Friday, 31 December 2010

Little bear doesn't like nursery

Sometimes I feel so inadequate as a parent

Today little bear must have asked a dozen times that we don't go to nursery tomorrow. He doesn't want to go to nursery, he's too tired/too poorly/a child roared at him...

Everyone is baffled. I have been to the nursery on all sorts of odd occasions, and it is far from a pit of vipers. In fact it is a pleasant, clean and stimulating place. I know that they are lovely with him, it is evident.

Last time I took him it was when I had my last lot of physio before Christmas. Poor little mite begged me to leave him with Grandad (darling father had a date, so that couldn't happen) and then, when forcibly left at nursery he sobbed that I was too come back as soon as I can.

I have to keep taking him there, or I am making such a rod for my back when he gets to school. I need the chance for drs appts, clinics etc.

But every day he has been saying that he doesn't want to go to nursery. I am dreading his first day back.

Little bear doesn't like sleep

As little bear is officially now a big boy (according to him) he no longer has a gate on his room. This means that the latest he has woken me with a slammed door is 8.30.

Little bear has always had vitamins. I regard them as a useful supplement but that really it is my job to get good food into him. I fail, therefore vitamins aren't bad. He LOVES his crunchy Kids Vitamins.

Little bear has been taking a syrup for eczema which has now vanished without trace (so I suspect not eczema). He enjoyed the taste of this, and it was part of his bedtime routine. We have run out of the syrup (still no sign of itching or affected skin).

Little bear wants his medicine. He NEEDS his medicine because he is poorly. He is too poorly to go to nursery again, again, again. His throat is sore. And he won't go to sleep, he needs someone to keep him company and he doesn't like sleep. He is fine, full of energy, bright eyed, bushy tailed and not poorly in any shape or form.

Last night little bear had hysterics for two hours. Well, I say hysterics, he was jumping up and down, screaming, shouting and generally cross at the world. In the end he had a half dose of child's buttercup syrup given with much play acting about how strong it was.

He is getting worse and worse when he comes to bedtimes, he is fighting sleep every step of the way (just like his parents did at his age, and continue to do).

We are fighting the battle of sleep first, and picking up a bottle of malt extract for his 'medicine'. Then we can fight the battle of the medicine bottle.
I managed to knock my shoulder again, which has been grumbling, and have somehow had an allergic reaction to something that took three boxes of tissues, but really, I feel blessed. I can grumble and complain and fret, but I have a warm, safe house. Little bear is gorgeous. I have water!

Now is a good time of year to count blessings, and I shall do.

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Operation Clutterbust 11

Today I emptied six one litre bottles of UHT milk down the sink. They had expired August 2009, but had been stored in an awkward corner. Another two litres of orange juice of an even older vintage went with it.

Wrapping paper has been binned, as has the multitude of cardboard boxes. At least the ones that little bear can bear to part with.

I did add a stack of wrapping paper, but I have identified a place for it. I have also comfort bought two 50g balls of weird yarn which ends up looking like a long pile bath mat. I managed to stop myself buying 1600g of copper coloured chenille in the nick of time!

OH is busy identifying things he wants to go. It is hard for me, he identified an ornament that he didn't want, and I agreed that I didn't want to keep it. So he threw it in the bin. That is so hard for me, my instinct is to say, recycle, charity, possibly ebay. Several items ended up like that, none of them family things or anything, but it is a little uncomforting. I have marked an equivalent on my bar to keep my tally and my spirits up.

Now concerned about the multiplicity of jigsaws that little bear has now accumulated and how on earth do I store them? I was really proud when I managed to throw out a Vanish container. I may have been a little hasty.

Second verse same as the first

Her three doors down has moved out after selling her house to That Landlord. Goodness only knows who he will bring in - he doesn't seem to take up references. However as I have only put some of the stuff she came out with on here, and none of the stuff that carried a jail sentence, you will have to take my word for it that she is not missed.

I don't know whether it was a parting shot, someone else or what but someone was outside today taking pictures of the cars outside Nice Mr Next Door's house.

Here we go again!

Little bear is full of presents

Dear heaven, little bear has lots. He is the only child in the family, he has his birthday four days away from Christmas and he blatantly and transparently loves his presents. This includes a lovely nativity colouring book which has been thoroughly examined and attacked, thank you Morgan. That is incredibly kind of you.

You see, that is one reason little bear attracts presents. He genuinely loves all presents. He was thrilled with the colouring book. He was thrilled with the educational card game. After OH had taken down the huge toy castle to make way for the even bigger train set, little bear is thrilled with ALL his presents. The train set is HUGE and there is potential for add ons.

SIL dropped in yesterday. She had already given him two sets of dressing up (he has slept in both) and a bumble bee transformer helmet (if you don't know, don't ask) but just popped in with a few other things. Little bear glowed with joy. I think I might have glowed with bafflement - she bought him bedding. It is gorgeous bedding, but it just seems a little odd. Little bear, of course, loves it!.

I shall be tripping over stuff for weeks now.

Evil cat sucks

Poor old evil cat, at her time of life. She is elderly. Little bear had left some sausage and she wanted it sooooo much. I caught her giving it a determined suck.

Yes, of course I chopped it and put in in her bowl. And it vanished!

Her teeth are just not up to much any more. However her temper is alive, well and as strong as ever as I have some really good, vivid and long lasting scratches from a dispute over who sat on the chair...

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Digging up the Past Chapter Nine

Chapter Nine is up

The last 240 words took me a week. I need to work on this.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Popping in

Little bear, now that there is no longer a gate on his door, has decided that he wants to sleep downstairs with mummy. I am sleeping on the sofa due to arm.

So in the middle of last night, as he has for the last few nights, little bear comes stomping downstairs, slams the door at the bottom of the stairs, takes over the sofa so I end up sleeping on the chair, and goes to sleep. We are both exhausted.

He was gorgeous at his nativity, he is currently clingy but I am sure things will turn out okay.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Side effects

As part of the clutterbusting in the bathroom I emptied an elderly bottle of shower gel (gift) into the handwash container and diluted it a little.

I am not sure I did it right, to be honest. Every time I try and squirt it the stuff comes out as if it was fired from a water cannon.

Operation Clutterbust 10

We have 'done' two six foot high, three foot wide bookcases.

The process is that we take all the books off, then one of us will go and put back all the ones they actually want - not the ones that they think someone else might and not the ones that they think that they ought, just the ones that they want. And if you want to keep a book you do not have to justify it, it is enough that you want it.

There is at least three times that amount of books still to go through, and it is like painting the Forth Bridge before the new paint, but it is a good feeling.

It always raises some interesting questions. There are the books you really want to read but haven't yet, there are the reference books and the books that are hard to replace. However I found we had somehow acquired a multitude of copies of the Imitation of Christ. I don't remember ever buying them, I am confident that OH or darling father didn't - so where did they come from? And while 'The Imitation of Christ' isn't necessarily solely Roman Catholic book, neither myself, OH or any of either of our immediate family are Roman Catholic. I know one or two that were inherited, and I have kept them. The rest have gone.

Anti Clutterbust 3

Matalan are selling some gift wrap at 3 for the price of two. I didn't see the exact price, but Matalan are usually extremely reasonable when it comes to price.

A few years ago I bought similar wrap. It is sort of sparkly, either gold or silver and with a sort of holographic effect. And it is completely neutral. I bought a shed load and it has served well for birthday's and Christmases for a while, because it can be used for either. It is also quite good quality, it wraps easily and we also have gift tags in both silver and gold, again useful for any occasion. We are coming to the end of that stock, and I am thinking of once again buying a vast quantity. In fact I am thinking of getting quite a few rolls as not only can I not think of any gift giving occasion when the wrap would not be suitable, but little bear is of an age when cutting up sparkly wrapping paper and sticking it to things is becoming increasingly attractive.

It is entirely in my nature to go and buy a dozen rolls, and I know that they will be used, be useful and not expire. But it's not really Clutterbust. I think that this is one of those times when I should go with my nature. Also, I shall perhaps get in on Boxing Day/27th when it may be a little less expensive.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Operation Clutterbust 9

OH is in a clearout mood, and what with moving a chair for darling father etc there was a lot of stuff to clear in the study - so I need to update the total by four bin bags and four bags of clothes etc to the clothes bank at the tip.

Then I couldn't stand the mess in the bathroom any longer. And because things have been disorganised there are lots of duplication and heaps - another black bin bag out of there.

And I am about to go down and see what I can do in the kitchen. The huge mound of cloth in the study is currently a huge mound of cloth in the kitchen, which will need to be sorted out.

However it will probably still be there when I make bacon butties tomorrow morning as in a few minutes I will start to get ready for OH's work do.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Must not shop

I forgot to take my happy pill last night and you could tell from what I bought in matalan. Given my iffy shoulder, knackered ankle and bad back, why did I buy a pair of four inch heels? Obviously they are boots with ankle supports, massive square heels, soles like army boots and more buckles than any respectable middle aged biddy should be wearing. Also 'fleece' lined.

No, I've no idea.

Little bear threw a huge tantrum at nursery. He did not want to stay at nursery without me. He needed me to look after him, he was not happy. When I moved away from him to another part of the room he kept checking out my position. When I went to leave he grabbed his coat and shot out, down the stairs and towards the door. It was awful. The nursery lady had to carry him away, screaming.

He didn't spot me at first when I came to pick him up. He was fine, he was having a great time and was pretty happy.

However he has expressed huge displeasure at the idea of mummy going out tomorrow evening! As it is the third time in his lifetime he can find it odd, but I can find it acceptable.

Anyway, I am tired, fed up, low and in the mood for shopping. No-one let me near ebay.

(Also, with a drawer that won't close properly full of little bear's pyjamas, why did I buy him two more pairs?)

Bear nap

Little bear did not want to go to nursery today. As soon as the idea was mooted he was not happy, he didn't want to go to nursery, he was too poorly, his leg hurt...
'There's going to be a party and Santa might be there.' I said.
'I go on my scooter, I go really fast, we get dressed now. I lub Santa!'

So I leave him to have the small sandwiches that he was going to force down for lunch while I check the weather online. I was allowing myself 45 minutes to have him eat, get him dressed etc. When I go back he had fallen asleep.

I'll get him there in time for the party.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Nooks and crannies

Morgan - Our house is around 100 years old, give or take, and brick built end back to back terrace. It is in a bit of an odd sort of mix. There are awful looking council houses that are built oddly, old just about not slum brick terraces, some rather nice thirties semi-detacheds, business parks, industrial estates and farms within half a mile of here.

The house itself is a funny mix. The bottom floor is half sunk into the ground and quite low ceilings, I think it was a cellar originally and is now a kitchen and dining room with a walk in cupboard (estate agent's description) which is actually about four foot wide or more and about ten feet long. Then above that are Edwardian high ceilings, two main rooms per floor up with the living room and study, little bear's room and darling father's room, also a bathroom that is small than some cars. Then up a really twisty staircase to OH's room and the junk room.

Realistically we are not making the most of our space. but we will get there, I am determined. There are less nooks and crannies than I would like, but then I am odd. A few yards down the road, a little further than little bear's nursery, is a house that I think originally was one house but now is two. It is odd, different from the other thirties terraces and industrial estate that are next to it, looks like four stories and at one point has sort of stairs that go up the outside of the building and seem to go nowhere. There are all sorts of jutting out bits and side bits. I am fascinated.

More than I can chew

I have definitely bitten off more than I can chew...

I wanted to clear out the bottom cupboards in the corner as I haven't been in them for two years. There is a floor to ceiling built in cupboard, around a foot deep and around three foot wide, divided into two halves. We have never really been able to use it properly as there has always been furniture against it. In the bottom half of the cupboard was craft stuff (that much I knew) though not sure of what ilk, and I wanted to empty it, sort it and put the Christmas decorations (plus any other seasonal stuff like Halloween) in there. The top cupboard is going to hold drinks and as we now eat in the living room there is going to be a tray with salt, pepper etc.

Little bear heard me talking about this...

Little bear has never been allowed in the top cupboards, I was worried about trapped fingers etc. I think his imagination has populated it with magical wonders. As for the bottom cupboard, that was indeed a place of mystery. I warned him if we was there that he would have to be careful as there were lots of sharp things so at 7.30 this morning he was there, wearing silicone oven gloves and declaring that he was careful and was wearing gloves for protection and can we do the cupboards now please.

Finally we started. Darling father stayed out of it, sensibly. First we had to move the sofa. Now, I am being all precious about my shoulder, and I am having trouble sleeping comfortably, so why I thought it was a good idea to pull around all the furniture in the living room while darling father was out I have no idea, but my shoulder has survived remarkably well, and it has also been quite sturdy when reaching in for things.

Actually, not much of the living room furniture is in the same place it was this morning what with moving a sofa that is a little bit big for the room. And the sofa was an adventure all in itself as not only did I find expected rubbish but two audio books I think OH would like but cannot recall when they came into the house. Also two folding, adjustable table that will come in really useful.

I have found all sorts of stuff in the bottom cupboard, mainly counted cross stitch which I haven't done for years. It is just not safe at the moment with little bear, though I will be having another go in a year or two. I am not getting rid of a lot of that, because I found quite a few kits that I really wanted to do. I also found a lot of half started projects...

I can't reach all the shelves of the top cupboard but I have found another box full of bric a brac (will update after they go) and a vast quantity of candles I didn't know I had. I found huge quantities of knitting supplies, lots of odds and ends and I have two bin bags to add to the total.

I am taking five minutes and then I shall have to go back and carry on. I have emptied a lot out of the cupboards, but I need to find a temporary home for the bric a brac, I need to clean where the sofa has been (little bear was far too impatient to allow that earlier), I need to relocate a lot of stuff temporarily to the junk room and I need to put the furniture back.

After I got rid of a lot of boxes I haven't got a suitable box for the bric a brac. Darn.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Operation Clutterbust 8

A while ago I bought mini naan breads for OH. I don't particularly like them but he said he did.

Today I threw out thirty of them - a warning not to second guess OH's taste and to STOP OVER STOCKING!

Also I have been through my cupboard. I've thrown some stuff out and rearranged others. This includes a jar of pickled red cabbage that I made before little bear was born.

I never used to leave it to get this bad. I can't let this carry on.

False alarm?

I haven't inspected the place where they parked, and I am not sure exactly what is happening, but the men with the road working equipment have gone. I don't know if they are the same ones who previously dumped surplus tarmac (gratefully received).

The road at the side of us is a ripper of exhausts and a bumpy 1 in 4 slope, with potholes and rubbish plus some enterprising parking. It is privately owned and recently up for sale @ £2,000. It got no takers - apparently one of the conditions of sale was to make it possible to drive on safely.

Could be a good thing?

Men with road working equipment have been parked outside our house. As the street surface is the worst I have ever seen in an urban environment, surely anything they do has to be a good thing, right?

Except that I am a pessimistic cynic, and also, we (or the mortgage) own part of the road, it is on the deeds. I don't want an unexpected bill.

Well, working noises are happening but not directly outside, so we shall see what we shall see.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Little bear 'is helping'

I have updated the bin bag total. It would have been seriously more if little bear had co-operated. Now my shoulder is grumbling. I don't know how much I should indulge it as it feels like a spoilt brat at the moment.

And my ironing currently can fit in a small basket! This is unheard of. I am sure it will change soon, and you won't believe the dirty washing I have found.

Clutterbust concerns

The bin men are on strike. Something to do with severe weather payments, apparently.

Well, I can see where they could be coming from, but darn and poot!


The bin men have not been for some time.

However I have done token clutterbusting and I have thrown out, in the bin in the kitchen, a lacy maid's apron. Don't ask. But it had a watermark where the cupboard had flooded and I had no idea what to do with it, so out it went.

I would feel a lot less uncomfortable about it if the local cats hadn't raided the dustbin and left lace trailing all over the garden. I dread to think what the neighbours think.

The things cats say

I am marginally aware that cats don't talk, though they can be extremely effective communicators. But I am currently completely addicted to lol cats, those funny pics of cats with humorous captions. If anyone hasn't seen this site and has a few days to spare...

One of their latest has a pic of an irritated looking cat with the caption, 'If you fell into a pond they would be skimming stupid off the surface for a week.'

I think that is such a good put down. I may memorise and steal.

Digging up the Past Chapter Eight

Chapter Eight is up.

I have deliberately not described the wedding. I may do references to it in conversations as the story goes on, but I could not think of anything in the wedding that would advance the plot.

Also, I am half way through the attempted word count, and despite my dismissive attitude, I am not sure I have enough plot to take it to fifty thousand.

We will see.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Tired and desperate

I was 'just looking' at Amazon, and found somehow that FOUR books on how to cut clutter had somehow found their way into my basket...

No, no, no!


Not sleeping well, aches & pains, little bear, etc etc.

I am hoping that this explains why I bought £50 worth of knitting books from Amazon. None of the books were expensive. I have absolutely no idea what possessed me.

I just hope I get the benefit of them. It may take me some time.

Thinking about it, I did see a book called 'how to stop shopping'. Perhaps that should have gone into the order as well.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Santa Who?

OH took little bear to see Santa at a nearby garden centre while I did the first few hours of ironing.

I saw them get out of the car and I wondered what had happened. Both of them looked exhausted and fed up. Little bear was clutching a cement mixer and looking even more tired than normal.

It turns out that they had queued for one hour and forty five minutes. OH said that by the end little bear was practically in tears. There is a photo of him on the desk next to me. It has Santa Claus plus little bear looking like he has just been told that Christmas has been cancelled, but he will still get a token lollipop if he smiles NOW.

I don't think I could put them through it next year.

Clean or clutterbust?

I have a blister on my hand from ironing. I have spent most of the day at the task. This has increased the washing pile with the 'darn, that stain didn't come out two years ago' items. I am more before hand with my ironing than I have been since before little bear was born. I still have ironing, just less. This is cleaning, or housewifery.

It is also clutterbusting as I have already pulled out a bin bag of clothes to go to the clothes bank (not adding it to total until it actually gets there) and hope to add more. Also I plan to get the last few bits of ironing done tomorrow (I guess a mere two hours) so that I can fold down the ironing board with a clear conscience knowing that OH has shirts for a week. The room has been too cluttered for me to risk putting the board down as I wasn't sure I would be able to get it back up without a serious battle. So I plan to take down the ironing board, clear, clutterbust and clean.

I fully expect to find another day's worth of ironing minimum once I get beyond the heaps. There is also a massive box full of old papers that have been downstairs for three years, untouched. I am planning to supervise little bear shredding - he lubs it. I really miss my old filing cabinets. Ideally I want to shred all documents that I possibly can, keeping the important ones and putting all reference numbers etc (but not passwords) into a file in Google Docs.

But then I can sort, stack etc in the dining room and walk in cupboard. At the moment I can't find things - like black bin sacks. We have a plethora of them, but somewhere, not in a logical place. That will, hopefully, change.

Also, I have been told that my sister in law will be babysitting on Saturday. I need to disinfect the house. All the house. Even the bits she will never see. I need to clean behind the wallpaper.

Also, I want to empty a cupboard that I have not opened in several years and have only the haziest recollections of what is in there. I put a lot of craft stuff in there, but the sofa is wedged against it and I haven't been in there for a while. I am not looking forward to it, to be honest, as I expect damp and mice have wreaked some havoc. But I want it clear to put the Christmas decorations in after Christmas and I want to empty it when darling father isn't around. He could well be forthright.

Does anyone want to bet on me having enough energy for all of this? Especially as I am too tired to write (have the next big chunk clear in my mind) and almost too tired to walk? I think I shall aim for self contained segments. Little bear permitting.

How warm?

There was a bee on the outside of little bear's bedroom window yesterday.

I know it is a little warmer but I did blink and look closer. Poor thing looked shocked, but it was 'washing its face' if you know what I mean, so was alive, and as I couldn't believe my eyes I looked closely to see that it wasn't a wasp but a bee.

Just thought - what's happened to the chimney? Too cold to go and look.

Gate on door

Little bear gave another six o'clock shout. Six o'clock isn't early to many, my sister in law would often consider it obscenely late, but she has early nights. I prefer late nights/late mornings and I am short on sleep anyway. Also I had trouble getting to sleep last night.

Tomorrow morning he will awake to a closed door gate!

Also, he is coughing. At least I have cough medicine in, suitable for his age.

Dear heaven, no-one let me near ebay....

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Knitting gets me cross

I bought a knitting magazine - I should not have bought this magazine as it is an anti clutterbust move and spends money, but there was a rather nice man's sweater on the cover. I quite liked the pattern, you cast on eg thirty stitches, then increase into every stitch for the first row, then knit two together, purl two together etc for the second and repeat. I am already planning on trying it on a scarf. However it is heavy on the wool and for darling uncle it would take @ 1950g of yarn, which is a lot.

The yarn that they recommend is £7.95 for 100g. Give or take, that sweater would cost £150 - one hundred and fifty pounds!!!! Actually I think it justifies even more exclamation marks!!!!!!!

One hundred and fifty pounds. Or just under two months council tax (maybe one and a half months when next year's bill comes).

I remember when knitting was a way of getting affordable warm clothes.

Morgan - I am glad that you are feeling better, I hope you get plenty of rest. I have finished the pompom scarf and will post a picture as soon as I can remember where my camera is. Let me know how the cancan goes. Hester also recommends this. Actually, I shouldn't buy any more yarn, but who am I kidding.

Little bear continues. He had me totally blindsided this evening, as I ended up in an indepth discussion about the ownership of a sheet of reward stickers (he did a wee in his potty!) Finally I chased him upstairs for bedtime, and as he started up he gave me a cheeky grin - and handed me the remote that he had hidden under his top. I never even saw it disappear there, he managed to misdirect me and stash it.

Little bear is not so good

So far he has, before 9am...

Woken me at six
Fought over ever morsel that has gone through his lips, either for (chocolate biscuits) or against (cereal)
Frozen the computer, I thought he had finished it
Found a Christmas present (OH doesn't always hide things well) and forced me to try and disentangle the 10 Thomas the Tank Engine jigsaws packed together. (Thanks, jigsaw maker, I know that the biggest only had 49 pieces but it is just what my sleep deprived brain didn't need)
Insisted that he is too poorly to go anywhere
Insisted that he NEEDS to go to town
Insisted that he NEEDS to get dressed
Insisted that we go to the German market (not sure that it is still on!)
Insisted that he NEEDS a rest before getting dressed...

OH is still in bed. He had a bad night with a cough that could saw wood. He is really poorly.

I am feeling a bit battered.

Also, the norovirus here is, apparently, enjoying the novelty of attacking the respiratory system, so OH has a really, really bad chest. Little bear has just started coughing. Which means that the break of him going to nursery, which I am absolutely desperate for, is not likely to happen. I can't send him there with a norovirus.

I am wracking my brains for ideas now to keep little bear amused.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Little bear is good

Actually, despite the knitting incident, little bear has been really good today. We painted the decorations which have almost worked. We have cuddled and played. He has explained things to me (still no idea what he was saying, but he was very earnest). He has been a monster about my knitting, but I can deal with that. Really I should have been giving him attention and he is full of energy.

One breakthrough today - he is staying in his room even with the gate open, when asked. We may be able to get rid of the gate soon. I would much rather trust him. I have done all I can to make the kitchen safe. Actually I have done all I can to make the whole house safe, he is nearly four, it is time to trust him.

Also, for various non argument reasons, there is usually someone sleeping on the sofa which means that any wanderings are not likely to go unnoticed.

It is a big milestone though, and I have a little lump in my throat.

Beaten by yarn, dammit!

Morgan - I hope you are feeling better soon. It is such a dreadful time to get the lurgy as well. I hope you are being properly looked after. I am sending hugs.

As for cancan yarn - I have looked at it warily. Normally I try and stick to 1p per gramme, so it is a bit much for me. But I may yet get giddy, especially if I can get a good deal.

I have just had a sobering lesson, however, from some pom pom yarn. It's not the expensive Rico stuff that is a LOT more than 1p per gramme. It is a more economical version, but still the big pompoms with string between them. You can't cast on, you just have to wrap the yarn around the needle. That took nerve, but I started off okay. Six stitches give a width of around six inches, so the scarf (pattern from the ball band) grew quickly. Actually I was quite enjoying it.

Then little bear shouted at me, as he was bored with me just knitting and not cuddling him (he is not so poorly today but no-one else has any energy to wear him out) and grabbed the knitting. He was suitably reprimanded and I only lost a few rows before being able to pick it up and carry on. Then I tried to cast off. Dearie, dearie me. If little bear hadn't been in the room I would have turned the air blue. As far as I can tell the instructions in English were translated from the German by someone who doesn't really speak either language well but has a cheap English/German dictionary. It didn't work the first time, and trying to undo and pick up was a mare. The second time it didn't work and I managed to pick up from a bit further down. The third time I had to frog the lot.

So I settled down with evil mutterings to have another go. If I can get the hang of it, one scarf will probably only take an hour. However the yarn had got tangled. That in itself is not a problem. I used to buy bangs of tangled aran and double knitting from Leeds market and spend happy hours untangling and winding them, safely away from felines. They were often less than 1p per gramme and I had some really lovely wool and cotton mixes from there. But if you have thin yarn with thick blobs two inches long you have a problem untangling. It all sort of winds around yourself and if the loops get pulled tight you can't pull the free end through because it is full of thick blobs.

I am seriously considering writing off the yarn because I cannot untangle it. It is currently a good contender for the next Dr Who monster. And it was around £4 - a moment of madness that I am beginning to regret.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Little bear has to be joking

2am this morning little bear had a nightmare. So I spent some time cuddling him, then he woke up again at 4am when he demanded an ice lolly. At this point I abandoned any attempt to be a loving mother and told him that mummy was going to sleep and he could sleep in his bed or on the arm chair but I wasn't moving. So he slept in the chair. I had several hours of vaguely surfacing, checking he was alright, drifting off again and repeat. I am sleeping on the sofa as I can prop myself up and protect my arm.

This morning, @ 9am, he was sitting in said armchair eating an ice lolly and wearing sunglasses.

He 'helped' me decorate (more or less) some cakes and 'helped' me thread polystyrene packing peanuts onto a long piece of cotton for us to paint for decorations tomorrow. He insisted on having a go with the needle. I know it was a blunt ended crewel needle but I was watching that needle so closely for the half dozen he threaded before he got bored that I gave myself a headache.

Actually he has been in a lovely, if tired, mood today, so long may that continue!

Pity Party

I am feeling low. I am tired, OH is really poorly but working from home (and likely to stay poorly for forseeable future as a result), little bear is being little bear and it is feeling tough.

I have been thinking about how often I have been out of the house since 3 November when I hurt my arm. That may be the problem. I have not been out of the house at all since we returned from Pickering 25 Nov apart from the trip to A&E. Before Pickering there was the trip to physio, which I actually enjoyed even if I did nearly pass out. I could relax on the bus (didn't relax in Pickering, not possible).

However today my snow boots arrived, and if OH is at all half way fit then I am going to risk a trip to town on Saturday. That will really cheer me up. I shall have hot chocolate and a cake and then possible find myself near a yarn shop - it's a million to one chance!

I also want to pop into a charity shop to rummage in their bargain basement bin for woollies that are not fit to wear. I plan to unravel them and use them for cushion stuffing. Little bear be happy to help, I am sure.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

This is getting silly

OH has been to the drs and has been told he has a norovirus. Which explains the identical symptoms of two other people in his office in a short space of time. Work being how it is, he is working from home. I suppose that is better than nothing.

Of course little bear is pink cheeked and tired. I am not going to mention all the things I am feeling as I am working on the theory that if I ignore them they will go away.

Those of you who are good at swearing, please say a few words for me.

Little bear is explaining

Little bear was present when the postie delivered a parcel. It should, theoretically, contain a jigsaw for one of his presents. He, of course, wanted to open it.

I explained that it wasn't for him and pointed to my name on the front. Little bear looked at me with infinite patience. 'We need to share.' he said gently.

He still didn't get his paws on it but it raised a smile.

Approved Food

Approved Food has just delivered. The three bottles of fairy liquid included in the order should last me until March. The assorted crisps will probably not last nearly as long.

I am searching out deliveries of groceries and general stocking up for Christmas. The kitchen will burst. I am going to be scratching round to find space for it all.

However I have just emptied into the sugar canister the last bag of sugar which was part of a pallet I got around ten years ago. It is, of course, still perfectly fine and free running. But it seems an odd thought to actually have to buy sugar. I don't take sugar, neither does OH or darling father, so it only goes down with baking really which is intermittent and not always sugar heavy.

Little bear is extremely mucky and very happy. He has helped me bake a coconut bread, he has scraped the bowl (still wearing some of it) and he has had had a chocolate biscuit (still wearing some of that as well. And he has both slippers on, which is a major breakthrough!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Little bear's bathtime routine

When we first got home from the hospital with little bear, we set up a routine. From the very first night we went upstairs around 7pm, changed him, bathed him, fed him while OH read a story and then kissed him good night and left him to sleep. He often went to sleep during his night time feed in those days.

However little bear is a tough negotiator and uses any stop gap and distraction to create a precedent. So the evening routine is now somewhat extended.

First of all OH takes little bear upstairs to brush his teeth and wash. Then they go up to the top bedroom 'to look out of the window' which originally was a distraction technique which has expanded to include playing with mummy's musical jewellery box and contents, unscrewing and putting back together a duck headed walking stick, naming the parts of a sword (a lovely, blunt, faux replica I got for OH one year), finding the naughty ring (it is a costume jewellery ring which OH is adept at palming) and tonight also including playing Santa games on Daddy's laptop.

I have to go to the toilet at this point, little bear insists that I go as soon as they have come down from the top bedroom. On bath night there is a bath, otherwise this stage is skipped. There then follows a full on battle to get him into his pyjamas when he can be either defiant or playfully mischievous but he is not co-operative and OH has to deal with this bit at the moment with an iffy shoulder. Then he chooses two stories (negotiated up from one, we managed to put a lid on three), and then Ratatouille (with OH's voice) sings Humpty Dumpty, Jack and Jill and then the alphabet forwards and backwards. Then it is vitamins, and kisses and lights out. Recently the only way to settle him without hysteria was for me to give him a sing. It started off with one song. I lost count of how many tonight. I always start off with Scarborough Fair, followed by Johnny Todd and Molly Malone. Tonight I was scraping the barrel of my memory for any sort of songs by the end.

Then OH and I stagger downstairs. We are doing something wrong.

Little bear is pushing his luck again

The plan was that little bear attended nursery full time this week. This was to give me a break and help rest the shoulder. Hah!

This morning little bear's first words were 'I'm NOT going to nursery - again, again, again!' That was a bad omen.

I got little bear dressed and ready to go out apart from his boots, coat, hat & gloves. OH got up and dressed. All was going okayish, until it became time to leave. Little bear had a meltdown! 'I too poorly, I too tired, I want to go doctors, I want to sleep on sofa, I need cough medicine (hasn't need this for months!), I need to go get milkshake, little boy roars at me...'

OH unfortunately also succumbed to stress. I have no idea exactly how I got them out of the door, but it did involve taking a jar of honey with him to nursery. By this time I was a complete nervous wreck. I was also convinced that he had not only woken the neighbours but also the next street. At the nursery he screamed, cried and physically clung on to OH. He had to be prised off by one of the lovely ladies there.

When I rang an hour later he was having a great time.

The owner of the nursery, who I completely trust, said that there was no evidence of him being poorly (which I agree) and that there was a little boy of the name little bear uses but they actually were in separate rooms. I believe there was an incident a month or more ago, but it looks like little bear is using it as a fall back excuse. She mentioned that she had seen little bear in a face off with another boy and little bear had had no problems in standing his ground (and I can believe that after the horror of this morning).

As far as I can see the main problem is that little bear was actually tired. He insisted on being sung to sleep again tonight and I let him get away with that, but he was looking exhausted. He was almost dead on his feet when he got home tonight. I need to find some way of shortening his bedtime routine (which is getting to the 'over an hour' stage not including the bath) to let him get enough rest. And if he doesn't go to nursery he can try staying home and playing on the computer. He hasn't been exposed to the rationing yesterday (not enough time before bedtime) and today (computer broke all day until OH fixed it after tea).

Tomorrow the plan is that he stays at home in the morning and I assess the chances of falling in the afternoon. If I fall I risk more than a bruised ego, though I am getting a little more confident. I have promised baking tomorrow morning. I am wondering about trying to coax a nap tomorrow afternoon instead of nursery. By Friday afternoon, the time after tomorrow he is due in, he should be more rested.

I feel really selfish, but I feel I could have really done with the break.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Operation Clutterbust 7

Darling father is a whirlwind, as normal. He has hung up new curtains - the ones that I made years before little bear was born to replace those I made when we moved into the house in 1994. The ones that have been thrown out are not even fit for rags, and after all, they were made from a remnant from Ellesmere Port market, bought around 1980. They looked very nice when they first went up.

I am stuck on the writing and I am going to go and knit, which will at least reduce the pile of yarn.

Password please

Our computer is now password protected.

Yesterday, due to a lack of communication between me and OH, little bear spent hours playing games on the internet on the Sesame Street site. And he threw the most enormous tantrum when we took him off it, which led to him being put in his room for a while as he was incandescent. And then he demonstrated that he could get back on the internet without too much trouble.

One of his presents - birthday - is a Vtech 'laptop' that apparently is linked to the National Curriculum. Oops.

OH and I have agreed, only 30 minutes computer time per day. I am off to scour all the sites I can to find stuff I can distract him with.

Now I need to get the computer to unremember my password for ebay!

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Digging up the Past Chapter Seven

Chapter Seven is up.

And I've had a review! I am hoping that I can get more. It was a really helpful one as well, and I hope to think on it a lot more.

Also, memo to self, never have a story filled with archaeologists when it takes you so long to spell the damn word.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Little bear is devious

My elder brother visited today and brought with them quantities of goodies from darling uncle. This included an advent calendar with chocolates in.

We were being very firm. Little bear could only have one chocolate per day, no more. Little bear whispered to OH that perhaps when my brother had gone they could eat all the chocolates in one go...

This is not the first display of cunning re treats. At Pickering we left little bear in the care of darling father and went to get some logs. While we were out little bear suggested to darling father that the custard tart left behind that was marked for me was actually fair game. 'We could share it, Grandad, and you could cut it in half.'

We are going to have to watch him.

Health update

Shoulder is a lot better after over thirteen hours sleep, though I could sleep now if I was given a chance.

OH has moved the furniture for me, which is brilliant, and looked after little bear and generally been a hero.

Fingers crossed I will have a good night's sleep as well tonight and then I will be fighting back. I know there are people in much worse situations. I think I am suffering from an acute attack of self pity. The best medication is writing and I shall do that just as soon as I can.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Self indulgent grumble

I wanted to get the Novel in November done - bang! That's gone. I would have had something of a chance even with the holiday, and I do feel bad about it, but stuff happens.

I wanted to Clutterbust and I wanted to work towards a cleaner, tidier house. Well I was getting back on track but I guess that is going to be fun now. I have just got more or less up to date with the washing. Guess how much ironing is heaped up and how much I am not looking forward to it. And I have done one double cupboard in the kitchen, and I have been baking, and now reaching into cupboards and lugging round sacks of rubbish do not appeal. Every time I get a little further I seem to slide back.

I am grossly overweight which has not been helped by the comfort eating I have been doing lately.

Something I haven't previously blogged about. I had planned to sell scarves on ebay. I have lots of scarves, they are relatively straightforward to knit, they can be done while I am twitchy and need something in my hands but they don't need the sort of concentration that stops me talking/playing/breaking off and helping little bear. I have two sacks of scarves. Being me they all need the ends sewing in and they are in an eclectic range, with mainly weird fur ones but also stripey, ribbed, ruffled and loopy. I 'play' with scarves. I have it all planned out and I was going to register as a business on ebay and as self employed (not that I expected to make much money but I wanted to do it properly). But I am certainly not up to the photographing, arranging, listing and - crucially - going to the Post Office in this weather. btw I had originally planned to get these listed at the beginning of November, just as the shoulder went. Perhaps next week...

I had finally had a decent bath, I love bubble baths! Now I am scared because getting out of the bath could be iffy. Back to unsatisfactory showers.

It could be worse. I am right handed and it is my left shoulder that is affected. I can touch type, though it is making my shoulder ache, and there is nothing life threatening wrong. So many people are in a worse place. I know that it is not really so bad. I can manage the ironing in short bursts, so I don't have an excuse, I can still move things further forward. However I am reserving the right to grumble.

The good side - I shall keep working on Digging up the Past, and I have ideas for a sequel to that!

Good news

Good news - it's probably only a frozen shoulder. I can't do anything and it hurts but it could be a lot worse. They have xrayed me and I definitely am okay in the location department.

And the doctor recommended the yule log in Costa Coffee while OH was getting my pain killer prescriptions and she was right, it was very pleasant indeed.

Darling father was out when we came back. Hope he gets in in one piece.
I am starting to type this at 4.44 am but don't know how long it will take me to type. At 4am I woke up after sleeping on my left side. I can't move my left arm properly and I think I have dislocated it again. If not dislocated then damaged it. I am typing this one handed and shivering, as of course I am in my night things.

I can't see any point in waking OH before 7, and I am feeling pretty desperate.

I don't know what to think. On the one had there is a certain amount of movement, and I can move my fingers. But as it becomes stiffer it becomes more and more painful if the shoulder is not supported.

My weird sense of pain isn't helping me here either.

Truthfully - I feel desperate, exhausted, cold and completely lost. I can't keep going through this, I can't look after little bear or darling father, I can't keep asking OH to do things.

Fingers crossed for me please - that it is just sleep.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Novel in November

Missed it by a mile, and I do feel a little bit that it wasn't my fault. Not entirely. But excuses are a bit pathetic on this, so I shall just try and get Digging up the Past done at a 2,000 words per day rate. I am really disappointed with myself.

After that is finished I am planning on alternating days when I write for fiction net and days when I write something I hope to get published - if any one knows any publishers or agents please point them in my direction. I also intend to only post up on a Sunday, so there is a decent amount up at a time. Hopefully the rhythm will get me a bit further.

I really appreciate the support, thank you!


OH made it home in one piece, he was sent home early and I was desperately grateful. He will be, thankfully, working from home for the next few days so I won't have so much access to the computer, so fewer posts. I am just glad he doesn't have the commute.

Little bear is not a happy little bear, and doesn't know what he wants but he wants it NOW. I suspect the pirotin (sp?) for little bear's eczema has made him a bit grumpier.

I plan to forge ahead with my knitting. Also anything else I can do tomorrow while trying to stop little bear from disturbing his father at work.

I will be glad when the weather lifts.

Kitchen nightmares

I am not taking little bear to nursery, the snow is falling with vigour. However I promised him that I would let him bake a cake with me.

I need to now go downstairs and try and find all the kit before cooking happens. I am hoping to do the weetabix cake, which is a nice snack on a day like today.

Then there will be the long, long clear up.

Morgan - Thank you

Morgan - I hope to coax a nice letter for you from little bear. Not only did your sticker books keep a small fragment of sanity during the holiday but they are now part of the arsenal of keeping little bear on the potty until he has done something.

Thank you again.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Snow and fear

Fear one - I am terrified of slipping in the snow. I have so far in my lifetime sprained both ankles, dislocated a toe and both shoulders - one shoulder three times now - sprained a wrist and I have suspicions that something iffy happened to a thumb. I also have a dicky, clicky knee. I think to be concerned about slipping in the snow is a reasonable concern. I shall probably give it another week, then pluck up my courage and get out again. The big problem is that I have an extremely steep slope one side of the house that is impractical to attempt if iced up. On the other side is an unadopted road, full of potholes which, if last year is a guide, will be ice, covered by snow. Of course cars belt up and down leaving some really awful patches of compacted snow, ice and pothole and there are some lovely areas that favour black ice just by the end of the road. Even the pavement outside our house has a slope to steep for the guidelines, and the pavement doesn't extend all along the road.

Fear two - I dread OH driving to work in these conditions. He hates driving in snow, he has to travel on lots of B roads and the approach to work is a B road up a hill to a place where all the neighbours are sheep in fields. I am fairly confident he is a good enough driver to be safe. But he is going to be exhausted and fed up. All the good work of a break is about to be undone in twenty four hours. Also last year cost us a gear box.

Fear three - darling father insists on going out. I admit that his joints are probably more robust than mine, but he is eighty next birthday. Tomorrow, despite seeing a weather forecast full of snow, he is insisting on going into town on the bus. I shall be on pins until he is safely back.

Fear one is really just smoke and mirrors. I can take a common sense approach and a steady pace and I will be fine. Fears two and three are a bit more grounded in reality. Darling father will not be without his paper under any circumstances. Last year he fell and, apart from being a bit stunned, was fine. But I am on edge every time he goes out.

And of course there is a battle with little bear looming. So far I have let him get away with short sleeves, but it is now just too cold and I think I need to be firmer. On the other hand he was wandering round in bare feet today. I could not convince him to wear slippers and his feet were icy.

And I can't help worry about darling uncle, on his own, who refuses to try and get the temperature of his home above 10 degrees Centigrade.

Roll on spring when I can find other things to worry about.

Anti Clutterbust 2

Fed up...

Two balls of yarn only coming in the post. Plus some games for little bear, some vests (he finally agrees to wear one, no idea why but as he currently won't wear long sleeves I'll take it), and some bits for OH.

Darling father cleared some more out of his room today so that there was another black bin sack of extra rubbish (mine, not his) to go. That doesn't balance it, not really.

Besides, I have the last Approved Food order of the year coming (weather permitting) and I have just taken delivery of a HUGE Asda order, that is supposed to carry me through until January. Mr S didn't show as they were worried about the weather. It was only a few bits, including brandy butter, that I couldn't get from Asda, and tbh I can always make my own - it just never tastes as good.

My kitchen is even more stuffed, even without Mr S's contribution, and it may go pop. I shall have to do more sorting. My arm is almost back to normal, give or take a twinge, but I am still treating it with respect.

Tomorrow I am going to gently, and in quiet stages, clear the living room and rearrange the furniture - to a certain extent. I don't mind dragging light chairs one handed but the metal filing cabinets are staying put! At least that is the plan.

Little bear calls his daddy's bluff

OH knows I am blogging this and has asked me to be clear. He would never hurt a hair on little bear's head and doesn't even threaten to unless in an obviously playful way. I am the most physical of the disciplinarian's in this house as I have tapped the back of little bear's hand when he was refusing to take his fingers away from a plug and when he pulled evil cat's tail. Both times were designed to shock and not hurt, and both times were completely ineffectual as he just giggled. Darling father is always threatening little bear with a smacked bottom but he never laid a finger on me and I am confident that little bear is safe from all but tickles. OH does shout at little bear sometimes, but crumbles as soon as little bear is upset. Right...

We had tidied little bear's room while he was out at nursery. We told him to expect a surprise. 'Is it pink?' 'No.' 'Why not?' Well that put us in our place.

So we are getting ready for bed and little bear is having a lot of fun and refusing to allow OH to get him into his pyjamas, giggling and generally being nearly four. Then he stood next to OH and demanded medicine. For emphasis he pounded his fist on OH's knee. OH was obviously not hurt but told little bear not hit him, or 'I'll turn you upside down and bounce you.' Little bear couldn't stop giggling. He pounded on OH's knee again. 'Now, daddy!' OH looked at me in despair as the threat had been chosen to be lighthearted and not taken seriously. 'Now, daddy,' little bear repeated and thumped OH imperiously. 'Okay,' OH said, baffled. 'Ready...' 'Steady, Go!' little bear shouted and giggled manically as OH held him upside down and jiggled him up and down.

We are going to have to pick our words very carefully.

Monday, 29 November 2010

OH Clutterbusts

OH took the lead. He has a day booked off today, so while little bear went reluctantly to nursery we went upstairs. OH did the most, but three more bin sacks are out. We could do with pruning a lot of what is left, as I am confident Christmas and his birthday at the end of December will add a certain quantity of 'stuff' but we will do what we can when we can.

I appear to be almost out of coloured bags. I probably have loads, but just can't find them. However I am trying to attack the dining room where, under the heaps and mounds, I think I shall find further supplies.

On the other hand I have ordered a vast quantity of groceries to be delivered. If they turn up - which is not a give due to too much weather - both Asda and Sainsburys should deliver some time between 2pm and 4pm. I do not want to do much more in the way of shopping after that, planning on getting everything else from local shops.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Little bear learns bad habits

I love little bear. He is a happy soul. However he is learning such bad things from me.

First of all he couldn't do things because of his 'bad leg'. This appeared after my torn ankle ligament and it was an intermittent condition that didn't slow him down but was trotted out every time he was asked to do something he didn't want to.

Then there was the poorly tummy. He is so rarely sick, thank goodness, that the last time made a huge impact. So now he regularly demands a 'big bowl' to be sick in. This is especially true if he is trying to prolong his bedtime. I think sometimes it is genuine, but I am usually unfeelingly sceptical.

Now he has a poorly arm which completely prevents him putting rubbish in the bin, and is rather a coincidence that it has appeared when I dislocated my shoulder. Previously it was his bad leg that meant he couldn't manage the two yards to the waste paper bin.

This morning I was getting him dressed and I asked him whether he had slept well. 'No, I had a bad night.' he said mournfully. Grandad's insomnia and Daddy's sleep apnoea here. As far as I can tell he had slept like a log. I asked him what he wanted for breakfast. 'I no want anything, I poorly.' he said sadly. Actually he had two bowls of cereal and cheered up remarkably. But I am going to have to be careful what I say in front of him.

Brand Names

Last night I slept on the study floor. I would like very much to add that I think this the best billet in the house. I have a thinnish mattress, peace and quiet and it is one of the warmest rooms in the house. It is also the best for my back. As it was forecast for a cold night I put a duvet under me and over me I put a slanket and a Cosy Pad blanket

Neither the slanket nor the Cosy Pad were inexpensive and they are the real deal, the brand names. However I was as snug as a bug in a rug. I was toasty. Around 6am I was woken by heartburn and got up to get something. Just sitting up in the room was incredibly cold! In this case paying the extra was definitely worth it.

I have a kettle. It must be at least ten years old, it is much older than little bear. I spent a fortune on it in a moment of madness. Not only does it still work really well but it is still really fast. I noticed it in Pickering. The perfectly adequate kettle in the cottage took twice as long, or more. During the time I have had this I estimate that my darling uncle has spent more on kettles because he buys the cheapest kettles from Tesco and they do not last (and take longer, and ours is one of those that has a flat element so you don't need to put in enough to cover the element, just the minimum for a cuppa). That was worth the money.

Then there is the matter of my pans. I spent an absolute fortune on my pans - I was almost shaking when I paid for them, and they were half price! However I am confident that they will outlast me.

I think that sometimes it is worth buying expensive, but the judgement call to work out what is worth spending on and what isn't is a hard one. But the above spends comfort me a little for the odd bargains I have that have not worked out quite as I thought.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Digging up the Past Chapter Six

Chapter Six is up.

Total - @ 18,500 and three days to go. The novel in November isn't looking good, but I am optimistic I will get near it.

Operation Clutterbust 6

I have just finished listing all the tins in the cupboard - which include such gems as ten tins of chopped tomatoes!

That is one small cupboard. I will put a total up when I get a chance. Now I need to assess eg packets, stock cubes, etc.

Also little bear helped and my arm survived though it is a bit sore now. It is going to be much better putting it all in a list and then knowing whether we need to add to the eight tins of tomato soup or not (really, I must have been away with the fairies).

Clutterbust confusion

The bins have been collected, but not the bric a brac.

Now I need to juggle my absolute psychological need to stock up against the coming chill with the full cupboards and need to use up some stuff. I shall do some stocking up, because there is no way that I am walking in the snow for another month, I daren't risk my arm. However I shall consider carefully what I stock up with.

Recently I have only been buying four toilet rolls at a time, as I want to keep all things pertaining to the bathroom in there and our bathroom is smaller than many cars. However I shall be buying a bigger pack next time, as that is one thing I could not bare to run short of. Also soap powder and tissues.

Obviously darling father's whiskey is important in this, plus lemonade. Also I want to try to feed the birds without feeding the local cats. Scarface Claw (also known as Oscar) is confined to quarters - he has been pulling all his fur so he is back in a cone of shame and inside. Other hunters, however, frequent these streets and I brought back a filled coconut from Pickering.

I think the first thing I need to do is log everything in my cupboards. With a sore arm and a low energy level that may be a challenge, but it is infinitely worth doing.

Net curtain twitching

I have missed being here.

I heard some knocks as I was getting dressed and looked out of the window, hopeful that it was someone who was picking up bric a brac. Alas, it was not. It was half a dozen police knocking (fairly politely) on the door of next door but one. There are two big hurry up vans parked outside as well. The child of Her Three Doors Down was stood outside watching with interest.

I finished dressing little bear, made darling father's tea, put away dishes, emptied a dehumidifier, grumbled about my arm and shoulder and then looked out again. The vans are still there, but no sign of the police.

Now, the story so far... The police were observed carrying out vast quantities of stuff, including bits of four huge marijuana plants. I was told they were marijuana as I am not an expert. They could have been aspidistras but police rarely confiscate those. A little while later, as I was passing the house, the lady of the house shot out, told me that the gentleman of the house had given her a black eye and shot back in again, and the police were then called. I have seen the gentleman of the house recently, and yesterday I was informed that he was one of a multitude that had rung the council complaining about lack of binmen, so I assume he is back in residence.

So it could be any of a number of reasons why there is such a strong police presence. I am not sure I shall find out the full information, but I shall keep my ears open.

The sad thing is that while it is wonderful to twitch the curtains and gossip, the eldest lad is coming up for seven. He will see all this and remember it. There is a real bond between the gentleman of the house and the two sons. The younger son is about four months younger than little bear, around three and one half, and he may or may not remember it, but he will be affected by the stress and upheaval. The twin girls, about a year and a half, will probably not remember but be similarly affected by all the horrible stuff going on. It is heartbreaking to think of them.

Friday, 26 November 2010

The Marine, Whitby

Our usual fish n chip shop in Whitby wasn't open, so we went to the Marine, because it was near and little bear was freezing.

It was fantastic. It was lovely and clean and gleaming. There was some pleasant and soothing jazz playing, and the atmosphere was brilliant. Little bear was not at his best, throwing a wobbler because he just wanted doughnuts and then deciding after the man had gone out of his way to make a vanilla shake for him that he wanted to be sick 'in a big bowl.'

Despite little bear's best efforts at being a brat, they were lovely to him.

And the food was fantastic, cooked to order and really, really tasty. I cannot recommend them enough.

(they were, in my inexperienced opinion) extremely reasonable in price as well).

Operation Clutterbust 5

I have a box of bric a brac waiting to be picked up tomorrow morning. I shall update my box when the stuff actually leaves the house. I don't like to count my chickens.

On the downside there have been no bin collections for several weeks. Here in Leeds, after a bin strike that left bins uncollected for weeks, new rotas have come in which in practice as they try and sort it out mean that bins are uncollected for weeks.

I really enjoyed being able to throw all sorts of stuff on the fire.

On a positive note, we have just come back from a small cottage in Pickering. It really is a tiny cottage, and of course there isn't much clutter. There are a minimal quantity of ornaments, a few things in cupboards and that is it. So we come home to our stuffed house and OH immediately feels like throwing lots of things out. All we need to do is take advantage of the recharge of our batteries and the instinct to minimalise and we can make huge inroads.

However I do feel that part of what we need to do is use stuff up rather than throw things out. I shall work on that next.


Physio was okay. Sort of. Mustn't grumble (actually it is compulsory for me to grumble on a regular basis, but not on this occasion).

I actually quite enjoyed the longest spell away from little bear I have had in nearly a fortnight, and a bus ride where I could sit in comfort on the lower deck instead of chasing a giggling little bear up the stairs. I went to a hospital I hadn't visited before which was interesting and thanks to the very clear directions that I had when I rang to make the original appointment I had no problems at all in finding the correct department.

When I got there the people were pleasant and the physio was friendly. The physio carefully put me through my paces and took all the relevant information and - almost unheard of in medicos, she listened to what I said. She also got a little nervous and I think far more alarmed when I nearly passed out - I think I nearly was away, and I am glad she caught me before I fell over.

Afterwards, feeling a little sore and fed up (and woozy) I stopped off for a cup of tea. That was my grumpy bit - I watched it being stirred with a dirty spoon, but decided that the hot water would kill most germs and the antibiotics would probably get the rest. Also the bus stop was a dangerous distance from the yarn shop - less than thirty yards. I just can't think how I came home with two balls of strange pompom wool that I cannot wait to get confused by and some glittery stuff that I had been coveting for some time. This glittery stuff will be ideal to wear in a scarf for OH's works Christmas do and that is of course the only possible reason I somehow ended up bringing it home and casting on a scarf that I had no right to cast on but I did need cheering up.

I am back to physio on 6 Dec. I am not entirely sure that I am looking forward to it, but it won't harm me, especially if I am accidentally lured into the yarn shop.

Back again

Back from Pickering a day early on account of snow. It was not too bad, but we came home before it got worse. Little bear and OH had a marvellous time, as did darling father.

Little bear is a bit too clear thinking. He is not four until after Christmas. When he was running up and down meowing OH asked if he was a cat. 'No, I me pretending to be a cat.'

We had a log fire going all day every day and I thoroughly enjoyed that. As our bins have not been collected for nearly a month, the thought of being able to burn all sorts of bits and bats is wonderful. Perhaps in the new year I can find the funds for a stove.

Little bear exhausted, swollen of tonsil and now diagnosed with eczema, through the most almighty tantrum last night and was asleep with exhaustion within five minutes of finally calming down. I felt like joining him. I shared a bed with him over the holiday and one morning he woke me up so early I could hear the owls.

Infection in arm continues.

I cannot imagine that I will get the word count for Novel in November done, but I managed, thanks to OH, to get just over 3,000 words done in while on holiday and I will get them posted up later.

Now off to physio, the first session after I dislocated my shoulder 3 November. It could be worse, I didn't get any last time I dislocated so I won't grumble. I shall just panic that I can't find the place in an unfamiliar hospital.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Looking for faces

Apparently comic artists often use a famous face as a 'reference' for a character, to keep the features constant. I have found that very useful in the past.

With The Forgotten Village and Digging up the Past, it hasn't been like that. I have a really, really strong image of Mike Doyle, but I suspect that it comes from a brief glimpse of an advert for an xbox game. I can't remember exactly where I saw it, but it is very vivid. Karen is quite like this person in looks, with a bit of that, and Darren is definitely almost like someone I worked with twenty years ago.

Last night I saw some of the England game. And suddenly I saw Joel. I had no strong image for him, but last night I saw Gourcuff for France. I know nothing about the man, I had never heard of him before, but his looks are quite close to how I see Joel, except Joel is more a rugby build and a little older.

And just think, all this writing gives me license to look at pictures of good looking men. What a hardship!

Drat and poot

I shouldn't really be sitting here. I have the same symptoms as I had when the dr diagnosed me with phlebitis in my leg. Where I have to keep the leg up. Not cramped on a typist's chair. Not tapping away at Chapter Six.

Ever feel that the universe is trying to tell you something?

Except that said 'phlebitis' - if it is that - is probably caused by long sitting on said typists chair and lack of other exercise. It is a symptom of my determination to do the challenge.

Having said that, I am currently hoping that I have enough plot to make 50,000 words. Raymond Chandler, when he was stuck, used to have a man with a gun enter the room. It may have caused a few hiccups on the plot line but it got him going. Watch out for men holding guns

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Digging up the Past Chapter Five

Chapter Five is up.

I am just under 14,000 words, or 36,000 words to hit the target. I've got a bit of a challenge. But it could be so much worse.

I am just about to start Chapter Six.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Digging up the Past Chapter Four

Chapter Four is up, rather against the odds.

My left hand and arm is swelling up so I am hoping to type and generally move around my fingers to try and keep the swelling down.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Double double darn and drat

I have an infection in my left arm. A mole was trapped and lost circulation with my arm being strapped up and it has become infected. The arm has now also become infected.

I have felt better.

Ebay is my friend

My shopping has come home to roost. The nine blankets have finally arrived. They are gorgeous, clean, immaculate baby blankets. I will stash the best for gifts and the others may well turn into cosy cushion covers.

Little bear has graciously condescended to wear one of the gilets that arrived today. Sigh. He will only wear short sleeves and he won't wear sweaters. He has made a brief foray into trying to wear all three at once, but that was not entirely successful.

Even with postage, three very good quality gilets which little bear may actually wear and nine very lovely cot blankets all for under £20.

Of course, not spending £20 and saving the room is also good, but little bear needed the gilets (or at least something to help warmth) so only the blankets were an extravagance. And I can see uses for all of them, it would be just a little better if I had room.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Smoke Free

I was looking on ebay - I'm feeling a bit low and was definitely not looking at 8 kilos of wool for a ridiculously reduced price and besides the auction will be over by the end of Monday.

Well, anyway, after not looking at the 8 kilos of yarn in actually quite nice colours I spotted something. And it came from a smoke free, pet free and child free home.

Smoke free is understandable because if you do smoke you cannot smell it the way a non smoker can. Evil cat's mission obviously includes allergens so you wouldn't want something covered in cat hair going to someone with extreme allergies, which covers pet free. I am not sure about Child Free.

There are some odd people in the world.

Why do I do this?

I am knitting a little sleeveless hoodie for little bear. It is designed to have stripes. I am zooming up the back. It is lovely and light on my shoulder.

1. Why can I never stick to the yarn that is mentioned. If someone mentions that a pattern should be in a particular yarn I automatically try and work out what to substitute it with. If someone designed a pattern to be knitted in cheap acrylic I would probably start researching Wholegrain Manila.

2. If something is in a particular colour, why do I always have to change it? Okay, I haven't changed much this time. It is in main colour grey, which I have kept, but instead of having lime green and dark purple stripes I have substituted royal blue and scarlet. I like to think I have the more tasteful idea, but each to their own. However no matter what they suggest, I have always got to try something different.

3. Why do I always fiddle with the pattern. I am following the instructions for 3 years size because little bear's chest is about four inches smaller than the measurement given and my tension errs on the generous side. But when I came to shape the armholes it looked a bit short. So I added a few extra rows in the end, after much dithering and measuring of little bear's t-shirts. Of course, being me I bought enough yarn for two hoodies, one with a royal blue hood and one with a red hood (little bear currently likes red but the wind might change any day now). The original superwash merino was in fifty gram balls and I needed 150g for each top in grey. So I bought 3 x 100g balls of the acrylic (lovely quality, soft and really washable) for two. But now I've gone and added a few extra rows in grey. I may need more yarn than allowed for. The next size up needed 200g of grey so there is not much wiggle room. I am considering knocking two rows off each armhole edging, as I don't think it will be too noticeable.

4. Why can't I count the dratted rows properly. I now have a red stripe two rows out because I was too busy dithering about whether or not to lengthen the dratted hoodie to mark the rows properly. Drat, darn and poot. I can either undo back, including all the armhole shaping or make sure I add the extra two rows to the front to make sure that the stripes line up.

Knitting relaxes me. Honest.

Anti Clutterbust

In a low mood - browsing yarns - saw something...

I do not need 8 kilos of yarn that isn't even in balls but sort of bundled up. I really do not need this yarn. I don't care if it looks like useful acrylic, or how inexpensive it is, I do not need it I HAVE NO ROOM

On a related note, we need a draught excluder for the door. Actually we have needed one for a few years and now I think is a good time to sort it out. I could get a firm pillow case (some of the former hotel ones I got from ebay are extremely firm) slit down the sides, make into a tube and stuff.

Preferred stuffing is unravelled machine made, shop bought sweaters. I can probably pick up something hideous from the charity shop for less than £1 to adequately stuff. I did have a stock, but I got rid of them clutterbusting as at one point it was cheaper just to buy cushions and it just isn't any more.

The big question is - would it look okay? Probably not. And would I get round to doing it? Possibly. Mind you, there are a couple of places I could rummage round for remnants on Leeds Market, half a yard of denim twill would be fine and I could even splash out on some fabric crayons for little bear's amusement (and keep them under lock and key when not in use). And little bear would love, absolutely love stuffing a tube, especially if he helped unravel. Also keep emphasising that only mummy decides what is unravelled.

I could even use one of the 9 blankets arriving as the casing.

Do not need more yarn. Must not look again at yarn. I HAVE NO ROOM.

Of to have a rummage to see if there are things in house that I could unravel after all. Then it would be a clutterbust and not me buying things in.

Do not need yarn.

Just realised - I have not yet got rid of all the baby blankets of little bear and some are in an extremely well used condition. The fleece ones would be ideal - opaque, washable and so tatty that it didn't matter how trodden on they got.

Do not need yarn

Friday, 12 November 2010

Little bear

Little bear has been referred to Special Educational Needs. On one hand is the potty training issue. I feel that little bear will decide what is happening with that, but I am willing to do my best.

The other reason he is being referred is because he is so bright he is 'academically off the scale'. That is a direct quote.

I feel a bit thrown by it. OH is bright, darling father is bright, my late mother's family included some extremely scarily bright people. My brothers are both very intelligent. So if he is bright it seems normal, but I think he is hitting a lot of targets ahead of time, and effortlessly. I am certainly only playing with him, not pushing him.

I am scared about letting him down, but it isn't about me, it is about him and doing the very best I can for little bear. Who has been giving my shoulder lots of kisses to make it better.

Operation Clutterbust 4

I have found with frightening ease two large boxes of bric a brac that I am passing on to the Green Party for their stall at the Indoor Car Boot Sale. It had better be collected tomorrow!

None of the stuff is particularly significant or with memories. The only moment I had was when packing up a small, donkey shaped money box, about three inches long and two inches high. This is totally inadequate for little bear who keeps mugging darling father for pennies. But someone had given it to little bear at some time. I found a sticker for Nestle milky bar on the bottom, and I guessed it was probably part of an Easter Egg or similar. Usually I can remember everything about an item, eg the cardi I wore just after I dislocated my shoulder cost £18.50 from Leeds Market in 1989. But I cannot for the life of me remember where it came from.

I am wracking my brains because the kind person left a £5 note in it and I didn't thank them properly as I have only just found it. I am mortified.

Anyway, as a result my shoulder is on fire so I am calling it a night. But I can add to my total, which is marvellous.

A Faux Pas from Mr Sainsburys

OH thinks I'm overreacting.

I was a bit fed up when I was doing my Sainsburys online order. The computer didn't have options for eg Nesquik Banana Milkshake, and other odds and ends that aren't particularly vital but can be extremely useful for a cantankerous nearly four year old.

When the delivery came it appears that I have been transferred from one store to another. The one I am now attached to, Bradford, is smaller and thus less choice. And, insult to injury, they are having a refit so temporarily even less!

I was not happy with this. I have a working relationship with the men from the White Rose who are lovely, they humour me, they joke with me and generally are lovely.

Now, I want to be clear. I did not ask for help. So I cannot complain really, because if I had asked for help I am sure that I would have had help (well, almost sure). However I cannot imagine the men from the White Rose Centre, seeing a woman with one arm in a sling, and over one hundred pounds worth of groceries (two weeks, inc whiskey, and lots of juice drinks for little bear on account of tonsils) would not offer to at least help carry the stuff down six concrete stairs. I was absolutely finished at the end of it.

So I rang and complained. I was pleasant, because why shouldn't I be, expressed reservations particularly about choice, mentioned the lack of help but stressed that I had not asked. And I also pointed out the many times I had rung to praise service, the complications I had had to deal with and kept the good humour, the weekly order for years, and asked nicely if I could go back to the White Rose. And if I don't get back to the White Rose I am seriously considering going to Asda. So there!

Needing Clutterbust

Also today I found three (!) large boxes of matches. The day after a delivery from Mr S, where I ordered more matches and two lighty thingies because on Bonfire night we couldn't find any matches and both the lighty thingies failed. OH lit the taper supplied from the gas hob.

This is because I have too much stuff and the things I have are not properly stored. The matches normally are in the cupboard where the gas settings used to be, before the central heating went. I relocated a load of stuff before the central heating was replaced while I had a torn ankle ligament and they ended in a lot of very random places. I must have missed these matches when I put things back as they were in a fairly random spot and they may be useless now as the area is prone to damp. What a waste of money and resources.

And the cupboard they should be in is full because Mr S had an offer on vitamins and I stocked up so I HAVE NO ROOM.

I need Operation Clutterbust because:

1. I cannot keep the house clean because things are all over.
2. I have too much stuff
3. Stuff is being wasted because not kept properly or kept too long.
4. I could use the things I am keeping more effectively if I could find them. And I can't do a place for everything because I HAVE NO ROOM.

I have eight rooms in my home, not including the bathroom. That includes four double bedrooms. Each one is crammed to the point where they are extremely difficult to clean. This is why I need Operation Clutterbust

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Working on Clutterbusting philosophy 2

Morgan and Ian - it is the, 'you never know, it might come in useful.' feeling. The feelings from parents brought up in the war. Darling father saves all screws, nails etc, because you just couldn't get them. Now you can buy them for pennies in Wilkinsons.

Part of me doesn't want to buy them for pennies at Wilkinsons because I don't want to spend any money at all. Part of me is frustrated when something perfectly usable has to be thrown out. At one point I saved all the formula tins for little bear, as they were a great size. But anything damp rusted them, and they just mounted up. The day I thought, knickers to this lot, was a wonderful day of liberation. However I was still desperately frustrated that while they went into the recycling bin they were, potentially, extremely useful. I also hate the amount that goes to the landfill. Because I am struggling to get to ebay or charity shops - even before the shoulder incident I was so tired - I often don't have any other choice but to get rid of stuff into the bin.

It is a huge clash of philosophies and feelings. I don't want to add to landfill, I don't want to have to keep buying expensive (okay, inexpensive) food containers when I have a perfectly good bucket formerly holding honey. I don't want to buy a box for nails when I have perfectly good former Vanish tubs. I love having things handy to store yet another of little bear's treasures.

I also feel comforted by large quantities of bedding, especially blankets - no idea why. And I feel really comforted at the bulging cupboards and stocks of supplies.


(and another Approved Food order on the way)

Operation Clutterbust - minor breakthrough

I finished a tub of the Sainsbury version of Vanish. It had done sterling work on the shirts. Also I use bars of soap. But there I was, left with a very handy sized tub, sturdy, with a well fitting lid. I am sure it could have been useful for any number of things.

Apparently you should never use something that had contained soap or detergent for food. And as I type this I can think how it would be useful for putting things in for little bear. But what things? I could fill up my shelves with oodles of useful pots.

But I didn't. I threw it away. Because if little bear needed one then I could wait until the current one expired, I get through them at a steady but not too fast rate. Or I could use something else that was already to hand. I could use expiring margarine tubs, or takeaway cartons or anything, really.

It was really hard, however, to throw away something so potentially useful.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Just wanted to say that I am sorry if my recent posts have been a bit of a grumpy selection.

Regardless, the sun is shining, little bear has just given me the most gorgeous smile and really, things could be a lot worse. I have had the heating on earlier, and thanks to OH's hard work I am not worrying excessively about the bill. My shoulder seems to be healing up nicely.

And I have had a lot of kindness, especially Ian who sent me a dvd of Lily Savage which little bear will NOT be allowed to watch.

Things could be worse indeed.


There was a spot of confusion at nursery over little bear's toilet functions. They are brilliant, but even so, last night he was hysterical at the thought of the potty or toilet and too scared to use a nappy in case it leaked. He just held it in!

I was up until 3am. OH helped a lot until around midnight, but there was nothing he could do and he has work. He was really good with little bear.

There are now suspect spots on little bear which I am watching. He is currently taking penicillin for his tonsils (still absolutely huge). He is really upset now because his throat is hurting, which is better than the horrendous tummy ache last night which at times made me consider A&E.

So, anyone want to do a sweepstake on how much writing I will be doing? I feel selfish for even considering it, and I love little bear. But I will have to get off now for fuss and cuddles.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Morgan - Thank you

I just wanted to say that the lovely sticker books which I was hoarding for Christmas (which is why you haven't had a thank you note from little bear) were raided when I hurt my arm and kept little bear almost quiet while we waited in the clinic on Friday.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Clutterbust Epic Fail

I am feeling low.

So that is the only explanation that I could think of why I was browsing yarns on ebay I HAVE NO ROOM.

And I saw 9 blankets, for 99p start, no bids, finishing in 43 seconds. And a poor description. Even adding in the postage it was extremely inexpensive. BUT I HAVE NO ROOM. And, tbh, I do not need blankets. I have a stash of wool marked to make blankets. I have blankets already made, I have duvets, I have fleece throws and I have en route super duper blankets from Lakeland that cost an arm and a leg but reflect the body heat back onto you. They actually work - I was toasty under the test purchase. And let us not forget that darling father will be moving up, with, I hope, blankets that include some bought when he and mother got married and were state of the art in 1963 and still going strong.

9 blankets.

Darn and Poot. And how do I explain this to OH who is remarkably tolerant of my shopping but even at less than a fiver, well, really!

9 blankets

Monday, 8 November 2010

Digging up the Past Chapter Three

Digging up the Past Chapter Three is up. I hope to get more done tomorrow.
I hate trying to thing up blessed names for blessed characters, especially the ones that will be in the story for a paragraph, but might be referred to later so I need to have a name and it can't be the same name as anyone else in the story. I know about a zillion Daves but I can only use the name once in a story or it causes confusion. And it can't be the name of someone I know. And the current heroine nearly ended up being called after a Fireman Sam character.

And breathe

Thinking of randomly picking from phone book


Evil cat is out of sorts and creaky.

So I was not thrilled after there being lots of building work in the house behind when I thought I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. It could be a trick of the light, hallucination, etc. But I think it is a mouse.

We had mice at the start of the year when the scallies tried to steal the pipes at the back. Now we have building work. And it is cold out. And our cat is creaky.

OH can set the traps again tonight.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Digging up the Past Chapter Two

This is now up. My current total of words is 6,764.

Little bear is in nursery full time Monday and Tuesday, for the sake of my arm. He seems bright enough, so I think he will be fine. I shall, of course, be leaving strict instructions to call me if there are any problems. However as I have just used some really bad language trying to iron a shirt I shall not be doing much except writing.

Also, I have made references to Christianity in the story. If anyone finds them offensive, please let me know and I will edit them. I don't want to upset anyone.

Little bear is feeling better

The doctor told me to get any rubbish I could into little bear as his tonsils were extremely swollen. Today little bear is demonstrating an appetite.

He has had six yogurts, half a carrier of prawn crackers, a marshmallow with every dose of medicine, half a tin of cold tomato soup and a small tin of pasta and sausage. He is also currently demolishing a packet of french fries.

He is now back on normal rations as far as I am concerned.

As for me, I have emptied two dehumidifiers, pegged out washing, fed and watered evil cat, opened and closed curtains (apparently I am the only person in the household that is able to do that) but my shoulder only really acted up when I tried to cast on some knitting. I managed six stitches. I am fed up.

It could be worse.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Naughty step doesn't quite fit

Little bear called OH a goblin last night.

I can't think where he gets it from - hang on a minute, yes, it was OH who was fooling around.

We are going to have complaints from teachers I can tell.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Poor evil cat

Normally she watches fireworks from the top window. Tonight I found her on the floor in the dining room, half under ground. I think she is feeling her age.

One the other hand little bear has just had a marvellous time with fireworks. Good old darling father for providing them (bogof at Sainsbury). Little bear is still getting the hang of 'scared'. Sometimes I wish he would hurry up!

Digging up the Past

Chapter One of the Novel in November is up.

It is under 5,000 words so far, I need to motor. I hope you like it, it is the sequel to the Forgotten Village. I intend to have fun!

Absolutely not fair

OH has a chest infection and is being referred for sleep apnoea.

Little bear is really suffering with tonsillitis, and ended up having an ice cream for breakfast.

The clinic was today. I didn't even get my coat off, I was just whizzed through the talk and I am being referred to physio, which is more than happened last time.

Good news - I can touch type for short periods, so I am going to push the Novel in November. I hope to have something to go up by the end of the day. I'm pleased with what I have done so far.

Darling father is out looking to buy fireworks. Eeek!

Evil cat is currently killing a coloured pipe cleaner, and spent most of last night sulking because I wouldn't let her sleep on my sore shoulder. At her age it is pretty impressive.

I know it is not major stuff that lots of people suffer with, but I am feeling a bit fed up.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Really not fair

Little bear has bacterial tonsillitis.

Who broke a mirror?

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Not fair

Dislocated left shoulder tonight. Now back in but sore.

Fed up
Little bear has been up since 5.30am. He is current driving darling father nuts. I need to go and rescue him. I really lack motivation.

He is a bit iffy on the tummy, absolutely exhausted, and determined to wear his (now clean and dry) knight's outfit everywhere.

However I have managed a few more words on the sequel to the Forgotten Village - I'll put up a link as soon as I post some.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010


The Forgotten Village is finished.

Off to start the Novel in November. Only Fifty Thousand words to go.
Today little bear got honey on the toilet seat, then informed me it was disgusting.

I have not had a quiet day.

Goods inward

In quick succession I received more yarn (fantastic service from, an Approved Food order and a cosypad throw, which should be ideal for sleeping on the sofa.

The yarn is to make two sleeveless hoodies for little bear, as he is currently complaining about anything with long sleeves. Also the Approved Food included some extremely inexpensive baby wipes (ideal for the aftermath of little bear and paint) and a quantity of antibacterial wipes. It would be less expensive to just use hot soapy water, but this is more likely to get the house clean.

I am going to carefully place the yarn in front of me, as an incentive, as I finish off a shrug for a friend and the final sleeve and neck of darling father's sweater.

I also received the Lakeland Christmas catalogue. I foresee more Goods Inwards.

Before 10am

Little bear woke me early (clocks have gone back) telling me in a mournful but piercing voice that 'Mummeeeee, it's morning.'

So OH, sleeping on the sofa, got woken up around half an hour earlier than he needed to, and if you have been on short rations then half an hour is a lot. But he was very patient. I popped out for darling father's paper and some milkshake for little bear before he went to work.

A little later I was just calling darling uncle when little bear was gloriously, copiously sick, with milkshake, all over the dense pile carpet in the study. So, first things first, I clean up little bear. He is beside himself - I won't just wipe down his fabric knight's costume (which he slept in last night) and insist that I wash the sick off it. This is NOT FAIR! I also have to wipe his sandals (in November!) but they are not too bad. He tearfully supervises me washing the knight's tunic in the sink, then allows me to change him.

At this point darling father pops out to get a second copy of the paper, because I was too caught up to mention anything until the door closed behind him.

Then I scrub, and scrub, and scrub, and I think I have got most of the yeurk out. I used vast quantities of Stardrops Antibacterial spray, followed by Febreeze. I have put a pan of cloves and water on to simmer, and I have opened a window. It is not quite enough.

Then I dash downstairs to make darling father's bacon buttie. All I can say is, who the heck cuts themselves on a plastic bacon carton - it's plastic for crying out loud! I mean, cutting myself on plastic!

So the bloodstained rasher goes in the bin, and now I have to call back darling uncle.

I want laminate flooring!

Operation Clutterbust 3

I have gritted my teeth and thrown out the fizzy water. I was the only one in the house ever likely to drink it, and it made me feel sick and gave me a headache. It was only 17p for a 2 litre bottle, but it was so hard to pour the stuff down the drain. I hate the waste. I also threw out some hot chocolate sachets that I had got from Approved Food which were foul.

I have looked carefully at the contents of the tea cupboard. There is the decaffeinated coffee for one guest, a small jar of Nescafe which is slowly setting into stone, some fruit teas and a stash of teabags, even after I threw out the ones that were opened and left.

Right at the back are some boxes of hot chocolate from Whittards, at least three years old. I didn't like the Whittards hot chocolate that much anyway, so they may go.

Of course, if the bins had been taken then I would have more room to chuck stuff. OH did take a lot to the tip at the weekend, but it is still mounting up.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Okay, panic

I am struggling with the new keyboard, none of the keys are in the right place. However it is a softer touch so I should be able to speed up.

Little bear is shattered, achey, refused to walk earlier and running a temperature. I am going to try and get him to the drs this afternoon. So the gap when he would have been at nursery has evaporated. The only reason I can be here now is because he has colonised my chair and I have to be able to go and fuss at a moment's notice.

OH has had the first half way decent weekend for nearly a month - I hope he doesn't pick up what little bear has.

Normal chances to write - when little bear is at nursery (quite poorly, looks like he is off for a week), when everyone else has gone to bed (but OH is sleeping on the sofa, and sleep deprived so I am chased upstairs at an early hour), or sometimes when little bear naps (if he naps, not guaranteed, I need to try and tackle the foothills of the ironing and the health hazard that is the kitchen).

On the bright side, yesterday in the slow cooker I managed to cook a bacon joint and in the liquor I have cooked overnight some lentils, dried yellow peas, barley and dried onions. It almost makes up for the takeaway last night.

So I am going to buy some more yarn. I may have no room, but at this exact moment it is the least of my worries.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Don't panic!!!!

New keyboard, old one bit the dust yesterday, half way through putting darling father's lottery account on. I can type, but as soon as I get to odd punctuation I am adrift as the layout is slightly different and the keyboard is curved and not straight. I shall be saying some rude words when I can't find the 'home' key.

50,000 words, starting tomorrow, but I won't start that until I have finished 'The Forgotten Village'.

I am feeling a little challenged.