Wednesday, 30 November 2011

tomorrow is another day

Soooo tired. Little bear has been quite lovely at times (not at others) and told the nice man at the newsagents that the knight's costume he was wearing was not for sale as little bear had had it for 'a thousand years'.

The nice man in the newsagents actually doesn't like children at all. He makes an exception for little bear.

Made a show of myself in Asda. I wanted to go to a manned checkout. An assistant asked me whether I wanted to use the self service, I said 'no' but she dragged the trolley over and started putting things through for me whether I liked it or not. I got all stressed and flappy and I should have just got on with it with a smile, but I hate it when people won't accept 'no' as 'no'. Anyway, instant karma, my left hand is in agony. It feels similar to when a nerve is exposed in your tooth.

My shoulder is also wrecked from retrieving a local lad's toy from a tree. I wouldn't mind but they don't come in the gate. They squeeze over the wall and past the rose bush. The garden is so small that you couldn't park two cars in it, and the rose bush has really nasty, thick and vicious thorns. I have had bubble wrap on it in the past. They could seriously, no exaggeration, blind themselves, so I am going to have to try and get rid of a rose bush that has grown around fifteen foot high intertwined with a buddleia over the last fifteen years to save them! It has lovely coral coloured flowers as well.

I had some lovely cuddles with little bear, today, though. He graciously encouraged me (insisted!) to play the sort of computer games that he could watch (actually quite boring for me to watch, but he seemed to enjoy it) and he sat on my knee and giggled, tickled, squirmed, wriggled and had a marvellous time, so I think today was overall a win.

Little bear is trying

Little bear is being very trying. I can't wait for whatever lurgy is lurking to break because I don't know how much sanity I will have by the end of the day.

This morning he decided he wouldn't have breakfast until the lamp post outside went out - no idea where that came from - but he was HUNGRY. This was how he woke me up and it was a great start to the day, trying to negotiate what on earth he wanted. In the end I said flatly he could ask for breakfast when he wanted but I wasn't going to keep checking out of the window to see if the light was still on.

His temper when I actually wanted to watch the weather was really quite funny. He stomped around, threw things that wouldn't break onto safe surfaces and pulled faces of fury. He does very safe tantrums.

He is going to a piano lesson tonight. Two buses there, a second lesson in a strange place, two buses back mean a lot of opportunity for the world to be not as it should be.

This is all normal for a pre-gruesome cold. As soon as his cold breaks he will be back to normal. I am so looking forward to that!

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Where did that come from?

OH found a bottle of wine in the car. It is white wine, I have never seen it before, OH hasn't seen it before and darling father has never, to my knowledge, bought white wine. We have a mystery bottle. We don't even give lifts often, as OH rarely drives except to work and he lives in a different area to everyone else so unless he is hanging round Another Woman who dropped it out of her scarlet bag - no idea how it got there.

I would like to point out that I doubt the likelihood of Another Woman, and if it was, OH probably wouldn't have brought the bottle in and placed it next to me. But where did the bottle come from?

In Makro today I was looking at the alcohol and thinking, 'well, I quite fancy that, or that, or that...' I would have to drink at the level of darling father to get through all I fancied in less than a year. The trouble is, I don't really like wine or beer, but I do like liqueurs and spirits. I may look at a bottle of black Sambucca with interest, but it will cost a lot, and will (or should) take ages to drink and linger in the drinks cupboard for years getting stickier. Makro have a good selection of liqueurs and spirits, I bought some Black Bottle Whiskey for darling father's Christmas present (as he said that he loved it). Some of them are quite difficult to get hold of in supermarkets and local shops. And actually I don't really want to drink that much. Which is unfortunate as I have asked for many of my Christmas presents to be alcoholic.

It may seem that the universe is gently nudging me towards more alcohol. However I think I shall spend some time focusing on tea.

Food temperatures

I picked up little bear from school today and the howling wind and hail were grim. We only went a few yards and we were soaked and little bear insisted on new trousers on as soon as we got inside. He then told me he was hungry and that he wanted something to warm him up. This was a new one on me.

'Would you like some warm soup?' I asked.
'That's too cold.' Little bear said.
I thought for a minute. 'How about a ham sandwich?' I asked.
'That's a little bit warm and a little bit cold.' Little bear said.
I was stumped, because obviously what little bear was calling hot and cold were nothing to do with measured temperature.

In the end he had a bowl of cereal, because that was exactly the right temperature.

Actually I am confident that little bear is about to come down with a gruesome cold. He actually slept so late this morning that I needed my alarm. He had a meltdown over breakfast because he spilt some cereal. At this point I decided not to bother taking him to martial arts. Then he had a meltdown when he got home because the red pen wasn't the right colour and then another one because, well, I am not exactly sure and I don't think I actually got to the bottom of it. Tomorrow I have him all day because of the strike and then he goes to his piano lesson. I hope he is fit for that.


A Chronivore is something that eats time.

I am dipping into Ravelry for the first time in a while. On remrants there is an Open Letters Thread. I only need to get through about 3,000 (three thousand) posts to catch up to date. After that I will concentrate on the 'Things we are too polite to say' thread - probably at around 6,000 posts by the time I get there.


Restrained shopping

I have just been blown to pieces but I did actually go for a walk. I was determined to have a walk and went as far as Makro.

It struck me that a year ago it would have been really, really hard for me to make the walk. Now it is fine. Okay, I need to get fitter, but my joints are not nearly as bad as they were. I think it is because I have stopped the antidepressants. It is really a noticeable difference.

Now all I need to do is not need antidepressants.

And, as a bonus, I was limited to what I could buy because I could only buy what I could carry, and even my unrealistic expectations helped reduce that!

Monday, 28 November 2011


I try and post fun things, as it helps me concentrate on fun stuff. I don't always manage it, but it's a good target.

And another fun moment - waking up and realising that the buzzing of bees that you dreamt about wasn't actually caused by a random, out of season bluebottle.

A small, battery powered, motion sensor desk Dalek kept going off while I slept. I do not live in a normal house, and I am not sure I would recognise a normal house now.

Also, after darling father overdid the Famous Grouse whiskey watching Liverpool and Man City - what did he do with the knife and fork he had at dinner. They have disappeared. The plate was there, the cutlery vanished. I haven't liked to ask.

Now I'm Boring Sybil

Today has been a bit of a none day. The weekend was a bit flat.

I have loads and loads of things that are whirling round my head, but none I feel are 'safe' to put in the public domain.

On the bright side, the TNT delivery man actually delivered today. He was supposed to deliver on Friday and left a card. However not only was I actually in the house at the time, but the delivery instructions clearly state that if Sybil is out, try Nice Next Door. Who were also in at the time...

I now feel a bit guilty because I did ring up to ask why? And the guy today didn't look the sharpest tool in the box and times are hard and I shouldn't have rung because he may have got into trouble. Though I suppose I would always have to have rung to rearrange delivery. The parcel is looking a bit worn at the edges, so I hope nothing is broken...

And I have found someone that I can give Snowman poo to as a present.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Self pitying Sybil

I just typed out a list of why I am feeling a bit sorry for myself, but I deleted it. I am fed up of feeling sorry for myself, and most of the tiny niggles are exactly that - tiny. I am not too bad. In fact I am blessed in so many ways, and I am extremely lucky with my life. I need to give myself a severe talking to. I have so little to complain about compared with so many.

And one reason to be cheerful - I actually enjoyed going to school in the rain this morning, because it was so odd and surreal, it was raining but it was also bright sunshine! Raindrops were falling in a lovely golden autumn morning (bit windy, problems with umbrella control, nothing too much to worry about). And as I left little bear and stepped out, I saw the most beautiful complete rainbow, and I felt really uplifted.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Little Bear's first Piano Lesson

Little bear had his first piano lesson - and he loved it! He sang songs and did actions and there was a bit of drawing and then he got to press some notes on the piano.

The lady - who is absolutely brilliant - is taking her time, making sure that he understands stuff and encouraging him. He is being taught properly. The action songs were about getting the hands right to play. She is so patient with him. He is enchanted with the whole thing.

It took us an hour to get there and about 45 minutes to get back. It was a lot about the time of day, it should take half an hour on two buses. This is a long time. However, I actually think it is a plus. Little bear, so far, has never had to travel. At the moment, if I stand on our front step I can see the door to his classroom and have a fair idea if he is near the window. We have a doctors within yards, chemists, shops that sell food, the nursery was yards not miles. Even the place he has his hair cut is less than a hundred yards away. I think it is a good idea for him to get the idea that sometimes you need to travel.

Also, I get to chat with him.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011


I am clearing out a lot of little bear's clothes, as he is growing like a weed and a lot of stuff that is still very good doesn't fit him. I am not thinking about the stuff fit for rags (Nice Mr Next Door has those) but the stuff that is in good condition (I have been lucky with my ebay purchases).

There are a myriad of choices.

I could pass them on to someone who I know could use them for good purposes. This will cost me convenience and money, but is a good thing to do.
The lady a few doors down, the one who was raided by the police, has been hinting about little bear's old clothes as her son is the next size down. There isn't much money in there, as far as I can tell, and there are four under eight. On the other hand her children aren't very nice to little bear.
I have just received a bag through the door for a local hospice. The hospice could probably do with all the help it could get as I was once privileged to sit in on one of their fund raising committee meetings. As much use as an udder on a bull. But the hospice will pick up the bag.
I passed along a bus route that is quite convenient which has on one side of the road a charity shop for a really good local homeless charity.
On the other side of the road is a shop that buys bags of clothes at 60p per kilo.
And there is always ebay.

I have no idea what to do. I suppose identifying and sorting is the next step, and that has to be done by Monday if I am giving to the hospice shop. I'll never get it sorted in time, so that option is out. I have no idea about the rest.

I'm tagging it under clutterbust, as it is a real incentive to sort out the clothes.

Christmas shopping

I have left Christmas shopping late this year. The best time to shop is January!

I have just sent an order to Hawkins Bazaar (seriously recommended, I have had great service there, 10% cashback through quidco and free deliveries over £45 if placed before Saturday). And actually I don't think that there is that much left to get. This was for presents for two Christmas presents and a birthday, plus some stocking fillers. I have OH's present, I have Sister in law's present, I have stuff on order and stashed and hidden. Little bear has huge quantities of little stuff stashed in darling father's room. The bits I don't have, I think I know what I am getting, and it is all in hand.

I think I've got it all covered. However, I shall wait and see when panic hits on 23 December. A lot of it is stuff like magazine subscriptions and alcohol, which take very little effort. I don't need Christmas paper, I have a shedload, though I may need bottle bags. I also have a vast stash of cards which I got from approved food earlier in the year. I am determined not to go crazy for sweeties over Christmas, and I already have some stuff stashed from approved food.

It all seems under control. So why do I have this nagging feeling that I have missed something?

Evil cat is eating

This morning I was glad that I had shirts and school clothes already ironed.

I fed evil cat at 7am, but when I popped down @ 7.45am her dish was empty. She is a tiny cat, and a whole pouch had just vanished. So I put down a second pouch, as she was pretty insistent about it.

The explanation of her appetite was clear when I went to get OH's shirt. Just where I would have had to stand to iron was a pile of second hand cat food. When she was a kitten, actually for years, she used to eat really, really fast, and then be sick - but immediately beg for more food.

That was okay when she was a slip of a young thing of eight. But her system really won't stand her doing this. I am considering putting down half a pouch at a time and seeing if that will stay down. Still, at least she is enjoying her food.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Snowman Poo

I just saw something on the internet about an idea for selling white marshmallows packaged as snowman poo.

I think kids would absolutely love it (I once bought OH's neice a sugar rat on a stick when she was younger, kids love gross stuff). However it was for a school stall.

I just can't get the image out of my mind now. People may get snowman poo for Christmas presents. Alas, I don't have secret Santa anymore. Snowman poo would definitely have been a candidate.

Reasons for my headache

I had tummy ache last night and, trust me, any information is far too much information. I didn't get to sleep until after I had covered little bear up again at around 1am. I had definitely got to sleep by 3am, because that was when evil cat was sick and it woke me up. She did a fine, bravura performance, but I still haven't found what actually came up.

Little bear came down at 4.30am, having lost all his bedclothes again, but settled down on the sofa. He slept so soundly, all the way through evil cat's opera at 6.30am which basically said - FEED ME. I carefully tiptoed past him and fed evil cat without switching on the light, but little bear didn't stir.

I was actually drifting off at 7am when little bear woke up. Then we had a full performance of 'what do you want for breakfast?' I asked him if he wanted cereal.
'I don't want cereal.' He said firmly.
'How about sugar puffs?' I asked.
'I don't want sugar puffs.'
'How about a banana?' I asked.
'I don't like bananas for breakfast.' He said
'How about toast?'
'I don't like toast until I am five.' Little bear said crossly. Of course he has had toast before. He just has decided that he doesn't like it until he is five, in roughly six weeks. It may form part of his birthday breakfast.
'Are you sure you don't want cereal.' I asked, considering not giving him any choice at all.
'I don't like cereal on Wednesdays!' Little bear snapped.
'It's Tuesday.'

In the end I caved in and he had a jam sandwich.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Ovaltine effect missing

Little bear was awake at 6.30am. This is not really early, nothing compared to what many parents deal with and many people, including my Sister in Law, are up that time out of preference.

My preference is that 6.30am is mythical and I am underneath a heap of bedclothes at that time, completely unconscious.

I do know that any attempt to limit the Ovaltine now would start a World War, so I just keep having to keep on, and try and get to sleep early myself - which I struggle to, even with the Ovaltine. And little bear didn't go to sleep particularly early last night either. We heard a full dialogue between little bear, his cuddly rat and a counting book over the intercom.

He also has disturbed sleep so I am up several times tiptoeing in to put the blankets back over him, which I think is the one that's getting to me. I believe it is normal to get a stage of nightmares at this age. I would blame Postman Dalek and Cyberman Sam for the troubled dreams, but they have been going on far longer than the disturbed nights.


I have had a half bottle of vodka lurking for several years. Despite mounting evidence to the contrary, I am not someone who normally drinks a lot, but I thought I would try steeping fresh chopped ginger in vodka. It has been looking at me ever since. I've been a bit too nervous to try it.

And the longer it has sat there, the less I want to risk it. Seriously - vodka and fresh ginger are unlikely to get toxic, but I have spent so long looking at it, I couldn't possible drink it.

So when I had to dispose of some chicken bones yesterday, I tipped some of the stuff in to the bag. Oscar, the huge tom next door, will lick off any vinegar and as he enjoys curry then I am not even trying pepper. I warned Next Door, but hopefully it will put him off. None of our cats have ever enjoyed spirits.

Though the time malevolent cat got at the brandy butter was one of the funniest sights I have ever seen!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Not exactly to the point

Little bear has somehow convinced himself that he doesn't like onions and that he is allergic to them. As onions are a bit of a staple here, this baffles me, but I am very good at 'nod and smile'.

Last night I made Chilli con Charlie - soften onions, add mince and brown, add tin of baked beans with seasonings, serve with rice. Little bear poked at it suspiciously. 'Does this have onions in?' he asked.
'It's got baked beans in,' I said with a breezy finality. He ate most of it.

Ovaltine, btw, is now compulsory at bedtime. I am happy with that.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Ovaltine continues to work

Little bear slept until 7am, although he is still looking very tired. I suspect he is coming down with something (again, normal for nearly five, another cold on the horizon) as he was very prone to bursting into tears yesterday.

I am considering Ovaltine myself. I woke a few times in the night because I couldn't breathe. Then evil cat did some tap dancing practice. Then I had to get little bear to see a piano teacher - he starts lessons on Wednesday. Well, I say lessons, lots of musical games etc and learning a little piano as he goes. He is just so hungry to learn at the moment. I hope I have convinced the music teacher that I am not a pushy mum. He may like the piano, and he may not. I don't care if he doesn't end up a concert pianist. What I care about is him having something that he has to work at to learn, before the chance to 'learn how to learn' wears off.

Also we bought some new school sweaters and queued for ten minutes to get little bear's photo taken with Santa. Little bear, despite everyone's best efforts, still looks like he is about to stand in front of the firing squad.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Night noises

Dragging myself off to bed now, but first I will remember to take the milk jug into the kitchen. I forgot last night and the sound effects of evil cat trying to get her head in, then slurping the milk, then trying to get her head out will not easily be forgotten as they happened when I was fathoms deep at @ 2am this morning.

And she shook the drops of milk off her whiskers and onto my elbow - it's surprising what things can wake you wide awake.

Ovaltine is working

Little bear is definitely getting more sleep. This morning it was 7.10am when he got up.

However, if he hadn't been up at 5am with a nightmare we would all be much more rested. I think he is going through a stage of nightmares, so I will just keep the hugs coming, together with the ovaltine.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Little bear explains

Little bear was starving when he came home from school. He wanted a ham sandwich and a dairy lea dip. So I asked him what he didn't have for lunch.

Little bear explained that he didn't have lunch at school, he had dinner. Those whose parents pay the school to provide the midday meal have dinner, because it is school dinners. Those whose parents provide the midday meal themselves have lunch, because it is a packed lunch. That's me told.

Also, he is now on three reading books instead of one.

More spending

I went into Leeds and I now feel a bit of a sourpuss. I went into the Museum to see the West Yorkshire Hoard, and I was just amazed. It is a very small collection of gold but to me, seeing something so beautiful and so old is stunning. I wondered at the story behind it, who made the rings and who wore them, whether they were gifts or trophies or displays of power and wealth.

Leeds Museum's cafe lived down to my expectations. It's sort of more or less okay, but I keep going back to the rarebit and I always regret it. I was not tempted by the Guinness parkin and the Dandelion and Burdock chocolate cake, and I don't recommend the maple and pecan cake either. I also bobbed into the gift shop and succumbed to a junior dictionary and thesaurus for little bear. It will probably be a bit advanced for him at Christmas but he may be finding a use for it by next summer.

I had a wander round the German Market as well. I more or less sat on my hands because it was either food which I didn't want to have as I want to lose weight, or it was ornaments and I don't want anything more to dust, or it was wooden toys which were, sadly, just a bit too young for little bear. Typing that I had a lump in my throat. It seems only yesterday that most of them were that bit too old. But I really enjoyed the atmosphere. Then I bobbed into Poundstretcher and bought a waste paper bin, as little bear was sick in the living room one and it was lined with fabric. There was some yarn on sale in Poundstretcher that nearly came into the 1p per gramme category, but I resisted.

So, a morning well spent with the emphasis on spent. Again next week, to start stocking up on the Christmas goodies.

Ovaltine is good

I couldn't get any Horlicks yesterday, so tried Ovaltine, and little bear slept blissfully until 7.10am. He is also looking a lot more refreshed. He may get another mug of it tonight.

I confess I am tired. I can feel myself aching with lack of deep sleep. Evil cat had a restless night and shared. I really want to go into Leeds and see an exhibition. But I also really want to come back after dropping little bear at school and going to sleep.

I think the sleep may win.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Very nervous Sybil

Little bear went to martial arts today, and came back with a head protector. The gloves are on order. They are going to be starting sparring.

I am absolutely terrified, but I do have complete trust and faith in the instructor who is very gentle and patient with the little ones, so I am sure it will be the right thing.

Still terrified


I am a night owl, to the very bone. I would rather be up at 3am than 6am. Regrettably little bear has other views. He would much rather be up at 6am - or earlier. Though to be fair he sometimes sleeps until 7am. In fact, I believe once that he slept until 8am, but I may be hallucinating that due to lack of sleep.

What is worrying me a little is that little bear isn't really getting enough sleep. He slept on his hand last night so at 5.50am this morning I was woken by 70 decibels of MUMMY!!!!!! and he trotted downstairs complaining about his pins and needles. He insisted on breakfast straight away, but when I came back with his breakfast he was just lying against the chair, as if ready to sleep. He has huge rings under his eyes and is often looking sleepy. But he will not go back to sleep, not for love nor money.

Getting him to bed is usually not a problem, but the timing can be. I have to wait until OH comes in and we have tea, then the night time routine and then he is usually spark out within a few minutes of us leaving him. I find myself skipping baths and hurrying stories just to get him in to bed so he can have enough sleep. If I don't wait for OH, though, and feed little bear earlier, then not only does it get complicated but it also upsets little bear who wants his daddy. And OH comes in around 6.15pm so he will be starving and wanting something before little bear's bedtime routine.

And a lot of advice that I have given myself is not heeded, because at 6am, after a night of being bounced on by evil cat, I am not in a fit state to do anything than at least try and give him a healthy breakfast. And I wouldn't do more than grumble about my sleep rations (tonight it will be impossible for me to go to bed before around 11pm, and last night I was up and down as little bear grumbled in his sleep so I kept going up and putting the bedclothes back on him so a latish night after a bad night) but little bear seems to need more sleep.

He may be waking because he is hungry. He always has his breakfast straight away. However little bear's failure to eat an evening meal properly and the reaction of darling father and OH are another matter altogether. I think tonight I may try Horlicks for him. Surely that can't hurt

Evil cat is enjoying her food.

Now I am no longer putting down medical food and putting down 'normal' cat food for her, evil cat is stuffing her furry face. She is really tucking in. And it is such a relief to just put some catfood down on the grocery delivery instead of sourcing the cheapest food and getting enough in one go to make it worth while. And she is even bored of the tuna. She is happy with the pouches. Now I may be getting the quite expensive Felix senior pouches (for eight years and over, and evil cat has been qualified for this for over half her life), but it is much cheaper and sooooooo much easier to get stuff from the supermarket.

Of course I would be going through quidco and bestpet to get the medical stuff if I thought she would eat the dratted stuff. However the cycle goes - it gets put down, she sniffs it, has a desultory nibble, licks up the gravy in a half hearted way, walks away, eventually I throw out most of it.

The downside is that the litter tray has become far smellier. And evil cat is now bouncing up and down on me at 5am because she is HUNGRY

Monday, 14 November 2011

The vet comes to visit

Evil cat is on painkilling meds that need three monthly checks. We can't take the cat to the vet, and I thought that if evil cat hadn't seen a vet in a bit, and she was feeling calm in her own home, then it couldn't be too bad.


It started okay, evil cat graciously accepted a cuddle and the vet admired how well she was doing. However as soon as the vet tried to examine her, evil cat fought back. The vet, bless her, did let evil cat have loads of breaks to calm down, lots of fuss, and didn't complain, but evil cat swore, yowled, struggled, fought, hissed, spat and scratched. She drew blood, while uttering blood curdling threats. Little bear was off school and watched, wide eyed from the sofa, and if he repeats any of the words that evil cat used I shall be very upset.

The verdict - evil cat is doing fine. We have to watch out for the side effects of the meds. See us again, with protective clothing, in three months.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Sorry about the gap

Sorry I haven't posted, we have had a trojan, which I think I spotted in time, but who knows? I shall be watching accounts very carefully for the next few months.

But just to reassure you, life is normal here. Earlier today little bear looked very suspiciously at his sandwich and complained bitterly that the ham tasted like meat. Also evil cat attacked me during the Remembrance Festival at the Albert Hall - she reacted to the sound of the pipes, I think they stirred her martial soul.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Evil cat stuffs her face

I bit the bullet and gave evil cat some 'normal' cat food. It was a Felix senior pouch with jelly - the good stuff.

Evil cat was happy. She was really happy. She would have probably purred her furry head off if she wasn't too busy breaking the speed eating record. The pouch disappeared in five minutes - and that is almost an exact timing. She ate the lot. Then she tucked in to another one and demolished most of that by the end of the day.

This morning she turned her nose up at tuna! However it is good to see her eating so much, so pouches are the way to go. She'll settle down with the novelty soon, but I will keep ringing the changes. It is lovely to see her so happy - and stuffed.

btw - I think she ate something like one sixth of her body weight in pouches in less than four hours!

Tell tale signs

I knew little bear did games yesterday. The subtle clue was that he came home with his trousers on back to front.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Story time

I over heard some of OH's story to little bear tonight. Apparently Little Red Riding Hood was on her way to Granny's when she stumbled across the Big Bad Dalek.

'What big antenna you have.'
'All the better to pick up interstellar communication.'
What a big eyestalk you have.'
'All the better to scan all spectrums from ultra violet to infra red.'
'What a big gun you have.'
'All the better to exterminate you...'

On another level, the local paper has had pictures of all the reception classes in the city. Lots of copies to sell to doting mums, dads, grandads, grans, aunties, uncles etc. You could barely recognise little bear as his face, along with all the other kids, was screwed up against a flash. He was, however, seated between two girls. Who were both looking at him. I dread to think what he would have just said, probably 'Geronimo' but possibly 'Exterminate'.

I won't be keeping the picture. I will, of course, be keeping the print from the school photos. Forever, probably.

Little bear is a ninja

Actually, little bear is a little ninja which is what his class is called in Martial Arts. And he has just passed his first grading. He has a yellow belt, and a big smile.

I am sooooo proud of him.

And tonight he learned, 'reverse fist'. And I noted that the teacher could easily kick above her head.

Monday, 7 November 2011

More school letters

Two letters today, one for a school trip and asking for a 'voluntary contribution'. One reminding us about absences.

I do feel for the school. They are set these targets, and they do their best, but this time of year when schools are mixing up the winter germs, absences must be a real problem. They are pushing the 'no holidays in term time' rule, and, to be fair, I sort of agree with this.

When we were young we used to get a week's family bus pass and have days out all over. We were lucky that the passes covered the beaches of North Wales and the parks and places of Cheshire. We covered vast distances with butties and squash in the bag. If you live in a remote area, it must be difficult, but we live in a very bustling place. Indeed, I plan to be taking little bear all over this summer. I wouldn't dream of taking little bear out of school, and I won't pay summer holiday prices either!

On the other hand I do feel for families who need to get away through difficult circumstances and really can only afford to go away during term time. And I also think that those schools who organise the humungous trips in term time that are more holiday than learning aren't helping either. I seem to remember when I was at school that there was a cruise in term time. Hmm.

Little bear in trouble

'Why are you so fat?' little bear asks me, while I sort out stuff for him.
'Because I eat too much.' I say, as matter of fact as I can manage.
'My friend's mummy doesn't eat too much.' Little bear said thoughtfully.
'Thanks for that.'
'Mummy, you are ten metres fat.'
'Thank you very much,' I said flatly.
'No you're not,' little bear said, with absolute mischief in his eyes. 'You're twenty metres fat.'

He does like to push his luck. I did the only thing I could do - I gave him a severe, disciplinary tickle.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Sobering thought

Since darling father moved in, the drink levels gradually have increased. OH used to quite often like a rum and coke of an evening, now he likes a whisky and lemondade, shared with darling father. Darling father likes a drink, and at eighty he should have what he enjoys.

As for me, I seem to be having a drink at least once a fortnight, which is a lot compared to this time last year. Of course, I am not taking happy pills at the moment, so that doesn't stop me drinking. If I drink and take happy pills I get an appalling headache, and having alcohol, which is a depressant, while taking antidepressants seems a bit of a waste. Even so, I seem to be having a drink roughly every other weekend and sometimes one midweek!

Even more worrying is the gift list for Christmas. I usually buy something 40% proof for my sister in law, not because she is a binge drinker but because she likes a drink now and again. I quite like the idea of a bottle of wine/spirit/other alcoholic beverage for a gift as I hate buying presents that need dusting. However an awful lot of the gifts that are coming our way are also from the off licence.

For years I have been begging my sister in law for supermarket bubble bath. She spent a lot of thought, and a lot of money, and got me some Gok Wan smellies. They are absolutely gorgeous and the box they came in is now little bear's treasure chest. But they aren't quite me, and I feel guilty after all the effort and money my sister in law spent. So this year I have asked for something nearer 20% proof, like Tia Maria. I've asked for that from a lot of people, actually, so I may get what ought to be a year's supply. But asking for drink.

I think I shall keep an eye on this.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Little bear's favourite poem

By Michael Rosen

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
All the King's horses and all the King's men
Trod in him

He laughed for about ten minutes solid. It may not be Tennyson, but it's a start

Bonfire Night and evil cat

Little bear, darling father and OH are out letting off fireworks. Evil cat is sitting in her basket looking inscrutable.

This is a bit hard on me. Normally she watches through the window, she has never been scared of the noise. Now, however, I think she 'can't be havin' with it'.

It is so hard seeing this. She has just coughed up a very dramatic, oscar winning hair ball and tried to steal scraps of chicken from little bear's plate. She was looking so much herself, but she doesn't want to know about the fireworks which, as far as I can tell, she has always enjoyed up until now.

I called the vet for a new pack of the painkiller prescription and the vet is coming out to see her, as the guidelines for the medicine require regular checks. We can't take evil cat to the vet as the journey is too painful, and pain makes her even more combative. I would point out that even without pain she can be pretty assertive about personal space and what happens to vets who invade hers. The vet that came out last no longer works for the practice, so it is someone that may not be aware of evil cat's reputation. I hope she will reassure me.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Waking up in shock

Poor little bear was a bit neglected this morning, as I spent a lot of time falling asleep in the same room as him between about 6.30 and 8.00am. Of course he had drinks, breakfast etc, but not bright company from his mum. I am feeling better in the cough department, but like absolute ditchwater with everything else.

So I stumbled into school with him. Then I wondered if I was actually still dreaming. The staff were dressed as characters from the Wizard of Oz. The lady dressed as Dorothy, who is lovely, was just so unexpected as the normally polished lady had a wig, gingham dress, apron, the whole caboodle. It looked a bit, well, odd. I just stood and blinked at her, and thought, either someone has put something illegal in my cornflakes or I am going to have to be very tactful here. So I said that she looked very nice.

On the bright side little bear got himself dressed today. Okay, it was in installments with lots of me pounding up and down stairs to help with the awkward button and the issue of a belt. But he was determined.

Bed time song

As I am still inaudible, OH is in charge of little bear's bedtime songs.

'In Dublin's fair city, where Daleks are pretty....'

Little bear is going to be devastated when I take over again.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

New use for old things

Little bear's old reins (absolute sanity saver, I would recommend them to any mum) are now his safety harness when he is dressing up.

He gets very serious about it!

Evil cat and food

Evil cat is still looking a bit straggly but getting lots of fun out of life (sitting on my chest when I'm having a coughing fit is her version of fun).

The vet asked us to give her the special medical type diet, formulated for dicky kidneys. Evil cat did NOT approve. She was just picking at it, and she lost so much weight that the pad of fat behind her eye dwindled and she ended up with her eyelids curling in, irritating her eye and giving her an eye infection. So we started giving her the occasional treat of tuna in spring water.

The occasional is now daily, one small tin of ethical tuna in spring water. Since she got the painkillers she has also been stealing (and I've let her) and begging so she has had a supplement of the medical food. She has forced some of it down. If you have seen a cat reluctantly forcing itself to eat inferior food you will know what I mean - it is a dramatic performance worthy of a film.

The medical food is running low, and I was considering how much to order. The vet in the summer did not expect her to last twelve months, and there are days when she is extremely creaky and grumpy, as well as a lot of good days. She has always been just fluff and malice and now she is even slimmer.

I am considering not re-ordering the medical food but getting normal cat food. It would be the high end, posh stuff, the stuff that is really good for her and full of actual food content. Even the posh stuff is cheaper than the medical food. If I thought she would tuck in to the medical food I would happily spend the money, but most of the medical food is being licked, sniffed, a few mouthfuls eaten and then just ignored as she holds out for tuna. Also, a diet of pure tuna is not good for her. She needs a wider spread of vitamins.

Then I ask myself what sort of person I am that would not get the proper diet cat food. I think it is a person who wants to get some more weight on the cat and let her eat. I am still thinking about it, but it is so hard to know what is the best.

btw - the experienced vet who was starting there when we first went in 1990 said that the main thing was to get the cat to just eat something. I think that has been preying on my mind, as evil cat is certainly not eating much of the medical stuff.

The pits

The cherry stones have arrived. What I am supposed to do with 3.2kg of cherry stones in a homespun hessian bag. That's right - I'm supposed to be making heat bags out of them with the surplus pillow cases.


After packing in a hurry, unpacking in chaos and barely able to move without coughing myself to a standstill, the laundry is in ruins. I can only find one of the five pairs of school trousers that little bear possesses, which he is currently wearing. And that he wore yesterday (I washed and dried them overnight, of course). I can't move bags and baskets to search without collapsing with the coughing, and I had two hours sleep last night, which is the last in a long line of broken nights - I haven't had a decent night for about three weeks. The washer hasn't stopped all yesterday but the unwashed pile is still looking at least like Himalayan foothills. The unwashed pile is still smaller than the ironing pile and the 'finding a place to put this textile accumulation' pile, which includes the surplus pillowcases. I still haven't found places for everything for darling father's stuff and the stuff that used to live in darling father's room. Also lots was turned upside down as the ironing etc is in the same room as the space cleared and now filled with four summer tyres.

And in the middle of all this I am supposed to make heat bags. Actually, I am going back to bed.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Cute little bear

I just remembered. Little bear dashed in, wearing his Halloween costume, after he had been to his auntie's house. Evil cat, not unreasonably, decided all her peace on the soft spot on the sofa was over and so she ran out to kip somewhere more private.

Little bear ran after her shouting, "Kitten, it's okay, it's only me, I'm not a monster." Poor lamb was really upset in case he had frightened her, the cat that chases off Dobermans and sits in the top window to watch fireworks. He is a lovely lad.

His eye is fine. I will, of course, keep checking.

Poor little bear

I was helping little bear wash and dry his hands. I towelled quite giddly - not rough but very active, and the corner of the towel caught him in the eye.

Fortunately darling father took over as little bear was distraught. And although I tried to explain it was an accident, he insisted that it had to be a 'tiny, tiny bit on purpose, because it hurt so much.'

Poor little man. I shall be keeping an even closer watch on his eyes now, although it currently seems fine (again).

Small mercies

Well, at least I got the most recent letter from school. And it doesn't exactly have any demands for money. There was just a list of the various 'Christmas Performances' and 'Carol Concerts' for the various years. Plus the ominous note that tickets would be available.

On a related note, little bear's Christmas performance is at 10am and the Carol Concert at 10.30am. How are working parents supposed to make that? I know OH would love to go to both, but he doesn't have a chance. To be fair, it is better to have it at 10am than keep four and five year olds up until daft o'clock with an evening performance. It is just so sad.

And I think that the school photos will cost either £24.25 or £46.25, depending on whether we want the CD with the photo - and we haven't gone that mad!

Washing on the line

Today I have finally been able to move enough to do washing, and it has been duly pegged out. There is a bit of a breeze and it is not too cold so I am optimistic.

However, around 12pm I was out having a cup of gossip with Nice Mr Next Door and I noticed that even at noon the washing line was now still in shadow. The height of the sun at noon and the large laurel bushes over the road mean that the 'drying on the line' season is getting near its end.

I am actually quite sad, because I love the smell of line dried laundry and its really only in the last few years when I have been at home with little bear that I have been able to make the most of it.

No matter, other arrangements are in hand.
I've bought cherry stones.

What on earth do I say to OH/darling father/baffled little bear?

I'll blame the pholcodine. Also there are other random items on there way....

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Need sanity

I'll be on the Pholcodine again tomorrow - no-one let me buy cherry stones!

It just seems such a nice thing to do, to make bed warming pads from cherry stones, I have old pillow cases, I have a desire to make nice things, I have three beds and a sofa to warm if it gets cold.


So please don't let me buy cherry stones

More money to pay out

Little bear's school photo has come back. There is a bit of bias here, but I think he looks absolutely gorgeous.

£9 for one print!

Of course, if you buy multiple prints then the price per print gets quite a bit lower, so the eventual cost per print will be nearer £4 as we will want prints for darling father, darling uncle, both my brothers, my sister in law, and one for us! In fact, proportionately it is a lot less than I remember school photos from my day. I suspect costs have come down considerably now all the stuff is digital.

I don't really mind paying for it, and I daresay the school will benefit. And I have also expended £9 on half a dozen white polo shirts for school, which is again a bargain. I could have eked out his current shirts a little longer I suppose, but to be honest, they wouldn't have been meeting his trousers by Christmas. And there is another £5 for the martial arts grading on Saturday. And I am going to try and get in touch with the piano teacher over the next week, I am not sure how that will go.

I think all the spends are worthwhile.

Little bear's eye

Before I take to the loopy juice, just to say that I didn't take little bear to the doctor, as it was hard to get an appointment out of school time and little bear's eyes looked absolutely fine.

In fact, there wasn't even that much sleep in them when he woke up, there was no hint that he had ever had a problem. I am confident that he is okay. He has forgotten about it.

He's fine. I'm still fretting and worrying. Situation normal.

Hypochondria alert

I have a cold. Nothing more, just a cold.

Okay, I ache, I am running a good temperature, my nose won't stop leaking and I can not walk more than ten yards without having to stop for a good cough. I am festering.

It is still just a cold with added self pity.

I need to take Pholcodine for the cough, which really does need to be controlled. It is something the Dr has prescribed for me in the past. Except that Pholcodine makes me high as a kite and zonked as a zombie. I can't take it if I am looking after little bear. But the cough is really, really violent.

So I am planning to have a go at the Pholcodine this morning (so please ignore anything on this blog between 10am and 2pm GMT as I won't be fit for purpose and could write anything) and then focus on stuff I can do without moving later.

Hugs to anyone else suffering