Monday, April 30, 2007


I think I've just seen meteor break through the atmosphere! I'm so excited, I may spontaneously combust.
I was upstairs chatting on the phone to Lara, when something orange caught my eye out of our bedroom window. I leapt up and moved the curtain just in time to see a huge fireball hurtling to the earth. It broke up and turned into a puff of smoke. How cool is that? I've seen loads of comets and meteor showers way up there, but I've never seen one enter the atmosphere before.

Musical Monday #7

I'm not a huge fan of this style of music, Drum & Bass, but I've always loved Goldie and especially this song. This makes me feel like I'm 14 again, which makes me a little sad when I reminisce as that was one of the happiest periods of my life. As I'm always telling Ryan, you never get that time back again.

Inner City Life - Goldie

Sunday, April 29, 2007


I haven't had a hangover in years, so this morning isn't a welcome return to that awful feeling. Must've been the Sambuca. I'll never drink again, honest! ;)

We went to a BBQ for James birthday last night, we had great fun. Pete came home and left me there to carry on boozing, but it wasn't a late one and I must've passed out at about 2am. I got home at about 9am, Pete had taken the boys to football so it was just my Mum and Bel here.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Waifs & Strays

I seem to have gained a child.

Taylor's best friend has an alcoholic mother who I'll call Sue, who also has two daughters, one 11 and one 5. I've already had one run in with her this week, as she came steaming round looking for a row, saying "You've been talking about me, do you think I'm an alcoholic?". To which I replied "Yes". That threw her, she wasn't expecting that answer, the row dissipated, and we ended up having a chat and a laugh. I really really like her, if she didn't drink we could be very close, but I try my damnedest to not get involved at all.

Her son and eldest daughter are at their Dads, so the youngest(who has a different father) was playing out with Taylor. The Mum went upstairs and fell asleep, and they got locked out. We've all shouted and thrown stones, and banged on the wall where she is sleeping with a broom, and now we've given up. It's 10.30pm, so the little girl is staying here, and I've posted a note through the door with my number on it. I swear she is going to wake up at 3am and just freak out. The poor little girl was saying "Why does she leave me down here alone to look after myself?". She's obviously seen a lot in her 5 years on the planet. :(


When I got up this morning, the bloody foxes had been in our garden and dug up Isla. So when I get home from work I have to re-bury a 3 week old corpse. Nice. :(
I'm glad they didn't run off with her, but in the same breath am not looking forward to digging it all out again. I'm shocked they didn't eat our guinea pigs too.

We had parents evening at Ryan’s school last night which went well. He’s in the top sets and above average in all his lessons; the only complaints were him swinging on chairs, chatting too much and the occasional attitude problem. We’d already had words with him in the afternoon about that, so it was quite funny to have someone else back us up. He apologised for his attitude later that evening, so hopefully it’s in check for a little longer. We had loads of trouble last summer with his attitude, and we had to come down really hard on him but it worked. We don’t want to go back to that, it’s so calm in the house now. Lately he’s been pushing Taylor around, and talking to us like Kevin the teenager, mainly in “WOT”’s and grunts. He isn’t like it very often, but we aren’t prepared to put up with it at all.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The diet is working!

I've been a bit naughty the last two weeks, I've not exercised as much. I haven't put on any weight, but I won't lose that last 12lbs if I sit on my bum will I! I took this picture today, then compared it to one at Christmas. Look at my double chin in the second one! Scary.

What have I been up to...

...well, it's been a busy week but not much has happened. I've had all the mortgage paperwork to organise, plus we've had to sort out all our legal documents for the wedding. I've made another tiara, which I'm selling on Ebay. I don't really want it to go so it has a high reserve, it's more to see what kind of interest there is in it. It's amethyst rather than green, I though it was a more 'normal' colour, and therefore more likely to sell. I'd rather sell them through a bridal shop or at fairs than on Ebay.

We had the decks out over the weekend, which was great as we don't get to go on them much now with three kids. Here's a picture of me on the wheels of steel..heehehe!

The vegetable garden is growing and sprouting nicely. As ever I'm terrified and have no idea what I'm doing.

Here are my onions taking over the world

My weedy little rocket seedlings, hanging on for grim death

My sweetcorn, the healthiest looking thing out there

These are my potato plants Little, Large and Tiny. I have no idea why they have done that. It's not positioning, as they've been moved around the garden to get different light levels. I must just have a dud seed potato in there.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Musical Monday #6

I've only recently heard of this artist, apparently she's been around in the US for a few years now. I must have missed the boat on that one. She fits the ideal of what I look for in a female artist; a bit crazy and weird, and voice slightly off key. Plus she's pretty to look at, which helps!
This is Fiona Apple - Shadow Boxer

Saturday, April 21, 2007

On A Mission

We've been on a mission today, trying to calculate travel distances and times for a lovely little town in Hertfordshire that has caught my eye. We haven't looked at any property as we can't move until Dec/Jan so there is no point, but I just wanted to go there to see if it had the vibe we were after, and Pete wanted to see how commutable it was. It's only 25 miles from Basildon, so great for coming back to visit people, and the distance from the town to Pete's store was about the same. Perfect!

It has an excellent senior school with a 75% pass rate, two junior schools and an infants. There is a football and cricket club, lots of pubs and restaurants, and the place just feels wonderful. We stopped for a cider in the pub and sat outside, it was just 'right'. Even Pete fell in love with it. We just have to hope a house comes up at the right time in the right place, but we can wait. Here are some pictures of the high street and church, taken at dusk.

Friday, April 20, 2007

3 months, 2 weeks and 5 days

That's how long we have until our wedding! I can't cope.

I've been doing lots of organising tonight, so I'm all excited now. I tend not to think about it on a day to day basis, it's only when I'm working on stuff like the tiara or the invites that my mind wanders. We have so much to do, and we took the easy option. Imagine if we'd had a wedding here in the UK? It would've been so much work. We'd originally planned a big country house wedding and reception. I'm so glad now that we didn't, this is going to be awesome!

I still have to;

Make invites for reception and mail out
Organise vaccinations
Get Isobel's passport
Buy bridesmaid and pageboy outfits
Get my hair cut, coloured(first time ever in a salon, what luxury!) and my nails done
Buy rings

I've just been looking at the hotel. It looks so nice, I want to be there now.

I can't wait. We've had to work bloody hard to be able to afford this, I feel like we've been waiting forever as we've been engaged for 5 years now. I haven't had a holiday for 6 years, so I feel like I'm going to explode with excitement! I'm not looking forward to a 9 hour flight with a toddler though. Yikes!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

One down, one to go

So, Pete had his Halfords interview. He knocked the socks off the other 20 applicants at the assessment centre. During the group exercise they were all bickering amongst themselves so he stood up and took charge, then ended up winning the challenge by vote(it was kind of like an election). Three of the other candidates came up to Pete afterwards and asked him how he thought they'd done, how weird is that? What a bizarre thing to do!

Then he had his interview, and they offered him a salary, which he refused as it was too low. He asked for £3000 more, they shook his hand and said "Welcome to the company". It's just the starting salary though, it'll be reviewed in 3 months and upped by a few thousand. He'll be training in Basildon, but it's looking like he'll end up getting Tottenham store, which means we'll be moving to Hertfordshire!

He should hear about the Oxford job tomorrow, but if he gets that he'll need another interview with the director as it's a high powered job within the company. They seem to be very careful about who they take on. I'm actually hoping he doesn't get it now as we've been in this position before with two job offers, and making the final choice was so bloody hard! I'd rather live in Oxford, but would also rather be closer to Essex for seeing my friends.

What ever will be will be, and the path we are meant to take will show itself eventually I guess.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Toilet last!

Well, it's taken us forever, but she is finally toilet trained. The potty is out of the equation too, it's the big girls toilets for her. We went out on Friday night with no nappies and had no accidents, and we stayed round a friends all day yesterday with no accidents, and she's only had one accident today at home. I guess we've cracked it! It's so true, what they say about them just doing it when they are ready. I thought she'd be in nappies for months yet, then it's just clicked overnight. It's my most dreaded part of parenting, so I'm glad it's almost over.

I've been out planting and digging today. I've planted parsnips, rocket and lettuce outside, as well as potting on the seedlings that were started off indoors. I'm trying to harden them off at the moment but the hot sun keeps killing them off. I'm constantly moving them into the shade, and even then it's still too hot! It was very hard not to keep seeing or hearing Isla out there, as she'd be constantly hassling me while I was working normally. Every time I thought I heard her it would take me a few seconds to remember she is gone, then I'd glance at the rockery where she's buried. :(

The boys are back at school tomorrow, I hate the end of the holidays, I'd much rather have them at home.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Another week over

This weeks been pretty shitty, as you can imagine, so I haven't got much to say. We took the kids out to the social club last night and met up with some friends. Pete's interview went really well, he should hear something next week. He also has another assessment centre for a job with Halfords on Tuesday. Isobel has been wearing knickers for two days now and is finally getting the hang of it. She's gone straight on to using the toilet. I'm having lots of success with her getting there on time, but Pete isn't paying attention and she's having accidents with him. He's never done the whole training thing before, so I'm not being too hard on him.
We are going to a BBQ today, but need to put some bets on the National first. I'm having Bewleys Berry, Pete has Thisthatandtother, Ryan wants Monkerhostin and Taylor has picked Homer Wells. Hopefully we'll win something as we need cheering up.
Here are some pictures I took the other day of my pretty girl.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Our poor cat

Pete had an interview in London today, so the kids were to go to a childminder and I had to get myself to work. As Pete left he thought he saw our cat Isla lying dead in the road. He called me on his mobile to tell me, so I ran out with a towel to have a look. It was her. :(

This last week Isla had been staying out at night and not coming in no matter what I did, and I’m just angry that she didn’t come in last night. I went to collect Taylor from his friends at 9pm and she came with me, why didn’t I grab her and make her come in?

I scooped her up off the road, getting blood all over my work suit. I had to then bundle crying children into a cab and get to the childminders. I’m just gutted, she was such a lovely cat. She was patting at my fingers in bed the other night, playing with me really gently while I had my eyes shut, it was really sweet and I'll never forget it. She'd been really kittenish the last few days. I was only taking photos of her yesterday and playing with her out in the garden.

In a strange twist of fate, her owners that I've been looking for since she came, turned up the day she died. They only lived round the corner from me, and had heard Taylor talking about her and asked to come in and see her. She'd always been a wanderer apparently, and they knew Tilly(that was her name at her other house) must have moved in with someone else and hadn't been bothered about looking for her. They have one of her kittens at home, from last year, called Berry. They were really nice, I asked if they wanted to bury her, or should I do it. They said their children weren't bothered about her, and as we loved her so much and Taylor was clearly upset we could bury her here. I said that if they ever wanted to see where she was they could come over any time. Taylor was talking to the other owner, and she asked if we wanted any pictures of her when she was a kitten, which I thought was really sweet of her. Apparently she was about 6, and had come from a rescue centre in Cumbria originally! Pete suggested we bury her under the rock garden, so that's where she now is.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Letting Go

I've had a pretty quiet day today, it's been lovely. Jake was ill so Lara stayed at home today, so this morning I got loads of ironing done, then put some clothes up on Ebay. I even fell asleep when Isobel had her nap this afternoon, I don't get to do that very often!

I'm in a bit of a tizz at the moment, I'm driving myself mad. For months now I've been adamant that I don't want any more children. That's it, we're done. Then every now and then, like this week, I get really broody. I need to get out the sacks of baby clothes and sell them, but I'm too scared in case looking at them makes me even broodier. Damn hormones!

It makes both Pete and I sad that we stupidly had the boys with complete idiots(although we love the boys to bits and wouldn't change them, we wish they were ours), and now can only fit one child that belongs to both of us into our family. I need to accept that this is what fate had mapped out for me, this is my family and it stops here. I have to keep telling myself that I can do all these fun things now that Isobel is getting older. I can start DJing again, and go horse riding every weekend if I want to(which I'll be doing once we get back from Jamaica). I want to try and pass my driving test and get a car after Christmas this year, then next year maybe get a horse of my own again. I can't do any of these things with another baby. We are also planning a holiday to Corfu next year, then the year after that we want to visit Florida. I need to just keep repeating these things in my head.
If Pete gets this job I'll be here on my own tying up loose ends for 3 months, then we'll be moving into a house just big enough for all of us(this one is too small). Pete is also about to buy a new car, that will only fit us five in it. No babies! I want to start treating myself a little, get my hair cut more than once a year, get my nails done(that is sooo not me!), buy new clothes more than once in a blue moon. I'd love to be materialistic occasionally. I need to focus on the materialistic things, because if I look deeper I'll start thinking "What if we just had one more?". Plus, I've just lost a stone and a half, and I do not want to pack that back on again.

There, I've convinced myself.

I guess I can just come back and read this whenever I get broody. :)

Monday, April 09, 2007

Musical Monday #5

I nearly forgot to do this, is it really Monday today?

This song is Hanging Around by Gemma Hayes. I've liked this artist for a few years now, and I think she deserves a little more recognition. I love every single one of her songs, but this is my favourite.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter

I hope you are all enjoying your families and your chocolate! I love Easter, not being religious it means something different to me, but then most people don't celebrate it in a religious sense anymore do they? I see it as a time for new beginnings, and it means the start of the true growing season in the garden. My Mum is coming over for Roast Lamb this afternoon, then we are doing a egg hunt.

Here are some pictures I took of Isobel this morning.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Bank Holiday

Ooh...I love 'em. It's the only time we all get to do stuff as a family, apart from actually booking annual leave from work. You'd think working part time Pete and I would see more of each other, but it's actually worse now than when we were full time. We are like ships in the night most of the time.
Yesterday we went to an inflatables day at Wat Tyler Country Park. We've been to a few before, but Isobel wasn't really old enough to join in then. They had three smaller slides and bouncy castles for the little ones, in a fenced off area. This meant we could lie back and chill out on a blanket and let Isobel run free, as the gated entrance to the area was locked off by a member of staff. I love it when they get a little older and can be more independent, it makes me decidedly un-broody for any more babies(Pete would be pleased to hear that I'm sure-hahaha!).

Friday, April 06, 2007

It's finished!

I finally finished the tiara last night, so now I can relax and have a glass of wine. Yay!!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

My unphotogenic child

Isobel hates the camera. I am a complete ham, as is Taylor, but Pete and Ryan are camera shy too. It's a shame, as she is a beautiful girl, but we never get any good shots of her because she does this as soon as she hears the whir of the camera being turned on.

I managed to catch her by surprise once though

Tiara progress report

I mentioned here previously that I'd spent my lottery winnings from work on lots of beads and gold wire to make my tiara for the wedding. I've done them before, so although I was nervous I knew I could do it.

After a fair few hours leaning over the dining table giving myself a backache making the stalks, I decided last night to attach them temporarily to the headband to get an idea of how many more I needed to make. I am dead chuffed with it so far. It still needs a few more added to it, it's not quite wild and leafy enough yet. It also needs finishing by wrapping a thicker gold wire around the headband to cover the joins. What do you think?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Easter Holidays

I love the school holidays. All those other parents out there who hate having their kids at home, I feel so sorry for them. I love not having the mad rush out of the door in the morning, or the packed lunches to make, or the ironing to do the night before. I don't see much of the boys anyway, as they are always out. Taylor is out playing football, and pops in for the odd loo break or juice. Ryan had Reece over the night before, then they went out all day, then they all went to Ikon together last night and stayed with Reece, and he still isn't home as they've gone to Wat Tyler Park. It's lovely and quiet here. I have four boys staying here tonight though. I'm dreading it.
Yesterday I took Taylor, Jake and Isobel to the Gymnastics club. Taylor hadn't been before, and he loved it. Jake was a bit overwhelmed with it all last time, but he joined in this time. We walked up there and walked back, so that was my exercise for the day as it's a good 40 minute walk pushing that great big double buggy. My bum muscles were on fire afterwards! I also did a bit of gardening yesterday too, which is good exercise, and started trying to tone up my arm muscles with tins of beans. I bet that conjures up a glamorous image! I have a reason for my tin-wielding craziness. I tried on two dresses in Asda last night when we were food shopping, one was a strappy dress, and the other one was a button up polka dot dress. I tried them both on in a 14, which wouldn't have even gone over my head a few months ago, and they were both a bit snug but I got them on. The button up one was gaping a bit so wasn't suitable anyway, but the green strappy one was nice. But, and it's a big but, I did notice though that my arm flab is particularly horrendous, hence the tins of beans. I've got 4 months to sort out my bingo wings.
I measured myself last night and I've gone from a 43" hip to a 41", my waist has gone from a 40" to a 36"(that is where I still have the most to lose), and my chest has gone from a 43" to a 40". Not to bad, but it's purgatory.
Pete paid another small amount off the wedding today, the big chunk of it is in the savings account gathering interest. The deadline is 16th May, but we want it paid by the 23rd of April so we can start shopping for rings and holiday clothes. We only need to find another £900 and we are done. I can't wait to be able to relax. I might sell some stuff on Ebay this week to make that £900 go down a little quicker, I'm that desperate!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Musical Monday #4

Now that we have Dan back with us(Yay!), I can re-start my Musical Monday posts. I didn't feel the same without Dan.

Blur were my favourite band for most of my teenage years, and still are now really. I was 14/15 in that famous Britpop Summer of Love, and there are so many songs and bands that remind me of that time. I went to see Blur twice. In fact Blur at Wembley was my first ever concert in 1995. Parklife is such an awesome album, truly one of the best of all time, so I'm sure you'll see more Blur songs in my blog on future Mondays, as I can't choose just one.

I've picked this video for This Is A Low, because it's one of my favourites, and it's live in this clip, and it has one of the best guitar solo's ever.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

I can't wait...

...for the football season to be over! Ryan has finished his, his team won their league. Pete doesn't have long left of his, and his team are second for the first time in about 5 years. They are so used to losing, this winning streak feels a bit weird. I can't wait to have Sundays back so we can do stuff together.

Yesterday we went to Ikea to look at the kitchens. The one I like is even better close up, I want it now! Pete wants us to wait until after the wedding, so we have something to look forward to. If he gets a new job and has to go away, we will have to do it sooner, as I won't be able to do it all alone with 3 kids to look after. The thought fills me with dread.

Afterwards, we went to the cemetery. I had some Gladioli bulbs, wildflower seeds, and pansies to plant. I guarantee they'll all be dead the next time we go. It's so sandy and dry over there, I had to dig in a whole bag of compost first. I've planted them now in hopes that we have a normal wet April, which will keep them alive. It's a beautiful Victorian garden cemetery, and very peaceful. There are lots of wind chimes over there, which add to the atmosphere.

So that's it really, back to the grind-stone tomorrow. I have tons of ironing to do tonight, so I might make a start on it now, even though I want to curl up and have a nap with Isobel.