Thursday, May 31, 2007

At least the veggies are enjoying the rain!

I am finally reaping the rewards of the garden. I've been having Rocket with every meal, it's gone bonkers and I can't eat it fast enough.

Here are some new vegetable pictures from the wilds of Basildon.

I have spuds! Very small ones I admit, but they are there. I had a fertle around in the tubs and found this:

My Lettuce, Rocket and Sweetcorn:

My Tomatoes have grown 4 inches in a fortnight:

Looking down the patch:

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

One of those days

Today started off well, my paper and card arrived for the invitations. I tried a few different ideas for the invites and finally settled on one, it looks lovely. I'm just waiting for another package of cream paper for the inserts, then I can make them.
But, we've had trouble with the house sale today. It looks like our house is an unmortgageable property due to proposed demolition which a)hasn't even been approved yet, and b)has no funding. Pete is on the Steering Group for the estate and we know that it might not even go ahead. We are not happy. The Council may have to legally move us to an alternative property and let us buy that. If not, after Christmas we are walking away and renting elsewhere. I'm not staying here if we can't buy it. We were relying on the extra mortgage money to help us buy a new car and pay for the spending money for the wedding, so now of course we are in big trouble. We've had to cut back on everything on the list today, any hen/stag celebrations are cancelled and we are reduced to buying £30 wedding rings. Oh well. I'm not bothered but Pete is annoyed. We never have any luck. At least I won't have to worry about putting in a new kitchen now, I was dreading it!

Taylor posing:

Isobel munching:

My daughter playing with boys toys, we don't gender specify here..hehehe!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Musical Monday #10

I love this song, I'm thinking of having it as our first dance at the wedding reception. One small problem, Pete has an irrational hatred of Paul Weller!

Paul Weller- You do something to me

Half Term Again

It's come around quickly, it only seems like yesterday they went back to school after the last holiday. Isn't the weather miserable? I'm going to be cooped up with the kids all week. I may have to plan some crafty activities or something.

We were supposed to be taking the kids to Wat Tyler today for an activity day, but it was just too wet. I felt like a caged animal earlier, was just desperate to get some fresh air, so I persuaded everyone to go to Southend and watch the airshow(if it wasn't cancelled). We took a packed lunch and watched the Red Arrows, Chinook helicopter and our favourite, the Eurofighter Typhoon. It was wicked! The sonic boom is so loud, and Isobel varies between being fascinated by it and terrified. I actually think her fear of all things airborne when she is alone may stem from visiting the airshow as we've been bringing her since she was newborn, and it's very loud. Evil parents! I'm a bit of a geek when it comes to aircraft. When I was Taylor's age I was obsessed with them, and I guess I've never really grown out of it. My Dad used to take me to Duxford Airshow every year, it was my favourite day out.
I didn't take these, but this is the Typhoon.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


We've just been ice skating with the boys for my birthday treat. I fell onto my knees, and now I'm bruised. My knees are delicate little flowers at the best of times, so I'll be swollen and hobbling tomorrow. We did have fun though, I love doing stuff like that as a family, I can't wait for Isobel to be old enough to come too.

I went to see Dirty Dancing at the Aldwych Theatre with my work on Friday, with a coach load of old dears. It was good, better than I expected actually(better than the film even!), and no one got lost or maimed which is always my goal at the end of the day. You wouldn't believe how stressful these trips can be. I took my friend Jane with me, and we went to a lovely French restaurant before the show. We both had fried Whitebait for our starters, and they still had their heads and eyes. Jane couldn't eat them so just munched up to the head, whereas I ate the lot. She wouldn't let me live it down afterwards, and kept telling everyone. I even ate her heads too!

I wish our weather would make up it's mind too. The other day it felt like Summer again, and now it's going to rain and ruin the Bank Holiday weekend. We also have frost risk here at the moment, so I have to cover my tomatoes and beans at night.

I was out in the garden with Taylor watching some swifts flying really high in the sky on Thursday, when suddenly three of them swooped down and started doing low flying circuits around our street. They looked like they were racing each other, and were flying right past our faces! It was excellent. It was like watching the Grand Prix.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Birthday Girl

It's my birthday today! I'm 27, which is scary, as I was only a young whippersnapper of a nineteen year old when I met Pete. He's been really taking the piss out of me today. I got some beautiful diamond earrings from the kids, and have a nice pair of smart jeans on order from Next from Pete. We are going ice skating on Saturday with the boys, so that will be cool!
I'm off to see Dirty Dancing the musical with work tomorrow, which will be a nice treat too, as long as nothing goes wrong. I'm dicing with death, taking 49 old age pensioners into the West End. I must like living on the edge.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


My Mum came over for dinner tonight to watch Ibby open her presents. Poor girl, she's been longingly gazing at the wrapped parcels in the corner all day, waiting for Nanny and Daddy to get home.

Here she is in her play tent from Nanny. They are both playing with Play Doh, as invented by Satan. I now have blue and red blobs all over my house.

Isobel's Fifi cake

Opening her Farmyard

Her face when she realised what was in there.

She got all emotional when we sang Happy Birthday, and cuddled her Daddy...bless!

Better weather

My moaning yesterday must have worked, its glorious out there today. James phoned this morning and asked if we wanted to go out to toddler gymnastics. I was planning on taking Isobel out for lunch, which would've been disastrous for the diet, so he did me a favour really diverting me elsewhere. We had fun at the gym, then I suggested we went to the park for ice creams. Of course, when we got there it was only shut, and you know what toddlers are like when they have an idea stuck in their head. We turned around and went to Wat Tyler park instead, got some lunch and an ice cream in the cafe, then played in the park for an hour.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Happy Birthday Isobel

My little girl is three! It was weird last night, I couldn't sleep, had no idea what the time was but I needed to go downstairs and get the phone charger. I got down there, glanced at the clock, and it was 1.37am, the exact time of her birth. How bizarre!
She's opened two of her little presents this morning, my Mum is over this afternoon so we're saving the bigger stuff for then. I'm going to take her out in a little while, not sure where, maybe for a bite to eat. I really enjoy taking her out alone, just the two of us.

These are pictures of her taken every year on her birthday. She's really changed!

Soggy Monday

I can't believe it's raining again. We're going to get soaked walking to school.

My friend over at RedWineDiary has decided to join in with the Musical Monday. It's taking over the world.... :)

I had a meeting with Taylor's teacher this morning, it was really interesting and has cleared my mind on a couple of issues Taylor has. We talked about how he behaves in school and how his work is going, she agrees there is something going on there(possibly mild Aspergers rather than ADD), but she advised me to not get him assessed. He's progressing with his work and behaves well, the concentration and social issues are his only problem areas. She said we could work together with any concerns, such as him struggling with homework, and allow him to develop without the 'label'. I'm happy to do this, as all I ever wanted was for him to get extra help in school. I'm going to be giving him Omega 3 oils too, we tried them before and they did help. She said her daughter was exactly the same, and although she knew as her mother that she wasn't like the other kids, she allowed her to just be herself, and she has grown into a successful 25 year old.

Isobel's presents are all ready for tomorrow, she's got a wooden farmyard and some accessories, a Lazytown DVD and a My Little Pony from us. The boys have got her a Fifi DVD. I can't believe that THREE YEARS ago, I looked like this, and the fiery ball of stubbornness that is Isobel was about to enter the world.

It's going too fast.

She has really grown up the last few weeks, she talks in full sentences now, understands everything you say. She has the funniest sense of humour too. I went in to her bedroom last night and she had two dummies(she doesn't really suck them anymore, the teats are chewed to bits, but she likes them to be in bed) covering her eyes. She then took one off and said "Look Mummy, I look like a pirate", then absolutely cracked up laughing. She has us in stitches all day long.

Musical Monday #9

I forgot to do this last week, without Dan around to remind me I keep forgetting. :(

This song reminds me of that Britpop summer of love, 1995. It reminds me of hot summer days hanging around with my huge gang of friends, playing football and drinking too much cider. I have it on my MP3 player, but it's being used on an advert at the moment(is it for Butlins or Haven?), so I'm getting sick of it. Don't you hate it when that happens? It gets bonus points for having a VW camper in the video!

Anyway, Dodgy - Staying out for the Summer

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I hate this place!

Seriously, the people here suck! I need to move NOW!

Ryan was playing football with some local kids in Taylor's year(they are 8/9), we know them quite well as one lives next door. The football was falling apart and it popped, so Ryan came home to get his so they cold carry on playing. When he got back the Mum of one of the boys starts swearing and screaming at him trying to get him to pay for the ball, even though it was actually her own son that popped it. I'm not happy, as she was saying "You can tell your Mum I've told you to fuck off, go on fuck off home" I see this woman at the school every day and often walk home with her, and I'm going to have to say something tomorrow. I don't even get to swear at my kids with a mouth like that, so I don't know why she thinks she can. She's not even particularly a scumbag, she's actually a bit weird and her boys are odd too, so it seems unexpected. Ryan is respectful, polite, never gets in trouble(well, not yet anyway!), so just because he is a teenager she thinks she can talk to him like that. I'm fuming! No wonder teenagers feel alienated from adults and feel like they have to act out, when even the good ones are persecuted!

I went out on Friday night with Clare to watch her boyfriends band Hedgehog. The other Claire was meant to come too but had a rotten cold. I got ready round my Mums after work, rather than going home, as Clare only lives round the corner from her. It was lovely getting ready without three kids hassling me. We went out in Ilford to a pub called The Cauliflower. I drank far too much, then regretted it on Saturday morning when I had to take Taylor to football at 11am. Then we all went down the town and shopped til we dropped. We had to get presents for Isobel, and Pete bought some new clothes too as all his jeans either fall off him, or are threadbare. Saturday night Pete went out for his end of season football presentation, then they all went on to Jaks afterwards. Pete hates it in there, I must admit it sounds like my idea of hell too. Jaks has to be the crappiest nightspot in Basildon. Pete is MINGING today.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The common cold

I get this every year, usually in April, but seeing as we have April's weather a month late in May, it's been delayed. I've got a bloody cold coming. This evening my sinuses started hurting(the first thing to go on me usually), and now I'm shivering and aching. Boo! I actually feel really fluey and rubbish, and really don't fancy work tomorrow, but I can't call in sick. It's just not the done thing in my place. My boss has got the right idea(very clever man), he gets us all so emotionally invested in the place that we feel too guilty to have a day off. This is because a) all the old dears need us, and b) we love our colleagues so much we don't want to leave them in the lurch.

Yesterday I bravely planted out my tomatoes and dwarf beans. Will there be another frost, or won't there? I've probably jinxed myself now by daring to plant them out.

As usual it's been a busy day today. Ryan was off school today(with the aforementioned cold that's doing the rounds, Taylor has it too), but I had to go to a solicitors in town and get some documents signed for the wedding at lunchtime so I left him here on his own.
I got back and had an invite to take Isobel out with Sam & Harvey. Seeing as it's rained all week and today was the brightest day we've had in ages, I was desperate to get some fresh air so we went to Marsh Farm. I didn't realise that under 3's went free! I would've taken Isobel loads of times if I'd known. She's three next week so that's an opportunity wasted!
Isobel in the play barn
Sam with her hand up a sheeps bum(it's ok, it's not real). Harvey was suitably unimpressed and cried.

We went on the tractor ride.
I loved it. I am a child.

The best bit, the indoor sandpit. Just as we sat inside it decided to chuck it down, great timing!

The day out had the desired effect.

Monday, May 14, 2007


All this rain has done my garden a favour, it's suddenly sprouted!

My Lettuce and Rocket

My spuds, which look as though they are about to flower

Why do I have plants in a birdcage I hear you ask? They are French beans and Tomatoes, which need a little protection when it gets frosty. It's much easier to cover them at night if the are in here. It's been a godsend actually, much easier to just chuck a fleece over!

This was my wildflower patch two weeks ago. The nettle shoot has since been dispatched into a nettle tea to help Pete's hay fever.
Now look at it! It's monstrous!

This Lavender is lovely, it's scent is like a cross between lavender and eucalyptus.

Orsett Hall

We were originally going to get married here in the UK, and I'd chosen Orsett Hall. It was a big country house, dating from the 1600's, only a few miles from here. We'd provisionally booked it, then changed our minds and booked the wedding abroad instead(mainly to avoid family politics). I'm so glad we did now as the Orsett Hall sadly burnt down and then collapsed at the weekend, I'm actually really sad. You know how I feel about old buildings and architecture, what a sad loss.