NOTE ON PICTURES: This shouldn't be necessary but I have, sadly, noticed growing cases. Please DO NOT link directly to pictures on this website - it steals my bandwidth and is BAD! I CAN trace you if you do and I will take action.
This came out in 1982 when I was 12 and just at that age where I was
starting to get into "pop" music. Aaaaah! Imagine! Still can't help
tapping my toes to it now :)
Posted by Sarah at 10:52 AM [
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Be back in a few days!
We are (with luck!) getting our computer fixed sometime this week and
that will mean, once again, sorting out the blog, copying over files and
stuff that we've collected whilst using the temporary one and so on.
So, I'm going to take a blogging break for a few days (so Tim doesn't
have too much to copy over again!) but I will be working on other parts
of the website. One of the things I'm going to do is add a photo album -
just think it would be a nice addition to the site :)
I've got absolutely loads to blog when I come back - crafts I've made,
photos from Rosie's maths notebook and so on.
Oh! before I go - April is continuing with her nursery time being. We've
changed her Friday session to Mondays (when Tim is around to take her!)
and we're still doing the Wednesdays so that I have time alone. What
has prompted this action? Well, April actually seems to
going (yeah, I know, I can't understand it either!) in fact, she got
quite upset because it's half term and she can't go for a week! Takes
allsorts I guess *looks baffled*.
See ya soon!
Posted by Sarah at 5:15 PM [
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Cats, nursery and crafts
Rather a mish-mashy time at the moment.
I'm rather bored of my ramshackle house and but since I can't see us
moving any time soon I've decided to come over all crafty and start
tarting it up a bit. I'm going to make some nice "pretties" which we can
take with us when we eventually do move (no way wasting money on
expensive paint and borders for the walls!). I've got a few bits on the
go at the moment which I'll post piccies of as they get finished:
A patchwork throw for the living room sofa (this will take FOREVER as
I'm sewing by hand so don't expect anything any time soon - may post
an "in progress" pic though at some point)
A cute noticeboard for our hall way (to replace the dreary old brown
cork one that is there at the moment)
Decorated pots for plants and cut flowers
Today we booked our cats in for their jabs that they need them to go in
the cattery in August when we go on holiday. Can't imagine the poor old
things are going to be too impressed but they have to have them and
that's it. They're going to be even less impressed when they get kitted
out with flea collars before they go to the cattery as well! We've lived
here for 5 years and they've not got a single flea on them - I guarantee
they'll come back from their "holiday" riddled with them. I just know it.
Also got a bit of a dilema with the nursery. We've decided to change the
Friday morning session to another afternoon session. This is because it
really is just TOO far for April to walk (amongst other, less important
reasons) so we're going to do it for a day when Tim is home to take her
in the car. At least, that's the plan. I did contact the directress
about it and say that we could not do Friday mornings any more but I've
heard nothing back yet. This leaves me in a bit of a quandry about what
to do about tomorrow - I'm going to look an idiot if I turn up with her
after saying I couldn't take her AND they might be assuming we won't be
there anyway. Hmmm. Luckily it's half term next week so whatever
happens, presumably I can get something sorted out over that week ready
for when she goes back the following week so if she misses tomorrow it's
no big deal really.
Not much else to report really other than its "that " time of the year
again - TICKS!!! I've already had to remove them from April, Rosie and
Tim (it's one of the hazzards of living somewhere close to farmland and
so on). I'll spend the whole summer on full time bloody tick-watch
Oooooo! and Springwatch starts on telly on Monday!!! I love it! I love
the cute webcams of the birds feeding their young and the gorgeous other
wildlife. Can't wait!
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
The post in which we meet the new neighbours ....
Well, we've now got another computer on temporary loan until we get ours
fixed. My lovely brother very kindly leant us a spare one of his after
seeing our distress at the slowness of our old one! This has meant Tim
doing all the blog sorting out AGAIN - poor man!
So, what's been happening? Firstly we have new neighbours. The house
next door has been empty a while and now they have sort of moved in. I
say sort of because I think they are doing the place up first as they
have been there every day chucking out old stuff, smashing up doors and
ripping up carpets. Oooo! I guess they
are new neighbours and not
crazy vandals?!! Heehee! Anyway, on their first day here, they chucked a
load of old junk out into the drive and, eventually, disappeared in the
evening. That night (or rather the early hours of the following
morning!) Tim and I were woken by a loud, intermittant beeping noise. I
said that it sounded like our smoke alarm batteries were running out (as
this is what it does) so Tim went to look. Nope, not that. Still the
deafening beeping went on. We went all round the house before we
realised it was coming from outside so I went out and peered over the
fence and worked out that the noise was coming from the pile of rubbish
left by our new neighbours. We didn't see what we could do about it so
we went back to bed but sleep was impossible.
In the end, in a fit of absolute rage, I flung on my clothes, stormed
out and round next door. I located the smoke alarm (yes, I was right
about that!) with the low battery, ripped the thing to bits and dumped
it on their doorstep. Finally we could sleep. Was I half crazed? You bet
I was - one thing I cannot stand is having my sleep disturbed by
Funny thing was, when they came back the next day I didn't hear them say
anything about why the hell there was a dismantled smoke alarm on their
Ok, other things. Tim and I have decided to take April out of nursery at
the end of the summer term. I'm going to use the intervening time to
plan her home ed for the Autumn (she'll still be preschool but I want to
get into a good routine with her). There is no way big school is going
to work for her, we know that in our heart of hearts. At her last
session of nursery, she spent the WHOLE morning asking to go outside,
she wasn't interested in being indoors with all the stuff, she just
wanted to be out. Since then, at home, she's been outside pretty much
all the time - that pretty much made our minds up. I've got to prepare
myself for the long haul *laughs*.
So that's that - now C, you've just got to decide about yours ;) heehee!
Right, I'm off now to relax - got a lovely chicken in wine thing cooking
in the oven (only good, free, corn fed chicken of course!) and a very
chilled glass of wine to go with it - LOVELY!
Posted by Sarah at 8:34 PM [
Friday, May 16, 2008
Money, it's a gas.
Tim and I spent a
considerable amount of time last night
"discussing finances". These are, of course, the most scarey of marital
conversations ending, as they usually do, in a full-blown screaming
match. This one wasn't so bad and although we teetered on the edge of a
row we never quite fell over and it all managed to stay reasonably
Basically, we've decided that we're going to
have to move at some
point in the not too distant future. The place we're in is too
small, too tedious to look after (we inherited a jungle garden with it)
and too falling-down. Anyway, we've been living here for over 5 years
now so a change of scenery would be nice ;) We are on the housing
association list but the changes of us actually getting offered anywhere
are virtually nil so it will almost certainly be private rented again.
Moving itself throws up 2 problems.
Although Tim works we still have to claim a certain amount of housing
benefit. Many landlords these days won't take it because they believe
that someone on housing benefit must (obviously!) be a scummy thug who
won't look after their house.
We need deposit/rent in advance and since we don't have this kind of
money "knocking around", it will have to be saved for.
So, we've decided to tackle the finance side of things first because
once we've actually got the money in our hands so to speak we can start
the (seemingly endless) task of actually finding a suitable property
with a landlord that will take housing benefit.
Hence the little chat about finances. We've figured out that the best
way of us saving is to go back to a fairly old fashioned system of
having envelopes labelled with things like rent, housekeeping and
(importantly!) saving. Each week when Tim gets paid (in cash which is
handy!), he can put the amount we have allocated for each of these
things in the envelopes. The most important thing is that we stick to
our budget (particularly for housekeeping which I'm pretty sure we spend
too much on). It's going to be hard - both of us HATE saving but it has
to be done. Oh, lucky are those that can just say "oh let's move", go to
the bank, take the money out and choose somewhere to live!
Well, on a different note, today April went for her first full session
off nursery. Since Tim was working it was up to me to walk her there and
this in itself was a nightmare. We are not used to having to get up and
be somewhere that early in the morning! I managed to get the kids up,
dressed and breakfasted in what I thought was good time but we still
managed to be a few minutes late getting there! Also, it turned out to
be further than we thought in terms of walking and poor April's little
legs were giving out by the time we got there :( The plan was that,
after getting home, Rosie and I were going to spend a couple of hours
"doing things" workwise that were easier without April around BUT it
never happened. By the time we got back we just wanted to collapse with
a cup of tea and she played Nintendo and I read and did some emailing
and that was it. Then it was time to go back! Going back, I took the
buggy with me and I'm glad I did because April really was tired and
seemed extremely subdued so she was very glad to be able to flop into
the buggy and be pushed home. Won't be able to do that for much longer
though - she's getting too big.
Finally, our computer (the busted one). We've found out that the
processor has overheated and fried the motherboard. Great. Requires much
cash to put right
however, we should be able to still retain all
the data that was on it which is a huge relief! Can't say I'm happy
about having to spend MORE money though especially when we want to save
Money, it's a gas ... yeah, of the bottom burp variety! :(
Posted by at 1:28 PM [
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Nursery - first thoughts
April went for her first session of Montessori nursery today - a
shorter-than-usual 1 hour session. Here are my initial thoughts on the
She seemed to have fun although this is almost certainly because they
spent virtually the whole time outside playing in the garden and on
the climbing frame (apparently, according to the directress, she went
down the slide over and over and over .....
She settled quickly and didn't cry or anything when I left which made
me feel a WHOLE lot better. I have not, to this day, forgotten Rosie
MUUUUUMMMMMY!!!!!! at the top of her lungs when she
first got left at nursery - it absolutely ripped me apart.
I felt weird walking round Sainsbury's afterwards without her and even
weirder when we got home to drop the shopping off. I VERY nearly
burst into tears at the sight of her blankie lying on the floor (what
an idiot I am!)
I was VERY irritated by the "having to drop off and pick up at a
certain time" malarkey. As a family we are not great at time keeping.
I was also VERY, VERY bothered by her request to have a school tshirt
because "uvver kids 'ave got 'em". "ok" I thought "here we go - got
to have the same as other kids to fit in". Already. After 1 HOUR!
Even after just one hour I noticed 2 things after we picked her up.
One was that she was gasping for a drink - I asked her if she had a
drink there (they supply water and we're not allowed to take her own
juice) to which she mumbled something incoherent (so I guess not!)
Secondly that the minute she got home (despite being outside at
nursery) she wanted to be straight out in the garden. It was almost
like "aaaah! my own garden!"
So, she seems ok (although when I said about going on Friday she was
markedly less enthusiastic then when I said she was going today). I
still know that nursery is "ok" because it's only a couple of short
sessions a week and still gives her plenty of time to play at home - I
seriously cannot see her coping well in big school when she would have
to be there all day every day. I intensely dislike the whole "borg-like"
thing ... you will be assimilated (it's exactly that sort of thing that
would make her lose her bright spark and I will not allow that)...... I
hated her immediate "desire" to wear the same tshirt as the other kids
(one of my biggest things is that my kids grow up capable of independent
thought and don't follow the herd). I AM looking forward to having a
free afternoon but that's it.
So, I'm using this time to go ahead and plan her home ed BUT keeping a
close eye on the situation. I'm not making firm decisions either way yet
but this is a good time to get properly organised for the start of her
compulsory education next year.
I should home ed her, I know that. I see other people doing it with
many more kids than me and they do it brilliantly. Some of the parents
are older than me (with younger kids too!) and still do it brilliantly.
Some of the parents have kids with special needs and still do it
brilliantly. Some of the parents also run their own businesses and
still do it brilliantly. I'm just a bit wet and a tad selfish (and
lazy!) for even considering school really ... I should get over it and
plan the start of her home ed with enthusiasm ... look forward to it
instead of blighting these days worrying about whether she'll go to
school or not.
Posted by at 5:00 PM [
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Sun, sun and more sun
Oh! how I love this weather - suddenly feel so much younger and very,
very silly *laughs*. Tim and I had to wash something outside earlier
with the garden hose with the inevitable result of a bit of childish
playing going on!
Rosie has gone to Abbotsbury today with grandma, grandpa and Luke so it
was just me, Tim and April at home. This morning we went to Tesco and
picked up some essentials (including sun lotion!) and
not-essential-but-essential (if you see what I mean!) things like yummy
egg custard tarts (which we thoroughly enjoyed for tea!). Also picked up
April a preschool letter learning pack with sticker book, colouring book
and wipe clean workbook. Was then
astonished to see her sit down
with the wipe clean book and trace over some letters almost perfectly!
She has amazing pen control for a 3 year old! She also recognised a load
of the letters and was matching them up to pictures. Anyway, here's her
page of traced letters :)
Aprils also spent ages outside today playing with a bowl of water,
painting and hunting for ants so she's a very happy little girl. She
would spend ALL day outside if we let her - hmmmm, a great candidate for
being shut up in school full time - NOT!
Tonight, Tim and I are going to relax with a bottle of VERY chilled
white wine and Young Musician of the Year on telly. Perfect :)
Posted by at 5:46 PM [
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Here's a rarity!
Not so much the temperatures (although they are lovely!) - more the fact
that for the first time in I don't know how many weeks (months!) there
is NO rain forecast!! Our local weather for the next few days looks very
warm and toasty :)
Well, today I went to the opticians - not a huge change in my eyesight
so I'm putting the headaches down to stress or whatever. I feel fine in
myself so, given the opticians report, I don't think there's much wrong.
I did order a new pair of glasses though, just for the sake of it,
*smiles* slightly more modern ones than I've got now and (amazingly!)
quite cool and sexy ;)
Also, today, we went (finally!) and paid the registration fees for
April's nursery place. I still have
massive misgivings about this
whole thing and I know, mostly, that she's going purely for selfish
reasons on my part (ie I need some time alone!). I'm pretty sure that
she will be ok there but it's still an "educational institution"
and, to be honest, I'm not overly fond of them. Anyway, I'm going to
break the whole thing down into chunks. First, we'll get to half term
and, if she's still ok, then we'll leave her there until the summer
holiday. At that point we'll make the "big" decision as to whether to
send her back in the autumn or not. Obviously, if she gets there and is
monumentally unhappy then she'll be out straight away!
I'm trying to look at this from a positive viewpoint:
I'll get time alone - once a week (did I mention that?!)
Assuming that we
may well home ed her, it will give me time to
plan stuff for the start of her compulsory education (she's due to
start reception September 2009 - gulp!)
It will give me some much needed time alone with just Rosie so that we
can work on some stuff she needs help with.
If we don't home ed her, it will give her (and me!) time to adjust to
the new routine.
Right, I'm off now. It's been a busy day and we're winding down for the
kids bedtimes and then Tim and I can relax with dinner.
Posted by at 6:59 PM [
Monday, May 05, 2008
This just about sums things up
I doodled this yesterday. It started off as Toad (the little mushroom
guy from the Mario games), then turned into a cross toad and then turned
into a cross toad stood next to a busted computer. It clearly shows my
state of mind at the time.
Y'see, a couple of days ago our computer decided to just stop working -
no loud bangs, no weirdy behaviour, no warning, nothing. It just
wouldn't start - or rather, it did but, for some reason, there was
nothing getting through to the monitor. Tried a different monitor -
still nothing. Tried the main monitor with an old puter and it worked.
Hmmmmm. My brother (who knows a lot more about these things than us) had
a look and thinks it might be overheating and causing something to
"short out" ... or something. Anyway, when we've got the money (which we
don't have at the moment), we're taking it to Nami (who does our
computer mending) and getting him to sort it out but in the meantime
we're stuck with our ancient old pute. I'm seriously hoping that nothing
was lost off the other other one and that it will be a simple repair job.
D'ya know what I think the problem is? I think it's overworked and this
sign. It's a sign that says I simply MUST have one of the
gorgeous pink laptops that they sell in PC World and thus put less
strain on our main pute. It makes sense! Ahem.
So, this thing we've got now is S....L.....O.....W. It can't handle too
much in one go (I know the feeling) BUT it's something (and I'm bloody
glad we hung on to it when we got our new one!)
Thingamablog and all my archives were on the other computer so over the
last couple of days, Tim has laboriously set everything up and
copy/pasted my posts into the archives so that I can carry on blogging
using this pute. He has the same problem with his blog but has a lot
more posts so is just not going to bother - so no blogging from him for
So, what else has been happening. Not a lot really. The kids both have
colds - Rosie mainly, April just has a bit of a sniffle. I've got the
opticians tomorrow - new glasses required most likely - fab, I can
excel myself and see if I can look even more geeky than I do already.
Tim rather likes them - it's the saucy secretary look I guess but I
don't cause they annoy me by slipping down (I've only got a tiny little
nose which just isn't the right shape for supporting glasses). Oh well,
better than seeing everything through a fog I guess!
Posted by at 3:40 PM [
Thursday, May 01, 2008
Need a massage
Very achey today (and no, that's not the slightly embarrassing painful
problem I mentioned earlier!) - I think I must have slept awkwardly last
night because I'm all stiff between the shoulder blades.
Well, after Tim got home from work and we'd had lunch and then took
April for, what will be her last, Tumbletots session. 2 reasons -
firstly, we've (finally!) decided to go ahead and put her in the
Montessori school and secondly Tumbletots is, in fact, pants. It looks
impressive when you first walk in there with all this fancy climbing
equipment but it basically involves the kids queuing up to do the same
circuit over and over again for 3 quarters of an hour. Meanwhile I (as I
mentioned in a previous post) had to sit in a side room with all the
other mums and listen to their endless drone about their kids (I think I
must be a baaaaad mum coz I hate that stuff) This week the topic of
conversation was milk teeth *yawn*.
Anyway, so that was that. Our decision to put April in the school a
couple of sessions a week means that Tumbletots will be knocked on the
head. She's only 3 and unlike a lot of parents I don't believe every
second of every day has to be filled with activities and whatnot - she'd
be cream crackered.
So, the school. There are OH! so many reasons for this - the main one
being that she is just SO into everything
all the time - she
totally needs to be in an environment where she can do stuff that I
cannot possibly do with her at home (AND try and home ed Rosie!) She had
a fab time when we went to look round and she has no problem with being
"left" so I reckon she'll love it. The other reason is me. I need a
break - the age gap between them (nearly 8 years) makes trying to do
stuff with both of them really hard. Rosie has (at most) 6 years of
compulsory ed left (less than that if, in 3 years or so she decides to
go to the Upper School) - the thought of starting all over again with
April leaves me feeling a little giddy to be honest. I'm not saying
we've ruled out home ed for her - just want to see how the school goes
Her sessions at the nursery will give me a whole afternoon ALONE.
Unbelievable Wednesday afternoons will see Rosie and Tim at the
Littledown Centre, April at nursery and me all on my own! Ooooo! what
will I do? curl up on the sofa and read?, sit in the garden and soak up
some sun? Whatever I do, it will be peace and quiet. Heaven! The only
real time I get to myself at the mo is when Tim gets up early for work
(he leaves around 4.45 in the morning) and the kids don't wake up for
another couple hours or so, so I quite often get up and have tea, do
some yoga or whatever - it's really nice "me" time but Wednesday
afternoons are going to be the highlight of my week *smiles*.
All this stuff leaves me in a bit of a quandry about what to do with the
Dorset home ed group stuff I was doing. To be honest, it's going to be a
little redundant as Rosie's not fussed either way and is happy with her
current activity level, April won't really need it so .... well, we'll
see. Right now, at least for the next year or so, we're going to be a
half home educating family and d'you know what? I'm actually
looking forward to a change of "scenery" and I think April will be much
happier too *big grin* Happy bunnies all round!
Right, now I'm off to chill out - lovely evening here, very sunny and
Posted by at 4:36 PM [
Thursday, May 01, 2008
The kids decided it would be fun (not entirely sure why *laughs*) to
line up every soft toy they own on their respective beds and take photos
- I couldn't believe how many they had!! It didn't even include the pile
that I have on my kitchen worktop that I need to repair! Rosie took the
pics and you can just make out April in the corner by her bed (looking
I've had a "nothing" kind of day other than making phone calls, drinking
tea and keeping an eye on the kids. Not much else done due to a
(painful!) reason that I certainly won't be revealing here! I do,
however, want to share this cute pic of Mo that I took last night -
dear, gorgeous old thing *smiles*
Posted by at 4:32 PM [