Thursday, November 30, 2006

Little House Quite Contrary

There is a housing problem in this country that no one seems to be facing up to. In our town and the town next to us, in fact in every town in West Lothian, hundreds upon hundreds of houses are being built.
Unfortunately these houses are now priced so far out of our league we will never get on the housing ladder and I don't know how people are able to afford these houses. Worse still, and in an Emperor's New Clothes moment, the houses are not worth the price they are asking for them!
So we are stuck in the frustration of renting hell.
We have been on the Homeswap site for nearly 2 years now. That is 2 years without promise of a move that would improve our lives significantly and we have lived here for 5 1/2 years now, it is like living in purgatory. You would think we were asking for £1million (actually that would be nice too, please.) Thanks to the right-to-buy scheme and the cooncils apathy in allowing single older people to remain in 3-4 bedroom houses the whole situation is stagnant and will remain so until someone somewhere has a bright idea.
That bright idea would be to make the system fairer. Amazing concept I know.
In Britain now, particularly in Scotland, the only way you can get anywhere in social housing is by not working, having no intention to work and never having had a job ever. That and the ability to fake illness (back ache, depression, stress anyone?) for points. And yes, that would be the points system they supposedly stopped using.
If you become a lay-about not only do you not have to worry about rent or council tax but you also get support to have as many children as you wish and to have enough money to enjoy yourself. Don't believe me?
How many people do you know that are truly struggling on benefits? If they are then at some point they probably were working and therefore don't fall into the professional scrounger league, they missed the training on how to get as much money as possible out of the system.
How many people do you know who work like navvies just to pay a mortgage? Indeed, Noo Labour punishes those on low wages particularly harshly.
It is a ridiculous situation. And what will happen next I wonder, or should that be worry? But for now my biggest concern is for the Hobbits, we need to move nearer their school, it would make life so much easier especially for them. They are missing out on so much and I really try to compensate but when Husband needs the car for work and we are stuck in this town it becomes really hard to see the positive side of anything.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

money money money money

There is a saying I stand by and always have:
A true friend will not lend another money but a true friend would not ask for it in the first place.
I am misquoting badly, I'll edit if I remember it so I look cleverer than I is.
Unfortunately Husband is of a generous heart, I am here to say "I told you so" when someone he has helped shows complete lack of gratitude to the point of making a fool of his gesture. One day he will listen.
People in this country are not poor, we have houses, food, electricity. We may not be able to afford it at the rate of taxes and price rises but at least we can go to bed at night not frightened we will be shot, bombed or have nothing to eat in the morning. So next time you bemoan the fact you have no money don't take the begging bowl to friends, have some dignity and learn the lesson of looking after your money better. If you do borrow any money or take favours then make that your priority to pay it back, not just for the person you owe but for your own respect of self. I really should listen to my own advice you know.
Do you know what has given me the best satisfaction this year? Making up a present for a little boy who lives in a country where they have nothing, we have selected little gifts rather than one big one and the joy in my heart at the thought we can maybe make just one person in this world have faith in humanity then I am glad. It does reek of self-gratification but all I can think about is one little boy thinking Santa actually came this year. Giving really is better than receiving.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Ahhh, Sugar Honey Iced Tea

Spent so long faffing about on my very first marked assignment that I managed to miss the deadline by 2 f***ing hours. Oh pooheads as the Hobbits would say.

So have sent an apologetic email to the tutor who will probably do as he did with my first assessment and completely miss the point. Am I not clear enough? I read and reread until the words slide in front of my eyes and I feel like I downed a bottle of something lethal. I just don't want to prove the people right who said someone like me shouldn't go to university and most definitely should not be in possession of a degree.

Better luck next time then.

And it is still bloody raining.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Rain rain GO AWAY!

Now I usually love this time of year, the chill crisp air but really this is ridiculous. For the past few days it has been raining hard enough for me to question if we had somehow moved back to the west coast of the country.

Our garden resembles the kind of mud pit you would normally find scantily clad women wrestling in. The dog looks miserable, that is until he found the river in spate today and a bright yellow ball on the other bank, see photo courtesy of Husband. And I have had enough, I feel muddy even when I haven't ventured outside.

If it were to snow now, well that is a different matter.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Mummy Boasting Thread

Eldest Hobbit ran out of school yesterday all excited about a certificate he had been given. This is the school's annual book week and I had been feeling embarrassed that I hadn't gone or participated in any way. There was a day that they were going to a book stall in the school with the chance to buy but I am ashamed to say I only remembered about it the next day!

So eldest Hobbit, it turns out, has been recognised for his talent in reading and was one of the finalists in the Book Week competition. There were two from each class, the others in Primary 1 all being girls naturally (there are 2 P1 classes, 3 if you include the composite class with Primary 2.) He was called up during school assembly and given his certificate by the headmaster who seems to know every child and most of the parents. I suppose that is his job.

He is so proud and I am so proud of him. I love seeing him so happy and he keeps saying "mummy I have a ce-tifi-kit!" (I didn't say he was great at pronunciation!) In a climate where competition is frowned upon I think it is good for children to be awarded like this. And I can speak as someone with a child who didn't get anything. Youngest Hobbit is fine though, he is happy for his brother but not, thankfully jealous. Young Jedi has learned well.

As an award I decided to build his Playmobil space station that has been sitting in a cupboard since last December 25th. I am testing his patience...just kidding.

Three hours it took me...

Three hours.

But they love it. And there is plenty more Playmobil in that cupboard for this Chris...December 25th to keep me busy.

I have an assessment due in at the end of this week for my OU course. How far d'you think I have gotten? Not one word. Must get a wriggle on.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Be A Good Little Mummy Now

Since the boys started school in August I had made up my mind to use my time usefully. Well, it was supposed to be in conjunction with beginning my OU degree but as a stay-at-home-mum I felt duty bound to join the PSA committee.

God, does that place me in the realms of the UberMum? Not yet, I haven't even achieved Yummy Mummy status and do not really want to either.

I was surprised at the first meeting that out of a school population of over 400 there were a grand total of about 10 members. Still, I have stuck by it which is how I found myself agreeing to spend this morning sorting out the Christmas card designs and money. The pupils have the chance to design and get printed their very own cards, some of the cards were really good considering the age of the children. I wonder if there was parental involvement at some level. Anyway at £6 per 12 cards it was a bit expensive for us, I know we could have participated but I have had so much to deal with lately that truth be told I couldn't be arsed getting the Hobbits to do it!

Would anyone want a Cyberman/Dalek inspired Christmas card anyway?

Seeing the amount of responses (although thankfully in both Hobbit classes there wasn't as much) I felt a tad ashamed. I promise to do this next year.

Oh bugger, I said Christmas. See I never keep my word where that is concerned.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Ma Cherie No More

One could wish...

I love seeing how Cherie Blair portrays herself, it just shows how far from truth these people get. She loves to think of herself as a role model for women but if I had a daughter this gurning freeloader is the last person I would want her to look up to!

I nearly wet myself laughing when she gave that lovely speech about juggling balls (presumably Tony's) and how hard it is to be a mother etc. etc. I will remember that when it is my turn to buy my sons a dodgy deal flat, oh that is right, in reality most people can't afford one home let alone buying ones for the kids.

She is doing her Superwoman/mother act again in the papers, and I have to admit, I didn't bother reading the article. I leave reading fairytales to the Hobbits' bedtimes. I would never have thought I could say this, and this is despite the fact I have supported neither party but at least with the Tories you knew you were dealing with swine. New Labour have brought pigs-at-the-trough politics to a whole new (low) level.
The past ten years have seen so many chances missed, so much opportunity wasted and so many lies told without shame. I cannot understand how anyone believes in them anymore.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Think Nice Thoughts

Look at the pooopppeeeeee!
After the sheer hell of last night I am trying to clear my mind of evil thoughts of revenge. So here is a photo of our dog last December, see I am not saying the word, I am thinking it, I am not saying it though. He is much bigger now and last night he suffered greatly as all animals do when morons are given things that bang.
The fireworks went on for 2 1/4 hours.
No I am not kidding, Husband didn't believe me until he saw the detritus in their garden this morning. And that doesn't include the fireworks that take their packaging with them.
Peach: [Darla taps madly on the tank glass trying to knock Peach off] "Find a happy place! Find a happy place! Find a happy place!"
Finding Nemo

Sunday, November 05, 2006

A Damp Squib

Oh don't get me wrong, I enjoy fireworks as much as the next person but I view Bonfire Night with the same dread as some see Halloween. Only rather than feral teenagers egging the door it is over eager neighbours spending a small fortune on hosting a fireworks display for their little darlings.

As far as I can see fireworks loose their appeal after about 15 minutes, *bang* *flash* *ooohhhh.* You get the drift. So far I have endured over an hour and a half of the damn things from a neighbour who is holding the fireworks in one hand and the lit taper in the other. I say endured because every year since they moved in they have had fireworks on Bonfire Night, I was prepared, let the cat out early to get him back in before it started, get the dog out in the garden for some exercise. Also I needed to give him (the dog) and try and give the cat some Rescue Remedy to make them calm.

Only they started early...

Husband of course is at work. The perils of shift work, in fact he has never been home a bonfire night which has never been an issue before. The hobbits have school in the morning, I like to get them into bed and unwinding by this time.

I am getting to the stage where I am going to be sticking one of their fireworks get the point.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

On The Bookshelf

As a vociferous but often disappointed reader I have struck lucky and have just finished reading a good book and am currently reading a good book. If only this would happen more often!

First off I quickly devoured Maggie O'Farrell's The Vanishing Act Of Esme Lennox which is not only another finely crafted tale of family secrets from O'Farrell but a shocking insight into the wards of a mental asylum in the past century. Still within living memory though so we shouldn't feel too smug. When you become involved in a character such as Esme Lennox you realise how quickly and how unjustly your life can be taken from you. I won't say more as it would spoil a brilliant story.

Secondly I am currently reading the third book from 44 Scotland Street, Alexander McCall Smith's Love Over Scotland. Yet again the characters immediately welcome you in, the only problem with these books is when they end. I do read the daily chapter in The Scotsman whenever I can but in book form I can indulge for hours at a time. I know far too many 'Irene' types I am afraid and if you don't know what I am talking about then I suggest you buy the books, start at the beginning and, like the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency, you will be hooked!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The C Word

Now that Halloween is over and Bonfire Night is nearly upon us I make this vow to anyone who is reading this blog that I won't mention the C word until at least St. Andrews Day. That would be the end of November then.

After that it will be nothing but Christmas, Christmas, Christmas as my favourite month....oh wait, bugger it.

(Don't panic, this photo wasn't taken today, although it was cold enough for it.)