Monday, 30 April 2012

What happened to the day?

So far I have got the numbers for the accounts for the Amazon stuff, and done various bits and bats and now I think that all I need to do is get the cover work done and I am good to go. 

Evil cat has helped throughout by trying to be a barricade between me, the keyboard and the monitor.  She has driving me absolutely daft!  When I was trying to work out how to do a particular bit which involved following a step by step list, I was ducking and diving around the tabby shape and nearly in tears.  I am actually typing this around her.  The next installment of the stories may be flavoured with cat hair.

I have kept my stomach contents on the inside, which has helped.

Now off to get little bear - hope he has been okay, he was so washed out over the weekend. 

Timing is everything

We finally get a good drying day - and I have an upset stomach and walloping headache.  I am not doing big washes. 

Part of the problem is that I have cleared all the backlog, so that the majority of stuff that needs doing now is all 'take down curtains to wash' and 'pull out mattress covers to wash' and 'empty cupboards to wash' which with this headache is not happening.  I shall have a scour round for the shirts/t-shirts/underwear and get that washed, but it should only be one or two loads.

List of things to do today - call dentist as I will not physically be able to get there (really good headache!), call bank re what my BIS is.  Apparently I can self publish to kindle directly at Amazon, and can get quite good royalties (which when I will be charging 99p is nice) but I need to tell them my bank account's BIS and BIC to set up the account (in case I get any royalties to be paid) and I am completely baffled by what they are. 

Actually looking at the Price List thingy, I hope I will be allowed to charge 99p, but there is a pricing structure depending on the file size, so I may have to charge a higher price - up to £1.49.  I will be charging minimum price.  

Glass half full - once OH had done the cover art, and I have found out the magic bank account numbers, then I think I may be fine to upload the Forgotten Village. 

For the rest of the day - sit quietly and groan.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

The Incredible Hulk

Darling father, OH and myself watched the film the Incredible Hulk with Edward Norton.  It was a fun film, and I enjoyed it. 

However, please reassure me that none of our wonderful Marines actually look like Tim Roth did in that film!  Long hair, unshaven, couldn't march - our great Marines are not like that.  Tim Roth is a marvellous actor, and I have really enjoyed so many of his performances.  But I could have cried at the lack of smartness.  (though I thought he did a good part)

On the other hand, I'd love to see Tim Roth as Richard III.  That would be electric!

Little bear is very fourious indeed!

Little bear still can't pronounce 'furious'.

6am little bear came down at a run, demanded Ben 10 and then screamed in temper because he said the tv was too bright.  So I persuaded him to have another half hour's nap. 

Then he screamed in fury about breakfast, which I ignored. 

Then he threw a complete hissy fit because he wanted to copy the words from a book onto an oversized whiteboard, and he couldn't get comfy and made some mistakes.  Everything I suggested was rejected with scorn and at volume. 

'I going to tell Grandad and Daddy.' little bear announced to me, when I refused to write it all out for him.
'I'll tell them that you've been horrible to me all morning,' I replied.
Little bear had a huge howl. 'I not stop crying until Daddy comes down!' He said.  He had managed to get tears going in his temper. 
'That's okay, but Daddy won't be down for a few hours yet.' I said, being a cruel mother. 

There was a pause.  Little bear is in the other room.  'You can't tell Daddy and Grandad,' he said after a while.
'Why not?' I asked.
'Because I said I sorry!'
'That's alright.' I said.

'But I going to tell Daddy and Grandad.' said little bear after a while.
'You tell them, and I tell them,' I reply, trying not to giggle.
Little bear howled in fury.  

I have been through quite a few howls of fury interspersed with complex discussions about why I shouldn't tell anyone, and I have managed to keep a relatively straight face.

Little bear has just come in and said a really nice apology and I have given him a huge cuddle.  He looks like another three hours of sleep wouldn't hurt him.  I still won't write out a book for him, but we will get there.  He is gorgeous.  And learning the rules of social interaction. 

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Head hurts

I'm getting eye strain and my head hurts.  Not only have I been going through the Forgotten Village, but I've been going through various t&cs as well.  I don't read legalese well. 

(This, btw, is why I am not a hot shot solicitor.  When I worked at the county court, I really knew my stuff, had a knack for picking things up and seeing how things worked, same for when I was a legal secretary.  Couldn't read legal texts for toffee.  Sigh). 

Determined to get there, though.  But perhaps by next weekend...

Busy Morning

I have been trying to get Forbidden Village ready - going through and proof reading.

Why did nobody mention that Darren's burned arm mysteriously went from being his right arm to being his left arm?  And why did no-one mention that I couldn't count when it came to the number of sleeps Karen had had in the Village between arriving and being hit on the head?

Perhaps half way there, still working on it.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Meal planning fail

For one reason or another we have completely failed at the meal plans.  However today I have a sausage casserole in the oven and baked potatoes in the Remoska, and little bear is playing cars while I try and sort out a layout for the Forgotten Village.  I am doing spelling and grammar check - so far I haven't found any real corkers, but we will see. 

Day Two Ben 10

Little bear, after worrying me half to death, is much better today and has allowed me a very necessary nap.  The rules of the nap were that I had to nap in the room he was in, he is very clingy at the moment.

And he is continuing to watch that Ben 10.  I am not really keen on Ben 10, and I stopped him watching it for ages until he was five because it is very much a 'hit things until the problem is solved' type cartoon.  There are also no consequences of people being flung into buildings or repeatedly punched.  And that Ben 10 is a brat, and if he was real I wouldn't let little bear play with him. 

On the bright side it is not nearly as saccharine as a lot of American stuff, and had a whole episode centred on how awful and appalling it was to hold prisoners without trial, so I just normally try and limit it and comment on the brat part and the violence being a bit silly/not working like that in real life.  That is when I can tolerate being in the same room.

It has taken me some time to write this post, and I have had a lot of trouble concentrating.  Little bear is being a convalescent.  He was absolutely bereft without pizza.  I reluctantly went and got frozen pizza.  He pronounced it yucky and I am now finishing it off for lunch, if my teeth will take it.  Then the bottle of juice is too complicated, and he can't work this, and he needs me to do that....

And I completely love him to bits, and I am so glad that he is better.  He is still pale enough to get me running around, and at least I am getting exercise.  

Thursday, 26 April 2012

I am not really suffering

I was complaining about Ben 10 earlier - but poor little bear is really not happy, and is now asleep on the sofa, red cheeked and grumbly.  If evil cat wakes him I shall not be responsible!

So I am here, desperate to go to the loo but not daring to make the nose, and typing really really really quietly.  I am wondering about drs - it seems like a normal sort of childhood chill, but I could be wrong.  I shall worry about that as I go on.  Poor little bear.

And I have very nobly gone on Amazon and ordered some Ben 10 dvds.  Shudders at the thought of sitting through them, but it will be a boost to a very lack lustre little bear. 

I am suffering

Little bear is watching Ben 10.  It is horrible.  Actually although some of the plots are thin, the dialogue is a bad example and the behaviour is atrocious, there are some very good moral standards extremely well hidden in it.  But it is driving me absolutely insane. 

But little bear is lying on the sofa, pink cheeked, languid and hinting at ice lollies - and he is happy watching it.  So I am suffering through it, with the occasional sanity break.

Poor lad, I know it isn't serious, but he is so unhappy.

Looking forward to today

Not really - little bear is now running a mild temperature even after calpol.  He is fretting and I will be up and down after him all day.  Which I don't really mind, but I will be stressed.

Glass half full - I've just been laughing like a drain (inside) when little bear said he wanted a sleepover with his girlfriend.  He was baffled to why I said No!  How do you explain to a five year old?  I didn't, I got him some toy cars down from his room to play with.  He settled for that. 

Long may that continue!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Testing, testing....

I am going to see if I can manage to upload a picture

Little bear has a new hat - I popped in to get a few vests as a gift for a new baby girl, and it sort of fell into my basket.  The picture does not do him justice, it is a sort of silver grey trilby, and he looks a right jack the lad.  The picture shows him pulling a face - I was trying to get a natural smile by reminding him of something that had had him hysterical with giggles - the cat licking my elbow.  However I got the, 'Oh, mum!' look instead.  So far it has been worth every penny of the £4 it cost. 

He was sick this afternoon, so he will be at home for the next two days.  It is a great opportunity for me to cuddle. It was purely because he had eaten too many sweeties, so I will see what happens next. 

I am a bit selective about photos I put up of little bear, I think it would be hard to recognise him without the same expression.  But I think this is safe. 


I am British, I talk about the weather.  I grumble, complain about the weather and wonder what it will do tomorrow.  I consult the forecast every night to work out about washing, shopping, gardening and travelling. 

However I would just like to point out that while I know, deep down, all the good reasons that you can have flood warnings in areas affected by drought, after nearly half a century of watching the weather, that takes the biscuit. 

And I know about more concrete meaning less ground water, and the run off going to the sea rather than the ground and replenishing aquifers.  And I know about the wrong sort of rain running off instead of soaking in.  And I know about the appalling water infrastructure - but really!  Flood warnings in drought areas. 

What I want to know is, in an area where there is a hosepipe ban, could you be done for using a hosepipe to siphon out water from a flooded cellar?  

(also, embarrassed to admit, but have changed the day of little bear's piano lesson because dragging a five year old through driving wind and rain if there is another option is silly)

Where did the wotsit go!

The blog layout has changed - I can't find anything!  So if I miss something please forgive me.

Marybelle - thank you for your kind comment.  I shall shamelessly tell everyone when (if!) I get the Forgotten Village on kindle, but it is available to read for free on Fiction Press and the linky is at the side.  I feel a bit of a fraud asking money for something in the public domain, but I hope it makes it convenient for anyone to read, if they want to. 

I have looked into this briefly.  I can self publish onto an ebook via (other companies do it as well, that's just the one I've found).  I will need to convert the text into a weird format but the programme that does that came free with the computer.  I need to find artwork for a cover and OH has agreed to do that for me (and I am really, really grateful).  I have asked for a stake crossed with a knitting needle against a backdrop of a very home counties thatched cottage.  I hope he can do this, but with computer art a knitting needle is a bit obscure.  Then I get an ISBN number and hopefully get it out there, priced 99p, of which I will get 54p (according to the calculator).

I am going to write all the bits down, so that anyone else who goes through the same process can perhaps get a short cut or an insight. 

And then I am going to set a target of 5000 words per day and see if I can get Digging up the Past out, and the one I have vague ideas about the Forgotten Village at Halloween...  Perhaps I can treat this as my employment and stop worrying about a job.

I just hope I make enough to cover the stamps for the self assessment forms.  As soon as I publish (if I can) I will have to register as self employed.  That will be interesting - I feel like I am at the start of an adventure.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Back to the Meal Planning

I've rather let things slip for a bit - only been looking at things for the next day. However I think it is worth while looking at a longer view this week.

Today we are having sausages with barbecue cooking sauce (OH having bad day). Friday I have the dentist so will be in no fit state, so thinking of bunging in a sausage casserole before I go out.

Tomorrow we are out at piano practice, but I think I can get eg potatoes ready before we go out and once again bring in a nice bit of fish. I need to be dashing about in the day to make the most of the bus ticket.

Thursday I think will be a mince day. We haven't had shepherd's pie in a while so that is now on the menu.

So that's the two packs of sausages delivered today taken care of. I also had a bacon joint delivered which I shall do in the slow cooker - soup on Saturday with home made bread and dessert, meat with Sunday roast trimmings on Sunday. Cold with chips on Monday.

That's the plan - let's see what actually happens.

Knot Knitting

I'm hiding on here away from the pink baby knitting. I am giving myself just five more minutes, then cueing everything up for little bear's martial arts, then doing a few more pink rows.

The poor child will be 18 before it gets anything.


I've decided not to sell the rights to the Forgotten Village.

However I have decided that I am going to try and self publish it on kindle, asap, and follow it up with other stuff, also asap.

I'll let you know when it gets to the stage where you can buy it if you want to (fingers crossed I can work it out) but please do not feel under any obligation to do so.

Thank you for giving me the encouragement to write.

Little bear is fourious again

Little bear still can't pronounce 'furious' correctly.

Yesterday afternoon little bear was sitting on the sofa with a multitude of soft toys, half threatening to go to sleep but getting louder and louder. He wanted me to go upstairs and fetch his book for him. I thought that this was a bad precedent. He thought I was being totally unreasonable and an unfit mother not to dash up and down stairs for him. He got angrier and angrier that I refused to drop everything I was doing and dash upstairs to fetch his book when he wasn't actually doing anything. As little bear sobbed to OH, 'I asked five times with 'pleases' and she still didn't go.' OH could barely stand up for laughing.

You really do need a will of iron when it comes to five year olds. Little bear carried on, and on, and on. I was not moving for him. I kept strong by thinking that any future wife of his would not thank me for waiting on him hand and foot. There was complete stalemate. We would still be arguing about it now if little bear hadn't needed to use the toilet and went up there anyway.

This morning little bear announced that his tummy was still rumbling. I refused to guess what he wanted to do and told little bear that he could do his own thinking. 'But thinking's hard,' little bear protested. I may have some work to do on this.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Thanks to everyone for votes of confidence in my writing - I really appreciate it!
Wean - sounds an odd thing, but I have the comment vetting enabled, so if you put up your email I will not publish it, and I will email you back. (love to hear from you!)

All experience and anecdotage says that if you put an email into the public domain you will sink under spam. Also you can be targetted by all sorts of scammers. I believe that there are more good people in the world than bad, but sometimes the bad are a bit more visible. They make more waves! Good people make calm.

I have been almost paralysed by that message about the Forgotten Village. I managed to get some slinky stuff through the washer and onto the airer, waiting for those to try and I hope to find the bottom of the wash basket by the end of the week. The ironing looks beyond hope.

No reputable publisher would normally touch something that is already in the public domain - I know that much. I was thinking of trying to self publish some stuff on kindle, as you don't need to pay an up front fee. However I have no idea about publicity or anything. And as it is (I believe) quite a visual story that would translate well onto eg tv or cartoon, then I could lose a lot of money signing those rights over. And it wouldn't matter if the text was in the public domain.

My honest strategy - to publish The Forgotten Village and Digging up the Past on kindle together with a third story (as yet unnamed) as each one at 99p, and perhaps the collected bundle as £2.50. The Forgotten Village is in the public domain on fiction press anyway. That is, if I would be allowed to charge such low prices. I have only briefly looked into the logistics, but it sounds very plausible if I go through

But someone has thought my writing is worth money has thrown me. It is unexpected - out of the blue. I mean, I would always think, 'well, when I write a bestseller...' but I haven't taken it really seriously.

I suppose that I do believe that there are more good people out there than bad people. This could be a good person. I just wish I had some idea of what to do.

A flattering dilemma

Someone has emailed me to say that they are willing to buy the rights to the Forgotten Village. That means that they own the story and the characters after paying a one off sum.

I am very flattered.

I am really not sure.

I would lose control of the story, never be able to say that I had written it, have no control over editing so all sorts of changes could be put in, and if it did translate into a tv series or film I would not see a penny of that. I am not sure I would be able to use the characters again (I pulled the 'Digging up the Past' because I re-read it, decided that I had made a right hash and have started to re-write it properly).

On the other hand, I really, really, really want a dishwasher. The carpet is a disgrace. There is work being done on the car at the weekend (nothing serious). I want to pay for little bear to do things.

And it could all be a scam anyway. Though I don't see how it would be. It doesn't matter. I feel all jumbled up and confused. If nothing else it is pushing me to do some more writing.

I think I need to sleep on it.

I have been busy

Yesterday I did washing - shame on me! Washing on a Sunday! But I had a really good rummage and yesterday washed everything that could be dried in the tumble drier, as it looks like there will be no good drying days for some time.

While I have washed absolutely everything I could find at around 8am yesterday, I have since found a few bits, of course. People have got undressed. The beds could do with changing. OH moved some stuff and found a cache of dirty socks. The normal bits and pieces. The washing basket is still full, however, with things that cannot be tumble dried. There is also a large drift of sort of flimsy, lacy black underwear that there is no way I am letting the neighbours see but probably wouldn't survive the tumble drier.

So I am going to reluctantly rig up my airer which until I reorganise my dining room blocks access into my big cupboard and makes things awkward - although it is next to the dehumidifier so that things dry lovely and quickly.

Glass half empty - My pile of ironing is nearly as tall as me. I do enjoy writing, but I rarely exaggerate on this blog and I am not exaggerating with the amount of ironing I have to do. I had some left after the last marathon. I have been washing and 'de-dusting' little bear's old clothes. And yesterday I ironed everything I could lay my hands on. The disorganised pile is easily up to my chest, and then there is another stack on top of the dryer.

Glass half full - it was quite cold and very damp yesterday. However the tumble dryer is vented. The vent comes out next to the dehumidifier, so there is less risk of damp and condensation and the warm air rose and kept the living room and study lovely and warm, we didn't need to have the fire on all day! (grumble - still would rather line dry!)

A quiet day, I hope

Tomorrow the daughter of Nice Next Door is induced and will be having her baby. It has been a risky pregnancy, and I think everyone will breathe a sigh of relief when mother and baby are doing well.

I promised them I would knit stuff. They actually asked. Guess how much I have done...

So today I am knitting. I have a jacket to sew up, I have a pair of bootees finished, I have a hat almost finished, and if I can find it I have a moss stitch hat started and an instarsia cardigan that has gone horribly wrong but I should be able to fix. I also have a large quantity of yarn and a booklet by Patons of easy baby knits with double knitting on 4mm needles. A steady and focussed stint while I catch up with the tv programmes that have been lurking for a while on the sky box will get a bit done.

Also I am knitting in pink. It is not my favourite colour. It could be worse, though. At least the yarn is half way decent.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Little bear is well dressed

Little bear came dashing in from the newsagent with OH, absolutely thrilled. "I've seen an eagle!" he announced happily. OH stood behind little bear and shook his head. He mouthed silently, "Crow."

On another note, little bear is very happy. I have been raiding my friend, ebay, and I have just totalled up my spend to @£40. That is including postage and has netted six shirts, ten t-shirts, three sweaters and a lightweight, leather look bomber jacket from Next that looks unworn. The shirts and t-shirts are okay, but little bear really, really loves the jacket. I know he didn't sleep in it (or at least he wasn't wearing it when he was calling for me at 3.30am because he couldn't find his rat) but he came downstairs in it this morning.

Little bear is currently fine for socks, undies, vests, school wear and jeans. With a little luck I will not need to buy him any thing more until the new school year in September. The clothes I have got are fine for a five year old to play in, some look as new. After looking at some of Matalan's stuff, it really has paid me to get the stuff from ebay. Earlier in the month I also got him four pair of pyjamas (another £28 spent there, but they were all new) and Matalan aren't doing pairs of pyjamas any more, they are selling tops and bottoms separately, and I certainly couldn't have go four pairs of pyjamas for that - it would have cost at least £10 more. And two of the pairs of pyjamas were Dr Who pyjamas, with cheap transfers that I know will not wash well, but cheered little bear up.

All the 'new' clothes have been washed. They have joined the huge, vast, heap of ironing that seems to have tripled in the last four days. I know what I will be doing for the next few evenings.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Little bear is fourious again

Little bear is being very entertaining. He got a pair of underpants out of his drawer, looked at them and then marched over to me in absolute fury.
"These are 3-4 year old!" he shouted. "I fourious! I am five years old!"

It was really bad that OH and me couldn't stop laughing. We really couldn't. We were practically crying with laughter as a red faced and furious little bear waved the underage pants at us and stamped. It isn't going to help his self esteem, but he was apoplectic with indignation. I keep promising myself I won't laugh, and failing. And he can't pronounce 'furious' properly, which doesn't help.

On the bright side, it means that a cull of the clothes in his drawers should be easier. Of course, this Saturday he is determined that he is going to scan ALL of his books into his toy omnimatrix, every single one, and all of his dvds. I'm going to leave him to that one.

I don't think I can win.

Last night little bear came home absolutely exhausted - I guess its the new term, all of his classmates seem to be suffering. He did his home work with some encouragement, refused piano practice and had a melt down because one of the words in his word list to copy out (short list - it isn't tough homework) was 'Mrs', and he didn't believe that it was said the same as 'misses'. Little bear, in fact, told me he was 'fourious'.

He agreed that the dyed shirts looked good, and decided he would wear the pink one to see his girlfriend, as pink was her favourite colour.

Darling father came down for moral support. He looked at the tired little bear and asked if little bear would like some rice pudding. Little bear considered the matter solemnly and said, yes, he would like a little rice pudding.

I looked at darling father and asked, 'Do you have any tinned rice pudding?' Darling father shook his head. I sighed. 'I don't either.' So off I trotted to the lovely newsagents and got some tinned rice pudding. Little bear had four spoonfuls and then said it had given him tummy ache and he didn't want any more.

I didn't say anything.

After OH went out last night, little bear had a looooong bed time. I finished the stories, sang the songs, and then went up and down with the usual plaintive calls of, 'I'm scared...' or 'I can't find my Omnitrix', or 'I'm too itchy.' I would be more sympathetic to the itchy if I could get cream on him. I put talc on him.
'What does this smell of?' little bear asked. I sort of sniffed and guessed.
'It smells of roses,' I said, tucking him up and hoping he'd take the hint.
'What colour roses?' asked little bear.
'Yellow ones. Now, off to sleep.'
'I only like red roses.' said little bear.
'There's three red roses in there,' I said. 'Now - go to sleep!'

Five minutes later he came down to find darling father and me eating some rice pudding. Little bear looked at us with big, orphan eyes. 'I really like rice pudding.' he said.
'You can have some for breakfast.' I said. 'Now - bed!'

So little bear had rice pudding for breakfast and really enjoyed it. And when I think of the rubbish that is in sugar puffs and cheerios, I am very tempted to cook some home made rice pudding over night in the slow cooker.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

washing worry

The washing machine has had some good run throughs with washing soda. I can still rub red off the seal with a paper towel, but I washed an old towel destined for Nice Mr Next Door and rags and it didn't turn pink. So I have put a socks and undies wash on.

Fingers crossed that should be fine. I shall work up from there, lol.

Mermaid - it is tempting to think about the washing up liquid, as it shouldn't perish the seal, and I think a lot of the sprays etc would - I've just thought about laundry soap, that should be safe! Knowing how I attract comedy moments, perhaps I had best forget all about the washing up liquid, lol!

The cost of a taxi

I have been trying to explain to little bear how much things cost. This has not been successful so far, but I am persevering.

Little bear would like to take a taxi to the piano lessons. In this weather I can truly understand it, as hanging round in cold bus shelters waiting for unreliable buses is not pleasant. Little bear has never done any of the travelling during the summer, either, so he associates the trip there and back with cold, wet, dark waits. What has made it worse is that I had been changing buses which meant a particularly cold damp wait in a shelter that is built like a wind tunnel. I have changed where we change now.

I sat down and explained to little bear that we couldn't always take a taxi, because it cost money. We only have so much money, and that has to be shared for everything, like food and other treats. I then made a fatal mistake. Little bear has been after some Ben 10 figures. I loathe Ben 10, but most of the other cartoons seem worse. So I pulled up the figures on Amazon and explained that this figure would cost the same as two taxi rides, this figure would cost the same as half a taxi ride - trying to show him that if you spend money on one thing then you do not have it to spend on another.

It didn't work. Little bear couldn't believe his eyes! Look at all these figures - wow, that's a thingummy, and that's a wotsit - yeah, yeah, mum, forget about how much a taxi costs, look at this amazing bit of plastic tat!

I shall persevere.

Washing machine seeing red

I followed all the instructions on the packet and put two of little bear's shirts into dye in the washing machine. They were white school shirts with pen on, I couldn't get the pen off, so I thought I would dye them red, which is little bear's favourite colour. They then could be used as play shirts and he would still get some use out of them - one was a M&S shirt that may have only cost £2.50, but it was M&S!

Actually dyeing the shirts was straight forward enough, you put the powder in the drum, covered it with the salt and put in the wet clothes. You ran the washing machine at cottons, 40 degrees. Then you ran the wash again as a wash with soap etc. Hey presto - you should have two red shirts.

I put in two shirts, both white, both washed and clean. One came out a satisfying tomato red. The other came out fuschia. I am not sure about little bear in a pink shirt. It is a loud, eye watering, in your face pink - it is intense, it is carnival pink. I will see what little bear says. I am sure he will look good in it, but I am just not used to little bear in pink. The other one looks great, just what I wanted. A nice scarlet, vivid and cheerful.

The washing machine drum still has red all over it. I have put the washing machine on the longest cycle with plenty of washing soda in, and I am keeping my fingers crossed for that. OH would definitely draw the line at a pink shirt. Otherwise I am going to have to go in and give it a rub with something. I gave it a quick rub over earlier with some paper towels. I am just wondering how safe washing up liquid is in a washing machine.

Sleepy Sybil

I had a broken night. I wouldn't describe it as a bad night, but it wasn't uninterrupted. It felt a bit like a comedy routine.

I managed a relatively early night, which isn't always possible. Then little bear came down at 3.15 am - he was cold and he wanted to sleep on the sofa. He has been quite clingy recently so I think he is feeling a bit lost. Sleeping in the room next to mummy with an open door probably helps. He went to sleep straight away - just lay down, shut his eyes and as far as I could tell was out for the count. I wasn't so lucky, I had been woken in the middle of a dream about Nora Batty, and it took me a while to settle down.

5am evil cat started a bravura performance of cat opera. She was singing her furry lungs out, she was hitting all the notes and yowls with absolutely ear splitting volume. Little bear slept through it, and I got up and fed her so that little bear didn't get woken up.

As an aside, I risked getting some Asda own brand kitten food for evil cat. She refused to countenance it. Once she did actually eat Netto's own brand cat food, until malevolent cat took her to one side and explained to her that this was one of the things that One Did Not Do, and that properly trained owners always gave in first. She is currently in the middle of a pack of Whiskas kitten food with gravy and she seems to approve of that. She did at 5am, anyway.

I went back to sleep relatively quickly. My body clock does not like early starts, so I was hoping that little bear would sleep a little longer. He did, actually. He woke around an hour later than normal, at 6.45, demanding chocolate biscuits for breakfast. That was an interesting start to the day. I tolerate the sugary rubbish that is breakfast cereal but I don't like it. Chocolate biscuits are a step far too far. Though I am not sure that the sugar puffs he had instead were much better. Sugar puffs have added things. I wish little bear would have porridge.

So I am posting here, then having my daily call with darling uncle, then I am going to try and get back to sleep. Postman, darling father, phone calls and neighbours permitting.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012


Yesterday I noticed one of the local cats had left me a present. As presents from cats go, it wasn't too bad - one huge, vast, elongated hair ball right in the centre of the gate. I actually noticed this as I was waiting for the nice man from Asda to unload.

I have had this driver before - he is a lovely lad but to an old biddy like me he looks about fourteen. He is obviously old enough to drive a van, but looks really youthful. He also has a 'youf' accent, so I can only understand one word in five, but he is a really nice lad. He humours me.

Yesterday not only was a petrified that he would slip on the hairball I had just noticed, but he also had the air of a teenager who had just been told off, and it WASN'T FAIR. From memory and observation, being a teenager is horrible and the poor lad looked like he was having a double dose, so I unloaded most of the shopping myself. There wasn't that much, anyway, and at least I knew where to step to avoid the cat's gift. The thought of a delivery man, who was not having a good day, stepping into the garden under a load of potatoes and cat food and skidding wildly until he fell down the drain was worth thinking, but definitely worth preventing.

Afternoon less successful

Couldn't hustle little bear to piano and burned the potatoes. However the shirts are dyeing in the washing machine.

I am looking at all the red colour going round and round and getting very, very nervous.

I think I will put in some blacks for the first wash after dyeing. I don't know why I am so nervous, I have used the same dyes before without any problem. And at least I have about twenty of OH's shirts in hand if it does all go wrong.

Laundry list

My current focus and obsession at the moment is laundry. I am in awe how most people just manage it. I have had a complete fail with this, and I am determined to get it on track.

I haven't seen the bottom of the washing basket for a very long time, and I haven't seen the bottom of the ironing basket for even longer. Every time I push, I seem to get pushed back again, but I am keeping this moving.

The big, big problem was being daunted going into a room piled high with textiles of every type. So I got rid of huge quantities last week of out dated and outworn towels, sheets, table clothes, old socks, etc. Nice Mr Next Door was very happy to use the rags. The two lads from next door about to set up their own home were also happy to have the towels that were okay, the sheets, the duvet sets etc - it will do them until they get their own stuff. And the daughter of Nice Mr and Mrs Next Door was glad of a bundle of cot sheets. That must have emptied the room of almost a third of its contents.

The next thing I am tackling is little bear's outgrown clothes. I was going to go today to the Recycle shop that buys old clothes. I am glad with the weather I didn't, but I have started the process of washing the dust off his old clothes, re-ironing and sorting them for the trip. Also sorting what can be donated, what the little boys related to Nice Next Door can use, etc etc. There are bags and bags of the stuff. This morning I emptied one bag to bung in the washer - and found four of OH's shirts.

My heart actually felt like it sank - not more shirts! OH must now have about thirty of the things - ordinary, boring, nothing special, white-or-pale-blue sort of things for work. I insist he has a few, as I also insist that he wears a clean shirt every day as I think that is the way to look nice and keep them looking good for longer. So that is five shirts every week from OH, five from little bear, five from darling father. Plus polo shirts from darling father, t-shirts and casual shirts for little bear and casual shirts for OH. Most of my stuff is non iron! I am drowning in shirts.

I am also constantly surprised at where little bear leaves his socks. I have found them in every room in the house, plus on the stairs. He wanders around happily and footwear is shed at random intervals. I have screamed, shouted and yelled and so now his shoes are usually more or less together wherever he leaves them. I have not managed to convince him to put them in the same place every time, but I am working on it. Changing into slippers isn't working, he treats slippers with contempt. Once I have that mastered then I will move on to the socks and will hopefully no longer find them under cushions, over the backs of chairs, tucked beside the tv, draped on bannisters or nestled in corners.

I will get there, I will!

What I have done today

So far today I have failed to go to the Nisa to get ham - it was raining. Little bear can make do with the ham from yesterday, which he said didn't taste very nice, but that could merely mean that he didn't fancy it. I haven't done any ironing either.

But I did pick up darling father's papers and milk - it's only five minutes out of my way. And I have been stuffing washing in the machine and the tumble drier (grr). I have got the last of the grease off the roasting tin, washed up breakfast things, peeled the potatoes, rung darling uncle for a nice chat, just moved two or three things in the living room into the right place and sorted the socks out that have come out of the drier. I also got the towels away in their place (which I can now reach!) straight away.

Looking at the list - I may or may not do some ironing - I may do some for fifteen minutes at a time to warm me up rather than put the fire on. Or I may suddenly be struck with energy. I am also flagging quite a bit, but I refuse to believe that entirely.

So, after posting on here I am going to try and sort out the start of the story for OH. It is likely to take me a few days. I am going to keep the washing going. I am going to have a proper lunch and do my best to ensure darling father does too. I am going to make sure I have the taxi number in my phone. I shall get sandwiches and a drink ready for little bear and his music case by the door. Then I will pick up little bear and go to piano at 3.15. We will pick up some nice fish (I hope) on the way home. Then I shall nervously help little bear dye some shirts - he has got felt tip pen on them, fortunately in his favourite colour. I can't send him to school in shirts with pen on, but I can dye the shirts red so he can play in them. I shall do an empty wash straight after. I am definitely dying the shirts in a machine wash - there is no way I would trust my track record with accidents or the best intentioned five year old with permanent dye with a hand wash.

Then after tea (which is frozen veg, mash with potatoes already peeled and hopefully breadcrumbed fish) and little bear's bed time I hope to perhaps do some ironing and some bootees. Or just doze.

So far I am okay with what I have done/not done. I hope I can keep it up.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

What to do tomorrow

I should have been asleep half an hour ago. However in about two hours I will be woken up when darling father gets in from the Jazz Club...

I am going to sleep after this post, though, I feel like I've been vampired. I am seriously considering taking garlic tablets. In all seriousness, I checked the carbon monoxide alarm.

Little bear was so exhausted tonight he wouldn't read his reading books. And the new teacher only gave him two, instead of three. He shall just have to go on a charm offensive if he wants more books, I am not interfering with a new teacher's ways. I shall push the reading tomorrow.

I wrote a to-do list for today. I have managed a small amount. It could be worse. I have been soooooo tired. However I am more likely to refer to this than any other list, so I will try and set out what I need to do tomorrow.

Get little bear to school, then straight from school over to the Nisa to get some ham (ten minute walk), then back to the lovely newsagents to get darling father's paper and milk. Get in, peel potatoes for dinner, have another go at the tray that the lamb was roasted in - it still feels a bit greasy so I shall have a go with some lemon juice (cheapo cheap jif lemon from approved food, bought for cleaning purposes). Then ring darling uncle and make a determined effort to put in all the numbers I need in my phone as so many were wiped for a second time, and that needs to include a taxi number.

Given how tired I have been, I shall then alternate between ironing (I think I need to iron for at least three hours per day for a while before I have caught up with all the backlog and kept up with the washing) and writing a personal short story for OH. I need to keep the washing machine going and I shall have to rely reluctantly on the tumble drier. A lot of the old clothes from little bear's past are so dusty that I want to re-wash them before disposing of them. And yes, this will generate a lot more ironing. I will definitely eat a proper lunch - soup, or eggs. I shall try and persuade darling father to have a home made lunch instead of fish and chips - but he does love his battered cod.

I shall collect little bear from school and take him to the piano lessons in a taxi (ouch!) Then we go from the piano lesson (by bus) to the town centre where we will buy some nice fish for tea and then home where it will be fish of some sort with mash and green beans.

In the evening I may insist on my right to doze, but I usually feel better in the evenings so I will try and manage a little more ironing, keep the washing going and perhaps try knitting some bootees. I have been trying to knit a cardigan in what I was assured was an easy pattern. Well, I keep starting with 158 stitches, casting off four and then finding myself with 155 stitches, and I am not sure how I am managing that. I usually can cast off without problems. Bootees are a better bet - the lady would like some, and if I make a total and complete wreck of them I am not frantically counting hundreds of stitches trying to work out where one has come from.

It all seems quite manageable set out like this. I shall see how it compares to reality tomorrow.

All in my head

Today has been earmarked for clearing out little bear's old clothes, which hasn't been done for a few years and is very much overdue. In fact, little bear's old clothes are clogging up a lot of the dining room and it will make a massive difference if I can get rid.

Tomorrow I plan to start taking stuff to the places that buy clothes/charity shops/donate to next door/ebay/pass on as appropriate. Timing is important - an all day bus ticket, bought after 9.30am, costs me £3.80. If I buy one of those it will eat into any money that I make from the clothes (and I am not sure I will). And while it is nice to get out, spending £3.80 just to be disappointed and trudge to a charity shop is less good. The one I will be able to walk to is not yet open (darn!).

However, on Wednesdays little bear goes to piano lessons. I will need a ticket anyway, so I plan to make tickets bought on Wednesday work for me and do all the out-of-house running around. Or even just go into town and go to the museum/library/hot chocolate shop etc.

Except yesterday I nearly fell over and thought I was going to pass out. I have been feeling like this since the weekend - light headed and queasy. I feel sleepy and lethargic - rubbish in fact.

I can mutter about a virus, as darling father has suffered for weeks. I can mutter about lack of iron, lack of food - I still can't eat that well. I could grumble about daylight saving and stress and all the rest. However I have noticed that any time I make any headway in doing anything I seem to become ill. And I am making headway! There is more and more space and less and less ironing, as I managed to get quite a bit done yesterday. Once the dining room is clear and working then I move on to reorganise the kitchen, and so on. I am not giving up!

So I am going to continue plugging away, working on the assumption that it is all in my head. I may not get as much done as I would have liked, but I refuse to get nothing done.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Vet has a reprieve

I had been worried about creaky old evil cat who had been skulking around looking extremely fed up. I had been planning to call the vet.

However last night she made such a vigorous, determined and relentless assault to try and steal the leftovers from little bear's plate that I have decided she can wait for the routine check up next month. I am not sure if she was after the remnants of lamb or the shreds of yorkshire pudding - she has form for both, or possibly just the gravy. Whichever she was after, she was focused.

She got the shreds of left over lamb from little bear's plate (there wasn't much). I was not giving her yorkshire pudding. Sometimes cats need to have the word 'carnivore' explained to them.

Lamb was hot yesterday, cold tonight (she made another determined assault but little bear had left nothing for her) and tomorrow it is stirred up with a jar of plum and ginger sauce. I will be surprised if she goes for that - surprised but not shocked. Oscar from next door licks vinegar from the bin bags.

I was misled

I hung out some washing in the glorious spring sunshine, really relieved that I can get the air into the clothes and get some stuff dried quickly.

Twenty minutes later the weather is doing a very good impression of January.

Twenty minutes later the sun is doing its best to convince me it is May.

When I go to hang out the next lot, much against my better judgement, there is damp in the air, the wind is cold and it looks so dark overhead that it must mean rain, so I just take the load of washing back in. Fifteen minutes later I take it out again and hang out the washing in the glorious sunshine.

We haven't had hail yet, nor a rain of frogs, but I am keeping an open mind.

Little bear is missing the point

Last night, after the bedtime routine, little bear came downstairs, clutching Ratatouille and saying very solemnly that he had come downstairs to let me know that there were three books on the floor and I should go and pick them up.

OH and I fell about laughing. He had probably carefully stepped over the books on his trek downstairs. Of course it wasn't the point - he wanted to have a hug and a cuddle, and wanted to put off sleep a little longer.

OH went upstairs and picked up the books, which I think was a tactical error. However the hugs and cuddles are always there.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Born to worry

I sometimes think that I am born to worry, and there has to be a better way. However I consider that there is something to worry about at the moment.

Evil cat is being very clingy. She has always been good with clingy as a form of severely annoying, but she is really, really, really being clingy. She is looking slimmer than ever and she has been loudly sick. There have also been a few hints of dire rear (I can never spell the correct word, so borrow happily from Mr Pratchett).

I am going to try and get a vet's appointment for her, for the end of the week. I don't think it is urgent, but I want to have some reassurance. Perhaps we can try different pain meds.

(and yes, at the moment, even though I am quite worried, evil cat is being super, uber, extra annoying and I can barely move a step!)

Grumpy again

I am probably going to have to go back on anti depressants in an effort to stop me grinding my teeth. I could cry. Last night, every time I woke up I could feel my teeth clenched hard together.

And when I came to look at my email account there was an email from the Scout Association Shop with lots of things to buy. A few months ago I made an enquiry to see about the vague possibility of things like Beavers, and whether little bear was coming up to the right age group and whether there was a chance that he could join. It was very theoretical, but it turned out that certainly at first it wasn't really likely.

But because of that tiny enquiry I am now on the mailing list for their shop AND THERE IS NO WAY TO UNSUBSCRIBE!

I did start composing an irritated email, demanding my name removed and grumping and complaining but decided in the end to forget it. It's such a little thing. I have made a mental note not to give an email address to anything Scout related and marked the email as junk. Perhaps I need the anti depressants more than I thought.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Doctor says - grinding teeth

Apparently grinding teeth hard can affect the jaw, apparently it's very common. Sigh. I have some tablets that I have to take at night (if I can take them).

I'm putting it down to how stressed I was about the car.

So it's soft food, soluble paracetamol and I should be fine with the dentist in a fortnight's time to try and re-attach the crown.

Regardless, my mouth is still a lot better, and hopefully will continue to get wider!

Little bear has been to the dentist

Little bear is complaining he is in pain with his ankle. I am a bit sceptical, but doing my best to be an encouraging mum as I somehow got him out of the house, onto the bus, off the bus and then into the dentist - while little bear was doing a very good impression of having rickets.

He forced himself to break the journey on the way back, to go to Forbidden Planet - a shop which specialises in stuff like Star Wars, Superheroes - and Dr Who. I got away relatively lightly, just a sort of gun looking thingy that is apparently a recorder and was half price at £7.50. No matter how much I adore little bear, I drew the line at the set of doctors at £50.

Little bear's teeth are fine, so we go back in six months. Little bear celebrated with an inappropriate mars bar. I was scraping the barrel coaxing him along as he limped, complained, cried, complained he was cold, complained he was tired and generally grumbled. Thank goodness school is next week.

I think the rest of little bear's day will count as a duvet day. He is planning on sorting his Dr Who cards out. It will take him some time, but keep him very happy. Meanwhile I will keep an eye on how the pain in his ankle comes and goes. The ankle isn't swollen or red, and seems to move okay in all directions, and sometimes the limp/bitter complaint is worse than at other times (or absent). However I will be dragging him to the doctors for a 'just in case' if it carries on.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Little bear did not have a good time

I picked up little bear (in the middle of a hail storm, I did not appreciate it!) and he was not entirely happy. He had been good at the club, but he was very grumpy and tired - they had taken him on a walk at it was seven miles. I am not sure if it was actually seven miles, it could well have been if they were wandering up and down a canal for half a day, but little bear was very clear. It was too far! The lady at the handover was very tactful saying that they had had a nice walk but little bear had got tired, and everyone was at different stages, which is fair enough and little bear was probably among the youngest. He was likely the most vocal.

He grumbled all the way home (at least 100 yards) but was mainly inaudible due to rain, deliberately stood in a puddle and complained his feet were wet, and once home he lay flat on the sofa and refused to move. Then he grumbled through dinner, complained loudly about his ankle hurting and his knee hurting and that he couldn't walk. He was doing a comedy limp as he staggered to the foot of the stairs and OH had to carry him up.

Once in bed he couldn't bare to stand up to get undressed, couldn't bare to get out of bed to get a story book and generally groaned and cried out about his ankle like a professional footballer. As you can probably tell, I suspect he was milking it.

However I do think he went on a longer walk than he is used to, and that he was very, very tired (he was asleep, as far as I can tell, within five minutes of me leaving him), and his legs ache. He will almost certainly be stiff tomorrow. Which is a shame.

Tomorrow we have to be out of the house at 8.30 to go to the dentist. I know I am going to have my hands full, and after all his Easter Eggs I am going to have trouble bribing him with chocolate.

Thoughts on clutterbusting

Morgan - you are absolutely right about how I feel burdened by the clutter. I will probably be a wreck tomorrow, as I have been on my feet a lot more today than normal. Also all the stuff passed on will be going to good use. A lot of cot sheets - flannel and lovely and soft from washing - have gone to someone who is expecting a baby in the next few weeks. And I feel so much better for it!

It was a real breakthrough - unless I have a place for it, I am not keeping it, no matter that it may come in useful. I think that is part of the problem. I have some rags, kept to one side, but I rarely use rags. I don't want to keep stuff 'just in case' and then things mount up and mount up and I have nowhere to put stuff and I can't find that particular bit of baby blanket I kept back because it may 'one day' find it useful for polishing. So when I do get round to the polishing, I have to go and buy something anyway. Clutter can cost you money, as you have to keep buying things because you can't find the original - scissors are a big culprit here. And if there is a load of STUFF piled on top of things, they get damaged and then need replacing.

Wean - please don't take offence at this, because it all obviously works for you. If I was better organised, and used rags like you, then it would be worth doing. However I feel more and more that this huge pile of STUFF around me is stopping me from getting organised. I think I will start saving stuff once I get organised so that then I will have places to put them and be able to find things I need. Until then I need to work on being ruthless.

Morgan, I really identify with the holiday cottage. I remember coming home from a lovely, clutter free holiday cottage last October, and nearly crying, because I could see the contrast between the holiday cottage and the free and light feeling and my home. I was too poorly to do much about it, but I am getting a lot better now! Today darling father was talking and he looked around the study and said sadly, 'Every room is full of stuff'. I think Morgan hit the right word - burdened.

If you haven't had the battle, then you don't know how hard it is. I often feel defeated, burdened, weighed down and suffocated. All I can do is keep trying, and know that if I only do five minutes, or get rid of a handful of STUFF then it is better than doing nothing at all.
I am considering taking some of little bear's clothes to a place that buys second hand clothes, like this. It is a little walk away, so it will be good for me to make a few journeys, I may make a few pennies, and it is a lot less stress than ebay (though less profit!). Some things I may try and put on ebay, but if I feel that they are mounting up 'until I get around to it' and I am not getting around to it, then I am passing them on, taking them to the shop, passing on the tattered ones for rags for next door etc

The advice Wean gives is good - if you do not suffer like I do from clutter. I have used 'feel' a lot in this post, as it is so emotional and difficult for me. Just getting rid of so much has made a massive difference to me, and no fabrics to landfill (which I hate!). I feel lighter. I need to concentrate on that feeling and keep going! Though I am always ready to hear advice, please feel free to comment! I just am not always able to take good advice : (

Evil cat is cross

I came indoors from taking some rubbish to the bin. Unfortunately I trapped evil cat's foot between a washing basket and the door - she hissed!

I was really worried as she is moving stiffly anyway, but she has managed to spring up to beg for little bear's sausages this evening so it isn't that bad.

(btw my mouth is improving, but I am still going to the doctors tomorrow)

Operation Clutterbust stuttering around

Little bear is out. I paid a fortune for him to go to the out of hours/school holiday club, so that he could have a good day with his friends in stimulating surroundings. Ha! None of his friends will be there. However, knowing little bear, that will not slow him down. Any time I have taken him anywhere he has usually managed to make friends, play and enjoy himself.

Today they are going along the canal to look for mini beasts. I sent him out in clean clothes. I am not expecting him to come back pristine. All I can say is that to take a mixed bag of mixed age but under 10s along a canal must take nerves of steel.

So I am tackling the so-called dining room in very easy stages while he is out. The 'dining room' is a huge heap of fabric, lots of towels, sheets, ironing, socks and blankets. Also four tyres. Normally I approach the room by (attempting to) clear a lot of ironing, in order to make room. That so far has not worked. So today I am piling up the ironing (fearsome proportions already) and pressing on past where the ironing board normally stands to a place where there is an alleged table. I say alleged, because there has been no sighting of it for some time.

A lot of it is linens from darling father. Some of it is stuff I just don't know where to put as it used to live in darling father's room. There is a large drift of clothes that are too small for little bear. Some of the stuff just baffles me. I have found several packets of chocolate angel delight. I can eat that at the moment. I think that some things work for the best.

At the end of today I shall add to my tally. I have already taken the equivalent of several bin bags next door. What the family can't use, and the sons setting up house can't use, and the daughter who may be possibly setting up house soon can't use, can be used my Nice Mr Next Door as rags while he fixes cars.

I have also had a little bit of a breakthrough. I have decided that though some of it is really useful stuff, I am not using it. And instead of saying, 'that could be really useful, I shall find a place to put it.' I am saying, 'do I have a place to put it, if not then I need to pass it on.' Also nice clothes that little bear can no longer fit in can be passed on, for some sizes. We have been given so much over the years, it's nice to continue the chain.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Little bear goes for a walk

Today we walked to the library - without little bear complaining! It is a nice little stroll and the sun was shining. Little bear had a lot of fun jumping around the cracks in the pavement.

He then had the momentous task of choosing books. Sigh - one of them is a cookbook for children. I can see kitchen happening in the future. I also picked up one or two books from the book sale (I will never learn). One was a book about the sun, appropriate for little bear's age. One was a book about trees, appropriate for little bear's age - yes, four more books for little bear. Still, that means I may be able to lose four books from upstairs if I am cunning.

Then there was a trip to the butcher next door. The meat doesn't look that nice, but they do an extremely good frozen mince and they also do scotch eggs as desired by little bear, and they quite a few little odds and ends. I nearly bought a cauliflower, but remembered that we were having chilli tonight, and cauliflower wasn't really on the menu.

Then we walked back with token complaining from little bear. Now he has found another Easter Egg so we are locked in a battle of wills. He obviously wants to scarf as much fat and sugar as possible in the shortest time, I am trying to protect him from the effects of stuffing himself with chocolate relentlessly. This will go on for some time.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Gloomy Sybil

I still can't eat, though I am getting a good input of many types of smooth soup. And I had the huge embarrassment of taking little bear to the soft play to meet his friend while I was sat talking (more or less) to a gentleman who I had only met once before with a very odd accent.

The slow cooker appears to be giving up the ghost. It is another thing that will be difficult to replace. It was bought (through various ways and means) for £25, and it would be @ £80 to replace, at the best price I can see. Also a cupboard door has lost one of its hinges in the kitchen.

Little bear had a marvellous time, though, and he is happy, so really I am not so gloomy after all.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Things you don't say every day

I sneezed, a tooth fell out and landed in my bra.

So that is one problem gone. My jaw is still a bit tight, but getting a little better. Things are looking up.

Sunday, 8 April 2012


A sneeze finally dislodged my crown, it is sort of hanging on, but would go at the first bite of any food. However I am still not able to open my mouth properly. I have drunk far too many cups of tomato soup, but I ate some porridge off the side of a spoon, so at least I have a lining to my stomach.

I can't swallow tablets, and haven't managed to get some soluble ibuprofen (which is probably what I need) but I could probably manage alcohol.... Best not.

Little bear has been fair to middling monstrous about chocolate today. Once again I have not given him all the eggs he has for Easter. They will be rationed out. He is still a little under the weather - he had an unheard of afternoon nap (unheard of until this latest do) and asked for bedtime at 6pm. I am about to go up and join the fray.

Really tempted by alcohol, but I can't see it going well, especially as small quantities of porridge and custard are the most solid linings to my tummy. I'll stick to Ovaltine. At this rate I won't even get the benefit of losing weight!

Little bear is sounding ready to sleep - I hope he is okay to meet his 'girlfriend' on Tuesday.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Bees keeping indoors

I think I know why the bees were all over a rug - the rug was damp with dew etc and I think they wanted a drink. Everything is so dry at the moment. They are not there now. I may make a habit of leaving out a wet sponge or similar if we have drought here.

I quite like the bees in the chimney now, they give a topic of conversation at least.

On the subject of the animal kingdom, evil cat has had a runny tummy. If it continues it means the vet. Hopefully we should be able to try something else. She is looking so skinny these days (though eating for three!).

Glass half empty

My jaw has locked. It has happened before, and resolved itself, and I hope it resolves itself again or I will have an interesting time trying to get to Drs etc.

Basically I can talk (just) and I can drink, but I can't lick my lips and I don't even want to think about eating. It hurts as well. And of course I can't open wide to get the loose crown fixed that is driving me nuts and feels like it is about to fall out.

This is the loose crown that originally I didn't know I had, and that the new dentist has made iffy murmurs about the post and I think when I do get to the dentist (about a fortnight before my scheduled appointment) it will need to be re-done (if that is possible).

Little bear has been slightly monster as well. He wants his daddy. I am sorely tempted to dig OH out of his pit and take his place. I am trying to find a glass half full moment. At least I am likely to lose weight.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Plant problems

Darling father bought me a plant pot for mother's day. The only place that it currently fits is

(long pause of several hours as little bear needed cuddles)

the bath. I have a pot plant in the middle of the bath. When I have a bath it sits on the loo. It is currently thriving and several new flowers are appearing. I have still no idea what to do with the dratted thing, except try and protect it from the worst of evil cat.

This is why I don't have my favourite scented geraniums.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Wean - haven't been to dr. Think current bug followed on from chickenpox. Doing good impression of flu, but don't think it is actually flu. Yes, normal for motherhood. But here is the only place I get to sound off.

Bees seem less.

Evil cat still spry. Only place for gerbera in house that works currently is in bath. Cat can jump in and out of bath to eat plant. Odd to have potted plant on loo watching when you have a bath...

Crown gone again. won't be able to get to dentist for a fortnight. Souper.


Can't blow off steam in front of little bear, but we have a grocery delivery for this afternoon - and the bees are all over the garden. Specifically they are sitting on an old mat, and there must be over a hundred of them, just sitting there. Obviously it is the Lido for bees - all sat in rows, being bees.

All it needs is the ginger gentleman to disturb them to put the lid on it. That tom cat, by the way, is still being a thug, a bully and basically an un-neutered tom cat. It has chased everything else, why not bees?

Hopefully they will all go home when it gets colder.

I need sleeeeeeep

Please can someone explain to little bear that when mummy says she needs to sleep (okay, dozing on the sofa with ears open and radar on, but at least having a quiet time) then talking to her about everything and anything isn't going to help her be jolly.

And I can't find something that little bear is devastated about. As I was not the last person to touch it by a long margin, and the various attempts to 'tidy' by male members of the family have left heaps in lots of nooks and crannies, I don't have a chance. I would need to take the living room apart to find it - and I can't cope with that with little bear as he is at the moment.

I feel like a stuck record - little bear poorly, me lacking sleep, house in chaos, nothing within my control (not sure if I will get a chance to wash up with little bear being so clingy), and all falling in on me - again. No chance to do anything over the weekend, and less chance for sleep.

There may not be many more posts for a few days, I think it will be a bit to chaotic. However I am determined to change this - I have to, or I will just not survive.

(....long gap...)

Darling father's visitor has just gone. Just the same as last time - house a wreck, child ill, darling father poorly. At least evil cat hasn't happened to him.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Timing is everything

We didn't go to the dentist this morning. Little bear had been feeling hot and cold all yesterday, he slept from 5pm yesterday to 7am today. It wasn't straight through - he required a few cuddles during the night, but I am calling it a chill - not serious, but he is not happy. Also there have been a few flakes of snow which make our local buses faint.

Tomorrow he is supposed to go on an outing. Saturday we are supposed to go and see darling uncle in the first time for ages and ages. This chill is almost as good timing as the chickenpox the day before his belated birthday party.

Glass half full - we have had some really lovely cuddles.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Little bear's day does not improve

We spent some time this afternoon sitting together, a few cuddles, watching tv and me watching him play a computer game (he insisted I watched).

While I was making tea he fell asleep. He was so deeply asleep that he didn't wake up when OH came in. He slept through tea and everything. He was grumbling in his sleep a little and so we gave him some calpol (he was red hot!) and he barely surfaced for that.

He will be up at 5am, no doubt, absolutely starving. However the dentist is off, and I am keeping a weather eye on him to see if he merits the doctor. I am verging towards flu, as he has a lot of those symptoms. I am also panicking about the possibility of all sorts of other things, but that is just being over anxious mum. He is tired, he is running a bit of a temperature and he is a little off his food.

I'm off to bed now, to see if I can get some rest before an intensive cuddle day. He has been getting better each day and fingers crossed he makes the day trip with the school out of hours club on Thursday as I have already paid a fortune for it.

Bad day for little bear

We trundled out of the house at 8am to get to the dentist. I had mistaken the day, we will have to go tomorrow. Then we trundled in a selection of buses to the softplay where we were supposed to meet little bear's girlfriend, but she couldn't make it due to an accident.

Little bear was devastated when I let him know I had had the bad news by text. He looked sort of Victorian with a stiff upper lip and a wounded expression in his eyes. He wandered around the soft play like a little ghost, then decided he wanted to come home after only an hour. In the past when he has gone on his own he has been fine. This time he was absolutely distracted, in a Romantic Poet sort of way.

We're going to write a get well card and with luck the star crossed pair can meet at softplay some other time.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Books, books, books, books, books....

Little bear has insisted that we count all his books. We have got to 350 and I am insisting on taking a break.

This does not include sticker books, colouring books and dot to dot books. However it does include all the tiny board books he has now outgrown. This is not a good thing. You see, it is now a lot harder to 'lose' some of the tiny ABC board books as little bear will be keeping count.

I suspect it is on par with the vast quantities of soft toys that are all his favourite and are all scared without him. In other words, he is making sure that we throw out as little as possible. The house is going to sink.

I think there are about 150 more books to go. Not looking forward to them.

Little bear wants to clean up

I told little bear he couldn't invite his girlfriend (!) over as the house was too untidy. He is now on a mission, though a bit scattergun in his approach.

Although he is now watching that awful Ben 10 and being quiet. He is also muttering about an afternoon nap. I will just take whatever comes along. He is still so tired.

Little bear is tired

Little bear slept from 5pm to 7am - with some interludes. I had a very disturbed night. Especially as every time he seemed to turn over he would shout for me, then go straight back to sleep.

Lucky him!

He is quiet today, but a lot better than yesterday. Thank goodness it is the holidays, he does not have any obvious symptoms that would keep him off school, but the poor lad is exhausted! I am looking forward to an interesting school break.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Evil cat's health continues

Wean - evil cat is nearly 18. She was an urgent rescue to literally save her from being ripped apart and we got her at far too young to leave her mother, so I am impressed that she has marched on so long. Psycho cat hid pneumonia until it was too late, and malevolent cat hid a tumour (though I had been banging on about something being wrong to the vet for two months - it was always too late to operate). That is why I am watching evil cat like a hawk. She is still having fun thought - little bear has brought a plant home from school which is obviously cat food and darling father presented me with a gerbera which, after googling, I can sigh with relief because it isn't poisonous to cats. It has been tasted, approved, and is currently hidden in the bath. He brought home a cactus yesterday. Evil cat is thoughtful about that. I have no faith in her intellectual capacity so it is locked away in darling father's room.

I am watching evil cat like a hawk. We had a bit of a song from her at 5am, and I worry that it is because of pain. In a few weeks time we will be getting another routine visit from the vet, so I hope that will reassure me.

I am so glad your cat is racing round. It is amazing how a cat can bounce back. They really do live for the moment. Give them a tickle from me.