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.