Tuesday, April 14, 2015

What We Are Reading #1
I have been wanting to join in with this linky for ages.
It is hosted by Carie from Space For The Butterflies 

Every Tuesday she invites people to link up and tell each other what books they are reading.


Last night was quite special here.
It was the night the bedtime stories began again.
 After a break of four months!

Due to my eye operation bedtime stories had been put on hold.
Well any reading has been put on hold.
And for bookworms like me and my son,this has been hard.
I have wanted to read and he has wanted to listen.

We had not abandoned books entirely.
 Chips carried on reading Harry Potter.
Doing a sterling job of reading book five The Order Of The Phoenix
And then starting book six The Half Blood Prince.

And we spoke about books.
And I kept up with supplying Chips with good reading material.
Because as you might already know,bookworms devour books at a rapid speed

But nothing is quite the same as a bedtime story.

And the story I chose was 




Jacqueline Wilson is an author that I really like.
I have not read many of her stories to the boys mainly because 
usually her main characters are girls (don't hate me for saying this)
but at a certain age my boys preferred books where there were more boy
characters or at least a good mix of boy/girl roles.

We did read Cat Mummy.
It made me weep buckets!
What I remember about Jacqueline Wilson 
is that she writes about the nitty gritty stuff of life.
Which may be a bit uncomfortable to read sometimes
but also throws up brilliant topics for discussion and this is 
happening already as this book touches on the subject of blended families.

This is the main reason 
that I chose to read this book to Chips.
Its contemporary and miles away from magic and wands
 (I'm starting to grin now as I could be very wrong about the magic)

Don't get me wrong.
I adore magic and wands.
But we have been reading that in abundance.  
And I thought something different might be just the thing.

Right...the characters...

Rosalind 
Rosalind is the eldest child and she tells the story.
She does not really like being the eldest child.
She really misses her mum and dad being together
and she likes to read - a lot!

Robbie
Robbie is Rosalind's brother.
He seems quiet.
He is scared of his step sister 
and likes to carry a collection of toy animals around with him.

Smash
Smash is Rosalind and Robbie's stepsister.
She is trouble!
Loud and brash and totally aggravating
She seems to be desperate for her mums approval
and has a real soft spot for her baby stepsister.

Maudie
Everybodys step-sister.
The baby of the family
and much loved by everybody! 

 Alice
Smashs' mum
She seems a dubious character!
She does not seem to like children or walks or mess.
Will she change?

Dad
Rosalind and Robbies dad -married to Alice.
He tries hard to bring all the family together.
Will he succeed?
 The Story So Far

All the children are staying at Rosalind's dads house.
Its overcrowded and much to Rosalind's dismay there is no privacy at all.
Smash is already causing trouble...
biting Robbies precious animals and provoking Rosalind into pushing her over.
Their dad decides that they should go out together on a walk.
And so they all trek to a local wood.

And that is where we got to!

Isn't it amazing how much you can pick up from just one chapter!

I'm looking forward to seeing how the book develops.

Linking up to What We Are Reading 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Easter Hols - Part One
Well we are half way through the Easter holidays,eek.
It feels like it has been the Easter hols for a long time though.
What with Sharky breaking up a week earlier,it will mean a month of 
one or another of the boys being on holiday,which of course I adore.
I always want these boys of mine at home whenever possible.
 
We are still surrounded by Easter eggs.
I don't think that we have had as many Easter egg as this for years - if ever!
Even now I'm astounded by the amount of eggs that we have got left
and believe me there has been some serious chomping of chocolate going on here. I think we had more eggs than Asda did!

Easter day itself was lovely.
We had a early egg hunt,followed by a chocolately breakfast
and a laze around in our jammies and then it was off to my mums for dinner.
the dinner was huge and scrummy and i could eat it again right now!
It is so nice to have a dinner put infront of you,I don't think the novelty 
of that will ever fade.
The children played nicely together.
Chips played a epic game of Ludo,this game either makes or breaks you.
I think its the time it takes that leaves everyone mentally scarred,
but hey,Chips loves it!
My little toddling second nephew entertained us with his cuteness.
He is just adorable and never fails to make me smile.
We stayed for tea and that was yummy too.
The dessert I chose was called 'Eat and Mess' and mmmmm is all I'm going to say about it.
A big thanks to my mum for putting on such a fantastic day for 
all the family,we really do appreciate it. 
Thinking back I have just found a old post from 2013 about
going to my mums for Easter dinner it seems its a real tradition for us.

On Monday we went for a walk around a local country park.
It was a sunny day and the park was absolutely packed out with people and dogs. I think everyone had taken their dogs for a walk that day.
 It was a beautiful day and a beautiful setting.
 Chips played football with his dad and had a lot of fun throwing sticks 
and stones into the lake - he got very grubby hands!
 The next few days were a mix of hairdresser and dentist appointments.
I also bought Chips some tee-shirts,which we were both pleased with.
Thursday was a big day.
The boys went up to Liverpool  and went on a tour around Anfield.
This was Chips birthday present from his big brother,so it was very special.
They all had a great time and came home safe and sound and very tired!

Friday was spent catching up on school work...it is taking shape,
doing numerous amounts of washing  (seriously where does all the washing come from) and just chilling out after the day at Liverpool.
The boys played on the wii together and fun was had.

So that was our first week of the Easter hols.
Today Sharky goes back to uni,he will be missed and that is a complete understatement.
Chips and I have another week off - lets see what we get up too!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Dear... #1
Dear Tigs
 Can you remember the day that we went to King Georges playing field
and played with your parachute man on the big slide...
probably not,let me tell you about it...

It was the sort of day that was warm enough to go out in just a jumper
but not quite warm enough for just a tee shirt.
I can remember the actual feel of the day.
The air was still.
No wind.
And no sun either.
Quite a grey old normal British day. 

At that time we lived near three parks.
One was quite close to us,it had a bit of play equipment
but no trees or pretty bits - not much soul.
One was quite a walk away - maybe half an hour to get there,
it was beautiful,with woods and a big duck pond
but no play equipment....lots of soul but no toys.
And the third park was the one in the middle,
it had a few trees and maybe one piece of play equipment,
a big Wickstead Slide,so it had a bit of everything...
a toy and enough soul to please your tree loving mummy. 

Now,some of you might know what I mean when I say a Wickstead Slide.
They were very tall slides,with at least twenty small steps
and at the top was a tiny platform that you stood on before 
sitting down on the slide and pushing off on the journey to the bottom.
These slides were not for the faint hearted,they were tall 
and once on the steps it was virtually impossible to turn back
and go down to safety,as there were usually a queue of people behind you.
No,once on the steps the only way off was to climb to the top and whizz down
that shiny,silver slide,no matter how terrified you were.

Well on the day I'am talking about there was no queue of children
jostling around the slide,we were the only people on the whole park.
This was not unusual,we would go to the park most days,
no matter what the weather was.

Lots of the actual details of this day are vague,
it was probably nineteen to twenty years ago 
and it was not a particularly special day like a birthday,
so there is no reason for me to remember it so well,
but I do,
even now,
after all these years.

 I remember you,
standing at the top of the slide,
holding a little parachute man.
One of those cheap party bag toys that promise so much and then never work.

You were launching it over the top of the slide,to see if it would fly.
You had the biggest smile on your face.
I stilll see that smile,even to this day.
You wore a little cap and you were so happy.

I sat on the grass below the slide and looked up at you.
There was no one else around.
Just me and you.

I remember looking up at you and smiling.
I wasn't worried that you were stood on the top of the tallest slide ever.
I didn't even twinge when you dangled your parachute man over the edge 
and grinned and threw him down.
You were a capable child and I obviously trusted in your abilities,
or I would not have been sat down at the side of the slide,
smiling up at you.

Why ever this day sticks in my head I reallly do not know.

Tigs,we went to that park countless times.

But i do recall that day and it makes me smile...

A young mum and her young son playing on the park.

Friday, December 12, 2014


Thoughts
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.

Fast.

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

Mutterings
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 tomorrow...here 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 year....how 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.

Maybe...

We will see!

*******************

Third time lucky! 

Posting right now! 

Just a week late!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Blackpool
 
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!
Brothers


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