Monday 31 May 2010

The Perfect Happy Family Home...

Did you know there’s a very complicated equation to work that one out…had me stumped for words too. Surely not, I mean not seriously! Well, no, the bods at house builder Persimmon are certainly not serious it’s only meant to be a bit of fun but perhaps they are onto something. Can space and its use help create a more harmonious life in the home?
Being totally outnumbered by boys I know the importance of space and specifically of having more than one loo. Actually I am very lucky I have more than one bathroom I thank heaven that I don’t have to share. I think that would be pushing things too far as they get older, I mean it’s bad enough at present when they insist on finding out what I am doing in there.
Firstly you get the plaintive: Muuummmmm? Where are you?
Now that is when you have two options: Option A: fess up or Option B: stay quiet. Fess up and you are trapped. Keep quiet and hope they fail to track you down leaving you in relative peace for five minutes.
If you go with Option A this is what usually happens…
You answer: On the loo
They say: What are you doing?
You say: I’m going to the loo.
They say: Can we go too?
You say: Use the other loo.
They say: But can’t we use yours?
You say: No I’m using it at present. Please wait.
They say: But I’m bursting!
You basically give up and let them use the loo as you know you’ll not get any peace.
Or you opt for Option B
They say: Muuummmm? Are you there?
You stay quiet
They start to climb the stairs:
They Say: Muummm where are you?
You stay quiet
They start to stomp down the corridor opening the doors.
They say: Mum? Mum? Are you hiding?
You stay very quiet. You stop going to the loo and hold everything in.
They start to get suspiciously closer.
They say: Mum? Are you on the loo?
You stop breathing and pray they don’t try the door.
They stop outside the door. They start to breath heavily.
They say: Mum is you in there?
You keep very still and oh so quietly lift your feet off the floor in case they try to peer at you from underneath.
They try the door and it is at that moment you realize you forgot to lock it….
They say: Mum!!! What are you doing?
You say Going to the loo…etc etc
Now I know that Persimmon Homes  weren’t actually thinking along those lines when they came up with the equation, it had far more to do with  entertaining and dining and creating zones for family and private use but I think a home needs only two loos and of course a massive dollop of humour to be perfectly happy home!
PS: You might be wondering just why Persimmon Homes was doing this. Well it’s all part of National Family Week which starts today and all over half term; there’s loads of events, competitions and days out to inspire you and for you to join in with!
PPS Here’s the Press Release which went with the Persimmon Homes Equation have fun and see if you are on track for a perfectly happy family home!!!

We all remember playing the children’s card game, Happy Families, but have you ever wondered how to create your own happy family home? As part of National Family Week (running 31st May – 6th June) Persimmon Homes has answered the burning question of how to create a perfectly harmonious house to help frustrated families across the country.
Persimmon has commissioned a fun formula to calculate the optimum number of rooms and spaces to help create the perfect happy family home, including bedrooms, receptions rooms and a garden that a family would require, taking into consideration a number of factors.
The equation is as follows:


The number of rooms (N) depends on the following family factors:
  • n is the number of family members
  • S is the hours/per week family members socialise with friends and neighbours at home
  • f is the number of hours per week family members interact as a family while at home
  • p is the number of hours per week family members engage in private activities while at home

Ian Lynch, project director for the Happiness Project, states: “In a happy home there is equilibrium between quiet, respect and private space with the need for play and creativity as demonstrated by Persimmon Homes’ formula.
“A happy home is a safe, nurturing environment that family members want to be a part of, which undoubtedly attracts friends and colleagues, and such homes are often a magnet for others to visit. There is a great sense of fun, and social activity, where successes are celebrated, and family members are encouraged and nurtured. Happy homes are vibrant places, where self-acceptance, love, play, study, connection, growth and understanding all come together in balance and harmony.”
Dominic Harman, group communications director for Persimmon Homes, adds: “Our quirky equation will help families to gauge how many rooms and garden space they personally require to create the best possible foundation for happiness at home.
 “At Persimmon we spend a great deal of time researching purchaser requirements, and as no two families are the same we have invested heavily into designing versatile family homes with ample space to accommodate the needs and requirements of even the most discerning of residents – both young and old!”

  • α in principle can be calculated from the number of parents and number of children and their genders. For example a typical value would be α = 4/5 (four out of the five family members are one gender)

  • β relates the hours spent socialising to the need for reception rooms (a grade out of ten). For example a typical value might be β = 3/10

  • γ = expresses constant terms that include for example the need for a study or home office.  γ = 1 if a study or home office is needed, if a home office isn’t required then γ = 0

  • int denotes rounding the figure up or down to a whole number for example int(4.23) = 4 or int(4.86) = 5

About the Happiness Project:
The Happiness Project became a household name in 1996 when the BBC broadcast a BBC QED documentary called ‘How to be Happy’. Robert Holden, Ph.D., is the Founder and Director of The Happiness Project and Success Intelligence. His innovative work on happiness and success has been featured on Oprah and in two major BBC TV documentaries: The Happiness Formula and How to Be Happy.
Each year the Happiness Project participates in a rich program of public workshops corporate consultancy, media events and ongoing research. Robert Holden, Ben Renshaw, Avril Carson, Ian Lynch and other members of the Happiness Project team continue to create new offerings. To find out more visit  

Saturday 29 May 2010

Why is it?

Why is it...
that it always rains when you organise a BBQ?
that toast always lands butter side down?
that you ladder your tights when they are your last ones?
that when your husband  runs the car on empty he can get to a petrol station but when you do you land up stranded on a back lane in the middle of Suffolk where there is no mobile connection?
that when you are late everything conspires to make you later?
that the one day you buy something really naughty and not really needed he just has to dive into you handbag for some loose change and spots the till reciept?
that the time you put up a post criticising the way a friend raises her child totally anonymuosly she finds your blog for the first time?
that just when you are ready for an almighty argument your OH does something like buy you flowers just because?

Thursday 27 May 2010

Bog Boy

Going on an adventure..
Bog Boy, very seriously looking at his Godfather's bike: JJ can I go on an adventure to your house? I can ride my bike but I just can't turn left...

On illness
Bog Boy, after listening intently to his mother saying that The Boy could not go swimming because he was feeling sick: I can be sick too!
His mother: But Bog Boy you aren't going swimming today
Bog Boy: Well, I can be sick when I do!

The true way to his mother's heart...
Bog Boy, after carefully eyeing the food on his plate: Mummy, you're not the best cook in the world are you....

Wednesday 26 May 2010

Saving Christmas...

In the spirit of the age Dear Charlie has come over all Chancelloresque and is muttering things like: "Responsibility" and "We’re all in this together", which, as we all know, really means we’re virtually, if not in reality, bankrupt and it is going to hurt like hell before we come round.
So from his lofty moral position, in that he’s not the one who uses up all the money as he doesn’t shop or pay the bills nor does he ever have cash on him (much to my chagrin), he has decreed that there has to be some hefty cuts to the household budget.
From his perspective the cuts look relatively easy, simple to implement and will induce immediate savings. It doesn’t quite look the same from my vantage point…
He sees the immediate cessation of all building works as a no brainer. I see it as an eyesore, an immediate 20 per cent drop in the valuation of my home, and frankly a Health and Safety nightmare. Negotiations have been hard but a compromise was made without me having to resort to twitter. Essential building works will continue and no further contracts will be entered into this financial year though I may of course feel free to secure in-house contractors (i.e. myself) for any minor works to enable the smooth running of the household.
All emergency works will have to go through the chairman in the first instance – like yeah! Can you imagine the chaos that would ensue if a pipe burst and me having to get the OK via His Nibs before securing a plumber? Firstly the likelihood of getting past His Nibs’ secretary is bad enough now let alone in a real emergency. There is nothing a smart London PA likes best than playing power games with the put upon corporate wife. Secondly even if I do get hold of His Nibs, the answer is hardly likely to be no especially if I happen to mention that his precious water colour collection is under threat…well not necessarily by the water from the burst pipe but if he believes that who am I to deny it?
The cleaner is under review but even dear Charlie couldn’t stomach attempting to veto the ironing lady – he’s seen how I iron and knows that even in these cash strapped times the importance of putting on a good front.
Personal trainers are out as are children’s parties, dining out, birthday presents and of course Christmas. As for holidays – well I’ve been told politely I can whistle in the wind.
And it’s set me thinking although there can be cuts and these make everything seem OK there can also be savings which mean I might be able to keep hold of the cleaner, even the personal trainer, presents can still be secured and you never know I may also be able to save Christmas. 
It’s all about “Bottom up economics” shaving pennies here and finding pennies there, using everything up before buying anything more. Working out what can be sold, saved or salvaged. It’s not going to be easy but it is far more creative than just cutting everything willy nilly and making us all miserable, discontented and looking out for a new chairman.

Monday 24 May 2010

Making sweet music....

The Boy makes a song and dance of piano practice something he does every day without fail.
I try to think of it all as pre performance practice; the heightening of certain moments so the crowd is at a fever pitch of anticipation, rather than the frustration that I tend to feel because in the time it takes for him to kick up a fuss then calm down enough he could have done the whole practice bit and be doing something far more to his taste. However, I am told this is just a boy thing but I swear it is the girls who are meant to have histrionics! I obviously have a lot to learn.
There’s a bit of me that feels slightly envious of The Boy. There he is, allowed to play the piano, when I never got the opportunity and oh how I wish I could have done it. How I used to long to play; heck I even have dreams where I do and beautifully too.
Now I know you are going to think that I am living out my life through him, but honest, I never forced him to play the piano. In fact he asked me. He was only six.
When we have the big rows about practicing I always say fine if you don’t want to play it then don’t and Mummy will never have to pay for lessons (or force you to practice) again and every time he says no he will practice because, weird though it is, he actually likes it. I honestly give up!
Now please will someone tell me why he does this? If he likes it and wants to do it why does he not get the practicing bit? And is it really a boy thing?
He adores music and in the car we play all sorts, singing along as loudly as we can or else drumming out the beat on the car seats. Luckily for me Bog Boy sits behind me and his feet have yet to make contact. The Car bowls along the old Roman Road on the way to school swaying to the boombastic reverberations from within creating some of my most cherished memories.
On long journeys when I need them to calm, to behave, I find Radio Three and Classic FM a godsend. I don’t know why but it engenders sleep. Some may say because it is so boring others will look for a higher brow explanation – to be honest I am not bothered. It works, and for a hassled and frazzled mother facing a further 200 miles before the end of a journey that is good enough for me.
The Boy makes up lyrics and some are quite good but others well, let’s just say we’re still in the “bottom” stage and he usually dissolves into fits of giggles at his own wit following these utterances. It’s no use my remonstrating or calling for order. I usually just turn up the music slightly louder to drown out the heathens in the back.
At present we are listening to The Police, James Blunt, Dido, Snow Patrol, Abba and Robbie Williams. James is a BIG favourite especially when he says naughty words…You're Beautiful

Friday 21 May 2010

Operation Quack

That's the problem with interfering you land up getting into deeper doings! Well Duckling got a little bolder and started to get really busy and that's when I thought that probably I needed a Plan B - not that plan A was particularly well formed.
The canine sorority, that makes up the majority of the pack, were feeling more predatory than maternal and as Duckling got feistier and feistier he made more and more noisy causing paroxysms of whimpering from the said pack. I do believe thy started to slaver.
Although I had just sworn never to interfere in the natural course of things again, I just didn't feel that Mother Nature should have her way in my office, and certainly not before lunch.
So it was time to put Operation Quack into motion. Missis was nowhere to be seen and nor were her ducklings. I wandered around the moat all through lunch with Duckling in his box mindful that I shuold touch him as little as possible. Every now and then he made a bid for freedom but to no avail. I was on a mission to get him back to his Mum as quickly as possible.
I heard a lot of splashing going on in the old moat (we have two moats one old possibly 1066 and one new dug in the reign of Elizabeth I). The Old moat is near to the chicken runs and so I stomped off in that direction.
The drakes, nasty interlopers to the bucolic dream that makes up the small holding, were cackling and laughing and creating merry hell among the irises chasing all the females they could find. Pushing them off their nests and destroying everthing in their paths as tehy slated their lust. One poor duck must have nearly drowned for every time she came up she was jumped upon time and time again. And all the time the dreadful laughter.
Taking in the scene it was with a kind of relief that I could not find Missis. Perhaps she'd gone off and although I was glad for her it still left me in a bit of a dilemma. I needed to get this duckling back to her ASAP for there was no way I could look after it not with the dogs and cats and everything else.
The chickens were indignant and chuckling and squawking. I presumed because of what the drakes were up to but curiosity is one of my many failings and I poked my head round the open pen door and there was Missis with her five remaining ducklings all in a tight group in the corner, hiding.
Providence turns up in surprising places and with crossed fingers I set Duckling down releasing him from the tin box. He stood for a little time looking about and quacked then seeing the rest of his family he shot off to join them. Because Missis was so upset already I don't think she noticed him rejoining the family, the other ducklings made room for him and I retreated leaving them to it.
This morning there are no ducklings on the moat that I can see. The drakes are gone off to do damage elsewhere like a marauding grup of Vikings, striking terror into the hearts of all that see them.
As I fed the chickens in the relative peace a few ducks joined us, the pretty little white one looking a tad dishevelled, a quiet feamle mallard and a old drake shepherding them. They were very hungry possibly because they may have been hiding out in the tangle of roses that overshadows the moat where the drakes of yesterday had not bothered to check out.
Of Missis and her ducklings no sign. Perhaps she has taken them somewhere safer and I'll see her in a few moer days. I hope Duckling is there with her. I try not to think otherwise. For three hours I had had a duck and now I didn't. I'm pathetic but I was a little sad.
But come on really what the F*** was I going to do with Duck?

Thursday 20 May 2010

What the F*** am I going to do with a duck?

What the F*** am I going to do with a duck?! There’s a large purple Cadbury’s biscuit tin sitting on the windowsill in my office catching the rays of the sun. Inside is a piece of foam, an old squashed plastic drinks bottle filled with hot water, a load of kapok and a four or five day old duckling.
I was looking out of the window earlier and I noticed Missis Mallard was being bothered by a couple of drakes; we noticed she had had her ducklings on Tuesday and then they looked about a day or so old. There were 10 of them, all brown and gold and very fluffy.
Yesterday I noticed Missis basking on the lawn with her brood, still 10. Today with the advent of the drakes, the family had reduced dramatically and had become split up. So, being a dense human I trot downstairs to reunite them all. I pick up the duckling and plonk him (for want of any real knowledge as to the sexing of ducklings), back with Missis. He can’t seem to keep up, so as I watch he falls behind again and gets lost; so I do the same again…he fails to catch up. Finally the family head for the moat and I grab him and fling him in after the rest. Now I really notice that the poor chap is exhausted. He gamely swims after them but it is no good. He keeps being caught up in the weed and his little wings flap but it is still no good. Missis is soon out of sight and I am faced with a dilemma.
Do I leave him to die or do I “rescue him”. The result will be either he dies which he would have anyway or he survives.
Do I really need a duck? Do I want a duck? Why should I worry about it? Well I interfered and therefore it is now my responsibility – as I said he will either survive or not. He seems OK, tired but the good news he’s snuggled and he’s getting warm.
Outside Missis has five remaining ducklings that I can see, they are tripping up over the daisies as they run around trying to catch insects shaking their heads and squeaking when they lose themselves. Missis seems to have a very laissez faire attitude but every now and then she quacks, they stop and come running….

Wednesday 19 May 2010

Ah Youth!

Today was full of pent up excitment and barely able to surpress itself energy. Bog Boy was positiverly bouncing in his eagerness to get up and dressed; for today, today he was going to SCHOOL!
Everything had to be just so, the shoes had to be put on tight, the right shorts had to be put on and the top changed three times at least and of course he had to make sure his bedroom was absolutley perfectly tidy before bombing down to breakfast 15 minutes after everyone else.
Porridge was demanded and honey on toast, though he could barely sit still to eat either.he was brimming with questions and could barely contain himself.
Had I got all his things?
Did he need to take Jelly and Puppy?
Had I got is school bag?
When were we going?
How long did five minutes take?
Had I remembered his boots?
Hurry up Mummy! We have to go!
Come on Boy, stop being slow.
Drive faster, drive faster!
Quick, Mum Mum, quick! There's Holly!
And the car door is opened and off he's running down the path that leads to the school door fast enough to trip but he doesn't.
His brother gets sedately out of the car all his things with him. Neat and calm. The Boy takes my hand and squeezes it and with all the world weariness that a seven year old can muster, he looks up at me and says:
I remember being like that!

Monday 17 May 2010

How important is/was work to you?

How important was/is your work to you? What does/did it mean to you? Did/Do you love it? The buzz, the excitement it engenders or is it the people you work with that matter? The interaction, the ideas, the fun?
What if you had to make a choice, a serious choice one which would mean you may never work again, well not doing what you love? What would you feel? Anger? Joy? Despair? Freedom?
In the hectic existence that is my world I work a bit, do the school run, keep the house ticking over, do all the washing and cleaning, shopping and cooking, do all the family finance, keep an eye on the builders, look after the chickens, prevent the dogs from running amok and try to keep up with the garden.
Problem is it means I have very little energy to just BE with my boys and there is the rub. With so little energy I cannot actually say I enjoy myself and things that were fun are now a bit of a chore and before you know it, well you feel run down and sorely used.
So a week ago, when I returned to the nest so to speak, my Dad sat me down to give me a few home truths the thrust being I needed to realize that I couldn’t do everything and that they could not be around forever to help me pick up the pieces each time it goes tits up and set me back on my feet. Fair enough.
I was asked what the most important thing in my life was, and of course, one has to say it is one’s family and I think that is true. But as the conversation moved along, a feeling of dread crept over me, for it would be me that would have to make a change and I just knew it would be one I did not like.
“Give up your work. Your sons need you.”
My life over the past few months has not been easy, general everyday stresses have been compounded by neighbourly disputes, The Boy having to change school and of course my inability to shake off the old black dog.
But work or son?
I suppose most people would find that an easy decision to make but work for me, well without it I am sure I would go mad.
Work is part of my self esteem; it is who I am, even if I am not particularly good at it. It is the means by which I am independent. It is the means by which I can hold my head up high and look people in the eye. I work. I bring in money. I have the moral authority to thus spend it anyway I like without feeling guilty.
Despite depression, despite children I continue to work. I have never taken maternity leave, sick leave or holidays as a freelance that in any way jeopardised any deadline I have been given. I am proud of that, it means that I am reliable, I can be counted on, and I am steadfast.
I have never not worked. Twenty three years I have worked. I haven’t always been paid brilliantly, mostly a salary rather than a wage but working is my freedom, or at least the only one I know.
Not to work?
If I could guarantee that it would make me calmer, less stressed and of course nicer I would stop now, but there are no guarantees. The problem is in my line of business, with my speciality, if I do stop for a few months, I am very unlikely to be able to start up again. Come on I am a fat forty something not quite agile enough for the cut and thrust of the open jobs market. I am only as good as the last piece I wrote and I know it. If I did stop I don't feel I would ever be able to get a job like this again where I can work from home and be flexible enough to do all the other things I have to do.
I don’t want to be dependent on anyone. It is far too scary and way too risky but which is more important? Me and my selfish needs or my son and his future? What would you do?

On a completely different note if you’d like to catch up on all the latest Reviews and Give Aways drop in on Glowstars Sunday Review here...

Friday 14 May 2010

Review : Do you think I will ever be out of nappies?

Do you think I will ever be out of nappies? Seven years on and no let up.
I have tried to calculate just how many nappies that is and averaging eight a day for the first two years of each son’s life gives me a staggering 5840 plus a further 12 months for Bog Boy as he was potty trained by 3 at 6 nappies a day and a further 18 months for The Boy who didn’t potty train until he was three and half gives me another 5475 nappies then of course I have to add on the nights when both boys use pull ups.
Now Bog Boy was actually potty trained through the night as well but we’ll say he needed 1 pull up per night for 6 months and since then, for form’s sake and because his big brother continues to use them, 2 per week since then. The Boy has used at least 1 a night every night since then and occasionally two. Thus as far as pull ups are concerned 3.5 years for The Boy and 6 months for Bog Boy thus four years worth of nights to a total of 1460 pull ups.
So basically that gives me a grand total of: 12,775 nappies, pull ups and night pants of a variety of shapes, sizes and odd cartoon characters to haunt my dreams.
I dread to think of the cost….
Oh go on then lets hunt down an average cost for curiosity’s sake: 14.8p according to so based on that I have spent a total so far of £1890.70 a little bit over the UK average at £800 per child but then again mine seem to have taken longer than average to housetrain.
The Boy’s Absense Seizures (Petit Mal) is probably the main reason for his difficulty or as the doctors call it primary nocturnal enuresis which is persistent, involuntary bedwetting during sleep in a child aged five or over.
I just love the names they give these things but hate it when the health practitioners use it as a way to intimidate you. (Plain English bozos if you cannot communicate clearly you are NOT clever it just shows you have chronic inferiority issues and really should not be allowed to meet the public face-to-face. I would suggest getting a new job in a laboratory or else join the Antarctic Survey!)
Anyway, back to the problem at hand. The Boy and bedwetting or really the fact that the Boy desperately wants to have a sleep over either here or elsewhere. We haven’t quite managed it so far and naturally he realizes that at 7, he really shouldn’t be having to have pull ups. I can dress it anyway I like he knows and so do I that in normal circumstances this would not be happening. But we don’t live in normal circumstances and The Boy has to come to terms with the fact that he has epilepsy. It’s not really impinged too much up till now but with the change of school this term and, well, being much more grown up the ‘shoulds’ and ‘musts’ of society are starting to hit the mark. Where once my boy had not the slightest bit of interest in Football now he even knows who the players are, where my boy would be happy to let me choose his clothes now there is a full wardrobe display before he is certain he can venture forth (Thank the powers that be for a strict School uniform policy!).
We’ve tried numerous gadgets and fixes and basically the hassle and anguish they engender is just not worth it. So it’s nappies specifically designed for boys who wet their beds. Ones that look cool or else don’t make that awful  nappy noise like soneon is screwing up paper every time you take a step. Nappies that don’t look like nappies – though to be honest all of them do…
It’s a toss up now between Huggies Dry Nites and Pampers Underjams. On a practical front they both do the job adequately and as far as I am concerned that’s really all I can ask for. At present Underjams are leading the way as The Boy says they aren’t as noisy and feel nice but there again it might also be because they are new. They certainly don't peep over his PJs  so he could get away with it as long as no one saw him getting ready for bed but then again there is always the problem of what to do with a wet nappy in the morning!
I heard recently that Dear Charlie's brother was wetting his bed until 9 years old - only two more years then!

Tuesday 11 May 2010

Writing coarse...

I’ve just signed up for Tim of Bringing up Charlie's creative writing course and am as nervous as anything. The super organised Dara has put us into support groups and I’ve just had my first e-mail for the lovely Cara of Freckles Family…. And well, there is no turning back!
Although I have been writing for the best part of twenty years (yup that long and I am still not famous), I have never written creatively as such only about factual things, such as property and finance and lorries. Obviously I have blogged but I don’t really count that as I am sure many of us don’t, possibly because we enjoy it so much, I mean, well, that’s why I do it and everything else, that’s a bonus isn’t it?
But it was about blogs and how they are written that I want to focus on. Some are quite breathtaking in their written beauty for the sheer eloquence of their authors, the imagination, the humour, the immediate way you are taken by the hand through everyday lives engaged, enraptured and eager for more.
The honesty with which the writers describe, well just about everything, and, I suppose as I trawl the blogosphere getting braver and braver each time, the sheer exuberance of it all…
And then there’s me and my little effort. I like my effort even if it is a bit rough on the edges and not always quite there. It flits and flops about, sometimes up and sometimes down and although I know I shouldn’t compare, I do.
I will come across a blog or a post that I find truly amazing and I will dither about saying how much I liked it or else I will feel uncomfortable about leaving a comment because the writer is just so talented. Eventually I do of course  say hi or drop a note and then wait with bated breath for the ping on my computer telling me I have mail and I shoot to look at it when I should be doing other things just to check to see if they have answered.
Then there is the utter panic that they may drop a line and comment on one of my offerings and that’s when I come over all idiotic, and shy and silly and bleurgh. It’s pathetic really but I get such a thrill and me over 40! Sometimes I feel sick with apprehension and refuse to look, other times after a post has gone up I immediately with draw it then I put it back up again and try to remember that I am really trying to write aides memoir for myself; about my life so that when I am old and grumpier than I am now and no one wants to talk to me, my children and grandchildren will read my offerings and know that I did think them wonderful and worthwhile after all and perhaps they will forgive me.
The list of blogs I enjoy, admire and have fun reading are on my blog roll, I try to keep up with them all. The only problem is I keep finding so many new ones I fear that this could become a full time job!

Thursday 6 May 2010

Going home...

Sounds basically bonkers but I'm going home tonight. In a few minutes I will be getting into my car with two bopisterous and overly excited boys in the back, Tattie the whippet in front 'cos she likes to see where she is going and so she knows when to duck for all the bridges. The boot will be fit to bursting and Abba will be playing very loudly all the way up the A1. I think at about Grantham I'll be able to change discs without too much upset, a little bit of Robbie, some Jamie and a nice littlwe bit of Pixie and some Snow Patrol will suffice to get me there if not exactly harrassed at least in one piece.
As I drive closer to home the landmarks will become as familiar  to me as the songs I listen to and just as sweet. Thye sky will open up and I will be able to breathe again the familiar scents of my childhood and the endless toing and froing I have done from south to north and north to south over the last 35 years. I'll pass the Rainton Service Station where I once stopped dramatically when my windscreeen collapsed and I was convinced someone had shot at me. I'll wonder fo teh umpteenth time what breakfast is like there and know I'll probably never find out now as I believe the powers that be are going to knock it down to widen that stretch of the A1.
I'll take the next exit and drive down the A61 looking over at Sutton Bank trying to make out the white horse in the day or else at kniogth see if I can spot the hosues that I know. I'll shoot past the cross roads known as Wards Corner where old man Ward used to have his veggie plot long before we came to live here. Then onto the Baldersbu Garden Corner where I did some spectacularl 180 degree turns in the ice at 4  in the morning - not on purpose honest!
And then turning down into the village in the quiet of the night, round the corner at the end and there is home, the light on in my attic room.
Home at last.

Wednesday 5 May 2010

My one remaining brain cell

My one remaining brain cell has been under severe pressure today what with trying to keep up with politics both major and minor.
Builders and bailiffs for them not me, finding stud fees again not for me or indeed my husband but for the dog, my mother being here and then me being there tomorrow, finding polling cards and then of course losing them necessitating a huge hunt involving builders, postman and my mother.
Small green bugs and small green children courtesy of the fact that I promised to paint their army camp then promptly forgot so they did it themselves.
And me landing up down in the village shop and not knowing why, this then meant I walked home again empty handed only to remember what I wanted three quarters of the way back so I turned round and just as I got to the shop the heavens opened but I still needed to get home again but as I ran through the rain I relaised that I couldn’t remember why so stopped off at a friend’s only to remember when I finally did get back that I had left the pan on the stove – let’s just say I didn’t have pasta for lunch.
Heaven help me when making the big decision tomorrow!
Don't forget to vote now!!!

Monday 3 May 2010

Lest we forget the stalwarts...

I’ve just returned form the most extraordinary meeting where I was guest speaker. It was the Royal British Legion (Women’s Section) – a microcosmia of a world gone mad.
This tiny group of some 23 members - there had been 24 and it became a little difficult for the ladies to work out just who had not rejoined when one commented had they taken account of those that had copped it recently and then the numbers added up quite conveniently.
However, I digress, this tiny group is a registered charity on its own account and because the powers that be on the national executive have changed branding so must they - this causes a whole heap of trouble and an enormous amount of paper pushing as of course the bank account details have to be changed. The ladies – average age 70+ - rise to the occasion but one feels that the banks are not exactly helpful.
Then to make matters worse there is the national executive which is trying to make all elections go by ballot – postal ballot. This is fine but the wording for changing all of this is not exactly plain English and it makes it difficult to comprehend however the ladies finally come to grips with it and realise that a) this will cost a lot and b) will mean that they will have less of a say at conference than they used to – and no one is happy.
It seems to me that here these ladies are raising money, loyally manning stalls, spreading the word lest we forget and their own governors seem to want to disenfranchise them. I know it is a bit simplistic but it feels that this is a going on all over the place from government, through business and now charities – why can’t we all have a say and why must things get so complicated and more important of all why does the language have to be so damn convoluted!!!!
Anyway I gave my talk and my very appreciative audience - to my face at least – could not have been more kind and I have come home with some lovely flowers and a huge admiration for this little tiny group of stalwarts.

Go on you know you want to...


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