Monday, December 31, 2007

Running With The Buffalo

As the minutes tick by I ignore my sad and pathetic lack of Hogmanay festivities and ponder this...don't mess with the buffalo, especially if they have family.

Four Hours Fifteen Minutes Left

Here is to 2008 and may it bring better times.

To end this sorry excuse of a year we celebrated the Hobbits turning 6 on Saturday. Good times: I spent the previous night filling their beds with balloons saying "6 Today!" while they slept ("And I didn't even wake up, when did you do that mummy?" They ask incredulously the next morning.) I put silver Happy Birthday banners in the kitchen as ours was to be a morning celebration. (Note, DO NOT buy Doctor Who Tardis birthday cakes - it tastes rank and you just have to end up making one of your own.)

Then a trip to Dynamic Earth followed by the cinema with their father and his gf. See, I called his bluff, reminded him that despite his ego it wasn't a day for his hysteria and pathetic points-scoring but for the Hobbits. I have realised that he has a script he has to attend to before becoming reasonable and accepting ideas. My idea of him taking the boys on Saturday evening had to go through the whole set-up before he got to the point where he came to his senses.

Regardless the Hobbits had a wonderful time which is what it is about. Job done.

I don't know what this next year will bring. I know that I am going to do what I want and not what others expect of me. My priorities are the Hobbits, my depleted family and building us up to a stronger point. To do that I know I will upset others but sod it, I've spent so long trying to please everyone and do what they want and look where it got me.

This year is about us.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Lesson Learned

As moaned about in t'other blog. There are lessons to be learned, and I have definitely taken heed of this one.

Time to step back and slow down the pace. I cannot do everything.


Starting a new tradition. Earlier this month I bought a special cake mould, didn't quite get the sponge mix right, followed a recipe I already had instead of doing the one that came with the mould. Nevermind as the Hobbits had a great time decorating and then demolishing.

Did I Mention?

To say hello to Jack and Rory, our two new fish. I've been trying to get a decent photo of them since getting them and as seen here, I'm still trying! However they are very interested in the decorations.

It Was A Merry Christmas

Monday, December 24, 2007

Not my house and not my cat, or the tree would be listing badly.

For laughs.

Twas The Day Before Christmas

If I could bottle the energy of excitement emanating from the Hobbits I could power a town for a year, thus making us rich and solving our problems in one, haha!

The presents are wrapped, except for the important ones but we all know Santa's elves wrap them don't we. Ahem.

He is still causing a fuss but never mind, it is of little consequence to the day itself as I made sure I had everything on their list so whatever he brings, if he brings anything at all, will be additional rather than something that would be missed.

It has been a difficult year to climb over, nearly at the top and soon we will find out if there is either another mountain to climb on the other side or something much more pleasant. I know what my Santa wish is for.

For anyone who reads this, if anyone does at all, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and all that it brings.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Lets try on 36 and hope it is a better fit than 35 was because, seriously, that was not a vintage year.
Yesterday was my birthday, if you live anywhere near us you would probably know that as the Hobbits delighted in telling anyone and everyone that it was my birthday - and mummy is 36 dontcha-knoo!
At least it is kinder than at the weekend when, on the packed full bus heading to Edinburgh youngest Hobbit asked if I was going to be 51. Where he got that from I don't know but I did see a few discreet and not so discreet glances from the other passengers.
I hear the neighbours (who incidentally haven't spoken to me since He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named left) have bought a kareoke machine for Christmas. It is going to be very much the case of guess what it is they are singing.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Despite an attempt to foil the spirit of Christmas by He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named (see other blog for lowdown, very low down) I decided to change plans and took the Hobbits into Edinburgh today rather than next weekend.

Good idea, bad idea? Well it isn't going to get any less busy for sure. I've always had a trip to the German Market as a birthday treat but the Hobbits' last swimming lesson is on that evening and I don't want them to miss that. So off we went.

I do like the atmosphere but certain people seem to lack the generosity and kindness of spirit that should go with Christmastime (STOP LAUGHING I'M SERIOUS!)

Anyhoo eldest Hobbit was most unimpressed at the amount of shoving he was experiencing. Only two shots on the Helter Skelter would ease the upset.

It was only after I got home that I realised youngest Hobbit must have brushed against a display in the WHSmith we were in and spent the day with a bright red and yellow "2 for £4" sticker on his bottom. Well at least I got the joke.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Sunday, December 02, 2007

I Said What?

The Foot-In-Mouth award goes to me this month (and very possibly this year.)

Whilst in pet shop to have a nosey at the cute bunnies and various furry and finned things I noticed the well-stocked shelves full of wild bird food. So did the Hobbits. After pointing out this and that for the well-to-do feathered visitor to our sparse garden I said, a little too loudly now I realise:

"Its okay though because Robin loves his fat balls."

Now to save a splutter over a keyboard if anyone is reading this I have to refer to these which I have hanging on our one lonely tree. Our yearly visiting robin (keep quiet at the back about robin lifespans thank you) feels we are truly spoiling him. And it is fun to watch the starlings try and get at them.

So I know what I meant, only the stares I got from the surrounding shoppers, plus the snigger from the staff-body who was nearby may have suggested I word it better next time. Sometimes what I say sounds so much better when it is running through the malfunctioning censor department in my brain.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Cat Has Ideas

While we believe he is simply spending those 18 hours a day cuddled up on the sofa fast asleep, Cat is really scheming for world domination, or how to get those pouches open without needing me in the house at the time - whichever comes first.
He has never forgiven me for giving him the same name as an airhead shhlebrity socialite - hey, *she* wasn't famous 7 years ago matey!

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Eldest Hobbit fell down the stairs in a most spectacular fashion the other day.

There is a moment, when you realise the noise you are hearing is not a normal thumping of heavy size 12 feet but a rather different sound. Heart in mouth I literally leaped to the bottom of the stairs in time to see him end his cartwheel in a heap at my feet. Nothing was broken, the only memento he has are two bruises, one on his hip another on his knee.

I am ashamed to say he is not the first to take the express route. When they were 18 months old Youngest Hobbit escaped from the stair-gate (we binned the damn thing after it became apparent the adults in the house were the only ones to find it troublesome to open.) The next thing, that sound of child hitting steps, filled me with horror. I rushed him to hospital, sure I would be told that I had broken my own child and what an awful parent I was!

"Don't worry about it," the doctor said nonchalantly, "babies bounce."

I won't mention the fact that Eldest Hobbit's first visit to hospital happened after he dug his tiny 4-month-old feet into his changing table mat, gave an almighty push and shot off the end of it. Their hapless father was in charge that day, it very nearly ended him. Say no more.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Reasons To Be Thankful?

I'm not American, I've been there, lived there and partook (its a word if I say it is) in Thanksgiving when there. I also pondered if the Native Americans feel particularly cheery on this day but that is another matter.

So here I am, wondering what to be thankful for whilst glad I am not having to cook a grand feast so soon before Christmas (oh yes it all falls to me now.)

I am thankful for my freedom. (Not in an overly patriotic way but in a hey-I've-got-the-bed-to-myself way.)

I am thankful my boys are healthy and seem to be coming through these dark days relatively unscathed.

I am thankful...okay this is hard.

This week the fuel prices hit an eye-watering level. I would use public transport if I could, but I can't, so I get to pay these over-inflated prices - yipee.

The personal details of 25 million peeps, handily available on disc-size, has gotten lost. Fingers crossed that the criminal gangs that have been allowed to flourish unchallenged don't get their hands on it, eh? Perhaps the details of yours truly will get into the wrong hands, they'll have a nose around my bank account, think "bloody hell" and transfer some money in. Double fingers-crossed that in 10-15 years time neither Hobbit finds their identity stolen in time to ruin their clean and shiny credit rating.

Circumstances are still running on stress-level high. You think you know someone and then...

Our government, who hasn't enough money to offer cancer sufferers all the medicine they need has enough to bail out some bank. Do you think I could get them to "loan" me money? I'll promise to pay it all back when Northern Rock pay theirs, i.e. when hell freezes over and the camels come skating home.

Reasons to be thankful. The clouds are overhead and they don't look good. I've always liked Hello Kitty, perhaps if I concentrate on this picture, look into the eyes, not around the eyes, then things will seem cheerier.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Love Of Books

It would seem that both Hobbits have inherited my love of books. Something I will encourage with much enthusiasm.

At yesterdays birthday party eldest Hobbit had, in his goodie bag, a little book. He was delighted and so was I when I realised it was an updated version of books I had read when I was little too. The Littlenose series, with new artwork, is bound to be a favourite considering the Hobbits loved Ice Age (both films) with a particular fondness for the woolly mammoth!

Ex used to sneer at my love of books, the piles of books that cover every shelf, I used to point out that the reason they were called book shelves was an indication for what they were to be used for. I have books that belonged to my (maternal) Grandfather, his atlas he used at school in 1911. I have books given to me after my Uncle C died of cancer nearly 15 years ago, my Aunt knew they would get no better home and he had some classic books, lots of Nevil Shute. Books have given me solace when nothing else would; they offer a way of leaving this reality and entering another; involving yourself in the characters, the situations if only for a half hour at a time.

When I was ill in hospital having the Hobbits I read all the Harry Potter books that had been released until that point - 4 fyi! Not only that I read them to the Hobbits to the bemusement of everyone around me. They might not have know what I was saying, they might have been more concerned with the newborn priorities of food, sleep and poo, but I read to them anyway.

Nearly every night I have read to them, sometimes library books and sometimes from their own impressive bookshelves (charity shops are great places if you haven't a lot of money but want to get good childrens books plus I've added all my own books from childhood - the ones my mother didn't give away, the horror!) So from tonight Littlenose will be devoured...and I look forward to it!

Sunday, November 18, 2007


This is a photograph of a rather lovely wolf. It has nothing to do with the topic of this post at all.
Eldest Hobbit was at a classmate's birthday party this afternoon. He was at her birthday party last year too so this is a continuing friendship. A really nice girl too, the kind he can bring home to meet me in another 15 years or so and I'll be happy for him. He tells me, on the way there, that she likes magic and High School Musical. Though possibly not at the same time.
It was one of my biggest fears when the Hobbits began their school life: would they be popular? Oh, I wasn't wanted the type of children where they were the be all and end all and arrogant with it; I just wanted them to have friends and be happy. I was always the outsider at school (yeah, I know here is the worlds smallest violin, playing just for me. Poor old me.) I had friends but none of them close and I never kept in touch with anyone nor had anyone who kept in touch with me for that matter, I regret that now. The social exclusion of the only child. I didn't want it for my boys. Lucky I had them two at a time then.
Youngest Hobbit I worry about more, while eldest Hobbit seems to have found his niche - to be pampered by the girls in his class and well liked by the boys - youngest Hobbit is more like me. Content in his own company. Then I hear him talk of playing with the other children, such as The Kissy Girl, it should ease my concerns but I know he has no one he is particularly close to. I am probably reading too much into this, they are only just coming up to 6 years old.
I just don't want them ever to turn out like me.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Friends come in the most unexpected guises.
That wasn't too saccharine was it? I was trying to be genuine. I thought the way the rhino looked at the raven was so fascinating I drove the Hobbits mad by watching them interact for ages. At least 5 minutes, that is an age in Hobbit-time.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Will We Remember Them?

Another year, another Remembrance Day and I wonder how long before the relevance is questioned and the commitment of two whole minutes of silent contemplation in our time precious day is considered too much?

These are selfish times we are living in, perhaps WWII still has impact on today's society, particularly considering the lines between good and bad were much more clearly drawn than in certain recent conflicts. (Yet our soldiers continue to go wherever duty requires regardless.) There are films made, heroes commemorated and many books written on the subject of what went on during 1939-1945.

Those who remember WWI first hand are fading: it is all second-hand, sometimes third-hand memories of family members sacrificed or lucky escapes. Certainly there are the books and the photographs but not in the same way as WWII is chronicled.

Since learning the words of Dulce et Decorum Est in high school, there was a realisation of the monumental waste of human life, of future generations of possible geniuses wiped out for reasons I have yet to understand. That is the point, in WWII the motives were more clear cut, we knew what they were fighting for and why. But WWI? Oh I know the details but the link between the catalyst and the huge loss of young men huddled in filthy, dank terrifying trenches has always been sketchy. More to do with generals trying to prove themselves and resulting in needless sacrifices of the soldiers than any strategic plans - to win what exactly?

Last year we visited Ieper while in Belgium, took the Hobbits to the Menin Gate where list upon list of the names of men never found...that is just the men whose bodies disappeared in the mud forever, not the ones they did find and who lie buried beneath crisp white crosses, inspired a dreaded awe. The brilliant museum In Flanders Fields brought home the experiences of those young men, on both sides, in such a way I felt that perhaps WWI is the war we should pay tribute to more on this day.

Lifes cut short, families left to grieve and for what? The lesson wasn't learned as they did it all again 20 years later. And that is why Remembrance Day has to continue...

"...I died in Hell
(they called it Passchendaele)..."
- Siegfried Sassoon

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Indoor Rain

There I am, relaxing while watching Friends With Money and thinking "if only!" Ha.

And I hear a noise.

And it is not a normal noise but the sound of water pitter patting down the stairs.

Oh holy god but there must be a burst pipe somewhere, will this ever end.

Yes, a burst pipe, but not of the household plumbing. Poor eldest hobbit, having turned right instead of left, missed the toilet by a whole room and peed down the stair, that's right - peed down the stairs - narrowly missing his school shoes which, being the slattern I am, are stacked in pairs up the steps. Ease of use you see.

"Oh mummy," says he finally waking up properly, "wheres the toilet?!"

You see son, I have the house on wheels and while you are asleep I move it about, just to confuse the sleepy child needing the toilet. He is now cleaned up, fresh jammies on and back to bed fast asleep again. At least he didn't pee the bed.

It fair lightened up the dark mood that the you-know-what had put me in.

Bye Bye Exhaust

I had a look under the car today.

I wish I hadn't.

The exhaust pipe, where it is attached to the fat bit (right so I don't know what that part is called, sue me) isn't attached to it anymore.

Ah feck.

It is almost like I am being tested to see how much crap I can deal with. Well, the bank is closed, I have nothing left and I am shamefaced I've had to go cap in hand to borrow from my parents. It wasn't supposed to be like this.
Trying to think of a link to choosing this photo:
More money down the Swanee.
I make no apologies for cringe worthy jokes.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I Didn't Forget...

Not to mention the fact I failed to write a post on Hallowe'en, with the Hobbits looking so fine in their pumpkin outfits. We are working our way through the haul of teeth-rotters, a little each day.

Last night, yes, the 5th November.

Time for the next-door neighbours to re-enact the Battle of the Somme again. It wasn't so bad this year, it only went on for 2 hours as opposed to the 3 hour endurance test of last year. This will be the only time I am glad Alex the dog is not with us anymore, it was torture for him last year, stayed in his crate shivering, wouldn't come to another room with me so I spent the time in the kitchen with him. Out of badness over what they were doing to my dog I kept the kitchen lights on. Well.....

According to the Hobbits version of history Guy Fawkes actually managed to make "the castle explode and he killed the King." Almost babies, almost! I tried to explain what really happened, short of going over the whole death thing, didn't really work out! How gory do you go with dealing history to children?

Is This A Castle I See Before Me?

I shall not concentrate on the fact that the car is making a very funny noise today that may just be the excessive cold and may just be the exhaust giving up, through exhaustion. See, the first signs of madness are found in the hysterical laugh. I'm getting there, slowly but surely.
So if anyone reads this, and one day finds themselves in Edinburgh, at a loss what to do, the Museum of Scotland is free. As it is attached to the Royal Museum, also free, you could kill two birds with one stone. They have stuffed birds as well, might not after the refurbishment so get there quick if that is your thing.
Take the lift (elevator if you are American) to the 5th floor and before having a nose around the very interesting historical nick-knacks go up the swirly stairs to the very top of the museum for a panoramic view of Edinburgh. You can then see this, and take a photo if you wish, or not.
(P.S. no I don't know if that is how you spell nick-knacks, pedants are more than welcome to illustrate the lack of decent education afford at my schools - hey it was the 80s the teachers were out on strike! - and correct me, please.)

Monday, November 05, 2007


Back to what we did in the October holidays. Well, what is the point of going somewhere and not reminiscing!

The thing about Koalas is that there is an indescribable urge to rip them off their perch and give them great big cuddles. Naturally one doesn't act on such urges but there is the necessity to speak in a babyish, silly voice and say "Oooh wook at da wittle bubby!" Hence the rather surprised look on this little chaps face.

Sense will prevail, perhaps it was the smell of the eucalyptus leaves.

"I'm so cuddly, I like you!"

Sunday, November 04, 2007


October gave me one last kick in the ribs when I backed out of our drive only to end up in the side of a neighbour's car as she hurtled past. Only the car didn't belong to her, it belongs to her friend, a mobility car (don't get me started on that subejct!) as well, and apparently she doesn't have a licence. And she kept insisting on giving her friend's name rather than her own (6 years as neighbours and I don't know her name says it all really.) Through other neighbours it is passed on the info about her non-existant licence and well-known reckless driving. Which I guess makes sense if she never sat a licence!

First accident I have ever had and it grinds at me that I have to be made liable because I was reversing. Never mind the fact that there was no way she could have missed seeing me move out of the drive, never mind that she sped past in an effort to get by me despite the fact I was fully out of the drive and...ah what the hell, it doesn't matter. It happened and that is that and at a time when I have been squeezed financially to the point of extinction so the excess is an unwelcome burden.

One thing after another, after another, after another.

So I duly tell my insurance company that I do not have the driver's name but only that of the car owner, I give them all the information I have and they don't seem really bothered. I guess I was wrong in thinking you weren't supposed to drive without insurance or licence.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Family History

Eldest Hobbit is studying "When my Gran was a girl..." or "olden days" as he calls it. I scanned a few photos for him to take in, glad that they will have a full history for at least one side of their family. How important knowing your own family tree is I am not sure. Perhaps to have anecdotes to colour in the characters of people you will never know but who you are still attached to through relations. To know what was there before you, where your family came from.

I never knew my maternal grandfather. Yet despite his death when I was only a few months old I look at his kind face in these old photographs and I do feel as though I know him. I've pieced together who he was from stories and memories from other family members, the things he went through during the war and after, his brothers who nearly all died in one battle during the war that went before (which luckily both my grandfathers were only just too young to be sent into but both of them had brothers who went - miraculously all survived although not without scars, one example; my father's uncle returned without sight or hearing and with severe lung problems.)

In fact the Hobbits' own grandfather was in the RAF during WW2 as a teenager seeing things that no teen should see. They will one day be able to place that history with him, they will be able to see him as a young man on a cool motorbike (a motorbike that once nearly wiped out this linage they are part of) and know the background that made him into the Grandpa they love.

I have the photographs, I will pass them on. And the stories will go on to another generation.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A Day At The Museum

Forging ahead in my attempt to keep the Hobbits happy with as normal a life as possible under these circumstances I took them on a trip to the Royal Museum in Edinburgh.

A long time favourite there is enough in there, and the attached Museum of Scotland, to keep them busy for hours. Even if they are not yet tall enough for their feet to reach the peddles so they can have a go on the racing car. (Eldest Hobbit: But Mummy *brother* can do the peddles and I'll steer!)

And a good day was had by all without a shadow cast over us by evil-X as he will from now on be known. (Him to me: Technically we are still married. Me to him: Yes, technically, that is all.)

Also planned for this week, the October holidays, are a trip to the zoo (because Mummy wants to see the Koalas dammit!) and a trip to Glasgow to satisfy the Hobbits' desire to go on the underground aka the Clockwork Orange. Normal life is resuming no matter what evil-X tries.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Sweetest Sting

I knew I wasn't going to get through this week without hurting myself. The first sign was a couple of days ago when for the first time in my life I managed to set fire to the frying pan, I was cooking some mushrooms, not flambe unfortunately. Was it luck or stupidity that the cooker is near enough the back door for me to pick up the flaming pan and throw it unceremoniously into the garden. Bet that frightened the local birds who are more used to offerings of crumbs than that. I am well aware of what you are supposed to do in those situations however knowledge is nothing when faced with flames, thinking was not an option!

After that little fiasco, which has left me without a frying pan, not such a bad thing after all, I went through a succession of little accidents. None of which caused much more than an annoyance at my resemblance to Norman Wisdom at times. Elegant I ain't.

Until today. When I decided to enjoy the sunshine of an October day with a trip to the local country park, Muiravonside. Now at this park, lining the river Avon (you would never have guessed that, hmm?) is what the Hobbits call the "Troll Bridge." A little wooden bridge leading over a stream that feeds into the larger river. After visiting the farm, Hobbits delighting in the fact that every time we go the huge Tamworth pigs are always sleeping and snoring, we took a walk down to the Troll Bridge.

Once safely across, no trolls having shown their faces, we decided to continue the walk so the Hobbits could try out their wellies in the river. Only it turns out that a little boy had stood on a wasps nests. Picture three adults, four children aged between 3ish and 9ish and one small Spaniel dog running and flapping as the wasps enjoyed a stinging frenzy. Poor youngest Hobbit came off worse of our family, although it was more the thought that was terrifying him, wasps clung to his clothes. Eldest Hobbit wasn't stung once. Something he proceeded to tell everyone he met on the rest of the walk and at the play park we eventually ended up in.

While picking them off youngest Hobbits clothes I felt a pain on my calf, looked down and sure enough one of the little f***ers was stinging away.

Of the other family only the little boy (the one who was about 3ish) wasn't stung, and he was the one who had started it off in the first place! He looked fairly bemused at his parents hopping around picking wasps off his elder brother and sister and their dog who seemed to be the wasps' favourite.

The rest of the day went well though. But my leg is agony, little bugger packed a decent sting.

Monday, October 08, 2007

On The Upside Though

I got my OU coursework.

I went to the tutorial at Napier University on Saturday (having to leave the Hobbits in daddy and the girlfriends care again but that is another story.)

I have no doubt that I am in no way as good as any of the others who attended but I will try my best. Really made a prize fool of myself by not reading out what I had written because I was so embarrassed. The others must have wondered why I bothered going if I wasn't going to enter into the spirit of things wholeheartedly. But they are a nice group of people so said nothing.

So the week wasn't a complete disaster.

There is a postal strike, seems to be going on forever and I am sure the only people to suffer will be those of us waiting for important documents. Wait, wasn't I in this exact same position in July? Ah, good old posties.

This week will be for recovering and for sending the scribblings I was to ashamed to read out in class to the tutor under the proviso of a dummy eTMA. See what he thinks of them.

(Annoyingly I made another grand prat of myself by saying I did not like reading "Chic-lit." I only said that to generalise about what I wasn't too keen on but had a couple of the other women in the group act like I said the books should be burned. One stated she liked Marian Keyes, who I don't consider chic-lit. I must remember that next time I am faced with that I should grow a backbone and explain that I mean the London-set, professional female character who aims for nothing higher than shoes and a love affair kind. And I should state why I don't like them. But I hate speaking out. The whole world will one day figure me out as an idiot.)

History Repeating Itself

Tuesday, Tuesday, Tuesday.

Now lets see, how did his grand job go? Well poor youngest hobbit was sick again, all over dear daddy's car and no I did not pay him to do so. Rather than phone me, at which point I would have turned back because regardless for my wish to change the situation my sons come first, he tries to send the poor lad into school covered in sick!

Luckily the deputy head persuaded him to take youngest hobbit with him. But of course, dear daddy counts on things going exactly to plan. Not for him the chaos of children or ever changing plans. He needs to go to work and nothing will stop him. So he takes youngest hobbit over to the new-girlfriend-who-wasn't-but-is in their house. Now it isn't so much that he has a girlfriend I am bothered about, or that they moved in together so quickly (plus the whole story of her living with her boyfriend who he worked with which turns out to be half truth.) It is the fact I know nothing about her. Yet he leaves youngest hobbit in her care.

And she takes him to the park and subsequently he gets ill again so she then carries him back home throwing her back out in the process. (Yet she is well enough to once again tag along on Saturday when he has the boys for a few hours.) Oh this just gets better.

He is angry at me because youngest Hobbit got sick. I am angry at him that the one time since they were born that I ask him to do something he f*cks it up so grandly that he feels the need to blame me - as usual. He is also angry that his new girlfriend is injured, saying I should buy her a box of chocolates for her troubles. Well sometimes it is a wonder that he doesn't get a smack in the face for his comments yet I am so used to it. They are a real eye-opener for me now that I can view them from outside the marriage.

The more important thing is, youngest Hobbit remained off school for the rest of the week, diagnosed by the doctor as having gastroenteritis, eldest Hobbit got off much lighter but was off at the end of the week. Both are fine and back at school today. And I got the job. And I don't really want it so now I feel guilty.

A life less complicated please.

Friday, September 28, 2007


Tuesday, the day the ex has to prove himself by taking over a little of the childcare I have done on my own, completely on my own since he left. The day I have to prove myself to a panel of esteemed professionals (DON'T snigger) that I am worth considering. The day where I take a step back into the world of working and all that it entails.

I should be glad the triple score of bad luck is over, right? I can't help that I am turning into Private Frazer.

So This Thing About Bad Luck

It comes in threes, right?

As this morning started with a flat tyre can we say that the hatrick has been achieved and get on with it?


Because I am bone weary, truly worn out, I have found where the end of my tether is.

And one more thing going tits up will have me crawling under my duvet and staying put. Hibernation is highly under-rated. This from someone who enjoys the snap of cold in the morning and the crispness in the air, the icing of frost on the ground and foliage.

Big sigh. Here comes the weekend.

Still don't have my OU stuff although they seem to have sorted out the registration forms and I know when my materials will be posted for my course beginning in February. Not much good for the one starting, oh let me see, yes that would be TODAY.

Sometimes I have a hard time believing that it isn't me. That this happens to everyone. But it doesn't does it? I am sliding into the theme of my other blog here so I better change tact.

If I think good thoughts then good things will happen. Give me a bloody break, fate or destiny or whatever dishes this out.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life

Even when the days seem like an endless struggle there is always something to make one smile.
Keep saying that until I believe it...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

OU Oh No For Definite This Time

So in a few days time my next OU course begins.

I haven't had any coursework, I haven't had any acknowledgement of starting the course although it shows on my student homepage. I have emailed the OU in Edinburgh and it sounds as though they are having major problems at the moment.

I handed in the forms for this course and my next course (due to start in February) several weeks ago. Both showed on my homepage with the later course stating that I hadn't sent in my registration. An email from the OU today stated that it would be sorted out.

Now the later course has disappeared from my homepage.

Oh hell.

Another email duly sent. This doesn't look good for the start of my new course if I am going to have no time to prepare. I really didn't need this just now.

The Kissy Girl

Youngest Hobbit is having the time of his life in his new school year. Which is a relief considering events of recent months.

Every day, on our way home, we discuss what they did at school this year. Normally I get stories of playtime and lunchtime and occasionally tales of playing in class (I am positive they are being taught, they can read and write quite well for their age!) The other day youngest Hobbit entertained his brother and I with his encounter with The Kissy Girl.

Youngest Hobbit -"E**** is The Kissy Girl!"
Me -"Really, which E**** and why is she The Kissy Girl?"
(There are 4 girls with this name in the Hobbits classes alone, this E**** is pointed out the next day, a very pretty girl, blonde curls.)
Youngest Hobbit - "She was catching us and giving us kisses. She caught M***** all the time!"
Me - "Right, so did she catch you?"
Youngest Hobbit, proudly - "No I ran fast."

He will learn, as M***** obviously has, not to run too fast from the pretty girls. And then today the end of The Kissy Girl was announced.

"Mrs B**** said E**** wasn't to kiss us anymore because it was annoying."

Ah well.

Monday, September 17, 2007

A Word To Employers

Out of politeness wouldn't it be nice to acknowledge all applicants for vacancies? Even just an eency weency email fired off to let the person know they had been unsuccessful?

Would it be too much?

Friday, August 24, 2007


You see, once you pull off a sticky plaster it only hurts for a while. Then you get over it.

So West Lothian has this weird set up where there is no school on Friday afternoons. Certainly makes looking for a job interesting anyway. This means, of course, that after a quick morning the rest of the day is ours.
And with recent events in mind I decided that perhaps making an event of Friday afternoons would be a good idea. Sometimes in the past when the sun is shining okay, if it isn't raining...heavily...we have gone for lunch and then a walk along the harbour at South Queensferry watching the little sightseeing ferries and yachts sailing on the forth. Situated between the two bridges it is a lovely little town, or at least that part is, I have heard certain areas are a bit rough but lets not ruin the fantasy!
I should make a list of local places to visit, there are plenty we can get into free with our Historic Scotland pass. Including Blackness Castle where this photo was taken. The boys love the castle which is very unusual in that despite the name it was actually a prison amongst other things. Again Blackness is a lovely little village but I haven't heard if there are any "rough" areas there! I don't think there are enough houses to have a rough area.
Do people who live near the sea or large areas of water realise how lucky they are?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

When I Grow Up I Want To Be...

This is not going to be a post all about how we have grown and learned through this peculiar summer, although we have. Instead I have been wondering, as I am oft to do, about the future, what the future holds and for myself in particular, what I thought the future would hold.

And we were watching Child Of Our Time, which featured a small part on what the children (now 7) wanted to be when they grew up. Naturally I turned to my own two, or rather shuffled around as we were all sprawled across the sofa, lazy as we are. I posed the question, one which has always, up until now, resulted in the same answers.

Eldest Hobbit - Pilot
Youngest Hobbit - Spaceman

Now whether or not they were influenced by watching the programme full of older children (well nearly two years older anyway) doing interesting things I don't know but this time we had a variation on the theme. Eldest Hobbit has not changed his plans, he will he states "fly all the planes in the world." Which should take a while, but now he has added to that. He now also would like to be "boss of the school like Mr. Simpson." So pilot and Headteacher of a primary school, well, he won't be bored for sure.

Youngest Hobbit however gave a great deal of thought, then decided he would like to "fix things." What kind of things I asked. "Important things," he said mysteriously without venturing further explanation. As you wish.

I never wanted to be one of those mothers who were overly ambitious for their children. I just want them to do what they are happy in doing and will encourage them and support them the best I can. For I know that without encouragement, without a belief that they will accomplish things they will not reach their full potential and spend the rest of their lives regreting decisions made because no one expected them to do anything of any great worth.

I know of what I speak. I know what it is like to have people expect you to fail. And with that lack of support you succeed their low expections of you. It is such a waste of life.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The End Of Summer

And so the countdown to return to school begins (next Tuesday - hooray!) The most difficult summer ever is soon going to be officially over and we have come through it somewhat intact. Of course life is never that easy or straightforward but yet there it is, we have survived.
Having spent the time rushing from here to there with the Hobbits in tow, trying to entertain them while getting all the necessary things done I can say I now need a holiday. But what I need more is work, and it will happen. I had never expected that this would be my position at the grand old age of 35 1/2 but there you go, you never can tell.
A woman from East Kilbride won £35million on the EuroMillions, now wouldn't that be nice and handy to have. Good on her, I hope she has fun spending it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

We apologise for this break in service...

Normal service shall resume shortly.

It isn't the summer holidays that have scuppered this blog. It is the husband leaving the family.

Life sometimes doesn't work out the way you wish and painful as it is for the sake of two little boys who didn't deserve this I have to carry on alone.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Nemo RIP

I had been aware that all was not well for some time, the fish called Nemo (with the fine looking fins to the left) has passed away. After only 2 1/2 years as well, my childhood fishy friends lasted 9 years. I think it may have been the stress of living with a fat, cat with attitude and a tendency to sleep nearby the tank.

Well, Nemo lasted longer than the other fish, Dory (do you see where the naming was going there? We have a dog named Alex due to the Madagascar film, this is what happens when you let Hobbits name animals.) Dory was a bit of a bully, always chasing Nemo around the tank, until one morning we entered the living room to find Dory floating belly up. Nemo was very cheery that day.

Now the other day we had gone to the local pet superstore to look at the rabbits. I have promised that when the Hobbits are old enough they may have either a rabbit or a guinea pig each. I am hoping they will want guinea pigs as fond memories of Brownie, my own guinea pig, and the torture he put my mother through has me favour the pig to the bunny! Brownie was a lovable little chap, all squeaks and cuddles but my mother hated him.

While I gave Nemo the grand send off and youngest Hobbit pondered life and death and all the grand schemes of things I noted that eldest Hobbit was eyeing the tank. Possibly wondering if a rabbit would fit. I give it one day before I am asked about replacing Nemo with something furry.

Monday, June 18, 2007


Our story today is narrated by the author, Eldest Hobbit...

"Once there was a little boy, he was nice and kind but he was very healthy but he was running. He liked himself. But he was running fast, jumping high and high and he was kind. He can climb up parks he runned up a hill.

And that is the story finished."

What, you wanted a beginning, middle and end? (It doesn't feature the usual suspects, Daleks, Darth Vader, his brother.) Well give him a break, he has a busy life you know, for a 5 (and a half!) year old. He recently brought home his version of Peter and The Wolf, fully illustrated (I really should get the scanner set up) that he made in class.
His version is as follows, (pictures to follow when said scanner is linked up - hint to other half.)
(Picture of Grandfather with his gun)
The Wulf
Wulf ate the duck
Wulf go home"
This would be the new version to which they are addicted and which I prefer to my old record that had the wolf sent to a zoo.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Lovely Boy

Eldest Hobbit is, to be quite honest, a chatterbox. He loves to talk, about everything, and ask questions, most of which I don't know the answer to (example a couple of weeks ago was "Mummy, what gases make up the sun?" Where did he get that from, what has he been reading? Was he influenced by that weeks episode of Doctor Who?)
Anyway we were discussing the party he and youngest Hobbit were en route to (this will be the second of five this month alone.) And the wise old soul he is he commented that as the party would keep them occupied for two hours I could now enjoy some "peace and quiet."
He is quite observant.

Monday, June 04, 2007

How long would you give it before you gave up?

Now that I have sent in my last assessment toward my OU course I have been feeling a little bereft. It is strange that when something that has been part of your life for so long ends the effect can be almost immediate. Or perhaps it is just me.

I have also been feeling a little, how can I put it, off? Odd? Out of sorts? Any of those descriptions would do really. And that has resulted in me taking a step back and looking at what else I had commited to in this first year of study (after about 100 years) for me and first year of proper school for the hobbits.

What I am waffling on about is, to be quite frank my commitment to the school via the PSA and through trying to work out this new concept of Parent Councils. I have decided that enough is enough. I had thought that I would be one of many turning up for the meetings, turns out that even in the better schools parents remain unmotivated, I can now see why. While I enjoy volunteering at school parties and helping out for various events at the school I am afraid that the PSA, through a core group of about 10 people, is unfortunately quite clique. I have tried to fit in, I know that I have problems trying to fit in socially and I know why but I do try and sometimes I am so fearful internally of joining in that I remain too quiet at these meetings. Perhaps that has made me seem stand-offish, I have the same affect while waiting for the hobbits at the school entrance. For no matter how much I smile at people, no matter how much I battle to start conversations I stand alone. Okay, there are a couple I talk to but no more than chit chat for less than 5 minutes.

I did mention to hubby once that if I walked into the school handing out chocolate and £10 notes they still wouldn't talk to me, he said I have an air about me that makes it hard to approach me. For God sake I grin like an idiot, I open my mouth and utter verbal shite comes out and I hear myself and think "what an idiot." I just can't do it anymore.

So, enough is enough, I have gone to the meetings, I have helped out, yet PSA members pass me by without so much as a hello. I can't figure out if I did something wrong, I can't figure out if it is because of the fact that I represent the lower-wage earning faction of the school (and am the only one I hasten to add) or is it because I don't live in the town but in another which is not as nice. I give up. I have given it a year, more or less, I will still volunteer but I don't want to sit there at the meetings like a lump of wood.

This sounds so much like a poor me post but I have just been doing a lot of this kind of thinking lately.

Same goes for the Parent Council, I am completely useless there also, the others who attend have their own agendas, their own plans for this new Council. Again I wanted to represent the lower-wage earners but I give up. I couldn't even say I wanted to represent the SAHMs as there are a few who already do that but are from the middle-class rather than from whatever they call the one below that, i.e. me! (I would say working class but then that label has now been taken by the benefits crowd and we are not quite that bad.)

I am not a quitter, I am a giver-upper.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Free Boaby

Oh how much will this not translate to anyone not from central Scotland! But as my readership is probably just me anyway that doesn't matter.

I have an inkling that this may be a publicity stunt but the other morning while driving the Hobbits to school (between 8.20-8.40) I heard this brilliant song dedicated to the "mouse" of a certain wind-up merchant called Cecil. Now Cecil is one of the characters (played by the host Robin Galloway) who participates in the morning wind-up calls made to various businesses - some with absolutely no sense of humour at all shown when taking these calls.
Cecil just happens to have a pet mouse called Boaby, which coincidentally is also a slang word for a certain part of the male anatomy. (Joke on hearing an old woman talking about "Boaby" someone asks "Who is Boaby", the reply "Oh anyone's Boaby!") Maybe it doesn't translate well on the page but it is funny when you hear it - promise!
For some reason best know to themselves (publicity stunt!) the radio station has banned the song (and from what I can tell poor Boaby has had the chop too, ouch!) Well, it might sound kind of, maybe similar to something by T-Rex. Still when I first heard the song we were all laughing and I had to dissuade the Hobbits from singing it as we walked into school.
I am sure if Marc Bolan had a Boaby like Cecil's he would want to sing about it too.
Recognise the need for good old Scottish humour and free Boaby!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Can Of Worms. Tin-opener.

How long has it been?

I have been trying to avoid this subject, a subject that has dominated the news to an almost hysterical level not seen since Princess Diana got in a car with a drunk driver at the wheel (or did she??? And who cares???)

The week before last a little girl was stolen from her hotel bedroom in Portugal. A lot has been said about it and emotions are causing normally rational people to fight amongst each other on the technicalities over what went on and the strong opinions it has garnered. This is fact:

On that Thursday this 3-year-old child was left alone with her 2-year-old twin siblings while her parents had dinner with friends in a "nearby" restaurant. At some point during this time, and between the 1/2 hourly checks on them, the girl was taken.

Now there is no way for me to avoid the crows of disapproval so let me first lay down what I personally feel. Although I do have some sympathy for her parents the person I am more concerned with is the missing child. To leave 3 children under the age of 3 alone, out of earshot, out of view is just irresponsible and dangerous. Now under no circumstances, as the hysterical will cry against my views, do I feel the fact they left her alone means the parents deserved their child to be taken. That idea is abhorrent and quite frankly immature of those who use that as an argument against those of us who feel a huge mistake was made.

The next argument I'd like to blow out of the water is that we should not criticise the parents, they are going through enough. True. But if that criticism stops just one family doing similar while on holiday then it has been worth it. Being a parent is 24 hour risk assessment, we shouldn't smother but we should understand that leaving such young children alone, in a strange country, in a strange bed was a risk too far.

Abduction aside - what about fire? What if one of the children had woken up in unfamiliar surroundings crying out for mummy and daddy? Checking on the children every 1/2 hour as was claimed would not have saved them from nightmares, a fire, any other danger you could think of.

Another hysterical viewpoint is that it could have happened with the parents there or not. Yes, these things happen, but there is a vast difference from cases where the child is snatched from their house while the parents are there or, like Sarah Payne, snatched while out playing with siblings and one where the child is left alone.

There would have been much more criticism against the choice the parents made had they been from a poorer background, that I have no doubt. Then there would have been no one jumping to the defence of the parents, despite the fact that no one is directly attacking them. Just highlighting the consequences of their actions. The only person/s to feel guilt, to feel the hatred of everyone is/are the person/s who took her.

As a parent I can't help feeling strongly, I will not apologise for my viewpoints and having read forums and blogs on this I am a little disgusted at how sanctimonious and self-righteous some people are in their unwillingness to acknowledge the mistake made. To eat in a restaurant 50 yards away, separated by a swimming pool, bushes, hedges, wall and pathway, leaving your children in an apartment with easy access to the road right next to it, well on holiday or not that would have had most people's risk radar flashing like mad.

You have children, you are responsible for their wellbeing and safety while at home or on holiday. When we were in Belgium last year we were sitting beside the enclosed childrens play area when over the tannoy came a call for us. With leaping hearts we rushed to the reception to discover that, under our very noses, youngest Hobbit, had sneaked out of the play area to go to the toilet and had asked a startled Dutchman to help him wipe his bottom! The thought of what could have happened had that Dutchman not been a bemused, kind man who immediately went to reception to say there was a child alone in the toilet was unbearable. A lesson was learned by the Hobbits who were given another stranger danger warning.

Now that happened while we were relaxing on holiday. See how easy it happens. But we were there, we had not left them alone in the play area to go get something to eat. The shame we felt at being caught out as bad parents, despite the staff finding it quite funny that this little boy asked someone to wipe his bum was immense. But yet we felt we had let him down, we hadn't noticed him walk out of the play area and away from where we thought he was playing in the huge network of slides and tunnels that made up the equipment. Leaving them in there would not have been a consideration, we had them, they are our responsibility.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Tick Tock

It is noticable that I haven't written very much this year at all. Well, 2007 is not turning out to be the year I expected it to be, to top it all I am probably going to tank my OU course which is not turning out as I had wished. So here is a cheerful picture of the hobbits.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Meet the new Jamie Oliver

Youngest Hobbit has taken to watching Masterchef Goes Large with great intensity. While viewing Friday's offering (on BBC2 Wales thanks to gaelic programming stuffing up the Scottish schedules) he decided that he liked the look of the very fancy and very long titled pheasant dish being made and announced he would like that for his dinner. Fancy on my boy I'm not that good.
When not watching cookery programmes he does like being involved in the preparation and cooking of food itself, the ingredients used and when that isn't happening he likes to talk about food. Interestingly although he enjoys eating and eats a fair amount of food he is not fat, no where near fat, actually he is on the lean side. Possibly because, apart from the treats, he eats about 80% good stuff. Strawberries, raspberries and mandarin oranges being particular favourite snacks.
So watch this space. He has the right temperament for being a chef certainly (take no prisoners, doesn't suffer fools gladly etc.) I discussed this with my mother today and the first thing she said? For me not to let him become a chef.
Considering that 2 years ago his ambition was to be a dinosaur I think he has a long way to go before deciding where his life will lead him. Certainly it is fun to speculate but I would never say to either Hobbit they couldn't follow what they wanted to do. That is what happened to me and look where I ended up! Same mother told me that when I left school I was expected to get a job as there was no way they would support me through university and even though it was expected I could get into art school that was discouraged to the point I completely lost the way.
Had I had parents who let me try, let me discover what I could do things could be different (not focusing on the Hobbits here as I would always have chosen to be a SAHM regardless. In fact it would have been nicer to have a proper career to take a break from and know I had one to return to.) Hubby and I often discuss how what our parents did affected the paths our lives took.
So be it a dinosaur, or a chef, or something completely different, youngest Hobbit I know will at least do one thing. Be able to cook and enjoy the experience of cooking and eating good food. Career wise he can do whatever he wants, he is 5 FFS, though I might discourage it if either Hobbit mention becoming lawyers or politicians. I don't like my boys lying!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Down But Not Out

Have I been a little quiet of late?
Believe me, it is only online for in this house not an hour goes by before I strike up another rendition of Hacking Cough. Not a very pleasant experience for those listening, an even less pleasant experience for those suffering. I have never been punched or kicked in the ribs (tiny babies in utero notwithstanding) but I know how it feels. Yes, the cough is that bad. Doctors don't like prescribing antibiotics, I didn't feel like insisting, sadist.
But what worries me more, for the fourth time in two months youngest Hobbit is ill. So after the last "chest infection" where he was given medication which seemed to work he is now on other medication, and if that doesn't work he may have to be tested for pneumonia. Doctor was very reassuring, that it probably wasn't as blah-de-blah. Whatever else he said I wasn't particularly listening as my mind stuck with pneumonia. I entered the land of Every Parents Nightmare™.
One of my very good friends had pneumonia about 14 years ago, it knocked her out for a month, which she spent in a hospital bed fading away.
Apparently this is extreme and if he has it, he has it only mildly.
So this medication is not the acid house yellow of the previous one, but a subdued chalky white. And it is working. Thank you science.
(I would like to point out that the side effects of the medication is not the appearance of a tigerish aspect to the patient's face. This is just Bubble, as we know and love him, and the paint washed off.)

Friday, January 26, 2007

A Man's A Man For A' That

It may have been the national celebration of Robert Burns birthday yesterday and no, we didn't partake of the traditional haggis, neeps and tatties for dinner (as yummy as that is, no really it is lovely), but today was the 'Scottish Assembly' for the Hobbits at school. Have heard snippets of what happened, lots of 'so and so from such and such a class' going on stage to recite his poems and I spent yesterday afternoon running around trying to find tartan for them to wear. I mean really, Linlithgow is a tourist town, I just couldn't think of anything in time, had I gone into Edinburgh we would have had tartan to clothe the entire town.

A lot of the children wore kilts, but unfortunately the Hobbits don't have kilts, would look cute though. The Hobbits now know Robert Burns although they don't realise his importance yet, or the fun in some of his poems. He calls government 'a parcel o' rogues' can you think of a better description! Youngest hobbit came out with the quote of the day. As we were walking out of the school he told me "Mummy, you know Robert Burns wasn't at school today" I should hope not, he has been dead 200 years. "No, he was in his spaceship."

I must have missed something when we were getting taught Burns poetry at school, I don't recall any spaceships.

My favourite tale of Burns's life is when he was out for a country walk one day and happened on a young milkmaid carrying her yoke. A reknown womaniser Burns introduces himself, the milkmaid sighs and says "will I put the buckets down now then?" Class.

Yesterday morning was awful. Let me just say that if you think of saying what you really want to someone and that you will find some satisfaction in it, then you are wrong. Even if you do not resort to swearing, name calling, fisticuffs or below the belt remarks. You will neither feel dignified or happy in yourself even if you get the upper hand. As I was once told, if you get down in the dirt with the pigs you just make yourself dirty, and the pigs like that.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

300 Years Ago

It was 300 years ago that the 'parcel of rogues' signed us over to the English. A contentious statement but true. I imagine that if Scotland didn't have as many resources then the Union would have ended long ago and perhaps, considering the current feeling perhaps the Union is soon to end.

There is debate on both sides and, more infuriatingly, mud slinging. The English call us scroungers (must have seen the ridiculous amount spent on benefits and anyway we get a lot less than the Northern Irish and nothing is said about them), we call them bullies. It is an antagonistic relationship that does not hold when one person speaks to another and we cease to see them as English/Scottish and start to see them as individuals.

I think England would benefit from our Independence in gaining back their own culture as a separate state. Yet, having heard all my years about the "Queen of England," and the use of England when it should be Britain, they hopefully could try and understand the frustration of being denied a voice. Even if we moan, we are good at it. Both countries have good and bad points in their psyche.

Would a split make us respect each other more? We would need to wait and see. There are a lot of English living in Scotland, we must be doing something right.

Oh and there was no party to celebrate the Union, but there was a new £2 coin. There is a moral in there somewhere.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

One of Two, Two of Two

As Husband calls the Hobbits a rather Trekkie name I ponder on the whole world of multiples.

No, I am not going to embarrass myself by navel gazing or anything wistful or superfluously pensive. This is all brought about by watching Nanny 911, an American take on Supernanny using British nannies to sort out American families. Nice to see American tiddlers can be as wild as home grown ones.
So this episode featured a family with triplets, one girl and two boys (didn't say if the boys were twins or not as can be the case with triplets, with one split egg making what would be twins triplets instead - end of technical discussion.) The tiddlers were 3 years old, cute as anything and although naughty it wasn't in the sense that you would think they should be sending them to boot camp. Turned out that the mother unknowingly had been favouring youngest boy over eldest leading to the youngest being spoiled and the eldest having esteem issues.
To put it bluntly, the eldest was being ignored, punished for things his brother was getting away with and it was not only heartbreaking to watch (look, real tears I had in my eyes and all) but was leaving the poor boy confused and lonely. There is nothing that will tug at the heart of a mother more than seeing a child treated like that, his big sad eyes pleading with his mother to play with him as well as his brother. The sister, as all girls do, was content to play by herself with her annoying brothers being dealt with, or not, by mother.
So here is the ponder.
Does this happen with all multiples? It would kill me if I ever thought either Hobbit felt I loved the other more. With esteem issues myself steming from childhood (therapist heal thyself, okay I'm not a therapist...I digress) I tell the Hobbits every day I love them, that they are great boys and praise them both with each achievement. I want confident not arrogant boys so don't go overboard as it sounds like from my last sentence.
Yet while eldest Hobbit can demand the most attention youngest hobbit, by virtue that he was fished out last, has that whole baby-of-the-family going for him. It is a hard balance, a constant juggling act. We try, when we think the boys are feeling left out in any way, to have what is known in the TIBS household as 1-on-1s. One day Husband has one Hobbit for a day out while I take the other on a separate day out, then the next time we swap Hobbits.
Like I said, a juggling act. But if it means my Hobbits are confident, have good self-esteem and a sense of self worth then it will all be worth it.

Monday, January 08, 2007

There is nothing guaranteed in life but...

Death and taxes....

And now some smart plug in government has thought up a new way to get us to pay for their expensive pensions. Another purse crippling idea wrapped up in the concept of being environmentally friendly. Charging us for the amount of rubbish we throw away. (Hmm, don't we already cover that in our council tax, a good deal of which goes towards said pension fund.)

I get annoyed though when they announce we are to be charged more to encourage recycling. I can envision our lovely neighbours stealing about in the early morning dumping their rubbish in everyone else's bins. You know that is what is going to happen, there are enough dishonest people to make those of us who do take care with our rubbish have to lock our bins away.

Why don't they offer a tax rebate on the amount you have recycled during the year?

Instead of constantly lumping yet more and more taxes and costs onto the average taxpayer why don't they offer us a light at the end of the tunnel. This rebate doesn't have to be much but I would bet that it would make a difference, quick a large difference if people think they are about to get money from the government.

Alternatively why don't we just hand over all our earnings each month and have them hand back food vouchers to exist on.

Friday, January 05, 2007

The Emperor's New Clothes

Do you ever get the feeling that something blindingly obvious is only ever noticed by you?

Like for example how long Tony B*liar has gotten away with being a complete sycophant? I digress.

Anyway, have just watched a programme on childrens diets and lack thereof. I cannot believe that any mum would give her child two packs of crisps, a well-known brand of sugary drink that is hyperactivity in a bottle and expect that child to get through the school day. Yet that was in just one example of the lunchbags they looked at.

I'm sorry but how long does it take to make a packed lunch? How long does it take for the parent to then wonder why little Jonny or Jessica bounces off the walls after every 'meal'?

I don't believe the bull about children not eating good food. I haven't been blessed with the worlds best eaters by any means, the Hobbits would sell me for a Kinder egg in a second (then buy me back so I can open the toy for them - what is the reason for that little capsule to be so tricky to open? Kinder, s'for kiddies, right?) I have to say I don't bother with carrot sticks, I just hand them the carrot and they munch the entire thing, just like I used to do. Yet I can maintain a fairly good and healthy balance for them with the treats of chocolate, sweeties and crisps as that - treats.

Everything in moderation after all, that is the motto in the TIBS household.

Contemplate the idea of charging the parents, such as the ones who were feeding their fat children chips through the school fence last year, with abuse. Surely it is abusive to clog their little arteries with fat and food that the dog wouldn't touch, and lets face it, when you see the things a dog will eat, if it doesn't touch a certain food would you?

Being a SAHM has meant I have time to think of what they have to eat every day and to spend time and effort preparing their meals. But I know plenty of working mums who are equally as vigilant and it isn't really us or WOHM who are to blame. Once again the eye falls on those who are living off benefits. They say they cannot afford proper food, not so say I and everyone else living on a tight budget, and with things the way they are now it is people on low wages and not on benefits who are truly poor. Maybe that is the key, they need to budget the money they get each week better and organise their time better. How long does it take to make a good nutritious meal? It can be as little as 15 minutes from first opening the fridge door to setting the plate in front of the hungry little devils. I know I sound harsh, but having lived in an area rich in the 'jobless culture' I have ample experience of the attitude that is causing this problem.

I have to say that before the Hobbits came I wasn't really into cooking. Sure I enjoyed watching cookery programmes and reading books but I never really bothered with anything other than recipes I already knew. Certainly the family I worked for as a nanny in the US would testify to that (you want gourmet, you pay me better.) Now I enjoy it and even bake (see photo for proof, banana bread - slices make for very good lunchbox snacks!) The Hobbits enjoy it too, especially the gooey bits...and the eating bit.