Saturday, May 31, 2008

Half term

We had a great time out clubbing for my birthday last Saturday, one of the best birthdays I've ever had. I smiled all night. I still feel completely wiped out though, I don't like the getting older part much.

I didn't take my camera, it's too big, but I just pinched these off the website.

It has been half term here this week, which is lovely when it doesn't rain incessantly all day, every day. We've all been bored. We had to give the airshow a miss on Monday because it rained. Then, we went to an indoor play centre on Tuesday, and ironically the sun shone that day. I'm hoping to do something with the children this weekend. Ryan is surgically attached to his Xbox live, the new love of his life, and is lucky if he sees daylight at the moment. I got in from work today at 4pm, cleaned the whole house, cooked dinner and the rest of us ate. Then I spoke to my friend on the phone for 45 minutes, put Isobel to bed, and Ryan finally realised I was home at 8.30pm and asked me where his dinner was. Teenagers!

I sent an email to a lady I used to work with in another Council department today, about setting up a community garden. It's something I've been planning and talking about for a while and never really moving forward with. Not sure whether it will go ahead as we've also both applied for a few jobs that involve relocation. We'll just see how it pans out. I'm not really into planning our futures too heavily. I'll be very excited if my old colleague does come up with some ideas. She works in the Community Regeneration department, where I started my Council pen-pusher career seven years ago, and I bump into her quite a lot and we stop for a chat, so if anyone can help me it'll be her.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


I'm 28 today, and I got an iPod! :D

I'm off out clubbing tonight, so I'll be back tomorrow with incriminating evidence in the form of photos.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Birthday Girl

Here is Isobel enjoying her 4th birthday party yesterday. The dressing up box went down a storm. :)

Here's my strange daughter blowing out the candle on her Dr Who birthday cake.

Yes, she actually asked for that cake.

She got 6 tropical fish for her birthday too, all named after Dr Who characters!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Dressing up box

It's Isobel's 4th birthday tomorrow, and her present from me is a decorated dressing up box. I asked her what she wanted painted on it, and she had to choose the one thing I can't paint. Fairies! Any kind of humanoid shape is a complete mystery to my artistic hand. Horses, wild animals, even fish would've been fine, just not anything with hands, feet or faces. It's taken me all week to finish, but I've glazed it tonight and it's now ready to fill with her clothes and be wrapped up. She has a Tinkerbell costume, a pirate, a ballerina, Stephanie from Lazytown, and finally a doctors outfit.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

FA Cup winners

Portsmouth FC won the FA Cup on Saturday, so we took an unplanned, spur of the moment trek down to Portsmouth on Sunday as we wanted to watch the winners parade. We took a picnic, the weather was lovely down there too(it always is!), and something like 200,000 other people had the same idea. It was madness! I love crowd events, it doesn't matter what the occasion is. I like the feeling of that tribe mentality, thousands of people feeling the same emotion. I think that's why I love clubbing so much, everyone dancing in unison, makes me feel all weird.

Isobel soon got bored and demanded that we go home.

After a very long drive home, we finally got in at about 10.30pm.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Cats in the garden

Our cat keeps digging up my seedlings, I've tried everything to stop her. It's the lettuces that are suffering the most as they just get uprooted so easily. I've tried pellets, my next plan of attack is orange peel(I've heard they don't like the smell) and cocktail sticks stuck in the soil at regular intervals. I don't really know what else to do. I put a chicken wire fence up to keep our old cat Isla off, but Malley just jumps over it.
Here are the newest set of pictures of my little vegetable garden. April and May are my favourite months out in the garden, I like the way everything noticeably grows and looks different every day.
Here are my dwarf french beans, red onions, lettuce, and somewhere in there are carrot and spring onion seedlings, which don't stand a chance against the paws of Malley.

I have some distinctly strawberry shaped lumps.

My tomatoes are out and alive(I murdered the first lot in the greenhouse. I hang my head in shame).

Monday, May 12, 2008


Well, we have no kittens yet, but I'm pretty sure they are imminent as she is HUGE. She looks like a big fat sausage. I thought I felt something wiggle in there the other day, but apart from that we are just guessing she is pregnant by the size of her. It's that, or she's eaten too many pies. She is spending a lot of time lazing about in the sunshine.

We drove to Latchingdon to see the house, sadly I was too late and it's gone. They are building a bloody great footballers style mansion. It was the garden I wanted to see really, which has been flattened too. I'll have top ask Pauline if she has any photos.

All that was left was the old double garage. My Dad renovated his boat in there. I guess they'll knock that down too. :(
If the fences hadn't have been locked I would've been in there looking at the garden.

This week we've spent a lot of time outside and the garden is coming along nicely. I'll take some pictures today when everything is finished for the week. Ryan did his year 9 SAT tests last week, which went by pretty uneventfully with no stress, which is what I wanted. He can be a bit of a worrier, and getting yourself in a state needlessly before a test is not the best way to pass it, so I'm glad he stayed calm. Now we just have to wait and see how he did.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Fat Cat

We've had tom cats sniffing around the back door every night for a few weeks now, but as we were adopted by Malley without knowing her history, we just presumed she'd been spayed and ignored the toms. Wrong!

I present to you one very rotund cat...

If she isn't pregnant I'll eat my hat.

I'd better get her a bed ready as she must only have 4 weeks or so left.


We had a nice day out yesterday with just the two youngest children as Ryan went to watch Southend United play. We went up to the bluebell woods in Langdon, where we always miss the bluebells, but thankfully managed to catch them in bloom this year.

It felt so good to get out in the sunshine. As you can see, I took far too many photos. There was actually 100 of them, so you've all had a lucky escape with this small selection. We went to the beach for an ice cream afterwards, then went to the garden centre for my growbags. May is here, so it's tomato time!

I had a bit of a shock yesterday, and I'm grieving for a bit of my childhood really. My step mum Pauline grew up in a little village called Latchingdon, and until her Mum died in the early nineties I spent a lot of time there. Mary, her Mum, adored me as she had no grandchildren of her own, and I have really strong and fond memories of her smallholding. I think it shaped the way I am today more than they would have ever realised, almost everything I know about the countryside, and tending a garden, comes from my time spent there. They had an orchard, and vegetables, and beehives, and a maze of trimmed hedges with an old 1920's swimming pool hidden in the middle. It was like a secret garden, and so magical to me as a child. I've always been upset that my children couldn't have an experience of that wonderful place, as when Mary died her reclusive son stayed in the house and gave up tending the garden. Whenever I've asked if we could visit, Pauline has always told me that there is nothing left to see, it's so overgrown. Well, I had a look for it on Google maps yesterday and the house has been sold off and demolished as of last October, to be made into flats. I was gutted. :( I might get Pete to take me over there tomorrow to see what's left.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Stressed out

I don't want to bore you all with my whinging, but I've just had the most stressful week ever, today especially. That's probably why I haven't updated my blog much, I hate moaning here, and I haven't had much positive stuff to say. It's mainly Taylor's behaviour stressing me out, but today everything has just gone wrong at every turn. He's always been such a quiet, well behaved boy, a bit naive and excitable but he would never do anything wrong. That's normally Ryan's job!

It all started a week or so ago when I caught Taylor stealing some sweets from Asda, so we sold his brand new Wii as punishment. He's also had all playing out privileges removed, as we found out that his older friend Josh had been boasting about what he'd stolen(all made up of course, which we discovered when we confronted Josh about it) so Taylor was trying to impress him. That is the end of that friendship!
I then had a phone call from the school to say we owe £50 in dinner money, even though we send him with dinner money every day. The little bugger has been pocketing it for about 6 weeks! So as punishment for that he's paying me back. Then today I hear from the childminders sister that Taylor has taken the cigarette lighter in her car and burnt her dashboard with it, more than once so it wasn't just an accident. I feel like I'm about to have a nervous breakdown. :(

I recently started working a second job, working 4 days instead of 2, and the boys have both been moaning about not getting enough attention, but I've thought all along that this is all about his real Dad Michael not seeing him enough. He is a complete loser when it comes to visitation, his girlfriend stops him from coming and he doesn't even try or care. It would be easier if he'd never bothered to have a relationship with him in the first place, then Taylor wouldn't miss him. He hasn't seen him since February, and if I don't bother calling him to arrange something it'll be at least two to three months before he would bother to call us here. He's a lovely guy, but he has no idea what he is doing to his son. The thing that really annoys me is his own Dad abandoned him as a child so he must have some empathy for Taylor, surely? I wouldn't mind if I'd made life difficult for him, but we've always got on, been amicable with each other, Mike & Pete get on fine, I get on with his girlfriend. There is no reason for all this.

Taylor broke down and admitted that this was the problem today, it's taken him long enough to admit it, he's quite a sensitive and private child. I'm at my wits end really, I've run out of punishments and it's up to Mike to step up now and help us with this.