Sunday, 31 August 2008

A day for Descartes.

Another Sunday.....another 12 hours in work........another 12 hours to think....and think...and think. I'm not sure whether thinking this much is a string to my proverbial bow or just a pain in the backside to be honest. At the moment I seem to be fretting about the smallest of things - and I can't see the point of it, but do it anyway.... I think the real reason for my emotional unrest is that this week sees a huge change to lifestyle and routine - the 6 week Summer holidays are over. Term time is around the corner.

This is a major thing in my life since my SLA is a teacher and the Bean is entering his 2nd year of full time school. I can vividly remember the stomach wrenching feeling of dropping him off on his first day this time last year. I was prepared for a few tears but nothing had prepared me for the helplessness and detachment I felt as I walked away from the door; with tears rolling down my face and a large part of me still standing in the cloakroom.

There is no real reason that this Tuesday should be anywhere near that harrowing - we've been there, done it, got the T shirt....the main stress this time is that we are doing it all at a new school.

The Bean is only five, but this will be, unbelieveably, the third school he has attended. We have just had the most awful experiences so far and we really hope that we have now found somewhere that he will be happy. School number one - he started there at 3, only a few weeks after we lost my mum. Despite having been told what had happened the teacher still thought it appropriate to put him on the naughty chair almost every day for crimes such as singing at snack time....he also came home with several injuries.......enough was enough and we took him out.

School number two was one I spotted on the internet....not far from us and looked great....we went for a look round and it seemed fine. He started there and was fine for the rest of his nursery year. Last Sept he started his reception year and became some kind of punch bag...... I've lost count of the number of injuries he has had - all caused by a couple of other boys in his class. The staff seemed unable to control them and again, to protect our little boy, we have taken him out. I never did get so much as an apology from the headmistress of the school - I am disgusted at the way his safety was treated.

Enter school number three......and I have a good feeling about this one. The headmaster is someone I trust, he is a friend of a friend and I hope he can turn school and education into something more fun now!!

So anyway, I ramble, I am currently stressing the small stuff in an attempt to avoid worrying about the bigger stuff.....for example.....I'll worry about sewing in name tags rather than wondering if the Bean will cry when I leave him on Tuesday. I think about the washing so I don't think about whether he'll be scared in a new place surrounded by people he doesn't know. I stress about cleaning the car instead of wondering if he'll be on his own at playtime and wishing he was at home.....I think.....I think.....I think....You know Descartes wasn't far wrong.......I think therefore I am.....I worry therefore I'm a mummy.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Bye Bye Chickens

Today is a day of mixed emotions as I prepare to say byesey bye to our two chickens, Matilda and Coconut. We homed them in March. They are exbattery hens and so we took them in, along with another hen, Mavis. Sadly Mavis died a few weeks ago now. She was always the weakest of the girls and I'm glad we got to give her some pleasure in her last few months. The other two are being packed off to pastures new today.

They are going to live with a good friend of mine who already has chickens and turkeys and is happy to take them in. She also has lots of room and so they will just love living there. That's been our main problem with them being here - room. Our garden is not big. At the moment they have around a quarter of it fenced off and they have reduced it to a muddy bog :( When we took them in I had this idyllic picture of them pecking around the grass, coming to sit with us when we had a snack and even popping into the house to watch a bit of telly. How wrong I was! lol

To start with they did have free run - do you have any idea how much poo 3 chickens can produce!???! There's no end to it! They also ate everything in sight including all our herbs, shrubs, plants and flowers in the garden. It was a scene of total devastation! We have replanted now but this is the reason the chickens are now fenced in at the bottom of the garden. It was just a waist high fence to begin with but then Matilda decided to learn to fly over the fence - there's now a netting roof and they are totally fenced in. They are miserable down there and spend most of their time pacing up and down. If you go in to sort them out they now peck at you which is a turn for the worst, we don't want the Bean having his eye pecked out and so we have made the decision to let them go.

I'm sure I will be a little sad tomorrow morning when they are not there but I'll be equally happy to have my garden back knowing that they will be much happier in their new environment.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Hardest Day of the Year....and a note on boats.

Today is a hard one - it is two years since I lost my mum to cancer. Having said that I am noticing a HUGE difference in how I am coping this year compared to last and that can only be a good thing - my mum would be proud of me :) Don't get me wrong, I still have times when I feel I don't know what to do and how to move forward but at least I'm not dissolving into tears every few minutes.....which is good since I am working for 12 hours today :S

I am planning a majot life overhaul come September and the schools go back. I have no idea quite what I mean by this yet but something has to change! I don't feel like 'me' at the moment and I don't like it. When I figure it out I'll be sure to share! lol

And just one last statement. I don't do boats. At least not after having to be rescued from a hire motorboat off the River Dee in Chester a couple of days ago. Read my lips - no more boats. ever. I thank you.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Summer and puddles

Well we are now about half way through the six week Summer holidays from school. I'm getting more grey hair by the day, I tell you...... I'm guessing all families are the same but every day has at least one major argument and several smaller ones....... I so wish we could magically find the secret of calm and happy family time but I honestly don't think it exists, at least not with a 5 year old thrown into the equation. If anyone has the answer then please do share! Everyone I know seems to have the same issues and yet, once the 6 weeks are through, everyone will be saying they had a 'lovely summer, thank you for asking!'. hmmmmm. Don't get me wrong we have had some really lovely days and even some fantastic parts of days which have then gone downhill. I will look back at this couple of months with some fond memories but I really wish I could work out a way of making them more harmonious for more of the time.

I know a lot of children go to Summer camp or groups that are similar. There isn't really a setup like this in the UK and, in some ways, I think that is a shame. There is no doubt that children like to do different things from their parents and this would be a way of them doing just that. The only options that I have spotted locally are sporting camps such as a tennis one and that only runs for 2 hours a day for one week of the holidays. Add to that the ridiculous expense of some of these things and it's just not a viable option.

In fact, finances are one reason that the summer holidays can be a real nightmare. Nothing is cheap here - a day out can quite easily cost £100 for a family of three - multiply that by the number of days in six weeks and you can see the problem. The other major factor that causes problems is the good old British weather. August is always a wash out - no two ways about it. We have some lovely parks and countryside locally but who wants to go for a walk in the rain???

Well, that's my Summer moan over! lol As I sit here SLA and the bean are playing mariokart - all is quiet........we've already had milkshake spilt over over the living room floor this morning so let's hope that's today's 'issue' out of the way early! We're planning to go to a duck race after's clouding up outside so we'll have to see. I think next year I'll just invest in wet weather clothes for everyone and head out anyway!

The mention of wet weather clothes actually reminds me of something that happened a couple of winters ago, well the mention of wet weather clothes and having just read Hillary's latest blog too :) It was something that happened when we had gone down to South Wales for a few days. It was December I think and the Bean was two years old. We were walking towards the supermarket having parked the car in the carpark and the Bean was holding both our hands and jumping in the puddles having a grand old time. We were watching where we were going and other people seemed to be looking at us and smiling. I just assumed they were watching the little one having some fun.........until one lady patted me one the shoulder...'Excuse me', she said, 'But your little boy's trousers have fallen down.' And they had. There he was in his wellies and his nappy with his jeans around his ankles. The shame of it! lol

Oh and following my ROAD CLOSED post.....the road has now been closed for 3 days and people are STILL not obeying the signs! Unbelievable. LOL

Monday, 11 August 2008

Road Closed - Get It???

There are signs up on the nearest main road to my house. Road Ahead Closed. Seems straight forward enough to me. To make it even more straight forward there are big yellow signs with huge black arrows DIVERSION. This road closure has been advertised for over a month now and yet, for some bizarre reason, some locals seem to be having trouble getting their head around it.

As you approach there are signs in red and yellow - ROAD CLOSED - RESIDENTS ACCESS ONLY but you would not believe the number of people that are ignoring them. They're swerving around them and then slamming their brakes on when they see a huge line of red and white barriers blocking the road. IT'S CLOSED!!! Shock horror! I don't know how long people will continue to ignore the signs.....makes's me want to go and add my own. I'd only need a black marker pen really and I could add to the ones that are there....ROAD CLOSED - NO REALLY...IT IS!!!!!

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Thinking to 2012....

Today is Sunday, OK you probably know that, but for me Sunday means a 12 hour shift in work. Yawn..... I now have only 20 minutes to go before I can make a start on the hour long drive back home. We've had the Olympics on the telly today in the corner too. It's just fantastic to see so many sports that normally don't get the time of day - the gymnastics, the synchronised diving and the dressage to name just a few. PLUS the big news of the day, Team GB have won their first gold medal! Whooooo!!!! Having watched the video of the win I can understand how it happened. This was the cycling road race - won in torrential rain. If there's one thing our athletes are used to it's training in the rain - no wonder she won!!!

I've also been giving some more thought to the upcoming London Olympics in 2012.....yes only 4 years time and the Olympic spotlight will be shining brightly on Great Britain. It's a concept that I can't really get my head around and the more I think about it the more baffled I become. I mean, take the opening ceremony for a start. China filled it full of their history, culture and was on a major scale and just beautiful to watch. I ask you, how is London going to follow that????? How can we? We don't have the same kind of organised background to show off!!! We could have a brass band maybe? A few clog dancers, a harp even..... but it's just not going to cut it against several thousand dancers and Confucious is it? Maybe we could have the olympic flame shining brightly from a tea cup on the top of the stadium? And who's going to light it? Do we convince David Beckham to do the honours, after all he is one of the UK's biggest exports or maybe we roll out Her Majesty to run the final lap and light the torch?

I'm sure the big cheeses down in the capital have some ideas up their sleeves and it will certainly be interesting to see what they come up with!

OK only 10 minutes left....I'm off to wash my tea cup out before I go home!

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Well I can see that this blogging malarky is going to take work - not least in improving my memory! Over the last couple of days I have thought of quite a few things to spill out onto this screen but now I'm sitting here I can't remember any of them! Typical!

The weather here has been awful the last week or so and that's really not helping with it being the Summer holidays. In fact the whole concept of Summer holidays is grating at the moment. Six weeks is just a nightmare, especially with the rain falling almost every day. August in the UK is always the same - our plan for next Summer is to out of the country, by hook or by crook!

Last night I watched the opening ceremony to the Olympic Games in Beijing and I did so with a mixture of emotions. It's always just amazing to see so many countries coming together in this way and there is no doubt that the ceremony itself was beautiful to watch. However, I certainly could not put China's human rights issues to the back of my mind and as country after country entered the stadium it was a constant reminder of the questionable decisions that their government have made. So many people are affected by this massive nation and the tremendous power it holds and I can't help feel for those who find themselves on the wrong side of this power struggle. I especially have a place in my heart for the people of Tibet, in fact I watched the ceremony as a candle burned in my window to signify the brave people of this country and those living in exile from it. I do not consider myself religious at all although I would describe myself as spiritual and if you were to ask with which beliefs I most agree then the answer would be Buddhism. I find it a compelling and interesting doctrine and I love to read about Buddha and his followers. I also find meditation and yoga to be wonderful. I enjoy both although not as often as I should.

Tomorrow sees me in work very early, so I'll be off now. I'll probably write more in work tomorrow.......this will hopefully be one of the few websites that haven't been banned!

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Where to begin.....

It's hard to know where to start with my first blog. I've started before......but not got any further than fact is that still 'starting' if you then stop? Who knows, anyway, I didn't get any further than my first post. I'm hoping this time will be different.

I'm a mummy to my little boy, who is affectionately known as 'Bean' or sometimes 'The Bean' although he does have a 'normal name' as well. :) He's been known as the Bean since I found out I was pregnant and it just stuck. I remember well holding him above my head and flying him around the front room with his bib turned around to look like a cape and singing 'Super Bean!'.....but maybe that just makes me slightly strange. I am 31 years old, happily married to my hubby, my SLA for 4 years now. And no, I'm not letting anyone in on what the SLA stands for! Guess all you like but it ain't going to happen! lol

I don't really know why I've decided to blog....other than being spurred on by a friend of mine starting recently as well. I work as a freelance writer and I am quite a deep thinker.....I have a lot going on in my head a lot of the time and I never really seem to get the time to let it all out onto paper or anywhere else for that matter. I'm hoping that this blog may help and that I can sort my head out a bit by spilling some of it's contents onto this site!

Right, that will do for my first entry......hopefully the second entry won't be too far away!

Ciao for now!