Friday, December 12, 2014

This week I have been reminded that;

Sweeping leaves up on a windy day is pretty near impossible

Even the tinsiest drop of surplus water will make mixing icing sugar pretty impossible. Hence the use of a whole box of icing sugar and lots of stirring.

Buying enough cream cakes for the family becomes very unhealthy when you end up eating more than one just because the date is running out.

How powerful book four,in the Harry Potter series,is. Wow! It's been brilliant! And the last two chapters that we have read were incredible. The amount of detail and the twists and turns of the plot had us both spellbound.
 We were wowed.
Unbelievably I had forgotten some of the plot too! I truly did not know what was coming and that was good in way and funny in another,because how could I have forgot something like that...? This brings me to say....write it down folks,write those memories down any way you care to,be it a blog,a diary,a old scrappy notebook,because memories do fade and we can forget stuff quite easily,even of we think we never will.

Having a project deadline anytime in December is going to be stressful. How can you think about Christmas when you are researching Hitler and Messerschmitts.
 Yep,I can spell Messerschmitt without even looking if up #proud

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Christmas Fair
The dear old school Christmas fair.

So crowded and squashy and hot.

For adults a place of trauma.

For children a place of joy.

Sweet stalls full of pick and mix.

Games to play.

And teachers dressed up as Santa,handing out chocolate.

What's not to like!

For me the best bits were;

The homemade mince pies made by Sally the cook.

Seeing old familiar faces and mouthing ''Hello'' across the crowded hall.

The choir singing sweetly as we entered the school.

The smiles of the teachers as they manned the stalls,they probably just wanted to get home after a full day at work but they were so cheerful and the children loved seeing them selling the yummy scrummy Christmassy stuff.

After the initial mad rush of people had died away it became easily to maneuver around the hall and I had a look at the trophy cabinet and saw Chips name on the wall where all the children awarded the Maths Wizard award were written. I also saw his year five class photo up on display. I always like going into junior school,it has a nice atmosphere and the children are always so polite and friendly.

It was probably more poignant this year because it was the last junior school Christmas Fair that I would be going to.

Yes,after many years of attending events like this.the end is nigh.

This is Chips last year at juniors.

Year six.

Next year comprehensive school beckons.

And I have no more boys to go to junior school or Infant school or nursery.

All my boys are growing up.


As children do.

Hola Hum.

Time to remember the promise I made to myself a long,long time ago.

"Be happy with this amazing chance to do all the stuff you love again. Don't look back and be sad because he is your last child,be grateful that you have got the special gift of a third child."

As with lots of wise words,they are easier said than done.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Been wanting to write something for ages. Each day I think to myself that after I have put Chips to bed I will sit down and write a blog post.

Eight o'clock comes....I sit down,and I'm absolutely too tired. I fall to sleep or I just sit there in a semi comatose state. Needless to say,no blog post gets written.

So tonight I'm just going to go for it and write about whatever comes into my head,with a view to posting it goes...

It's nearly Christmas,well it's nearly December,this means a few things.

1. It's my biggest boys birthday in three weeks! Always something to make me smile. I adore having a Christmas baby,well maybe I should rephrase that to I adore having a son with a birthday at Christmas,maybe that's a post in itself. But to me he will always be a Christmas baby,even though he's six feet tall and 22 years old this can that be....a case of blink your eye I guess. My mum was smiling about that fact this week. It kind of wows us all.

2. I work in a school so Christmas is busy but great too! The children's excitement about Santa is contagious,there is music constantly throughout the day as the children practice their concert songs and there is always chocolate in the staff room....say no more.

3. My middle son breaks up from uni soon!!!! *starts to squeal quite loudly* I can't quite comprehend that he will be at home for a month. This is huge for me. My boy is back. Well nearly.

We are still plodding our way through Harry Potter. 3/4s of the way through book four,getting to the bit where all the questions begin to get answered. We are still loving it and I can see us carrying on to book five when we have finished this one.

So,a few reasons to be smiley.


Well this didn't get posted the next day!

Five days later and still this post is kicking around in the drafts section,with all the same above reasons for not getting posted.

Maybe I shall really,really get my act together and post this up tonight.


We will see!


Third time lucky! 

Posting right now! 

Just a week late!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sometimes,when the two older boys were smaller,we used to go to Blackpool during the October half term break. We would spend a couple of days there doing the whole touristy thing.....visiting the pleasure beach,going up Blackpool tower and of course looking at the illuminations.

Now,both these boys are growing up. One is at work and does not get half term off and the other one is at uni and does not get half term off either.

I thought it might be fun to reminisce about the old days at Blackpool,so I have been casting my mind back trying to conjure up some seasidy memories. The funny thing is that what I remember most is the weather! I find that really sad! How can that be my first memory to come to mind when I think about Blackpool in October half term week. Honestly though that is my strongest memory! I remember wrapping up tight in big coats and gloves and hats and still getting battered by the wind. Because it was further up north the air would be colder and because it was near the coast the wind would be more blustery.One of my firmest memories is the day it was blowing a gale outside but we decided that we would brave it and get the boys out,because,you know,two little boys stuck in a small boarding house is never ideal. It was SO windy that the door would hardly open and we were literally blown down the front. The boys could hardly stay on their feet. The wind was nearly lifting them off the ground! I don't think we lasted long out there that day but hey it left a lasting memory for me!

We would visit the tower and I've been smiling at the boy who used to get to the top of the tower and show such defiance on the walk of death (which is a transparent piece of glass that you can walk over and see all the way down to the ground below) was he scared,not likely,he would jump gleefully on the glass with a Im not scared look upon his face.

In the boarding house we would eat yummy full English breakfasts and warm home cooked meals at night. Delicious soups and all things good. Mmmm. And I recall there was a snooker table that one of the boys used to have a go on. There was also a cat that used to lurk around and the boys would love to spot this cat and stroke it.

We would stay up the north side of Blackpool and travel to the other attractions by either tram or by foot- it was a bloomin long walk down the front in the bracing sea air!

I think the boys favourite thing about Blackpool was the pleasure beach. And we would spend lots of time looking at the big roller coasters and playing on the slot machines. One boy loved roller coasters and one boy was not as keen. One little boy just couldn't wait to be tall enough to ride on the biggest roller coaster of all and eventually,after many years of growing,he did just that and came off smiling and not at all scared or shaken,roller coaster king that kid,never found a roller coaster yet that bothered him!
That's the little boy I sat feeding on a bench amidst the chaos and noise when he was only about seven weeks old. His daddy and brother would have been enjoying the rides and he lay cuddled up with his mummy slurping milk. We bought him a bib,a little bib with baby blue writing on it which read

"When I grow up I'm going to ride on roller coasters like my mummy and daddy"
I found a photo of the baby in the bib!

Little did we know then how true those words would become!

I'm glad I have given some thought to Blackpool because that last memory is such a precious one. I can remember being that young mum of two boys and how happy I was sat feeding my baby whilst all around me was noise. That baby,who had only probably just been named,and me were so happy,it was a feeling of peace and even then I knew it was a special moment. Also it was the last week before my eldest son started nursery. So the time we spent together there was poignant as he was soon to begin another big stage of his life. First becoming a big brother,then off to nursery school.

So cold,blustery Blackpool,I do remember you for lots of reasons.....not just your weather! 
What is he thinking about?
The Boys

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Last October half term I wrote this post about a family day out visiting the city.

Never,in my wildest dreams did I think that a year later my boy would be living in that city and be at university.

But he is and today we are going to visit him!

Chips is beside himself with excitement!

"I'm wishing my hours away," he said,as I tucked him up in bed last night, "so it can be morning time and we can go to see Sharky"

I was looking forward to it too. But I did not wish my sleep away....that's one thing grown ups never do!

So let's see what the day brings and whether or not we find him,in that great big city where he now dwells!

Well the day brought lots of smiles. We went for something to eat as soon as we arrived and then had a wander around the shops.

We read stories snuggled up on a Waterstones big squashy sofa and then went to the slowest cafe in the world and enjoyed a cuppa and a chat.

A really sweet Halloween story.
And that was possibly the best bit. Away from the bustle of the shops and the crowds of people.

Sat around a little round table,cup of tea to slurp and time to chat.

I want to remember that feeling because it was good. Easy going chatter,something that we do well.

Hooray for the slowest cafe in the world!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

List Love
I had been contemplating meal planning for a while.
Anything to make life easier and to help me reach the holy grail - organisation.

So early one morning,when it was dark outside and all was quiet inside,I began a list.

A list of all our usual meals,in the hope that I could create some kind of rota that made meal planning more feasible and not just every day of every week ending up with the same old meals.

I left my notepad out on the kitchen unit and got on with the 
usual school run/work stuff.
You know what mornings are like...busy.

As I got ready upstairs I could sense that Chips was not in the lounge.

''Where are you?'' I yelled down the stairs.

''In the kitchen,'' he replied.

''Keep getting ready,'' I yelped.

You have to use a big voice when you are upstairs
and your child is downstairs
a whisper just isn't going to achieve anything at all.

Five minutes later I rushed into the kitchen,bags flying everywhere,
tissues stuffed hastily into trouser pockets and the hairbrush being 
waved around like a lethal weapon.
I saw Chips hovering around my list but I did not think too much about it.
All that I wanted was for us to get out of the door as quickly as possible.

The morning passed in its usual blur.
Plenty of things to do.
Plenty of thoughts zooming around my head.

I got home and started to think what was next on the hit list and that was when I looked on my list and saw it.

There in very faint writing was a message from Chips.

And it said


Well that was it,Im not ashamed to say it brought a tear to my eye.

That little boy had found time to write me a note.

And what a sweet note it was.   

Very faint writing.

Very simple words.

Very powerful effect on a rushy,stressed out Mummy.

Thank you sweet Chips for caring so much.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Saturday Swimming
We were so concerned about Saturday swimming.

Goodness knows why.

Because it turned out to be the best lot of swim lessons ever!

At the time we did not know that though.

As they say,hindsight is a wonderful thing.

There was the fact that the lessons would be with a new teacher.

And queries about doing widths instead of lengths.

And we thought it would make Saturday rushed and who wants a rushy Saturday, when all the week is lived at breakneck speed,you don't want to make a precious weekend day too rushed as well.

We had also just had the worst set of swim lessons that we had ever had.

The move to the big pool had been harder than anyone had expected. Painfully hard. So bearing all this in mind,we approached Saturday swim lessons with caution. As we ate our Saturday breakfast we discussed what the lessons may entail. We had a lot of questions and only one way to find the answers out....go to the first lesson and see what happened.

We were very early for the first lesson but our first surprise was that it was not a new teacher at all,it was Jenny,our very first swim teacher! And because she knew us well and we were very early,she said we could join the two o'clock class.

There were not many children at all in the 2pm class and it was a different feel altogether than the Friday night class. It was SO peaceful. Just a handful of children,maybe four or five in the bottom end of the large competition pool. The space the children had was unbelievable and the noise level was was blissful. At the end of the lesson I remarked to Jenny about how great it was and she grinned and told me that in Chips proper class there would only be three children altogether,I started to feel that this move to Saturday swimming was going to be a very good move.

And it was.

For the first time ever I felt pretty peaceful at swimming lessons and I think the children felt peaceful too because they swam hard and learnt so many little things that they might not have done within a class of twelve.

They had a go at diving into the deep end. This was a bit ouchy as when you fall into water at speed but without control it can hurt and produce some red sore skin! But at least they had a go.
They were taken to the deep end numerous times to jump in and I can still picture their little excited faces as they leapt into the pool and swam 25 metres to the shallow end.
They did push and glide and all sorts of little swim techniques and quite simply they got such personalised attention that it brought their swimming on no end.

For most of the ten swimming sessions there were only two children in the whole of the competition pool! I guess that speaks for itself,especially if you have ever seen how busy that pool can sometimes get.
Once the swimming baths had a difficulty with the chlorine levels in the small pool and the fun pool but the competition pool was ok so Chips and Cory were the only two children swimming in the whole of the leisure centre! That was just unbelievable too! Like virtually having the whole pool to themselves!

After such a terrible time in the last lot of swim lessons,this was pure bliss. It completely turned Chips attitude around. Gone was the little boy who intensely disliked swim lessons and in his place was a smiley boy who was confident once more and as for the swimming....well both little boys achieved their 50 metre badge this time. I don't think they had ever swam as much to be honest! With just two children to watch and teach,the teachers got them swimming continuously and it did bring their swimming skills on and give the boys more stamina.

So,Saturday swimming is going to stay for us for a while,the very day we did not want to go swim lessons has been the very day that is best!