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: