Monday, 30 July 2012

End of the day

I am writing this at the end of the day.  I had very little sleep after a weekend full of tummy trouble - but I managed to get stuff done, and I feel really good about it!

I cleared a huge stealth pile behind the chairs in the living room, threw out two bin bags of rubbish and got some knitting projects that were half finished back in the light of day so that I remember that they need completing.  I actually cooked tea, which again was a bit hit and miss as I have had some dizzy spells, but I did it!  I put in the Lakeland and Book People orders that I have been meaning to put in for weeks, booked a session with a financial advisor, and fielded a few phone calls concerning a jammed window that apparently needs to be fixed from the outside but is on the top floor and forty foot above ground. 

Little bear was at the out of school club all day and came back in a lovely sunny mood. 

All in all today was a success.  I am looking forward to more of them. 

I hate finishing things

I am clearing behind the chairs in the living room and stopped counting unfinished knitting projects when I got to five.

I really, really, really hate finishing things, and I don't understand why.  I have literally sat with one project in front of me to goad me into finishing a project.  I am really short of sweaters - I love wearing gorgeous baggy sweaters - but I have at least four started.  And they are not hard ones either, just your basic, standard, stocking stitch long line boring clothing to keep warm with sweater.  Doing the last inch on a scarf is murder.

I think watching the Olympics while knitting will be a good way for me to go forward.  Little bear permitting, of course...

Two big areas where I need to make time.  The books I want to read are going to be put (one at a time!) in the bathroom with a bookmark.  This got me the chance to read about Anglo Saxon nutrition, which I really enjoyed.  I prefer UHT milk as well - no accounting for taste.  And I am going to be watching Grimm every night and knitting for at least an hour.  That will finish off the blanket, I hope, soon.  Then another half hour listening to some Bible study tapes while doing the more complicated stuff should take care of that.

Now all I need to do is get off the browsing, finish - yes, finish - clearing behind the chairs, and slot in some writing time. I have the ideas for at least half a dozen novels and several of them started.   I just need to finish this one I am writing first.

Morgan - it was the most lovely day out.  Little bear had a marvellous time.  I must work out how to do it again!

Do I need a new kettle?

Actually, yes, I really need a new kettle.  Although it could be described as a want rather than a need, the kettle is not going to be used again.

Yesterday as I was managing to help OH with dinner, he boiled a kettle.  We have this five minute rice from Approved Food which goes into the microwave with boiling water.  It was a scratched together meal, with the flavoured rice, veggie quarter pounders and baked beans - nutritionally not too bad.  OH poured the boiled water into the measuring jug then looked to see what was causing the black specks in the water. 

'You're not going to believe what is in here.' he said, and he was right - until he tipped out the boiled slug onto the nearby baking tray I didn't believe a slug could have crawled into the kettle and hid there. 

For about a minute I couldn't take my eyes off the boiled slug.  I knew we had a slug in the kitchen, and had thought that it was hiding under the sink as they usually do.  We often get slugs, and if we go down at night we pick them up and throw them into the garden.  I don't like them in my kitchen under my sink, but I can cope with it.  I am not sure I am up to a slug in a kettle.

So, madly and extravagantly, I am getting rid of the kettle.  I know that actually quite a small amount of cleaning will make it fit for purpose.  I know that actually just a bit of rinsing and some suitable cleaning fluid and it will be fine.  It is even one of those with the solid bottom and not a coil so it is really, really, really easy to clean.  I am still not using it again.

The only comfort I have is that the slug was only boiled the once.  Otherwise there would have been more sludge.  No recent cups of tea have tasted of slug.  Not that I know what slug tastes like, I hasten to add.


The next kettle will have one of those limescale filters in - to keep out the slugs!

Scarborough happened

Bless little bear, he had a marvellous time at Scarborough.  I packed a massive bag with calpol and drinks and spare clothes - lots and lots of spare clothes.  I packed three complete changes of clothing and a bundle of towels and blankets. 

I didn't pack enough clothes.  Or perhaps I got little bear changed too quickly between paddling.  All I know is that little bear made the most of the rock pools, and the paddling, and then was suggesting swimming.  Apart from none of the adults having swimming gear with them, little bear has hissy fits regularly in the bath as water is on his face, so I don't think sea bathing is for him yet.  So he made up for it with ice cream, and running round, and digging with the dog, and chasing the dog, and being chased by the dog, and splashing with the dog. 

My brother's lovely dog, a gorgeous rescue that eats to professional standards, has always refused to get his paws wet, thoroughly disapproving of all this splashy stuff, but he made an exception for little bear and joined in.  He also helped with the ice cream when it got too much for little bear, the overflow of the fish n chip lunch that was too much for little bear, and the last corner of the sausage roll that little bear was eating. 

Little bear dozed in the back on the way home, wearing the driest pair of pants, next to the dog, the happiest little lad in the world. 

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Randomly Random

I was up late last night waiting for darling father and OH to come in - they went out to a big band Jazz Night last night.  Then I had interesting dreams.  Seriously - listening to someone else's dreams is a bit boring, but the sensation of waking up thinking, 'What!!!' after dreaming of cybermen in fancy frocks, including a rather fetching off the shoulder hot pink number meant that when little bear woke me up I felt a bit disorientated. 

I couldn't do too much last night as little bear ended up asleep in the living room.  The kitchen is wall to wall washing up and chaos.  Do not start about the ironing, I look at it and whimper.  I got nothing ready.

And as I am wandering around, dazed and confused, I am supposed to be getting everything ready for a trip to Scarborough.  My darling brother is taking little bear and I out. 

I am on here trying to wake up.  I will let everyone know how the day went, and what random items went with me.  At the moment, anything could end up with us - but actually that's not too bad for a day on the beach in the English summer weather. 

Monday, 23 July 2012

The Last Day of the School Year

Today was the last day of the school year, and little bear missed it.  He woke me up at 5.30am with a 'Mum, I feel sick...' and it hasn't got much better.  Of course, being little bear he has managed to run a really good temperature, which worries me half to death, especially as he couldn't keep calpol down this morning. 

He is much better now.  And he is feeling pretty smug as when I went to the chemist to get some kaolin for him I dropped into the school to pick up his PE kit, and there was a book for him as an end of year gift.  There were some suggestions for what sort of homework (voluntary) he could do in the holidays.  It was all stuff he had more than mastered by last Christmas, so while I shall try and keep him interested, I shall not be pushing him to write the numbers one to twenty.  We may be considering the times tables - but only if he is up to it. 

I am on here, putting off going to bed.  I put my bedclothes in the blanket chest kindly passed on by darling uncle.  They now smell of mildew.  Actually smell isn't quite the way to put it - I think 'reek' is a better phrase.  However I had a bad night last night as evil cat decided that she was going to try and nudge me out of bed (again) and did a very good job of it. I spent most of the night sort of surfacing, realising what was going on, gently nudging her out of the way and then drifting off.  Then there was an early start, and I really don't like early starts, so I am very tired.  The mildew smell will, I am sure, fade.  I will spray the blanket box with some more stuff.  OH suggested moth balls to hide the smell.  I couldn't think of anything sensible to say to that.

Little bear had a big sleep in the day, then he had a lovely long read after dinner, and he is now asleep on the sofa, so I can hear him easily in the night.  Fingers crossed for a better day tomorrow.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Step away from the catalogue..

The catalogue from the Book People (on quidco and online, btw) came today.  I made the mistake of opening it.

It's not that we don't like books in this house.  We have thousands - no exaggeration - and we are suckers for new ones.  And the Book People have interesting books at very inexpensive prices.  They have some marvellous ones that would be just right for little bear as well. 

Little bear has several hundred books in his own right. 

Little bear bounced in as I was discussing this with OH, and I explained that there was no room for new books in his room.  This is a massive understatement, you should see the heaps of books all around and under his bed.  You should also hear him reading them to himself at night.  The books are definitely not wasted.  However some of them are now very young for him.  So we suggested that we sort out the ones that he didn't read any more and 'put them under Daddy's bed' (little bear may be working out that things 'put under Daddy's bed' disappear sooner or later).  As it is, little bear is fighting a passionat battle not to lose a single page.  I may have to stealth sort.  And as little bear's memory is excellent then I hope I am not caught out when he asks for a book that has been vanished. 

I refused to deal with the books today.  Little bear was extremely cross about this and has gone upstairs to 'sort them out'.  Over the intercom I can hear a wailing and a gnashing of teeth and a complaint that there isn't enough room.  In the living room OH is trying to get the internet to go through the tv and is wrestling with the right combination of cables and settings.  I am hiding here.

I can see around thirty new books for little bear on the horizon.  I know that he would really enjoy them - and they are ones he would read again and again for at least another twelve months and they are extremely inexpensive.  I just have no idea where we will put them. 

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Timing is everything

Little bear has today, tomorrow and next Monday before he breaks up for school.  Today I am keeping him off as his cough is so bad and he is so tired.  He was practising his cough all night, and I am just as exhausted.  I can't in conscience force him in. 

I am now on pins about how much info he will miss.  Not that he ever told me anything, but I am sure he will miss something.  As for any information given at the end of term, I have no idea what will happen with that! 

Actually, all the fussing and fretting aside, I am looking forward to a cuddles day.  Little bear definitely needs it. 

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Answers on a postcard, please

After speaking to Sky, British Telecom, the town council and Southern Electric I can confirm that our internet stops working when the street light comes on. 

As I have paid an absolute fortune for an extremely legal connection, I am unimpressed.

As I had already had to speak with the water board, and their contractors this morning (they won't dig up the road after all, and it would have been nice if they had told us), all I need is to speak to a gas board and I will have had the full set. 

Friday, 13 July 2012

Friday 13th

I love noting dates.  I am looking forward to writing the date on the 20th December this year (20.12.2012).  I like remembering Saints Days (not to celebrate, just for interest) and Trafalgar Day and all those sorts of things.  I very rarely act on them though.  I just think it adds colour to life.

On the other hand, today is Friday the Thirteenth and at the end of the road are lots of signs and hurdles and all the sort of kit that construction workers leave the night before they start work.  I looked at that and thought - Friday 13th and roadworks on our road, the unadopted road with more potholes than a county full of cavers.  The road that taxis refuse to go down.  The road owned by at least four different legal entities.  The road that is quite likely without the water main that they are supposed to be digging up. 

What could possibly go wrong?

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Knitting calls

I have more yarn than most yarn shops.  I have more half finished projects than I really want to think about.  And I really, really, really do not need another project.

Except I have seen a pattern in a magazine that I haven't yet cancelled the subscription for, and it would look absolutely adorable on little bear, and it is a style that I would love to try - a guernsey type style which would be a bit of a challenge but this version is very simplified. 

It wouldn't be expensive. 

Sigh.  Somewhere, in all the mountains of half finished yarn projects, is the yarn for two little hoodies that would have suited little bear to the whiskers, one half finished.  Sigh.  If I remember, something awkward happened with the counting of one of the parts of the hoodie when it came to the colour changes and stripes. 

Thinking about that is not working. 

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Toadstools at the Funeral Parlour

I have spent a lot of the last twenty four hours being ill.  But amidst the self pity I popped to get some sweets for little bear and passed the funeral parlour.

I was a bit disappointed.  The black toadstools had come back and had been growing all around the funeral parlour's lawn but the grass had been mowed and the toadstools all crushed.  I have absolutely no idea what they are, but the idea of black toadstools on the lawn of an undertaker's business made me smile. 

They have also hacked back the wild rose that was growing over the path.  On the bright side it means that it is now possible to walk along there.  However it does mean that we have lost a lot of flowers, and the bush was really hacked back, really butchered.  However I have seen this again and while the pruning does look severe, the plant will bounce back.

On another 'natural' note, I saw some strange bees today.  They were a slightly different colour to our normal bees, more ginger, and they were hovering around our front step.  There were quite a few of them when I came back from retrieving little bear's book bag (long story) but not so many when I came back from getting the sweets.  Please let them not try to nest in the steps.  We have had an ant's nest there before, but while I am all for live and let live, I don't want to be dicing with bee stings every time I went in and out. 

Monday, 9 July 2012

Clutterbust Antics

The skip is, apparently, definitely appearing tomorrow.  Darling father has got rid of a chest of drawers and is about to get rid of a cupboard, replacing with plastic drawer towers. 

One thing that is due to go into the skip is a compost bin.  It is grossly oversized for the garden and we need rid.  We checked today.  Alas, not the lovely compost we were looking for - the compost bin is full of ants.  It is seriously full of ants, heaving with them.  They have a lovely, dark, ant's-nest-shaped, black plastic shape filled with things useful to ants.  In short, they have had a good environment and they have filled it. 

I have no idea what will happen tomorrow, as the compost bin actually has no base.  When they try and lift it, all sorts of things will be spilling out. I am thinking of going in to town. 

Mind you, given the state of the weather and the way the beck is rising, I suppose I should be glad that the compost bin isn't full of gold fish.

Holidays looming

Morgan - little bear hasn't worked out about being scared of stuff.  He tells me he is scared of stuff like heights, or the dark, but I suspect that it is because he has heard that on television or in school.  He does have a fear of evil cat, but that is reasonable. 

So scared of clowns, scared of being in front of people, scared of doing the wrong thing - not yet happened to little bear.  Long may that continue.

As for the holidays, I feel them hanging over me.  Part of the problem is the little boys two doors down.  I just wrote a huge amount about the dreadful things they have done, then deleted it.  It would not be fair, they are only children.  They play out without supervision and have done so since they were two years old.  They have a very chaotic homelife where the parents are doing their best, but are not able to do as much as someone else in a less difficult place.  So of course they do dangerous, stupid and destructive things.  I often genuinely fear for their safety, and I am not the only one.  It is not really their fault.  However it is hard to feel comfortable with little bear playing with them, and I don't think I would survive if he had no summer except playing with them.  Regrettable experience has made me very wary.

So, little bear is looked at a packed programme.  Between us squeezing the pennies and darling father being generous, we are looking at the School Holiday Club one or two times per week.  They are lovely there, and little bear is happy.  Then there is martial arts summer camp, which is going to be so much fun for me getting them to the middle of nowhere and back twice per day but little bear will enjoy it.  There are hopefully a few piano lessons sprinkled into the mix.  Little bear may be able to see his girlfriend once or twice.  And there will always be softplay to fall back on.

Darling father has also laid plans about teaching little bear joined up writing, basic sums and reading to him.  I have started to stockpile books, puzzles and craft stuff.  I have things that include decorating a pencil case with fabric crayons, sticky paper mosaics and models.  

Added to which I plan to drag little bear round the museums of Leeds (and possibly a trip to York as well).  There are bound to be things to do and lots of fun things to see - and little bear will see them whether he likes it or not!    

The summer is going to be full!

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Money Saving Expert

Alas, if anyone who posts on the Old Style Daily thread reads this, I am sorry but I can't carry on posting on the daily - I can't log in, it won't let me. 

I shall probably dip in though to read, from time to time, so I have my eye on you.

No idea why, btw, but I can still read all the recipes! 

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Little bear is a bit of a trickster

OH took little bear to see Ronald MacDonald at the Golden Arches.  I had a pass.  Little bear apparently had a marvellous time, watching the clowning and was a volunteer to go up and assist Ronald perform a magic trick.  As little bear has not worked out the meaning of 'stage fright', 'nerves' or 'shyness' he was an ideal assistant - on the face of it. 

Ronald asked little bear to tear up a napkin, then put it in an empty bag.  Little bear happily complied, then Ronald MacDonald pulled out an intact napkin.  Applause and smiles.  Little bear rejoined OH and said, 'I didn't tear up the napkin.'
'I didn't tear up the napkin, I just pretended.  I can trick a clown.'

I think we may have our hands full. 

Friday, 6 July 2012

Clutterbust Deferred

Still no skip.

Next week the Water Board are going to renew a water main that I don't actually think exists.  They may dig up the road in innocence and find something.  They may dig up the road and find nothing.  They may actually have the sense to realise that no fresh water in the houses actually comes from the street in front of us so it is slightly unlikely that we will have a water main there and just check the street behind.  However we cannot rely on the road not being dug up - which makes it a bit iffy getting the skip next week.

Of course, that is if the works go ahead next week.  They have already given us a start date of last Monday.  There is a lot of rain.  There have been huge quantities of rain.  The Water Board may be slightly distracted and put it off again.  And until we know, we can't sort out the skip. 

Sigh.  Two more bin bags and a cull of cardboard boxes anyway. 

Even in Heaven

Little bear is getting very morbid.  He keeps asking about dead relatives, speculating about who will die next and I have just consoled him and reassured a distraught and tearful little bear that his favourite toy rat will be in Heaven with him. 

Please can this phase go soon.  Trying to be comforting and deflecting while remaining theologically more or less okay is being a bit of a strain.  I am also a bit baffled by where it came from.

Then there is the awful thought that evil cat is already outliving the estimate from the vet (with gusto - I was pushed off the bed last night) and sooner or later we are going to have to face a feline funeral.

I am working on topics to distract him. 

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Normal service

The skip that was hanging over my head like the sword of Damocles has not appeared. 

Today is officially a duvet day. 

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Compulsory clutterbust

Nice next door neighbour is getting the shared skip on Thursday. 

I really need to sort a load of stuff out so that it can fit in the skip.

I feel like nothing on earth with a minor cold - I had ice cream for breakfast because my throat hurt.  (The cold is very minor, and I am not enthusiastic about doing anything, but really, I am ashamed of how unenthusiastic I am over a sore throat and sniffle)

I want to sleep on a bed.  This means clearing the junk room.  I think little bear is now old enough to be trusted (more or less) though I am considering a monitor between the kitchen and my room, just in case.  And even if I don't immediately sleep there, I could do with clearing it out while there is a skip. 

I think I need to do some serious planning. I think I need to take emergency quantities of vitamin C. 

On the bright side, I managed to get rid of two stained duvets and a mattress today.  The mattress is ready for the skip and the duvets are being used by Nice Mr Next Door for mechanic related activities.  I didn't ask.   

Not so bright side - the junk room is full of my crafting stuff.  I am not going to be able to part with a lot of it.  Still, I need a bit of a challenge, and it will be good cardio exercise.   There are two steep sets of stairs between the front door and the junk room, and I can't hoick stuff out of the window (which I can't currently reach) as it overlooks a public path.  Also evil cat enjoys playing 'dare!' on the stairs.  She dives under feet and twitches her tail under where you foot is about to land on the step.  I am hoping that she can't be bothered with too much messing around and slopes off soon into the job.  Otherwise one of us will be ending up in a plaster cast.

To put this all in context, I have known this skip was likely to arrive any day.  It is hardly a shock. 

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Very proud mum!

Little bear entered an inter club competition and got a bronze!  It wasn't a huge competition, after all he is really just starting out, but I am really thrilled for him.  Of course, being little bear he had no nerves or fear.  He doesn't seem to do 'nervous' and just gets on with things.  Long may that last.  Even so, it must have been hard competing with a stranger with lots of people watching. 

I am so proud of him, he is doing really well as he is not by nature aggressive (though he has assertive down to a fine art!)

Currently looking for a very prominent place to display his trophy.