Sunday, December 30, 2007
Have I got over the heart-wrenching, soul-destroying knowledge that my work wasn't good enough? Well, yeah, thanks to Latharia (aka Suzanne, yep another one!) :) I love what I did, and someone else does, so it's their loss, not mine! Will I enter another competition? Probably not. Got enough crap goin on atm without being rejected futher.

In brief since I last posted, DS1 managed to get another days exclusion - seriously, do the kids think I don't have enough to keep me busy. DS2 is 15 today - OMG 15 years ago since I went into labour cleaning. Not as much fun as a curry or sex, but just as effective. FYI if you're interested. DS3 is much the same. DD has found the Christmas holidays hard work, I think the lack of routine and the hype screws her around :( DH has worked/is working from Christmas Day to New Years Eve. And me? well obviously I've been the one running around like a headless chicken sorting out cards, presents, Christmas shopping, Christmas dinner, oh yeah, and work.

Christmas was lovely, went to Mass Christmas Eve 9pm. Christmas morning DH went to work, but not for too long. Mum came over for Christmas lunch, which if I say so myself, was bloody good :) Lovely pressies from everyone :)

A few photos of the last couple of weeks. This first one is of DD and her God-Mother on her birthday. Well. okay, a couple of days after, poetic licence!

So what makes you think DD is a poser? All I said was I wanted to take a photo of her in her new pyjamas......

Okay. Just to confirm, it's a co-incidence there's 3 of DD and none of the boys. Teenage boys are not the easiest to photo. Plus this one's a rare photo of me, even rarer I almost like it!

Last but not least, one of the tree. Don't look too closely. DS3 and DD decorated it. I have been itching to tidy it up, but have restrained so far :)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Just a quickie! Didn't get through to the competition I entered. I didn't really think I would, but it kept Anna and MJ quiet, so worth it just for that! Anyhow, these are the entries, and I love 'em, so who cares if someone else doesn't! :( Oh, and the baby boy card - had to make a card - I don't 'do' cards - was my first and took 3 hours, so just smile at it and pat me on the head :)

Sunday, December 16, 2007
24 Hours in My Life - well, ish. Saturday 15th 3.45am. Turn alarm off and say goodbye to DH as he's on an early shift. Back to sleep. 6.30 woken by DD, but that's a lay-in for her so no complaints. Make a good old English cuppa and start to tidy our bedroom. 7.30 stir DS2 and DS3 as they both have footy. 8.45 leave the house with DD, DS2 and DS3. Back home at 12.30 after dropping one off; dropping other off; back to first and watch his footy; back to other and watch his footy. Oh and did I mention how cold DD and I were? Sort out kids and car. Family coming round for a get together tonight. So get on with preparing 2 chillis (one veggie); jackets; salad; etc. etc. etc. Join the Galloping Gourmet and have a glass of red wine while I cook. Used to be my mums hero when I was little! Finally stop at 4pm. Change. 5.15 DSS and girlfriend turn up. Followed by another 16 members of the family. A few more turn up a bit later. Realise hadn't finished dressing DD and she's running around in tights! Food was okay. Made a huge chilli in the slo-cooker (6 litre one) and it all went, so must have been edible. Kids all decamp upstairs and we watch the X-Factor. DH and DD go to bed at 9.30 and leave us to it. He is on earlies so far dos. Everyone leaves about 10.30 after seeing Leon win. I had said at the start of the evening he would win, even though Rhydian was far more talented and entertaining. Only consolation is Leon will be another Gareth Gates. Gareth who? Exactly. DS1 phones at 12.15 to say he's staying at his mates. So I trundle off to bed. DD not well, not going to put you off your dinner, but let's just say she over-indulged and I had to get up at 12.30; 1.10; and 2.30am. Then DS2 wakes us at 3.15 to say that someone's in the back garden throwing stones at his window. DS1 and his mate have turned up. Will deal with that later. DH goes to work. I fall asleep at 4.30 am. DD wakes me up at 6.30am, and here we go again!
Friday, December 14, 2007
In town one of the big DIY shops is closing down. Popped in on the way home from work. 95% of what they have is tat. It was selling. You see I don't get that, just because it's in a sale doesn't make it a bargain, but it's like sale mentality. I've got to have it - eh, no you don't, it's a rip-off. But there you go, each to their own. Anyhow back to the shop. SIL and her DH are in there eyeing up an ex-display oven and hob. £600! They wont reduce the price, they'd rather trash it. Seriously. So her DH reckons he's going to hide behind the shop the night they close and do a bit of dumpster diving. Actually interesting point. The sign says they are going into recievership, so should they be allowed to turn down a reasonable offer of a sale? Not sure about that one. Bump into another sort-of-family-member. Not even attempting to try to explain DH's family tree. Back to the shopping. Door handles 80%+ off. Okay bear with me. There again, at this point all non-scrappers might as well switch off :) Some of the door handles are just like 7 Gypsies style, but with the reduction only 40p a knob, so treated myself to a few knobs. I know, I know, there has to be a good joke in there somewhere. Will look ab fab on altered journals. And my other purchase. Well actually 'a' purchase is a bit of an under-statement. Tester acrylic paint pots. 10p a pot. Again, seriously. So much as I would love some Jo Sonya paints, they can wait. I now have a lovely collection of paint that should keep me going for a while :)
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Sod this for a game of soldiers, am I ever going to get into a routine with this lark? Thought not. Oh well, one governor meeting; DH Christmas meal out with footy dads; Dad and Sandra down for Christmas lunch - good trial run; MJ evening crop; and meal out with the girls from work. That covers the uneventful stuff. Now onto more interesting.

The newspaper reporter who continued to print the inaccuracies about the incident with the Park Warden, even after I told him it involved an assault and minors, has been demoted. Karma :)

Went to MJ's first sleepover all night crop, and had to go home :( and then was no better the next night so couldn't go to a charity event I had tickets for :( On the upside, Lynn reckoned she needed to take out a second mortgage to pay for the drinks at the event.

DD had her Christmas Play yesterday, The Hopeless Camel, about a camel who can't find his way to Bethlehem. The whole of the Primary school was involved, even those children confined to wheelchairs. It was truly humbling to see the effort the staff had put in, and the enjoyment on all - well nearly all - the childrens faces. Got me all emotional - mind you, fricking hormones, most things do atm. When DD first came into the hall to sit she saw DH and me and that was it. She very casually made her way over to us and then refused to go back! She did though, thanks to the joint effort of teacher and DH. Her group were in Rio and she was dancing away with all her heart (as you know she loves dancing), and in between little jigs was blowing me kisses - bless :)

And we're up to date again. Have attached a Challenge LO did at MJ's. Challenge was had to use the patterned paper and have journalling. Was supposed to take 1.5 hours, yeah right! So this is the finished article. The other pictures are the front and back of the 31 Days of Christmas Album I mentioned earlier - it's looking good!

Thursday, November 29, 2007
So, okay, where to begin? DS3 had a days exclusion for swearing at a teacher. No arguements from me. Then 1 month later he is accused of doing it again. He vehemently denied it, which is good enough for me. He put his hands up straight away last time, as did DS1 - that's a whole other story! - so if he said he didn't, I believe him. Admitted to telling teacher to 'bog off''. Had a row with the school and told them to do what they wanted, they wouldn't be getting my support on this occasion. They backed down and just gave him a detention :) Now onto the issue with DS1. Child 1 brings a fire-cracker to school. Child 3 brings a lighter. DS1 being his most stupid, plays with the lighter and child 1 lights the fire-cracker. Now, DS1 and child 3 get 2 days exclusion, fair enough, stupid high-jinks, no more. However, get this, as child 1 has never been in trouble before, he's excused an exclusion! WTF? He's the one who brought the explosive device into school in the first place.

Had my bookkeeping exam yesterday, think I passed. Got 88% in the mock. That needs recording for posterity, never had a mark like that in my life.

Attended a community meeting last night at the local police station. All the people that had written in and complained about the park warden's treatment were invited to attend. Stressed? Absolutely. Inspector advised against staying, but I did. Can't believe I did, would have been much easier to walk. Anyhow, 1.5 hours later, much less stressed and glad I stayed. So was the Inspector. Still have many unresolved issues, but it's a start.

And don't get me started on the man who came into the shop at the beginning of the week and proceeded to take off his coat, his trousers and his pants. I'm still in denial.

On the pluses. Have been to Liz and Grahams; MJ's crop; Dawn came round, mucho alcohol :) ; Julies, not so much alcohol :( ; and MJ's for a 3 course meal, with the best china and everything - absobloodybeautiful.

The rumours about me being a Page 3 Girl? Try here
Monday, November 26, 2007
Just a quick one, will catch up properly later, just wanted to brag. DH, DD and me went to school Christmas Fayre last Saturday - bought one pound of raffle tickets and won first prize!! Not bad hey?
Saturday, November 10, 2007
One of those weeks. Tuesday MJ's crop. Didn't end up going. Thursday, out with Joy, didn't end up going. Dad and step-mum were supposed to be coming up last night, and couldn't. Today, Beths crop, yep, didn't end up going! Def one of those weeks. But DS3 played footy for the school team and they won, and today he recieved a 'Well Done' card from the school; DS2 played footy for his team today and they won. DS1 and DD have had a pretty calm week. Also, almost embarassed to admit, made Christmas gifts for DD's teachers! Because it's a special school there's more adults per child, which is great, until Christmas!! Picture below. Take away boxes covered, little tags made, and filled with sweeties. And I wrote my Christmas cards! Well, got to do something to pass the time while I'm stuck at home and DH is on late shift!

About to print photos for 31 days of October I did with Melodee Langworthy at Scrap-a-Ganza and have signed up for her 31 days of December. And this year really hope to finish Shimelle's Journal Your Christmas. Maybe I can work out how to upload an album and show off what I've done so far, although not all of them, cos I'm sure I'd change at least a few!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Picture the scene. At the dinner table. Family meal, so important family meals, at least 4-5 each week. Getting 3 teenagers and a shift worker tog isn't the easiest, but I manage it. Must be the italian matriarchal impulses in me. And don't forget DD has moderate special needs. Right. DH "Els, you will be good on the school bus in the morning?" "No, daddy, I don't think so!" "Why not" in a cross daddy voice. "I really can't be arsed!" Five faces then turn away from the table so she can't see them laughing, but she knows. I think this is set to be her new favourite phrase! And I have absolutely no idea where she got that phrase from. Honestly. Wanders off whistling innocently!

The aeresole - would like to use stronger - of a Park Warden who assaulted the boys has only gone back to the papers this week and would like another article on the stress HIS family have been under. What a !"£"!%$^%^ "£$£%£$ His behaviour throughout all of this just beggars belief.

Fireworks have been lubberly. I know they're not good for the environment, and pets don't like them, yada, yada, yada. But they are just so beautiful and make me feel all glowy inside :)

Did I mention I had my hair cut the other day? Big scarey decision! Haven't been able to get it to look this since the day the hairdresser did it :(

Before and After

Monday, November 05, 2007
Boys, polish your school shoes. I don't know how to.....x 3. So we showed them. Really complicated, not. Here's the box with the polish, cloth and brush. Week after week of asking them and them not doing took its toll last night. Boys put your school shoes on the newspaper and clean them. So got half a job done, yep the half that involved them putting them on the paper. Two can play at that game. So I cleaned one shoe and left the other - half a job! Now, unless they want to go to school looking pretty daft, the shoes should get cleaned!

Anna, hope DH is okay hunny xx
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Oops! Not sure I'm cut out for this blogging lark. Anyhow, will report on girly weekend once I can get a few photos, but positively not attaching a link to Joy and me singing on Singstar. Still trying to get to see Chief Inspector, but couldn't come at a worse time for Dawn with new jobs and holidays. But I have prepared him a nice lot of paperwork and complaints which he should get this weekend. Watch this space.

Had a lovely evening at Lydias with Jo; another with Liz; and a crop at MJ's. So lots of scrapping, but no cinema, drinks or anything else. So not a lot going on, which suits me fine.

Parents evening. Better go together, not sure I can do this on my own. Two and a half hours later with the usual - needs to stop being disruptive - not doing his homework - class clown - excelling in some areas - not achieving what he is capable of. Which one are we talking about? All bloody 3!

DS1 hit 16. OMG I am not mentally ready to accept I have a 16yo. Can I have a party was the topic of conversation for a depressing number of weeks. Me yes. DH no. And so on. And so forth. Eventually agreed he could take 7 mates to an indian restaurant, but that I would pay over the phone. Off they go. Indian phone to confirm payment arrangements. Several hours later indian phone back. "Oh hello, this is Passage to India" "Hi" in a very anxious-I've-let-8-16-year-olds-loose-on-society voice. "About your son". Pregant pause. "The bill is £79.80 and the whole group behaved really well". Double whammy. Not only did they not abuse my debit card, but they made me proud. 16 years of nagging has paid off.

Mum offered to take DS3 to France over half-term to see his cousin, my brother et al. By all accounts he had a lovely week, even more so because he missed school for 3 days!

Shop continues to tick over, had on the whole our best year to date, but still some less than profitable months. But the internet shop should be up and running and already has a link from the shoppy-shop. Please check it out and let me know if you spot any glitches.

Enough for now.
Laterz xx
Monday, October 15, 2007
Jeff, the dashboard on the car is aglow. Smart alec checks electrics with diagnostic tester thingy. Nothing wrong, no idea why it's doing that.

Jeff, the laptops crashed. Smart alec checks that too. Will have to wipe the hard drive, blah! blah! waffle! (I don't do computer speak). What did you do to it? I hear that bit. Nothing, why blame me?

Jeff, my phone charger won't work. Hero comes to the rescue again.

Jeff (this time by text cos I'm such a woss) I think I've fried the hoover. Step away from everything electrical and go discharge yourself! So I can't use the washing machine? :) Result. Don't fret, I'll get you a washboard!

Better go in case I break blogger!
Friday, October 12, 2007
A quickie.

Woman : Hello Pontins Customer Service
Me : Oh hi....blah....blah....who I am, etc. Thank you for the voucher, but there's no way we can fit a weekend away in before the end of October. Could it be extended?
Woman : You can't get a weekend break before Oct 08?
Me : No, the voucher states 07.
woman : Oh I am sorry. I meant to put 08.


Me : Er.... actually you did....... *insert very embarassed smilie here*
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Will I ever be more organised with this malarky? Probably not. So, will give a brief outline of life in the household. Work, school, bed, work, school, bed, college, work, school, bed. That do? New glasses and a new hairdo makes for a new me. New man? Now that is far too much trouble to even think about! No cracks about Joe 90, although the length (or lack of it) of my hair would make one wonder. Will try and hunt out a photo. What else? DD had what sounds like a fit at school, although doc did make me laugh when he suggested that maybe she put it on. Yeah right, that is so likely to happen. DS1 lasted 2 days at his work experience. Least said the better. DS has had his first exclusion. Yes, 'first' does seem appropriate, cos I'm pretty sure it wont be his last. DS2 is doing really well. Yay, one out of 4, who said I'm not a good mum. Must be doing something right. Some big blogs coming up (sounds truly gross) so for now.......

That's all folks!
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Another morning. Another morning chasing the kids. Another morning chasing the kids and clearing up. Another morning chasing the kids, clearing up, and running round like a headless chicken. Nothing changes, might as well just go with the flow.

What to blog? Oh, apologies (in best ap-ol-o-gies Blackadder voice) to Lou, if it's not in the diary it doesn't end up on the blog. But, had a lovely morning when Lou, Mark and her boys popped in on their way to their hols :) Forgiven? Bovvered much? *insert laughing smilie here* Been to Liz's scrapping, thank Heavens, otherwise would have got nothing accomplished this month. And to lunch with Niki :) And to cinema with Joy - Knocked Up - the film not Joy! And had the girls round to pick activities for Center Parcs. Organising another Pad trip to Debden :)

And moans? Got to be school. DS1 has been diagnosed ADHD since he was 6. Found out that he's on the SEN register as ...Dyslexic. This is the third time this has happened since he's been there. Really not impressed and intend to let them know.

22.45 18.09.07 Bed after sorting out car, passports, money, shopping list, insurance, ferry, and God only knows what else - it's only a day trip. 1.45am crawl out of bed make DH cuppa. Off he goes. Picks up SIL. 4.30am ferry. Drive to Amsterdam - not a 5 min hike - to a fashion centre that, according to it's website, has over 30 kids stores. So, slight exaggeration..3. Don't think DH and SIL were over impressed. And of those 3? Successful, not. In fact complete waste of time. Just as well Calais offers cheap booze. Arrives home 11.55pm. Think I owe him BIG time!

Saturday, September 15, 2007
Busy few days. Tell me something new! Went out Wednesday morning to Starbucks with Jo and Lydia. Was lovely to spend a few hours chatting and catching up. Don't get enough chances to sit and watch the world go by. Have finally heard from Pontins, they've offered us a free weekend break. The voucher arrived 13th Sept and expires 31st Oct, and DH only gets 1 weekend off in 3! So looks like we'll be getting a much needed break :) Dear God, how much more boring is my life going to get, can't think of anything else exciting that's happened. So it must feel busy cos of all the mundane stuff, now that's just sad.

Other news in brief - DS1 school footy match win; DS3 team footy match win; DS2 still has his ban! CID have interviewed the 'gentleman' and now we wait again. DS3 received a 'Well Done' postcard from school :) And that's their lives atm - looks like it's a bit quiet all around in our household atm!
Sunday, September 09, 2007
And life returns to normal. Get up. Get 4 kids off to school with the stuff they need - yeah right. Wash up. Hoover. Surf. Go to work. And then? Come home. Chivvy kids to do homework, football training, etc. Feed them. Fight with them at bedtime. Collapse. Alarm goes off and here we go again. That hour between kids going to school and going to work - should be a legal requirement that all working mums are entitled to. Plus side, shop seems to have picked up. Hope it lasts. And a trip to the dentist, a football match and a wedding just about means I've already forgotton the chilled weeks off.

Speaking of the wedding. Get up. 9am leave and drive all 6 of us 3 hours to Warrington. Attend a wedding for 1.5 hours; don't get a photo of the family with the bride; get asked not to sing the hymns by DS2 cos it's embarassing; don't get introduced to the groom; can't stay for the reception - adults only; then drive another 3 hours back home. DH misses the England match. Would go and score 3 goals when he's not watching. Not going to live that down for a while. But lovely to see our friend get married so worth the trip.

And that's that.
Monday, September 03, 2007
What a bad blogger! Face, bovvered? Been stressing about finances so blog takes a way back seat. So what's new? Been to see Hairspray again, this time with Anna, MJ and Maria . So the last time I saw a film more than once when it was first released was Grease a, ahem, few years ago. How sad am I. But it was a fun evening - and Anna does not know how to behave in a cinema, a woman after my own heart! DD's arm is still in a sling, but it doesn't seem to be stopping her doing much, unless she wants it to. Did the deed - school uniform shopping for 4! Not the most fun, but at least we got it all done in one morning. DS1 was on form, which at least made the shopping more interesting. Still not heard anything from Pontins. Strangely 2 copies of replies they sent me haven't appeared. One last chance.... Went to the Heart Hospital this afternoon to see my scrapping buddy Jo. WOW! What a hospital. Apparently used to be a BUPA hospital in a previous life. Def something all NHS hospitals could aspire to. Gentle healing (((hugs))) Jo :) Had a drink or 3 at Julies :) Didn't get to Jeanettes :( Had a get together with Liz :)

And as for the incident with DS3 and J. It is getting more complicated. I am keeping detailed notes because the boys have been let down by the Park Warden, the Police, the Council and the local papers. We even had a phone call from the C.I. of our local police station last week. Last night a policeman came and took a statement from DS. Took 3 hours. But listening to what he went through it just reiterated we are right to push for a conviction.
This is an album I did at an all day crop with Emily Falconbridge, organised by Kirsty Wiseman .We were given the basic idea and then left to our own devices - I absolutely love it. Not too sickly, so no worries of blushing/ vomiting/insert another apt adjective here. The words are from the song 'My Love'.

Friday, August 10, 2007
So two days into enforced vacation - oops, Americanism - holiday. What have I got to show for it? Not a lot. DH has been working his n**s off. Tame word compared to the one offered! We have a newly painted front door, mail box and garage door. Lawn mowed. Things repaired. Etc. Etc. Etc. Me? I've worked out how to put my photo on the user profile here, so round of applause for me. In a whispered voice, kids have been good. Waiting to hear from police about lunatic. Got a letter from Victim Support though as I am worried about DS. He should be reacting more. Oh, did cut DD's hair. Least said about that the better. Decided to throw a tantrum half way through - her, not me. Just as well she's not back a school for a few weeks.

Earlier in the year I did an online class called Choosing Joy with Kolette Hall and I decided it was about time I got it out to remind me of how great my life is. Here it is, minus the private notes at the back :)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007
You know that age old expression 'God only gives you as much as he can trust you with...I just wish he didn't trust me quite so much.' Now say it in my 'fed-up' voice, not my 'no matter what sh*t life throws at me I am still smiling'.

Now rewind to 6.30pm last night. DS3 is out playing with his mate, J. They've been friends since babies. Phone and ask if they could bring him home slightly later than planned as we've nipped out. No Problem. 6.40 J's grandparents ring and DS can stay over. Sounds great, 1 less for DH to worry about while I'm out. The following has been recounted by J's mum and my DS.

7pm. They're playing in a nearby park. Both boys are just 12 - J is average and DS is a titch - he could easily be mistaken for a primary school kid. Back to the park. Walking in the park minding their own. 3 lads, 17ish come up and get rough with them. DS tries to pull away but apparently is frozen with fear. J struggles more and so they tell him to pee in the pool. or they'll kill him if he doesn't. Of course he does, who wouldn't. These lads then wander off. You'd think that bad enough? Yep, but there's more. The reason the yobs scarpered smartish? Oh that would be because they saw a fella approaching. Sees what he thinks are 5 boys peeing in the pool and explodes with rage. He doesn't give the 2 boys a chance to explain,just ranting and chasing J. Fella punches J and follows on with grabbing J by the neck. J escapes and tries to get his bike. Man throws it on the floor, then stamps on it. Picks it up and chucks it in a garage he unlocks. During this time boys run off. Phone J's mum. She calls police.Boys get home (only takes 5 mins when running scared sh*tless). Police already there. Two more pandas sent out. Boys seriously upset. Hardly surprising. Police take boys tops in the hope they've left some DNA. Take boys back to scene of crime in police car with blues and twos. That cheered them up a bit. Apparently police were really good with them. They will have to give a video statement as they are both so young.

Have heard that the 'gentleman' is in custody and to make an unbeliveable situation worse? Rumour has it said gentleman is employed by the council to look after the park where 100's of children play every week.

Seriously, what is this town coming too?
Morning :) School holidays? Love or hate? Nope, can't make up my mind either. As the kids are older they can amuse themselves, but getting them in at the end of the day? Blooming nightmare. DD's loving her holiday club. She's been a bit poorly, but well again now. DH started his 2 weeks annual leave today, so he's nice and chilled. Not going far, just cheap day trips and some work around the house and garden. Monday am had a cuppa with Lydia at work :) Yesterday lunchtime DH and I went out for a pub lunch, just the 2 of us! Did wonder if we'd have anything to say to each other it's been so long since just the 2 of us have been out. But it was actually lovely :) Last night went to MJ's crop, had a CJ to start and finish, and if I say so myself, was really pleased with the end result. Not MJ's taste - bit too grungy for her liking! And the person it belonged to was there, so lots of fervent walks around the crop hall and hiding stuff. Not to mention the Sizzlits tower I built to hide everything! Not my fault though, hey Anna?

Watch this space, hopefully over the next few weeks I am planning to upload some of my LO's :)
Friday, August 03, 2007
Ok, after moaning yesterday about Scottish Power, all kudos to them for sorting it out straight away. Agreed we had had 2 previous phone convos and that they'll refund the £70 charges as it was their error. Doesn't alter the fact that they reckon on past readings we're getting through nearly £1200 worth of electric a year!

That's all folks, just felt praise where praise is due :)
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Another week flies by and it's August. Def need to slow this year down. So, what's been happening? DD is in a SN holiday club this week. Now she last went last summer for 2 weeks. So we pull up outside and she says "Zac will play with me" Confirmed with HC that there is a kid called Zac. She never ceases to amaze us. Can't spell the four letters in her name, or count to 10, but hey, can recall a child from a year ago. Go figure. Got selective memory that one! Didn't get through to that competition, but gonna post them here, cos I like them! Went to MJ's crop on Tuesday, thanks for taking me Anna. Most I've enjoyed it for ages, been stressed lately and feel like we're coming through it. Felt more like me. What else? Still busy at work, just need it to stay busy, not have the usual August slump. We're nearly there with the transactional website which will hopefully be a positive move. And we've put our name down for an allotment. OMG are we getting middle aged or what! But with my dad growing up on a farm, and loving the outdoors, we wanted the boys to get into it a bit more. Plus it'll save us a fortune on the amount of food they get through. Working on chickens now! Funnily enough, DH hasn't been quite so receptive to that.

And I have got to moan about fecking incompetance.Pontins. No letter yet. Well past their time limit. Oh so sorry madam, will ensure Camber Sands deal with it straight away. Hello, I wrote to you 2 months ago, how much further from straight away can you get. MBNA. Grrr. Monday. I'm gonna be a few days late paying this month. No problem ma'am I'll make a note of our convo. Wednesday. Hello, this is MBNA. Your payment is late. After a 2 min rant on the phone, don't think he'll ring again too soon. Scottish Power. 2 months ago. We've underestimated your gas and electricity usage and going to have to increase the monthly DD. Ok. From £45 to £163. I don't think so. Agree on £113. Surprise, surprise £163 gets attempted and bank boing it back. £35 charge. Phone and moan. Many apologies, will ensure we sort it. And this morning, yep, another £163 boinging around our account. So will be contacting them to credit us for the charges. But FFS why is everything sooooo difficult.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
So life is bloody hard at the moment so I'm not even going there.

Instead I'm gonna send tons of love to Joy to treating me to the cinema tonight. Firstly, busy, not used to that, we usually go and can sit in any seat. But I suppose Shrek 3 and HP and the Simpsons movie premiere and the fact that it's the school hols and it's too wet to do anything else meant that the world and his dog decided to go to the cinema last night. Left DD with the boys again with DS1's assurance he'd not leave her side. Yeah right, and I was born yesterday. The first time she was up with DS2 and he was in bed asleep. Second time she was with DS3 and he was chatting with his mates. So third time lucky. Apparently cinema screen was really grubby - the staff had to actually do some work which they're obviously not used to as it caused film to start half hour late. And the film? Hairspray! What to say? One of the best films I have seen in a long time, just an all-round feel good musical with an underlying moral storyline - and John Travolta in drag, what's not to love!
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Morning :)

Firstly BIG {{{hugs}}} Niki xx

Absolutely exhausted! Thursday lunchtime was spent with a dear friend - sneaked out of work for a bit :) but only as far as a nearby coffee place in case I was needed. But it felt really nice!Went into sale Monday, so spent last Friday and Saturday preparing the shop. But it's been worth it, quite a good month so far, let's hope it lasts. Sunday can't remember - must have been good - not! Monday little brother and his family over from France for a few days. DS1 had his informal interview at the station. Could I bring DD? Not really, so niece kindly offers to stay at the house a bit longer. Don't know what I'd do without my family and friends. General consensus was I thought he was a fair copper, and she thought he was fit. And I didn't even notice, I must still be truly in love, or just getting too old to care! So now if lads play silly sods with apples and one goes over a fence and accidently hits someone that they couldn't see, it's a rasict common assault. Tuesday little bruv and family come over, so much easier now the kids are older and DS1 saw his psycho dr. Wednesday DH and I went round a friends. She and me chatted and scrapped. DH's chatted and drank. Sounds fair! Kept phoning home. Just to check boys were doing a good job of looking after DD. Dentist for 4 on Thursday and only 1 small filling between them. Not bad. DD's teeth actually don't count, they are shot to pieces cos of this floating harbor syndrome. Think she'll end up with dentures! Entered a little scrappy competition. Don't expect to get anywhere, but at least it made me do a few more LO's. And today is the deadline for a response from Pontins. Oh, and got an apology from the police about the lack of follow-up on DS's assault.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Can't believe it's 10 days since I blogged! Busy as ever. So what's been happening?

DS1 has had another police visit - waiting for the outcome for that one. Interesting fact though, both when DS2 had the escapade with the washing-up liquid and the fountain :) and this recent event, both boys, once given their name were asked if ****** was their dad. Now far be it from me to put 2 and 2 together, but what difference does it matter who their dad is? As it happens the gentleman in question is not their dad, but is related. So obviously in the eyes of the local police my boys must be guilty because they are related to their uncle. The fact that DH has never so much as received a parking fine is irrelevant. But, despite that DS1 has turned a corner and has been much calmer, more polite, and generally 'all round good guy' . He's even agreed to go back on his ritalin for year 11 as he appreciates what an important year it is.

DS2, no change, still working out and not asking the girl out! Went to his first live gig and loved it. Mates of his at school have a band and apparently they are 'well good'. He is very much into his music, and his favs range from MCR to Elvis. Sounds just like me.

DS3, well, bless, what can you say!

DD won a running race at school! YAY! was the first thought. The second was, b****r, that's not going to go in her favour with the disability allowance. Then put it into context. She beat other SN kids who also run about 10 steps before falling over, she just got up quicker! So not worried just yet! She received a certificate for which she was very proud, until she cottoned on that every single child got one!

Been working hard. Buying season. Going into sale Monday, so non-stop, 6 days this week. Not impressed. Finances are a bit of a nightmare still, so been shopping around for loan.....
We can offer you £18,500. Okay, that could help. Repayments are £247 a month. Okay, sounds reasonable. Over 27 years. Sorry, how long? Must have misheard! Over 27 years. Calculator out. So that's repaying £80,000. Thanks, for some reason can't see DH going for that!

Sunday we were all going out. The usual, do I have to, it's boring, rubbish from the older boys. We're all going out, deal with it. Once a year the adoption society have a family fun day. The inference boys on family. So, leave only 10 mins late and 1 small fracas over who sits where in the car. Met good friends of ours there who also adopted their youngest who is a fab little lad, and who happens to be my Godson, so of course I'm not biased! Swimming, cricket, cakes, football, ice-cream, and most amazingly, sun!

Oh, and I'm almost too embarassed to admit this, but I've got hooked on Big Brother. I know, I'm hanging my head in shame!
Saturday, June 30, 2007
So ... very ironic post if you re-visit the last one.

9.45pm Friday. Get a phone call from police station. Nearest one that opens at night. Not in our town of course. We have over 150,000 people, why on earth would we warrant a 24 hour service? DS1 has been arrested for robbery. Could an appropriate adult make their way over. So DH, DD and I trundle over. All have to go as there is no parking at the police station, and I wasn't going to stroll the streets at night. Leave DS2 home alone and DS3 is staying at friends. 10.20 arrive at police station. Taken straight through to see DS, only me though. No conversation with custody bod or anyone else about what DS is doing there. DS does tell me that 7 policeman, including one with a dog arrested them; 1 police car, 1dog van and a police van! For 3 kids carrying...a lighter. And 6 of the policemen didn't even want to arrest them, but 1 did!11.50pm ask what is going on. Escorted back to reception with a "we'll let you know" 12.15am. Keeping boys (3 of them) in overnight as "we might need to take their clothes for evidence and we don't like to interview minors in the middle of the night". Can we say goodnight to the boys? No, too busy! Have since found out as his 'appropriate adult' I had the right to see him for a private conversation at any time. I should not have been denied the opportunity to say goonight to my 15 year old, who has never been in trouble before and has never spent a night in the cells, regardless of how busy it was.

6am - after only 5.5 hours sleep maximum, DS gets woken up for DNA and finger-prints. So, no interviewing in the night, but less than 5.5 hours sleep is okay? Offered breakfast but he refused. Maybe it's me, but why the hell were they offering? He's a minor, probably scared s***less, give him the goddamn breakfast. If he doesn't eat it, which is pretty unlikely, it's up to him.

9.45am get phone call. Sooner I can get there, sooner they can get DS home. What about 8year old DD? No, sorry, can't help you out. Thanks once again to her Aunty for helping out :) Arrive 10.15am. Told will be dealt with shortly. 11.40 ask again when am I going to get to see my son, as he has been in a cell for approx 14 hours. Finally see him 11.50am. Explains what happens. Obviously has not done anything wrong, and not impressed. Interview around 1pm. Even then DS makes me smile. Detective 'could you describe the physique of the accuser?' DS 'Not very good'! I could see even the detectives trying not to smile at that one.Many more one liners. At the end of the interview I request to know what my son has been charged with as I still hadn't been informed. and we go back to cell. Oh, still has clothes on, so no need after all to take them, what a surprise. 2.15 - ish, advise charges have been dropped and we can go!

So, my son can be assaulted and nothing happens, but some drunk accuses him of nicking his beer and my son has been arrested. WTF? And did it really have to take 15.5 hours and an overnight stay? He's not exactly a menace to society. We could have brought him back on Saturday? And not letting us speak to him as requested as his Appropriate Adult as set out in PACE? And not telling us why he was being detained, as set out in PACE? Oh, and not being offered lunch? And this on the day the prisons released 1200 prisoners early? And not being offered guidance notes for the Appropriate Adult as set out in PACE? And not being present when he was read his rights? And not being present when his DNA and photograph were taken? Yes, that's right, both set out in PACE.

Am I letting this go? I think not.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Copy of letter sent to local police today. Should have got the message.

Further to your letter of 15th June 2007 I would be grateful if you would amend your records. The victim’s name is Joseph ******, not Joe S********. Further, I am shocked this is the first communication we have had from the police since Joseph reported being assaulted. Joseph is a minor, aged 15, and was assaulted in B********. Why does this not warrant following up in more detail? By the time the police investigate any CCTV will probably be recorded over and Joseph and his friends description of the man will be waning. This ‘investigation’ is a far cry from when my 13 year old had a prank with washing up liquid and a fountain. He ended up in the cells and given a Final Warning for his first offence. Perhaps you would explain to me how the police can investigate a prank so thoroughly and to date do nothing about an assault? I would appreciate a reply by return of post.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Busy day planned. DD is back to school, still blotchy, but otherwise well. Slight hiccup. School transport didn't turn up. So instead of being at school doing governor stuff I'm trundling through the rush hour traffic to take DD to school. And of course going to special school means it's not 2 mins down the road. Had lunch a a local pub with Joy, Anna and Ariane. Very enjoyable :) Fell asleep with DH this afternoon - that middle aged thing really is hitting home! And started to pack as I'm going away at the weekend. But no doubt I'll be packing tomorrow at the eleventh hour, no point in changing the habit of a lifetime.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Firstly, Happy Birthday DS3 :) 12 today. I cannot believe his life is flying past like that, but he's turning into quite a lovely young man. The last few days - well I worked Saturday and yesterday. Not bad days. Looks like SIL may have come up with an idea to keep the business afloat. If it doesn't work I shall, less than gracefully, accept defeat. DS1 played a football tournament at the weekend, got knocked out in the semi-finals. Not sure what's happening with his team. They have been in so many finals and semi's this season but have lost. Always next season. Had a governor meeting yesterday morning to do with special needs, an area obviously close to my heart.

And the headlines for todays post. Poor DD. Came up in this rash yesterday :( Dr thinks it's an allergic reaction to the anti-b's she had last week. Think I'd better wrap her up in cotton wool, they say things come in threes.

Sunday, June 17, 2007
Morning :) Firstly, I need to talk about DH. It was mentioned to me that I don't talk about him much on here. That's mainly because he doesn't do anything terribly annoying or exciting! He's still here, working at the same place, and goes out occasionally. Oh, and he's definately getting middle aged as he's taken a real interest in the garden, including growing plants from seedlings and propogating them! This is the first year since we moved into this house that the garden looks lovely.

DS1 has recovered completely (you may remember when DS1 was 5 weeks old he developed pneumonia and a pneumothorax and very nearly died, so you can imagine how stressful the past few weeks have been for me), and is now back to being a typical hormonal teenager with all the attitude that that entails, including coming home past curfew. He is obvlious to the fact that DS2 can't come in till he does; that when he does come in he wakes DD up; that I get stressed when he's late as I worry. And stressy, OMG, Kevin and Perry combined have nothing on him.

DS2 is the same. Still keen on the same young girl since Christmas but hasn't asked her out yet. He's confident she'll wait. I've tried to tell him there's a limit on how long a girl will wait, but he wont have any of it.

DS3 has been trying very hard at school. He's like me in that respect, knows he has to go to school but doesn't particularly enjoy it. Plus we both have the attention span of a gnat so that doesn't exactly help either! But we're very proud of him as he just received the Managers Player of the Year Award at his annual football awards :) That means at some point all 3 have received it - very proud mum moment :)

DD is having a downtime. We have had several months of super behaviour, so I suppose we are bound to get these setbacks, but they are hard. She's also had a tooth abcess this week. Her face was so swollen her eye couldn't fully open and her lip was drooping. Poor hunny.

And me? I've missed out on an MJ all day crop, because DD was the child from hell. I've had a Starbucks with a lovely friend that I haven't seen for ages - thanks Lydia :) - and been busy at work. What an exciting life I lead!

Plus nearly all of us (not DS1) went to Holland for a long weekend. We had a lovely relaxing time. It was a scrapping weekend - Scrapaganza - Friday night to Sunday night. We arrived Thursday lunchtime to make the most of the weekend. The weather was beautiful. The town is by the sea so a couple of trips to the beach was on the agenda. We also made full use of the hotels pool, indoor kids area and the bar. The scrapping was great too. The only downer was the attitude of a Scrapping Celebrity. As you know DD has SN, and had decided to scream - and I mean scream - for 20 mins in the hotel. We've no idea why, and couldn't stop her. She finally ceased so we went for a walk to the beach, me emotionally drained from everything over the previous few weeks, and she was winding up to start again. My exact words were "DD, please be quiet". The look of disdain on this womans face as she walked past was shocking. Actually stopped me in my tracks. And everytime we passed her around town, the same look. Who was she to judge me? She knows nothing about my life or my relationship with DD. I was, and still am tbh, incensed at her holier than thou attitude.

And that's all for now :)
Saturday, June 09, 2007
What to say? Since I last blogged I've had a birthday. It was a Saturday and it wasn't my Saturday to work and DH was also off. Great, or so I thought. Breakfast in bed, lazy day sitting in the garden. Reality. Have to be at the football pitch for 8.30, so breakfast in bed is out. Raining for England, so sitting in the sun is out. Get called into work so day off is out. And we end the day with the kids out, and DH falling asleep in front of the telly. But got some lovely pressies :)

Been to the pics and saw Wedding Daze with a couple of friends - easy viewing chick flick :) Been to the school to 'chat' to the Headteacher. Been to see the Bank Manager about the business.

And the rest of the time? Do I write about how the kids are driving me to distraction. Nope, that would be too long an epic!
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
What a hectic few days. DS1 is now 72 hours into his anti-bs and getting better. DH and I feel like cr*p because of the lack of sleep we've had checking on him. Had to cancel seeing Joy tonight, because although Nicholas Cage would normally keep me interested, tonight I feel I may just fall asleep at the cinema. Much as I know Joy loves me, not sure she wants me dribbling and snoring on her shoulder. Last week got a letter from the VAT office informing me that I was due a rebate of nearly 500 quid. I don't think so, but they are adamant. So, great, will fix bushes - whatever they may be - on car. Get used to the idea, money will be very helpful. Today get letter saying they think they made a mistake. Well, d'uh, I told them that. And now I've just got used to getting it. Typical. Been approached by someone on behalf of the BBC. They are considering making a documentary about special schools - and would like to feature DD and her school. so now she's walking around saying I'm gonna be a film star. Like she knows what that means. We'll see. Very early days yet. Chatted to third party today about exciting proposition and it's still moving forward. Emails have been sent. Trying not to get too excited. And that's that.
Monday, May 14, 2007
Letter sent to Pontins. Wonder what excuses they will come up with. What else? Went to Cropping with Friends crop run by Beth with Anna on Saturday. DH phones. Out of interest, where are you today? Bless, happily let's me wander off and doesn't blink an eye. Maybe I could try further afield, then the answer would be something like, Tenerife, back in 2 weeks. No, maybe not. Had a lovely evening planned. DD going to aunty's. DS2 and DS3 and neighbours boy staying in. DS1 and his mate staying at his mates. Result, I'm going drinking. Silly me for thinking everything would run smoothly. DS1 and his mate decide to stay in. So, do I still feel like going out for the evening and giving 5 teenage boys the run of the house. Funnily enough, I don't. So cancel my night out and babysitter and have a petulant strop. Kids wait for me to calm down, then proceed to ask as I'm not going out, can they? The air was blue, and I get the distinct feeling I was shafted.

Sunday and DS1 is feeling lousy. I mean scarily so, can't breath, lips blue etc. So drop DD off at another aunty's - thank God for my dear friends, I love you sooo much :) and Joy (Sister on a ward) has a quick listen to his chest- proceed to out of hours. You should have rang. He can't breathe. Well if you ring we usually get back quicker. But he can't breath. Fill in form. See dr. 2 mins. Doesn't even do that thing they do with the fingers patting the back. Chest infection. Take these. Ring if he gets worse. What, and you'll get back to me within 2 hours. I suppose that's better than an NHS average. Neighbour - paramedic - and DS1's girlfriend mum - senior staff nurse - also check him over. All this female attention, not sure if DS1 is loving or hating it. General consensus from all watch him closely. So up all night checking on him. Take him back to hospital. Sorry, minor injuries only, can't deal with him, GP is best. Off to GP, who was fab, and then back to the hospital for x-ray. Looks like pneumonia. Has an inhaler and GP says if he gets any worse, call an ambulance and he'll need to be admitted. To my GP and 3 friends, thank you, and to the out-of-hours GP - insert smilie sticking his tongue out here.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Pontins (P) and Butlins, bastions of the English tradition of the Holiday Camp. Epitomised in Hi Di Hi and numerous black and white newsreels that appear when we're feeling nostalgic and reminiscing about the 'good old days'. So we're off to P for a football weekend. Not a cheap weekend for 6 and studying their brochure the same accommodation we're staying in would cost £750 in the height of the summer. Late as usual. Finish work at 5pm. Leave about 7pm after the usual rows about what to take and Do I have to go away with my family? It's so lame! We didn't hear that sentence said again when 15 year old found out how many pretty young girls were there, hardly saw him after that. 9pm and we're just in. Boys unpack. DH sorts out kitchen and food. I sort out DD and me. Not sure how I always end up with the short straw. Bathroom is just too skanky for words, photos taken to share with P. Even with 3 teenage boys our bathroom never looks like that. Did not bode well for the weekend if P thinks it's okay to house guests in accommodation like that. Did we sleep well? Kids yes, us no. Put-you-up was an experience. Fine if you needed to reduce high b.p. or slow down a bleed, but can't think of any other reason why your head should be lower than your legs in bed. Mum we got ants. Considering we had left nothing out, one must assume they were around the night before but we hadn't spotted them. An empty glass of a generic cream liquer more commonly known as Baileys left out on Saturday night sorts them out! Breakfast and we have a table for 6 in a 6 berth accommodation with 4 chairs. Surprised? Not really. Empty milk bottles and tins. Boys go put these in the recycling bin...can't find one....go look beyond the end of the your nose....still can't find one. And they are actually right. We are in the 21st century when the environment is a major news source and P do not offer recycling. So we brought it home. Footy was fun and organised. Sat PM DS3, DD, DH and me all decide to go swimming. Nice and clean, not too busy. Small separate shallow pool. Perfect for DD and her Special Needs. Well, glad we got in with her, as the lifeguards paid very little attention to the baby pool. We were the only parents in there. Others were watching from the tables.At no time did they try and stop the group of 6-8 older boys who insisted on getting in, splashing and running in it, and getting out again. 8pm and the Kids Disco which we loved and the Blue Coats were fab. Can't begin to imagine how difficult it must be to be enthusiastic with half a dozen shy kids staring at you. Sunday AM and more footy. Note to self, must get DS2 a David Beckham alice band. PM and take DS3 and DD to play area. Equipment is varied and looked well maintained. Unlike the surrounds. Another photo to be disappointed with. Oh, while we're on photos, took one of and electricity junction box with the cover off. Sadly this wasn't the only one. DH watches footy at the Queen Vic - nice pint of Guiness and then brings us takeaway home. Now, I am a 1 in 10, and not in the UB40 sense of the phrase, but as in a vegetarian. And I hate to mention it again, but we are in the 21st c and P takeaway don't cater for veggies. So I had a portion of chips, and mustn't forget the onion rings, that made all the difference. All the males attend the football presentation and then it's Monday. Make sure apartment is clean and vacated by 10am. Hand back keys and get directions from helpful staff to Battle. Then last stop. Arcades to cash in tokens and get a cheap nasty gift that you could probably have bought 10 times over the amount spent on the not-anymore-penny machines. One hour and ten minutes later I am on the verge of erupting. You queue in true English fashion to feed the tokens into a machine which gives you a receipt for how many you had. You then queue again and swap said receipt for a cheap tacky something. So far so good. Now consider how much Joe Public likes the Arcades; and how many tickets you can collect in a weekend. Now think about Monday being a kicking out day. And that there is only 1 machine. Beginning to get the picture. We had 400 tickets as actually we can't afford to spend too much on the machines. The 5 or 6 kids directly in front of us had a similar amount. But the 4 kids in front of them had a carrier bag each, and their receipts were coming out at over 2000 each. So we queued and waited. Everybody queued and waited. The 2 people in the kiosk waited. Maybe I'm being a bit radical here, but wouldn't 2 machines be useful. Or the staff in the kiosk be allowed to count small amounts during peak periods. But hey, maybe there's other reasons, like getting us to spend more while we're waiting. Worked with DD as we bought her something to eat and drink whilst waiting. Was quite disappointed with her actually. She behaved so well, when I was secretly hoping she would have one of her mega tantrums. Kids, can't trust them. So final stop back to nice gentleman, and girl who decides to finish off private convo. Am I sure. Well, unless she likes to tell guests that she loves them loads, several times, I'm pretty sure. Nothing wrong with private calls, just maybe not in front of the guests, and especially those that have mentioned the Complaint word. He finds me an address. She says I should have mentioned in earlier. Excuse me, but nobody should have been put up in that room in the first place. So, letter winging its way, or maybe I'll just direct them here.

Then we went to Camber sands, which was very windy, so much so that DS1 and 2 refused to go on the beach. I thought I was breeding men, not tarts. Quick couple of photos - ever the scrapper - before Ella became the kite. Then to Battle where we found a lovely little tea shop, and took photos of the outside of the castle, too, too windy for words.

Altogether a lovely weekend, the P's fiasco didn't spoil the time away. And the only row all weekend was between DH and me - kids were fab :)
Thursday, May 03, 2007
So did you vote yesterday? If not, why not? Well unless you're under 18, or your local council didn't have by-elections there's no excuse. Suffragettes enabled women to vote, and many countries on this earth don't have freedom of speech, let alone the opportunity to vote. So I strolled off and voted. I love the anonymity, no seriously, you put your x's in the squares, but the officials record which ballot slip you've used. Never sat well with me that. But apparently I can't vote unless they record which slip they gave me, like I say, love the anonymity. Which leads nicely onto why the need to be anonymous. If you can't put your name to something you shouldn't pen it. Put up or shut up springs to mind. Which leads to betraying confidences. Stand up and own up. We're only on this planet for such a brief period, why would anyone want to spend it miserable and sour, and just plain nasty to others.
Monday, April 30, 2007
Just a quickie for today. Did this on a forum recently. List 10 weird facts about yourself.

  1. I was due on the 13th and I was 13 days late.
  2. Jeff calls me a witch as I have a touch of ESP, but especially during stressful periods of my life.
  3. I have seen my Guardian Angel, and other ghosts and sensed spirits.
  4. I hate flying with such a passion that I actually disembarked after our luggage was on the plane, but I do suffer from claustrophobia.
  5. I have a really loud, dirty laugh.
  6. I have been engaged twice and married twice, not to the same two fellas!
  7. My wedding ring was silver and cost £5 as that was all we could afford.
  8. I have a habit of leaving things in the fridge that have been in my hand when I'm opening the fridge.
  9. I once sang 2 duets on stage. Never again, truly scary.
  10. I snogged Ringo Starrs son, Zak.

Okay, anybody else gonna share? :)

Saturday, April 21, 2007
Where to begin since I last blogged. Just me, or does anyone else think that sounds gross.
  • 2 governor meetings.
  • 1 trade fair.
  • 2 rep visits.
  • 1 purchase of a ribbon print system, which is so cool, but can't be used yet because my laptop doesn't run the necessary software. I may have had it about 7 years, and it may have been second hand when I bought it! But it's still working so I see no reason to replace it. No, instead a letter is on it's way to the ribbon people for forgetting to advise me what was needed before I parted with my pennies.
  • 3 school football matches.
  • 2 scrapping evenings round at a friends.
  • My closest friend has had yet more surgery on her wrist :( Lots of {{{hugs}}} Joy xx
  • Ben off to France for 10 days to visit his cousin and family. His first flight. Luckily my fear of flying hasn't infected him. He loved it. And the holiday. Well what choice. 10 days here stuck behind the computer with typical english weather. Or 10 days in France with the favourite cousin, huge garden, fresh air and 2 plane trips.
  • Other 2DS's and DH cleared off to Holland for 5 days over the Easter weekend. Wasn't impressed with the timing, but did enjoy chilling with just me and DD. Loads of tv watching, scrapping, chocolate eating, lazy doing nothing days.
  • All day crop at MJ's Crop Circle, always fun :)

Saving the best till last :)

  • My dear, dear, friend Suzanne got through to the last 3 of an international scrapping competition. You rock girl :)
  • Shop's been picking up lately. This week has been the best non-sale week ever :)

And the Grand Finale?

  • Up till Thursday just routine everyday stuff. But, OMG, yesterday I was approached with the most amazing business opportunity. At the moment I'm in a bit of a daze - understatement! Trying not to get too excited cos it's such early days. But it would change our lives beyond recognition. Have only discussed it with step-mum, who's doing the rational thinking. And with DH's shifts we haven't even had a chance to talk about it. Watch this space ......
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Get woken up by DH's alarm going off at 4am. Drop back off to sleep. 6am and DS1's alarm goes. Doze. 6.30 am DD crawls into bed and ask me to put cbeebies on. Have a cuddle and a chat. Alarm goes at 7am. Why do I bother to even set it? Get up and wake up Josh and Ben. Sort out clothes for DD and me. Call Josh and Ben. Shower and hairwash with DD. Ritual nit check. Wrap DD in towel. I dress. Then I dress DD, she couldn't do it on her own. No time to pretty her hair so a ponytail will have to do. Take DD downstairs. Sort out breakfast for her. Clean and refill Goodsphere. Shout at Josh and Ben to shift themselves, Mum can I have some money. No. Okay, I'm off to school. Only 7.30, but somehow he'll still manage to be late for tutor. Collect washing scattered around the house. Empty washing machine. Hang clothes. Clean DD. Packed lunches for 3. Ben, have you taken your tablet? Mum I need this form filling in. Ok, when does it have to be in by? Today. Mutter under breath. 3 forms and a cheque to complete in 5 mins. Adam knocks. Could you get Ben's bike out hunny to save time? He's like an extra son, but helpful! Clean table. Coat on DD. Bus arrives for her. Ben and Adam leave. Ben and Adam come back. Ben forgot PE kit. Find kit. Ben and Adam leave. Josh wants a lift to school. Take to school. Come home. Collect washing up scattered around the house. Fill dishwasher. Wash a few bits by hand. Sort out recycling. Put kettle on - at last. Fill washing machine. Check upstairs, windows shut, loos flushed, computers and lights off, beds made and curtains open. Make cuppa and bowl of porridge. Have my breakfast while I check online banking and the Pad. Reply to emails. Sort out post. Go to work and it's still only 9.15am.

Roll out of bed. Dress. Eat. Watch tv. Play on computer. Go to school.

Can I be a child again please!
Monday, March 26, 2007
Football, football, football. Another weekend, must be football. Too tired for anything so sleep. Sadly during the England-Italy Under 21's, which was pretty good. Had tried to get tickets to go see it, but was unlucky. Should have fallen asleep during the England-Israel game. Yawn making. Supposed to go out with a couple of girlfriends. I couldn't even get dressed today, let alone get dressed up to go out on the razz. Clocks go forward, like I haven't lost enough sleep this week. Not helped by DS1 going out with girlfriend to celebrate her birthday. Don't wait up mum I've got a key. You're 15, I don't think so. Half past one he sneaks in, explains why he didn't want me staying up. Now..punishment.. Find bath paints in DD's bedroom, so DH uses them with her at bathtime. Glad he got to bath her. Thought I'd give my bedroom a blitz. You know what thought did. So not a good idea. Still cleared away some very old nail polish- my God, did I ever wear some of those colours! And some contact lenses which expired in 2004. Could be the reason my eyes keep getting bloodshot. Three carrier bags later I'm quite proud of myself. Well, sort of, cos let's be honest all that crap should be cleared out regularly. And then Monday and back at work. We have a Starbucks just opened :) so anyone that want's a coffee, and you're in Ascot, count me in :)

Highlight of the weekend - had to be DS1 getting a red card at footy. He is indignant. DH says it should have been a yellow. Other dads advise DH they had a sweepstake as to when DS1 would get a red card, and the absolutely outside bet was Under 12's, not Under 15's! So what does that tell you? I am so proud of him. Not cos he received a red card, but because her has only just received one. Not bad for a teenager with ADHD :)
Friday, March 23, 2007
Oops! I did it again, or rather didn't. Yet again. 1 half-term; 2 weeks of sickness; 3 trade fairs; 4 buying trips; and a partridge in a pear tree. And February came and went.

And now we're March. Weather still very British. Boys still playing football. DD still playing up. Me still running around like a blue ***** fly. Nothing changes except the name of the month.

Highlights since I last blogged:
  • Beths Crop. Got to spend the day with Anna. Met Beth and Jan again. And Maria for the first time. And some other peeps. And had a relaxing enjoyable day.
  • Continued to meet up with one of my closest friends who I lost touch with. Men, nuff said. Lots of drunken evenings have been spent. Luckily DH has always adored her so no problems with said drunken evenings.
  • Cinema with Joy. Saw Music and Lyrics. Okay, so the script was predictable and there were no special effects. But £6 to watch Hugh Grant wiggle his tush is money well spent in my books.
  • Scrapping with friends.
  • DD dressing up for Red Nose Day. In DH's England tee-shirt, belted at the middle with tights and cowboy boots. She met the criteria, Big, Red and Bling, but looked really trendy with it. Photo? Ahem, bad mummy. I'll have to dress her up again and pretend. Speaking of RND, one of the funniest in years.
  • Kirsty held a mini challenge on the Pad and you had to scrap your mess. I won, but rumour has it it wasn't the fantastic LO, it had more to do with the upturned table.

Lowlights. Err, money, goes without saying. And Ella waking me up at 5.30 most mornings. And money. And, let's not forget money.

So, not a bad time at the moment.

Saturday, February 24, 2007
The best laid plans and all that...Half-term booked off to spend with the kids. 1 x night out. 1 x visit to friends. 1 x friend visiting and going out for the day. Days out with the kids. Dad and Sandras for a meal and leave the kids for a couple of days. Sound good? I thought so too. Reality. One night out - check. Too much to drink, great fun. Friend visiting with kids - check. Did we go out. Of course not. It's half term so the British weather performed in true style and rained for most of the day. Did manage a Frankie and Benny's though and it was still lovely to get together, just a shame we couldn't get out anywhere. And for the rest a big fat NO. DS2 developed the lurgy first. Temp of 39 and pretty ropey. Very kindly passed it around the rest of us. Can't say he doesn't share. DD has even had the whole of this week off poor love. I stayed in my PJ's for 3 days. Of course still had business appointments - and for those I did dress. So a buying trip to London, when we both had temps of 39 was not the highlight of the week. Especially when it took 2.5 hours to get home. And a round trip to the NEC finished me off.

Center Parcs for the girls. Kept putting off booking it. Waiting for a date for a event called Scrap Trap. Finally book CP for October, then hear ST will also be in Oct. Now that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is what is known as sods law.

So that sums up the last 2 weeks. Not been anywhere exciting; not done much expect nurse poorly peeps; and taken no photos. Oh, and can someone please tell me how it can possibly be March next week.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007

No stopping me now. A few photos from the snow last week :)
Monday, February 12, 2007

So far so good. All footy was cancelled so that has to be a good thing. Went out round a friends Sat evening and drank a bottle of red wine and sang very badly on Song Star, but as I was merry didn't care. Blitzed my scrap stuff. Getting there. Today spent a lovely day with Suzanne and her children. Very chilled. Didn't do much except chat and drink, no, sadly tea and coffee, no alcohol, said we'd save that for next time. Did have dinner at Frankie & Bennys. DS3 and her son got on very well. DD was her usually mixed bag, nice one minute, mean the next. Need to work on that.

BUT, Suzanne taught me a few tricks on here, so, can now do links in the words AND I can upload photos. So the above are some from today :)

Saturday, February 10, 2007
Why do we put ourselves through the stress of motherhood? Several years ago, when DS2 was 8 or 9 he went missing one Sunday evening. Unless you've had a child go AWOL you could not imagine the physical pain and anguish you go through. 3 hours of hell I will never forget. You go through the not being where they're supposed to be; being late home; not contactable; having family and friends scouring the town; to deciding the police is the only way forward. When you find them, playing happily in the woods behind a friends garden, completely oblivious to everything, all you want to do is hug then for eternity. Fast forward to DS3, who's 11, but not as street-wise as all of his big brothers. So school finishes at 1.30 because of the snow. 4.30 and the others have been and gone, but not him. Of course he's left his phone at home. 5pm make a couple of phone calls. 5.30 getting anxious. It's not late, but it has been 4 hours since school closed. Send DS2 out looking with his mates. 6.15, and it's dark, he strolls through the door. And where have you been? Round at A's playing. Do they have a phone? Yes,why? Oh I don't know, maybe so you could have let me know where you were. Not as stressful as the last time, but it headed that way. So, he's gone away with the school on a trip this weekend, so I've saved his grounding and anything else I can think of till he gets back.

What else. We had snow! Took some fab photos, really must master uploading photos on here. DD's school shut for 2 days, so Thursday decided not to open shop. Couldn't honestly see a huge amount of people out and about. DS1's girlfriend got bundled by some prats poor love. Came home and went straight in nice hot bath. Friday DH was off so he had DD duty and I went to work. He decided to make homemade pizza. Slight hiccup. All the dough stuck to the greaseproof paper. Apparently if you plan to heat the greaseproof paper you should grease it! Go figure.

Busy half term planned. Hoping to visit Jeanette today, still poorly :( Then alcohol tonight with Julie:) May take DD to the cinema, depends if she stops crying sometime today. Sunday DS1 has a footy match. Monday DD, DS3 and me get to spend the day with the LOVELY Suzanne and her kids. Tuesday dentist :( Liz's in the evening for a scrap! Wednesday up to London buying for Quiksilver. Thursday boys to dads. So I'll update probably Friday!

Have a good half term xx
Monday, February 05, 2007
Happy February :) Got reprimanded at the weekend for not updating blog. What can I say? Life and all that. This time of year is manic for fashion retailers. We have Christmas; January sale stock going out; new stock coming in; ordering for next season........deep breath.....VAT; end of year accounts and self-assessment. And as DH says, if I stuck a broom where the sun doesn't shine I could sweep the floor as well! And that's just work.

Still, sorry Miss, will try harder. But because of the above, and that I'm doing a round trip to a trade fair tomorrow, which means 14 hours non-stop, this is a short post. So, will share this gem :)

At Center Parcs last year, listening to Meatloaf. Had several drinks working their magic. Song is Two out of Three Aint Bad and I am in stitches. Eventually agreed to share story. Long time ago used to sing this to a boyfriend who had, oh God, how to share, Performance Anxiety. So I rewrote the words for him to I want you, I love you, but there aint no way I'm ever going to **** you. For some reason my girlfriends seemed to think that probably didn't help the situation!
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Going to bed early is good for you. Early to bed, early to rise, makes a (wo)man healthy, wealthy and wise. Could do with all of those. I can do that. Two days later, no I cant. Whoever made up that saying did not have a DH that works a late shift coming home at silly o'clock and waking me with his cold feet. Neither could he - had to be a he - have a 15 yr old that needs to be dragged home from the (lovely) girlfriend; a 14 yr old that has never needed sleep; an 11 yr old that's just, well, 11; and an 8 yr old with SN that doesn't believe in going to bed!

So my good intentions last, what, 2 days. But I'm not failing, just delaying the start date. My new mantra for anything I fail at. So fall asleep just after midnight. Beep.Beep. Beep. or some other irritating noise wakes me up at 5.30am. Sorry mum, set my alarm wrong. Under my breath the words of Mutley from Dastardly and Mutley fame springs to mind. Out loud, s'okay, go back to sleep. Morning mummy. No hunny go back to sleep it's too early. Cbeebies? No, it's too early even for Cbeebies. There is a merciful God! Both go back to sleep. D (or not so D at that precise moment) H never even woke. Lay there trying to go back off, which we all know is pointless. Then start planning all the things that could get done if I only got out of bed, and yet still I lay there. Why do that? One of those questions on a par with what's the answer to life, the universe and everything. When the house eventually stirs normal chaos ensues. And strops - my God, how are teenagers so good at that. Off to work. Mid-afternoon took part in a long text chat with a dear friend that both DH and I wubs very much, who was feeling low - and can't say I blame her I would too if I were her. So impromptu visit straight after work with flowers. Laughter followed, rather a lot, tears streaming down our faces. Laughter really is the best medicine. Whenever Jeanette and I get together the topic of convo always reached sewer level. "Aha!" those that have listened to J and I when we're together "makes perfect sense". So in a few weeks if you see a couple of woman, 1 in a wheelchair and 1 pushing, laughing inanely; behaving totally inappropriately; and quoting 'want that one' please stop us and *tell us to act our age/introduce yourself/join in. *Delete as appropriate.

Get home. Take away. I know. I know. DIET. But I shouldn't think I put any weight on. I felt decidedly yeuck. TMI? Football on the telly. Could Liverpool play any worse than they did last Sat at home against Arsenal in FA Cup. Yes they could. Too painful to watch. DH give me a lift to Jaqs please. Okay, but no staying out till 1 in the morning. As if. I mean, 12.45am isn't quite 1am is it. No I didn't think so either. Had a lovely evening with a group of friends. Argued. Put the world to right. Laughed. And sadly cried. Not going into details, but remember 3 words can destroy a person. And you may have to explain your actions to Him one day.

Ending on a brighter note. DDH is a gem. DH would you mind if I booked another weekend away. Got 3 organised already. Yes. Well not yes. Text actually said (ok, yes, I'm a coward I texted to ask) Yeah, course, but you owe me big time in any shape and size I choose. Bit worried about what he means. Answers on a postcard to 'S**t Suzanne what have you let yourself in for.'
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Not a big post, just didn't want today to pass by without me acknowledging it. It's been a year since a dear friend lost her fight with cancer and I just wanted to say hope you're keeping Him busy up there :) I can't get to the crem, but I shall be lighting a candle tonight for you. And to anyone else out there that's lost someone, just spend a couple of minutes today reminiscing about the good times, it helps x
Saturday, January 06, 2007
Happy New Year! Not as it feels much different. I mean one night doesn't exactly change much does it? Except a date. Christmas? Now Christmas I love. NY is highly over-rated (NY = New Year, not New York, I'm sure that isn't over-rated!) Went out New Years Eve, I know, hypocrite! But boys are getting older and just cos we're boring old farts, doesn't mean they are! Music, food and dancing -all DD could ask for, then at 11.20pm, BANG! just like that she got tired. So we took her home and let the boys stay at the party. Thank God as it turned out, DS1 and one of his cousins decided to sing a duet on the karaoke. I keep telling him he's tone deaf, but of course teenage boys know everything!

Sale has started at the shop. Bugaboo Gecko reduced from £475 to £325. £150 saving just because it's the shop model. Bargain, or so you'd think! "oh, that's a good saving, I do like it, will let you know". 24 hours later. "Would you accept £200" Okay, didn't say the following, but should have said "Why would I?! Would you go to M&S and say, I know my bills come to £100, but will £20 do!"

And a final note.. New Years resolutions?....NO!