Thursday, 30 April 2009

da, da, da ,da, da, daaaaaa..... MY SHARONA!!!

Blame a well known brand of breakfast cereal for this one but

I defy you not to, at least, tap your toes. Me? I was flat out air drumming with my son's plastic Early Learning drumsticks. Thanks You Tube (without it we'd never have found the Kung Fu street dancers that my son sooooo adores!!!)

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Things I am not going to do today...

I like lists; they're quick and easy (but probably get boring, so this will be my last). Right {pushes up cardi sleeves, all purposeful and business like} here goes:

I will not shout at the kids in the morning....oh, scrub that, already broken that one; it's the first thing I did today...sorry.


Will not say "just give me 2 minutes" or "be there in a second" to the kids.

Will not forget that I had a fringe cut into my hair, I chose to and, therefore, must blow dry it along with the rest of my hair in order to
a) avoid dodgy, sticking up hairline crisis.
b) enable me to stop wearing my daughter's clips, which make me look like a prematurely aged 9 year old, it's not the "look" I'm striving for right now.

Will not succumb to moaning on the school playground about
a) messy sig. others.
b) Hayfever

I will not be lazy and do slovenly things: for instance, leave washing out on the line all night to get rained on, leave pans "to soak" indefinitely.

I will not choose to ignore library fines; parcels to be collected from the post office etc etc etc

I will not think malevolently of errant builders but will pursue them via Trading Standards in the name of decency and honour, with my simple sword of truth and trusty shield of fair play...or summin' like that!

Will not curtain twitch (spy) on the neighbours, when I'm supposed to be working on the blog stuff...but the computer so well positioned for casual glaces into their back garden and I'm so nosey.

Will not abandon preparation for my return to work next week (only 2 days...phew, no panic!) and will read interesting National Curriculum related documents (sorry but...BORING; NC...dull, dull, dull).

Will not continue to ignore Twitter; some of you are having a ball and I'm missing out!

Right that's enough. What about you?

To cut or not to cut....? Please discuss..

Family 014
Originally uploaded by Simon Wharton
I ambled over to read Tara at Sticky Fingers this morning and observed that we have a similar dilemma. Do boys with long hair really have to get it cut??!! S#1 is, obviously, not looking too chuffed here due to the thought of an, inevitable, scalping.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009


Thanks Amy at 1moremeansfour. Right, must do this properly...

1. What are your current obsessions?

Eating the kids Easter eggs without them finding out; the garden; pursuing errant plasterers (hurray for Trading Standards); googling people and finding discount codes.

2. Which item of clothes do you wear most often?

Well probably jeans but I must confess when I get in the house and shut the door for the evening I always put my PJ's on (I call them "house clothes", so much more comfortable than "outside clothes")

3. What's for dinner tonight?

I had quick pasta, actually, I nearly just had chocolate and a cuppa but sig. other came home and cooked (kids ate well though!!)

4. What's the last thing you bought?

Clinique airbrush concealer and I need it!!

5. What are you currently listening to?

Some rubbish film sig. other in watching (can't even be bothered asking what but it involves walkie talkies and jet skis)

6. Who is your favourite male celebrity at the moment?

erm....Stavros Flatley from Britain's Got Talent? Not really sure, not doing much in the way of celeb watching at the moment. oh, actually, Philip Glenister (Gene Hunt of Ashes to Ashes and Life on Mars fame... "fire up the quattro")

7. What are you reading now?

Mary Wesley - Harnessing Peacocks; Francesca Simon - Horrid Henry's Nits

8. Wow! How Do You stay looking so young? Share your secret!

Clinique airbrush concealer, lots of it. They tell me, it's better than Touche Eclat. Avoid mirrors, so I can remain the way I see myself in my minds eye.

9. What is your guilty pleasure?

Bison Grass vodka cocktails; Britain's Got Talent and I did have another but I've forgotten it. Oh, actually, it's the Shipping Forecast, love it

10. Who or what makes you laugh until you're weak?

The Top Tips pages in women's weekly magazines; Jon Heder's dance at the end of Napoleon Dynamite - sweet!

11. First Spring thing?

Usually hay fever :( BUT on a lighter note, longer evenings and eating outside.

12. Where are you planning on travelling to next?

to bed...I'm tired. Further a field? Probably Scotland.

13. What was the best thing you ate or drank recently?

Children's Easter eggs and a nice cup of Yorkshire tea hmmmmmm tea......

14. When did you last get tipsy?

Last Friday at a "Pampered Chef" party...kind of posh Tupperware, couldn't afford anything. I'd actually had a half bottle of red before I rocked up to the party; my sister was returning to Greece, that means red wine MUST be imbibed!!

15. What is your favourite film?

Too many; probably Napoleon Dynamite, City of God and Breakfast At Tiffany's (to name a few...oh and Star Wars)

16. Share a piece of wisdom.

If life deals you lemons, make lemonade.

17. What's your favourite song?

Too many; going to have God Only Knows (Beach Boys - Pet Sounds) as my wedding first dance song. Anything by The Buzzcocks, Blondie... ohhhh, it's a hard question!!!

18. If you could change anything in your life so far, what would it be?

Nothing really; I'm more than happy with my lot.

The rules are as follows. I tag you. You answer the questions, replace one question with a question of your choice and then tag 8 people. Simple! Here's the 8 people I tag.

It's not just me...

Titan Red

Adventures of a Sleepless Toddler

Parenting By Google

Not Supermum


Sticky Fingers


Razor Kitty

Things I learnt today....

The humble Sherbet Fountain is to lose it's cardboard tube in favour of a resealable plastic one. No more soggy card board

Never put things you might urgently need some day away in a "safe place". This doesn't work if you, like me, are fundamentally, disorganised.

Just because I'm not spending money on clothes for myself, it shouldn't mean that I can justify spending even more on clothes for the kids (although I got nice stuff, loads of it too, from Hennes).

I have to accept that the breast feeding has gone as far as it's going where weight loss is concerned and post natal bodies require attention at some point.

There is a new flu; Swine Flu (actually that's a yesterday thing), my Scottish Auntie will be beside herself with panic.

Sometimes it's good to be disorganised; you can find all sorts of "stuff" in all sorts of places. Ohhh, it's so pleasant to find the lovely things you thought you'd lost.

Try to avoid cleaning the house with a packet of baby wipes.

Just because you lead a horse to water, it doesn't mean they're going to drink...especially if they are too busy to!

Thursday, 23 April 2009

A nice cup of tea does wonders for the soul...

Recently, I was feeling down; not depressed, not discontent...just, sort of, overwhelmed by a sense of melancholy. It happens from time to time...the cure? A nice cup of tea, of course. Nothing comes close to it...not beautiful shoes, fine wine, I've never been much of a champagne drinker, I like chocolate but I'd give it all up for tea: perfectly brewed, not stewed, a splash of milk...lovely. An old college friend of mine told me recently, that when she thought of me, she thought not my panache, my ability to seize the day nor my witty repartee; no, she was reminded of Yorkshire Tea. Tea, however, will do for me.

So, why should such a humble beverage , have such an uplifting effect? Beats me, but I do think it's time for tea drinkers of the world to unite and campaign... "free tea for all"...ahhhh, utopia!

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

It's Top of the Pops! aka Yikes! Not another retro post: part 1

Once upon a time, when the grass grew greener, the trees grew taller, the sun shone more brightly, and Snickers were Marathons, there was a special programme. This special programme was called Top of the Pops. Not the Friday Top of the Pops ; no, the TOTP I'm referring to was on a Thursday, indeed, WERE Thursdays; excitement; anticipation and, apart from the Sunday evening top 40 count down, the biggest thrill of my week. Who could forget the appearance of Culture Club? Confused Dads across the country echoing "Is it a boy or a girl?"; whilst fabulously sulky, sullen teenage daughters glowered at them from beneath electric blue mascara, wondering if they would ever be able to braid their locks in the manner of George. The appearance of Dexy and his Midnight Runners miming fabulously to Jackie Wilson Said while a huge mugshot of Jocky Wilson loomed behind them. Did Kevin Rowland realise? Did he care? We waited for Julianne Regan to warble of her hippy idyll in All About Eve's "Martha's Harbour"? Except Julianne was robbed of her chance to warble and, instead, sat inert, as her audience listened to the pre-recorded lyrics floating soulfully round the studio. The Happy Mondays and The Stone Roses made their debut together in 1989. Was this wise? Certainly interesting! Ian Brown, the Monkey Man himself, swaggered round the stage...too cool for school but clearly thrilled to be there; whilst one wonders whether Shaun Ryder and Bez even realized they were there (seen here with the late, great Kirsty McColl). Yep, TOTP did, occasionally nod to major trends as evidenced in the following performance of, perhaps, the greatest Manchester/Punk band ever (one of my top 5 best ever bands), the mighty Buzzcocks; (I'm sure I saw Pete Shelley in the Trafford Centre the other day; I tried to follow him anyway...I like to think it was Pete...)

The glue that held it all together was, of course, the presenters. The ones who would count down the top 10 for us; make or break our Thursday evenings. Were they trendy? Errr, hmmm, sort of...for the times but safe; very safe; very chirpy and bright and polite: Noel Edmonds; think dapper suits and beards, Bruno Brookes; think brightly coloured sweaters and mullets, Simon Bates ,looking a bit like yer dad and Janice Long, TOTP first female presenter, taste for bright clothing: dare I say, verging on garish, but nevertheless, a look that was oh so easily achievable after a quick trip to C&A's Clockhouse) clothing. She always sounded like she was in a bit of a rush, wonder where she was going? Ah, Top of the Pops, it may not have been as cutting edge as The Tube (with the uber-cool Jules and Paula) or as serious The Old Grey Whistle Test (a study in musicology courtesy of whispering Bob and Annie Nightingale) but it had one thing they didn't: John Peel (R.I.P.). With, his witty asides, dry humour, deadpan delivery...need I say more? Sadly missed. Last words, over to you Mr Peel;

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Books I've nearly read or "You! Yes you at the back! Conentrate!"

I could dedicate a whole blog to the "books I've nearly read". I can't blame it on the children; I can't blame it on running a, somewhat haphazard, home; I can't blame sig. other (I'll try to though). The thing is, I suffer terribly from a lack of concentration, and have done for as long as I can remember. I don't think there is actually anything wrong with me; easily distracted, they told me at school. I managed to train as a teacher and I was( and will be again) a really good one: HMI and the good people at Ofsted, have told me that my classroom: "reflects an organised mind which is evident in my highly effective teaching style" but, after 8 years, I have not managed to climb the career ladder...not one rung. "She doesn't like responsibility" people say; but I do, I have 3 kids; I care, I nurture, I breastfed/feed, I present them with what passes as vaguely nutritious food, I get them to swimming/dancing/ much more responsible can one get? I find the most frustrating part of "lack of concentration" is my inability to finish things off properly. Actually, thinking about it, the concentration thing, might be due to my, very mild, OCD tendencies (very boring won't elaborate) .WOW! Blogging does bring clarity but back to the matter in hand: I can cope with the small stuff, housework/ironing and so on but one thing that really frustrates me, irritates me beyond reason, is my inability TO FINISH OFF READING BOOKS PROPERLY (see I even had to put the Caps Lock on there!). OMG, I actually have a degree in literature! Admittedly, I didn't do all the required reading...well, maybe a page or 2, then York notes (I know, I know they're really for O-level not degree level but...they were very, very useful after a pretend vodka fuelled night out at the grotty S.U. bar). Well now, the buck (book...geddit? A homophone...see told you I could literary stuff, shame about the grammar though) stops here, and I'm going to read the other halves of the books in my collection if it kills me.

So, I'm going to tell you about this one: it's Can Any Mother Help Me?, a study by Canadian academic Jenna Baily (she has my dream job, ohhh I would love her job). Maybe you've read it? Feel free to tell me the outcome. The thing that struck me and, will no doubt strike me once more (when I start reading it again), is the parallel between what we, as "mummy bloggers", do and what the subjects of Bailey's study did. In a nutshell, Bailey charts the development of the Cooperative Correspondence Club (I like cooperatives) or the CCC. A group of women (some anonymous, some not), from across the social spectrum, who created a unique magazine. The publication was circulated amongst a group of like minded mothers; all taking responsibility for editing (it in turns) and publishing each edition, after gathering writing, reflections and advice from all members of the CCC. They they then circulated the work amongst their number. In common with blog posting, this took a certain amount of dedication and belief in what you were/are doing. Comments were hand written beside each woman's article; prompting debate, reflection, advice, empathy. No different, I suppose, than the opportunity to comment after each blog post. The book is brimming with fascinating snippets into the psyche of women dedicated to expressing themselves via their pen. The slices of life portrayed, are the experiences that many a modern mother will identify with: pressures and joys of caring for small children, money anxieties, work and marriage issues. The difference being, that much of it took place amongst the back drop of the Second World War, in an age where diseases such as Polio could, and did, bring tragic consequences, where giving birth, was just that little bit more risky. If this book presents as something you might be interested, in please read it, and if you think of me, feel free to let me know the conclusion, just in case my fickle friend "concentration" decides to turn against me once more.

NB: This isn't a review, I would genuinely love someone to read this and share their opinions with me.