Friday, April 27, 2007

Well, it's friday, 7.45 in the evening and I find myself alone apart from four excited children, two of which want to sleep in the garden tonight. (!!!!) We don't have a tent, they don't see this as a problem! I've just stopped them from laying down our duvet's on the lawn which is covered in rabbit and guinea pig droppings - not to mention all the damp that comes up in the night - I've said no to that. So they are on Plan B phoning their friends to see if they can borrow a tent for the night. This should be fun. Two girls trying to put up a tent - I'll try and take some photos.

Husband is in the garage climbing a mountain on his bike trainer. I am eating crisps and drinking wine. And now I've had so many crisps I can't be bothered to cook tonight. Luckily the girls have all eaten. But hubby'll will just have to have whatever he can find.

I recently got an upgrade on my mobile phone. As I was setting it up, I changed my SIM card over but didn't copy the numbers from my old phone. So when I turned on my new phone it was like going back in time. It was bizarre. 'Home' was our old London number and our 'doctor' was our old London doctor. Aquaintances and parents of our children who I no longer have any contact with were on there and all my new contacts were missing. Suddenly, it was like being in a parallel universe for a moment. Luckily soon remedied - phew! I felt suddenly cast adrift!

Our house purchase is going through well. The people who are renting it (The BBC) are very laid back and allow me to into the garden whenever I want to dig, weed and plant new things! The garden is walled and faces West! Even if the air is cool the new garden is warm with all the warmth in the brick radiating out. It's just wonderful going there, even though I feel like a bit of a mad woman furtively planting and examining the plants. When the renters are out I peer through the windows and imagine us in there!

Well, he's now in the shower and I'm on my second glass of wine. Two little girls are toasting marshmallows on a candle ( under adult supervision) and the other two have disappeared to get a tent.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I'm feeling in need of some parenting advice.

In this wonderful unseasonal weather we've been having, oldest daughter has been out with her friends every evening after school and everyday in the holidays. It's very hard to get her to spend any time at home now. If I ask her to stay in with us she asks me why. And I agree with her, in a way. When I was her age I would get home from school, dump my bags, eat some bread and jam and then head on out again until night fall.

Except in my case I was out up the local farm, cleaning out the rabbits and goats and getting to ride their ponies in exchange for manual labour. However, truthfully I must say that the farm was next to a house which had three teenage brothers in - I fancied them all and would 'poo pick' the front field of the farm (which was across a lane from their house) and peer through the hedge to catch a glimpse of them.

The two oldest boys had their own cars and I knew the sound of their engines a mile off. My heart would leap in my chest when I saw any of them with their friends. All this started at the age of 12. I fancied practically every boy in the village and at weekends my best friend Sue and I would wander about on ponies or bikes going past the houses of these boys' friends. So, innocent but not so innocent. As the years went on I would go to the 'Young Farmer's Disco' at the Village Hall. Oh, such excitement! I had my first 'slow dance' there. A while later, my first kiss to 'Three Times a Lady' - a song that still gives that 'frisson' of excitement when I hear it. I can't remember how old I was, perhaps thirteen or fourteen? I'm not sure.

My parents had no interest in what I was getting up to, not that I was getting up to anything, just wasting my hours peering through hedges! I came to no harm.

I'd like to say, dear reader, at the end of this that 'I married him!' And I nearly did! I went out with the middle brother for three years (from 16 to 19). In a strange twist of fate my husband comes from the next village and was a friend of these boys, but I didn't meet him properly until I was 23 when we both lived in London.

Anyway, I'm digressing. Why, then do I think it's not a good thing that my daughter is doing something similar? And how do I get her stay in more? Pray for rain and a bad summer? I don't think so! Hmm.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Gardening gets (more) interesting!


On Monday the whole family had to go to sign up with a new doctor. We had to take 'wee' samples and general have a check up. I just hate going to the doctor. I almost have a panic attack when I see the blood pressure machine. I'm practically phobic about it. All day on Monday I kept getting that tightening knot in my stomach/bowel region when I thought about it! The funny thing though was that we had to go in two at a time (me with one child, Andy with the other). Comparing notes afterwards Andy and I both discovered that we both lied about our alchohol consumption and even after lying the nurse said we should both cut down! I fear she might be right. We drink like fish.

Andy was complaining about our money situation yesterday, saying 'where does it go, I can't understand it'. I replied 'do you think there might be a corollation between our money situation and the amount we spend on alcohol?'

So, we are going to cut down, only this might be difficult as our 'fish like' niece turns up to stay on Thursday and she might be a bit miffed if alcohol isn't offered. (I can't offer alcohol and not partake, can I? can I?)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

My legs ache

(That's Andy up there in front!)

As our twelve year old daughter is practically feral nowadays, roaming round the local park in packs of youths clad in 'skinny' jeans, stripy tops and floppy fringes, Andy and I found ourselves unexpectedly free when our youngest was invited out for a sleepover on Monday! Well, what would YOU do if you found yourselves alone in a house for an afternoon? Well? Yes, that's right we went for a four hour bike ride!

For the first three hours I enjoyed the views and the sunshine - taking great pleasure in observing all the signs of the emerging season.

The last hour was sheer hell as my poor atrophied legs nearly gave up the ghost. Boy did they ache - and only ten miles before home! Luckily, Andy is a fit as a flea and he pushed me up the hills!

When I got in I practically crawled around for the rest of the evening. I'm OK now (just) and looking forward to repeating the ordeal lovely afternoon sometime soon!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007



Lying in bed this morning thinking about getting up I reflected on a conversation I had recently with two colleagues who are in their twenties. We were talking about fancy dress parties They said they'd love to go to a 'nineties' fancy dress party - they'd know exactly what to wear. They both waxed lyrical about the fashions from the nineties in some misty nostalgic way as if looking back on their long lost youth!

The nineties! Wasn't that just yesterday?

To my mind it's too near to have a 'nineties' party. Added to that I just could NOT tell you what the fashions were like in the nineties. The two of them reeled off fashions just like that. I can't remember everthing they said apart from 'doc martens' (I was wearing them in the 80's) and Naf Naf clothing (I'm sure I was also wearing that stuff in the 80's). Anyway, I think the 90's clearly passed me by despite only feeling like it was yesterday. I must have been too busy having children and being 'mumsy'.

I suppose the 80's was my era - awful fashions as they were. I should find a picture of myself from that era and scan it it (if our scanner wasn't in a box in the garage!) (phew, got out of that one). But the music was fantastic! (especially the music that started in the 70's!). And that reminds me, I've just booked tickets to go and see the reformed 'Police' in September! I CAN'T BLOODY WAIT! I'M SO EXCITED ABOUT IT! (not a tribute band, the real thing!) The tickets cost an arm and a leg but I wasn't going to let that stop me! Andy was umming and aaahing about me buying the tickets (cost mainly) and he's not good at snap decisions so I said 'I don't care, Andy, I'm not going to lose out of seeing The Police, if you don't want the ticket I'll go with my brother', to which he said 'Oh no, I'll come!' Sometimes I think that if it wasn't for me Andy would do nothing with his life apart from the odd bike ride of a Saturday.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The mornings after the nights before!

If you are a fan of Pink Floyd I urge you to go see 'The Australian Pink Floyd' Tribute band (who are currently touring the UK). We had such a fabulous night. It was exactly like the real group, right down to the light shows and the voices. The women singers were particularly fantastic. The funny thing was that I think the men outnumbered the women by about two thirds and apart from the parents who brought their teenage children, the majority of people were well over forty! I was looking at all their faces and imagining them all in their late teens being into Pink Floyd. Some were attempting to be trendy and missing - one middle aged man was dressed as badly drawn boy and a lot of people had those brightly coloured 'ethnic' baggy trousers that people at music festivals and Germany wear. But, I'm sure I too looked like the same to them, and what does it matter anyway! We're all old and still into Pink Floyd (tribute bands!).
Alice's party went (is still going well). Six children for a sleepover - not so much a sleepover as a stay and make lots of noise all night -over. Today I feel rough even though I had nothing to drink last night (makes a change - perhaps it's the lack of alcohol that makes me feel rough? Hmmmmm....
I'm off to Lettuce's tomorrow for a couple of days. It will be lovely to see her, we plan to visit the Renoir exhibition at the National Gallery!

I've just heard this song on the radio and it reminded me of this:

Monday, April 02, 2007

Going Out!

Andy and I are off out tonight (woo hoo!). We are now 'officially old' because we are going to see a Pink Floyd Tribute Band (The Australian Pink Floyd Tribute Band - this makes it better (or not so bad) because this band is supposed to be really good!)

I'll let you know how it went tomorrow if I can. Alice's birthday and birthday party are tomorrow. The fridge is currently full of jelly! (my favourite actually - three flavours!)



Sunday, April 01, 2007

House Update


I thought I'd just post a house update (thanks Dons for asking!).

Well, it's been a very frustrating time recently. I don't know how much I've said before but here goes.

Back in December when we met the owners of the house and they showed us round we all said how mutually beneficial it would be to move at end of May (their lodgers will be out and we have to be out of our rental) (I've told you all this haven't I?). Anyway, to cut a long story short they are now saying we can't move in until the 1st July because that's when they will be back from Dubai and they don't want to have a storage company move them out when they aren't there. So, the lodgers leave on 31st May, we have to be out on the 31st May, the house will be empty for a month, but hey ho - they've said what they want and we can't say otherwise because they know we don't have a choice in the matter. Even though Andy and my brother in law keep banging on at me saying 'it's a business deal, say what we want - they can't do this to us' (humph....why Andy tells me this but lets me do ALL THE NEGOTIATING AND EMAILING ETC). Andy says 'you need to be more assertive that's why people walk all over you'. Well, it's true I could never be a business woman because I'm far too nice. As much as I would like to be in by the 31st May, if they say they can't/won't do it then what do we do? They did (nasty horrible people) say that if we paid for them to move out on the 31st they would!! Can you believe the cheek of some people? I've heard on the local grapevine from people that know them that they were very much the sort of people who only did something if there was something in it for them! I think I can understand that!

Well, so now (finally) after many emails to them asking them to give us their solicitor's details it is in the hands of the solicitors, we have agreed the 1st July, fingers crossed.

We've had the survey done and that was OKish....lots of work needs doing but we were aware of all that. One thing the survey did say was that there is a large tree in the back garden that is too close to the house and needs to either be reduced or removed. I spoke to the 'lodgers' who were happy for me to show tree surgeons the tree and just come into the much neglected and overgrown garden - (lodgers don't DO gardening do they?). The last two Thursdays on my days off I have gone to the garden (mad woman that I am) on the pretext of waiting for tree surgeons to quote on the tree (should I be challenged) and I've weeded and tidied and pruned and raked! (am I mad?). Being able to do this makes me a bit happier about the wait for the house. At least I can get my hands on the garden. I thought that I'd better ask permission from the owners just in case and they agreed that I tidied up their garden for nothing (well they would!). Even if the sale falls through they've had their garden 'done'. It won't fall through. It won't!

The week after we move in, Holly has a day trip to Boulogne with the school and Alice is going away on an outward bound three day trip with the school (her first time away). My 'pessimistic little voice in my head' keeps thinking 'what if we move in on the Monday and Holly dies in a coach crash on the Sunday and Alice drowns in the Norfolk Broads? - after just moving in?' (that's my very very pessimistic voice talking there).

Last Friday was Andy's birthday. We had my sister and brother in law over for the evening and we had a curry. Cath and Kev (brother in law and sister) brought round loads of booze because they said 'we usually drink all yours' . I said 'we'll never get through all that!' Six hours later there were two extremely drunk men in the house. Andy's eyes were open the rest of him was unconcious. He went to bed, got up the next day at 8 to be sick down the toilet, went back to bed for a bit, got up again to be sick, and so the day went on! I think he actually got up at about 6pm, had a shower came downstairs, watched the new episode of 'Doctor Who' and then went back to bed. As I write this he is still in bed! It's 8.40am on Sunday 1st April! (what a fool! - haha)

My brother in law staggered back home with Catherine. Apparently he weaved his way home and at one time fell down in the gutter! Oh dear, grown people eh? (They might be assertive, but they certainly are stupid).