Sunday 27 February 2011

Virgin Voyage & Suicidal Wagtails.

Took my boots out for the first time. Really have to say a comfortable ride was had by all! Just a wee stroll - or 'bumble' as someone I know uses!
Walked down the side of the river - unusually quiet on the wild life front. Saw a couple of chaffinch, swans, moorhens, mallards, a heron and a suicidal Pied Wagtail. Mr Wagtail was sat in the middle of the very busy road hopping on and off the white centre line. Cars were moving round it! it wasn't injured and a car pulling out of a side road kinda forced it to hop to the pavement....only for it to promptly turn around and hop back into the middle of the road? Why? I have never seen this before! Was it trying to attract a mate with it's bravado. I suggested it was trying out it's camouflage. Who knows. We didn't walk back that way but I hope there wasn't some fresh diddy black n white roadkill!

Here are a couple of views of the aquaduct taken from the disabled fishing platfom. My hated camera phone does not do it justice. The River for a change was a deep velvet blue and smooth. A lovely calm serene spot.

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at how my level of fitness has improved. Normally I can't do the steps up to the Aquaduct without one or two 'pauses to admire the view'. Today I made it up without a pause and only felt that thigh burn about 5 steps from the top! I reckon by Summer I'll be able to run up! Can't believe that we used to carry up the kids in their prams!

Goingbacktowork's Eve

I am amazed at how fast this week has gone. And what an interesting week it has been for one reason or another!
I, to my disgust, have not knit a single row - something, thanks to the torrential rain, I will address today. We were supposed to breaking in our new walking boots today - I think it's raining too hard to be pleasant. I don't mind a bit of drizzle! But going for a mooch around in this would be just miserable!

On Wednesday I went to an evening function round me mate's house! You know, the bring a bottle bring a nibble type of 'do'. Well I arrived clutching my bottle of white Jaques ( mmmmmmmmmmmmmm I LOVE it) and two large bags of potato/maize based fried snackettes and at the same time two party colleagues turned up with fancy food neatly arranged on TRAYS! I was mortified - I didn't know it was a 'trayed goods' function! It wasn't and I was only pretending to be horrified and dismayed! It was just a wee giggle moment! of the party delegates reads the Tarot - I declined as I used to dabble years ago and because of what happened to me two years ago - O I know I am not emotionally stable to think about ANYTHING good or bad that I might be told. I am sort of emotionally detached from myself if that makes sense. I am zooming through everyday without thinking about life stuff connected to me. I can do it for my children but it's almost like I am - not here -  Bloody hell that was getting intense..moving swiftly on and for reasons which include she might happen across this blog one day I will not tell you of my VERY drunk friend's antics - But I know that the Host, the Tarot guy and I will NEVER forget this particular 'do'!

I looked after my impossibly beautiful niece and nephew for most of Friday as their newest sibling had to endure a battery of tests up at the hospital because he is jaundiced. Lets hope and pray he turns out to be fine.
I know I am biased but look how gorgeous he is!

 His big sister sleeping on Aunty Rachel's Knee - how angelic!

Yesterday I went to Fleetwood ( Home of the Famous Fisherman's Friends) to meet up with my friend and her family as they live far, far, far almost too far away now in Bath, and my friend had the good manners to marry a bloke from oop north so we get to see her when they are doing the obligatory relative stay! I also got a heavily discounted purple sleeping back season2/3 which I think means it'll keep me toasty warm from -13 ( YIKES) to about 13! It was less than half price! Julian Graves also had a 50% of everything sale, I bought a bucket of glace cherries, hence baking activities today!

Well done to  my beloved Wales and  FABULOUS win over those FFB England! Excellent Rugby!

Today I have already popped a shin beef stew in my slow cooker. I am about to make some cherry shortbread, cherry scones & flapjack (sans cherries) for packed lunch purposes next week. I am also going on a trip down memory lane and will attempt a 'Swiss Jelly'! This was one of the recipes I learned at school! 

I will be back later to report on my last day of freedom before work kicks in - and I don't even actually count the weekends as holidays as we get them for free anyway!

Thursday 24 February 2011

Thursday of Half Term blues...

It's Thursday. Half term has zipped by. Today I shall be trying out my negotiation skills. I am not sure I have any, ( though bartering the man in Millets down another tenner has given me confidence) but I am going to try for a much better phone from Orange when I ring up to renew my contract. I shall of course lie about leaving them. I do need to research what I could get on other networks/plans. It's looking like I shall be forced to get a touch screen phone. I am never ever having a Samsung again - the camera is SHOCKING.

Sony Erikksons I have found to have the best cameras. I'm not even that arsed about mp. I use a mobile for two reasons. Taking photos and texting. One of the down sides to a touch screen is I will no longer be able to text one handed.
I am now confused dot com - even by looking on like minded sites I am still unsure what to go with. Hmmmm

 O well I suppose I should get ready for my sister, who is coming to pick me up to go to the doctors with her. Harry, the baby I helped deliver ( see really early posts) is being checked for jaundice. Fingers crossed the little man is ok. He is far too sweet to be ill.

11.19am - back from town. Little man has to go to hospital for full check up so Aunty Rachel gets to baby sit the other three tomorrow! Madeleine must think I am unrinaryily obsessed! She is being potty trained ergo I ask her every two minutes if she needs a wee! She is bringing her potty tomorrow as wee wee on potty = sweeties! Hey, it worked for mine. Pavlov certainly knew his onions!

Wednesday 23 February 2011

Wet Wednesday Woes - updated

Actually I havn't got any. I love wet Wednesdays especially in half term!

Here is an excerpt from my dictionary.
To Potter ( verb - flit about from room to room picking up odds n sods willy nilly and be at one with oneself)

 Today I will be found in my kitchen. On the menu is Cottage Pie, home made jammy dodgers and vodka jellies. I havn't made these before - I am assuming one replaces the water with vodka. Let's see what My best friend Google has to say on the matter.

Ah just as I thought! I didn't think it would be difficult. I have no shot glasses though - so will be improvising. Might use egg cups? ! Plastic cups if I can find some may be useful too. Ah well I will try to think of interesting things to write as I am in Domestic Goddess heaven.

Update 15.01 - cottage pie? check. vodka jelly? check. biscuits - not yet. I hit a snag during cottage pie construction. I'd softened my onions and garlic in olive oil, I'd added my (reduced) 'organic outdoor reared had a nice life watched corrie on a wednesday idyllic frolicking in the scottish highlands beef'' mince. (Honest that is what was said on the label - hence I bought it)
Added my reduced salt oxo stock with a hefty spoonful of black velvet. That's marmite in case you were wondering. And a squidge of tomato puree. Stirred it and left it on a tad over a simmer. 

Wandered over to the fridge. Quel Horreur! Nil spuds. not a one. So have had a lovely if a little damp tramp across the park to Aldi for some potatoes. Now I know the price of shopping has gone up but it cost me SEVENTEEN quid!  Lovely mashers though!

Tuesday 22 February 2011

Websites I have enjoyed lately!

Well I wonder how many of you have  had dubious thoughts flying through your heads as you read the title!
Well fear not, for  I am a truly wholesome girl and quite often happen across such gems like the ones I am going to share when I am chatting with my best friend in the world who happens to live on the other side of the world  using the art of Yahoo Messenger .

Today she informed me she didn't know what a jammy dodger was and she will insist on using the word cookie when infact she means biscuit!

LOOK AT THIS!!! This isn't what I found straight away but delving into this site has my creative ( and digestive) juices flowing!!!   GIANT Jammy dodger!

Jammy Dodger Earrings - just fabulous!
I WANT some of these...

I also LOVE this site and think my American chums should read it and be jealous!

Monday 21 February 2011

My Friend Billy....last name Bargain

 I love, love , love a billy bargain. I make it a personal quest to NEVER EVER EVER buy anything at full price. EVER. Everything is so expensive.

There is an old saying abot one man's fortune is another's misfortune(sic)...

Our town centre is much like any other you seeon the news, in serious decline and Millets has to close down and GO. Not one of those closing down sales that last forever. Or a 'closing down' sale where the shop sells everything then miraculously reopens in the same spot and often with the same stock!

So, my trusty Head Walking boots are about ooooo a good 8 years old now - at the time I tried on about 13 pairs and these ones just fitted like footgloves. My toes swooned at the comfort and they have served me well. But I have been on the hunt for their the right price.

These were the ones I saw   - The North Face - excellent brand - priced at £109 reduced to £59...but but but, and here's the juicy bit - EVERYTHING in the shop had 50% off again! Size 4 PERFECT - they were made for me. Except. Well. They were too small. Hmmmmm. It was like an episode of short, fat, round woman does Cinderella. My left foot was ok but my toes on my right foot were touching the end of the boot. I had three options.
1. Amputation -  drastic I know, but they were gorgeous and so cheap!
2. Get them anyway - they might stretch - this was what my inner voice was telling me....wet newspaper, wear em in round the house.....
3. Put them back on the shelf, with bottom lip stuck out like petulant child and scan the shelves for something else........

I found a pair of Karrimor walking boots. Little bit heavier. same size. So I rather sulkily, I thought, ( still casting glances at the North Face ones, inner voice still droning on, they are only a BIT too small etc etc) I tried them on. Perfect. Lovely grip ( which is the one feature I insist on for all my footwear - I am petrifed of slipping!) and really really comfortable. As the kind hearted, uber patient sales assistant all those years ago in Keswick said when shopping for walking boots, when you find the right pair you will just know.

So £119.99 down to £49.99 and I got them for £25 Billy Bargain - mixed reviews of them on the net, but for the walking I do - these will be fabulous and at that price I aint going to mind. ( Still really really really liked the North Face ones though)

Except mine are a slightly different colour variation
These are my new boots.

Then we went into what can only be described as a feeding frenzy!
The kids got new boots each - Hi Tech ones I think - but only £15 instead of £40. Decent boots. I got a walking pole. Then the biggy. A coleman 6 berth tent! Was £350. down to £200 and we got it for £75!

Have we camped before? No! Do we own any other camping gear? No! Actaully, that's a lie. The kids have sleeping bags, sleeping mats and other bits n bobs thanks to the fabulous Sea Scouts troop they belonged to. My other half also has a sleeping bag. So...when I have finished tinkering round on here - I am nipping back up into town to see if they have any of the half price sleeping bags left and a coleman little gas stove! Otherwise I will be a bit cold in the tent and as for hot food? Well, if we go in summer I think it's why God invented corned beef sandwiches! we shall not starve and we have a mini Weber BBQ!  Actually I am quite excited about adventuring off now!

I expect many 'Carry On Camping ' moments to write about!
I love half term :)

Saturday 19 February 2011

The other love of my life

I realised I havn't much ( if at all) mentioned the other love of my life. which is, going to concerts & gigs.
Live Music is like a drug to me. I  have many photos and videos of my time at some of the best gigs in the world. Well, OK, my life! My first true love is MUSE. Been to see them five times now and the last time was September at LCCC. I popped my mosh pit cherry there and I LOVED it. Although being covered in the pee that was being thrown about was something I did not particularly count as a highlight of my day!

This was when we first arrived. the stage was enormous and we manged wo wriggle our way RIGHT to the front. I had to - I'm 5ft NOTHING!

Friday 18 February 2011

That Friday Feeling..

This morning I got up and made some Hokey Pokey, or Cinder Toffee you might call it...or as it's Friday and I am uber susceptible to advertising....the middle bit of a crunchie! I also then covered some in chocolate.
It is tooooo easy to make

Feel the velvety smoothness!!! 

No, it's not my latest breakfast dish - it is a thank you to my friend's son who rescued my daughter's laptop from my forgotten password error! More piccies and feedback later! O and I wonder if Child A & Child B will be in school today for my lesson this afternoon. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Thursday 17 February 2011

The jumper in progress...

Started it a couple of weeks ago after getting some lovely wool 600g for £14 ish. Not bad considering the jumper she'd seen in River Island retails at over £60!

The wool recommended on the pattern, they had in the shop but it was £2.59 for 50g.

Need 10 x 50g for her size

Rib half done - I think it's knitting up lovely

Check out the newest members of my family.

I cannot wait to have fun with these guys....
Billy bargain price of £6 from the Book man at work

Made from flexible sillicone, this is the outside...

This is the inside.....

A wee man!

Just super cute

Good for jellies too I suppose, but I am going to attempt gingerbread!

Wee white chocolate chip cakes with choclate icing?
As soon as I have got some washing up liquid ( I am ALwAYS running out) I will begin my baking....stay tuned for the results!

Wednesday 16 February 2011

Locked out - This is a true story

This morning, after a fraught night trying in vain to recall the admin password I applied to my daughter's laptop I was eagerly on the case again. Many minutes passed. Many minutes. I was now late for work!
 The friggin PC is also kaput and Mark - our friendly techy guy at work said, for the price of a toblerone, he would have a look at it.

So, into a bag it went, and I lugged the approx 14stone heap of computer down the stairs. Paused to put on my coat. Keys, wallet, phone(The Lancashire Hotpots) check. Lumbared down the hall - see earlier post about the plywood, radiators, window trims etc that narrow my nice spacey hall to the width of a slim fitting pair of drainpipe jeans - got to my middle door - through, struggling to manage keys and bag etc

I know, I'll put keys int door, move into the entrance hall. ( How grande that sounds, entrance hall is about the size of a postage stamp.) Shuffle through sideways, narrowly avoiding removing my kneecaps on the rolls of flashing put there by Mr Rach, {and ok, I admit it, three pairs of my shoes}and make a successful getaway to work.

Did all of the above, pulled door behind me, turned round to turn the key in the lock..............................


I uttered the words O for F$%^&&ks Sake. Sat down on my wall in despair. Stood up and tried the door - maybe I'd left the door on the latch. NO.

So, I knew what to do - called my sister, she could call to my child's high school, high jack his keys, so when I knocked out the key from the outside, i could reopen my door! Genius. Phone calls made, my plan was set...

Lisa text to say she was there. I took a hammer and some drill bits from the DT trolley. And an extra large Paper Clip. I joked to the secretary on the way out the door I had my house breaking kit with me. ( I wouldn't actually know what constitutes a house breaking kit!)

I got to my house. I knelt on my knees at the keyhole to assess the situation. Ah yes - the key was slightly turned. I opened out my extra large paper clip. I gently inserted it and caught the key at the correct point and managed to straighten it. I then started to try and knock it out - so I could unlock the door  with my son's keys ( currently in Lisa's hands )and retrieve my keys ....easy.....whilst I was concentrating on my task, Lisa calmly reached over and just opened the door with the yale key top lock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In my stoooooopid rach mode - I  had somehow convinced myself that not only had I left the key in the door - I'd locked it too - from the inside!
THEN - I was showing Lisa what I'd done she had to stop me in alarm to check I had the keys in my hand! I think had I managed that I would have been carted off by the men in white coats!

This was what Lisa texted me later in the day.
"Did Cal get in OK?Still laffin at your MI5 issue paper clip door lock thingy that you didn't actually need. Ha HA."

How unkind of her! What do you think? :)

 ( Bloody hell - a finished story) ( I have yet to carry on my First Aid tale) 

Tuesday 15 February 2011

First Aid Course

Spent last night fretting - I was going on a course, to somewhere new, on my own - gulp - ME a fully grown ( eternally 28 year old ) woman!!!

Thursday 10 February 2011

Valentine Plans

Valentine Plans

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Eryn - look what I did!!!!

Today I LOVE my job!

Dear Year 1,
I wish to thank you from the bottom of my heart for today's lessons. You were amazing and I love every single one of you!

I deliver  PSHE/SEAL on a Thursday. Half an hour before lunch and forty five minutes after. This half term we have been talking about family, money and children and grown ups.

Wednesday 9 February 2011

Thank you Sky for the new Atlantic Channel

I am now able to repeat the whole ER experience thanks to the new sky channel. Right from the start. I already have series 8 - sorry dear American readers - season 8 on DVD but this is now my lunchtime viewing.

12 O'clock bell goes.
12.10 - sign out from school
12.13 - arrive home
12.14 - 12 - 35 run round doing jobs such as; pop a beef and ale stew in oven, properly frying season floured tossed cubes of beef in batches till the edges are caramalised, add shallots and mushrooms and a bottle Lancaster Black Ale ( yum) cook in slow oven for 5 hours, hoover through lounge and dining room, take dark load out of washer, start light load off, put breakfast pots away.
12.37 - settle down with bowl of  wholesome homemade vegetable soup ( I am trying to be healthy eating remember), diet yoghurt and cup of lady grey tea and a smidgeon of ER
12.54 - go back to work!
Soon be half term - 6 nasty get ups to go.
Child B accused me of pushing him on Tuesday afternoon, no one believed him. Today he was excluded for viciously punching another boy in his class . This thug is 8 years old. Shocking.
I hate my job sometimes. Helpless beyond belief that this small boy is a product of his fucked up parents fucked up selfish little lives. He needs help and nurturing that we cannot properly provide. Underneath his bravado and anger he is a sweet little boy.
I despair.

sorry (none existent) readers! I never finish a story!

I HATE loose ends

pretty flower pearl buttons

pinned out

Flowers took like 5 minutes ( as my daughter would say!)

Bag done - just need to do the handle

FINISHED!! Wish I'd striped the sleeves differently - but I was on pink wool conservation...

Birthday girl in her knitted goodies!
New chapter..... a jumper for my 16 year old - it may take till she is 18!

Friday 4 February 2011

Fridays are turning out to be the yin and yang of my week.

Two words are beginning to get me down each week. Well a pair of two words.

  • Year & Three
  • Child A & Child B
Last Friday I arrived at One O'Clock in the playground to bring in the neatly lined up twenty eight  boys and girls of Year Three. The twenty eight children, who were doing exactly as they should, are a delight to teach and I look forward to them every Tuesday and Friday afternoons. 
 We waited in the cold a further five minutes for Child A to come from one side of the playground to join the line - promptly hitting two children in the line on his way past. Child B was refusing to come in. So for the greater good I left him to his own devices on the yard, brought the rest of the children in ( child A pushing and shoving and completely ignoring my requests for him to stop.) As I went past the office I informed them that Child B was refusing to come in. They were aware of the problems he'd had at lunchtime which had included him calling the Lunchtime supervisor an effing word that rhymes with witch but starts with a b.  Charming child eh?

In class. 
Children gathered on carpet for register - a happy chorus of good afternoon Miss S and a rousing YES when I ask are we ready to work! Even child A .

( Will finish this post later on......)

MUCH MUCH ( weeks) later - 17th Feb and my memory may be a little hazy...

We are working on what we need to do to have a healthy lifestyle - in previous weeks we have identified what parts of our bodies do what and what foods to choose to eat and when - today's lesson was all about activities we choose to do . My idea was for the children to come up with a " Don't be a couch potato" leaflet.

EVEN LATER 22nd Feb 2011

We played some circle games designed to move the children around to where I want them to sit, unbeknownst to them, my change places if you are wearing a watch etc are all carefully engineered! During these games Child A & B generally were conforming and joining in until one of them refused to get out of a chair for another child. So, we all waited. Sometimes the joint effort of 29 pairs of disapproving eyes trained on you can make you do the right thing. Not so child A. So he was calmly told that he either played the games properly or not at all.
He decided not at all.  He left the circle and went to hide under one of the tables. And as usual child B takes great delight when child A gets into trouble he was an angel.
I actively ignore these types of behaviour. We then played the zoom zoom eek game. We all have our steering wheels in our hands and we are driving a race car around the circle. You zoom to your neighbour. Each child have one eeeeek which then changes the direction of the car. It's great fun, the zooms can be comical and the eeks are fab esp with the dramatic children pretending to have whiplash! The 'normal' children can cope with a bit of tomfoolery and will settle when remimded so we can carry on and play this game.  It's great for right and left thinking, listening, observing and team play - the class only win if we make it round without stopping and everyone has eeked! We start to play, having lots of fun. Car mad Child A creeps out and charges into the middle of the circle declaring he wants to play. I say he'll have to wait now because we are part way through this one, also it was his choice to leave the circle. Child A did not like this. He went back to his table spot declaring how unfair it all was. That game finished and I invited him back for our last game. More of a round. We pass the holdy thing round and share something. It's great for the apinfully shy as they can make the 'holdy thing' speak for them. Bless the children, they think we are JUST playing games! So I started it off by saying I like it in Y3 when everyone does as I ask straight went round the circle I like it in Y3 when......and we had a variety of answers, but some of the bolder children said I like it in Y£ when Child A is away because we can get on with our lessons! I don't think Child A really liked this. But buddy the truth hurts!

ooo Got it working!

Cast on for second ( and final sleeve)

Got a bit further....

ready to raglan

What is wrong with the blog?

Can anyone shed light on this? I am (obviously) very talented technology wise - but am rather distracted by the rugby! Come ON Wales! ( they are losing, sigh)

Thursday 3 February 2011

Been a few days

Had a very busy week - again. Last Friday I was sworn at in the most foul mouthed way by an 8 year old - left me seething and shaken. Anyhoo - thank goodness I had the frantic finishing off of the pink cardi to do.....  well I was going to show you but my insert image aint working for now.... I will try later.