Saturday, 31 December 2011

Dratted darling father

Darling father did not take his tablets until incredibly late.

Darling father did not take his tablets because he had run out of breakfast material.

Darling father did not let me know he was running out of breakfast material etc, nor did he ambush me or little bear this morning to ask us to procure some.

Darling father is feeling too poorly to stay up for New Year's Eve.

I am unimpressed!

Friday, 30 December 2011

Money again

I need to find the rest of the money for the holiday by the beginning of April. It seems a lot of money to me, but it is perfectly doable. In theory.

Last night I slept in OH's room as he did the night shift. I spotted a patch of black mold. I could have cried. I have been nattering away at the damp in this room for years. We have got the guttering fixed, we have the roof fixed, now it is just condensation. I did look carefully at the roof, but OH's room is the top floor of four, with all the warm air rising and then all the water condensing out in a cold room at the top of the house with no insulation in the attic (no access to the attic, and no desire for it - the local scallies used to hide from police by going into one house and into their attic space and then down into another house until all the houses got locks except for us as we don't even have an access hatch). OH has piled stuff against the radiator and against the outside wall - it just seemed common sense to put stuff there at the time.

We do have a dehumidifier in there. Of course, half the time I am not actually fit enough to climb the extra set of stairs to empty it and make sure it is set off in the morning, and OH rarely remembers. However I have noticed that it rarely manages to fill in more than a day or two, and the one in the dining room, at the bottom of the house, is emptied twice a day, and that room feels dryer. Then I remembered that the dehumidifier in that room is at least fifteen years old, and the setting switch stopped working a long time ago.

So I am setting up a new regime. A new dehumidifier has been ordered (optimum conditions removes 12 litres per day and runs on 220 watts), and a small halogen heater. Regardless, first thing in the morning after OH goes to work, I go up there, open the window a crack and set off the dehumidifier. It doesn't feel right for it to run while OH is sleeping. If I empty it, I empty it out of the window and it is one of the minor pleasures in my life seeing Oscar pause in digging up darling father's garden and running for his life. Then when little bear starts his bedtime routine, the window is shut and the small halogen heater is put on, until OH goes to bed.

The new dehumidifier and the halogen heater have cost just short of a quarter of the holiday money.

I shall have to put in a very rigorous budget in place as OH doesn't get paid until the end of January. We are well stocked with practically everything, so it shouldn't be too hard for groceries etc. And January isn't a bad time to start sorting out finances.

I am off now to MSE to look at the storecupboard challenge thread.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Hitting the sales

Little bear doesn't need clothes, I don't need clothes (well, that's another story) and OH won't buy clothes. We don't need appliances, or plates or soft furnishings. I certainly don't need to buy any toys or books for little bear!

I also suspect that a lot of items are marked up quite a lot before Christmas so that they can legitimately advertise the item at 75% off. At the moment I think I am better off saving 100%

However one thing I did snap up in the sales - sixteen 4 metre rolls of rather nice, good quality gift wrap that can also be used for birthdays, weddings etc at £1 per roll at Matalan. I did this a few years ago, and my stock is finally running low. I am still fine for Christmas cards, however, after buying in significant quantities from Approved Food last year - they were nice cards, not too flimsy, and worked out at around 10p per card.

As soon as little bear is back at school I will be working on the gifts for next Christmas, and making lists to get stuff stocked up!

Wednesday, 28 December 2011


It's back - the incredibly minor cough that is purely in my throat but which makes speaking almost impossible and I end up leaning against walls while coughing - incredibly minor bug, incredibly annoying effects.

I was looking back to see if I had mentioned my fury at the threat of fortnightly bin collections and the fact that I can't have a stove (considering an inexpensive fire pit or oil drum - darling father gets two papers a day) and I saw just how many minor bugs, lurgies, and sniffles I have had. I seem to be permanently paralysed by them - all very minor infections, all incredibly irritating and getting in the way.

I think I really need to review exactly what I am eating and drinking. Exercise is definitely out at the moment. I haven't been able to walk more than a short way for most of the last three months!

And I need to jettison the self pity asap!

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Sounds off

I was watching a recording of Tony Robinson's Gods and Monsters (recommended, and I shall loot for ideas and have already looked up some actual research prompted by it for the next installment of the Forgotten Village). It is a scary programme and I was watching a re-enactment of a sixteenth century exorcism...

...when the new remote control dinosaur little bear got today went off in the bag. I thought I was going to lay an egg!

Little bear visited my elder brother and came away with the spoils, which included the remote controlled dinosaur, chocolates, a sonic screwdriver and a colouring set. He also came away with a hefty dose of exhausted after a long walk with their dog. Thank you! The dog was pretty tired as well. As previously mentioned, the dog eats to a professional standard, and demolished little bear's unwanted portion of onion, plus the gravy and some potato that little bear was just too full for. The dog did not get an option on the desert.

I am watching little bear carefully. He complains about tummy ache, but I am not sure how real it is. My observation is that it is a convenient tummy ache. It interferes with baked beans, but not chocolate. This week it has been evident whenever we have told him that he will have to wait until after lunch/dinner for a chocolate. He immediately becomes famine stricken, has to have something to eat (he made my brother count down the seconds practically this lunch time) when he will eat the bits he wants but his tummy hurts too much for whatever he doesn't and then he wants chocolate.

Of course, given the amount of treats he is cadging, it could well be an upset tummy but he is making sure that he doesn't go without the treats. Treats are definitely worth a tummy ache for a nearly five year old. A mum of a little boy the same age as little bear is booking him for acting lessons. I don't think little bear needs them.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Different times

I have just watched one of the first series of 'Last of the Summer Wine', which would have been filmed around the early seventies.

Two things struck me - first, how much everyone smoked in the show. You never see anyone smoking these days, but then it was chain smoking that looked so odd now that I am used to the current tobacco ban in programmes. The second thing that struck me was the length of the skirts. Fashion said that skirts were short, and therefore skirts were worn short, no matter what those short skirts revealed. Sometimes it wasn't a pretty sight, there is a reason I go round in jeans all the time.

I think that is one thing I am profoundly grateful for. There are fashions around now, I think - I don't pay that much attention. But if you are of a fuller figure, you are not condemned to wearing crimplene short skirts whether you like it or not. And you can wear trousers without your mother complaining (mine never did, but she was a bit individualistic herself).

I am old enough to remember when someone wearing their hair in a mohican style was considered threatening. Nowadays I usually think that it is too much effort to be worth it, and it must cost a fortune in gel. Fashions seem so much more optional and less confrontational these days, and I am so glad.

Many, many years ago, at the height of the New Romantic Fashions, I was on a bus, wearing footless tights, bright floaty skirt, scarves and beads to the armpits and make up Lady Gaga would blink at. I was too caught up in a daydream to pay much attention to any glares, but when I got off the bus I caught my heel on the step and fell, with my handbag sailing off into a nearby garden. I could hear those on the bus tutting and muttering about drugs.

I was on the way back from a Church disco. But in those days (though I didn't realise it at the time) that sort of outfit was quite unnerving to the older generation. It was a wonderful lesson to me. Never judge by appearances.

Sunday, 25 December 2011


Happy Christmas!!!

Food has been eaten, presents torn into and all is settled down for calm.

Also poor OH is trying to construct the lego Cyberman conversion chamber, which looks like it needs a degree in applied and theoretical physics to work out. Little bear is helping. This is why I am here.

And little bear has received the first installment of his books and has already read some. He is thrilled by them! And the cars, and the transformers, and the trio colouring pens, and the model daleks, and the sticker book (thank you soooo much Morgan!), and the dot to dot book, and the dr who selection box, and the marble run, and the satsuma, and the ball that lights up...

btw evil cat was normal. I got some really expensive cat food for her Christmas dinner. She sniffed at it, thought about it, sniffed again and then tucked into the Felix that was left over from her second breakfast.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Yes, there are that many books

Morgan - It sounds more than it probably is (honest, no, really!)

I have bought little bear two collections of the Oxford Reading Tree scheme, conveniently bundled together by the Book People, one with 13 books and one with 36, plus another six from ebay (which is my friend). This was achieved very economically, and through Quidco, so I got cashback.

They are at the equivalent stage as the ones that they use at school, as far as I can tell, and use roughly the same system, but are not the same. I am hoping that I will be helping little bear to enjoy reading and encouraging him, using the same or very similar techniques to school but without duplicating their work. They are all about fourteen pages long, with about two dozen words or less per page.

One reason that he is getting such a vast quantity is the very good deal, and that a friend gave us £25 to spend on little bear for Christmas and his birthday, she is a book lover herself and I owe her one penny change.

The other big, big reason is that little bear is loving reading. He threw a huge hissy fit because he wanted to read books without difficult words, and he wanted to read them NOW! I was very calm as I told him that we hadn't got any, so he couldn't and he should go to sleep. ('I can't go to sleep because I want to read!' 'That's okay, just lie awake and think nice thoughts.' - little bear tries it on a lot.) He insists on at least two stories every night, prefers to read them to us, and will do so every time he brings home the three reading books (instead of one) from school.

I also bought him a half dozen books for handwriting practice - you trace over the words, then copy them, and then wipe them off. This isn't actually included in the total as I gave them to little bear before Christmas, just at the start of the Christmas holiday. He has had huge amounts of fun with it, and I have had wonderful peace and quiet for nearly an hour at a time.

(the other books are Beast Quest, very economical deal and designed for young boys to encourage them to read, but they can be stashed for a year or two and some Ben 10 picture books, so he can brag about them in the playground. Darn, I've just remembered the Dr Who annual I've got for him, I'll wrap that later for his birthday...)

Friday, 23 December 2011

Wrap rage

Actually I wasn't doing too badly with the actual wrapping, but 18 of the 77 books that have come for little bear are actually just that bit too old for him. If he would have been ready for them in six months, it would have been no problem, but I think it will be nearer 18 months. It is content as well as the words.

It is the first three series of Beast Quest which is supposed to encourage boys to start reading. I can imagine that they would, they look ideal for about six or seven onwards. I shall watch how things develop and keep an eye out.

Poor little bear - only 59 books and counting...


Little bear has been bouncing around like an out of control bottle of pop all day and is now, understandably, exhausted and allegedly in bed. He is actually 'being quiet' which is nothing to do with being quiet and everything to do with not being caught playing with toy cars. I am leaving him to it.

So OH has started installing the new television, which is far superior to the bottom of the range flat screen we got because little bear as a toddler made a spirited attempt to pull the heavy and oldfashioned square tv we originally had onto himself. Of course that involves changing over the tv, dvd, darling father's video player, sky, and he really ought to add the wii. We bought it ages ago, we haven't used it, but it would be invaluable in burning up some of little bear's energy.

I haven't got the nerve to suggest labelling all the wires just at this moment. I am hiding on here, with my head extremely down and out of the way. OH is very good, but with all these electrics, wire rage is perfectly understandable.

And when he has everything together, and we have mastered the remotes, there will be one idiosyncratic little glitch that we will not be able to fix for six months or until we spend money on it, when it will inexplicably and without warning fall into place.

Evil cat has done her best to get her paw into it, but at her time of life she can't be bothered to put up the usual resistance to being removed, so she is sitting on the computer mouse and purring.

Christmas is starting

OH has finished for work, he got home early, and he has a new tv as a reward for hitting a particularly stringent target.

So now he is home, all is on holiday. Little bear is happily exhausted, OH is happily exhausted and coughing, darling father has his lottery ticket and is happy and drinking tea - even evil cat seems to be infected with Christmas cheer.

Little bear was particularly pleased when OH got home - because I made him wait until OH came home before he could have a Christmas chocolate biscuit. We start the holiday together or not at all.
My back went as I brought in the delivery. Sigh. Poor delivery driver had only six minutes for drop off - even with best efforts it came to just about £200! And none of it was individually expensive, lots of bargains and small bits. No wonder my back went. And no wonder that they sometimes run late.

Little bear is just about exploding, and I have no idea how to calm him down. Taking him out in the tipping rain is looking the best bet, but unpleasant and full of complaints.

Everything got delivered - phew! I can fit everything in my freezer. All I need to do now that my back is settling down is try and fit everything into the fridge!

Little bear has timing

I am typing this under stress - little bear needs me to break off any attempt of mine to crawl into consciousness slowly and actually have breakfast to read the writing on his Dr Who cards. In fact little bear is doing everything except shout, 'PAY ATTENTION TO ME!' in my ear. It still makes it hard to type a coherent sentence. I would type later, but it won't be any different.

He is coming down with a cough. It is a really good bark, it's keeping him awake and I am keeping an eye on his temperature. Just in time for Christmas. I am giving him loads of cuddles, as many as I can. Unfortunately I haven't had much sleep this week. And I can't see me having that much for the next week or so.

I have identified a dozen cards while typing this at least, including ones he knows but wants me to read anyway. So I apologise for the typos.

Still, at least the days are now getting longer. Belated Happy Solstice to any pagans reading.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

I knew there was something

I had forgotten the nuts. We only have nuts normally at Christmas. Sigh. I am not a huge fan of them, and of course we have been keeping them away from little bear. To be honest, I am not sure anyone would have noticed if they hadn't appeared.

Little bear will achieve five shortly and then be allowed to have nuts. I have kept nuts away from him, without getting hysterical over the odd flaked almond, and I think the surest way to create an allergy is to suddenly deluge him with nuts, so I will not be sharing the dry roasted stuff with him this time. I will be very gradually introducing them.

I don't think I'm cut out for Christmas. But I shall do my best for little bear. I just feel flat.

Now I know I am short of Lebkuchen and Brandy butter - so I will have to brave town on Saturday. Sigh.

Christmas Panic

It happens to me every year. The dreaded question - have we got enough food in? Have we got enough food to tide us over a whole two days - or possibly even only one - without shops being open?

I can barely shut my cupboard doors.

So I am looking at the delivery for tomorrow. I have meat on it. I have veg on it. I have snacks on it. I have goodies on it. I have a vast quantity of chocolates (thank you Ian) and I think everyone is buying me alcohol, so the bottle of rum, seven bottles of whisky (four in darling father's room due to a good offer and three hidden in kitchen after a good offer 'just in case'), bottle of brandy, half bottle of Tia Maria, two bottles of fizzy alcohol of some description, half dozen bottles of wine and collection of half bottles of gin should, with any additions, tide us over until my next delivery booked 31 December. I have a bottle of fancy whisky for darling father, and Ian very kindly sent him some nice looking stuff as well. Oh, and the half remaining bottle of Snow Grouse taking up room in the freezer - and there may be some vodka there as well. I didn't drink much, about once or twice a year, until darling father moved in.

But have I got enough in. I have plenty of mixers. I have milk. I have bread. I have sellotape, I have wrapping paper, I have gift tags. I have foil and cling film and a bottle opener. I have loo roll. But have I got enough?

I swear that something gets put in the water this time of year.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

I don't beelieve it

No, it's not a spelling mistake in the title, it's a pun. Because while I was sorting out dinner I was dive bombed by a bee whizzing round the kitchen. A bee. In December. When they should all be living off their honey. I have no idea how it actually got there - it doesn't look anything like a queen, so I don't think it was hibernating in my kitchen.

I am absolutely baffled. And I was completely scared. I am not very good with bees, even though I know it is irrational. My late mother was allergic to bee stings but I am not. If you had seen me edging past a very small and quite harmless insect as if it was the main feature in a horror movie you would have sniggered.

I have never been so glad when OH came home, he was a knight in shining armour and he dealt with the tiny, inoffensive insect. The poor thing was squashed because where would it go? I know we are having a warm spell, but flowers are a bit thin on the ground at the moment. I also would like to know if it had somehow trekked all the way down from the chimney above the attic to the kitchen in the cellar.

Little bear told me that the bee had gone to the kitchen because of all the flour (flower) and OH made a joke about self raising gladioli. I am just baffled.

Little bear is cross

I failed, completely failed.

Little bear is furious - I will only let him have fruit as a snack, which he suddenly doesn't like. He wants something to eat, but not fruit because HE DOESN'T LIKE IT. I am holding out for the next forty five minutes until tea time and refusing to give in with offers of yogurt, jelly etc. He is aiming to eat his bodyweight in sugar. He has just finished a too generous portion of marshmallows (I misjudged it) that he blagged me into. He is making massive inroads into the sugar mountain that sister in law gave him - and just because she is generous does not mean that I should be fighting the sugar rush, so I am rationing that. Also Christmas goodies will soon be upon us.

Eventually he stood next to me and just shouted 'NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!' It was like a cartoon or comic strip, a little child with a voice several times the size of a car protesting at the injustice of the world and the lack of sweets. That is when I failed. I just couldn't keep a straight face, I just started to laugh. It never helps.

Anyway, I have given in and he has just taken possession of a very small portion of raisins.

Evil cat is evil

Evil cat can be really evil, and at 3am when she bounced onto me and started uttering terrifying yowls she was being definitely and consciously evil. And when you are startled awake and look up and see this shape outlined against dim light and it is a very, very skinny cat shape, yes, it looks evil.

She was hungry NOW!

Poor old girl, she is looking thinner and thinner, but at least she still has the joy in life. And about four pouches per day. I don't know where she is putting it all!

(and I am very grumpy this morning. I don't mind getting up a few times for little bear to put his bedclothes back on, but bouncing on by evil cat is definitely not nice!)

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Sybil is a humbug

I just can't get into the Christmas spirit. I am rubbish at it. I just seem to be getting flatter and flatter.

We went to a party again today, little bear had a marvellous time. Actually I did as well, I had a natter with a mum there and we had a wonderful time. But as for the Christmas spirit, I just can't seem to manage it.

We have Christmas cake. We have goodies in and goodies ordered. There is alcohol, there are sweeties (thank you again Ian) and fruit and stuff... Little bear is so excited that he is fizzing like a bottle of pop. He is also coming down with a cough and cold, I think it may break Friday.

I am a bit worried that we haven't enough for the Christmas stocking. I am sure I can sort something out, however.

I am going to crawl off to bed, perhaps I will feel more jingly belled tomorrow.

Not cooking from scratch

The 'Operation Christmas Clean' gremlins are sniggering more than ever. I have woken up with my cold gone into my ears, so the world is going round and round in interesting ways.

So I browned the casserole beef I had defrosted. Then I completely failed to do housewifery. I added in a sachet of oxtail soup powder, a large quantity of black pepper, a tin of chopped tomatoes, a packet of dried veg, a packet of dried onions, a large sloosh of country soup mix with pasta and topped up with boiling water, shutting the lid with relief. I must remember to top up with further boiling water later on.

I feel so poorly now, but I have to get little bear to the party. I will deal with that when it happens.

I was got!

Little bear had the class reunion with his old playmates from nursery yesterday. We went to a soft play and he ran, and ran, and ran and had a marvellous time.

OH was picking us up, and as we were waiting, little bear asked, 'Can we come here tomorrow?'
I thought about it - something to keep him occupied during a looooooong day before Christmas. So I asked about when it was okay to come and if there were any parties, as this particular soft play shuts down and gives exclusive use to a party.
'We are having a party tomorrow. It's 4pm til 6pm, Santa will be there, £7.95, all welcome, but there may only just be room on the list...'

I limply agreed to this, and so we are going on a nightmare journey there, to be picked up by OH, leaving a bit of a nightmare logistically for OH and darling father to get ready to go out for 6.45, by the time we have had tea, and we will not actually know anyone there. Sigh.

I am far, far too soft. However I know little bear will have a wonderful time, and that is what really counts.

Monday, 19 December 2011

We've been told

We went to the garden centre to get a Christmas decoration each, which has been a tradition since little bear was born. We were a bit disappointed with the selection, perhaps we should have gone earlier, but it just hasn't been possible.

The garden centre has a Santa. Last year little bear was in the queue for two hours and the complimentary (!) photo of him with santa shows him looking like his favourite toy is being tortured in front of him and he is about to be shot. The queue was even longer this year, and OH said, no!
'I'll cry.' said little bear.
'That's okay,' I said calmly.
'I'm going to tell Santa of you when I see him.' Little bear said, very solemnly.

We didn't manage to keep straight faces.

Little bear sees a play

On Saturday we went to see Jack and the Beanstalk at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. It isn't a traditional pantomime ('Oh, yes it is!', 'Oh, no it isn't!') but it is incredibly funny. The music was wonderful, the set was interesting and watching little bear's face light up with the magic of it all was a marvellous thing.

Little bear was accompanied by myself, OH, darling father and sister in law - one child, four adults. My sister in law was prepared. She had come prepared and had a bag which contained an inexhaustible supply of sugar based treats. Little bear thought it was wonderful - and he had two programmes to play with and colour in, and a mask, and a pencil, and jumping beans... He was bouncing off the ceiling by the end of the afternoon.

I really would recommend it, it was so much fun, where the chickens were the heroes of the story but Jack did get his girl in the end. I recommend that limited amounts of sugar are taken for the children. I also strongly recommend the cafe at the West Yorkshire Playhouse - it was very pleasant.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Last day of term

Little bear has his last day of school before the holidays. He has had a full term of school, and managed pretty well. He seems to have plenty of friends, is usually desperate to go to school, seems happy there, his reading is racing ahead (I think he is on year one books, but I wouldn't really know), and as far as I can tell there are no problems. I feel very, very blessed. I hope that this can continue.

Of course the school were getting money off us this morning. I parted with a pound for reindeer food. However this is glittery bird seed, and birds don't come into our garden, possibly due to the humungous black tom who uses it as a lavatory.


I mentioned snowman poo to them (white marshmallows with edible glitter) and I think that may appear next year. Or not. I think if you are a parent of a four to five year old, talking about a snowman's poo is the least of your worries.

Man with a clipboard

We have had the men with clipboards again, wandering down the street noting the registrations of vehicles and photographing them.

There are two points of view. One is that someone repairing vehicles in a residential street is a nuisance.

The other view, which is nearer mine, is that this is someone who is not claiming anything, works hard to put a roof over his family's head and food on the table, who is always willing to help out and is a good neighbour, and who is not actually doing much worse than the alleged landscaping at the back of Matalan and it isn't actually much of a through road - and privately owned at that.

Apparently the bin men have not collected the bins from the newly converted flats at the end of the street. This is about ten yards from my bins that are always collected. I think the bin men have just forgotten and are using the abundance of vehicles (five cars and a large van) as an excuse. There was a measuring tape out as well.

For me, we can almost always park outside our house, and Nice Mr Next Door will always apologise and move cars asap if we can't. Delivery vans get here. Bin men get here. Asda get here. The only people that always grumble are those from the council who are supposed to collect the big items, like sofas etc. They always say that they can't get in because it is blocked. I think they find the road blocked by a large can't be bothered sign.

Fickle little bear

OH asked little bear who the little girl was he was dancing with at the Christmas Play.
'That's my girlfriend', little bear said happily.
'What about your girlfriend from nursery?' OH asked.
Little bear paused. 'I broke my heart over her.' he said solemnly.

If this is what he is like at almost nearly five, I dread to think what the teenage years hold.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Little bear and Christmas cards

Many years ago Christmas cards were invented solely to send to people who you would not see on the day to say 'Happy Christmas' to, specifically close family and friends. It has sort of grown since then, having started this afternoon on round two of the family cards, and I am pretty stingy about who I send cards to, I wish it hadn't become so widespread. However I would be devastated if I missed someone who was upset by being missed (if you see what I mean).

Little bear had written his card to his friend, and sealed it before I could proof read, and was looking bored, so I asked if he wanted to go to the shop to get a card for Daddy and Grandad. Little bear refused point blank.

I did ask him about it, as I thought that both darling father and OH would be devastated if they didn't get cards. But little bear was adamant. He would see them on the day and say 'Happy Christmas' then. That was that.

Actually, given the amount of energy and resources that go into making and printing and distributing the cards that are just as likely to end in land fill as the recycling bin, I sort of approve.

A Mother's Dilemma

Little bear has had a Christmas card in the post, addressed just to him, from his 'girlfriend' (aged 4). I suspect her parents have had the same baffled response as us. We met at the little girl's birthday party, and they seemed as confused as us. Little bear still misses his friend and he talks about her a lot.

I will, of course, be sending a card back. And I will try and arrange a play date after Christmas. But I don't want to get too silly over it. Though they seem to like being friends, and it would be a shame if they didn't get to meet up regularly to play. She seems as keen as little bear. But they are four years old. They seem both fixed on the idea of being boyfriend and girlfriend. I don't know where they got that idea from!

My dilemma is, should I include a photo of little bear? I probably will. I don't expect it will be remembered and it will probably end up at the bottom of a toy box or something - which is entirely appropriate and fine. And I will try and keep viewing it as if it was a little boy that little bear really got on well with and wanted to play with.

Definitely too soon to start choosing hats.

Still yeurk

I am a lot better this morning, with less of the aches, chills etc. I got little bear to school, and it is the school trip to the theatre this morning, so that was really important. He went in clean, ironed clothes, which was a miracle. Now I am sitting here, gently floating about an inch off the floor.

I plan to sleep some more today (I am currently outdoing evil cat in the sleeping stakes) and see how I go.

Speaking of evil cat, when you are a little away with the fairies anyway, and you are half asleep, and you turn over and see this dark, feline shape glaring at you - evil cat looks evil! I kept unaccountably rolling over as well, how dare I! You see, she weighs so little that you don't register that she is sleeping on you until you hear the offended grumble as she pads off to find another cushion.

She has now taken up her favourite daytime position on a cushion in the dining room, where she will stay until she wants food.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Delivery looks interesting

Just to reassure everyone, the delivery on Friday now looks like three bottles of whiskey, four sacks of cat litter and two cans of Old Spice deoderant.

Perfectly normal.

Off to try and iron a shirt for OH. I am not sure I will be physically able to get to the ironing board.

Lurgy continues

Lizmundo - I hope you are feeling a bit better. I have just visited the loo and at one point honestly thought I would have to get OH to help me downstairs, as I felt too week to move. I don't know how I picked up little bear from school, but I was really worried that I couldn't make it.

I feel absolutely dreadful, and I seem to be sleeping very deeply, which means I am not sure I would hear little bear if he cried out.

I have just had some milkshake and some fromage frais. I thought they would be nice and gentle on an iffy tummy. I am also going to take another immodium. I may also have some full sugar cola, as that is supposed to help, especially if it is flat. I can't face it just the second, I loathe the taste. On the other hand, I usually manage quite a bit of caffeine and I haven't had a smidgeon today, so that will not be helping with the aches, pains and chills.

I told you that I heard sniggering when I announced Operation Christmas Clean. Today I can't move!

More lurgy

I finished off the pork yesterday. Today I think the pork finished off me!

I have the dire rear, as Mr Pratchett would say, and any information would be far, far too much - though I will say that I am aching, hurting and cold.

I have just taken two immodium as I am finally confident that I won't bring them back up.

The hardest parts are that I missed little bear's carol concert. I am absolutely devastated, he will have had no-one there! He is also going to miss his piano lesson.

I had to ask OH to take little bear to school. OH loves little bear, and will spend all the time you like with him, but the usual stuff of getting him ready, getting him up for school, sorting out school stuff, really are mine. It is really important to me that OH can enjoy little bear without worrying. So OH was late for work.

I have let everyone down. All because I didn't want the pork to go to waste.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Cute overload

Little bear had his nativity play this morning and it was cute! The little ones were enchanting, the costumes were eccentric and the whole thing went a lot smoother than I normally expect. Although of the two narrators, the little boy found it all too much and just sobbed all the way through, even after cuddles from his mum.

To be honest, while I really felt for him, I was a biased mum and really only had eyes for little bear, who sat still, did all the actions, sang all the words, looked concerned for the little lad crying and then danced with a little girl next to him. I was enchanted.

And, proud mum boast, little bear may be only just finishing his first term in reception, but he is on Year One reading books. I suspect that a lot of children will have just been started there, but little bear seems comfortable enough, so I am happy, and desperately proud!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Delivery and decisions

I've just put in for a delivery next Friday for purely unavoidable items that could do with being delivered rather than hoicked home on a bus.

Four bags of cat litter and three bottles of whisky. Well, the whisky was on offer.

I will probably add one or two things, but not much. I just can't wait to see the delivery man's face.

At least they rang

School rang. Little bear was off on Thursday and Friday, so they rung mid morning to ask me to take in the dratted pyjamas for the dress rehearsal. At least they rang.

Little bear is looking tired and pink cheeked. I am keeping all crossed that it is just tired/overexcited/a bit warm from central heating.

And £25 of school photos have arrived. As a biased mum, it is worth it.

Hair today...

Sorry about the title. I have just had a hair cut and I am very luke warm about it. Never mind. I wouldn't have bothered, but it is the rescheduled one that I should have had if I had gone to OH's work's do. These days, all I ask out of a hair cut is shorter hair (I once said that to a hair dresser after she threw (literally, they went sliding all over the place) a load of magazines at me and asked me how I wanted to look). And at least I have shorter hair.

I didn't go to the doctor - they are supposed to be taking blood samples and I still have a convulsive cough, and I don't think that's a good combination.

Posts from me may be a bit thin on the ground for the next day. For some reason I am struggling to type.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Darling Father

I don't need to make things up.

Darling father bought tickets for us all to go to a brass band concert at the Methodists and then told us. It's not the first time he has done this sort of thing, and I wish he wouldn't. Regardless, little bear and I accompanied darling father, but OH had bravely taken little bear to the birthday party earlier by himself, as I had had a bad night, and then had not grumped at me for getting them there an hour early. However he needed some time to himself.

I honestly am not making this up. Darling father wore a false moustache to the concert. I hadn't seen him in it before, and I didn't know what to say. It is grey and comparatively realistic, but it is a false moustache. It made him look a bit like a greying Captain Mainwaring, or a grey Poirot - distinguished but odd! When we got to the Methodist Chapel you could barely move for dropped jaws. I don't think darling father is going senile, but he is having a very strenuous attack on eccentric. Even the Minister was a bit stuck for words.

The concert was quite good. Some of it was excellent, like the Vivaldi. Some of it was not so good, but as I had an overall good time I am not going to use any of the quite witty but also quite cruel quips that I thought of during the performance. The conductor was also pushing heavily on eccentric. He actually put a scarf and gloves ON when they played 'The Stripper' and waggled the gloves and ends of the scarf. His hat during the second half was a chimney with Santa Claus legs sticking out. And he came in as Britannia at the first part of the second half - he bowed to little bear who bowed back. He did look seriously eccentric in a blond wig, Roman Helment, bedsheets and Union Jack robe and a shield with fairy lights on the outside. I think little bear thought this normal for a brass band concert.

Little bear had not been exposed to much brass band music, and was a little wary. He also was tired (I think, given how much he is eating and how much he seems to be growing, that he is having a growth spurt), and he nearly fell asleep on me during an early rousing rendition of Hark the Herald Angels.

He perked up with the prizes. The conductor gave out tiny bags of Haribo sweets to the audience for rewards for eg right answers. Little bear got his first bag when a neighbouring gentleman donated his prize for knowing the year the Salvation Army was founded to him. He got his second bag when I correctly named the ruler of England at the year of Vivaldi's death (fluke - the date was 1741, so George II). Little bear then got his third bag as there were less than half a dozen children in the audience and they all got a bag for sitting nicely. Then he got his fourth and final bag for shaking a tambourine during Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

And little bear and darling father worked the room in the interval. Darling father is already on 'cheeky chappie' terms with most of the ladies, and snooker/golf playing terms with the men. When you add in the shock effect of a fake moustache and the gorgeous and apparently irresistible smile of little bear, they had a wonderful time. I just sat and ate my mince pie. Lots of people complimented me on how well little bear behaved, but I was reserving judgement slightly as I think he was too tired to get up to a lot, and besides he was practicing his charm and angling for sweeties.

I can't wait for the rest of the week.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Braced for next week

I should be asleep...

Tomorrow we have a birthday party in the morning, then darling father bought tickets for the brass band at the Methodists at the afternoon (before he asked us if we could go - I wish he wouldn't do that, little bear's days are filling up and there are no guarantees we will be free, last time my brother had to come from miles away to babysit on relatively short notice).

Monday little bear has a quiet day at school after two days off. I really should have rung school to see if anything was required, but I shall wait and see. However I have a doctors appointment followed closely by a hairdresser's appointment. I am not really looking forward to the hairdresser's but it is a rebooked one from when I should have been going to OH's work's do.

Tuesday little bear has his Christmas play. OH and I will be going and then I need to dive into town, just as it will be getting busy for lunch time, for a few odds and ends. Then back to collect little bear and off for the last Martial Arts before Christmas. Fingers crossed that Miss has remembered the raffle tickets.

Wednesday is the School Carol Carol Concert, and if I recall correctly it is the school party in the afternoon, followed by the last piano lesson before Christmas.

Thursday little bear goes to the theatre with school to see Jack and the Beanstalk and I actually go out to meet a friend for coffee, conversation and the last dregs of Christmas shopping.

I don't think there is anything planned for Friday. However Saturday makes up for it, as he will be going to the theatre with the family in the morning and then to the Martial Arts Christmas party in the afternoon.

Sunday we do the decorations and then on Monday there is a reunion soft play for the class Wise Owls of 2010/11 - the class that was at nursery at the same time as little bear. It seems a bit odd to be having a reunion at five years old, but it gets little bear out of the house.

Then there will be six more sleeps until Christmas. I think that will be the most testing time of all.

Lettuce washing

I was reading a book called 'Extraordinary uses for Ordinary Things' in the hope of finding good ideas for using up 48 small plastic lemons filled with pasteurised lemon juice.

It suggested washing lettuce by shredding it, putting it a pillow case and putting it in the washing machine for the 'rinse, spin' cycle.


If I am doing the quantity of lettuce that is likely to need a washing machine, I think I will seriously consider either buying ready prepared or changing my catering plans.

The book was on sale. I am less surprised than I was.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Little bear is getting a lot better

He is still under the weather. However we had the usual battle over tea, where he complained bitterly and at length and threatened to cry. (He does this for his father mainly, as I always politely tell him that it's fine if he wants to cry. I am a hard woman). But after a fail with the frozen mince (defrosted to yeurk) leaving a bit of a thin meal I did tinned fruit with (instant) custard. The instant custard curdled, which I didn't think was possible, and the first tin of fruit I opened was an epic fail. I would have had to find the shreds of fruit with tweezers.

Fortunately dessert did eventually appear in front of little bear, and he nearly licked the pattern off the plate, so he is feeling a bit better. Yesterday I couldn't tempt him with sweets.

An as aside - meal time was an epic fail, and I want to know why I am still getting the PMS effect after it should have finished. I should have just got a takeaway.

Little bear supervises

I have just written forty nine Christmas cards for little bear's classmates, nearly classmates, teachers and teaching assistants. Little bear has supervised closely, very closely indeed. I would not be surprised if some of the cards said 'Happy Birthday' instead of 'Happy Christmas' and some of them could well be signed by Barbie (and by the end my handwriting would have made it hard to tell the difference) but I don't care.

Anyone spell checking Christmas cards received should find another hobby.

Little bear continues

Can you tell I am not doing well today. I am still recovering from the dust. I have a very, very, very, very, very mild allergy to dust. However I have just been attacked by major amounts of dust so I am sniffing again.

Evil cat continues to sit on the mouse. Bless her, I don't think she is feeling well.

Little bear has announced he wants to send Thank you cards to all those who have given him Christmas Cards. As every child's parent seems to being doing what I plan, sending a card to every one of the forty plus children in the intake, this is looking grim. I am trying to persuade him otherwise, but he is insistent that the Christmas cards are so nice that a verbal thank you is insufficient.

I have suggested a thank you card for his dad. Little bear has suggested he has more sweets. Five more hours until little bear's bedtime.

Thank you Morgan

Thank for for sharing the linky thingy. I really appreciate it, and I just wanted to do it properly as I asked in public, I wanted to say thank you in public (and you are lovely!)

When I have two brain cells working together, I may actually manage to use it.

Christmas Cleanup limps into action

Little bear found my new long fluffy duster, amusingly shaped like a skunk. To stop him painting with it, I showed him what it was actually for by dusting the bathroom lampshade for the first time in living memory. Little bear thought it was marvellous.

He wants to dust now.

Of course, that means that I have to move things for him to dust, try and police where he is climbing to dust and try and stop him dusting anything too fragile for his enthusiasm. He has been barred from coming anywhere near the computer.

I am coughing and spluttering again as I type and I have bribed him with a ten pence mix to stop helping with chores.

On a related note, I put in an Approved Food order. As usual and like peanuts, it is impossible to stop at one, so the second one was delivered the day after. I had forgotten when I put the second in that I had ordered the case of small jif lemons with the first order (for those not familiar, small plastic lemons filled with pasteurised lemon juice). I thought it would be great for cleaning, especially if Operation Christmas Clean actually got going. In fact I thought it would be a great idea for Operation Christmas Clean both times I placed the order. I have forty eight small lemons filled with pasteurised lemon juice.

I am going to look up alternate uses for lemons. Mrs Beeton considered them a cure for freckles. She didn't clean mirrors with them, she preferred to use gin with an old silk handkerchief. The way alcohol seems to be flowing into this house, I think gin might be the more likely option - but an old silk handkerchief? I'll probably stick to microfibre.

ETA Little bear has quickly gone back to normal and is now trying to see how many pompoms he can fit into the weeble castle he grew out of a few years ago but we can't get rid of.

Little bear is a lot better

Little bear is a lot better. He is still a bit tired, but feeling able to beg for sweets, chocolate and junk. You should have heard the howl of fury when I insisted that he had cereal before his advent calendar chocolates.

However the school rule is 48 hours from last instance to returning to school. So today he is boooored. But he really isn't fit to do much, the house isn't set up as I had hoped it would be for making things in the Christmas holiday, and the weather is foul.

I am feeling a lot better myself, but far from 100%, so while I am doing my best, little bear isn't really getting the benefit of full attention.

At least evil cat is laying low.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Little bear's broken heart

Little bear burst into tears about his broken heart. He's missing his girlfriend from nursery.

So I shall speak to his 'girlfriend's mum and see if they can get together at soft play. Poor little bear, not quite five and his romantic hopes dashed all to pieces. He asked me to try and arrange something for Saturday. Even if I could walk for more than ten yards without coughing, I am not braving the sort of weather that is forecast, not even for little bear's broken heart. Especially as it is only a put off of a week or so.

Also, OH and I are absolutely baffled about where he got the idea of a broken heart from. He was absolutely devastated, though.

It was a dark and stomy night...

The weather here is ferocious, and it isn't even the worst in the country! And poor OH is out on his work's do.

I hope he is okay, he only went out in a light jacket as well.

Little bear on the naughty step

I haven't had to use this for a bit...

I wouldn't let him look at some iffy you tube stuff and he tried to shake my arm, and really sunk his fingers in hard - it hurt!

He is begging me not to tell OH. I think he will learn his lesson.

Little bear continues

Lesley - I am not sure it is the vomiting virus. If it was, then that would be sort of more or less okay because he would be unlikely to get it again this winter. However I suspect an over indulgence in prawn crackers may be the actual cause. Although he has just been sick again about an hour ago, so the virus is looking a good chance. Sigh.

I can expect the lurgies and bugs to die down in a few years. Until then, I am keeping in the stock of calpol, children's Kaolin etc. Actually, I don't need that much calpol. Whenever I take little bear to the doctor he is always running a shocking temperature, just an idiosyncrasy of little bear's metabolism. So the doctor always insists that he has both children's paracetamol and ibuprofen - and prescribes both in large quantities so that I get them free. However the temperature soon goes down and another bottle of jollop gets thrown in the cupboard with less than a quarter gone and then forgotten.

I hate it when little bear gets poorly, but we do get good cuddles out of it.

Little bear is currently lounging like a Roman Emperor on the settee, watching Mr Bean cartoons and holding on to his newly cleaned Ratatouille with a death grip. I have lined up a jammy dodger (thanks, Dr Who) to try his tummy with, and we will see how it goes.

Little bear is poorly

Little bear is feeling very poorly. He woke up at 2.30am and was sick at 4am and 6am. He is a very tired, queasy and achy little bear.

To my shame, as I was cuddling him and trying to make him feel better, there was a tiny part of me that looked at the two days off school (school policy) and the dent it would make in all I wanted to do and nearly cried.

However I am actually quite happy to do cuddle duty (realistically I am not fit for much else), and I am sitting through Baby TV. I put it on last night around 3am as I knew I would get calming sounds and images from there at that time, and he decided he would like to watch it this morning. He is also looking forward to his Ratatouille stuffed toy coming out of the washing machine after it was caught in the crossfire, as it were.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Little bear's second piano lesson

Little bear had his second piano lesson a fortnight after the first, as the teacher was poorly last week. We braved wind, rain, lurgy and cold to get there (cheated and got a taxi there but bus back) and then little bear was raring to go.

The teacher is carefully showing him things like how to hold his hands properly, how to make loud, soft, high and low notes, and singing lots of songs. She played a nice tune while little bear tapped out middle C to the right rhythm. Little bear had a marvellous time. The teacher was impressed by how much he remembered from the one and only lesson.

I wasn't impressed. I know exactly how good little bear's memory is, especially for treats from Approved Food. He lacked concentration and had a tendency to wander around if he wasn't reminded. This is due to tiredness/lurking lurgy, and also being not quite five. I am pressing to have books for him to encourage the idea of practice - things seem to come so easily to him, but now is the time that he needs to learn how to learn and that work is rewarded.

The teacher, however, is impressing me. Although she has no little ones of her own, and little bear is the youngest, I think by about two years, that she has taught, she does take him in her stride. She was not thrown by little bear explaining that he was wearing a toilet roll on his wrist as a pretend bracelet (drat and darn, didn't spot it on the way out, then it was under his coat until too late) and she was quite calm as he solemnly explained that he wouldn't swim in the sea on account of sharks.

I hope it continues to go well. I think little bear can hardly contain himself until he learns how to play a tune!

Lurgy lurgy lurgy

So far today I have read three month's worth of posts in the Open letters Thread on Remrants on Ravelry.

And the advert for the World's Best Pyjamas doesn't have an e-address I can copy and paste, just a button, and I can't click on my own adverts. There was one like that for 'Lindt bears' and I may just google them both.

Operation Christmas Clean is not currently happening. Or anything else, really.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011


I haven't got any money from the adverts, I may in the future, but their main value for me has always been entertainment.

And after all the fuss of little bear's costume for the school play, I just chuckled and chuckled to see an advert for 'World Famous Pyjamas'.

Speaking of little bear, I have just nipped upstairs, taken the fire engine off his bed, pulled the covers over him and smiled at him sleeping in a spaceman fancy dress uniform over his pyjamas. It makes a change from the knight's (soft and comfy) costume.


Still haven't found the 'right' blogs. I lost a link ages ago of one that I loved, about a little boy a bit older than little bear. I shall keep rummaging.

Cold and PMS still making life 'fun'. A while ago I got a tray of out of date whole cloves from Approved Food for very little money. I don't use them in cooking, I simmer them in a pan on the cooker and they scent the whole house. However today the whole house was not hinting of Christmas and Pfeffernusse but burnt cloves. My nose was too blocked to realise before the small pan got encrusted with burned on spices. I can now say goodbye to the non stick lining of the only non stick pan I own. However I have only used it for simmering cloves for the past two years, and if I remember rightly it was £2.99 from Matalan, so I am not as devastated as I could have been. It's only a tiny little thing - ideal for simmering spices.

And I told darling father that I needed to lose weight, the diet starts now, the pain in my hip is worrying me and the doctor is happy to put me on diet pills if I can lose 2kg in the next month. Since then he has bought me a huge bottle of Tia Maria (which at least is low fat), a big bar of Bailey's cream centred chocolates and four of the microwavable hot chocolate and brandy drinks from Marks and Spencer. This is in two days. I am planning on keeping a running total of calorific treats in a side bar. He means well and wants to get me treats as I am so full of cold.

Thank you Morgan!!!!

I have been awarded an award!!!

First of all, I would like to thank....

The rules are as follows
  • Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
  • Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blogs.
  • Copy and paste the award onto your blog.
  • Have faith that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.
  • Have fun!!
I have no problem in thanking Morgan for her nomination, and I love her blog. It is quite an inspiration to me, and it reminds me of what living in a more rural setting means. Morgan's blog is and I always enjoy it.

Now for my really, really embarrassing confession - I don't follow many blogs. I dip into them, but I am a bit selfish in that I post here (and I am incredibly flattered when people read) but I don't read others often. And the ones that I do read are ones that have already got the award, I love Silver Sewer's blog and of course Morgan's, and others that I click on a lot have more than 200 followers and it is supposed to be less than that.

So I am taking this as a great opportunity to browse blogs, find lovely ones, recommend them here - I'll edit and add them, check back for the ones that I used to like but sort of drifted off and share the award.

And it is great timing as well, as I am so full of lurgy (and self pity) I can hardly move. It is a cold, nothing more at all, but the consistent dripping nose, aching joints and awful cough mean that Operation Christmas Clean is postponed. The cough is a brilliant touch. I sound like I am on the last stage of consumption and about to die in a garret. I sound like I smoke sixty a day and suck ashtrays for a hobby. It is a slight irritation of the throat really and nowhere on my chest. However strangers look at me as I lean against a wall trying to not fall over with the cough with concern and I feel a fraud.

So thank you Morgan, first for your kind words and then again for the wonderful opportunity. And also for being a lovely, lovely friend, generous, kind and so full of interesting things. (and I am going to be asking you nicely how you do the linkys in text with just one blue word)

Monday, 5 December 2011

School Calendar

We have the opportunity to purchase (sigh) a school calendar for the trivial amount of £3.50.

On the one hand we have a Dr Who calendar poised to be hung on the wall and annotated. I have heard that the last school one was not the best quality. And I am getting fed up of paying out. We are already over £100 for the first term there. I could have scaled it back, but I have just also signed up to provide the paper cups for the school party (and getting rid of 50 Asda Smartprice inconveniently opaque plastic tumblers as I need clear to do stripey jellies). This is on top of the wine for the hamper, the raffle tickets for the hamper, the ticket for the Christmas Play, the donation at the Carol Service, the 'voluntary' contribution for the trip to see Jack and the Beanstalk...

On the other hand, I have this sneaking suspicion that it may be better for little bear if he is known as one whose parents will always turn up and stump up. And it is only £3.50...

I just don't know what to do. However my instinctive reaction is to not bother. I am sick of paying out.

I'd ask darling father's opinion, but he has just 'popped out to buy Christmas Presents' with a definite sparkle in his eye, so he is up to something anyway and unavailable for comment.

Grocery Delivery

I had a delivery of groceries yesterday.

For the first time since I can remember there was not alcohol in it. Not a single drop - I had been stocking up on the offers and I know that alcohol may be some Christmas gifts (alchohol MAY be Christmas gifts in the same was as the Atlantic MAY be a little damp). There was, however, a shed load of 7up which darling father likes with his whisky. It was on offer so I stocked up.

I resisted stocking up on tins of soups. There were three reasons. The first reason was that the deal wasn't that brilliant. The second reason was that the deal was a frequent one and I could wait until next time. The third reason was that the doors of the soup cupboard were already nearly falling off due to over packed shelves. I need a price book and some self control.

An Approved Food order is on its way. I may regret it.


I have an acute attack of hypochondria.

Actually, according to the Doctor I have the nasty virus that is going around.

I have had a bad night, little bear had a bad night, and now I ache.

Also failing to keep warm.

Does anyone remember me blogging about needing to get cleaned up and the fates sniggering. I can hear their chuckles as I type as I can barely move!

The Pyjama problem

Little bear is a child in the Christmas Play, and has to wear pyjamas. I have already blogged how they pointed out that they could have just got him pyjamas from Matalan, but they were sure he had nicer ones.

On the Friday morning I came into possession of a 20% off voucher from Matalan...

Four pair of school trousers in the next size up, three dishes (I keep breaking them), snazzy top for his school party, book for darling father for Christmas, and a pair of Matalan Pyjamas for the School Play! So there. I saved £11.

The pyjamas are a very middle class sort of blue with red sort of plaid effect. However I am not getting him new slippers, so he will be looking very Disney in plaid pyjamas, and very little bear in Batman slippers.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Little bear is cute

Little bear is coming down with something green nosed and gruesome, I can tell. It has been coming all week, and I am just waiting for the axe to fall. Meanwhile today he has been pink cheeked, hyper active and had the attention of a kitten in a feather factory. There have been trying times, especially when trying to explain to him that furniture is not the same as a climbing frame.

Much, however, can be forgiven of a child who falls asleep in a Scooby Doo costume.

Grumpy, Grumpy, Grumpy Sybil

I don't know how I happened but as I checked the baked potatoes in the Remoska and found them absolutely perfectly done I knocked the base pan over the edge of the counter, splatted fluffy baked potatoes everywhere and seriously dented the base of the Remoska, so that it no longer fits in the stand - and it melted a carrier bag onto itself as well. I think new base needed - it dented when it was red hot, and I don't really feel like messing with it to get it to fit. Goodness knows how much they cost now to replace.

So, beautiful roast lamb with mint stuffing, fresh garden peas, Bisto's lamb gravy which is very pleasant indeed - and chips from the chippy. Sigh

Grumpy, Grumpy Sybil

Friday night I had a dreadful time getting to sleep due to being in a lot of pain. But I knew that OH would be looking after little bear so at least I could sleep in.

Except 'darling' uncle woke me early with a phone call. The pain meant that I couldn't get back to sleep.

Pain continued, as did cough and it affected how I was able to speak. In the few moments I got to chill on the computer 'darling' father kept shouting questions to me from the other room so I had to either get up and answer or kill myself coughing - and I only had about fifteen minute slot to chill.

I finally started snapping when I was downstairs in the kitchen and 'darling' father thought it was okay to watch The Mummy when little bear was in the room. Has anyone seen some of their more gruesome special effects? I marched upstairs (couldn't shout) and insisted it was turned over as I was the one who would be getting up in the middle of the night with any nightmares (little bear did complain about nightmares of what he saw, but I suspect that was because I had told 'darling' father in front of him)

I managed to keep my mouth shut for tea. I peeled and chopped potatoes to boil for mash, I put the burgers in the oven. I asked (between coughs) for OH to finish tea off. My mistake was to not actually open the tin of beans, put them in the pyrex jug, put it in the microwave and set it off for the first five minutes. Dinner was a bit thin.

I can't wait for PMT to finish. Yesterday was not abnormal. It was just that my tolerance to it was lower than usual.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Re-Reading the School Newsletter

It doesn't actually ask for money (apart from the first paragraph mentioning that the raffle tickets now are on sale)...

However I will be buying an expensive pair of pyjamas (That probably won't be as good as the Matalan ones I usually get), and I need to provide items for the hamper and the school party and possibly I may need to get 'party clothes' for little bear. Much as I love him, he is short of party clothes as the parties he goes to are soft play and I would be technically insane to send him in anything like fancy. He may just get provided with his nicest jeans and top. Or I may do what I did last time this came up and fall in love with a groovy outfit from Matalan (they have some gorgeous sets for boys, with waistcoats and everything).

Regardless, all the cost of party food and hamper items are added to the asks amount.

As for the hamper item - what on earth do I get? I know lots of parents won't bother, but I want little bear to look good(ish) in front of the teachers so I want to send something in. Nothing I have from Approved Food is still in date, though of course it is fine. I am not sure how many that go to the classroom will use a jar of mincemeat (I wouldn't, I loathe the stuff). I refuse to buy alcohol, though there is some extremely inexpensive wine from the lovely newsagents that is a tempting thought. The £2.99 stuff actually tastes really nice, but it is low alcohol, only 8% proof. The hot chocolate toddies that darling father keeps bringing home from Marks and Spencer are stronger than that. I think a small packet of shortbread will be appropriate - from Marks and Spencer. Which I can pick up when I go and get the dratted pyjamas.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Another School Newsletter

It hasn't actually asked for money, so that's okay.

It has lots of songs for us to practice along with our little ones. I shall have to go on Youtube and hope that the version there is the same as the version at school, because the only one I recognised was 'When Santa Got Stuck up a Chimney'.

They reminded us about the children's Christmas Party. They are putting up a list for us sign up to bring in pre packed, or non-home made stuff. That took me a little by surprise, but I am glad I don't have to make home made. My fairy cakes do not stand up to scrutiny. And we can bring the party clothes in for them and hang them on their peg in the cloak room in a carrier bag. Forty plus kids all changing into variations on a theme of party wear and scattering uniform around - marvellous!

There was also a note about little bear and his part in the 'Christmas Play'. He is playing 'a child' and has to wear pyjamas, so his costume is not provided. 'We could just nip out and get some from Matalan' his teacher said dismissively. 'But we are sure you have snazzier ones.'

All little bear's pyjamas come from Matalan.

Actually I would recommend Matalan to anyone who has little ones. The clothes for kids are generously sized, decently made for the price, wash and wash and wash and are generally great. I am seriously thinking of only ever going their for his stuff, it is brilliant. Except, obviously, for pyjamas for the Christmas Play. I am going to have to brave the infernal torment that is Marks and Spencer in the run up to Christmas to get little bear some pyjamas that will not necessarily be that much better than Matalan. But they are middle class pyjamas.

It was my own fault. I over spent on the raffle. I thought lots of parents would be splashing out a bit for the raffle, with it being their little ones etc. I realised too late that I was the biggest spender by far. I think I may have marked my card the wrong way.

A Welcome Visit

Darling Uncle visited us today.

It is an awful thing, but I think he was just far too exhausted by it. He was walking with a stick for the first time I have seen, and he was looking so frail.

We had a swift pub lunch, we got to have a quick look in a shop, and then we came home. Little bear was absolutely thrilled to see him.

I will just have to come to him in future, and as often as is practical. It was lovely to see him, hard to curb his generosity - he is out for all he can give - and little bear was thrilled. But I can't ask him to do this again.

New Day's Resolution

My house is so cluttered and dirty I can hardly breathe. There is so much to do. And in 16 days time little bear breaks up from school for the holidays. No Operation Clutterbust will be possible with him here.

Not only is the sheer scale of the mess affecting me, but in seven days time my brother will be baby sitting. His house is gorgeous and I would love him to be able to relax with little bear in bed in a clear environment. And I dare say people will be dropping in, if only to see little bear.

I am going to be posting updates on here - and please keep your fingers crossed for me! My left wrist is on fire and my right ankle is very painful where I knocked it on Tuesday. Any thought of actually doing something is usually hit broadsides by a sniggering fate with accidents and happenings in avalanches. But I have to, actually HAVE TO for my sanity, get the house clean.

Today is a new day, so I have made a new day's resolution - get cleaning!

Of course, I can't start immediately as I have to, shove something in the slow cooker, go into town to pick up x, y and z requested by OH, pick up a few bits for presents and then meet someone and then...

No matter. Operation Christmas Clean has begun!

(as I type little bear came in with a sore eye. He is definitely coming down with something, and if it is conjunctivitis he will be off school and I won't be able to do anything...)