Tuesday, June 29

Gertie the Gremlin

I don't make a habit of copying other people's ideas, and I really hope that Ali at snipsnaphappy isn't too cross that I've borrowed her fantastic idea for a Gremlin. I loved the little Gremlin that I decided to have a go and make my own version. I had some patchwork squares left over from making Isabelle's quilty blanky (as she calls it) so I thought I'd make a gremlin to match.

This is Gertie the Gremlin

She measures about 7 inches square and is soft and squishy as she's stuffed. Her arms and legs have a few lentils in (about half full) to give a bit of weight to them so they flop about.

I'm going to leave her where she's sitting, in the ivy in the garden, and I'm going to make an adoption letter asking Isabelle if she will look after Gertie, written as if Gertie has sent it to her. Isabelle has had a bit of a stressful time (stressful for a 4 year old) lately. She doesn't like too much of a routine change, she just doesn't seem to be able to handle it, and school has been all over the place with end of year plays, practice for sports day, preparation for moving up to year 1 etc, and there have been a couple of changes to her routine at home that she's not over impressed with. It's been a whiny, moany month with quite a few tears (both me and her!) but we're all sorted now and she's happy again. I hope Gertie makes her smile.

Thanks so much for the idea Ali.

Friday, June 25

Dear so and so...

Time for another Dear so and so... a few things I need to get off my chest...

Dear little boy driving a fast car

I realise you must be at least 17 to be allowed to drive that car (legally anyway) but it's a bloody good job I had room to drive up that pavement very fast (and thankfully safely) because there was no way in hell you were going to stop in time. I came around the corner at 10mph because I know it's a blind corner and there are often kids playing out on this bit of road, but you driving at 40mph does not allow you to stop in time. Your stupid wave and smile needed knocking off your stupid little face. It wasn't funny that I'd had to drive onto the path very quickly to avoid you, especially as my 4 year old was in the car at the time. The driver behind had to choose between colliding head on with you, or possibly rear ending my car if he followed me up the pavement. Please drive down these little side streets with a little less speed and a bit more care and attention.

Yours, Hoping you don't have a horrible accident

Dear Isabelle.

I realise you have a lot going on in life at the moment and you don't really like routine change, but you will be 5 next month and you have to learn to be a little bit more adaptable. School is often all over the place at this time of year, what with sports day practice, preparing to move up to your new class in September etc. 

You also have to accept that you cannot snack constantly at home. There is absolutely no need for temper tantrums and moaning, whining and crying every time you can't get your own way or can't manage to do something. It has to stop or I may be forced to take drastic action. You have always been such a good girl, but this constant whining and crying is driving me insane.

Yours, preparing the naughty step
Mummy xxxx

Dear Hubby, 

Yes, you get another mention this week you lucky boy. So the physiotherapist has decided to refer you to the orthopedic surgeon about your knee as it's not responding to any physio treatment. Hmmm, did someone mention almost 8 weeks ago that you really should get your knee invesigated properly after it collapsed again after your initial injury? Possible/probably meniscus tear? Highly likely you will need sugery to repair the torn cartilage? 16 weeks re-hab after surgery? I think I will move out for those 16 weeks. It has been bad enough living with you moaning and grumbling about it constantly for the past 8 weeks, I don't think I can cope with you having surgery and then your knee locked in place and you on crutches for 6 weeks. It was bad enough when you had a cast on your broken ankle for a month.

Yours, preparing to pack

Dear Life,

Can you just get off my case for a little while please? The boring humdrum monotony is driving me insane. Plod, plod, plod through life with such negativity at the moment. I need a break please. 
Yours, looking for respite

Wednesday, June 23

The Gallery - Creatures

The subject for this week's Gallery is Creatures. Oh no! Which photograph to post? I have so many creatures crawling, swimming, sitting etc around my computer in my photograph files. So I'm going to post a few of my favourites. If anyone wants to buy any of these photographs I'm more than happy to sell them to you. Just email me :) They're not expensive

So I'm going to start with my favourite creature and the one that has won me 2nd place in an international photography magazine competition, and has won me a couple of medals for our photography club including Digital Image of the Year. My beloved bald eagle shot. (I know a lot of you have seen it before - sorry.)

And then there's a rather gruesome looking fly

Everyone's favourite (apart from the bloody annoying one on the telly!) a meerkat

A very loving pair of Giraffe

And one of my favourite favourites, this chimp taking a nap.

I could put 100 photographs of creatures in here and still have more. I love photographing creatures. Unfortunately, most of these creatures were cages at Chester Zoo not running around free, but if it weren't for zoo's we wouldn't have half the creatures in the world, they'd be extinct.

Tuesday, June 22

Whatever happened to....

The good old birthday tea party at your house on the day of your birthday with kids around, playing pass the parcel and musical statues?

Isabelle is going to be 5 on the 16th of July so in the back of my mind, I'm thinking I really need to get myself in gear and get somewhere booked for her party. Her birthday is on a Friday, but it looks like the party will have to be the followind day, the Saturday, which will be my birthday. I'd really rather not spend my birthday supervising 20 loud and boisterous 5 year olds, but it doesn't look like I have any other option. My birthday vanishes into insignificance since Isabelle was born, especially as we had to have an overnight stay in hospital due to my waters leaking for 4 days before she was born and the hospital wanting to keep an eye out for infection. I've not really had a birthday since :(

Even so... it seems now that there is such a huge 'our party was better than your party' thing going on. And it's not even the kids that's doing it. It's the parents. Each one has to be bigger, better, more fun, best party bag in the world ever.. etc.. and it really infuriates me. Surely it's all about the kids having fun celebrating a birthday. Or maybe I'm just old fashioned about it. My elder two kids had parties at home until they were old enough to have someone stay for a sleep over and then we'd go bowling or to the pictures with one or two friends, but nowhere near the scale they do parties these days.

The in thing this year is Whizz Kids, which is a huge indoor softplay centre. Great for the kids to run around and let off some steam. A meal and party bags are provided, but.. it costs £9.75 per child!! There are 30 kids in Isabelle's class, and because she's a popular kid, I'd guess at her wanting to invite 25 of them at least. (I'll save you the maths...) that comes to £243.75!! You have got to be kidding me? There's no way we can afford that. That's without buying her a birthday present.  Yet she really really REALLY wants to go to Whizz Kids. Even if I say 10 friends only that's still almost £100!!

My other option is to hire a room in the local leisure centre. But we did that last year. It's only £30 to hire the room with the bouncy castle, climbing frames, bikes etc all with crash mats. I'll have to provide the food, but she can have as many friends as she likes there. All 30 kids in her class if she wants. But she'd be disappointed that it's not Whizz Kids.

You can hear the mums talking in the playground.. oh I've hired a hall and a magician for my little one's  birthday next week. The magician only costs £95. Oh yes there's the room hire on top of that, then the food.. and I've got x, y and z for party bags. She was spending more on party bags for each child than I spent on the childs present. 

Why is it like this? Why do the parents compete so much to have the best party for their kids and then stand there bragging about how much they've spent. The kids don't care how much they've spent, and I'm sure we had just as much fun at house birthday parties, in the day where you didn't even get party bags to take home. Oh, and the latest one is, she wants a pinata full of sweets to hit. When did we become part of America?

All I want is for my soon to be 5 year old to have a lovely birthday with her friends and for her to feel special, but I don't want to have to spend a fortune that we can't afford to do that. We don't have a credit card purposely so that we're not tempted to put things like that onto it and end up paying for it for the rest of the year. If we've not got the cash, we dont get it. But how am I supposed to keep up with the Jones's so that Isabelle doesn't feel left out?

Friday, June 18

Father's Day - It's not fair

Sometimes I wish I was a man ... well, quite a lot of the time really. Not because I'm butch or masculine, but because of the life they get to lead, the credit they get for being a man and father. Not that I wish to take anything away from my hubby.. he deserves his Father's Day. Despite all my grumbling about him, he is a really good Daddy and Step Dad for that matter. 

When we got together, my son was a very tormented, timid, un-confident, agressive and angry 9 year old. Once hubby (then to-be-hubby) moved in, he took on a father parenting role with my son. It caused some arguments at the time because I didn't agree with some of his parenting methods and he didn't agree with some of mine, but we worked them out during that first year together and my son has turned into a wonderful, very caring and well rounded, confident young man. Hubby taught my son to play guitar then told him to go and practice. Because of that, my son gained a creative outlet. He's not a reader, he's not a maker of things, but by god he can play guitar! This is the biggest thing my hubby has given my son, along with his love.

And then there is the apple of hubby's eye, our 4 year old drama queen. He can be very blinkered with her and her behaviour and 4 year old tantrums when she can't get her own way, but he's not so soft with her that she has it all how she wants it. To see them together melts my heart. He is with her, the way I was with my Dad and there is nothing I could (or would want) to do to step in on their special relationship. She can be a pain in the you know where for me and last night was rolling around on the floor wailing about something she wanted but couldn't have when she heard hubby's motorbike coming up the road. The little git darling jumped up from the floor, said.. oh no, don't let my daddy see me, are my eyes red? WHAT? OMG!!! she beamed a huge smile, went to the door and shouted, Daddy, Daddy, I love you and I've missed you sooooo much. My eye rolling and frazzled look was met with a questioning 'why do you look like that' look. If only he knew the half of it.

But the other reason I sometimes wish I were a man, is when I see the fathers day gifts advertised on the telly.

When it's mother's day, we get all the perfume, skin care and sloppy ballad music CD adverts. None of these are me.

I love my rock music and one of the best things I've ever done was go and see Metallica live. My living room has wizards and dragon ornaments in it. I love fantasy novels, not the horror ones, but whisk me off with baddies and goodies in a land long ago, or a land that doesn't exist and I'm lost in the book. I love fast cars and motorbikes. I even took my motorbike test. My dream day out would be a press pass access all areas to the MotoGP bike racing.

Offer me a day out at a spa, and I'd probably pass. Well actually, thinking about it, I probably wouldn't, but if I had some money to spend, I wouldn't opt for a spa day.

So when I see the Father's Day adverts for Rock music CD's and cool gadgets and gizmo's that you can fit in your pocket or plug into your USB, I want them all!!

Are women so stereotypical that they have to have Olay re-juvinating-pull-your-face-back-up-to-your-forehead-and-fill-in-those-craters- cream? If they made one that plugged into your USB I'd probably have some LOL.

I guess I'm just not a girly girl. I'm feminine (I think) I put my eye makeup on and do my hair each day.. and then put on some Rock Music.. LOUD.

It does make me wonder what other people think of me? What perseption do people have of me, particularly those of you who read my blog. We all make opinions and assumptions about the people who's blogs we read... so I'm curious as to how I'm perceived through what I write.

Thursday, June 17


She's lost in a world of self doubt and confusion, and she really doesn't know why. She has no real reason to have such low self esteem. She has a good life, a wonderful family, she has so much love from her children, yet she still doubts. Why? this is the question that's always on her mind. She's not a bad person. She always puts others before herself. This is one of her faults. She doesn't matter. As long as everyone else is ok, she's happy. But she's not really. 

She craves attention but won't ask for it. She exists. She doesn't know how to speak her mind or talk about her feelings to the one person she wants to listen, to really listen. She's tried.. but it never works. She's not important enough. There are always other things more important than she is.

She's a master of disguise. She always looks so sunny and smiley and cheerful. She's sad inside. She's sad because she doesn't know how to be herself. She wears the mask needed at the time. Wife, mother, carer, lover. She listens and watches, but who listens to and watches her?

She wonders who the real self is. But it's hidden. It's been hidden for many many years. Too many to count on one hand, or two, three or four hands. This is the cause of confusion. She's had to be somebody else for so long, the real person is hidden too deep. She doesn't know who she is anymore, and she doesn't know how to find that person. Maybe this is the person she is meant to be but can't accept it. Maybe she should. But I don't think that she is happy with the person she is. She wants to be more, she wants to be something, something in her own right, not just a person because of those she loves. 

She keeps searching, and will probably keep searching for many years to come.

She's confused
She's a little bit lost
She's sad, yet happy

She is me. 

This was written taking the promt 'She' for Josies writing workshop.

Wednesday, June 16

The Gallery - Motherhood

The theme for The Gallery this week from Sticky Fingers is Motherhood

I could trawl through all the baby photo's I have of all three of my kids and post a few, but as ever, I wanted to be a little bit different. 

Motherhood is: Watching your kids have fun at bathtime

Motherhood is: Stopping the two bigger kids from picking on the little one.

Motherhood is: making sure they all wash behind their ears

Motherhood is so much more, and I don't think I can actually put it into words, but the mummy elephant taking such good care of her babies in the water struck a chord with me. The care she took of them all was very moving. She was so gentle and kind, despite them being disruptive and I'm sure she just wanted to soak in the bath herself with a good book and a glass of wine. The sacrifies a mother has to make.

Tuesday, June 15

I remember...

Kind, caring, compassionate, lovable, do anything for anyone, funny, loving and warm hearted.

These are all words I've heard describing you over the years. Your warm nature touched many people. You knew so many people and they always stopped to say hello and have a chat, always with a smile and a laugh. We even went on holiday to North Devon, 8 hours drive from home and we'd not been there long and we bumped into someone you knew. How? It always amazed me. No matter where we went, we always bumped into someone you knew.

I remember you sitting in my baby brothers' playpen on the prom in front of our beach chalet in Mablethorpe. Yes, sitting IN it, with a big straw hat on and a baby's dummy in your mouth. Why? I've no idea, but funny? yes, hysterical.

I remember that same year (1976) the year of the heatwave and the year of the swarms of ladybirds. I remember you picking ladybirds off my ice-cream so I could eat it between licks. I've never seen so many ladybirds in my life!

I remember you growing your beard for a fancy dress party. It took 6 months to grow to the length you needed, but when you dressed up as Henry the VIII with pillows strapped to your stomach, you could have been him. I was in awe at your costume, all velvet and swishy about.

I remember camping in Devon. You made us an obstacle course and half the campsite joined in. snorkel and flippers on, stand in the bowl of water, run around the campsite, touch four bottoms.. not people bottoms as we'd thought LOL.. bottoms of chairs, bottoms of tables, bottoms of bottles.. we laughed so hard.

I remember sitting on your knee, always on your knee, but you never minded, even if you were in the middle of something.

I remember sitting in the garage with you while you peeled shallots for pickling. You always loved your pickled onions. I remember playing on the pinball machine that you bought for us whilst you peeled and peeled and peeled.

I remember that if there was ever an accident, or someone fell over, you were always first there. We did begin to wonder if you were a jinx because they always seemed to happen near us, but I think that you were just supposed to be there to do your nursing thing.

I remember you taking me to hospital on a Sunday in Nottingham when I fell off the swing and broke my arm when I was 6. You never once complained or told me I'd been stupid for showing off (unlike my mum). You made going to the hospital an adventure, we had a great time.

I remember you rarely told me off and if you did have to, you always sat me down and talked to me calmly. You never yelled at me, even if you were really angry. I can't remember you ever smacking or really punishing me. That was what mum did.

I remember you calling me princess, even on the day when I was 16 years old and still your baby girl that I told you I was pregnant. You cuddled me till I stopped crying while mum was running around with her world falling down around her. You told me it was ok, and we'd get through it.

I remember you being so proud the first time you saw Eve. I saw the same look in your eye for her that you had for me.

I remember seeing you starting to get sick. You tried to hide it but we had too close a bond for me to not know. I remember you struggling, it was my turn to be the helper, but I really didn't want you to know I was helping. You let me.

I remember seeing you 8 years later laying on the bed. You didn't know I was coming to visit. I liked to surprise you because I loved to see the look on your face when you saw me. Your eyes would light up and a huge smile come to your face, no matter what pain you were in. By this time you could barely walk as far as the bathroom, so they sent you a commode. I couldn't bare to think of you having to use it. I hated the thought of you losing your dignity. Such a powerful man having to have someone empty a commode for you.

I remember hubby meeting you for the first time, and I remember the conversation with him on the way home. Firstly he was shocked. Shocked at how much alike you and I are, both looks wise and personality. Everyone says I look like you. I have the same expressionate eyes. I've been told that looking into them makes you feel like you're drowinging in a beautiful pool. You get lost in them so easily.

I remember that he was also shocked at the atmosphere in the room when we were together. The obvious unspoken love we had for each other when we were together. The obvious connection. He'd never experienced that feeling and emotion before. He said he felt like no one else in the world mattered but you and I at that moment, and that he was honoured to have experienced that.

I remember the last time I saw you alive. Walking up the hospital ward, I could see you sitting in the chair, not smiling, just being there, even though there were people around you. You didn't know I was coming. I hadn't told you. We'd driven 3 hours to see you.

I remember sitting on your hospital bed and saying Hello Dad. I remember looking into your eyes and seeing the grey. Your eyes had never been grey, they were such a vibrant blue. I knew this would be the last time I saw you. They couldn't find out what was wrong. I remember your eyes turning blue again when you realised it was me. I remember your face lighting up and you smiling that beautiful smile that was my Dad. I remember I didn't want to leave. I remember telling you I love you and hugging you. You did the same back.

I remember you telling Mark... look after her for me.. promise me you'll look after her. Those words echo in my mind to this day. That wasn't the kind of thing you'd normally say. You were there to look after me. I knew you'd had enough.

I remember phoning you every day after that at the hospital. They wouldn't let me talk to you but promised to pass on the message that I'd phoned. No improvement they'd tell me each morning. Then on the Tuesday the nurse said "just a moment" and then I heard your voice. They'd let me speak to you. I remember telling you we were coming to see you on the Sunday. It was going to be Fathers' Day. All you could say is that you were so tired, really really tired. Your voice was so far away. I knew. I just knew. You'd had enough. You were done. The fight had gone.

I remember getting a phone call the next day at work. Why the hell didn't they phone me earlier. They knew I lived a 3 hour drive away. We left work straight away. Thankfully Mark was there and drove us. 15 minutes into the drive and my phone rang. We were too late. We weren't going to make it. You'd already gone.

I remember staring out over the fields into nothing. I can't remember anything else about that drive. I remember meeting my brothers outside the hospital. I had to see you one last time. One of my brothers waited outside. He couldn't do it.

I remember walking into the hospital ward. The curtains were drawn around your bed. I remember seeing you laying there, no oxygen tubes that you'd worn for the last 10 years. I remember you laying flat. You never lay flat on your back. I remember you being in some god awful stripy pyjamas. You never wore pyjamas, always a t-shirt and tracksuit bottoms. I remember how cold you were. I remember wanting to hug you so much. I'd never seen a dead person before. I remember not knowing what to do or how to feel. I remember looking at your face and seeing your moustache all neatly trimmed. You always kept it so tidy. I remembered the strangest things.

I remember walking away from you was the most painful thing I've ever had to do in my life. I remember it like it was yesterday. It's 6 years tomorrow since I last saw you. It still hurts just the same. People say time heals. No it doesn't! The pain is just as raw today as it was then.

I remember... I was loved very much, and I remember that I felt the same way about you.

Dad. I miss you

Monday, June 14

Regressed to the 80's?

I am a little bit worried about myself. I seem to have regressed back into the mid 80's, and back to a bit of a teen crush that I had during the 80's. It's a little bit embarassing to confess to, but I have to get it out of my system.

The 80's were the time of the new romantics... and I loved Duran Duran. I only got to see them play live about 5 years ago, but I loved it so much (my hubby said he didn't, but he sang every word to every song LOL). 

My other love of the 80's were the big hair bands. Bon Jovi could be heard seeping out of my bedroom for hours on end. The band that wasn't so cool to confess listening to for even more hours on end were Poison. So they were my secret passion. Songs like Your Momma Don't Dance, Talk Dirty to Me and the one everyone remembers, Every Rose Has It's Thorn. I loved the quirkyness of the band. My Dad was horrified when he saw posters on my wall, and asked who are these heavily made up girls, boys, not quite sure what they are?

Admittedly, now, they do look like a bunch of freaks LOL, but that's what Poison were about. And they weren't as bad as Motely Crue! But I was in love with the one on the end in the black hat, Bret Michaels. It did feel a bit wierd as he does look like a butch but very pretty woman, but I loved his voice. His speaking voice is deep and quite gruff.. I just loved him.
But the big hair bands died down and new music moved in and I stuck to my heavier rock music, Guns N Roses, Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers etc.. and sort of forgot about Poision until I got an MP3 player and stuck a load of mixed music on it.  I was playing my MP3 player in the car and on came Poision and you know that feeling you get..?  that blast from the past memory that makes you sigh...? It was Poison's Your Momma Don't Dance.  My mind wandered back to my teens. Isabelle asked what the song was as she was dancing around in her car seat. She loved the song and asked for it to be put back on again. It's now one of her favourite songs LOL.. bless her love of Rock Music!

So it set me wondering what Poision were up to these days, so I did google search.. as you do... It turns out that Bret Michaels was trying to revive his career in the States and was currently on American Apprentice (which he ended up winning). But a couple of days later he was in the headlines. He'd had, out of nowhere, a brain hemorrhage and only had a 30% chance of survival. He is a type 1 diabetic since childhood which made treatment for his hemorrhage difficult. 10 days later, he was out of hospital having survived, only to go back into hospital a few weeks later having had what was thought to be a minor stroke, but turned out to be a hole in his heart, which can be repaired, thankfully. And now he's back out there peforming, has been on countless TV shows including Oprah and bizarrely, his bad health has leapfrogged him back into the limelite and he's now performing sell out shows again on stage. 

And he still looks good for a 47 year old who's rocked hard and fast all his life 

and I'm still swooning after him like I did in my teens. how sad is that? I feel like a stalker, I 'like' him on facebook and get regular updates of what he's up to... and I really do feel like a saddo LOL. I've watched recent interviews with him on the internet and his voice still sounds lovely... ahhhhh.. I need to go and lay down in a dark room to get a grip on reality LOL

My pennance for my confession? Play Poision songs repeatedly for the rest of the day. Haha!

Saturday, June 12

Leave my desk alone

Time out! I'm bored already.

I hate doing housework! Well, it's not the housework that bothers me so much, it's the tedious, monotonous picking up crap that everyone else leaves lying around that really gets my goat. (that poor goat!) I have come to accept over the 11 years hubby and I have been together, that he doesn't do housework. Arguments, fights, tears etc all ended with me having to accept that he goes to work, I don't, therefore I do the housework. Ok, it's a small price to pay for not having to go out to work, I can handle that. What I can't handle is the fact that he can be so darn right lazy. He leaves everything where he puts it. He will put his coffee mug on the floor where he's been sitting and then walk into the kitchen! Why not take the flippin' mug with you?? Socks down the sofa cushions, t-shirts, jackets, towels, trainers/boots/misc footwear just abandoned (can be as many as 4 pairs at any given time laying around). Magazines (he's a motorbike magazine aholic! Is there a magazines anonymous?) you name it, it's left lying around. 

Isabelle is following in his footsteps, despite me nagging reminding her that empty packets/apple cores/banana skins etc, all go in the bin. Her toys are left laying where she puts them and tidy up time means shove it all under the table or any other hiding place if I'm not watching carefully. 

But what really REALLY does pig me off, is that everyone seems to use my computer desk as a dumping ground. It's the only space I have in the house that is mine. Ok, it's in the living room tucked away under the stairwell, but that still doesnt make it a dustbin.

Right now on my desk that doesn't belong to me is a crunch corner yogurt lid (why?) scissors, hair bobbles, a plastic tea cup, misc leaflets that have come through the door, a plastic duck a wooden snake, post office recipts from hubby posting his ebay stuff. Several re-chargable batteries (dead) that should have been put into the charger. Playing cards, a peg, a wooden foot from some now footless toy, pebbbles, various usb cables and headphones, piglet has the sniffles sotry book, bubble wrap, a dead cordless mouse and cradle.. it goes on, and none of these belong to me!

So I started to clean it. I emptied the bin under my desk which was overflowing with all kinds of junk that they seem to use (if they actually use a bin) instead of walking to the kitchen, swept the floor and started on my desk. Hubby asks.. is it spring? [bugger off with your sarcasm!] So I calmly said, no I'm just sick of all the crap being dumped on my desk.. he then said (rather randomly) do you need anything fetching? I looked at him. He said, i'm going for a spin on my bike. Aha... [man mentality] woman is pissed off with untidy house and is throwing a cleaning fit.. man must escape and pretent to hunt wooly mammoth. aka.. bugger off on motorbike in the sun and hope she's done or the mad fit has passed when he gets home.

[sigh] back to it.. TTFN 

Friday, June 11

Dear So and So....

Dear Landline telephone...

You really are beginning to pig me off now! I don't use you very often (the fact that BT told me not to pay them this month and then halve my payments from now on, proves that), but c'mon, give me a break. Is it really necessary to start bleeping at me after 15 minutes to tell me that you no longer want to be a telephone and will shut down. Your battery life is supposed to be 10 hours not 15 minutes. I realise you might be trying to help me by giving me an excuse to get off the phone when someone in particular phones and starts nagging me like I'm still 5 years old, but occasionally I'd like to have a conversation that lasts longer than 15 minutes. I did warn you to behave yourself, but today you are going to be replaced.

Yours, with regret, Annie

Dear Hubby (funny how you always manage to appear in a Dear So and So...)

Haven't you realised yet that life and your body are trying to tell you something? Slow down a bit! Accept that you're no longer 21. Still not recovered from your football injury to your knee (complete knackerisation.. (cool word!!) of your ligaments), you only go and fall off your motorbike (again!) Thank god it was a slow speed crash and that your bike came off worse than you in the injury stakes, but that really is quite a large hole in your other knee. The skinned elbow could have been so much worse if you weren't wearing your armour protected jacket, but how did you manage to skin your hip/waist like that? So now your other knee is buggered and you are hobbling walking around like you have crapped your boxers. Please don't get angry with me when I laugh at your gait.. it is really funny and you'd laugh yourself if you could see it.

Yours simpathetically

Your laughing loving wife xx

Dear World Cup Football

Bugger off

Yours pissed-offedly

A. N. Other football widow.

Thursday, June 10

Writing Workshop - Time

The prompt I chose for Josie's writing workshop this week is Time. It's a bit of a cheesy rhyming poem, but c'est la vie.

Once upon a time

you were still here

Once upon a time

you were always near

Once upon a time

I sat on your knee

Once upon a time

you helped me climb a tree

Once upon a time

you mopped up my tears

Once upon a time

you shoo'd away my fears

Once upon a time

you seemed so tall

Once upon a time

I really was small

Once upon a time

I hugged you so tight

Now during this time

I whisper each night

I love you Dad and I miss you with all my heart.

Throwing out the TV....

Oh how I wish I could.... 

I'm not a big TV watcher anyway, in fact, I'm wracking my brains to think of something I watch on a regular basis. The only things that come to mind are the MotoGP and the British Superbikes. I watch Springwatch, but I can take it or leave it. Nope, there's nothing else I can think of. Zingzillas and Chuggington don't count although I do watch them every morning, but that's because Isabelle has them on while she's getting ready for school. I do quite like Tinga Tinga.. (another of Isabelle's favourites) but that's by the by.

So last night hubby was away on business for the night. Oh yeah! Remote control to myself. It just reminded me why I don't watch TV. There was bugger all on. I just vegged on the sofa reading my book with the TV on in the background quietly as noise. When on came Big Brother (OMG nooooooooooo!!) I have never watched it on purpose. I have seen bits of it by accident but I really can't stand it. Last night was the selection process and OMG I just couldn't believe there could be so many idiots in one place. There are now 14 of these idiots holed up in one small bizarre house for the summer. The cat fights are going to be out of this world judging by the amount of short skirted, self loving bimbo's they've got in there including one girl who thinks she is Jordan/Katie Price. I will be avoiding Big Brother like the plague!

Then add to the TV schedule The World Cup. I hate football with a passion. A bunch of overpaid poofters running around after a bag of wind. (sorry if I've offended the football fans, this is just my opinion). My hubby and son are football mad and I'm not going to be able to avoid having the football on my TV. I'm not going to survive the month. 

And on top of that we get Wimbledon for the last week in June, first week in July. Now I'm not opposed to a few games of tennis (especially if Nadal is playing - sexist of me I know, but hey).. I was even the tennis captain at school, but it's on all the time! I usually watch the semi finals and the finals, but if they're boring, I'll switch off until the last set.

Might as well throw in a few more very interesting competitions on the TV such as a  watching paint dry competition or cutting the grass with toenail clippers. The latter will be much more intresting than Big Brother!

So what am I going to do for the next month? I think I'm going to have to go and trawl the charity shops for some good books to read, stock my mp3 player up with some good music and go into my own world.

Wednesday, June 9

How did that happen?

My eldest daughter is 25 today! How on earth did 25 years just vanish so quick?

I'm still a young(ish) Mum at 41 and having a 4 year old keeps me young I think. But 25?!?! 

Eve was born in 1985 when I was still only 16 years old. I was at college in Sheffield studying on a bakery and confectionary course. Every morning on the train, I'd throw up in those tiny little train loo's. I had no idea I was pregnant. I was on the pill afterall.. it never entered my head. Mum and I thought that the over-tiredness was due to the hour journey each way to Sheffield and back every day. It carried on, I didn't acclimatise. I went to the doctors. I was shocked to find out that I was 4 and 1/2 months pregnant. I had to go home and tell my parents. OMG! How on earth do you do that at 16 years old? I was given all the options, I chose to keep the baby. My beautiful, healthy baby girl was born weighing 7lbs 9 oz, 6 weeks before I turned 17. How could I not keep this wonderful tiny miracle? Social workers etc all came and sat around my bed and told me I could give my baby up for adoption and they could take her straight away. How could I give something away that I fell in love with instantly? They wouldn't leave me alone. Having a baby at 16 years old, 25 years ago was taboo. It wasn't done. You can't have single mothers walking around, it's wrong! They did everything they could to persuade me to give her up. In the end, my Dad had to put his foot down and tell them all where to go.

I think I did a pretty good job of raising my baby. She has never been in trouble with the police, she has never got into trouble for drinking or drug taking. We had a few very tough teenage years but we got through them. When she turned 21, she became a human being LOL, and one of the nicest human beings you could wish to meet. The teenage angst and problems made her the adult she is. She understands life can be pretty shit at times. She knows that I have always, and will always be there for her when the chips are down. She works hard, has never been unemployed and has a very good relationship with her boyfriend, and they are planning to get married. 

Eve has and has always had her own ideas, and most of them are in cuckoo land, but that's just Eve. We accept that, and she's happy living there. Her bills are paid, she eats ok so what does it matter which land or planet her ideas are on.

She is a beautiful girl, whom we all love very much. I just wish she didn't live so far away that we rarely get to see her.

My beautiful baby girl, Eve. Happy 25th birthday sweetie xxxxx

Tuesday, June 8

Ignore me..

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An apology and a catch up

Firstly, thank you SO MUCH for all your fantastic comments on my previous post for the Gallery. I'm overwhelmed by the response. It seems that I really do need to look into getting greetings cards/notecards printed up and for sale. My apologies for not responding to the comments before now but we went away on Wednesday lunch time camping and didn't get back until Sunday night and then I've had to do all the boring shite that goes with coming back from a holiday.. packing everything away again, shopping because my house looked like Old Mother Hubbard lived here etc... so hubby has gone back to work today and I finally have the house to myself, some peace and quiet and time to catch up on the computer.

If anyone wants to buy any of my photographs in any shape or form, please email me and I'm sure we can come to some agreement :)

So we set off on Wednesday lunchtime for our camping trip on the Llyn Peninsular in North Wales. It's only a couple of hours drive thankfully, as Isabelle doesn't travel too well.. but all hail to Boots travel tablets.. she travelled just great this time and was very proud of herself when she asked if she'd been very patient and not grumbling, and I told her yes she had been very good and I was very pleased with her.

I was looking forward to this camping trip a bit more than previous trips. We had a 4 man tent but it was quite small once you got both bedrooms up. There was only a small floor area inside and we couldn't stand up straight inside the tent, and I'm only 5' 3". So, I'd bought us a new tent, much to hubby's disgust. His idea of camping is the smallest tent you can find and a sleeping bag (not essential). Whilst I'm not one for taking everything including the kitchen sink, there are a few things I do find necessary. This includes airbed and sleeping bags. Enough room to stand up. Enough room for 3 people to move around without falling over everything. A few food basics (milk, bread, bacon, coffee), eating utensils and our little camping cooker. Hubby thinks I take far too much, but we have a 4 year old who does not live life as simply as hubby does. We need juice for her to drink and a few snacks to keep her going. She's happy to eat fruit, so I take some. I'm not prepared to take nothing and then 'pop to the spar' and pay twice as much for them once we get there.

Hubby complained about the size of the tent before it was even put up. He wasn't prepared to listen to any suggestions on the best way to put it up. He just complained. I ended up telling him to bugger off and I'd put it up on my own. And why on earth does he have to make the guy ropes so tight that it pulls the tent out of shape and you can't open and close the zips on the doors? I went and loosened them all off a bit LOL. He broke the zips on the last tent from pulling it too tight. So once the tent was up, he complained we might as well have stayed at home, seeing as the tent was almost the size of a house! It isn't. It is a 6 man tent... but it's one that has the sleeping pods on each end and a circular bit in the middle.. that I COULD stand up in. So I ignored him. I'd got a bargain and I was happy with it. It is £250 worth of tent that I picked up from ebay. It had only been used once (confirmed once it was put up) and I paid £75 for it - yay! By the end of the holiday, hubby had warmed to the tent and agreed I'd got a bargain, a helluva lot of tent for the money I paid and that it was really nice having that bit extra room. (ever wanted to smack your hubby for being an arse and then chaning his mind?)

Then we had a catastrophe according to Isabelle. Isabelle still had her bedtime bottle of milk to get her off to sleep. I've been trying to get her off it for ages, afterall she's going to be 5 in July. Neither of my other kids had bottles to go to bed with. Isabelle never had a dummy, and her bottle of milk was her most favouritest thing in the whole wide world (according to her). Hubby could see no problem with her having it and didn't back me up when I wanted rid of it. He said she'd stop having it when she was ready.. I said she'd be in her teens. Well, when I looked for it at bedtime, it wasn't there. I remember some things falling out of the box I'd packed, which hubby put back in and put the box in the car. The bottle didn't get put back in the box. Hubby said he'd go and find one at the spar shop. I said no. I told Isabelle that we had a bit of a problem and I needed her to be a big girl about it because I know she's a big girl and is very understanding. I told her we had no bottle. She cried a bit and told me she loved it and couldn't sleep without it etc.. but I put her some milk in her sports bottle in case she needed a drink, and she actually went to sleep. I had to phone my older son who was still at home (hopefully not wrecking the place) to find and then lose the bottle before we got home. She'd got it into her head that she could have it again when she got home, but I told her I couldn't find it, and she went to sleep without it again. She did cry a little bit to start with, but did good. Last night however, she woke in the night and really struggled to get back to sleep. I sat and held her hand, stroked her back and shushed her till she relaxed and she did go back to sleep again, although I heard her whimpering a couple of times, but she did it. Her 'going to bed' sticker chart is filling up nicely now. As a special treat while we were on holiday because she'd been such a big girl, she got to take a ride on a pony. She's been wanting to do it for ages but has never been quite brave enough. But now.. she's a big girl and big girls can ride a pony. she absolutely loved it, despite the slightly aprehensive look on her face.

Her other most favourite thing of the holiday was at the same place she had the pony ride. It was a bunny farm which was a little farm park with small animals that the kids could feed. There were baby lambs, baby pigs, puppies, ponies, hundreds of baby rabbits (which the kids could cuddle) chickens, ducks, alpaca, donkeys and Isabelle's two favourites, the peacock who (according to Isabelle) was showing off for the ladies.

Her other favourite was feeding the Rea. She was actually feeding the donkeys when all of a sudden a little head on a long neck poked it's way through the gate and pinched the animal food out of her hands. She laughed so hard i thought she was going to fall on the floor. She squealed with delight every time the rea pecked her hand for some food and all the other visitors near us were laughing at her laughing. Hysterical!

We had a lovely break camping and were lucky enough to get the tent all packed away literally 10 minutes before the rain started.

Wednesday, June 2

The Gallery - Still Life

The theme for the gallery from Sticky Fingers this week is still life.

I bought some 'little people' from ebay and had fun creating little scenarios for a series of them. I hope you like them.

Unfortunately it's a briefly worded post. We're going camping at lunch time and I've got loads to do!

See you when i get back on Sunday!