Friday, December 28, 2007


Yesterday we went on our yearly sales expedition. Normally Ryan and I go alone at 6am, but as Pete was working all three children had to go and so we left at the more respectable time of 7am. I got everything I wanted for the kids, and even managed to treat myself to a new top. Ryan spent all his Christmas and birthday money too, so he was happy. Why he needed three tops that were almost identical I will never know.

I also got Isobel her school uniform as she starts on January 8th. Doesn't she look grown up?

I took these of Isobel just now, as she was going to bed. I have to put up a real fight to get any nice pictures of her as she hates the camera. The fast shutter speed of my new one is making it a little easier though.

I woke up in a foul mood today, and managed to piss Pete off before he left for work, so that should be fun when he gets home.

I only moaned about never having a day off or any time to myself, and how stressful and frankly not particularly enjoyable Christmas was for me this year. I did everything(while everyone else enjoyed their holiday and ate yummy food and read their new books and watched TV), and he took it as a personal affront and got the hump. I may just not bother next year and let them all organise it. We are all too scared to say anything around Pete at the moment, he is just so miserable at work that we have to walk on eggshells all the time.

I told him this would happen if he went back to working in retail, but I'd rather be wrong than right in this case. I'd love him to be enjoying it. :(

Thursday, December 27, 2007

New Bikes

The kids took their new bikes for a test drive yesterday. Ryan hasn't got his new one yet, he's getting it for his birthday next week, so he had to make do with his old one.

Isobel couldn't figure out how to peddle at first, but after a bit of a lesson and some coaxing she figured it out.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


I hate the few days after Christmas, the feeling of it being over for another year is so depressing. I'd love to rewind to Christmas eve and do it all again.

We had our karaoke party and were all very sensible and didn't drink too much, and went to bed at 1am. I got up at 5am to put my giant turkey on, thinking it was going to take 6 hours to cook, when in fact it only took 3 and a half. I have no idea why it cooked so quickly, as our oven is notoriously slow(it takes an hour just to cook oven chips). I'm thinking we slipped into a time warp or something. The kids had their sacks from Santa at about 8am, and fro then on it was a mad rush to cook dinner. I had a spud emergency, so had to start them from scratch, thus adding 30 minutes onto my cooking time and making dinner late. I boiled them for about 5 minutes too long because I was speaking to my Uncle Victor in Australia, and turned them into soggy mash. It turned out nice in the end though.

The present unwrapping took precisely 32 minutes, which is ridiculous considering the amount. I think that was solely down to Isobel's speed unwrapping though. She whizzed through each one in record time and went on to the next.

Unfortunately, this means that we have no idea who bought what for who, so will be sending out very vague thank you notes to everyone. She has slowed done a bit now though, and is spending more time appreciating each present.

Of course, the happiest family member of all is Malley...

...who managed to eat her own body weight twice over in turkey.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

The last two days have been madness, trying to get organised, but now I am actually chilling out on Christmas Eve. This has to be a first. I think it's because the house is already tidy, which meant I could scratch about 8 or 9 jobs off my list before I'd even started. We got the majority of our food shopping on Saturday evening, but had to pop to Tesco yesterday to get the last few bits(why do the shops always sell out of Advocaat and single cream every year?), and were shocked when we realised how much money we'd spent in total on food. Two hundred and fifty pounds! Seems a tad excessive doesn't it? But someone kindly pointed out to me(thanks Mim!), that is actually only about £30 a head as we are feeding eight people for both the Christmas dinner and the evening buffet. Realising that made me feel a little better. I've prepared all the food that can be done in advance, and we have the neighbors coming round with their four children for a get together tonight, and then we are almost there.

I nearly forgot, I got asked for ID when I tried to buy champagne yesterday in Lidl. I almost died. He let me off eventually(must have looked a little closer and seen the wrinkles). There was me worrying about tiptoeing closer to 30 every day, and he wanted ID. It made my Christmas anyway.

Anyway, I hope everyone enjoys their holidays, whatever they are doing or celebrating.

Friday, December 21, 2007


While we were preparing for my Dad & Pauline to come over on Thursday evening for dinner, Isobel fell and smashed her head on the rocking chair arm. She'd split her eyebrow/forehead clean open, it looked like a boxing injury. It was pretty scary, very deep and wide and you could see bone. I scooped her up, left the boys indoors to let my Dad know what had happened(Pete was on his way home from work anyway), and rushed to the hospital thinking it'd just need a few quick stitches. She was a little star, she never once complained about pain, but she is a bit scared of blood so we had to keep it covered for her. We ended up staying over night in a bed on the children's ward, then waited for 20 hours to see a plastic surgeon as it was so bad. Here is the end result, looking much less horrific than before. It was so bad initially that people actually gasped when they saw it.


Isobel loved every minute of it, the nurses all fell in love with her no-nonsense attitude and prickly temperament, and she came out from the anaesthetic OK(and in a foul mood). She couldn't say operation at first, and kept calling it her decoration instead, and soon all the nurses were calling it that too.

It has put my Christmas preparations back by two days though.

Strangely, I think we may have had our first ghostly visit from Nan today. She must be here looking after her. When I put Isobel to bed her wardrobe door was open, where Pete had grabbed some clothes earlier to bring to the hospital. I closed it, read her a story, turned the light off and had my usual cuddle and chat with her, than I remembered she hadn't had her medicine. I went outside the bedroom and grabbed it, and when I got back she was still in bed but her wardrobe was open again. Spooky. I mentioned it to Pete and he said he thought he'd smelt her perfume around the house today as well. At least she's looking out for her.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Snowman

Mentioning this in my Christmas Meme below made me want to go look for it on You Tube. I'm only posting the best bit, but if you want to watch all of it there is a copy of it on You Tube. If you've never seen this you must watch it. It is the embodiment of childhood innocence for a lot of people my age(and younger and older too). It's been aired every Christmas since(not sure if it will be this year though). It's haunting and beautiful, and makes me cry every time I see it. It just wouldn't be Christmas without it.

Christmas Meme

I got this Christmas Meme over on Kate's Blog.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? - Has to be wrapping paper. I'd love to be more environmentally friendly and not use anything at all, but I just can't bring myself to do that to the kids. At least I recycle.

2. Real tree or artificial? - I'd prefer a real one, but we have had a fake one for the last 7 years. The one year we got away with a real one was our first year in this house, when we had no carpets down. I became firm friends with the broom that year.

3. When do you put up the tree? - December 1st.

4. When do you take the tree down? - When I get time in the first week of January.

5. Do you like eggnog? - Isn't eggnog a bit like Advocaat? I like that, so maybe I'd like eggnog. Hmmmmm...

6. Favorite gift received as a child? - My Dad helped me build an aviary one year. I saved up my wages from my paper round to pay half and he paid for the rest. I got a lot of joy out of it for many years. I bred zebra finches, and kept my chickens in the bottom.

7. Do you have a Nativity scene? - No, I don't have a mantel to put ornamenty type things on, and I'm not Christian, so would look like a bit of an idiot. I'm sure Taylor would love it(he loves anything bible-related).

8. Hardest person to buy for? - My dad and stepmum. They have everything they could ever want, and are a bit weird. I have to get stranger and more unusual things for them every year. I keep raising the bar and it's getting harder and harder. Plus their birthdays fall either side of Christmas, so I have four presents to find instead of two.

9. Easiest person to buy for? - Taylor. If it has racing cars involved, he is happy.

10. Worst Christmas Gift you ever received? - A bar of soap that my eccentric old aunt stole from a hotel and wrapped up for me. She was mad, and her presents did bring us a lot of laughs, so I guess it wasn't all bad.

11. Mail or email Christmas cards? - Either

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? - Not really a movie, but it has to be The Snowman.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? - November.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? - I don't think so.

15. Favorite thing to eat/drink at Christmas? - Christmas dinner. I love cooking it, and eating it, even though I don't eat meat.

16. Clear lights or coloured on the tree? - Clear.

17. Favorite Christmas song? - Fairytale of New York. I detest all other Christmas songs.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? - Stay at home, the family come here.

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? - I can only ever remember Blitzen and Vixen.

20. Angel on the tree top or a Star?- A star

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning? - Neither, we have sacks in the morning and the big tree presents get opened after lunch.


Well, I survived the late night out clubbing for Pete's 36th Birthday.


I can barely walk today, I need to get my bad back and hips seen to.

We went to Fabric in Farringdon, London. We hadn't been before, so ended up not being able to find it at first. It took us two hours. Once inside, I couldn't believe the size of it, it was like an airport, and there were staff everywhere collecting empty bottles and directing queues of people. They even had staff in the loos directing you to empty stalls. It was bizarre. We went in room one which was the House room, and tried to stick with it for about two hours, but the DJ's were just awful. We decided to try room 2, the Techno room, and I'm so glad we did as it was much better. We ended up leaving at 7am, and as we walked out people were still queueing up to come in.

So that's Pete's birthday over for another year. I got him a new Portsmouth football shirt and the kids got him books and DVDs. Christmas is next on the list, only a week to go.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


I sneaked my camera out to take some photos outside the other day, Pete would smack my hand if he knew. These were taken at 3pm, I couldn't believe how low the sun was on the horizon.

And one of Taylor and Isobel for good measure.

That is it now until Christmas. I promise.

Work was great today. Not only was the office quiet(meaning I could play Scrabulous on Facebook all day), but my boss gave us all our stack of Christmas goodies. He gives us a mountain of wine, spirits and chocolate every year. It saves me a fortune...if it makes it to Christmas day intact that is. I've drunk a bottle of the wine already.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

My camera has arrived. The mortgage went through. That is all. :D

Taylor has his school play tonight, so if Pete is very kind he may let me use my new camera.

I took this incredibly cute picture of Isobel this morning, sadly NOT with my new camera.

Monday, December 10, 2007


Taylor had an abscess behind one of his front teeth today, so had to stay off school to visit the dentist. Apparently, it's come up in response to some kind of trauma, like banging heads with a friend(likely!), or a knock. I do vaguely remember him moaning that he'd banged it a week or so ago...

Having all three at home while trying to do work has been a nightmare(how do you other home educators do it with different age children?). Taylor wanted to join in, but I've been very conscious of not making it too fun, in case he decides he wants to leave school and be home educated. He loves school and goes to a good one, so I really don't want him to be at home. Plus, he's hard to teach as he lacks concentration and gets frustrated easily. I think I'll leave him to the teachers for now! Ryan started a project on the Romans while we were at the dentists, then we all did some chemistry experiments and maths together this afternoon. Isobel did what she does best and was a royal pain all day.

I will leave you with a picture of me with my colleague Carol, taken when we were out for our meal on Friday.

Sunday, December 09, 2007


Yet again I haven't updated all week, naughty me. I have been really ill this week, the sickest I've felt in about 10 years. I've had this cold that's been doing the rounds and I'd just managed to shake it, but then sitting out in the rain for Taylor's football last Sunday sent it straight to my chest and I could barely breathe on Thursday. I've done it again today, sat out in the rain and wind, so it'll probably be back with a vengeance tomorrow.

Plus, all my time on the Internet is taken up with work planning for Ryan(I'm not complaining, I love doing it), so the blog is being neglected. I'm planning on doing Physics with Ryan tomorrow, which should be fun(note the sarcasm). Biology and Chemistry I can handle, Physics, not so much. I'm sure I'll be back blogging and boring you with photos when I get my new camera, which is winging it's way to me as we speak. Do I have it before Christmas day and have nothing to open? Surely I need it to take pictures of the kids opening their presents on the day, so it will need to be charged? Am I just telling myself that because I don't want to wait any longer and am desperate to play with it?

We had our visit from the Local Education Authority on Tuesday, which went really well. He said we are one of the most organised families he's visited recently, we seem to be covering a lot of work and Ryan is enjoying it. His badminton coaching is coming along really well too, he's been moved up to another class as the other one was too easy for him. I bought him his own racket on Saturday, he was really pleased with it.

We went out for my Christmas meal with work on Friday, it was rubbish. The company was great, food and service were poor. The drinks were warm, our plates were being brought out with spaces of 15 minutes in between, so as one of the party finished another was just starting. I didn't mind too much, but my colleagues husband can be a bit volatile(lovely bloke, but hates to be messed around!), and he was moaning like a drain. I felt a bit sorry for her as she looked really embarrassed. As far as I'm concerned Friday nights are for sitting at home with a bottle of wine. I hate going out on Fridays now. God, I'm getting old. We are out clubbing for Pete's birthday next weekend, I don't know how I'm going to survive it!

There is still no news on this house, we are just leaving it up to fate. Whatever happens we will be moving from here after our holiday next summer, whether we will be renting this place out to someone else or walking away from it altogether. I did more shopping on Saturday and still feel like I'm not getting anywhere with it. I still have Taylor and Isobel's main presents to get yet. We are getting Taylor one of those huge Lego City sets, and Isobel is having a keyboard., I'm sure I'll regret that little purchase after ten minutes of listening to her bang on the keys.

Monday, December 03, 2007


Well, Taylor's football team finally won a game! This is their first season playing together, so it's taken a while to come together. They've all been chopped and changed around on the field playing in different positions, and it seems like something has finally clicked. They won 2-0, and played really well. Their little faces when they came off were a picture, it was lovely to see. You know what it's like, if you do well and get that confidence boost, you are more likely to do well the following week. I hope it continues to get better for them.

I did a big chunk of my shopping on Saturday, but I won't feel happy until it's all done. I've got to wait until my payday now, a whole two weeks! Yesterday was Harvey's birthday party, they all behaved surprisingly well for a house full of toddlers, and Isobel had a good time.

Here she is with a rather phallic looking balloon animal:

Friday, November 30, 2007


Whew...that's another week over and done with. Things have calmed down now, we are leaving the house thing in the hands of fate. Worrying about it won't change it. It'll either go through this week before the offer runs out on the 6th, or it won't. It's out of our hands. I don't really want to buy this place, too much needs to be done to it. I can see that it puts us on to a path where we can buy a bigger house a few years down the line, but I want to move away now and if the mortgage goes through we are stuck here. I'd be happier walking away and renting for the rest of my life, if it got me out of here sooner, but Pete has a thing about us having property to leave to the kids.
I finally get to go Christmas shopping tomorrow. I am irrationally excited. I've also nearly got all my Secret Santa and Gift Exchange stuff ready to go next week. I am itching to get the tree up too, but I have to buy a new one first! I threw our ratty old tree out last year. It had served us well, it only cost £20 and had lasted 6 years, but it was looking a bit threadbare.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

More stress

I have to apologise for missing my Musical Monday post again, I'm having a crappy week and can't think of anything. Our mortgage was due to complete yesterday and we think the broker is up to something dodgy as it's being held up.
We have a mortgage company, a solicitor, the council(whom we are buying from), and this Right to Buy broker. We've been trying to call the broker since Friday with no luck(dodgy?), then we called the Council today and they said that it hadn't completed by their records. Then, we cut out the middle man and called the mortgage company directly, who said that the funds had transferred. Then finally the broker called us and said the mortgage company(who we'd just spoken to) had withdrawn the mortgage, but, they could provide us with another one which would be a higher payment every month, but we couldn't borrow any extra on top to renovate. Why would the mortgage company tell us the funds had been released if they'd changed their minds? Hmmmmm. Anyway, Pete was so pissed off he started throwing things and stormed off. I wanted to murder him for being an arse in front of the kids. We have no idea what is going on. Bugger. :(

Sunday, November 25, 2007


I can't stand it anymore, I just want to escape to somewhere where we won't be bothered by all the arseholes out there. A hut in the mountains or something. Well, maybe not that remote, but you know what I mean. When we are left to our own devices and it's just us, or a handful of our friends, we are so happy. The only time we have any problems, ever, it's outside influences.
Friday night I was getting ready to go out, just about to jump in the bath, when Ryan comes pelting in shouting for me to phone the police as his friend Matt had been attacked. Apparently, a few days ago Matt asked these lads that have been giving Ryan grief for ages to leave him alone(the ones whose parents houses we had to go to a few weeks back). He wasn't nasty, he's a lot bigger than Ryan and a bit older, and he just said they were being unfair as Ryan hasn't done anything wrong. So, they decided to get their older brothers to attack him with an iron bar. The police came to us, we went round to Matt's(where he was OK, just covered in welts where they had whacked him). he didn't want to press charges, he was worried about repercussions on us and them, but the police said they had to anyway and he had no choice. I felt bad for phoning the police and basically forcing him, but you can't let people get away with this stuff. The police said they'd be arresting the lad over it, they could have killed Matt.

I'm at the end of my tether, seriously. It isn't just here where I live, it's everywhere. You can't do anything to fight it, the police are powerless really. If there are any of you out there with little kids reading this, be very very afraid for their future. You can't protect them, even if you raise them right and teach them right from wrong, and steer them in the right direction. Our kids keep their heads down, don't ever cause trouble or get into fights. They hang around with a nice group of kids, but the horrible ones will be there waiting to attack them and bully them. :(

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Countdown to Christmas

It's only about 33 days to go now, I'm itching to put the tree up! I am also desperate to go Christmas shopping, I can't wait much longer. I'm normally half way there by now, and I haven't even started. Pete gets paid in a week, so I'm counting down the days til my shopping session.

We've had issues in the past with Isobel and school, the two just don't mix. Lately, she's shown signs of being ready, and as she starts at the local Infant/nursery after Christmas it's a good thing. We had her first look round last week and she really enjoyed it. We were supposed to go back this week and I was to leave her alone in the class for an hour while the parents had an intake meeting in the hall. I thought it was today, so she got all excited, and when we arrived it was yesterday! I felt terrible. :( I just hope her enthusiasm lasts until January.

I've just been preparing some work for Ryan tomorrow to do while I'm at work, and there are so many resources on the Internet. I feel like there is so much to learn about and not enough time. I'm glad most of it is free, it's saving me a fortune. I've just sorted out some geography work on rivers and erosion with a quiz at the end, and a project on water resources in the third world. He's got maths to do and an art project to finish too, so that should keep him busy. He started his badminton coaching this week, there is only four of them at the moment(it's a new class), but that means more coaching time per pupil. The coach is an ex-England player, and she said he has real potential. He beat the other 3 players in every game. He's only played it once before at school and loved it, so I'm pleased that she saw something in him worth working on.

Monday, November 19, 2007


Having only just recovered from Friday nights frivolities(I'm seriously getting too old for this), I am now dreading the coming weekend because we are visiting the same nightclub, which is crap, and I will be forced to drink the same drinks to drown out the music. Bluergh!

Today I was supposed to clear the garden after the frost finally finished off the last vestiges of green, but I couldn't be bothered. I was also supposed to be making apple crumble with some windfall apples, but again, I couldn't be bothered. I did, however, get lots done with Ryan. We did an hour of maths, some biology assessments(which told me that although he was in a top set at school and attaining level 6, he actually knows very little), and we spent almost two hours writing an essay on the book he just finished, Tulip Touch by Anne Fine. I read it myself this morning(in an hour, was very impressed with myself!), so I could understand where his essay was going. It was a good little book. I think a trip to the library may be in order tomorrow as it was nice and peaceful when he had his nose stuck in that book.

Anyway, on to the title of this post, I am aching. Not a fluey aching, but a bad back kind of aching. I've had a niggle in my pelvis/back since having Taylor, but it's never warranted a trip to the doctors so I've ignored it. Two weeks ago(or was it three?), something went twang and it's been giving me grief ever since. It feels like a cartilage problem, I can feel grinding going on, and I am a bit worried as osteoarthritis in the hip runs in my family. I'll have to stop procrastinating about it and make an appointment. Add that to the fact that my blood sugar keeps dropping way too low(my diabetic boss gave me the old finger prick test and proved it, my level was a 3 and should be a 4/5), and my tendonitis in my shoulder is preventing me from doing normal everyday things like ironing without pain, I'm feeling pretty old and creaky.

I'm not even thirty yet, and I'm ready for the scrapheap!

Lord of the Rings

We went to see The Lord Of The Rings musical at Drury Lane Theatre on Thursday, with my work. I took Ryan and my Mum with me, Ryan got a spare ticket due to a cancellation at the last minute, and seeing as it's quite educational going to the theatre, I thought it would benefit him.

The show itself is spectacular, the music, singing, costumes, effects, audience participation...I could go on and on. It was quite simply one of the best shows I've seen. I adored Galadriel in it, and if you watch the clip here called
Lothlórien, you'll see why. She had an amazing voice.

I only had one complaint. Most musicals and plays I've seen, they build up the characters so that you actually care about them. You want them to succeed, to fall in love, to win whatever battle it is they are fighting. I always cry at some point in the theatre, and I just didn't with this. It was all so rushed, understandably the perils of squeezing so much into such a short space of time, so that I just didn't care whether Aragorn and Arwen got to live happily ever after, or not. I wasn't bothered when Sam married Rosie at the end. A shame, but it didn't make it any less enjoyable, it was just different to other shows that pull at the heart strings. It was more of a spectacle, and all in all very enjoyable. I don't suppose I'll ever see anything else quite like it.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Hungover. Still drunk. Some random man bought me and my friends a bottle of Moet. My friends didn't like it so I drank the lot. Room still spinning...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Feeling Positive

I felt like we had a really productive day yesterday. We've paid for an online maths tutorial, it covers all the year 9 work so that Ryan won't be missing out on anything, even if we are teaching him on paper too. Meleto are supposed to be releasing a science and english one too soon, it's well worth paying for(it works out at 25p a lesson or something). If any other home learning people see this and sign up, put me down as your referral(Claire Lane), as I get rewards!. We did that for an hour in the morning, even I learnt something, it was fab. Then we did an hour of english, retrieving facts from text. Then we did almost two hours of art, we started a project on vanishing points and perspective. This afternoon we watched the second part of the plant biology program and I set some more questions to make sure he is listening. All in all we got loads done. Today I'm taking Isobel to her school induction for two hours, so he needs to work alone. He's on his paper round at the moment, but I'm going to get him to read two chapters of his english reading book, then do some science modules on the PC.
Isobel is so excited about seeing her school today, which is a big change from the girl who hated it last April when we tried her at a local pre-school. I hope she keeps up the enthusiasm.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Rushed off my feet

I'm struggling to find time to come on here this week, I'm sure things will settle down soon. It's all change in our house right now.
We got confirmation that Isobel will be going to the school attached to Taylor's, so we are pleased with that. We have to go for a wander round on Wednesday, she seems quite excited. I wonder how long that will last!

I started home schooling Ryan today, and we've done loads. He said he's learned more today than in a week at school, so that's a positive. He did two modules of a science program on the PC this morning, about copper extraction and materials. Then we started a history project on the Spanish Armada, and started some work on poetry. Then we watched a program about seed transportation and I set him some questions afterwards. I popped down the town to get him some books from the library today, and while I was down there got some more art supplies and a chemistry set. He hasn't been able to do any experiments in science for about 18 months because of the classes bad behaviour, so we should have fun learning at home with that. It's been a good day really. I've ordered a huge bundle of books from Amazon, so when they arrive we can really get on with it.

We went to see my Dad and Pauline on Saturday, we had a lovely time but I felt a bit out of sorts all day, not quite with it, which has since been explained. I came down with a really bad cold on Saturday evening. I have since lost my voice, which everyone thinks is hilarious, and a bit of a bonus for everyone really as I talk too much. We took the kids down to the park, then on the way back they treated us to a Chinese. Isobel was extremely hard work(why is it I've got two children that were angels for eating out as little 'uns, but this third one is awful?), and I spent the whole meal trying to keep her quiet, get her to sit still etc. They gave us our wedding present, which I was extremely nervous about, and it ended up being fantastic! Why they had to leave me hanging like this for months and months I'll never know, if they couldn't afford it they should've just said, but it's done now and will come in handy. It is very much appreciated.

My friend Clairebear came over on Saturday night and we drank too much and watched crap on TV. She has finally met a decent bloke who looks after her, and it was nice to not be a shoulder to lean on and listen to her be upset about another arsehole who was ruining her life. It seems like she has finally caught a good one.

So that is all we've been up to really. Thankfully I feel a little more human today. I finally gave in yesterday and took some sinus medication to clear my head. I try to avoid it as it makes me hallucinate come bedtime. As I fell asleep so early(7.30pm) before the tablets actually kicked in, I just had awful dreams instead. Something to do with aliens that landed and liked to eat human fetuses. Not nice. I think I'll stick with my original thought and suffer the headache tonight.

Musical Monday #25

I'm not sure if this is in the charts, probably as I hear it quite a lot. It's just really catchy.

Ida Corr vs Fedde Le Grande ~ Let me think about it

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Look at this flood warning, it looks really scary! I hope it isn't too serious. I'm supposed to be seeing my Dad & Pauline in Maldon on Saturday.

Today we found out that there are no spaces in any schools for Ryan, so as it stands right now he's being home schooled. It's something we've talked about before and I'm happy to do it. We have the advisers from the local authority coming round next week. The schools don't have waiting lists, you have to call them once a month to see if they have spaces, so until then I'll be cracking the whip at home.

Taylor had his open evening tonight at school, he's above average for reading, writing and spelling, and average for maths, which we are so pleased with.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

What a life

I wish I was a cat.

That is all.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


It's been a school themed day.

We had to go to Ryan's school this morning for a meeting with the deputy head, as he got quite badly beaten up yesterday by the boys on the football team that were bullying him before half term. Last time, Ryan's form tutor took three days to even contact us about it, and when she did she was rude to me, and then nothing was done to rectify it. It's got much worse now, and the boys will be put into isolation and excluded for a week, but then what? I don't feel we should be giving them a third chance to try and sort it out. At what cost? What if the beating is more severe next time? The deputy was trying the force Ryan to say he was coming back into school, and he stood up for himself and said he was too scared and he won't be coming back. My main concern is that if we give it another chance, and six months down the line we end up in this situation again and have to move him then, he will have even less time to settle down before his exams start. We have said enough is enough, and pulled him out. Thankfully I called a school a few miles away and he has a lot of friends already there as he has played for Wickford Town Football Club for two years, and most of his team mates attend the school. His friend who lives locally also goes there. Now is the optimum time to move him and allow him to settle down before the pressure of exams start, and having a small social circle already in place there would only be a good thing.

Then, I called to find out about Isobel's school place, and the school is over subscribed and she might not get in. She has a good chance, having a sibling at the school already, but I've had to contact another school nursery just in case.

It's all fun and games!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Musical Monday #24

This is a classic clubbing tune, it just makes me want to go out and have a good dance.

Rui Da Silva ~ Touch Me

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Jimmy's Farm

On Saturday we went to Jimmy's Farm(it's featured in a TV series). They have a farmers market the first Saturday of the month and we fancied having a look round. We spent far too much money, but that is what we set out to do and the food is delicious. We bought some pheasant(had it for Sunday lunch today), some sausages and honey produced on the farm, cakes, local cider and some handmade chocolates.

In true Laney style I fell in love with the derelict farmhouse.

Feeding the ducks...

...and the chickens

We went for a walk in the woods and kept eating all the chestnuts off the floor. They're nicer roasted, but what the hell. We were all happily munching away until Taylor got a bad one. We all seemed less keen after that!

In the playground;

Finally, we got to meet Dolly, who if you watch the TV series you will know is the star of the show. He was a volunteer at the farm(although I believe he is now paid, and rightly so!). He is just as eccentric and enthusiastic about the place in real life as on the TV. We chatted about Guinea Pigs(they have a huge Guinea Pig Village there), and about his love of wild birds. He was just so excited to talk to us about what he loves doing, the atmosphere in the place is infectious and we all came away smiling.

And lastly, three day old piglets;

Friday, November 02, 2007


It's been a busy old week here. I met a work colleague for a coffee in town early on Tuesday morning, Isobel was so well behaved we were able to sit in a cafe for two hours having a chat. The pound I spent on that sticker book was money well spent! It was nice to catch up with her as she left our office for another department last November.

Wednesday was obviously Halloween, or Samhain for the other Pagans out there, so that brought with it the usual flurry of activity. I was gutted this year as I couldn't find a pumpkin anywhere. That was the first year in about 10 years that I haven't had one, it felt weird. The photo to the right is a few years old now. I'm temped to still buy one and carve it, just so I feel like I haven't missed out! We fancied a change so went to Jane's to do the trick or treating, and I was shocked at how much trouble they get where she lives. There were groups of boys with their hoods up lobbing eggs at everyone, they seemed to be everywhere, and the police were out in force. I've never seen that where we are.

My vampire and witch.

Last night Ryan came running in like a bat out of hell for the 3rd time this week saying that he had two lads after him. These two boys are part of his crowd of friends, and are bullies. They change their minds about who is to be beaten up every week, and this time around it's Ryan and another lads turn. The other lads parents are now banning him from leaving the house, as they are so sick of it. The bullies threatened to kick Ryan's face in last night, so we decided we'd had enough, and Pete and I went wandering around the estate for about an hour looking for them. We had no luck, so on we went to the parents.

We appeared to have some success with the first house, where we spoke to the stepdad, who made all the right noises and said he'd be punished and grounded when he got in etc. The second one's mother was clearly struggling with her son, the father doesn't live there anymore and she didn't even really tell him off, but did send him round to our house to apologise. He walked back with us and Pete gave him a talking to as he obviously needed one and wasn't going to get it at home. He didn't even apologise when he got to our house, so Pete shouted at him again to look up and get on with it, and he halfheartedly did. The first lad then turned up on the doorstep with his Mum about ten minutes later to apologise to Ryan, and he actually looked like he meant it. His Mum was all apologetic and said he wouldn't be coming out for a while or be hanging around with the other lad anymore.

Imagine my surprise tonight then, when I see the pair of them together up the shop. No wonder they behave like arseholes when their parents give in like that. If any of my kids were threatening others their feet wouldn't touch the ground. They would've been grounded and had Christmas taken away. Idiots. The parents deserve everything they get.

Monday, October 29, 2007


The stupidity knows no bounds.

Honestly, is it just teenage boys, or have we got a complete moron on our hands?

Ryan doesn't actually engage his brain, ever. Unless there is money involved of course, then you might see a flicker of life. I wouldn't mind if it was the occasional thing, but this is a relentless barrage of idiocy, every single day. It's driving me to despair, I may actually have to start talking to him very slowly as if English isn't his first language.

Just this week, Ryan has opened new jars of mayo and tomato sauce, even though there were two already open in the fridge right in front of him, he's locked us out of the house after we categorically asked him to not lock it as we had no key, he's ripped a curtain track off the wall after I sat the whole family down and told them not to open the window anymore as the track would fall down, he's left sauces and condiments out of the fridge all day that only he uses, left the bread unwrapped so it went just goes on and on. He'll say "What's for dinner?", then literally before he's even left the room it'll be "What's for dinner?". We had to sit him down last night and tell him to open his eyes, think about what he is doing, and tidy up after himself. I'm at my wits end with him, it's infuriating.

After telling him off for an hour last night, he's just waltzed out to the kitchen and picked up Pete's visibly larger dinner(Pete is still at work), on a much bigger plate, and sat down and ate it. On what planet does a 35 year old man eat the same size portion as a teenage boy? Even the plates were different sizes. Since he moved in, whenever he's asked which plate is his, I've always replied "the smaller one". What on earth made him think today would be any different?


Musical Monday #23

I love this song, it's really retro. It came out a year ago, and I couldn't believe it was a new tune at the time.

Mish Mash ~ Speechless

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Grey Day

Well, what a dismal weekend. I had planned to take Isobel for a walk in the woods today, as all the boys were at football, but that plan went out of the window.

When we were in Jamaica the boys both caught ear infections from the pool. Taylor's was awful and cost us £100 in doctors call out charges, but Isobel was fine until about 2 weeks after we got home when she seemed to get one. My useless doctor gave her ear drops at the time instead of antibiotics, and so yesterday she developed a high temperature and looked awful. Her ear actually didn't start hurting until midnight last night, when she suddenly got really poorly with a temperature of 100 degrees, and we had to get an emergency appointment at the hospital at 7am this morning. Needless to say I'm worn out, and am now trying to cook a roast in a state of half slumber.

Taylor got collected for football this morning by his manager as I couldn't go, and they told him yesterday at training that he would be playing on the pitch rather than in goal. The defence they had were just letting too many strikers through, and although Taylor was catching 90% of them, he was being attacked every few seconds and the scorelines were showing it! They've always said they missed him out on the pitch, and as it happens one of their other boys was a bit poor on the pitch but OK in goal, so they've swapped them over. Taylor wasn't too happy about it as he hates defence, but you have to do what's best for the team! They only lost 2-1 today, which was fantastic as it's normally 10-1. The manager said it was the best defence they've had, the new goalie barely had to do anything as the ball couldn't get through.

I just pulled my first parsnip out of the garden to use for our Sunday roast. It was like Excalibur! I pulled and heaved for ages, dug all around it, and I still left half of it in the ground. I'm saving the rest of them for Christmas dinner, so I've got plenty of time to excavate the rest.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


We've been to see Disney on Ice - The Incredibles today with my work. I took the boys and my mum with me as there were some spare tickets. We had a nice Thai meal in a restaurant that sounded like it should have had topless waitresses. It was called Thai Silk. very sexy! The show was good, I wouldn't pay to go and see it, but I don't mind doing it for work. Ryan was far too old for it(in fact, I wondered why half the adults were there as they had no children with them at all), but it was still funny. It was incredibly cheesy. I'm sure Isobel would've loved it, but I was working and I couldn't be responsible for 48 old age pensioners and her. Too much work!

In other news, I am getting a new digital SLR camera for Christmas. It'll probably be this one, has anyone ever used one? I am so excited. I'll be able to take proper pictures. I love taking photos, I literally carry my camera around everywhere, but it's so rubbish that I'm pretty restricted. I'm only going for a budget model, but I'll still get better quality shots from it.