About Me

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South West
This is my blog and "My Time". Time for a few moments to myself: Time away from chores and Time to stop the whirring of family logistics that keep my brain permanently occupied. I am Mother of two, wife of one, with a dog to complete the set. I have a full time job and spend every free hour trying to ensure school bags are packed, birthdays remembered and bills paid. My life is chaotic, fun, demanding and fast. I, like most people, need more time.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Little readers

The last two Mondays were a little disappointing and I'm glad to say this one was better - even though I was working on a Bank Holiday! 

It was a proud Mummy day.  Daughter has moved up in her reading book level to a stage 5, which she has been working towards for a while, and Son read his first book, with sentences.  Like many of those who are heading towards Reception, he has "Ready Steady School" a few times as week, and is loving it.  For me it is amazing.  Daughter reading ever-longer more tricky books and Son just starting out.  WOW.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

A day of rest?

Sunday, a day of rest.  Nobody told me! 

My best mate and her family are moving overseas in August and she and her husband are today at a car boot sale.  So we had their three children with us this morning, from 8.30am - which was my idea and the children are all lovely, so it was quite easy.  Some days five children is less work than two, becuase they all disappear off together and play.  It was one of those days.

It's a house full - two adults, five children and a dog.  Before midday we had walked the dog, played pooh sticks in the stream, and the visited the sweet shop (for energy to get us home).  A bit of quiet time, with the telly on, the children quiet(ish) and Husband has lunch in hand.  That gave me a bit of "My Time" - amazing. Oh, and the sun is shining!

After lunch together, we went to their house for a "Ben 10" 5th birthday party, armed with "Ben 10" fairy cakes.  With Son not being a total party animal, particularly to start with, it was great having Husband there to share the clingy boy.  Not usually much sign of Daughter at parties, as she disappears almost immediately.  Now back home, children fast asleep, dog happy and I get a bit of "My Time", again - twice in one day - not bad!

So although not a day of rest, I wouldn't change a thing.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Secret's out

What a great day.  I have finally admitted to someone other than Husband that I'm now a blogger!  Best Friend, who moved away last year, is a veritable professional compared to me, and made lots of suggestions by email, that I need to try to understand over the coming days.  It was great to share "my secret" with someone and all I wanted to do all day, was get home and get blogging!  I hope this does not make me sad.

I am now home and on the computer.  Friday night is "film night" in our house.  Daughter and Son, having been living by the clock all week, as we desperately try to get to places on time, are allowed a picnic-style supper in front of the telly, watching a film of their choice.  It is a real chance to slow the day down and chill.  I am usually joining them, in pj's, feet up and a glass of wine (for me).  Husband off singing in a choir, returns after a visit to the pub to discuss the evening's singing. Lovely.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

New Title, new deadline

Well, our next book is slightly different, it's a crime thriller by Danielle Ramsay called "Broken Silence".  I've downloaded it onto the Kindle and now need to find some time (ha!) to read it.  Our evening was as fun as ever and the bike was the right decision.  Next month is at our house, so the bike can stay in the shed, but I must plan supper - which will be a tough act to follow.

One author that I've enjoyed reading recently is Alice Peterson, her new book, called "Ten Years On" has just been released and I can feel a purchase coming on.  I have read one of her novels called "Monday to Friday man" which is about a girl who wants to rent out her spare room and her friends suggest she gets a Monday to Friday man, which she does, and whom she becomes very curious about.  Alice's first book "A Will To Win", which I am determined to read at some point, is about Alice's own battle to live with Rheumatoid Arthritis.  There are others on my list "Help" by Kathryn Stockett and "The Room" by Emma Donoghue - both highly recommended.

A good way, I have found, to get suggestions of what to read next is to use Facebook.  I had some great replies to a status saying "I need a new book - what do you recommend?".  That kept me reading for months, particularly as one was a trilogy.

When do I read?  Alas not at night time - my eyelids simply don't co-operate.  If woken early and the brain starts to sort out logistics, then I can definitely get a few pages turned.  I try to sneak in the odd page whilst the children are playing or otherwise distracted, although they do cotton onto this quite quickly.  If a book is particularly gripping and husband is at home, then I do request quiet time and allow Daughter, Son and Husband to have some quality time together, whilst I slip away with my book, and two great friends of mine "peace and quiet"!  The only time I try really hard to resist the book is when the children are eating their supper, as I'm a great believer that during mealtimes they should have my full attention.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Book Club

Well, I never thought I would join a Book Club.  The idea of having to read a book by a deadline and then discuss it in detail, just did not seem like fun to me.  However a few girlies from the village decided it would be.  As I am now working full time, I don't see friends as often as I'd like, so this seemed the perfect way to stay in touch.

So our book club was born and I do think we should use the term "book club" a little loosely.  Yes, we do read a book, yes we do discuss the book, but it's really about us girls getting together to catch up and sip wine.  Oh, and it's always advisable to go by bike.

Recent reads have been:
  • "One Day" by David Nicolls.  A story of two students who meet up on the same day every year, and how their lives change year on year.  It was an easy read, which was enjoyed by all.  It is also a film, but I hear that is not so good.
  • "Before you go to sleep" by S J Watson.  A story of a woman who woke up, next to a man she did not know, that she suddenly realised he was married.  Thinking she had really blown it this time, she went to the bathroom and saw photos of her, with this man, and a message saying that she lost her memory when she slept.  So every new day, she had to start all over again.  We all liked the book, and it was certainly a page turner and one that I wanted to get to the end.  The only slightly negative comment was that we felt we did not get to know the main character very well.
  • "Ship of Brides" by JoJo Moyes.  This is a story set after the war, and tells how the Aussie brides left home, their families and friends, and travelled across the world to join their new husbands, whom they had not seen for a long time.  The 600 brides in this story did not travel on liners, but on an aircraft carrier, with 100 men also on board.  It was not the easy-read of the earlier books, but well worth it.

Now I'm off to find out what is next...

I don't like Mondays.....

Last Monday did not go well.  This one, did not start well.  A bowl of cereal was tipped all over clean uniform,  a forgotten coffee morning at work (and lots of pretending all organised), a bumped car and a parent enquiry that went round the houses!  Ending up with the first opportunity for my "other job" (selling books) on a day I am at work!  Next week I am considering getting a cold/sick bug/breakdown or something that will ensure I'm still in bed!

I do know why I don't like Mondays.

Monday, 30 April 2012

Rain, rain go away

When will it stop?  We have had two days of constant rain recently, on each occasion about an inch in one day. We spent yesterday at a Factory Shop outlet, dodging rain showers and waiting for a dry spell to let the children ride on the Merry-Go-Round.  It was not the best day to go, but we survived.

We were with friends and had a full car - girls were in the back seats (ie in the boot), with the two boys and me in the middle and Husband and other Mummy in the front. The journey was going well until Daughter got car sick, a first, about 5 mins before our destination.  I think there was one bend in the road too many.  That cleared up and our shopping list doubled, as it was not only shoes to get, but also a new outfit for Daughter.

Our first problem was the big cafe was shut, so we would have to find somewhere else to grab some lunch.  However, shoes first, and luckily our two kiddies did not need any.  Next stop, new clothes! Then to lunch, which was quite noisy with four children, and then two other shops and we headed off.

On our way home we stopped at a friends' house.  She is not married (no idea why not) and so her flat is a lovely and calm, cream and tidy.  Then we arrived. Wet soggy coats and shoes left outside. The children were fab, but it was certainly a little chaotic. On the way home we sang songs and kept everyone going, before getting on with the bedtime ritual.

And finally, two tired parents then flaked out in front of the telly.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Walk the walk...

Today we managed to fit in a short sponsored walk, watch a bride leave the Church (big excitement for 6 year old Daughter), get a sneak look into the 1930s Rolls Royce, and all this followed by a playdate with with the Youngest family.

The school supports Save The Children with an annual walk, and has done for 40 years.  Originally we did the walk along the route to The Cathedral, however it is now a walk around the school grounds and ends with a roast lunch in the dining room.  The route was much reduced this year due to the incredible amount of rain that we've had over the last week - it is a drought, of course - and so the start time was a little later.  We just got there in time and set off a few minutes before the back marker.  As it was getting close to lunchtime, I did not hold out much hope for two little ones reaching the end, so lots of encouragement was needed, (including cookies and brownies).  They got half way round (about 1 mile) and we took the direct route back to lunch.  Daughter, who was previously totally against the whole idea of a walk, was disappointed not to get to the end, but (younger) Son could not be persuaded to continue on.  The chance of seeing friends at lunch made the decision easier.  The day was a big success with everyone enjoying the walk, which was not as slippery as it could have been, and lunch, with wine, kept parents happy and the bucket for donations topped up. Total amount raised is not finalised, but will hopefully be in the region of £2,000+.

After lunch we headed to friends house for a play, and managed to see the bride leaving the Church as we drove past.  I had thought we had missed this important part of the day, but we were in luck.  The bride, our neighbours' daughter, looked stunning, as did her new husband and the bridesmaids.  We, however, we in muddy trousers and wellies, and kept a very low profile.

Two tired little ones into bed, so Husband and I were able to sit down and enjoy watching "The Voice" on BBC1.

We did it.

We have all survived the first week of term. In the past we have returned on a Monday for two and a half days of meetings and then boarders back on Wednesday and day on Thursday.  However, this time the boarders came back on Sunday and day on Monday, so our first week was a full one!  I will admit to being a little tired...

We shared our Friday night film night with our great family mates, who are sadly soon to leave these shores (boo hiss).  It was fun, and I returned from work to find all 5 children fed and washed - all I had to do was to turn on the telly, open the wine and catch up with A.  If you have not seen "Hop" it's a great film for kiddies.

Talking of which, my other great mate, Sarah Miles (you must read her blog called "Hello Wall") who left these parts (not shores luckily) last year, sent me a brilliant birthday present.  A Costa token.  We used to sneak off for Costa as often as possible when they lived in the area, and I saw the tokens recently and thought of her, but her birthday has already happened.  I think I'll save the token to share with A or Sarah.

I love keeping in touch with friends, but I am truely awful at it, and not helped by my electric devices losing address and contact details, never helps.  In fact, tomorrow we're hoping to meet up with a great girl I used to work with.  The weather looks bad, so we'll need an indoor plan....

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

What a start....

Well, first day of the summer term, and it's definitely had a Monday feel to it.  The morning started with a work call at 06.30 which needed about half an hour to sort out - various calls all round the world to try to get the problem solved.  It turned out that someone missed a flight and, in fact, had they thought about it, they could have told me at 17.00 the day before!! That sorted, and my children left to get themselves up, dressed and breakfasted, left a slightly stressful time of catch-up and getting ready.  The children were amazing and just got on with it, however Daughter, who does not like sharing me with work, said "maybe you shouldn't have children, Mummy".  Ouch, and with that I broke down in tears.  One, slightly confused 6 year old, did not realise what a heart wrenching comment that was and began to cry.  After lots of hugs, we agreed that we would need armbands if the tears did not stop soon, and calmly got on with the job in hand of breakfast, and getting to school.

After school was a rush to pick up a couple of their friends for a playdate and I decided to make brownies for pudding.  Somehow my full-proof receipe was also susceptible to Monday, and failed.  After supper lots of dancing and games and, unfortuantely, a bump to Son - led to a teary goodbye. Telly soon soothed the sitation and a quiet game of lego - how high can you build a tower?  The answer - taller than a 4 year old, but not a 6 year old.

Little ones now in bed, and I am still reeling - writing this with tears in my eyes as I wonder if working full time, and having to put children second is really worth it?  A massive question, that I'm not sure I can answer.  We don't live in a city, there are not loads of job and mine fits very well with Husband's.  I must count my blessings - but today that feels like that is a very big ask.  Life and how to live it? - is a big question.

As Husband is home later tonight, so I'll either hit the wine, cry, stare at the telly, or simply go to bed and get rid of today.  Enough, as I say to the children.

Tomorrow can only get better.....  I'm glad to say it did!

Saturday, 21 April 2012

My first ever blog

Well, I have to admit to being a little confused when I started this.  Never mind, it's just a bit of fun and a chance to record some of the funny things that happen around me, the achievements of children and the general chaos that is family life.  It may even turn into something that we can all look back on and enjoy.  I'm not sharing this with nearest and dearest just yet, until I get the hang of it.

So we're off to the park to enjoy some sunshine, while there is some.  Bikes for the kiddies, a lead for the dog and sarnies for all.  Wow, what an outing .... now back home again, it was as if Daughter knew what I've been up to.  An achievement to record on my blog - no more stabilisers on her bike.  She has taken a bit of persuasion, but has now succeeded - and is certainly, quite rightly, very proud of herself, as is Mother and Father; however younger Brother is a little on the "green-eyed" side.

Supper will be early on account of their tiredness from all the cycling, and telly has been banned today due to bad behaviour yesterday!  They were at a playdate with friends and all the children painted the walls of the playroom - Mrs M was not too chuffed, and luckily most of the paint came off. Discussion about punishments followed, and the "no telly Saturday" was agreed.

Once in bed, it's time for The Voice (as Husband and I had not painted the walls, we did not incurr the "no telly Saturday" rule).