Sunday, 21 September 2008

A disappointy sort of day

My day didn't quite go to plan really!

First Michael was meant to be playing football but had pulled his hamstring running with J the day before, so he was realy fed up about that.

Then my plans to meet up with a friend to talk about sling shopping went pear shaped, mostly because I am a scaredy cat on the phone and stupidly relied on emails to arrange times etc. Of course I forgot that she would be out all day and so not check said emails. Doh!

As a result we ended up dropping Victoria off a whole 20 minutes early home, because we were out and about, which was a first for J in his 11 years of seperation from his ex.

Then we went to pick up Amy from her friends house but there was no-one in! We managed to find them eventually but had to do a bit more driving around. It gave J the chance to show me a few houses around Heald Green that he had been eying up on the internet. I am not the remotest bit interested in moving house you understand. But he is having his annual rant about it going downhill around here etc etc. So I play along but am quick to point out the dodgy brickwork and the too-small back gardens (or what you can see of them from the road).

Once back home I dig out the Ikea catalogue and the tape measure. It has been our plan for a little while to sort out storage in our bedroom and I have been lusting after the Pax installation with all the swizzy storage bits inside. We would get a huge mirrored door and an oak one to match the Ikea bed we bought last month. But to my frustration I found the ceiling is too low where the bay window roof overhangs, by a hair's breadth. The pamphlet says we need a min ceiling height of 202cm for the 201cm wardrobe but we only have 201cm for quite a lot of the space where the run of cupboards will go.

So, do we look for another fitted affair elsewhere; buy a more freestanding option (which we have now together with all it's wasted space round plinths and legs); or take a stanley knife to our bouncy bedroom carpet and MAKE it fit- my personal favourite. But DH's response to this idea- "we won't be able to take it with us if we move."


Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Punctuality rant

How hard is it to be punctual? Ok I am not the most organised of people and can sometimes be a couple of minutes late when meeting friends, but at least I apologise and appear suitably rushed and flustered.

As the person in charge of administrating attendance at school it is my job to make sure all the children are in school on time, and to check up on any who are not. Being new to this side of things, I went on a training course today, and I have to admit I'm a little overwhelmed. Put the marks in wrong, or in the wrong order and it is deemed illegal. Giving a child the wrong absence code could amount to fraudulent activity by the school and accusations of cooking the books to get the figures above the required percentage. And the timing of latecomers is crucial- any latecomers after 9am are classed as "unauthorised absence/missed session". Furthermore, it is a requirement of my job to immidiately telephone any pupils that have a missing mark once the register closes, in the interest of child welfare and safety. This in itself is a long winded job, one which would be made much easier if a) parents phoned when their kids were sick/at the dentist/moving house and b) if they actually got to school on time.

Sadly it is the same faces on a regular basis that miss the register. I am torn between giving them a ticking off or welcoming them with a "glad you are here" face. I usually go for the latter as I realise it is not usually the fault of the children. But you know, I would much prefer it if the parent didn't skulk behind the gate whilst ushering Tillybud inside, but instead just held their hands up and said "Sorry, we missed the alarm". Which in fairness, some do!

But the worst offender has to be that of the late after schoolers. Most nights there are one or two littlies still waiting 15 minutes after the bell goes for hometime. However tonight, one little poppet was not collected until 4:25, an hour and ten minutes after the bell went and 25 minutes after my official clocking off time. Just across the playground there were also children still around, only they were paying £6 each for the priviledge of After School Club care. We had desperately tried to ring someone to no avail, and had comforted Poppet when she thought mum had disappeared of the face of the earth. But no thanks nor apology were pro-offered for the school's (ie my!) goodwill here.

And so I was late for my evening meal, late for my baby's post-work breastfeed, and late seeing my poorly big girl who had been crying for her mummy all day. And J was not pleased. "If only you could be on time" he sighed as he dished up claggy pasta. I wish.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Sassy Secretary Shoes

As I am now officially back at work proper I have been revisiting my dressy wardrobe. Bizarrely my feet seem to have grown a little as my black heels no longer fit. What a shame- new shoes then!

I tried loads on and none were quite right. I was having a Blow the Budget day too but even my special favourite shoe shop Office failed to deliver. I was edging towards the shoe-boot but all I tried were too high, uncomfy or toe-pinchy.

Until I found these:

Best of all they are really comfy too! I am just getting used to what sorts of outfits I can team them up with. I think I need to get me a wintry but short skirt as I have lots of funky tights that would go.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

6 week hols part 3- eh, calm down it's only a Yellow Duckmarine

We managed to fit in a last minute summer holidays day out to Liverpool, somewhere I have a realy fondness for due to being involved with English Heritage which was in turn involved with a lot of the World Heritage Site enscription, Capital of Culture Stuff and much more. The region had it's own sub-group, the aptly named HELP project (Historic Environment of Liverpool Project). I learnt so much about the place from my colleagues and so I thought it was about time I had a proper visit, other than for work or shopping.

We had a brilliant time! We went to the Tate after moseying round the Albert Dock for a while (I had to laugh when my friend informed her daughter that this was where This Morning is filmed- she didn't know it had transferred to London nowadays!). I liked the Picassos especially, but I wasn't sure about the piece of modern art which was a flourescent tube penetrating a mattress adorned with wire coat hangers and light bulbs. There was a great art space for the kids though and we hung out there for a good hour.

We then went for a ride on the Yellow Duckmarine- an amphibious vehicle which takes you on a tour of the city and then splashes into the Mersey via the Dock. We saw all the sights, Paddy's Wigwam (also known as the Roman Catholic Cathedral), the Chinese Arch, The Ropewalks area, The Liver Birds and the new Beatles hotel (where the tour guide joked that although most rooms were £500 a night, you could have the Ringo one for a fiver). The kids really loved it and although it was a bit pricey you were on the vehicle for a whole hour and the guys on there made it really fun. You can see the reflection of it is this pic:

We were sadly too late to visit the Firefighters' Olympics which were being held at the Echo Arena that day. As you know I am a huge lover of sports and it had nothing whatsoever to do with men in uniform showing off their hose skills.

We rounded off the day with a drink in the Beatles Story Museum cafe. I could've stayed all day and was like a giddy child looking at all the memorabilia in the gift shop. Amy bought a cool Yellow Submarine design writing set, meanwhile I was coveting a gorgeous bag which I may have to order online.

I already want to go again! Next time we will look round the Protestant Cathedral which was immense and maybe do the Maritime Museum. Reckon I will schedule it for the next Firefighters' event.

Friday, 12 September 2008

6 week hols part 2- Agatha Christie and Clotted Cream

Our holiday this year took us to Devon. I have never been to the South West before so I was really excited! I spent a whole week beforehand writing lists about what list I needed to write, before meticulously packing for the seven of us (well ok J did his own, sort of, and the step squidges brought a lot with them from their mums). We looked a bit like the National Lampoons when setting off as we had our cases on the roof wrapped in tarpaulin, alas no trendy roofbox. Still, it was easy to spot our car at services, being the only one with a bright blue parcel atop.

Eleanor made it very known to us that she did not appreciate being in the car. I ended up sitting in the middle row inbetween 2 carseats for the full 10 hours, punctuated by much screeching and V-Tech plinky plonky noises.

We stayed in caravan which was really nice and spacious, in fact it had more seating than our living room, which was good and facilitated plenty of Olympics watching! The place we were staying at was called Challaborough Bay (foreground above), which was adjacent to Bigbury-on-Sea and Burgh Island, shown on the left above, a little place that was cut off at high tide but that featured a nice Art Deco hotel which apparently was used a lot by Agatha Christie. Sadly you weren't allowed up close unless you were staying there, but we did climb to the top of the island for some wonderful views, once we had battled with the swarms of flying ants!

Some Burgh Island themed pics: On the way, us at the top, Dan looking at the view back down, paddling by the sea tractor, the Island cut off later that day.

We had decided to have one big day out. We had heard lots about Paignton Zoo so we headed there. It was brilliant! We found a little viewing platform at the back of the apes area and had our own private viewing of some Orangutans and Gorillas, who both decided to put on displays for us, the latter trying to chuck stones and sticks at us and beating his chest cartoon style. I think it must be something to do with J, maybe he smells a bit animal, a tiger peed on him once at a zoo.

J Connecta'd up watching a gorilla, I wanna be like you-oo-oo, you don't scare me!

We had ok ish weather and did lots of playing on the beach. Daniel bought a body board and spent hours in the water, while the others dug a giant hole and then had us all taking turns to jump it. That game went really well until Michael decided to stay in the hole whilst Amy jumped, Evil Kneivel stylee over both. Needless to say it went a bit pearshaped when Amy lost her nerve and didn't quite make it across. Oh how we stifled our giggles while doling out sympathy in equal parts to the injured children.

Some beach pics:

After a great week, with clotted cream on toast for breakfast just because we could, we had a last minute day out in Dartmouth, which I loved, we were sad that we didn't have more time! We managed to get some pictures by the quayside. The eagle eyed amongst you will note my lovely Podeagi, only borrowed, but hey it had mermaids on it so went with the maritime theme of the town:

All in all, a lovely holiday!

6 week holidays part one- Manchest-ohh

So mum took the children away to Wales for a couple of days so me and J went sightseeing in Manchester! We live just a mile from the city and every now and again we go as tourists- no shopping or errands, just walking and looking. Well ok we did sneak a pint in by the canalside in Castlefield. Here is a pic of my lovely hubby posing in from of the Beetham Tower, note my pushchair making a rare appearance! This weather was the nicest we had all summer.

Another Manchester day took us to babylovesdisco at the Urbis. It was really good fun, the kids loved it and we will be looking out for the next one which will be in a real nightclub! Hurray for the smoking ban. Best of all we got 2 free pairs of babylegs from one of the Arts About Manchester people who thought Eleanor was cute dancing with her big sister. Here's a pic of the mosh pit.

Sigh, I love this city, I do.

Sunday, 7 September 2008


Oops it's been a while! After I promised (myself) that I would blog at least once a week. To tell you the truth, I've been sulking. I typed up a long post including a recipe for my anniversary dinner of baked cod in pancetta with garlic potatoes, green veg, roasted vine tomatoes and pesto dressing, but I blimmin lost the post! I stupidly pressd ctrl + a instead of shift + a whilst typing and promptly selected then overtyped all my work. I realised immediately and realised that there is an autosave thing on the bottom. But how to revert back to what was saved- clueless. So I pressed the red x and went on facebook instead.

I do have pics to share, from our lovely Devon holiday, and some of baby squidge getting all big. Heck I might even post the recipe if I am in the mood.

But not tonight- I have an outfit to plan, revolving around my posh new shoes.

Until next time x