactic with those is buy very cheap at Matalan and discard six months later. I wonder if it is worth getting a slightly better quality...

No, that way lies madness. Also I have tried washing pillows and have had very indifferent results. So odd corners of the house are filled with lumpy, mis-shapen pillows that 'may come in useful one day, I am sure there is a use for them.'

Wednesday, 7 October 2009


I have a weakness for bedding - I would love to have cupboards and cupboards of the stuff. I often restrain myself but at the last count we had over fifty white pillowcases, in various states of decay and of various quality.

And I love bargains in bedding - buy one get one free in Argos (last tumble drier destroyed them), introductory 20% off (vast quantities from La Redoute but the quality was appalling). Then the 'slight seconds' fitted sheets from TK Maxx that have funny corners.

I did get some rather nice sheets from Scotts of Stowe, but their customer service was so bad I wouldn't recommend it even to Her Three Doors Down, and they were rather expensive. Actually very expensive.

Actually I was an idiot to pay that price. And it is all double sheets and no singles which are the sheets used for little bear, myself and darling father when he comes to stay.

I did buy a bundle of half a dozen single sheets from ebay (my friend) at a very reasonable price. In fact I think, accounting for postage, they came to about £2 each.

They were overpriced.

I must make a memo to myself. Sheets that cheap by the time they have been washed twice are too thin to use as toilet paper.

And another spend...

I have purchased most of the presents for Christmas (ebay is my friend). Deliveries are starting to occur.

However, last night, on the way home from work in one of the hardest down pours in months, dear heart's windscreen wiper went. He then crawled home at 10 mph trying to see through a sheet of water.

Nice Mr Next Door has sorted out a temporary thingy but the bit that needs to be sorted out is bolted to the suspension which means absolutely nothing to me, but apparently the car now needs to be taken apart.

Nice Mr Next Door will do it for us, and we won't be over charged or messed around. But darn!

Little bear is busy

Yesterday little bear was flagging, so I took him upstairs. He was quite cross about the whole business, but I let him settle down, thinking that he was really not far from sleep (pale face, big eyes, attention span of a gnat in a hurricane).

All was quiet. I was feeling a little below par anyway, so I was glad if he was just playing quietly. Actually he had rattled his stair gate so much that he had got out, gone into my room, and decided that the pump dispenser for hand cream actually belonged in the bathroom, so he moved it there. He also took a full tube of toothpaste in it's box... Actually what you might have thought would happen didn't. He neatly put the cardboard box in the bin and brushed his teeth. I think I need to raise my game re housekeeping. He is so much tidier than me. Also, I need to re-evaluate all the toddler hazards upstairs. Again.

I only twigged when I heard water in the bathroom running - then I opened the door at the bottom of the stairs and within seconds little bear's head was peeping round the banister with a 'what?' expression.

Failed to get him to eat. Managed to eventually coax him to drink some milkshake. Then he NEEDED a change before we went to the doctors. It took me best part of twenty minutes to get him onto the changing mat. He had already expressed strong disapproval of the idea of boops (honestly, once I couldn't get them off him, now I can't get them on him!) and now it came to go out he expressed an extreme refusal of the waterproof poncho. It was raining with a purpose, and he needed something. Fortunately he has a frog umbrella. He then walked nicely as far as the newsagents, nicely to the doctors, waited more or less patiently at the doctors and chemist and hurtled home.

Thereafter every time I turned my back on him, there was an incident - just little things but it was with gratitude that I saw dear heart home. So I could blink in safety.

Today he is much less 'hyper' - I suspect that the baby nurofen is having the same effect as calpol, in that it presses the fast forward button. Also I think he was out of sorts and unable to settle to anything. Today has been much less traumatic (so far - watch this space, just in case).

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Not chicken pox

Not chicken pox. Probably virus. No idea what spots are. Prescribed linctus.

Will describe little bear's antics today later when more sane.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Cough cough

The first doctors appointment for little bear is tomorrow. Sigh.

Almost exactly a fortnight ago, darling father was sitting at one end of our group as we watched the sealion display at Flamingoland. He tickled a little girl with little bear's pandy. The little girl was lumpy, blotchy and had little scratch mitts on, she looked around 18 months.

I hoped that the little girl had eczema rather than anything else, she did look unhappy and I was rather surprised that a mother would take a poorly little girl around a zoo, but if it was eczema then I could understand. Also I didn't feel up to little bear toughening up his immune system with anything new just now.

I also thought that darling father at 78 years old (!) should know better but there is never any point in saying anything. Chronological age and mental age are not necessarily the same. Darling father has the same carefree abandon as a teenager but without the hormones.

So little bear may have something or nothing. His cough kept me up last night. I am posting for sanity. He does not appear unduly spotty, but he is definitely a poorly little bear. He is throwing some amazing tantrums. After dear heart saw me manhandle little bear up the stairs, drag him bodily from under the bed, dissuade him (again!) from playing with the bathroom bin, fighting him to the changing mat, fighting to keep him on the changing mat and retreating exhausted downstairs he commented that he was glad that little bear didn't behave like that when he wasn't around. Then he ducked.

Also dear heart's system continues poorly.

I plan to take next week end off!

'Ello, 'ello, 'ello

I was talking to darling uncle on the phone when I glanced out of the window. Two (extremely young looking) policemen were outside at the end of the street, watching both directions of the 'L' shape. This coincided with extreme door banging in the house behind. Hmm.

I couldn't resist - I went and asked. 'nothing serious, just looking for someone' they said. I suspect they were looking for someone with emphasis. I told them that the place had been empty for some time and directed them (with a certain satisfaction) to That Landlord.

I should get some net curtains to twitch

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Oh dear

Spots on little bear, suspect chickenpox, will try to get to drs tomorrow.

Posting may be intermittent and desperate.

Evil Cat's other gentleman caller

I have previously posted about Oscar, formerly living next door and now crossing an extremely busy road to visit - a large black tom with a sky blue collar who generally lounges around as if he owns the street.

Well today evil cat was playing in the garden and I went out to put some things in the recycling. I was surprised to find her nose to nose with a black tom with only the wrought iron gate separating them. You see, this black tom was not wearing a collar. Was it her gentleman caller paying an incognito visit to avoid scandal?

Regardless, the dark stranger ran off and evil cat hissed quietly several times to herself as I put the cans in the bin and then she ran inside.

I made some discreet enquiries (okay, I asked Nice Mr Next Door) and apparently there is more than one large black tom visiting the street.

I do hope evil cat is not playing too fast and loose or she will get a Reputation.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

A Suspicious stranger

A very well groomed lady, in her fifties I believe, was taking photos of our street. I have no idea why. I was going to pop out and ask (a logical thing to do, really, I was going to ask nicely) but little bear decided that he was not going to as he was told and was hauled off for a compulsory nap after throwing a box at me.

(it was an empty cardboard box that I had told him to not throw at me - he was tired, two and three quarters and coming down with the stomach bug, so I didn't hold it against him).

I wonder what this implies. I saw her taking a long shot of the street. She looked very much like a 'lady that lunches' and completely out of place.

I shall watch with interest.

Two well spent months

I think Hester is going to wince at what I am going to write now.

Since the beginning of August there has been:

New washer; holiday; expensive party and birthday (had hair, nails and eyebrows done at a salon! Plus costume jewellery and present); and new computer.

It has just about wiped out our 'surface' savings.

Then there was the AA membership - ouch! The AA don't send out reminders either - they just take the money once a year, must remember to shop around properly next August.

The car passed it's MOT, and I sighed with relief.

I am putting together a Lakeland order. Primarily it is to get the cordial bottles, to make flavoured vodka for the people next door. Normally I trundle along cutting things out until I have the total just above the level for free postage. However this time I am struggling to get up to the free postage. This is a promising sign.

I wonder if I can get the bottles anywhere else? I shall check ebay (who is my friend).

Dear heart, as he saw another random package arrive, suggested that I try another wool challenge. I am not sure it would work at the moment. I think I am going to have to look for a different target.

Thank you Hester

In dithering haste, because if I don't do it soon I never will get it done and I am all of a tizz (normal state).

Hester very kindly nominated me for an award.

I am embarrassed to admit, I can't work out how to post the little picture so here is the link

Now, what with holiday, darling father staying somewhat longer than planned, little bear having sickness and dire rear for the first time in about a year, but doing it with gusto, then passing it on to me and now dear heart is in bed...

Also I have been fretting. So I am doing what I can now, and I am going to tell you seven things about myself that you may not know. This is hard because I do rather wear my heart on my sleeve.

1. I have written a novel. It is seventy thousand words long and I have actually finished it. I am currently re-writing it, but any discreet enquiries from literary agents welcome. I have also started (quick count) four more, and have dozens more ideas...

2. I have nearly become a vicar's wife.

3. I went to Bobby Charlton's testimonial

4. Due to strange background I support England at soccer, Wales at Rugby, Liverpool FC for the men's soccer and Leeds Ladies for the ladies soccer.

5. I have written a paragraph that appears in Hansard. I was temping for a civil servant who was asked to provide a written answer. A fax came through needed a linking paragraph. No-one was in the office, so I drafted something as a starter (it was urgent). They kept it as is, and it ended up all official.

Only two more to think of

6. I have second sight. It is extremely intermittent and a bloody nuisance.

7. I am a member of the Green Party. Actually, I'm a bit like a drunk Methodist, I want to do the right thing, but I keep slipping.

I need to nominate others now. Hmm...

You see, it has to be someone who reads my blog, or they won't know, but I don't know whose been 'got'. I would have unhesitatingly recommended Hardup Hester - I love her Granny Weatherwax approach to life, but she's the one who nominated me.

I am going to have to have a think about this one. I am happy to recommend Savings Now - your turn! and I am having a think about another. I will update asap. That may not be very p.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

What did I say?

I've lost a follower!

I do hope I haven't upset someone.

Little bear has been sick all afternoon. It may be a while before further posts

Party party party

My sister in law had a party to celebrate her fiftieth birthday. She sent invitations suggesting long dresses should be worn and that the theme was Hollywood. I have mentioned this.

Well, I spent two hours and a lot of money in the local salon. I wish I could convey the deep distrustful suspicion that little bear had as he looked at me. His expression betrayed so much doubt and cautious disapproval I got the giggles. I looked rather nice, though I say so myself, with my hair up and nails done and all the rest. Dear heart looked absolutely drop dead gorgeous in a James Bond type tuxedo. I'm not sure little bear entirely approved of that as well.

It was the first time that we had gone out for an evening together since little bear was born. The babysitter came round - she lives next door, but I think darling father (78) was a bit taken aback by having a youngish teenager come round in her pyjamas and towelling dressing gown. I left them to it. Apparently both had a nice evening chatting and watching football/doing coursework. The babysitter would sit for us again, which is reassuring.

When we got there, it was obvious that many hadn't made so much effort, and that some had not turned up. Well it is daunting to read 'long dresses' on the invite - especially for the gentlemen. And the birthday girl was not able to do as much as she liked as she had broken her foot the day before.

When we got home I asked anxiously about little bear. Apparently he had woken up. The babysitter had gone upstairs to use the bathroom, and little bear had woken, come to the stair gate, assessed the situation and then, without a word, gone back to sleep.

But it was fun, and we did have a good time. I am not, however, in a hurry to repeat it. It was just such a lot of rushing around. And I shall certainly NOT be doing similar for my 50th. I shall be pretending it isn't happening.

Darling Father has gone home

Darling father has gone home. He had to, he goes to Benidorm on Sunday. He stayed a week longer than he had planned - even though he was really welcome it was a surprise, but I was really happy.

We worked out that in one fortnight he had drank three litres of whiskey. This is not good.

I have an uneasy feeling about the whole thing. Now it could be that I have over developed worry muscles, but I am a little concerned about my darling father.

He has left some clothes behind, which is a good sign, plus a drift of Daily Mails and crosswords. Little bear misses him.

What I did on my holiday Part 9

Day Seven - Thursday

Today was another quiet day. Little bear and I went to feed the ducks in Pickering. It was obviously a feeding station for the ducks, and little bear was happy throwing the ends of the loaves that had gone stale (delivered Friday) but only to the ducks in the water. I surreptitiously sneaked a few bits to the ducks crowding onto the path. Little bear did want to stroke them, but fortunately he was not holding bread at the time and I managed to dissuade him.

The railing at the duck feeding station is actually very good. It sort of leans out, so that the bottom of the railing must be about a foot away from the edge of the drop to the river. It is stout, newish looking and I had no qualms about sitting a few feet away while little bear hurled bread at the ducks in the water. Until he dropped a bit on the concrete between the bottom of the rail and the drop. I abandoned pandy and shot across - I don't think any Olympic sprinter left their blocks as quick as I left that bench to grab little bear as he bent to get the bit of bread. In hindsight I can see that at no point was he anywhere near the edge. That is not the point. I stuck to him like glue after that.

Later on, after a walk in the woods by the castle, little bear fell asleep on my lap. It was wonderful.

Tea was a second round of the casserole, with tinned tomatoes and cumin added.