Saturday, 29 September 2012

Diary of a plague

Little bear has gone through his usual 'ill' routine.

Thursday afternoon he was looking a bit flu-like, but nothing that should interfere with his plans for the weekend.

Friday morning he was poorly enough to stay off school and felt a bit sorry for himself.

Friday afternoon he was starting to go off with the fairies, his temperature was high and rising, calpol wasn't working and he was so upset with his aching bones.  I called the doctors and when I couldn't get an appointment asked about the walk in centre (little bear has a lot of form for extremely high temperatures).  The doctor fitted me in and discovered a seriously high temperature and a vicious case of tonsillitis.  The lovely, lovely doctor was extremely sceptical about little bear's claim to be going to school on Monday. 

Friday night, after two doses of penicillin, little bear is a lot more chirpy but still didn't do the usual 'racing round and then pretending to be shot' routine and lay quietly for stories. 

Saturday morning, well, it has taken me forty minutes to write this as little bear is a lot happier and is explaining all his Doctor Who trading cards to me.  He is still explaining how his 'tossils' mean he can't do things like put rubbish in a bin, and he is not eating or drinking as much as I would like, but I can see him making it to the party on Sunday.  School on Monday is actually looking like a possibility.

I can now realise how upset and stressed I was.  I think I now can take some time to recover and be grateful for antibiotics, in between keeping up with a suddenly energetic little bear! 

Friday, 28 September 2012

Little bear has been to the Doctor

From a bit fluey, and a bit achy this morning, little bear progressed to stonking temperature and half out of it.  I rang the doctors and they very kindly made time for him, and little bear has tonsillitis. 

I am still working on getting liquid into him - yoghurt, jelly and ice lollies have all been spurned.  He has managed a little milk shake, so fingers crossed that he will do better tomorrow after extra calpol and penicillin. 

It's the stuff that worries mums, rather than the stuff that medical dramas are made of, but little bear is feeling very sorry for himself and is likely to miss a birthday party on Sunday.  However he is determined that he will make school on Monday.  As he managed to get to looking like he was at death's door in twenty four hours, he may bounce back just as fast.  Regardless, he is on extra cuddles and fuss. 

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Little bear is not well

Little bear is running an interesting temperature, has lost all interest in food, including food containing sugar, and is aching all over.  I think this came on early this afternoon, he was struggling when I picked him up. 

I suspect one of those horrible 24 bug things, but I will be keeping a very close eye on matters.  Poor little lamb has regressed from Ben 10 to Fireman Sam and is in severe need of cuddles (he had a big cuddle and lay on me for a while this afternoon, he is not happy). 

He has just turned down chocolate and OH is now telling him happy stories with no monsters.  I am hoping he has a good night. 

Need to get a bit more together

I had a 'how much!' moment today. 

I was feeling a lot better so staggered out to get birthday presents for little bear's friend, a little girl of the same age.  I am not a pink sort of person, I am not a Disney princess sort of person, and I am completely baffled by the Disney Pink Princess thing.  Little bear's friend loves them..  So no matter my taste, I got something appropriate that was not inexpensive but I could grit my teeth and get over it. 

Normally I always shop at the local newsagents for cards.  They have a great selection and are extremely reasonably priced.  For once, though, I thought I would get a special card because it was little bear's friend and important to him (and it was also very important to him to delegate the card and present choosing to me, showing that he does learn from the men in the family).

So I looked for the pink princess type cards and picked one more or less at random, and headed for the till.  I forgot I wasn't in my lovely local newsagents, and that I was in Clintons who do 'occasions' and didn't look for the price as my lovely newsagent is very reasonable.  Clintons, however, charge £3.29 for this birthday card!  I nearly passed out! 

And the thing that annoys me most - I paid it.  I can't believe I didn't just say, 'I'm sorry, that's too much, I'll get another one.'  I went and paid it. 

I need to work on that. 

Normal Morning

Due to a combination of circumstances OH witnessed the end of little bear's normal morning routine including the Bathroom Battle and the Getting Dressed Dance.  Little bear is happy, energetic and enjoying being nearly six.  Getting a shirt on him is not necessarily a quiet job.  He's not grumpy about it, just relentless. 

I don't think OH had believed me until today.  He just looked at me and said, 'Every morning?'  Normally he leaves well before the, 'but I'm just doing this!' stage of getting him ready. 

Then we both took little bear to school, to little bear's delight.  As we speak he is happening to the teacher.  And I will pick him up and he will be fine and then the negotiations about homework and piano practice will start.  OH hasn't really witnessed them yet.  I must make that opportunity for him!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Normal for here

Yesterday I got some tablets .  The doctor stressed that they had to be taken absolutely first thing, no questions, straight away as soon as you get up.  I assured him that there was no problem, little bear was an excellent alarm clock and he always wakes me in plenty of time for school, I have no need to rush, I can take the tablet no problem. 

So today of course little bear didn't wake at his usual 7am, around two hours before we need to leave the house.  He woke at 8.10, as OH clattered out, late himself.  Which meant and interesting morning for me, as instead of the leisurely wander towards 8.30 when the hysteria of trying to get little bear out of the house starts, I had a rush.  And instead of easy cereal this morning, little bear decided that he wanted a sandwich.  Which he didn't like because the bread was bumpy.  And he really, really wanted cereal now.  Which meant more dashing up and down stairs.  And then there were tense negotiations about him not using his Dr Who bag for school, instead of the lovely book bag with his name on that his teachers can recognise as his. 

At least I had got his clothes ready the night before.  Normally I iron and assemble uniform in the morning because I have plenty of time, but just for once I was prepared.  Otherwise this morning would have been a lot worse. 

So now I have finally taken my tablet.  I hope it is worth it. 

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

How Many!?!

Little bear has five hundred and fifty books.  Over five hundred books!
Fortunately the books he has are the thin ones, like Tabby McTat or Big Mum Plum, or the huge range of pamphlet sized phonics books he has.  This means that the two enormous book cases aren't full.  Yet.
Of course, Christmas and his birthday are coming up, so that number is not likely to go down. And the books he is getting (a set of the Wombles books is already stashed) are getting a bit chunkier. 

And do you know something, he has read most of them, some of the older aged ones he hasn't had a go at yet, but I think he will before New Year, and he does enjoy reading by himself every single night.  I don't begrudge him a single one. 

Wartime Farm

We have all been watching the Wartime Farm.  It has been fascinating watching it with darling father, as he was 8 when war broke out and he lived near his uncle's farm.  He tells us what he saw and what he experienced, and all the stories of when he was young.  It is amazing.

I honestly don't know how mothers coped then.  I know people manage all sorts when they have to, but many women worked long hours, then they had queuing for food - although they were tied to some shops and didn't have to shop around - then after they had had food packed in their own paper which had been saved they had to try and eke out the rations to feed their families.  After that, with so much rationed and so much unavailable, they then had to clean their clothes and houses with rationed soap.  They had to try and keep growing children in clothes on a ration, and it was an offence to use one person's ration for clothes for another.  When the Queen got married, and clothing still rationed, lots of people sent her clothing coupons and they all had to be sent back.  Then they had to sort out the stuff that we would call recycling, making sure that stuff for any pigs, scrap paper, bones, rags, rubber, aluminium and iron were sorted separately for the war effort.  Even tubes of toothpaste when emptied were taken back to the chemist when you bought more toothpaste as the tin was used for the war effort. 

Darling father told me that one local shop was preferred to the co-op as when the sugar ration was weighed out, the co-op weighed it by pouring it into the bag, so the weight of the bag was added on to the scales whereas the local shop weighed it first and then put it into the bag - when you only barely had enough to sweeten tea, every spoonful counts. 

And the wartime farm was showing the lady making a quilt by filling small bags of fabric with feathers and sewing them together.  I want to try this.  I really want to try this - I want to sooooo much.  However, I daren't think of the unfinished projects currently kicking around at the moment.  I may set myself a target so that I can have a go at it only if I finish some things off.  It does look lovely and warm and great to snuggle under on a cold winter's night. 

Interestingly enough, when I was trying to find a linky to a pic of the quilt (here) I found ehow, which I think will now greatly enrich my life!

wearing wellies

We are around one hundred yards from a flood warning.  We are also in absolutely no danger of being flooded, so little bear can have all the excitement of wondering if there will be a flood but has no risk of actual discomfort. 

My heart goes out to those who are affected though.  It's not just an event that lasts for a few hours or days, it can take months and months for a house to dry out, electricals repaired and replaced, plaster redone, new things bought to replace stuff destroyed by one of the great forces of nature. 

Here's hoping for a drier winter.

Monday, 24 September 2012


I took little bear to Eureka - The National Children's Museum on Saturday.  It wasn't an unrivalled success.

I think I had a clue that it may not be the most successful when little bear nearly fell asleep on the bus to the museum.  He was tired, tired, tired, tired.  I am expecting a growth spurt as now would be a perfect time for him to suddenly go up a shoe size or two after being the same size for six months but his new school shoes being less than a month old. 

So when we were walking around and there were loads of buttons and levers and thingies and wotsits all around to push, pull, touch, climb and generally enjoy, little bear had the attention span of a kitten in a feather factory.  It was not a learning experience.  It was a 'ricochet around the exhibit like a ball in a pin ball machine and push, bash, pull and grab all you can reach' experience. 

Little bear was also pushing his luck a little.  I can accept him going a little way ahead, and I don't insist on hand holding all the time in the museum, but he always has to be within line of sight and he always has to be within easy calling distance.  There were a few moments when he got a bit giddy.  However on the whole little bear was quite well behaved.  He sat nicely as he ate lunch.  He sat nicely on the bus.  He sat nicely on the train after exploring all the possibilities of the public toilets on the railway station (well, not quite all, but he gave the hand drier a good work out).

Can I mention that if you go to the cafe there, you need to be focused.  There is one, count it, one list of things to go in the 'Eureka Child's lunch bag' with two or three mandatory and half a dozen either/or choices (not all of which were available).  I couldn't retain the information and had to keep going back and trying to work out what was needed while little bear was fizzing around.  And the adult menu is also well hidden, so I had to make do with what I could see.  Little bear was being good, but he was fizzing a little bit and I was hoping that refuelling him would help calm him down.  I was wrong. 

The museum is fantastic, but not with a tired child, and I was glad to take him home.  I was exhausted myself at this point, which is the only explanation I can think of to explain around £20 spent on stuff from the Body Shop which I don't actually need.  Little bear also got a little irritable on the way home and took exception to me dragging him out of the way of pushchairs and stag do parties as he weaved his tired way across the pavement. 

I will be taking him back - hopefully when he is a little more rested.  I think he will enjoy it just as much again. 

Evil cat is accidentally evil

For once I can't blame evil cat for this. 

I wasn't sleeping very well - I am having a lot of trouble breathing - and was sort of dozing and tossing and turning but gradually slipping further down into a lovely slumber when I realised - I hadn't seen evil cat since tea time.  In fact I had been knitting and she hadn't tried to stop me! 

Then I started wondering, when had the outside door last been open and had we seen her since?  I thought and the door had last been opened just before tea time and I definitely hadn't seen her since.  Evil cat hadn't even been begging for the ham from darling father. 

Suddenly at 1am I was wide awake and worried.  Cats notoriously skulk off if they are feeling under the weather, and evil cat had had a confrontation with the ginger gentleman earlier in the day.  It was nothing much.  She had been 'playing out' and I had glanced out of the window to see the ginger tom approaching and shot out to chase him off.  I think it upset her, though, as she came straight in, hissing as she pattered down the steps to the kitchen.  But what if he had walloped her before I saw him?  What if the shock to her had caused her dicky heart to have problems?  What if she had decided when the door was last open that she was going to hunt the ginger gentleman down and have a return match, the more likely of the scenarios?  And the rain was lashing down outside. 

So I started searching the house in a real state of alarm.  Of course evil cat was inside - fast asleep and very comfortable thank you on a pile of clean washing.  She gave me a 'you are up at this time of night because?' sort of look and then tucked her nose under her tail and went back to sleep. 

Lucky her.  By this time I was wide awake and frozen and it took me hours to get back to sleep.  I am now officially exhausted.  But really happy that evil cat is safe.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Wine is a mocker

"Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise." Proverbs 20:1

And never a truer word was said.  A while back I turned out the dining room and managed to tunnel to where we had kept a lot of alcohol.  The tunnel is now blocked again, but I am optimistic.  Regardless, I excavated the bottles which dated back probably a decade.  Some of them looked okay, but the stuff we bought ourselves was always going to be a bit suspect because I only ever buy cheap wine. 

It showed.  We first opened a bottle labelled 'Good French White'.  Hmmm.  It may have been when we bought it, but when we poured out the 'white' it was an attractive caramel brown shade, and smelled a little like sherry.  We decided not to try it, and that was disposed of. 

Then we found a bottle of 'Black Tower'.  I always liked the look of the bottles, but never really touched it much, so thought it would be fun.  This did look fine, but the taste was just that bit off, and after seeing what had become of the 'Good French White', we decided to play it safe and dispose of that as well.

In the end we had some recently bought Sambuca.  OH and I much prefer spirits.  On the one hand we prefer the taste of many spirits and liqueurs.  On the other hand if OH and I share a bottle of standard wine we almost never finish it, whereas with a spirit or liqueur we can just have a little bit and then put it back without worrying about waste. 

I can see me pouring a lot of wine down the drain in the next few weeks, and then the mortifying experience of dropping of dozens and dozens of bottles at the bottle bank again.  But at least there will be a bit more space than there was.   

Friday, 21 September 2012

Freezer drawer stuck

I shouldn't have even had to go in the freezer if the herring sold to me as 'bone-free' weren't full of bones.  It is probably impossible to have bone-free herring but these would have been like trying to suck up a hedgehog.  Who allegedly wouldn't have been bothered. 

It was a disaster from start to finish, the chard was limp, the orange cauliflower was going black and the potatoes that we did have tasted suspect.  And, and, the dratted meatballs that I managed to prize out of the freezer were either lukewarm or burnt. 

And, and, getting out the meatballs that darling father got when I knew the freezer was stuffed has done something interesting to the drawer in the upright freezer.  I spent ten minutes not able to get the dratted thing either in or out, not able to either get out something for tea (that drawer contains protein component for tea) nor shut the freezer door to stop the thing defrosting, together with all the stuff that is currently in there.  I was honestly crying. 

So I am going to have to try and use everything in the freezer that isn't in that dratted drawer which may as well be padlocked for all the give in it, then try defrosting the freezer (basics nappies are great for mopping up floods).  But before I even start on that I need to do the bacon joint tomorrow (soup, cold, cold, hash) before that goes off.  Then I can start attacking the freezer contents. 

And breath. 

Little bear goes to the dentist

I very reluctantly took little bear out of school to the dentist.  I had been hoping to take him to the dentist at half term, but he had been complaining about it hurting to eat hard things, so off we went.

On the one hand his teeth are doing okay so the long battles to stop him eating the toothpaste and actually brush with it were worth it.  On the other hand he has something of a crossbite (no idea, really) and hopefully that will be sorted when his adult teeth come through.  I need to watch him and avoid him eating things that are very hard.  All went well.

Of course, being little bear he charmed the dentist and his assistant.  He can come again as far as they are concerned, he was, according to them, so cute.  Sigh.  Poor little bear was so tired he nearly fell asleep on the bus to the dentist.  And when he is that tired he can look so angelic.  He had even sat still during the thirty minute wait due to the emergency, which was a bit of a miracle.  The dental assistant even asked if he had a girlfriend.  And yes, little bear is spoken for.  He explained everything. 

Sometimes, when I take him somewhere or do something with him, and he has charmed everyone within reach, I really, really, really realise how lucky I am.   I am really blessed by him, and I think I need to go and cuddle him to remind myself. 

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Cat's can't sing

Poor old Oscar from next door.  He is completely stressed at the moment.  The ginger gentleman keeps calling round with his intact furry dice and attacking him, there is a new dog in the house that keeps attacking him, and every time he finds a good cubby hole in our garden it moves - OH said that when he moved the desk to take it to the tip Oscar shot out like he had been fired from a cannon. 

He's been 'singing' on the fence, a sort of mournful owww-owww-owww that sounds ever so sad and lonely.  Our old psycho cat used to 'sing' it as well, usually with a sock in his mouth because he was quite insane and couldn't be trusted around hosiery.  The first time I heard it I was searching for evil cat in case she had been trapped outside, but she was safely snoozing.

I am well aware that cats often 'sing' at night.  The pitiful owww-owww-owww is so haunting (and completely disruptive to sleep - extra points for the cat).  However Oscar 'sings' in the afternoon.  It is entirely possible that he is now scared of the dark. 

Wednesday, 19 September 2012


The bin men call on Wednesday morning.  This is confirmed on the council website.  Every Wednesday morning the council have arranged for us to be woken up by a massive refuse truck.  So every Tuesday night we scrape all the rubbish together and bung it out.  We don't bung it out as it occurs as we have a large local cat population, a very large local rat population and it can get very messy indeed.  Tuesday night is also 'completely empty evil cat's litter tray and not just scoop it' night, 'clean all the rubbish out of the fridge and be suitably ashamed of all the food past the use by date' night and 'actually remember to bring the rubbish out of the bedrooms and bathroom' night. 

So when the bins are collected on Tuesday afternoon with no warning, it's a bit of a problem.

I was not at my best, I did a very good fishwife impression, I was far below the standard of behaviour I expect from myself.  But when the first thing the bin man said as I came out of the house in disbelief was 'where's your husband then?' I was a bit cross.  What did it matter where my husband was - what mattered to me was where my rubbish was, and it was distributed more or less evenly over four separate floors and I was having trouble breathing as it was - though I did have enough air to shriek at the bin man. And I was far from the only one caught like this.  I think they rely on people either not noticing or not caring. 

It isn't the first time it has happened, and I am not a happy bunny. I am also trapped with a lot of stinky cat litter.  I have had a grumble at the council, while saying truthfully that the bin men were normally fine.  However I will be keeping an eye on this. 

Monday, 17 September 2012

Not just a mistake

I made a mistake because I bought little bear's school trousers at M&S.  I should have gone to Asda who were really good all last year.  And regardless of the issues of actually keeping little bear's trousers up even though he is not that much of a slim jim, the trousers have certainly not spent all the time dragging on the floor, nor, in the one time he has worn this particular pair, did he spend several hours sandpapering the hems.  They still have gaping holes in them.

If a pair of school trousers, sold as hardwearing school trousers for five to six year olds, are worn once, I can expect a bit of a scuff and I certainly do not expect them to be without a hint of wear.  Little bear is an active lad and a determined one.  However all through last year he never managed to get holes in the hems of his trousers.  They even have worked so far up that I can't turn them up without them becoming shorts!  Okay that is a slight exaggeration, they wouldn't be very short shorts, but they would certainly not be full length trousers.

He has also lost his shoes.  I suspect they may be in darling father's room.  I lack the will to go and look.  Little bear went to school in last term's shoes (which, I hasten to add still fit).

His shirts are still okay, though, so fingers crossed that at least part of his school kit works. 

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Clutterbust Overdrive

We have taken ten bin bags of rubbish out of little bear's room - yes, ten!  We got rid of random jigsaw pieces, used up books of puzzles, stubs of pencils, battered crayons, toys beyond redemption, and all sorts of flotsam and jetsam.  We put two full sized book cases in the room, which are looking comparatively stuffed, and we removed a desk that actually was more ornamental because you couldn't write at it, and a sort of storage unit that had just been used as a dumping ground for misplaced stuff. 

We got a new reading lamp set up and he has a little corner where he has bookcases, a comfy chair and a little reading lamp.  I replaced the duvet on the bed which was almost as old as him, and plumped up all the pillows. 

We also moved furniture around, stashed a few bits for darling father's stall at the local table top sale, and relocated a box and a surplus bedside cabinet. 

We haven't gone through his books, nor have we counted them.  As there are lots of those really thin books, there are a lot in a relatively small space, so I shall look into thinning them out nearer Christmas.  Last Christmas little bear easily got over fifty books, I don't know what his haul will be this year, but the books he gets are starting to become a bit thicker and will take up a lot more room. 

While we were doing this little bear was with my sister in law.  I had tentatively asked her whether she could have little bear for a while, like an afternoon, sometime between the end of August and Christmas.  She very happily set the date for this weekend, said she would be happy to have him overnight, and picked him up at 9am.  We haven't picked him up yet and it is 9.30am the next day.  OH needs to do the tip runs first (he'll need to do more than one with all the cardboard packaging from the bookcases) and needs to call in to pick up something between 20% and 40% alcohol for my sister in law, who will not need thanking.  She even bought a special bed for him - one of those inflatable ones.  I am taking that as a hint.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Making the most of it

Little bear has been lovely and cuddly recently.  I suspect it is partly because he is tired after going back to school, but it is lovely.  I have had lots of hugs and cuddles and kisses. 

Last night I indulged him and read four books to him and sang twice the number of songs - and he fell asleep as I was singing.  It was wonderful.  I am pretty sure that the chances of that happening again are getting slimmer and slimmer as little bear gets older so I am making the most of them as they happen. 

Off to collect him for another big cuddle. 

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Little bear is not modest

Little bear and I were in advanced negotiations about whether the homework he had been set was one particular set of instructions or another.  Anyone who has ever dealt with little bear knows how far, 'just do it!' gets you.  Okay, sometimes I do, 'just do it!' but I hold it in reserve for the big things, as it can be awkward enough with little bear.  I usually start with negotiation, move on to bribery and then consequences.  And actually he is pretty good.  However with the homework I think he was worried that the teacher might think he had done the wrong thing and I was trying to find the correct angle. 

'I can't do that part of the homework, it is only for Year Two.' Little bear said firmly.
'It will show the teacher how brilliant you are.' I said, thinking that appealing to an ego rarely goes wrong.
'I am brilliant.' Little bear admitted modestly as I nearly fell off the chair trying not to laugh. 'But I don't want to use up my brilliant.'

So I have spent some time explaining to little bear that being brilliant gets better with practice, and now I am going to consult with the teacher about the correct amount of homework.  Having to speak to the teacher and only on the second week!

Last year, in Reception, little bear was reading Year Two books and reads fluently.  I can't stop him reading out loud when he sees signs out (and wouldn't want to) and he read through the 'homework instructions for parents' with confidence, though he had a bit of a problem with 'suggestions'.  The homework little bear accepted as his lot and burden was to learn to spell 'on', 'to', 'go' and 'the'.  The homework stoutly rejected as beyond his remit and not in his job description was to write a sentence including each of the words. 

I suspect the homework this week is to sort out those who do homework from those who don't, and that more testing stuff will come later.  However little bear gets too far with charm, I want to try and encourage application as well. 

It is five weeks to the parents' evening.  It seems to be a long, long way away. 

And then the pirates attacked the spaceship

Little bear and OH have a sort of collaborative story telling time before the formal story reading and songs, which is usually loosely based on Dr Who.  Last night little bear and Dr Who helped rescue the Fairy Princess from pirates and Cybermen.  However the Fairy Princess thanked them by singing a song that was so awful that they had to run back to the Tardis in a hurry. 

I can't top that. 

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Being contrary

I am too contrary for my own good.  I swear I got it from evil cat, although I can see a few signs in little bear and I am trying to nip that in the bud.  If someone tells me that I absolutely must do something it's the best way to stop me even considering it.  I can make a mule look dithery.  It is not an attractive trait, and it is not one I like in myself and though I am trying to work around it, sometimes it sneaks up on me and I get caught out before I realise. 

It is also having a few side effects that I didn't expect.  Today I was going to definitely, absolutely, 100% guaranteed clear behind the fridge.  Definitely.  No question.  It is overdue, it needs to be done and I want to do it.  Which is why the wheelie bin is full of bleach, soaking, and I have started on the awfulness that is under the kitchen table.  It's not just displacement.  If I had decided to tackle all the junk that has been hiding under the kitchen table for far too long I would even now be dusting the bars at the back of the fridge (and saving money as I did it!).

(And I had decided that I was only going to post once per day, as then I would have something to talk about.  Which is obviously why I am posting this at 11am.)

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

We went to IKEA

We went to IKEA.  I was a bit stressed about it, as we needed to get the bus into town and then the bus back out again, with little bear and darling father and I wasn't very sure of the stops.  At least darling father waits patiently at bus stops.  However we didn't get the usual bus into town.  Normally we get the bus at the stop closest to us, which is a bus that is run by First Bus.  However if we were getting a bus to IKEA then we would get a bus to there which was run by Arriva, so we went a little way away and went to a bus stop that has buses to town run by Arriva, so that little bear and I could get day tickets.  To be honest, I am not sure I actually saved much, but it made a change.

Little bear was very clear.  He had heard that there was a free creche at IKEA (easier for parents to spend money) and he was determined he was going there, he was going straight there, and he would take no objection.  After the route march from the bus stop to the store itself, we dropped little bear off and then darling father and I had a much needed cuppa and cake.  IKEA do really nice cakes - worth going there for the cake alone. 

To little bear's disappointment, the creche only ran until 5.30, and OH wasn't meeting us until 6.30, so not only did he have to stop playing, but he had to do the shopping bit as well!  This was not fair, and he didn't like it at all.  He enjoyed the creche so much that he turned his charming smile on the lady who was checking him out and told her we would be coming there every Monday.  He is going to be so disappointed.   Fortunately he lost interest in the sulks as we started joking about the sofas and tables that we saw.  We had a really fun time and got the material we need for the cushions to match the waste paper bin, also some lining material to go with it. 

To get to the material we had to get past the children's section.  This actually was easier than I thought it would be.  I managed to pick up a toy for a friend's little girl's birthday and avoid little bear's strong and earnest hints for one for him.  Also little bear was so tired, he is still getting used to being back at school and the poor mite has a really good barking cough.  He didn't have the energy for much persuasion. 

After meeting up with OH we had a lovely meal (subsidised, I believe, to help you spend money in the store) and we picked up the lamp for little bear's room, the new lamp for the living room that suits the waste paper bin and the two huge bookcases that may possibly be big enough to hold little bear's books.  Little bear's enjoyment of the day was crowned when while OH went through a long and tortuous negotiation about delivery, little bear got to go on the out door playground.  As he was exhausted, he speeded up, and he was dashing backwards and forwards with a sort of frantic look as he played on as much of the playground as was not being rained on.  It was as if he was going faster and faster because if he slowed down he would just fall asleep, and where is the fun in that?  We got home, he went to bed, and he went to sleep.  I think he would regard his day as successful.

Autumn Cleaning

I don't know why, but I always feel sluggish in Spring and energised in Autumn, and it is now Autumn weather.  So I have started to get a bit keener to clean.  It has taken me a little by surprise, but it is a pleasant surprise.  I have just brushed down my kitchen stairs for the first time since I can remember, as it is a job I hate because of the plaster falling off the walls (yes, honestly, it's a long story).

It may be that I can imagine actually decorating with actual paint and paper.  This has made me feel giddy all over.  However I have a long way to go before I do that. 

I have neglected so many corners (and main bits!) of the house, it needs such a catch up.  And I am bitterly aware that every time I start a new phase of cleaning something dreadful happens.  But I actually feel optimistic! 

I have decided to write up the housework as a job description, just like the ones I used to have back in long ago days, and put in a timetable to try and always remember to keep cleaning.  Stairs are Tuesdays and Fridays.  It's a start, anyway. 

This weekend is a huge clear out of little bear's room.  With that and the huge clear out we did behind the television, I think it may have kick started something.  I shall see how this goes.

Monday, 10 September 2012

I love talking about weather

So the weather has changed drastically.  This is not unusual in the UK, it is more unusual for the weather to stay the same.  But walking back from little bear's school drop off I noticed that while the crab apples were ripe, there were also blossoms on the tree. This was next to some really red hawthorn berries, looking more like October than September. 

I don't blame the plants for being confused.  The fuschia that did so well last year is only just breaking blossom now.  I think the lack of sun has not helped.  The rose looks like it thinks it's December, but that may also be the effect of local vandals.  There have definitely been less butterflies than last summer. 

Another oddity I noticed was an apple tree on waste ground with speckled stripes on the apples.  It is on a bit of ground behind locked railings, or I would try and get to one.  They look so pretty, and perhaps Victorian.  The nearest I have found in online is a Jonathan apple but it is far more dainty and speckled.  As apples apparently do not grow true from seed but have all sorts of different traits that can come through from very dull apples, it is probably just the result of a discarded supermarket apple core, but it is just so striking.  I wonder what it tastes like - I'll never know as the railings are far too daunting.  If I work out how to use a camera before they all get eaten by more adventurous apple lovers then I will post a picture. 

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Little bear practises being cool

Little bear was doing his usual coming downstairs for one more cuddle, needing a drink, light not on, light not off - the stuff that extends the time before he has to go to sleep.  Bless him, the final time he came down in his Scooby Doo costume - complete with sunglasses underneath!

He is so full of cold and has been so tired and crotchety, I am just glad he is finally asleep.  At least while he is asleep I am not getting the full force of his latest tantrum.  But a lot can be forgiven after a full Scooby Doo costume, with head on, and sunglasses underneath.

Little bear doesn't think it's fair

Just in general.  He doesn't think it's fair.  He has just finished his first week at school after the summer, he has a stonking cold and is doing a good impression of exhaustion. He is also managing tears on a random but regular basis. 

I don't know that he will be fit for school next week but I shall watch and wait. 

Also, I shall cuddle.  Little bear is definitely in need of cuddles.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

And he hasn't even got a secret hideout...

Little bear was feeling a bit fed up.  'I used to be a genius.' he complained.
'You can still be a genius,' OH said, trying to be supportive, despite complete lack of modesty from little bear. 
'But I've almost run out of plans!' little bear said crossly.

And he hasn't got a secret hideout and his henchman are four soft toy pandas and a soft toy rat.  It isn't fair!

Little bear in new jacket - ebay is my friend

Friday, 7 September 2012

Test Results back

The doctor thinks I may have intermittent heart failure.  He is referring me. 

I think this is actually a lot less serious than it sounds.  And there is this new all singing all dancing unit set up for things such as this, and I am, to be honest, actually quite happy.  I have a diagnosis, I have an opportunity to be treated and I may come out of it with proof that I have a heart.  I already have proof that I have a brain from a scan a few years back.

I have absolutely no idea when or where the referral will come, but I shall just carry on as usual.  Actually, no, it won't be carrying on as usual.  I am trying to get healthy options and exercise built in to my routines, including perhaps a ten minute walk after dropping little bear off at school, a walk later on, lots of running up and down stairs - just being a bit sensible.  I am also trying to review my appalling diet.  So I shall carry on with the new usual. 

Also, extremely happy as I have worked out how to do the labels finally in the new layout.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Bitten off a bit too much

It's blanket washing weather - and I have a huge blanket to wash.  Darling uncle bought it for little bear, it is sort of mega-emperor size, this vast expanse of fluffy fleece in two layers, bound only at the edges, with a tiger printed on it.  I have had it for a while and haven't washed it.  I am incredibly slack with all sorts of household stuff, but I do like to wash things.

The monster being too big for the washing machine (and touch and go if I could find a launderette), I thought I would give it a quick rinse off in the bath as it wasn't actually dirty, just dusty and had been wrapped around people for some time, and put it on the line. 

I washed without much problem, I rinsed it and it rinsed relatively easily although the blanket and a very small amount of swish room in the water filled the bath, and then I pulled the plug and left it to drain.  After an hour I popped back in to drag the drained monster out to put on the line. 

It is still waterlogged for about a third of it, and too heavy for me to lift.  I think I may have done something interesting but not immediately apparent to my back.  And OH has said that he would really like a bath tonight, he could do with a soothing soak.  At the moment he would be sharing his soothing soak with acres of fabric tiger, except I don't think there is enough room for both of them in there. 

I've hoicked about a tenth out of the bath and over the side, sort of scrunched as all sides of the blanket are longer than the bath, and I am hoping it will dry quite quickly and I can then make the space for OH to have a nice bath.  Or at least I hope enough water will have drained from it so I can put the dratted thing on the line!

Cat under stress

Not evil cat.  Evil cat doesn't seem to suffer from stress.  She is quite happy to be surrounded by waves of stress happening to other people as a result of her but she doesn't get stressed herself.  Next door's huge tom does get stress, however, and he is suffering badly.

Poor old cat - he is one of the most massive cats I have ever met.  He can sprawl on a wall and look really leonine, he is an absolute cuddle fuss monster and apart from some tetchy exchanges about his use of our garden as toilet facilities, he is generally welcome by us, if not evil cat. 

At the moment, however, poor Oscar is suffering.  His nerves are all over the place and he is pulling out his own fur.  As the biggest tom next door, and the other tom still under a year old, he is responsible for guarding the clan.  It's behaviour that has been seen with feral and semi feral cats.  Oscar is supposed to square up to and chase off marauders.  These days most toms are 'done', like Oscar, and Oscar is happy just catching the rays, being very large and bringing home lots of grey, furry twitching things, or the occasional magpie.  Until the ginger gentleman turned up.  Now Oscar is involved in regular turf wars with the ginger thug, and while Oscar is huge, the ginger gentleman is intact and psychopathic.  Oscar is more of a lover than a fighter - or would be if they hadn't been pruned. 

The real insult on top of injury was yesterday.  Nice Mrs Next Door has a lovely new dog, a pedigree (not sure what sort, but she is so pretty and sweet, and registered) and poor old Oscar is being chased by her.  I left the house yesterday and found that the new dog had chased Oscar just after he had had a tasty snack.  Not only was Oscar chased out of his own home, but he left piles of semi digested cat biscuits all over our garden and was hiding under the honeysuckle, traumatised.   He is plucking his fur like crazy now - but he is still a lovely cat.  I hope things settle down for him soon.  I would give him asylum, but I think evil cat could be worse. 

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

A step towards decorating

The wastebin came today.  The one we are going to decorate our house to match.  As the house has never been decorated, I am not holding up much hope, but you never know.

It came with a complimentary tissue box holder.  I shall be going around town tomorrow, in and out of supermarkets, checking for the fit of tissues to an actually rather nice sort of rosewood colour tissue box holder with antique style maps stuck all over it for a decoupage effect. 

It could be worse. 

Thus spake little bear

I am a Christian, though not a very good one.  I believe in God, and Christ and I sometimes read the Bible.  I am an epic fail at church attendance, and when I do attend I wander off in daydreams during the hymns, but I do my best.  So some of the questions little bear asks me these days are really taxing my theological knowledge.  I know shedloads about Medieval heresy and the theology of the Early Church and even a few scraps about the evolution of Medieval liturgy (I have a novel in mind for it, it's research).  However I am very shaky on current theology, and apart from anything else I want to do the right thing by little bear.  When he asked whether there were toilets in heaven, I was a bit thrown, but I said that while I didn't know, I was sure we would have whatever we needed in heaven to make us happy.  I thought I ought to try and get him to Sunday School so that I could delegate these questions.

Then little bear told me that God was dead.  What!?!?  Where did that come from?!  Little bear kindly explained.  Mummy's mummy was dead and in heaven.  Daddy's mummy was dead and in heaven.  Daddy's daddy was dead and in heaven.  Malevolent cat and psychotic cat were dead and in heaven (really not sure about the theology of this one!).  God was in heaven.  Therefore God was dead.  It's impeccable logic for a five year old. 

Darling father took over the explanation of people being alive again in heaven and God not being the same as everyone else, to my relief.  However I am thinking more and more that Sunday School is a great place for little bear to spend Sunday mornings. 

I should add for those concerned about me forcing a defenseless child into a rigid Sunday School, two of his friends already attend (play at) the local one and he already has the leader eating out of his hand as well as half the congregation.  I should also add that at one point OH applied to train as a vicar, which he didn't continue with, and he does have current theological knowledge and he is always spectacularly absent when little bear comes out with these gems.  I suspect little bear knows I am the weakest target and takes charming advantage. 

Monday, 3 September 2012

Forty two days

That is how long little bear has been on school holiday - forty two days.Now he goes into Year One.  He has proper desks and proper homework and proper lessons.  I hope he will be alright.  So far he lands on his feet, but of course I worry.

On the other hand, his charm still seems to be working.  He went to the chippy for a packet of chips to go with cold chicken.  The nice lady thought he was sweet and offered him the choice of one of two lollipops - this one or that one.  Little bear dithered, and wondered, and hovered - and the lady gave him both of them.  He will soon be dealing with a new teacher.  I wonder how the charm will go then. 

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Possibly not a Hangover

Friday night I had a glass of wine.  Saturday morning I had a violent headache and an upset stomach - hangover after one (okay, v large) glass of wine. 

Today I have a violent headache and an upset stomach.  I didn't have any wine last night.  It's probably not a hangover.  It's probably another food intolerance.  Darn. 

Can't wait until it is out of my system.  Little bear has been in a wildly cuddly mood and I have been a climbing frame.  Lots of cuddles, tickles and snuggles.  I am now officially hiding on here.  But it was lovely, even with a non hangover. 

Saturday, 1 September 2012


Do not go on ebay after a glass of wine.  Seriously, do not do it, it does not end well.

I managed to just about avoid buying anything, though it was a close call, and looking at the items saved in my 'watching' folder they were a bit um, well, erm, extreme.  Odd.  Not the standard items for home decor.  I don't even like gothic fairies.  Then little bear was up in the night, and this morning I have OH's hangover (I always get his hangovers), the effect of actually drinking a glass of wine myself instead of spirits (never good) and the tail of the cold. 

OH has taken little bear to soft play.  I am very grateful.