Wednesday, November 11, 2015

 Elvis and Us
"Did you know that Mamma liked Elvis?" I asked Chips,as I dived to put my coat on in the mad rush that is the eight o'clock getting ready for school and work scene.

Elvis had been on my mind all morning and the tune that was playing through my mind was American Trilogy mixed with If I Can Dream. I'd watched an Elvis documentary the night before and it had really got to me.

Chips turned to me,looked me straight in the eye with an almost exasperated look and answered "Yes,I know Mamma likes Elvis."

I was quite shocked and said "How do you know?"

I had not discussed my mums love of Elvis to Chips and I was really intrigued to find out how he knew. 

"She has a Elvis calendar," he replied in a very matter of fact way. 

And at this point I smiled. 

Of course. 

He had noticed the Elvis calendar that my mum has up in her house. The calendar that my dad buys her every Christmas and has done so since I was a child. 

You see my mum was or should I say is a massive Elvis fan and my childhood involved a lot of Elvis. I know all his songs,probably off by heart,I've seen all his movies and one of my earliest memories is sitting in my grandmas bedroom looking through my mums copies of a little magazine called Elvis Monthly,well I think it was called that,it was a long time ago! 

When he died it really hit my mum hard,it was such a shock and our household really felt the impact of it all. 

As the years went by it was not so noticeable how much my mum had liked Elvis. If you looked carefully you would see a Elvis picture in a frame and of course the Elvis calendar was always there but my mum did not talk about Elvis really,you are more likely to hear her talk about sport these days and that's what made me stop and smile when Chips had known about my mum and Elvis. 

Later that afternoon I told my mum and she really smiled to learn that her grandchild had picked up on her love of Elvis. We chatted about the documentary and marveled at just how Chips had picked up on this fact. 

It just goes to show that children are observant and they often know much more than we think!  

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

 A Gentle Kind Of Day
Everything about our visit to the farm was gentle,laid back and just plain old nice. Sometimes the word nice is made out to be boring but I think it describes something that is good and our day at the farm was definitely good. 

The weather was great,a real autumnal day. We did not even need our coats on. 
As I sat and watched Chips playing on the go karts,leaves were gently falling onto the ground. It was as if it was snowing leaves. The leaves slowly twirled to the ground,it was so peaceful to sit watching the leaves dance their way onto the soft grass. And I just felt so at ease,out in the fresh air on a warm autumn day,away from our usual weekday stresses,as I said before nice.

Halloween decorations were hanging from the trees and bright pumpkins were grouped everywhere,giving a bright orange glow to the farm. 
Spooky Spider
Dead,stripey thingy
We played quite a few rounds of crazy golf,looked at the farm animals,held a silver mouse and a fidgety guinea pig and stroked the cutest baby llama called Bob ~ he was 15 weeks old and had such soft fur. We loved Bob. 
The meerkats amused us. This one looked as if it was on duty as it stood glaring sternly at everybody.

Im back at work now and Chips is back at school.
The weather is damp.misty and foggy.
Im glad that we made the most of half term and had lots of little adventures.
Memories of them make me smile as we get back into the routine of life.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Seaside Day - Blackpool
"One thing that you have to know," I said to Chips,as we were thinking about our trip to the seaside, "its really cold at Blackpool."

And it was. 

When we got to the beach the wind was more than blustery and bitterly cold. It blew the hood of my coat up without me even asking it too,that was a blessing though because soon after that the rain came lashing down and for a moment the coldness nearly took our breath away. 

I almost grinned. It seemed Blackpool had not changed a bit. 

We quickly headed to the nearest dry place,which was the amusement arcade on the pier. 

Luckily the rain did not last long and we were able to venture out onto the 
incredibly slippery pier to look at the sea. 
On the pier things were much calmer. It was still busy and so very slippery but the sea was making that lovely sea noise that I love so much and the sun was treating everybody to a beautiful array of colours as it set for the night. 
We walked right to the very end of the pier and watched the sun until it disappeared behind a cloud,even then the view was beautiful 
Chips liked the pier. He had a look through one of those telescopes that are always at seaside places but never seem to work as well as you would like them too,he dangled his leg through the railings as if to say hey look at me...scared...nah,and then we found the fair rides. 

We decided against the big wheel and the ride that went up and bobbed you around really fast and jerkily,instead we chose the Waltzer. And that my friends was the beginning of the survival of the fittest. 

First go ~ we stood and waited and then when the ride stopped we dashed up the rickety,slippery steps and didn't get a chair. 

Second go ~ we were right near the front this time so we felt more confident about getting a chair. The barriers went up,we went as fast as we could go and we got a chair! Woohoo! And then the fairground man said we had to have a ticket and we could not pay in the car (even though all the signs said we could pay in the car) so we sadly got out of our hard fought for chair and trudged off to buy tickets. 

Third go ~ with our tickets clutched tightly in our hands we rejoined the group of people surrounding the waltzer. We were disheartened by now but as the barrier opened we clambered up the steps,again,and Chips got his hand on a chair but so did a girl and she jumped infront of Chips and claimed the chair. And then her 87 year old grandma got in the chair with the girl! We were beat to the chairs by an 87 year old grandma!

 This was bad. We stomped down the silver,slippery steps again,feeling very miffed. We nearly gave up. But I had those expensive tickets in my hand and we were not going to waste them. I had to grin,slightly,at being beaten by an incredibly old grandma. My thoughts,eventually,was that she was doing really well if she could even get up the steep,slippery steps at her age,never mind attempt to go on a Waltzer ride. May I be doing that at her age please! 

Fourth go ~ we got a chair! Thank the Lord. 

And the ride was good! Fast and twirly. It made us squeal. Chips said I squealed louder than him but I don't believe that,at all. Would I squeal louder than my,definitely not. 

We headed off the pier and went to look at the illuminations,shops and amusement arcades. 
It was quickly dropping dark and very busy on the Main Street. We popped into an arcade and Chips had a go in the 2p machines,we then wandered up the street and looked at the illuminations,which were as good as ever. 
 We then popped into a little bingo hall and played 10p bingo. This was really cool! The bingo caller was a friendly chap who made everyone welcome. We did not win but it was a break from the crowded streets and it was good fun. 

The night ended with a bag of salty seaside chips. 

We really liked Blackpool. It was a great start to the half term holidays. I'll leave you with one of my favourite photos....the sea,a sunset and my boy.  

Friday, October 23, 2015

So Autumn is well and truly here. 
Infact it almost feels like winter sometimes!
 This week my hands have been icy cold and I have turned the heating on,it was time I guess. 

I thought I'd do a little update,a few rambles. It may get me back into the swing of this blogging lark. This year has been a total wash out where the poor old blog has been concerned but hey given the circumstances it's understandable. 

So I'll dive in and say that Chips starting comprehensive school has been quite a jolt. For him and also for me. Where can I start...the level of information is nowhere near what it was at junior school,no weekly newsletters,you can speak to a teacher if you really need to but there's no popping in to class to have an informal chat. The rules are all different and there are a lot of them! The language is all different too. We don't have classes we have pods,we don't have a headteacher we have a principal,we don't have English,maths or PE instead we have enigma,strive or flourish and we have our learning nandos to help with the homework. Like I said,a completely different language. 

And,I miss the school run. 
I used to love the school run,even in the rain.
 It was such a mummy thing to do,go and pick my little boy up from school. Once a week my mum would walk down with me and we would look at all the gardens on the way and she would marvel at all the outside play equipment the school had. Now the nursery has had a whole new garden planted with some gorgeous plants and I know my mum would have loved to look at them but we don't walk that way any more school runs.
 I miss the people I used to see and the chatter we used to have but most of all I just miss walking to school and waiting at my spot and then seeing Chips come out of school. On a couple of occasions I have walked past the school at picking up time and it's like a different world,so busy,so congested and pretty frantic looking,a stage of my life well and truly over. 

This is the wooden fence that I used to lean against - how I miss you wooden fence.
This window was Chips year six window,ahh the memories...
Sharky has returned to uni and although we see him at weekends he works and we don't get a lot of time with him. 

Life is changing for sure. 

I have managed to read a couple of books lately.
Firstly The Lie by C.L Taylor.
 This was such a good book I started reading it on Tuesday and by Thursday evening I had finished it. I would totally recommend it.
 Then I read Lullaby Girl,this was a trickier book to read and might not be everyone's cup of tea,I enjoyed it though,even if it did unnerve me at bedtime! I'm now starting Gone Girl and I have a couple of books on order at the library ready for half term. 

I can't wait for half term! A break from school for Chips and me and we have got a trip to seaside planned,this is exciting me! 

Last week we celebrated my mums 70th birthday. We all went out for a meal and Sharkys girlfriend made this lovely cake
  It was as chocolately and delicious as it looks. We all had a great time and it was lovely to watch our family celebrate my mums special day. 

Now lets hope that half term is just as enjoyable as the
summer holidays were.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

This week,at school,we did all about the book Funnybones,the skeletons that lived in a house on a dark dark street,on a dark dark hill,in a dark dark town and as I read the story to the group of enthralled four year olds it really reminded me of my eldest boy. 

Back in the day,my eldest son loved this story. I used to read it to him time after time. Infact when I was reading the book this week I could so remember the story....where we used to laugh when the dog was put back together all wrong,where we used to sing the bones song and where we used to be scared of the crocodile skeleton. 

Ah the memories....of a golden haired little boy,
who was my only child then,
how loved he was. 

These were the days when we lived in our first house. Tiger used to have a gorgeous lemon bedroom decorated with a pink and blue bunny rabbit theme. It was quite a big room and I made him a proper snuggly book corner,with a comfy yellow Forever Friends beanbag and loads and loads of books. 
 We would also read downstairs,cuddled up on our little two seater settee in the winter and read book after book after book. 

Just before Tiger turned two years old we took him to Blackpool
 to see the illuminations.
 It was the October half term holiday,so Blackpool would have been busy and I bet it was extremely chilly,the wind really has a nip at Blackpool. 
 As we walked through the bustling,crowded Pleasure Beach towards the ghost train,Tiger proclaimed "It's a Loo-Loo."
 After some puzzling moments we realised he meant the skeleton on the front of the ghost train ride.
This caused lots of smiles and the name stuck.
Weeks later I was on my dinner hour when i spotted a book with Loo-Loo's in it and of course I had to buy it for him.
It quickly became a firm favourite. 

And the memory is still in my head.

I pick up a Funnybones book and I think of those days. 

The days of skeleton stories and a little boy who meant the world to me. 

And he still does. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

It took Chips under 4 minutes to fall asleep tonight,it's been a busy day.
 Up at eight,after a week of settling into his new school,and then a trip to the library,breakfast out,the weekly shopping trip and that was just the morning.
 In the afternoon we had swimming lessons and then a family party at five,busy,busy busy but good too. 

I've spent most of the time people watching.
 Catching smiles. 
Taking in the interaction between members of the family,the chatter,the laughter,the casual way they sit together squeezed two to a chair made for one,perched on the arm of a settee,sat on the stairs,sitting on the floor colouring and rolling cars to each other,taking crisps so carefully off a party plate that consisted entirely of crisps,stood in a line holding plates of party food waiting for a chair to become available and then diving to get it. 
Some people got chocolate cake all over,some people ate two dishes of chocolate cake.

It was noisy and voices drifted all around the room,voices of family,the people I love. 

Sometimes,when you are quiet you end up seeing and hearing a lot.
 And the memories stick in your head.
 You feel the vibe of the room.
 And that's what happened today. 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Swimming Update
Today was Chips first real time to swim at a level five stage.
In the blue hats group.

Chips has been venturing into this group for the past two months,
but today he was officially a member of the group
and was able to wear his new blue swimming hat with pride.

The blue hats swim in the deepest part of the swimming baths.
The deep,deep water.
Where you cant touch the bottom of the pool.
Even if you try.
So you have to be a pretty competent swimmer,
And thats what you are,Chips.

We have come a long way from the teaching pool.
We are now swimming at the deep end.
There is no stopping to take a rest.
You stop swimming now Chips and you will go under!
So please dont stop,will you,your mum would jump too much if you did.

So the group comprises,at the moment, of three boys and two girls.
Five is a brilliant number.
Enough to make a proper group but still get a lot of individual attention.
We have not met the new teacher yet as she was on holiday.

Today Chips did front crawl,which is probably his favourite stroke.
He swam for half an hour and did some pencil jumps to finish with.
The new swimming trunks looked good.
The new goggles were a complete pain.
They just kept letting water in no matter how we tried to adjust them.
Not so cool.

But apart from that it was cool.

Well done Chips.
Mummy is so very proud of you. 
(as always)


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Weekend Post #1
Yipes I know the weekend seems far,far away,
but here are some snips and snaps from our weekend

 It was very damp,showery weekend.

But that did not matter too much.
What did matter was that we had four days off!
Yep,four days!
Four days to relax and be with our family.

We got the homework out of the way on the first night off.
 This was a first!

Then we spent the whole weekend relaxing.

 I wish there were more four day weekends!
 Linking up to A Rush Of Love 
And Write Like No One's Watching new linky ~ The Weekend Post.

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 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 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 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.

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

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

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 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.