Saturday, January 7

..and on to 2012

Happy New Year! It crept in quietly in our house, but that's ok. The fireworks in London on the TV were stunning.

Of course, everyone takes time at the new year to take stock of them, life and everything in it, including me.

Where I'm at these days:  During the run up to Christmas, I thought I was loosing the plot. Stress wears me down and I was angry with myself on Christmas Day when I ended up having a minor meltdown at the end of the day and couldn't stop crying. A disagreement with hubby set me off and I just couldn't come back from it.. but after visiting family after Christmas and getting to see my lovely elder daughter I felt much better when I got home again.

So this year I will: continue to be a non smoker. I smoked my last cigarette at 8.30am on the 16th of September last year and haven't had another one since. I'm now at the point where I consider myself to be a non smoker. Now after smoking for around 25 years or so, that is something I never thought I'd consider myself to be.. but there you go.

So now that's done and out of the way, I can tackle my food dependency and weight issues. I have been on every diet going since the age of 16. I am now 43!!! I have lost a lot of weight, but gained more than I've lost. It's ridiculous. So I am never going to put myself on a diet ever again... NEVER. I am eating what I want to eat, when I want it (yes including chocolate or biscuits) I'm just making sure I'm eating consciously rather than unconsciously. Do I really need to make 4 slices of toast 'just in case' I need more. I will make 2 slices and really, it IS sufficient. So I'm tackling it all psychologically and dealing with it lifetime longterm rather than 'going on another diet'. The word diet should have 'fail' in brackets next to it.. The psychological help is working already. I'm not constantly thinking what can I eat next.. I am in control of the food rather than it being in control of me... brainwashing? maybe.. but if it works, it works.

Also this year I'm going to become (A VERY YOUNG!) Grandma. My eldest daughter is 26 and is having a baby.. yayyyyyyy!!! I actually never thought I'd see the day. She was always so anti-having-kids. But she's settled with her soon to be hubby and their new baby will arrive towards the end of August. I'm really not sure how either of them will cope. Neither of them has changed a nappy in their lives, let alone fed or dressed a baby.. but I'm sure they'll do just fine (slightly anxious look lol)

So that's the way life is at the moment. I'm quite contented and happy with my lot. My fibromyalgic body gives me grief daily, but I'm trying to cope the best I can when the pain isn't too bad. My Teaching Assistant course is going fine... which reminds me, I really should get back to my coursework!!


Wednesday, November 16

I've found a new thing to do..

It is officially 2 whole months today (as in the 16th September to 16th November) since I became a non smoker!! I've kicked my 20(+) a day habit, cold turkey, no replacements to have to give up... nothing.... I am a non smoker.

I've also discovered my latest hobby, and I can't stop doing it.. all the time. I was taught as a child to crochet, but only a blanket shell stitch. I decided with the aid of modern technology it was time to teach myself how to make more than blankets.So I went on youtube and searched crochet stitches, watched a couple of videos on how to crochet and off I went. And now I can't stop crocheting! I started with little cutsey easy to make animals and have moved on from there. I am now getting quite good.. in my opinion. I'm thinking of getting a bit of stock together and putting it on etsy to sell... I dunno. My stuff has to be really good before I can sell it, but I don't think I'm quite there yet. Hubby asked " how many hats does one house need??" lol

So, a few pictures... although I am one missing that matches the pink hat .. a pair of pink wrist warmers/fingerless gloves. I need to photograph them. Click on any of the pics to see it full size :)

The little pink and white mouse, the pink bunny and the cupcake crochet hook holder are my faves. Then I moved onto hats (and a headband)

The last hat is actually an adults hat, my daughter modelled it for me... my head's going to be warm this winter. I think the brown and cream child's hat is my fave so far. Isabelle loves her three strand headband which fastens in a bow (one strand) at the back.

Now.... what can I crochet next?

Friday, July 29

Dear so and so.....

Dear Cold,

please do one. 6 days is more than anyone can take for a cold and I'm normally such a patient person. The thick coating of gunk inside my head is really pissing me off now. Oh and I note your 'lets add laryngitis for fun' trick arrived last night, much to the amusement of my family who continually say 'what' every time I speak. Give me a break please

Yours, Not happy being the butt of all jokes, Annie

Dear washer/dryer.

I wish I'd never bought you. You are nothing but a bloody pain in the arse! It is really un-necessary to break down every 6 months! Thank god I had the foresight to get you insured for breakdowns. I hope you are happy with yourself for refusing to drain out and let me open the door to take the full load of sopping wet clothes out, enabling you to hang on to them in your greedy belly causing them to rot.

yours, I hate you at the best of times, Annie

Dear Hotpoint

a week and a day to get an engineer out to fix my washer/dryer is like an eternity, especially when my hubby had a shouting fit at me this morning because 2 out of 3 pairs of his work trousers are stuck inside the washer and his 3rd pair are at work when he has to go to a meeting somewhere else. Can't you get more engineers on the job?

Yours, frustratingly, Annie

Dear Hubby

It's really not necessary to throw a wobbly because you have to be at a meeting at 8am somewhere other than your office, and due to the washer hijacking 2 pairs of your work trousers and you leaving your other pair of work trousers at work when you got changed to cycle home, you have no trousers to wear. Yelling at me because you are going to have to phone work and tell them you can't go to the meeting because you have no trousers really isn't my fault. I did tell you on Monday that the washer was holding your trousers to ransom.

Yours, I can't take the blame for everything,  Your wifey.

Dear Asda

Thank you thank you thank you for being open 24 hours so that when I suggested hubby go and buy a new pair of trousers so that he could attend his meeting this morning, he was able to do so.

Yours, gratefully, Annie

Dear Hubby (again)

Hmmm, have you forgotten I can check the bank account online to see exactly how much you've taken out? Do you really think you're paying THAT much for a pair of trousers?

Yours, I'll be emptying your wallet later, wifey.
Dear delivery man
thank you for delivering my new car battery. I will now be able to start my car again for the first time since Tuesday. You have given me my freedom back again.

Yours, very gratefully, Annie

Wednesday, June 29

How about some... awwwwwww?

A friend of mine has been on hatch-watch. The swans were sitting on eggs on a local pond. My friend phoned last night and told me that he'd seen the cygnets swimming on the pond. So off I trotted this morning, camera in hand, and here are the results, with an added bonus of some newly hatched ducklings.

Tuesday, June 28

Changes, ups and downs

It's been a manic couple of months. A lot of the time I feel like I've been chasing my tail. 

I have started my QCF in Teaching and Learning Support Lv2. (They changed the NVQ system to QCF). So far so good. I had my first tutor assessment a couple of weeks ago and it went very well (according to my tutor and her written observations) which was a huge relief. My next one is on the 6th of July and I'm nowhere near as nervous as I was for the last one. I've also had a few hours of paid work (yay!) doing one to one supervision with a child in class. This is on top of my mid-day supervisor role. The teacher was very very happy with the way I worked and was later very surprised that she'd been in to tell the head teacher how amazing I was... (her words not mine lol). So all this was boosting my confidence and my hopes of getting one of the five teaching assistant jobs that are new posts for September. Successful applicants would be notified on the 24th of June. The day came and went... nothing :( Despite everything, I didn't even get an interview. Gutted!! And so I sulked all Friday night.

It wasn't worth getting upset about to be honest, but I was annoyed after doing numerous hours at the school, helping out and doing voluntary hours that I hadn't even got an interview. 

But four days on, it seems that it might have been a blessing in disguise. I have been approached today by the lady in charge of special needs children and she has asked me if I would conisder one to one supervision for children with learning disabilities, behavioural problems or ADHD.  When I was making the decision to go back into childcare in schools, special needs was actually the area I wanted to be in, but needed the TLS qualification first. Now it's changed, it's not necessary to complete it first as long as I am doing the course and my observational assessments are within the school. So of course, I said yes... without trying to appear to be biting her hand of in my excitement. So now, she has me on her list of one to one supervisors and she has a meeting next week when she will discuss with her managers which children will need one to one care when we start the new school year in September, and then she'll be looking to place me with one of the kids. 

So it seems like every cloud has a silver lining afterall.

Wednesday, April 27


My 5 year old loves dandelions, and this year there seems to be billions of them. We have to hunt out the 'dandelion clocks' whenever we take the dog for a walk and tell what time it is by seeing how many blows she has to do before the seeds have all blown away.

We had a single dandelion clock in our garden and I wanted to photograph it. She hung about at my side, trying to blow the seeds off before I'd got my photographs. I managed to get her to hold on by giving her my point and shoot camera and letting her take photographs too. I've not got hers processed yet, but here are mine.. followed by a few shots of my Clematis which looks beautiful this year. It feels so good to finally use my camera again after having a photographic drought for the past six months. 

Click the images to view them full size and see the detail.

Thursday, April 14

Changes are on the horizon

I've been working as a mid-day supervisor (dinner lady to us mere mortals) for the past month at my daughter's primary school. It's only an hour a day, and it's only supervising in the dining hall and in the playground, but it's reminded me how much I love working with kids, especially the infants.

In a previous life.. when my eldest two kids were small (now 21 and 26) I always worked in some kind of childcare facility or other. As they grew I got an NVQ3 in Business Admin and became an office manager and PA. Then along came Isabelle. I left work 3 weeks before she was born and haven't been to a paid place of employment since.  

Having been volunteering in Isabelle's school for the past year and a bit, my instinctive nature for childcare has been aroused again. So I've decided to update my childcare qualificatons with the hopes of getting work in Isabelle's school. I love being with the kids and it seems they love being with me. What brought it home yesterday is that Isabelle's class had an end of term show to perform in their classroom for parents. Of course, I went. My heartwarming moment was that as I walked into the classroom at least half of the class of 5, 6 and 7 year olds said hello to me individually, but all with a big smile at being pleased to see me. Some stroked my leg (they were sat down, and infants are prone to stroking teachers they like lol) some wanted to hold my hand, but the majority had something to tell me. These children come up to me in the playground to tell me some important bit of news they have, or if they hurt themselves it seems to be me they come to to be fixed rather than any of the other dinner ladies. I don't know why.. they just do and I love it.

So I am now enrolled to take a course to become a Classroom Teaching Assistant  and the course starts right after Easter. The course is mainly assessment based in the workplace environment, so the school will get 10 hours of my time each week voluntarily, but I'll be a TA at the end of the day and with a bit of luck they might find a job for me, even if it's only oncall cover.

I can't wait to get started... I can't believe how much I'd missed working with kids. They're so rewarding, even the naughty ones who need that bit extra attention.

Bring it on!!!