Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Bear is happy

Charity shopping again today.  Bear solemnly accepted £10 and added to his savings of £2.14, being very clear it was £12.14.

One Ben10 board game, one pair of seventies style glasses, one huge, stonking, massive stormtrooper helmet with sound effects (whimper) and he was pretty much on his last ends.  Then he saw an art attack book he nearly bought last week and now wanted, but he only had £2.90 and the book was £4.  I said he could borrow against next week's money, but that there would be a charge.

Bear was happy with this and negotiated the fee down from 90p to 40p (I swear that lad is going to end up in sales), and then we went to the same cafe.  Bear scrounged half of df's toast and drank a quarter of his own milkshake.

As an aside, this was fancy seeded bread, which bear won't touch at home, and he even ate the crusts which he utterly rejects if I slip and give him untrimmed bread.  He also only eats cheese at my elder brother's house.  It is infuriating.

I thought this was a good way to teach budgeting, until darling uncle absolutely and unilaterally insisted on paying for the art attack book.  It isn't as helpful as he thinks.  On the other hand, I have spent most of the time since bear broke off from school punctuated by calls to darling uncle, some of them long, and bear has been very good about it.

I am not sure what is happening with darling uncle.  I can't get over there, it is impossible to have the care for bear if I do, DH can't get time off, I just don't know what is going on.  I don't know when he will next see someone else.  I don't think anything is going to happen.  He is still struggling to get tea making to work.  I have no idea what is happening next and darling uncle is dodging all the awkward questions.

I am now indulging in a bit of self pity.  Darling uncle wants me to get something like frozen chips but not frozen because there is no room in the freezer and not tinned potatoes.  And just something that's round, but not burgers but meat type stuff.  Also anything else I think he will randomly need.  Also the toaster apparently doesn't work and I suspect that he hasn't altered the temperature controls but who knows because he hasn't had a toaster previously and there is no-one who can go round and work out what has happened.  Bear is out tomorrow and the planned house cleaning/catch up/sort out looks like sinking under shopping for uncle for things he wants but can't describe.  I don't mind, but the sense of floundering helplessly is pretty strong.

Also, can't have early night as I am staying up until daft o'clock making sure that bear has his favourite shorts and shirts available for tomorrow.  I hope I can find the right bag for him!

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Bear is having fun

Bear is having a great time racing around in the street with a pal and wearing a woolly hat, woolly gloves and a scarf.  Apparently it is compulsory as they are playing police.

I am leaving him to it.

District Nurse visits darling uncle tomorrow and hopefully things will start working.


Darling uncle has been discharged from hospital and is struggling to make a cup of tea.  He is very stressed about how to make a drink.  I can't get over there.  I am ordering things and researching things, but I have no idea of what to do.   I am worried he won't be able to make himself something to eat, and the District Nurse isn't coming until tomorrow.  He has to eat, he is diabetic.

I don't even know where to start about researching things.  Off to find out where to start, to be at least a little useful.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Weather continues foul

Today bear is at the holiday club.  We spoke together and arranged one or two days per week when he could go to the club when they were doing something interesting.  Today they are planning a picnic at a park and a trip to an ice cream parlour.

It is scything down, cold and windy.  I am not going out unless forced.

Bear only took a hoodie as it was sunny and the weather forecast wasn't too severe.  I shall be a little more sceptical next time.  Next time is Thursday when they are going on a trip to the seaside.  I need to be able to pack into a bag that a six year old can carry all the stuff that he may need for a trip to the seaside and fish and chips on the way back.  It may take some working out.

I did have plans for today but darling uncle is likely to be discharged today or tomorrow.  He is really worried about getting a cup of tea from his kitchen to the chair.  I have found this

So one is on its way plus some other bits.  I am sure it will turn out alright but I am reserving the right to worry.

Tonight's dinner is looking very like beeferoni - no trouble, no fuss, relatively healthy and we all like it.  I wish I could get away with it every night.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Bear is tired

We haven't actually done much so far, but bear is a very tired bear.  He has been playing out a lot more so he has had that, and the weather hasn't helped.   I realised just how tired he was today.

We went out early to Roundhay Park, stopping at Tescos nearby.  I want to go back to that Tescos.  They are in a very multicultural area with a lot of different faiths, so all the signs for deals for Ramadan are up and I got 4kg of rice for £4.  They sell sacks of rice and all sorts of goodies and I recently purchased a middle eastern cookbook.  I shall go back with DH when I don't need to bring bear.  He is good when shopping, but not enthusiastic.

I picked up a few bits for a picnic and then we found our way to Roundhay park for a picnic breakfast.  Bear had been so good all morning, pleasant and polite and not complaining at all.  He sat next to me on the picnic blanket, curled up and when to sleep.  I haven't seen him do anything like that for years.  He had about twenty minutes nap.  He is currently watching Tom and Jerry on the sofa and I am hoping he will drift off again, poor tired lad.  He is still not happy about me sleeping upstairs but he gets to wake up and then go back to sleep on the sofa.

I wish we could go to see darling uncle today, but it's just not practical.  He has had an operation and is doing okay.  I need to learn to drive soon.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Day Three

Thirty nine days to go...

Today we went to Headingley.  If you hear about Headingley on tv it is usually about sport, but Headingly also is a student quarter and has the greatest concentration of charity shops I have ever seen anywhere!

I explained to bear that we were going to see what was in the charity shops, that we could never know in advance and that if it was there today it may not be there next week.  I gave bear a £10 budget for this week, on the grounds that it would no doubt cost me a lot more than that if we went to a museum with a shop.  I set out the rules carefully.  If he didn't spend all of the money then it could be added to the next week's allowance.  If he saw something he really, really, really liked he could borrow against next week but for every £1 advance he would lose £1.50 of the next week's allowance.  This is my attempt to teach him about budgeting and the cost of borrowing.

Bear was quite clear what he was looking for.  He wanted to find Mr Men books.  He has gaps in his collection and I thought charity shops were a great place to start.  It also gets him out of the house.  Unfortunately we didn't see any Mr Men books, but bear found a Doctor Who book, a toy guitar and a toy robot and has £2.14 until next week.  Any left at the end of the summer will be carried over until we go to Cardiff.

I shall be spending a lot of time going for local walks, I think.  It cost us £6 for the bus tickets, so even going anywhere on the bus costs, then there are things like ice creams etc.  I may try a bit of a picnic in the local park, but I am terrified of the run down play equipment there and I stress when bear goes on it.  When he was tiny he used to launch himself at the stand alone pole from the top of the climbing frame and I was in no position to catch him.

After the visits to only three of the charity shops, bear had had enough so we popped into Sainsburys where I picked up some bits.  Bear made an insistent and determined request for two things, both of which I let him have.  The first request was for broccoli to have with tea, the second was a request for the times table flash card book.  I don't know where he got that from.

What a start

Bear has insisted on starting the day with mental arithmetic.

It is 8.08 as I type and I seem to have been at it for hours  I am absolutely at sea.  There is a current lull on 37 + 14 and I am typing as quick as I can.  I am running out of inspirations.

I am taking bear charity shop shopping later.  That should be a lot less stressful.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Post Office

I am very rarely in the local post office.  In fact, I go in less than once per month.  Sometimes it's very busy but sometimes it is very quiet.  I don't have a particular emotional attachment to it.

However we now have a letter saying that they are considering relocating the post office to inside the local Nisa.  Do we want to share our views.  

I don't know.  I honestly don't know.  If you are elderly and it is cold and icy then moving the post office just under half a mile (according to Google maps) it could be a big deal.  On the other hand there is no parking at the current post office and it is on the curve of a sharp bend on a busy road.  There is some parking at the Nisa.

The days when you called into the post office for the Family Allowance are gone.  Most of it is paid directly and will be paid monthly under the new proposals. I can see it being hard to justify a full post office.  The people running it are, I think, retirement age, and the whole thing may have been prompted by them deciding to retire but what if it wasn't?  How hard will it be for them to find jobs?

Then again it will help keep the Nisa going, which will be challenged when the new Tesco opens.  That is a whole other story and the Tesco, just too far away to walk, will make it hard on a lot of local shops.  It is also going to have vicious effects on local traffic.  The Nisa is a useful resource and I would be sorry to see it go.  The post office as it is run has only the post office counter, a few cards and some scraps of stationery.  It makes more sense for the smaller amount of post office work to be meshed in with another business.  It's not as if the post office is going altogether.

I honestly just don't know.

Bear is Well Read

Actually, bear is well read to.  He gets a story read to him every night, he has since he was six days old.  At first it was just the soothing sound of his father's voice as he had his evening feed, now it is a carefully negotiated and much loved time.

We have just finished Island of Adventure, by Enid Blyton.  I am not sure about her views on social class, gender roles and ethnicity.   However when it comes to constructing a plot she is absolutely red hot, not a scene is wasted, everything is neatly foreshadowed, there is not a loose thread or a hanging question anywhere.  The plot of Island of Adventure was so beautifully constructed I was taking notes.

Bear has also negotiated that one of us will read a Mr Men story by Roger Hargreaves as well.  I usually volunteer to do that as I am enjoying the Mr Men stories a great deal.  They are fun, interesting and have a very clear morality which I think is wonderfully age appropriate.  I also enjoy reading them because I have finally found someone who uses more commas than I do.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Trying to Relax

Bear has sunburned shoulders.  I am letting that wash over me.  It is the first sunburn he has ever had and at six I think I'm doing okay.

And actually there is marginally less mess now than there was at the start of the day - not sure how that happened, but it is all good.  So that's less to worry about.

I am now about to abandon bear to his computer.  He has had a long play out today, before his playmates got grounded, so I am not sweating that either.  Instead I am off to make dinner in good time for DH coming home.

Darling uncle is sounding much better.

First Day of the Summer Holidays

Bear woke me up at 6.39 this morning.  Mummy staying in bed until 7am seems to be a mythical hope.  What is worse is that bear had already made his own breakfast.  So I had a shed load of guilt before 7am as well as trying to wake up while finding out for bear when Charles Dickens died (bear needed to know it now and I was far too sleep befuddled to argue).  I don't think bear approves of me sleeping in a bed but I am absolutely desperate.

So I cleaned up the cereal from the stairs, then mopped up the bubble mixture from the carpet, then scraped the face paint up from the bathroom and finally started to relax around 9.30am.

We have ants in the kitchen again and currently trees in the porch - darling father's damson and apple tree have arrived and he is putting them worryingly close to the house.

Forty one days to go.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Feeling empowered

Not only did I manage to be pleasant to the delivery men at 8am (which is a minor miracle because at that time I am barely conscious at best) but I managed to get the mattress up two flights of stairs, one with a nasty turn by myself.  I didn't even knock down any pictures or anything.

I think I only managed it as I am utterly exhausted from lack of sleep and visiting darling uncle yesterday.  There isn't enough of me awake to realise that I ought to be sensible.  I am staying away from paypal.   Tonight I hope to sleep better.

Darling uncle continues on IV antibiotics.  He is refusing to wear his hearing aid in hospital.  I am worried he will be in longer than he thinks.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Doomed to an early start

I am finally getting a mattress so I can sleep in a bed tomorrow.  It has been fine sleeping on fold out/sofa, but it has been getting harder and harder and I have been getting less and less sleep.  I am usually the second awake by around thirty seconds (bear is the first) and I have to be last to bed, although DH and DF are considerate.   I suspect I reached the end of my tether a while ago.  The reason it was so important for me to sleep downstairs is no longer relevant.  I am no longer so worried about bear wandering into the kitchen if I am asleep with two floors between me and the kitchen.  Mainly I am very confident that bear will politely, calmly and persistently request that I go down to the kitchen and make him breakfast, thank you so much.

I am really looking forward to this mattress, I am on pins in case they have problems delivering due to peculiar road and vicious traffic at both ends of the street.  I am dreading hoicking a mattress up two flights of stairs.  When I received the text letting me know the estimated time of delivery, though, I nearly said a rude word.

The much coveted mattress is coming between 7am and 8.45am.  This means I have to get bear into before school club and DH has to take him, as I can't guarantee getting bear ready and out if the delivery is later than @ 8am, by which time DH has to be on his way to work.

I hate getting up early, I loathe it with a passion.  I tolerate it for bear.  The poor delivery person who is delivering the mattress will get my best attempt at a sunny morning face but at 7am my best isn't very good.   I will remember it isn't the delivery driver's fault and it would be an ideal time for many people.  I shall be in bed straight after bear on Monday night and possibly for the rest of the week.

(just as an aside, bear's teeth seem fine and coping well with a variety of treats.  I am keeping quiet and waiting and seeing.  He still looks like he has fallen and skidded along an unmade road and came second, which is exactly what happened, but that's normal for a six year old lad)

I will be up at the normal time tomorrow but out early as I am going to visit darling uncle.  It is a long journey, then I will be trying to clear out his cottage, then hospital visiting, then more clearing and then a long trip home.  Darling uncle is a hoarder.  He is convinced that a cake mixer that hasn't been used since 1987 has monetary value.  It might if it hadn't been kept in a dusty, damp and mouse infested cupboard.  It wasn't that brilliant to start with iirc.  It is hard to negotiate sometimes.  Also darling uncle's diabetes is badly affected by the infection so his thinking isn't always reliable.  I have been there before.  He has told me to throw things out before and then complained because I've thrown stuff out.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Normal for boys

Bear has been playing out. He is now in, sipping on a milkshake, as the second time he fell hard onto tarmac he landed teeth first.  He is now describing his teeth as 'soft'.  The dentist is open tomorrow and I am hoping that either his teeth stop being 'soft' or we can get an appointment.

I am not looking forward to bathtime.  There are scrapes and scratches all over the poor lad.  However he has perked up a lot since his tumble after a jelly pot, milkshake and a dose of Tom and Jerry.

It is going to be a long, looong summer.  I think I will stock up on milkshake and jelly.

I need to pay more attention

Yesterday a car went on fire just a few hundred yards from my home.   Looking at Google maps it's around 120 metres between the patch of burnt tarmac and my front door.  It was apparently a fireball and traffic was gridlocked.

I missed it completely.  I have form for missing out on exciting events, like when there were police dogs searching the street for armed robbers about ten years ago.  I completely missed those as well and I love watching police dogs.

I took my phone out to get a picture, but the camera isn't working.  Before it shut down, however, I managed to get a nice picture of some privet flowers.

Around here privet usually comes out in nice time for Wimbledon, but it's a bit late.  I also got a picture of some berries that look almost autumnal (but I think they are actually on schedule as they are flowering almond berries)

So you will just have to imagine burnt tarmac, burnt fencing that is almost to ashes and a quantity of smoke damage to a '40' sign that has completely hidden the number on the sign.  All of this I missed.  Mind you, bear has only just noticed that we have new curtains and they have been up months.

Darling uncle has a blockage in one of his arteries in his leg, and it looks like it will not be possible to operate for various reasons.  If they cannot operate then he can look forward to more infections and potentially losing a leg.  I am a bit worried.  He seems to be doing well.  I hope they find a way to operate.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Not good in mornings

I am really not good in the morning.  I am an evening person.  I believe that there should only be one six am in the day and that should be in the evening.  Bear is the opposite.

So at 7.15am bear was wandering around the garden picking up stones that his 'friend' had taken out of their bucket and scattered around the garden.  There are two issues here.  There is the issue of the stones.  Bear has identified the stones as 'pretty', 'sparkly', moonrock, granite and marble.  Actually they are bits of aggregate that has been dumped in the holes in the street.  I am not sharing this.  Then there is the issue of his 'friend'.  I don't like to say too much because the friend is only young and stuff stays on the internet and if I started I probably wouldn't stop.  However I am probably the only adult on the street willing to give the 'friend' the benefit of any doubt at all and they have pushed their luck with me a few times.  I am on pins every time bear plays out.  But they can go well together, and it could all be good for bear.

I am not getting caught up in the whole 'stones' business.  That is up to bear, as long as he empties them out of his pockets before I wash his clothes.  If I want stone washed clothes I will purchase them.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

I've lost my plan!

It's normal for me.  I had all the list of the storecupboard stuff in a document saved on the computer and I think I deleted it when clearing out.  I am a bit upset about it.

On the bright side (there is always a bright side) I am much more mindful of what is in there, so I plan to try and use stuff up regardless.  I may try and run out of things.  This is a huge, huge, huge psychological deal to me.  I hate running out of things, it makes me feel very anxious.  However as long as I don't run out of loo paper we can manage.  It will be a while before the cupboard gets anywhere near bear.

It puts the lid on yesterday.  Yesterday was a stubbed toe sort of day with an early start, an argument with bear to get him to go back to sleep, confusion over deliveries, stuff being dropped, stuff being missed and general confusion.  My mattress has apparently left the warehouse.  When it is finally installed I shall be going to bed at the same time as bear for a week!

One of my random purchases arrived today.

I got it from Thorness and their service has been amazing!  I originally found their store looking for hats for darling father.  I am looking with some envy at Duck Egg Designs as well.  I am trying to convince myself I need these.

I don't need them, but I do want them.  Sigh.

Darling uncle is still in hospital and waiting for the operation once his warfarin has stablised.  I keep getting different dates for when he is likely to be discharged and what will happen.  I am a bit worried.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Form Rage!!!

I have just spent some time working my way through the rules.  I consider myself comparatively intelligent, I can read and understand quite difficult words.  However I have just been having fun with working out the rules about tax for income earned in another country.

Let's start with the Smashwords account.  Can I first mention that they are having a promotion all July with lots of books less expensive or free, so worth a look.  Any purchase made from whichever part of the world, however, has the money landing squarely in California.  They distribute to places like Kobo, Nook, iTunes etc who will sell from their stores to people all over the world.  So someone in India could buy an ebook from Kobo who would send their cut to Smashwords - in California.  Someone from Italy could by an ebook from iTunes and the money (or a percentage) would appear in California.  My share will be paid out when it reaches $10, through paypal.

I don't have anything against California.  It seems very nice and every person from there that I have actually spoken to is lovely.  It is, however, in the USA.  Any money earned in the USA will be paid to foreign nationals after a 30% withholding charge for their taxes.  Fortunately the USA and the UK have a tax treaty (which I suspect has helped people like Starbucks) so that if I supply the right forms then I don't have the 30% deducted, I pay taxes on it here instead.  Lovely, lovely Smashwords have written a guide to go through things, and it really helps.

I can fill in the form comparatively okay.  I just need to enclose a passport, which I don't have.  I could always include a full driving licence with an original birth certificate but I don't have a full driving licence either.  I am now going to apply for a passport.  While I may not be taking holidays abroad I am sure I will find lots of uses for a passport.  I have scraped by so far without it, though, and it galls me a little to realise that I will be spending nearly £100 to claim $10.04 royalties.

That is, if they accept that my name is on every bit of identity except the book.  I don't write under my own name.  'Lyssa Medana' only exists in relation to 'The Forgotten Village'.  I am trying to think of a good covering letter.

I am also going to be filling in a self-assessment form later.  The tax office are likely to snigger.  I am not complaining, however, as if I just sell one book per year I will still be getting a few pennies and a huge thrill each time until I fade away, and it cost me nothing to publish.  So while I have calmed down a bit while writing this, and although I will be stoking up the rage next as I try and work out the (&%^$*@ UK tax forms I am still so thrilled that enough people have paid for my stuff to make it necessary.  Thank you.

And dealing with the forms helps me divert from darling uncle.  He is likely to have an operation next week.  He is, however, sounding a lot better.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

If you've read 'The Forgotten Village'

If  you've read 'The Forgotten Village' please can you leave a review.  It's okay if you don't, and I will obviously be devastated if it is a bad review but I will be grown up about it, but please leave a review.

Reviews make a massive difference to the ability to sell, and I have even found a site where I can advertise for free - but only if I have five Amazon reviews.  I have one.  Reviews on Goodreads also make a massive difference.  

So this is me asking those who have read 'The Forgotten Village' to help me out.  It's okay if you haven't read the book and it's okay if you don't feel like leaving a review.  I am just desperately grateful that anyone has wanted to read it!  However if you can I will be grateful.  

For those who haven't read 'The Forgotten Village', I am @ 40k into 'Digging up the Past' and with a following wind and some sanity aids I should get it self published by September.  I will probably do a promotion of 'The Forgotten Village' free for a month then, so if you are interested then it may be worth waiting.  If you decide you can't wait then you can get TFV on Kobo,  Amazon, Itunes, Nook or on a Word Document/pdf via Smashwords for 99 cents.  I won't get upset at the idea of you waiting.  

Important bit a lot of the sites that do free advertising are advertising free books (more reason to have TFV free for a month) and once I have done the research I will share where you can get those free books.  

Darling uncle is slightly better after rest and the antibiotics but still not good.  

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Could be worse

One of the more random things I bought were hand held air conditioners (fans that blow over a damp sponge).  They currently feel worth their weight in gold!  The cost of the thingies was okay but the running of them could get expensive.

I am gearing up to get in touch with various sellers tomorrow and try and either stall or re-direct parcels that were due for darling uncle.  One was a portable air conditioner (slightly bigger fan, blowing over a tank of water that needs to be put on the floor).  As darling uncle lives in a tin bungalow these things are creeping into the 'actually quite important' category.  Today I bought myself a mop.

This morning we were out extremely early to avoid the worst of the heat and walked around a part of Roundhay Park we hadn't seen before.

Bear's grumble per yard walked ratio is still a bit high but we had a lovely time.  Poor bear is not dealing with the weather well - he asked to go to bed at 5.30pm!  He probably got to sleep around 9pm.

Darling uncle is having a few problems as the combination of infection and treatment is affecting his diabetes.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Bought a camera

I bought a plain red camera.  It's for bear, to take photos with.  I avoided some of the branded ones as I want him to look after it and use it for several years OR ELSE!

I am planning on getting bear writing a blog.  I should add that there is no way on this earth that I will link to it, it will be very carefully targeted to his family, but it is a good way of tracking the 'what I did in my holidays' stuff, with pictures.  I have no idea what it will include and I am a bit apprehensive that bear will ramble into the wild and wonderful areas of imagination, but that's okay.

The rather limp report he had from school said that he was coasting and not thinking to go the extra distance.  I am hoping the whole idea of a blog will keep him thinking and perhaps taking more of an initiative.  So he gets a reluctant camera.

My uncle is still poorly in hospital and they have found a blockage in the veins in the back of his knee.  This is a bit worrying in an elderly diabetic.  However he is in the right place.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Darling Uncle is poorly

Darling uncle is currently being admitted to hospital at the insistence of his GP.  I am a hundred miles away, almost exactly.

I am confident that he will be well soon, and that he is in the right place.  I am not being much use.  So tonight the rice salad planned was an epic fail and we had fish n chips, and I am about to crawl under the covers.  Posting may be erratic and self indulgent until further notice.

I wish I lived nearer.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Bad start to the day

I am not a brilliant housewife, I am not impressively organised and I am not keeping up with much at the moment.  Bear's lunchbox hadn't been cleaned out last night, instead it was left with his martial arts kit.

I had an even worse night last night as well, so when bear woke me up at 6.30 demanding that I find his superman costume for him (normal for mornings here) I decided to get his breakfast, sort out his uniform and make his lunch and then go back to sleep until 8.15 or so, giving me plenty of time for the battle of getting bear dressed.

So I fed bear who wanted lots of toast today, ironed his uniform sleepily and then picked up his lunchbox.  I immediately dropped it - it was full of ants!  I wasn't sleepy after that.

As far as I can tell the ants have attacked the lunchbox from the study, on the floor above the kitchen.  The study needs to be turned out.  There is now a very good chance indeed that a turn out will happen.

The turn out will fit in around bear's sports day and his parents' evening.  Bear did not bring home a shining report. There were some As but there were quite a few Ds as well.  I noticed that the achievement mark was consistently higher than his effort mark.  I explained to bear that I thought he was wonderful, was thrilled where he had done well, but I was not happy with the D for effort marks.  He got cuddles.

Two things that made me really glow with pride.  He was described as 'impeccably behaved' and it said that while he usually played with the same people at break, he was always kind to those who wanted to play with him.  Those two things will cover a multitude of Ds.

Monday, 8 July 2013

What's the real price?

I could really do with a decent light next to where I sit in the study.  It is just behind bear so I can watch what he is doing on the computer.  Today it was watching Donald Duck cartoons on YouTube.  I have two pairs of curtains I am going to be sewing by hand (not very hard to do) and having a decent light will make it a lot easier, as no natural light falls where I sit at any point of the day.

I don't really want to move the light from the living room, as I find it very useful there when I am keeping DH company and knitting/cross stitch/reading in the living room.  Carting a floor lamp from room to room is doable, and a small thing compared to what some people do, but not top of my list.  I know I am going to spend far too much time over the forty two days of the summer watching bear play computer games/browse ceebeebies website/browse sesame street website/try and educate me about minecraft and I would like to be able to do something useful with my hands as I was stuck there.

I have seen a floor lamp identical to the brilliant one I have in the living room which is perfect.  On the IKEA website it is £11

If I have it delivered then it adds £15 on to the price, so it comes to £26.  If I order it online and then have it delivered there is a further £15, so a total of £41.  I have seen it on ebay at £24.95, inclusive.  

It seems obvious that I should go to IKEA and get the lamp.  However going to IKEA is not straight forward, it requires two buses at least, so a saver ticket at £4.50.  This puts the real minimum price of the lamp at £15.50.  It would be £9.45 more to get it on ebay and I would get nectar points.  The question is, how much do I actually want the lamp?  And would I be strong enough to leave IKEA after only buying the lamp?  I don't actually know anyone who has managed to come away from IKEA with just the one thing they went in for.  Normally I keep the excess spends low, but a coffee, a cake and a pack of tealights would easily add £5, and it is really hard to avoid the kitchen gadget area and I am lusting after some new storage jars, so hard to believe that I would be able to keep any additional spends to under £10.  

I think I will see if I can find any lamps around the house that I can use instead.  However I think it is interesting to see how things like transport and 'spends' can eat away at the benefit of a bargain.  


I've had another splurge, but this time a bit more sensible.  I've ordered a Doctor Who clock for bear in the despairing hope that he will stay in his room until 7am.  I have ordered a wardrobe that cost less than the clock (both under £20).  I would love to have a large, antique, elegant wardrobe that looks like it goes to Narnia but while I am in desperate need for somewhere to keep clothes that are not just in a pile I also need to be able to get the stuff up the stairs past a nasty twist in the staircase.  Any day now I will receive a small canvas covered, metal framed wardrobe type thingy.  I've also ordered heading tape and fabric for two sets of curtains (just under £30 inc postage).

I have also faced the grim truth of the cost of bear's holiday club days. On the other hand he has just been invited to join in a water fight on a busy main road with other six year olds who do not bother with little details like safety, supervision or care of passers by.  Forty two days seem like a very long time.  

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Bear has been for a walk.

We dragged bear out for a walk at Roundhay Park.  We had the usual problem.  Bear complained, whined, moaned, dragged his feet and generally acted as if he was on some dreadful punishment route march for the first third of the walk, then thoroughly enjoyed himself.  Once he is actually evicted and moving it isn't too bad, but getting him out of the street is a job of work.  It was just as bad at Whitby, or actually any time when I insist he leaves the house.  That is why I jumped at the chance to go out for a walk with him on Friday as he never, ever suggests going out of the street normally.

To be fair to bear, it isn't running around weather, even though we went early.  Bear was still in the obdurate first third when we past the castle, so didn't even try and explore it.

It is going to be a very long 42 day summer holiday.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Bah humbug!

We went to Makro.  Bear actually asked directly for Pringles, so I let him have some of the over priced snacks.  I am desperate for him to ask for things directly.  It was only when I got home that I realised that they were Christmas stock.  !£%^@ Christmas stock on 5 July!

Grumble, grumble, grumble grumble!

And yes, I've already started planning for Christmas, but really!

Friday, 5 July 2013

Bear is subdued

When I picked up bear from school yesterday the teacher explained that he had needed cuddles at playtime.  He was running a sore throat and temperature.  Today he slept in until 9am, which is the latest he has slept since Christmas Day when he was eleven months old.  Poor little lad actually got up at 5.15am but managed to get back to sleep after calpol.  He has been unusually quiet and calm all day.  At the end of the day he decided he would like to go for a walk, to get some fresh air.

I was all for this.  When bear was very little I couldn't physically take him many places.  Now he needs to be dragged out of the house almost at gun point and does not usually ask for pleasant walks.  Last year wasn't worth the effort, the weather was so foul that the nice walk by the beck was not an option.  However he asked for a walk today so I grabbed the opportunity with both hands and we went.

It was a bit of a blow for me.  I can identify a large proportion of the plants, and I have a good working knowledge of the wild flowers where I grew up.  Bear cannot identify a nettle and is scared of long grass.  I haven't encouraged him to go out in the street, it's a long story to do with drug dealers, and he has treated any attempt I have made to show him plants with disdain.  He isn't really a country child, he is more the computer generation.  Mind you,  DH has roughly the same interest in plants.  For DH, if it has yellow flowers it is a daffodil, if it has white flowers it is a snowdrop and if it has red flowers then it is a rose.  Under these rules then the white rose that DF planted is a confirmed snowdrop.  I don't argue.

When we were all in and DH had come home, bear explained carefully to me that I didn't need to watch the weather tonight as Grandad had told him that it would be nice all week, so I didn't need to put the news on, I could watch a Doctor Who dvd with him instead.  His logic is impeccable.

The school holiday is forty two days long.  I wonder what else I shall be negotiated into.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Have time to post

Bear is poorly and needed cuddles from the teacher today.  Poor lamb has a sore throat.  It's not a serious thing but it does mean that I am kept on a short leash as he gets upset if I go into another room (unless, of course I am fetching something for him).  I am currently suffering through a youtube video of a minecraft demonstration.

I suspect I will be getting plenty of computer time tomorrow.

I am feeling a bit upset.  I have a mirror that used to be my mother's and I think was originally my great-grandmother's.  It is a painted mirror with a bird and a flower painted over the mirror's glass and it is in a wooden frame that is sort of arts and crafts and probably not as old as the actual mirror.  I love it, but DH isn't as keen, and it hasn't really fit in anywhere, but finally I may be able to hang it.  Unfortunately the frame and the back of the mirror is now raddled with mildew.

I don't know what to do.  I don't have the money to pay for it to be restored.  I don't want it to linger around full of mildew.  I don't want to accidentally wreck the painting on glass or the wooden frame.  It's not worth anything much so there is no point in donating it to a charity that restores things and then sells them like Emmaeus.  I suspect I may have to just throw it out, but that would break my heart.  I am devastated.

As you can see from the reflection, the junk room is still not cleared but is looking better (believe it or not) and is at least free from untreated black mould.  

I suppose it is time to get the mould treatment out again and hope against all home that the paint and the wood survive.  I could cry.  

Pottering on

Sneaking in a few lines while I have the opportunity.

DF is not well and I am muttering about doctors.  Bear is coming down with an interesting cold (calpol + school  = unimpressed bear) and poor DH is frantic busy at work.  I am looking at the approaching 42 days of summer holidays with a sense of impending doom.

I've managed to get a few paragraphs per day writing so the purchasing has tailed off considerably.  I am hanging fire on the curtain materials but I have seen the stuff I like on ebay (my friend) and I can probably get it all in for @ £25 for both windows.  They won't be lined, but then they don't really need to be due to the extremely odd positions of both windows.

Now off to continue to make space for the halogen oven thingy that had better earn it's (relatively inexpensive) cost.


Wednesday, 3 July 2013

A Shopping Opportunity

I'm trying not to spend.  I have been avoiding the 'spend £80 and get 160 nectar points' deals and keeping the spend low.  I have not fallen for the 'buy a new martial art suit and get 10% off' as bear is not ready for a new suit.  I have seen a vacuum cleaner I would love but I have decided to ask for money for Christmas and see if I can scrape the rest together once Christmas is done.

If we want to go to the Doctor Who experience in October then it will be @£300 for train fares and @£400 for accommodation as far as I have found out, for four of us.  That is, go down Tuesday with a long journey, go to the Experience on Wednesday, go home Thursday.  Then there will be food, entrance fees and, to be honest, spends.  It will really be a big deal for bear and DH so they should have a chance to spend some money on the merchandise.

There is also the huge, yawning stretch of 42 days summer holiday which is likely to be a challenge.  During this I hope to move into a bed.  This is something I am quite desperate to do now, but will involve buying a mattress as the old one had black mould in.  I will be researching this, but starting my search at IKEA.

However I have seen a slight glimmer of recreational shopping - I need to get new curtains. The top two bedrooms will need curtains as they are almost certainly full of black mould spores.  I should add that the curtains in DH's room are around 19 years old and the ones in the junk room are a good deal older.  I made the curtains for one room for @ £10 and the other one was given.  However I thought that for once I could buy some ready made curtains and just put them up, and perhaps find some nice ones.  I have just measured up the junk room window.

What sort of )*(*(*&^&% window has a 58 inch drop?  Seriously, not a single window in this (^%&&$@@ house is standard.  I don't even think the doors are standard.  If I want something decent that I can afford I am going to have to sit down and "$£%"$^ sew the things.  And as I am scared of sewing machines I am looking at long evenings with needle, thread and a good dvd.  Actually that's the good bit, I sewed a lot of curtains by hand in the past and found it relaxing.  They won't be lined, but they will at least be inexpensive and will fit.  And I'll really enjoy making them.  There is always a bright side.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Another Shopping List

Tomorrow I will be getting three bottles of Famous Grouse (on offer), eleven bottles of 7up (on offer) and three packs of children's vitamins (on offer) delivered.

I won't be able to look the delivery man in the eye.  On the other hand I will be saving approximately £33 on things that we buy anyway so I can live with that.