Saturday, November 30, 2013

Splashy Smiles
Let's see....what's made me smile this week....

Children have made me smile. My own and the others that I come into contact with through work,swim lessons and Chips friends. I have smiled with J about inhalers,I have smiled as I watched children try out for their twenty five metres at swimming and I have smiled at the funny things the children have said to me during assessment time at work,they came out with some corkers!

Buying baby stuff has made me smile. It's so nice to browse through the tiny items of baby clothing and ooo and ahhh over how diddy it is. I was buying for my nephews baby boy who is scrumptious and I chose a hat. A pale blue teddy bear hat that I would have put any of my boys in when they were small. I'm hoping his mum and dad will like it and I think it will keep him so snug as he's out and about in his pram.

Being a touch more organised has kind of made me smile. Not at night,when I have dragged myself up off the sofa to do it but in the mornings it has made me smile,so perhaps it's worth it. And I'm extra smiley that I have kept Chips shoes shiny as buttons this week. It's a job well done.

Sunsets and pretty winter skies have made me smile. I'm forever trying to capture that perfect shot of a sunset,I've got some lovely photos but I'm still looking for that one shot where I think yes.

Hearing children sing Christmas songs has absolutely made me smile. Goodness me I'am so lucky to spend my mornings listening to the sweet voices of children singing. They are practicing their Christmas Concert songs and it really does make me smile when I hear them.

My new slippers...oh these have made me so very happy.They are so furry and so soft and so warm and pink. I love them.

Having heating has made me smile,every,single,time,I switch it on. Last winter our boiler was on its last legs. It was a constant worry that it would break and eventually it did. We were without heat for a couple of weeks,in the middle of winter,when all the snow was around. It was just horrible. So even a year later I do not take this heat for granted and I do really smile every time I switch it on.

So lots of things to smile about.

November At Our End

Friday, November 29, 2013

Picture the scene.... It's home time and the junior school children are let out to freedom after a Monday back at school. They are really cheery and full of chatter and smiles and the talk is all about inhalers.

After Chips virus and wheeze last week,he was prescribed an inhaler and very proud of it he is.I guess he might have mentioned his new inhaler a bit to his mates or maybe he might have mentioned it quite a lot as they all seemed full of inhaler talk.

And here's how the talk went

C - "I have got an inhaler" and looks very seriously up at me.

J - "I have got a inhaler too,but it's really old"

We start to walk up the school drive

J - " And the things are out of date." "The tube is ok though,it's just the things that are out of date"

At this point Chips wandered off with Js mum and J stayed at my side.

J - " The things still work though. You can press them and they smell nice. So you can still use them,not as inhalers but as air fresheners" 
And at this time he turned and grinned at me.

Now J always makes me laugh. He just does. His ideas are fab and usually involve mischief. I looked at him and he carried on....

"You see Jess,you can still use the inhalers for air fresheners but you can't use air fresheners for inhalers."

It was at this point I just had to smile.

He was quite right - thankfully.

We sauntered up the school drive and J continued to extol the virtues of inhaler air fresheners and I just listened to his chatter and threw a few warning words in here and there and I grinned because his face was so expressively cheeky as he told his tale,you could not do anything else but grin,well I couldn't anyway.

Chips missed all this conversation. Probably a good thing,I don't want any ideas putting into his head now do I?

Safety Note

J may be full of mischief but his mum is ultra sensible and I doubt he will be getting away with much mischief with his out of date inhalers! Phew!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Things had been slipping since I had fallen. We were running out of essential items more regularly. Things like tea bags and sugar. I mean,how bad can it get... no sugar to sweeten your cuppa,it was just a total no and I knew I had to put it right.

So a couple of weeks ago while we were out shopping at Morrisons I asked Chips to put two bags of sugar in the trolley instead of one. It kept him busy...finding the sugar and the right sized bag,who knew how many sizes of sugar you can chose from! And from that point it became his job.

Every week he would say can I get the sugar and I would say yes. It was something for him to focus on,it kept him amused and it stopped him from hanging onto the trolley saying how much longer Mummeeee or can I have a,insert anything and everything that caught his eye. Yes that sugar was a godsend,it was right at the other end of the store,a good minutes walk there and a minutes walk back and as anyone who does the weekly shop regularly knows,two minutes can be vital for your head to have just a little peace. Also I felt that the sugar issue was being resolved. We wouldn't run out unexpectedly. We would have sweet cups of tea. It was a win/win situation.

Sharky began to question the amount of sugar we were buying first. He queried how many bags of sugar one family needed. I said it was all under control and hey wasn't it good that we wouldn't be running out of sugar again. He just looked at me.

After a couple of weeks I started to notice it was getting a bit more difficult to fit the sugar in the cupboard but still each week when young Chips said shall I get the sugar I would reply yes and breathe easier as I had two of those precious moments of peace. Who cared how many bags of sugar we were amassing...what price is peace..?
More than a bag of sugar,let me tell you!

So today I decided to put all the sugar together. I cleared out a bit of the cupboard. The most out of date item was some golden syrup from July 2010,believe me,it could have been worse. I wiped the shelf clean and there was room for my sugar collection.

I gathered it all together and found eight bags of unopened sugar and one bag half empty. Quite a collection.

But do you know the best thing?

There is still room in the cupboard for more sugar!!!! Yes my two minutes of peace is safe for sometime yet.

God bless sugar.

Monday, November 25, 2013

This morning I woke up,tootled downstairs to start the day and while the kettle was boiling I glanced out of the kitchen window.

The day was just beginning but already the sky was awake. It was a cold looking wintry sky. White,with clouds that varied from light shades of grey to dark shades of black.

I smiled to myself because last night it had been a very different scene through the window. I had watched a bright shiny moon play hide and seek with the clouds.The clouds would drift slowly over the moon until all you could see was a hazy light behind the grey clouds which were mooching along in a inky black sky. The moon was so bright that you could still see its glow from behind the mischievous clouds. How bright must the moon really be,to do that? Pretty amazing if you stop and think about it really.

I often stand gazing at this view. Well I'm often in the kitchen,stood in that very spot,usually very busy. We haven't got the best of views from the kitchen window,not at all,but there is a certain spot which allows you to look at the sky and it's ever changing forms and colours. From there you can see the sun rising early in the morning. Watch the dark turn into light and see some amazing colours that sometimes disappear before your very eyes and if you had not been watching at that very moment you would never have known they had been there.

And I could see the tree on the hill silhouetted against the sky.
I often wonder about that tree....where exactly it is. The hill is not far from where I live,I have thoughts about going to find that tree and see it close up. But would I find it?Once I was up on the hill all trees would look the same. And I'm terrible at knowing what direction things are,it would be a miracle if I ever even came close to finding the very same tree that I look at every day. But I still think about it and I guess one day I will have to give it a try. Think how pleased I would be if I found it!

Friday, November 22, 2013

A Walk In The Dark
One of my favourite children's book is The Tiger Who Came To Tea.

I like it for many reasons. One,because when I did my NNEB training all those years ago,it was the first book I ever read aloud. This was a scary thing to do back then and the tiger made noises like owp when he ate the food and I had to figure out just what owp sounded like. I must have survived the experience because I'm still here to tell the tale and I still love the book so it must have been successful.

In the book there is a line that goes something like this....

'And they went out into the dark night street and all the street lights were lit.'

And it was these lines that were running through my head tonight as we walked in the dark from the dentists.

There was a definite chill in the air.Infact it was freezing cold. Chips had got a woolly hat on for the first time since last winter and he'd borrowed my gloves,I don't think I will be getting those back as he seems to have taken a shine to them.

We passed the fair field and cajoled Sharky to share his bag of sweeties with us,they were fizzy cherry cola bottles,absolutely scrummy and yes just the thing to eat on your way home from the dentist!

We walked and talked and chewed.

It was dark and all around us lights twinkled. Street lights,car lights,lights from inside warm cozy homes,we even saw some Christmas lights merrily flashing away. In the sky the big silvery moon shone down on us and stars twinkled. A plane flew overhead,it's flashing lights visible from all the way down on the ground.

I'm not sure what we talked about and what exactly was said,all I know is that the conversation flowed and it felt good.
Good to be talking to my boys.

That feeling lasted all the way home,until we opened our back door and went into our warm toasty house. The heat and the smell of dinner cooking greeted us. Shoes and coats were discarded,X boxes eagerly dived upon and I never got the chance to even take my shoes off,as the finishing touches to dinner was needed.

As I stood in the kitchen my mind drifted off and replayed the walk from the dentist. Such a simple everyday occurrence,a walk through the dark streets....somehow made special by the company I was in. Thanks boys for making even the ordinary 'special'

Thursday, November 21, 2013

 Ice Cream Slurps
It's not often we get a midweek inset day,normally they are at the beginning or ends of the week but today Chips and I had a inset day smack in the middle of the week.

My mum volunteered to look after Chips as I was working at the inset day. And yesterday, I started thinking about what we could do in the afternoon when I got back from work. The morning was taken care of.... the X Box,need I say more but it's easier for my mum that way and Chips would be happy so I was relatively ok with it...relatively ok.
I didn't want him spending the whole day stuck to it though so I began to think of something for us to do together in the afternoon. And I came up with a plan. A quick trip to town to look at the Christmas decorations and visit the library. It would fill a hour and get him out of the house and we hadn't been to town since September so it would be something different.

Well the morning came and so did the rain. Torrential rain. I mentally cancelled the trip to town. Luckily I hadn't told Chips about it so he wasn't disappointed.

Later that morning as I sat at the inset day I glanced through the window and saw bright blue sky....the trip to town was back on!

I hurriedly rushed back home at lunch time and declared to Chips that we were going out and that was that,out we went.

We headed straight for the library,after a quick call at the Body Shop - needs must - new shower gel and body mist were needed,got to have some pleasure in life! 

The library was very quiet,infact we were the only ones in the children's section. I told Chips how to find authors and he went off in search of Dav Pilkey the author of Captain Underpants. This was not a straight forward search but Chips was delighted when we eventually found the author and three books that Chips had not read. We took these books home and Chips is already on chapter twelve and that was before tonights bedtime read.

After we had swiped the books through the scanner we sat snuggled up on one of the sofas and I read Chips a story about the dark...a pretty scary book.

Once we had finished in the library we went on a ice cream search and ended up in McDonalds where Chips had a smartie flurry,it looked yummy and he really enjoyed it,I think the ice cream eased his poorly throat and was just a delicious treat for him.

When the last bit of ice cream was scraped from the tub,ahem that may have been me doing the desperate get every last bit of ice cream out trick,we started to head for home. With a bag of wine gums to share we happily meandered home. Chips looked mega cute in his new hat and I just relished time spent with him.

It wasn't long after we had returned home that Chips began to feel poorly. He began to run a temperature and look very flushed and his wheeze got worse. This did worry me and the day suddenly felt not quite as right. When any of the boys are ill it always makes me feel off kilter,even if it is something small.

So a funny old day. A day full of contradictory feelings and emotions. The miserable dark wet start to the day which then led to a bright sunny November day which eventually turned into a very rainy night.Holding the hand of a happy little boy in his new snowman hat to then seeing him deteriorate into a feverish little boy wrapped up in his favourite blankie. The happy feeling of being with my youngest son and just drifting around town - nothing special to buy or do,just library books to look through and ice cream to slurp and then the nasty sinking feeling in my stomach as I realised that this little boy was poorly and not over the worst. Up and down emotions,swirls and twirls of feelings and lots of ebb and flow.

The strongest memory I was left with though was a smiley one. It was of how relaxed our afternoon had been and how nice it had been giving Chips a few treats. We don't often do this kind of outing so it made it even more special. And although I have been so very worried about this little boy since yesterday evening,the smiley feeling still remains and for that I'm grateful.
 Memories made. 
My little smiley snowman.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Can But Shouldn't
During half term my mum and I had been
chatting in the car about things you thought you could manage but once you had started them you found out that you couldn't.

Like carrying a snooker table all the way from my grandmas house to our house which was well over a half an hour journey - too hard...too heavy
Or trying to carry a Christmas tree home...I remember this so well. My mum thought she could manage it but hadn't got far when she realised that she couldn't. As she said 'she could have kicked that tree all the way home or indeed abandoned it!' As I recall,that was the last real tree my mum ever had and she never took to it....for some strange reason.

Well the day after this conversation I did exactly what my mum had been talking about....I took Chips on a trek out to the park in town. Quite a journey away really,especially for someone with a dicey leg. But I thought I could manage it. Well truth be told I did have some doubts in my mind if it was the greatest idea in the world and my head told me it was not a brilliantly sound idea but my heart said I would be ok and I wanted to take Chips out somewhere green and wholesome,some place with trees,autumn trees,so off to the big park in town I toddled.

I hadn't gone far when I realised it was not such a great idea. I had walked the day before and my leg had withstood it but the day of the park somehow things were different and my leg protested. And did I listen...nah...because I needed to get out and so did Chips.

Well we got to the park and it was ok. I felt as slow as the slowest snail ever to have slimed it's way across the ground but apart from that it was good.

I took some really nice photographs and Chips had a good walk around the river and a play on the park.

And as we reached the end of our time at the park,who should appear but my mum!

Chips yelled out "It's Mamma!"

I thought he'd got wrong but he hadn't!

What a surprise and a welcome one.

And we smiled as we recalled the conversation of the previous day and we both clearly saw that I had pushed my boundaries that bit too far.

Seems like we are both inclined to think we can when really we shouldn't!

down by the river 

tall tall trees 
The Park
Pretty Colours 
My boy - drinking and thinking

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Coffee Morning
The teacher read the news letter and the children listened. Well most of them did. They oohed and awwwed at the news that next week was their turn to look after the guinea pigs and the girls groaned at the mention of the score in their previous football match and then my ears doubly pricked morning to be held on Friday.

A coffee morning. Oh how I would like to go to a coffee morning. Sit and chatter with my friends,drink cups of tea,support the school and ahem,eat cakes. It sounded lovely and I so wanted to go.

But I couldn't because I was at work in the morning. So no chance whatsoever to go to the school coffee morning.

And it hurt.

I really wanted to be one of the mums who could attend coffee mornings. I sat there and felt quite wistful about the upcoming coffee morning.

Until it hit me like a ton of bricks.....I might not be the mum who can attend coffee mornings but I was the mum who could volunteer in the afternoons and I was the mum who could watch the children trampoline!

And as I looked around the classroom I knew in my heart that I would rather watch and help the children with their trampolining lessons than sit with grown ups at a coffee morning.

Yep the trampolining sessions were noisy and sometimes slightly fraught,as being with a group of 35 nine and ten year olds is always going to be but that's where my heart lay anyway....with the kids,always with the kids.

I love being in the classroom with them,watching them interact with each. Comparing them with the little ones I look after in a morning and smiling at how children change and grow. Noticing how grown up they seem and talking with ones that I had in my group when they were at nursery,wow they are big now! 
Watching classroom dynamics,now I can't even begin to describe how interesting that is! Well,it's interesting to me,anyway. It feels quite a warm classroom,there's a certain ease in the room and I like that. I'm only in the actual class 15-20 minutes so I could be wrong but I do feel that it's quite relaxed in there.Don't get me wrong,it's a busy place,children are getting themselves ready for PE,there are PE bags everywhere,shoes on the floor,folded up clothes on every spare surface available,children walking around on their way to the toilets or putting their stuff away or chattering to friends,but underlying the hustle and bustle I do feel a sense of ease and a relaxed atmosphere,it feels a friendly place to be and to me that is good.

The trampolining session this week was all about how to do front drops. Iam amazed at how quickly,when taught properly,children pick things up. Children always do amaze me though! From the tiniest baby to big teenagers,I'm always amazed by them,even after all these years of working with children,I 'never' stop being amazed by them,quite a nice feeling really.

Anyway,they had a mat on the trampoline and they started on their hands and knees bouncing up and down and then falling forwards. It was safe and easily accessible to all children,whatever their ability was. What more could you want in a PE session!

All the children progressed that afternoon,every single one. The group that Chips was in was fabulous. Such teamwork and support for each other and that came natural to them,so doubly nice to see.

That night as Chips lay in his bed he grinned and said that his legs still had the trampolining feeling. I think he's using muscles that he hasn't used before and it's making his legs ache. One more trampolining session to go. It's been good. 

Oh and although I did miss out on the coffee morning I came to quickly realise that we sometimes can't do everything we want in life and being a mum who can watch class five trampoline is worth it's weight in gold and I'm lucky to be a part of that.

And further more I don't even drink coffee and the cakes probably had a miliionity calories in them. The trampolining was the best choice for me!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

 Looking Through The Window
There couldn't have been more of a contrast as I sat watching Chips swim tonight.

Outside it was dark. I sat opposite the big window which overlooks the park. The sky was black,with a few grey clouds scurrying across it. A street light lit up a tiny part of the park. It was cold out there and silent and empty.

Inside it was warm,toasty warm,probably edging on being too warm. The lights were bright and bright colours were everywhere....bright yellow swimming hats on children that bobbed up and down constantly,bright orange floats held behind the children's shoulders as they practised the backstroke and the bright blue of the pool. The whole building was alive with movement and chatter and splashes.

Two very different views and for half an hour I was gazing at both of them.

Inside the swimming baths Chips was doing really well with his swimming. I think back stroke is probably his best stroke. His whole body seems to be so straight these days and he moves through the water with ease.

It was a bit chaotic in the pool tonight. Lots of children. They seemed to be slightly distracted and to be honest they couldn't even fit along the side of the pool they were swimming towards. This led to them bunching up and spreading out from the side of the pool towards the middle.

I couldn't have asked more from Chips though,he swam beautifully and listened well.
And as always I sat beautifully and watched and listened too! 

It's always a pleasure to watch Chips swim. To be honest I like to watch all the children swim. If you look carefully you can see them slowly getting stronger,that little bit more streamlined,their confidence grows as does their ability and I like to watch them become swimmers. 
I believe in swimming. To me it's a life skill. It can save your life. That in itself makes it invaluable. It is also fun and a good form of exercise. The water itself is a safe place for children to experiment with their bodies. They can push themselves to extremes,as Chips did here and the water will hold them up. In water,they don't fall and bump,it supports them. Now Chips has mastered the basic mechanics of swimming I feel that the water is our friend,so I embrace these once a week swim sessions with open arms and sit and watch the dynamics of the swim's pretty interesting stuff!

And every so often I glance through the window and look at the dark shadowy park. Two very different places for me to ponder and reflect upon.

Friday, November 8, 2013

 Six Sentence Stories
 This week Josies prompt was Reach and this is what I came up with.

Obviously though I would never do what the woman in the story does...never.

''C'mon,and don't rustle as much,if we disturb them we will be in big trouble"

"I'm trying," hissed the woman, "I'm not that tall,you know and who's idea was it to put them this high up!"

"Look," answered the man "do you want them,or not, because if you mess around much longer the game will be up and we'll have nothing...yet again"

The woman balanced precariously on the chair,one last reach was all it took and the prize was theirs!

She jumped down from the chair and high fived her partner in crime "We did it" she grinned "It's all ours"

They snuggled on the settee and opened the treasure....the leftover  Halloween candy was theirs!


Pop over to Josies Six Sentence Stories  
and see how to write a story in just six sentences. 
Today was just like any other school morning,rush here,there and everywhere.

Sandwich boxes made,uniforms drying on the radiators,me walking up and down stressing about lost footy shorts and the lack of matching socks,too much tea drunk,time marching relentlessly onwards and then I went upstairs to wake Chips up. And he was sleeping. Really deep sleeping.

And for a moment I stopped to look at him. And the moment turned into minutes....minutes spent looking at my sleeping little boy.

I half hesitated as the thoughts of what I had left to do flashed through my head,the morning school run is hectic as it is,without spending moments stood gazing at a sleeping child but today I decided to toss all that rush aside and just look at Chips.

I'm glad I did.

He looked so gorgeous,his curly hair framing his face and his cheeks still babyish and chunky,still the face of a child. His eyes were tightly shut and his hands were tucked under his quilt and next to his pillar was his new book. And he was oh so still.

I stood for quite a long time just watching him and smiling to myself.,drinking him in and looking so very hard at this sleeping bundle of boy ...children look so very innocent when they are sleeping don't they!

Eventually I gently woke him up. His eyes flicked open and he began to talk...his day had begun. As for me,I had imprinted in my head the image of him fast asleep...what a precious bundle of a boy indeed. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I don't know if it was all the smiles around the room but the atmosphere this afternoon was infectious.

We were at the local leisure centre doing class 5Ps first session of trampolining.

The trampolines were huge not your average garden trampoline for sure and they had no nets. I stared at them with a look of dread and a feeling of pure terror.

The children were put into groups of seven and talked through the role of being a spotter. And then that was they went.

And it was heart in your mouth kind of stuff.

By the time the first child had done six bounces I thought I was going to have a panic attack! They went high! Oh so high. And I was responsible for seven little bodies keeping safe. Seven lots of parents were trusting in us grown ups to keep their precious offspring safe. I took the role very seriously. My group of spotters were ultra tight spotters,they watched their friends,they spread around the trampoline and they didn't mess around. Yep,they tried but flip when a child is bouncing that high on a trampoline you have to have rules and stick by them.

It took a while but soon the panic stopped. I began to actually watch the children instead of just stood bracing myself,ready for them to fall off. I started to relax a little,smile even.

And the children were doing well. Talk about desperate to have as many goes as they could! All I could hear was 'is it my turn next' again and again and again. 

First they had 10 bounces each and then 20 bounces each,they did half turns and seat drops,their faces began to get pinker and their legs got achier but it didn't stop them wanting to bounce.

As the session finished there were groans from the children,I think they could have bounced for at least another hour! Whilst the trampoline teacher sat the children down for a last chat,I turned to Chips teacher and the other helper,we all had smiles on our faces and we all agreed it had been a fantastic afternoon. Apparently I had not been the only one who had thought eek when the children had started to jump and it was funny how quickly we had turned from nervous jelly in our tummy spotters into smiley relaxed wasn't that great' spotters. Amazing.

And so a day that I had dreaded turned into a day of success and a situation that I had feared would be hard turned into a triumph for a certain little boy and a person who held the key to this experience being a positive one proved to be worth their weight in gold. 

My friend Mandy used to say "God can help you to win the lottery but you do have to buy a ticket first" 

Today we put ourselves into a tricky situation and the outcome was more than good. It was a smiley afternoon and in the words of Chips "Trampolining is epic"

Saturday, November 2, 2013

"You said he could howl as much as he wanted" said J,looking at me with a 'let's see you wriggle out of that one' kind of stare.
And he was right,I did say that and at the time I meant it,truly I did but even I was beginning to want to yell Noooooo half way around the trick or treat route as Chips happily howled his way around the houses on our was a pretty piercing howl and it seems there is only so much howling any one person can take without all of a sudden yelling Nooooooo. 
The howling didn't stop. And I settled down once more. After all it was Halloween and you were all having such good fun and I had said you could howl as much as you liked...bad mistaka to maka.

We had ended up trick or treating with quite a few kids,Chips was a wolf,his friend J was a spook,other characters included a girl pirate,a witch and a adult ghostie who danced at the bottom of every drive just for added entertainment,it was quite a gang and it made trick or treating easy,there's safety in numbers and in amongst a crowd the kids felt happy and secure. They raced up drives together and chanted 'trick or treat' to whoever opened the door.

We only visited houses that had pumpkins outside as we figured they liked Halloween and would welcome trick or treaters and everybody seemed pleased to see the children and our dancing ghost. One house had a real dressed up witch come to the door,she was very spooky and half amused/half frightened the children to death. I made a mental note that there was a real witch living at the back of us,I'll not walk up there in the dark on my own!

The weather was kind to us and although there was a chill in the air,the rain held off and it was fun walking around in the dark starry night. Chips really noticed the stars,they were twinkling brightly in the dark sky.

When we got home,we were whacked. A busy school day,then swim lessons,rounded off by a night of roaming up and down the village calling 'trick or treat' had taken its toll on us. We sat snuggled ( or even maybe slumped ) on the sofa and Chips tucked into lots of treats,he managed to collect 27 pieces of candy and yes he did count them all!

That night at bedtime he was even too tired for a bedtime story,just a few na nites were said,a few kisses had and then a very tired little boy drifted off to sleep. Later that night I listened to him sleeping,the rhythm of his breathing was so steady and comforting,it made me smile.

So after all my worries about not doing enough for Halloween this year,it turns out that we did indeed have a good time...phew!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Big City
We live in a little village,on the outskirts of a town. Life is quite laid back round these parts. We have one street of shops and on that street is a unbelievable amount of hairdressing salons and quite a few pubs. Im not sure why this is,maybe we are very hair conscious and like a good drink. I've just toted up and it's seven hairdressers shops and three pubs,all on one street,within a five minute walk and just around a corner are two more pubs,totalling five pubs within just over a five minute walk. And just dotted around the village are at least five more pubs - great for a pub crawl I guess!

The centre of the universe in the village is the Morrisons supermarket,affectionately known as Morrodogs or Moggos,don't ask me why,it just is. Everybody shops at Morrisons and if you go up there you always see someone that you know,always.

So you get the picture. It's quite a slow pace of life here. We dash around like most people do but we also amble around too. Whether its the age of the people walking up the high street or just the mood around here we kind of just drift up and down.

And I know this because I have seen different paces of life. Once I went to London and I was amazed at the hectic pace of life. Everybody dashing somewhere and doing it at one hundred and fifty million miles per hour. And as for the underground... yikes.

Well our nearest city is nowhere as big as London but the pace is different than our little corner of the universe and yesterday we went to have a look around the big city.
I'm not the greatest fan of shops and hustle and bustle and the greyness of cities but the boys love it there. They like the shops,they like to mooch around with their family and it's a day out.

So we went. And I'm glad we did. Because any day out with the gang is good. I'm all for time with the boys,away from power of the x box and other techy stuff. I took my camera,determined I would find something to take a photograph off. I so like nature that I find looking for interesting photo opportunities in towns and cities much harder but I was hellbent on getting a few different kind of photos. Well it rained,sometimes heavily and this totally hampered my photo opportunities. Grrr! It didnt spoil the day though,infact one memory I have is of Chips walking down the street in just his red Liverpool shirt and joggers loving getting wet.At this point the rain had turned from a few spots into a sudden downpour.As he got to McDonalds he didn't go inside into the warmth and the dryness,oh no, he turned back and came walking up to me,arms outstretched with the biggest smile on his face,his head tipped back so the rain splashed all over his upturned face. My mum was slightly horrified at how wet he was getting,I kinda clocked the smile on his face and just grinned at him.Oh and the rain had another effect,his curls sprang into life. And as we sat eating lunch I saw his twirls and curls appear and that's something I adore. He also got wet in the fountain. A bit too much enthusiasm when dipping his hands into the water resulted in soggy wet hoody sleeves. 

This kid was born to get wet!

Our normal, very set, city routine was turned upside down because instead of traveling by train,we had come in the car. So it was backwards! We had a mozy around the shops and then walked through the rain for lunch and after lunch the rain gradually stopped. This made life a bit more comfortable and I quickly snapped a few photos,much to the boys annoyance - they don't like my camera much! Takes too much time up! They are probably right!

All day long,from when he had woke up,Chips had carried a 2p around with him,with the aim to throw it in the fountain. You would not believe how many times that coin had been dropped! However it got to the fountain I'll never know! But it did! Second time around,mind you,the first time we couldn't find it anywhere. That appeased Chips,the job was a good un.

As the afternoon drew to a close we sat snuggled up on a bench eating massive ice creams. The wind was blowing by now and this made the job of eating ice cream tricky. My hair somehow kept managing to dip itself into my ice cream,creating a right sticky mess and Chips got the ice cream everywhere. This did not deter us though and we sat happily licking ice cream and munching chocolate flake and watching the world go by.

And apparently young Sharky and I were thinking exactly the same thing as we sat slurping the soft melty ice cream....we were thinking how diverse the city was compared to our little village. So many different cultures and ways of dressing. It was vibrant and colourful. Buildings so much taller than anything back home and so much busier. And as we sat chattering I began to realise that every so often it's good to visit other places,to see different ways of life,for the boys and me. It's good to see differences and it's also good to return home. Back to our little slow paced corner of the world.

The lion who guards the city

A local hero
Tall city buildings
Spot the Chips!
The view as we sat slurping ice creams

 Little Spook #5
"So you have come at last" cackled the witch " Nice to have you home"

Little Spook didn't wait a moment,she undid the magical potion that she had stolen from the ogre and threw it all over the witch while chanting these magic words;

You shall,not,fill us with fear,
I will banish you away from here,
With this potion,you will grow and never stop,
Until you explode with a almighty pop!

As she did so the witch began to swell up,bigger and bigger,until she was like a giant witchy balloon,she started to float above the ground and as she did so Scamp reached out a claw and pop went the witch,bits of her were scattered all over the village,there was just no way she could ever be put back together again,the witch was well and truly dead.

At that precise moment all the doors of the cages sprang open and all the captured animals were set free and returned to their proper owners,the sweet shop sweeties all disappeared and were replaced with normal sweets - Mars Bars,Lollipops,Harribos,all was well again

You see,witches never prosper and good always defeats bad,Little Spook and Scamp travelled back home and lived happily ever after,in their cosy home,with their little family and nobody ever needed to be scared again.



Oh Little Spook you have been on my mind all week!I only started you as a six sentence story to join in with Josies linky and you turned into young Chips bedtime story for the week! He has so enjoyed it though and that makes it all worth while. I'm still going to link it up to Josies 
Six Sentence Stories  hope its suitable Josie,your prompt turned into a mega lot of six sentences!