Wednesday 31 October 2012

Reader Appreciation Award Nomination

Well, I am a bit shocked to get an award! It was unexpected, but I'd like to thank my mum, my dad etc ....

Actually I'm thanking a certain Mr Jamie T Dougan. Blog owner, author and fellow Tweep! As I'm blogging this on my phone ill have to copy and paste his link in here :-
Hopefully it'll work for you!
He has asked me some questions, then I have to keep it going by asking some of you lot!

I know some long established bloggers might get a little 'grrrrr' about these chain style blog things but I bloody love em! I am genuinely touched someone thought enough of my blog to tag me in and it totally satisfies my nosiness!! So if I tag you in at the end, please know I did it because I love reading your blog and I won't sulk if you choose not to play!

Here are my Q & A

1.Where do you do most of your writing/blogging?

My bedroom, be it freezing my wot sits off in the huge bay window, which, despite my lovely new double glazing fitted by my HG on the coldest day of the year two years ago, does nothing to keep the huge radiator less room with the open fire which does have a pillow shoved up it, warm. Or in bed on my trusty iPhone. ( Like right now )

2. Favourite book or books from your childhood?

Easy. Nip and Fluff - the books I learnt to read with. Then I loved The Great Jam Sandwich book. A lovely story about a swarm of killer bees/wasps being trapped by a great big giant jam sandwich. Kersplat and that was that. Can't recall the author, but that was the last line. My mum read it to me at bedtime for about three weeks! I'd got it from the Library. I should think she'd want to kersplat me over the head with it by the time it went back!! It was written in rhyme and I think that's why I loved it. Then Enid Blyton took me from aged six with Naughty Amelia Jane, via the Faraway Tree , Secret Seven and the Famous Five to my early double figures faves, The Twins at St. Clare's and Mallory Towers. As I lay reading by the light of the landing light, long after I was supposed to have gone to sleep, I longed, nay, YEARNED to go to boarding school. I wanted to play Lacrosse and swim in outdoor pools. I wanted to feast at midnight in a dorm. Sigh. Those books were great. Alongside them I was reading What Katy Did and what she did next. I hated Katy. Hideous girl I thought. Black Beauty. Stig. Then I discovered Judy Blume. Are you there God, it's me Margaret? was just BRILLIANT. Her books reached out to me in some way and I read them all. Every week I was at the Library wanting more! Other book memories include the illicit borrowing of my friend's mum's copy of The Thorn Birds. It went round the whole class. You didn't have to read it to find the juicy bits, it fell open at them! I went through the whole Flowers in the Attic series and Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I even used to read my mum's extensive Catherine Cookson library!! I think it's safe to say that I was an avid reader - I know I've missed loads out!

3.Who is your favourite fictional character?

There are too many from books for me to choose from so I will choose from TV/FILM. Forrest Gump number one. There are two Blanches on my list. One was Dreary Barlow's mum in Coronation Street. Blanche Hunt. The other from The Golden Girls, Blanche Devereaux.

4. Have you ever Googled yourself and been shocked at what you found?
No I have never googled myself! Shall I go do it now? Be right back! ....

Well got to page 4 and gave up! Nothing!!

5. What's your favourite time of the day and why?

When the sun comes up. I hate the dark when I am awake. I'm not scared of the dark. Indeed, I cannot even have one chink of light coming in if I am going to sleep. But if I am awake, I need it to be light. I think I have S.A.D

6. Who would play you in the movie of your life?

Dawn French

7. One material possession that you absolutely could not live without?

Anything that contains my photos. Albums, computer, phone.

8. Have you ever been naked in public?

*shudders at the very thought*

9. What is your dream car?

Don't have one!

10. There wasn't a question 10!!!

So... Who do I want to answer the very same questions .... Descisions, descisions....

1. I'm asking a sweet chum of mine, who also happens to be a best selling author - I reviewed his book with five stars so far Mr Steve Briggs.
2. She doesn't have a specific blog of her own, she's the intended of Mr B , it's the jolly fabulous Clare Harper.
3. She lives a long way from me, but we just clicked instantly , it's the fabulous owner of a fabulous blog Mrs Vivian Pistacshio - hehehe it's what I fondly call her in my head! She blogs here
And two more
4. My bonkers friend Mrs Eyeball Breather

5. My newest kindred spirit Kate who blogs at
So all I have to do is link them in and enjoy reading their answers! Oh I need a question 10. So here it is ...... I want to know all sorts but
What/who/where was your first proper kiss?

Even if I haven't tagged you, but you fancy answering my questions please do so in the lovely big comment box! Come on - you know you want to!!!

A lovely blog and it's owner I do want to tag is
Frugal mummy blogging at
One of my must reads everyday!

Who else wants in? Xx

Tuesday 30 October 2012

10 things that make me smile

This comes from a lovely idea for a linky from the equally lovely FrugalMummy. Read her lovely post with the original link * HERE * . She requested that , in these days of doom and gloom, despite ( or perhaps ) Christmas being round the corner, she wondered what 10 things can make us smile.

Now I am a very smiley person. It's going to be hard to narrow it down to 10.  I won't post the things that made me laugh out loud for they are in a class of their own! Also, just as the Delicious Dermot on X factor says. My choices are in no particular order!

1. My Rose Tinted Glasses. I am often found to be wearing them as I think about things and memories from well, yesterday backwards to as far as I can remember! ( Going to Playschool about three years old. ) My Rose Tinted Glasses are fabulous for they only definitely work for the good memories. So one I'm smiling about now is walking my dolls parm round the park with my beloved Nanna.

2. Sitting in front of my roaring coal fire on a wet Sunday afternoon, where the rain is lashing at the windows. I am with loved ones, with my feet up, something delicious in the oven for tea and something good on the telly. Bliss.

3. My children and my Hunter Gatherer.

4. Other people's toddlers having tantrums at the checkout. I smile supportively at the poor harassed parent. I smile smugly because I have been there and done that.

5. Christmas trees twinkling in the dark.

6. Nights in with my girlfriends

7. When someone opens a gift from you and genuinely likes it. Or when I knit things for people and I see them using it.

8. When Harry smiles and says my name.

9. Getting a good bargain anywhere.

10. Hearing good things about my children from other people - be it on Parent's Evening, family or friends messages or strangers.

I've tried to keep it quite short. Otherwise I'll find myself wistfully dreaming of good things and get nothing else done! Please add your Top Ten Things that make you smile, either here as a comment, or using the linky on FrugalMummy's blog.

Rachel xx

Sunday 28 October 2012

The one where I admit to pilfering the family silver and I got away with it!


 It's coming up to the season of insane TV advertising and I recently read and instantly fell in love with a new blog. The post in question discussed stereotypical toys for girls and boys. ( Read it and my "frankly hilarious" comments *here* ).

Memory wise, I seem to have the ability to dredge up lots of facts from t'black n white days when I were a lass, growing up in the 1970s. But telling you what happened last week can be a major struggle! Sometimes I do get muddled up somewhere between the two. However, I am pretty sure what follows is mostly accurate. It's hard to type, by the light of an energy saving lightbulb, with these rose tinted glasses on!

In the 1970's I remember an idyllic childhood. Mum and Dad didn't have any spare cash. Dad worked long, hard hours to barely meet the mortgage etc. Please put down that violin! I'm not after sympathy- it was just like that for us and millions of working class folks.

Mum has said that she didn't get milk tokens or help as she only had three children under five for a couple of months.( I spoiled all that by turning five when Baby Sister was just three months old.)  I'm not sure how Child Allowance worked back then either. I know she only worked part time when I was in the Juniors.  Even so, we never seemed to be visibly any wealthier! BUT I know she went without so we could have. I know she scrimped, saved, knitted and ran catalogues for the commission to be able to afford a fabulous Christmas morning for us. They were fabulous. Every single one.
It was magical. I don't recall ever writing a list.  We didn't pester. We knew there was no point.

Besides, our next door neighbour got EVERYTHING,  so we used to just go round and play loads!
The only time at Christmas I  recall being  desperate  for something, was for a ''Muppet Show Shopping bag, just like my mum's grown up canvas bag with a ZIP ( oh the technology ). I nearly died from excitement when I got one! There is a photo somewhere of me, in a long pink nightie clutching my precious. I think I used to take it to bed!!

Other beloved toys I remember getting include a Fisher Price school desk.It had a green chalk slanted board to write on and it was magnetic so all the letters stored in the drawers could be used to write words on the little picture cards! I was so jealous of my little sister when she got an actual real blackboard/easel!, But I loved that desk, It did me, till I got my own real life proper type writer. I also had a pegboard and pegs that I adored.

Then came Sindy.

Think my dark haired one came in jodpurs with the horse.

I had two Sindy Dolls- just like the ones in the photograph, one with black hair like me. I drew eyeshadow on her pretty face with biro. Think I got a smack for that!  With the next few birthdays and December 25ths I started accrueing accessories for my Sindy. 

I had one of these. 

I found this photo on Ebay. This sold for £67!! I wish I still had mine! It opened out and had a bed, a shower and a wardrobe for Sindy. Just what every cosmopolitan travelling  plastic girl needed! £67 Oh my stars!
I had ( please don't let me down google images ) ( It didn't !)  a travel case, like the one above.

A camper tent and a horse. ( Both photos from Google Images. I bloody love Google Images!)

Now, there was a girl in my class, who's dad worked on the oil rigs. Therefore they were MILLIONAIRES. It's what we thought. We were all invited to her birthday party one year, her house was like a MANSION to me. Fitted kitchen, thick fluffy carpets, big leather sofa and a big COLOUR REMOTE CONTROLLED TV. Her room was MAHOOSIVE ( I was in a box room approx 2ft square ) ( That last bracket was a lie, but I was in the adequately sized box room ). In their bathroom they had a bath AND omg a SHOWER. Not a head connected to the taps shower, that dripped cold water onto you when you were in the bath, one  like ours. Oh no, a walk in CUBICLE one . To a girl who lived in a simply but comfortable furnished home with no frills this was like walking onto the set of Dallas! She was a Ewing whereas I was an Ingalls!! All the girls in my class went to traditional birthday parties at each other's houses. 

Ya know girls, long dresses and side ponytails 

Her party/disco was in the cellar, with the lights off,  with full on disco lights!!
I'm also pretty convinced that ( gasp ) boys were invited. That. Was. Unheard. Of to us 10 year olds. She was sooo cool! But for me, 
It was her bedroom that held the main attraction.

No, it wasn't her fancy pants bed.  The first cabin bed I had ever seen.

No, it wasn't the fact that she had a hamster in her bedroom. 

 It wasn't even the fact that she had a black and white portable TV in her room. 

AND a record player. 

No, she had something so amazing . It was this....

Look at the advertising - It was MY dream! I was impressionable back then! My career as a marketing man's dream surely began in the 70s! Look at the HOOVER!

She had The Full Sized 5ft Tall Sindy House.  Complete with roof top garden.The kitchen was to die for girls.  Stainless steel sink ( OK shiny silver plastic.) Complete with cooker that made cooking noises when you put the pans on the hob - bubbled and blipped like thick pea n ham soup does. 

Bathroom- matching suite with, blew my mind, a cubicle WORKING shower.  ( Just like HER Mum and Dad's! ) Little teeny dark brown towels. 

Sindy's bedroom was exquisite. 
Simply elegant. 
Solid white plastic, gilded with gold filigree bed,  with matching  darling blue cover and valence. Oh the poshness! The dressing table WITH mirror and stool - with cabinet table legs, again all beautifully carved. The lounge had a Chesterfieldesque leather suite all in top quality plastic. . . I WANTED IT ALL!!

Now I bet you all 10p, that it is this part of my tale,  where by you are linking the title in.
Well you are wrong!

I am getting to it, but most of you who are regular here know by know how I'll waffle round the houses to get to my point.

A while ago I wrote about Deathscalators and being in London.
On that school trip we were taken to Harrods. We all had £10 spending money I think it was - saved up throughout the school year - correct me if  I'm writing  , lovely old school chums, if you are reading.
There were these cute darling little 'Carrie' and 'Christopher' dolls. I distinctly remember Christopher because he had proper 'boy bits'!!
After researching, he did have the bits - as did she!

I think they were a fiver each. And then there were outfits for them. I'm pretty sure in remembering that ALL the girls in my class bought a Carrie/Christopher doll with an outfit. They came in a darling little terry towelling baby grow fastened with Velcro , she in pink, he in blue, natch. I bought a wee lemon sundress complete with matching knickers for my Carrie.

I'm pretty sure ALL the boys bought Slime. And one of those octopuses that walked down walls and windows.

So with the money that was left I think en masse us girls bought ;( cue remembering gasp of joy ) BABY WILLIAMS.
Look at all the Baby Williams photos I found!
I'm sure mine was like this one.

Hands up if you had a Baby William ??!! Strange but Oh so cute  little plastic headed babies with beany bodies sold in match boxes!!!
This created a kind of weird phase at school. We had those lift up lid desks, with a shelf at the top. On this shelf we ( and I know it wasn't just me ) created little apartments for our Carries, Christopher's and Baby Williams!

Again, if you are waiting for me to admit to stealing from Harrods.
You are quite wrong.

Think back to where I said we had no money back then. Entertainment was often going visiting and playing with our numerous cousins. Twelve Grandchildren on each side meant there were tons of us to go round!
I used to love to go to one house because there lived my glamorous older cousin. She had  proper blonde hair, cut in a jaunty style.  I loved her hand me downs ( though my favourite hand me downs always came from my Dad's side of the family - Maria was more bohemian whereas Diane was more M&S ) but I idolised her! Even though she was pretty mean to me sometimes!! ( Sherry trifle,  Diane, just in case you are reading! )

any meanness was completely forgiven if she 'let' me LOOK AT, not play with, but LOOK AT her Sindy stuff. 

She had the Dining Room stuff. God it was gorgeous. The same handcrafted white plastic as the bedroom stuff. The carved high back chairs, the large table with carved legs, the table mats, the plates , the tiny, perfect beautiful silver cutlery. The silver cruet set. Le sigh. Be still my beating ten years old heart.
Just Exquisite

Diane and her friend Maxine had run away from me when we were playing hide and seek or something outside.

I went back to Auntie Pat's. All forlorn. For something to do I went to the toilet.

 Diane's bedroom door was open.

 There, on the floor,  ON THE FLOOR  was the clearly unloved, unwanted, neglected spoon from Sindy's dining room.  Did I mention it was ON. THE. ACTUAL. FLOOR?  Not on the table in Sindy's dining room. Not put away carefully like I would have. Just carelessly abandoned. 

 It was just laying there, twinkling at me in all it's lovely silvery shininess.

Now MY Carrie needed a spoon in order to feed Baby William.

 So I permanently borrowed it!!

 It had a much happier life with me.  I never left it on the floor. I slept easy. No guilty conscience at all! She can't have missed it because there was nothing on Newsround about it!

So, Diane, I'd like to apologise! Firstly for you having to be saddled with a young brat following you round all the time! And for stealing the family silver! I hope you can forgive me!!

So... What toys were YOU desperate to have when you were small? What did YOUR friends have that you didn't. What family heirlooms did YOU steal?!!

I'm sure it wasn't just me. Was it?

Sunday 21 October 2012

Post 202 - your requests!

Hey bloggy chums,
 Another post  - it's only post 202!

Again thank you for reading - I have gone over the 10k mark!! That's bonkers!

Also thank you for the lovely heartfelt comments on my last  post. I never speak of what happened, only to a few. I lay in the wee small hours  of the 17th and the words just popped into my head, so I quickly scribbled them down. You know ( fellow bloggers ) how those words then need out. So I shared them with another, then I felt brave enough to go public. I am sure it's all part of some crazy healy thing but I did it. I DIDN'T post it for a mass outpouring of sympathy -  it was never intended for that and that is what I shy away from THE LOOK, telling people can get you,but the comments I have had ,ARE comforting and I   do hold them  dear in my heart.So  Thank You, for taking the time to read and to comment xxx you know who you are xxx

So your requests for my next post. An odd mixture - but here goes....

Dear Frugalmummy, ( go read her blog folks, it's awesome! )
Re Christmas Preparations...

When my children were small, I would begin my Christmas shopping for them in January. I would squirrel away bargain finds all year, NEVER spending full price on their toys and clothes. They never knew. In fact I think I'd be hard pressed to think of something they ever had that I paid full price for!

Fast forward to the present day, I still hunt for gifts as and when for my little nephews and nieces, however, as I've lost brain power over the years, I forget that I've got things and find them after the event - so they get them for birthdays etc! Last year, I knit Lisa's Madeleine a stripey jumper and a matching one for her dolly!
This year, I have not had much time to think about Christmas so far, apart from reading your blog FM!  Pesky 'full time' work gets in the way!
Because the teenagers are just that, presents have been half sorted in the way that she got new Fencing gear and he has got a new road racing bicycle ( NB I am not happy about this new hobby that will surely end in tragedy ) I hate that I don't have to send things to Father Christmas anymore the same way.
Cards are already bought, in fact thanks to my careful January sales shopping over the years, I have not needed to buy any for three years and I think I still have a good couple of years left! I'd love to make my own, and have amassed a bit of crafty stuff, but reality is I haven't got time to squeeze in an extra hobby!. I have completely cut down on who we send cards to too.  I wasn't organised enough to write my cards for Yorkshire as requested by my Ma In Law - she's gone over on a visit this week - another christmassy fail!!
I have a joint of pork and a joint of beef in the freezer - bought when they were 'whoopsed.' I have a jar of cheap as chips mince meat ready to spruce up to luxury homemade with the addition on alcohol and apple. I have marzipan. bought dirt cheap to put in some mince pies. I've even bought some ready made pastry when they were selling it off for quickness at Christmas! I will get more and more excited as it gets nearer, as I put my tree up. After having a frugally bought half price black artificial one for years I have mentioned I'd quite like a real one this year..... but common sense and the purse strings will prevail no doubt! I may even, for the sake of frugalness NOT buy another bauble this year. ( Even though I have seen THE most exquisitely darling purple and silver glass ball!)
Dear Chippy Chin Off Twitter,
Re The NHS...
What can I say. It has looked after me well for the most part. It employs a lot of my friends. Because it's there we don't think about it.
I cannot fault it. It's the same as business I think, because the smallies who make it work and actually matter the most ( And I don't mean this a a derogatory name ) as the most dedicated team on earth. It's the big wigs who are paid the most, who sit on their thrones in their offices dictating rules about something they in REAL part know nothing about. Most people would say the NHS is in rapid decline. This is undoubtedly due to cutbacks. Not cutbacks in the 'high up' 'high falluting' managers and their PRs dept, but cut backs on the shop floor where life and death is taking part and where it really actually matters. Good Old Florence Nightingale harped on about cleanliness and it's importance. My mum will tell of the days of scary matrons who inspected their own  wards and each ward had a band of cleaners who worked round the clock. Now one poor cleaner will have lots of wards to do, in not much time and for not much money. Indeed, when my darling Nanna was in hospital, there was blood spots on the floor ( not even hers ) for three days. I was monitoring it. I watched, in that elderly unit, as two nurses tried their best to manage 16 beds split into two wards. These patients were desperately needy. One frail,elderly gentleman, clearly suffering from dementia would take to wandering about. When he was found he would resist the nurses ( female ) and they would struggle to return him to bed. I am not being sexist, but he was a big man and strong. Those nurses were tiny. They shouted at him. He was a danger to himself  they said he's already fallen and banged his head. They used to have chairs where patients could sit in front of the nurses station - with carefully tipped seats and a table attatched making it harder for them to get out. But this, apparently, abuses their human rights and  these safety seats are now outlawed. If that was my Grandad, I'm pretty sure I'd prefer him to be in a tipped seat in full view of the nurses desk, rather than wandering around and falling and breaking his hip/fracturing his skull/scaring/upsetting other partients etc. A nurse who worked with the elderly told me this. If I am not right, then do let me know.
Last year, when I was gravely ill, I believe I was mixed up in a great big waiting list fiasco - meaning that scans and tests I was due for came late - or myself had to chase up. Now I am aware, that the outcome could have been very different and you would be having one less blog to read. Once I was in the right care path on the whole I was looked after very well. Mainly by the nurses again. I did not have any worries about how I was going to pay for this treatment and tests. We do have to pay for prescriptions - but if you need medication for life threatening illness - this is free.
I think that the main differences between UK and USA  ( and to be honest I am basing most of this on documentaries and ER !! ) is that because you pay in the USA they work backwards from worse case scenario. So, in the  USA present with a headache, get MRI/CAT scan to rule out brain tumour etc then get tablets for headache.
But in the UK - get tablets for headache, come back in a month. 12 months down the line get sent to check for brain tumour - when it's too late. That is my opinion.
Indeed, when Lisa first took Harry with her concerns about his rolling eyes and his apparently unseeing unfocussing eyes at 8 weeks old she was STILL sent away to 'wait and see' for two weeks. I lay awake some nights thinking what if Id have made her take him to A&E that day when I noticed it. What if they made her wait longer. Would the outcome have been much different - we'll never know. What I do know is that once diagnosis was suspected and confirmed, Harry was treated at lightening speed and really we cannot fault the NHS at all. There are children being flown in from all over the world to Birmingham for treatment. Which is confusing because I know of at least three cases of children over here currently raising money - a LOT of money - like £500,000 to fly to America to get treatment that isn't available here.
But I feel awful when I see on twitter etc that my US chums are in a dilemma about going to see a medic because of the cost and what will happen to their medical insurance. For even minor things.  Now I DO want to live in America - but admit the NHS is a BIG bonus of the UK!
Dear Jane and Chris,
 Re Poutine...
At first I was going to say you put your lips together and lower your chin and look up through heavily lidded eyes. Then I read your comment again!
Then I guessed it was something to do with putting goosefat on a chest to ward off a cold but no....
If my googling is correct I will say that
Poutine is actually available here, but under a different name. It is mainly used by a certain demographic after a particularly good night out where lots of alcohol has been consumed.Indeed it is something consumed but not a liquid. It's origins are not water based.  I have partaken of this but only in part. I am fairly sure it is not one of your 5 a day and too much would definitely be a bad thing. That is all. If I say anymore I think I will fail your challenge! How did I do???!!
Dear Amanda ,
Re Education....
I think you know that Education is something quite close to my heart! Seeing as being part of it pays my wages! I hate the way things are changed by people who have NO IDEA what goes on in the classroom, every single day. The way they expect more and more, but  by taking more and more taking money away, these expectations are unrealistic. It's also demoralising. The way some parents bring up their children is outrageous. I have written about my 'bowl of soup kids' before.  Each year I want to bring more and more children home, give them a hot bath, delouse them, wrap them in soft fluffy towels, give them homemade bread  and a bowl of soup in front of my warm fire and read them a bedtime story. ( I could swear I heard Hovis music in the back ground whilst I typed that last sentence!)
**** News just in*****
She survived the first few weeks. She looks exactly the same and everything!!
The daughter came home from Uni. Without any dirty washing. She is very popular. We were hard pressed to fit into her tight social calendar! We enjoyed three hours of her Friday night after she got here. This consisted of me Spanish inquisition style firing twentygadzillion questions at her about her new exciting life in Newcastle. She sat on the HG's knee ( always was a Daddy's girl)  and gave me the bare minimum answers she could get away with ,as she was glued to the TV. " I haven't watched any telly for five weeks Mum!" was her explanation! She then went to bed. The lure of her freshly laundered everything,- quilts, sheets and PILLOWS too ( I love my new black shinies - see about five posts back! ) , must have been too much to resist.
On Saturday, we went out shopping  - though as it's #FQstoptober I hardly spent anything at all. We went out for a late lunch and on getting home she promptly got ready to go out! She stayed out at her friend's house, came home briefly this morning to change and has now buggered off out with the beau. I call him this to wind her up! Muuwahahahaaa! I am not sure what time she is back. She is staying at home tonight and her train is early in the morning. It's been fabulous to have her home. My house felt all complete on Friday night and it felt like it was smiley.  It won't be long til Christmas at all, when she will be back for a few weeks. I can't wait. TREE UP AND MY DAUGHTER BACK!!
So here was Blog post 202.  It is very long and rambly - my fingers ache from the typing! I've just joined a BlogsRus Facebook page. I am so chuffed to little bits that Donna from Mummybird chose to invite me! So if you land here via that group please do say hello. I'm going to try and faff about with this google+ thingy wotsit. And goooglefriends - please come follow - there's only two in my little box thingy down there \/ and one of them is ME!
Till the next post - cheerio petals xx

Wednesday 17 October 2012

17th October 2008

17th October 2008.
Oh my love, my darling
You were born too soon
So small, so perfect.
I love(d) you
So so hard, so awful
I held on to your dad
And we cried. I whispered I was
Sorry, over and over.
I need you now
I cry for you now
Four years its been
Still brand new.
It’s hard
So painful
My heart is broken in two,
million pieces
For you, for ever.

We should be five
We’re four, I can’t get past this
It hurts so much.
From out of nowhere
it comes,
The speed of it is shocking.
Every time I am slammed
into that brick wall of hurt
It takes my breath
Racking sobs just like
It was yesterday.
The pain is real
The tears crash down
Like my world.
Life goes on
They say it
And time will heal so much
I’m waiting still
They lie, it doesn’t,
I don’t ever think it will.
I remember that night;
Your perfect face
Your perfect hands
Your perfect fingers
Your perfect knees
Just asleep and so small
You looked like your brother
And sister
That’s what we said,
They cried for you
All in my bed. When I was not there.
A mother of three
Two here, one gone
I wish and I wish
It wasn’t so.
The force of my grief
Keeps me awake all night
I replay it over
The midwife’s voice
Is clear.
“Oh Rachel” she said
Mum held my hand
My rock at my side
But I didn’t know you were there…
Or had I known? Deep down, surely
I did. My mind plays these games now
Phantom kicks and flutters
The whole room cried.
Even the nurses.
It was just so final.
I can’t finish this
It will finish me.
The darkest of thoughts in the dark small hours.
I hate it. I hate it.
I can’t carry on,
but I will
I love you forever my angel.
Mummy x

Friday 12 October 2012

My 200th Post!

Blimey! Here I am at post 200! Im having a Bicentenary! My ghast is quite flabbered that I have managed to ramble on! I love the fact that I can waffle on and quite a few of you read it and comment too!!

I'd like to thank my mum, my dad etc

I think you are all brilliant! So my 200th post will contain some of my favourite things. I'm blogging. On. My. Phone. This suits my inner sloth down to the ground!

All the photos will be at the end, in no particular order as on a phone I have no control over this!

They include Billy Bargain Bread. Bought as part of my #FQstoptober quest. Teddy Bear Bread. Teddy. Bear. Bread. Honestly! But at 21p it'll made grand breadcrumbs! There were more cut price CHO to be had.

There's a photo of the alien I gave birth to. She's wearing her Fencing Gear. She made the Uni Team!

A photo of a RT I got from *Dick n Dom less than an hour ago.

I've included a shot of my latest knitting too. Full bloggy knit post in a few days when it's finished!

There is a screen shot of my entry into Radio 2's Muse gig ticket giveaway, PLEASE HOPE THAT I WIN.

*comedy legends

Ofsted came, they went! As stated in posts 198 & 199 I wasn't arsed. I did my thang. Life at school goes on! The end. Till the next one!

I'm going to ask if anyone has any requests for post 201?! I like the idea of being asked to write about something - just to see if I can. Most of my bloggy chums know I love to comment on their blogs - so I am curious to see if it'll give me similar pleasure!

Here's a few snapshots off my phone x The things I listed above plus a couple of random things that make me smile!

Tuesday 9 October 2012


This morning I was full of self pity! Actually, my plan worked, because even though I ended up having the class from 1pm, they were alright. A few challenges were seen off. A fabulous circle time ensued. I had a different colleague with me and as always, two pairs of eyes are better than one. We got our French done and some RE, complete with cross curricular links.

Just before the lesson I was told that THE phonecall had come at noon. The devil would be swooping in tomorrow morning. He is staying till Thursday night.

Deep joy. To be honest. I am not arsed about it. It'll be my 6th one. I do not change my standards/activities/expectations simply because there are some people in suits with clipboards.

Some of my colleagues are in a frenzy. Paperwork is being triply checked. Trackers. Registers, yadda yadda yadda.

School is upside down, major building work going on inside and out. New storage areas being constructed. There are resources everywhere! But we keep calm , step over the chaos and carry on!

I happen to be of the mindset that there should be NO phonecall. They should just drop in. That way they can get a clear true picture. Everyone should be doing their jobs anyway.

The only thing that would stop the inspection would be a major catastrophe. I don't think that will happen.

So Government spies, bring it on. We are waiting for you!

A Lament .Terrible Tuesday

I am not looking forward to today at all.
Specifically from 1.35pm on,
The most challenging class IN. The . World
and I prepare to do battle.

It's one they never win,
I'm not famous for giving in.
( I never do )
But it's such a hard slog to get the work done,
On my own.

My support for the session, is ill.
Hope she gets better soon.
Real soon, like by 1.35pm
You never know.....

I do know;
it'll be carnage
I am hoping that
by writing this,
I change the fate

And my lessons will go smoothly.

Keep your fingers crossed. Please.

Sunday 7 October 2012

#FQstoptober week 1

Hey gang, if you are new, please say hello :-) also if anyone fancies becoming my follower 53 I'd right like it a lot! I've been at 52 forever!

Well, thanks to a blog I look forward to reading everyday, I'm doing my best to take part in a different kind of Stobtober. Nothing to do with tobacco but with cold, hard, cash.
Read all about it here >>>>

It's a fabulous blog written by a really fab lady. She's won an award for it!

I made a suggestion for the twitter hashtag #FQstoptober on the inspirational Frugal Queen's Blog. Go on Twitter and see!! She used it and hopefully a few more tweeps will join in! I've already made a new friend on there! Follow me - I'm rachelradiostar - I tweet wittily.*

*I am probably only witty in my head where only I am chuckling.

So, the ONLY money I plan to spend this month is a reduced household budget.

Because of the filthy, rotten summer we've had, I have a freezer full of meat, which, because it was not scoffed, in the garden, with friends, family and wine will now be scoffed, in the house, just us three ( I HATE THAT ) with mash and beans and a brew.

So I really need to only buy/source fresh fruit,vegetables, bread and milk. I can and will bake some bread but I don't have a cow so have to buy the white stuff . I hate the fact the farmers are being diddled but I always keep my eyes open for a Billy bargain. The £1 milk for 4 pints will do nicely.

So in all this week I have spent about £120.

Whoooooaaaaa Froogs, if you are reading - this was my " normal " monthly big shop and I do not plan to go again till November! I quit doing a big weekly shop a while ago. Since I started working full time. Sometimes I'll do an online shop if I get emails with vouchers off delivery etc.

I think that's a fair amount for a month. For a teenager with the stereotypical hollow legs syndrome. Even when he was a small boy, he was starving. Never just hungry. I could probably cut this amount down - something I'm going to try!

Included were some bargains! Infact EVERYTHING I bought was reduced. We have very creative meals sometimes in this house, I can also make a lamb cutlet stretch so you'd think it was off a giraffe or something long of leg!! I also needed stuff like dishwasher salt and vinegar. I needed to top up my baking cupboard. Ok I confess that the little Dr Oetker jelly diamonds reduced from £2.50 to 40p a tube were not necessary, but they'll make my cakes look cute! I also needed to get those one offs you seem to run out of at the same time.

NB. RE Dishwasher salt- it's not good on chips! It might LOOK like posh Maldon Salt but I'm pretty sure it will kill you!

Also having read some blogs and comments on her blog, how we are all fretting and asking 'WWFD' as in What Would Froogs Do, makes me chuckle!
( I am justifying my jelly diamonds knowing she would have probably put them back!! )
Bargain of the week in Sainsburys was the Outdoor reared pork. Already slashed to half price BUT they'd reduced it all again short dated. I stocked up - and giggled at the boy complaining he couldn't get anything else in the freezer - with different cuts, including a nice big shoulder joint that will do for Christmas! I do like buying meat from happier animals. I do think they taste more delicious if they've frolicked in a field, with the sunshine on their upturned snouts now and then.

The One at Uni just rang. Her and the flatmates share the shopping and spent £11 each this week. They plan their meals for the week and take it in turns with the cooking. Each set of frantic parents dropped them off four short weeks ago with 'Feed an Army' sized bagfuls of essentials. We provided her with £80 worth of pasta, rice, porridge, peanut butter, hot chocolate, tea bags, coffee, washing powder, cereal, cling film, washing up liquid etc. My sister sent a parcel of pasta in sauce type meals, soap, shower gel and soup. One set of Grandparents are going to load up a supermarket card for her, but they were waiting to see which one they'd favour. So far it's Mr Morrison who will be supplying her every need! But she also had sourced the local market for cheap fruit and veg. They are having curry tonight!
They are a good group of girls.

Big spend alert confession but it doesn't really count in to #FQstoptober....

If you recall my HG was suddenly made redundant last October and for four scary weeks, we were at the mercy of £63 a week Job Seekers Allowance.

He got a new job not long after, self employed, which in turn gave me a new, highly stressful UNPAID role of Sodding Accountant. The title comes from having to do the Sodding Accounts.
Against. My. Will.

But his redundancy payout has sat unspent. At first, it was to bail us out should we need it. After a year of work, I think he relaxed a little. Using some of it, we agreed he should spend it on something he REALLY wanted.

He bloody deserved that redundancy money. Everyday leaving the house at 6.30am, working outside in all weathers, for some outrageously rude and pig ignorant people, often not coming in till after 7 at night- all for a right corrupt pair of bosses who ran their business into the ground knowing full well they would be up trading under a slightly different name the next day.

But that rant is for another day. I'm glad he doesn't work for them anymore and I don't have to false smile at them anymore.

In any other circumstances we'd never be able to afford or contemplate buying what he had his heart set on....

.......A great big swanky pants TV.

Indeed I am blogging this on my phone, wearing a pair of 3D glasses.

I had said the old one would do till it died. However, the people off Corrie had been replaced by aliens. Alan Titchmarsh wasn't just green fingered anymore and ALL of the politicians were from the Green Party. Yes. The colour had gone a tad doolally.

So we did our research, looked at them in the shop, looked up online for cheapest possible price. Ummed and ahhed about it a bit longer. Bit the bullet and went and got it.

It is a beauty. The one we had been watching for a few years was a 'new to us bought off the Driving Instructor' wide screen TV, you know, the ones the size of a small bungalow.

It's incredible, how the advance of technology is so visible these days. That Wide Screen TV was top of the range in it's day.

We bought the TV.
I harassed the shop assistant, I tried my best to get an extra 10% off, ( he did point out it was discounted already ) or a free George Foreman out of him. To no avail. He did give me a card for £20 for free films that he wasn't supposed to!

We brought it home. The mood shifted. The testosterone levels were palpable. I made myself scarce, I texted girlfriends for support. *I* read the instruction booklets as the HG and his sidekick unpacked cables and remotes and bits n bobs. There was much connective activity and tadaaaaah it was switched it on and it was magic!!

I think of this as something he's waited 20 years for! We've always 'managed' and 'done without' etc and to some extent we still do. Most of the benefits families I work with have had TVs like this, bigger and better for YEARS! But for once, he got something he really wanted and it felt good.

We just watched The Avengers in 3D and it was chuffing brilliant. This TV is actually quite frugal. It's A+ energy rated. We are all sat in one room. No lights on. No heating on! Win!

So... In one week, despite shelling out for a TV I'm actually under budget, so what I have left will go in my savings purse.

Bring on next week. I am going to hobble to work on my crutches. The fridge and freezer is well stocked for all our meals. The daughter is coming home for a weekend in a fortnight. I cannot WAIT to see her. I miss her so so much. The girl/boy balance in the house is all out of kilter! Because I'm on my phone the photos of my bargain pork will be at the end!

How have YOU all done with our no spend month so far?

Wednesday 3 October 2012

Braised Cartilage/Bruised Cabbage

Bruised Cartilage, it sounds a little bit like braised cabbage; both absolutely STINK!

This is the message I sent to the lady boss at work today.

I'd spoken to her earlier to say I was going up to the hospital for an xray.

"Hi, x ray inconclusive, it's all very swollen inside. Didnt help by how he examined it pulling and twisting and bending! Ouch! Plus had to sit n make small talk with ( insert name of infamous parent ) who was there with ( insert name of infamous offspring ) Anyway he said I have Bruised Cartilage, where it was squeezed out then popped back in, 'violently' wrenched tendons/ligaments and possible grating of bone as a result. Rest it for 48 hours, ice pack, ibuprofen. Exercises to do after that n be careful with it. If no better go back. Then I will be referred to Ortho. So I'm not going to be back til Monday. Sorry! I could teach by conference, ( I waffled on about the various classes I've got to do ) I've got my
Mobile with me ( on the sofa ) if you need to ring me. "

Yesterday was when I braised my cabbage . Picture the scene. I'm teaching in y3. I'm walking at the front of the classroom and it's proper cluttered to start with. In front of the board, totally in the way is a tiny little chair.( I have complained about this chair before ), I stepped back as I was talking to the children and my calves hit the front edge of the chair. About 5inches off the floor. Well I overbalanced backwards, it tipped me back and I fell into it, going down like a sack o spuds as my 'friend' later recalled ( harrumph!! ) sitting down so my knee bent fully very quickly clicking and crunching and wrenching. Its a soft chair so my bottom was lower than my knee . It happened so quickly, I had nothing to hold onto to break my fall. A millisecond of silence then laughter! Good natured laughter from the class! I'd have been splitting my sides too. I did laugh, good job really because I really wanted to cry.

How I didn't scream out " insert really bad swear word in capital letters here " I don't know, but me and 32 7/8 yos laughed our heads off!! Inside I was crying. It really really hurt. I made the children laugh even more by saying it was a good job my legs hadn't been flung up in the air!

Then somehow I hobbled home at lunchtime, as soon as the door closed I did cry. Anyway I sat with it up with a bag of ice on it, took max strength pain killers, strapped it up and hobbled back, dragging my burning cross of martyrdom behind me. I'll be fine, I said to alarmed colleagues.

Last night, I wasn't fine. It hurt. So this morning my sister took me to the brand spanking new Minor Injuries Unit - and the rest you already know!

Accident book will be fully filled in that's for certain when I go back on Monday. Now I just have to get practising with these crutches!

I can't caption the pictures I got off google, but one is braised cabbage, the other isn't.