Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Another End Of Year

For the first time in I don't know how long I expect to see in 2009 safely tucked up in bed.

The cold has gone, for the most part, but there doesn't seem to be a reason to stay up. Another Hogmanay spent alone and in front of the tv? Second year in a row, it is becoming a habit.

2008 was interesting, an improvement on 2007 which I realise now is a year that held more benefits than at first it seemed. Whatever 2009 brings I can ask for only one thing at the moment, that my father, who is in hospital at the moment, recovers. There are some things I do not wish to contemplate and one of them is what seems inevitable but no matter how much I wish it wasn't the truth I still cannot face it.

Come on 2009, lets see what you bring.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Sometimes I Amaze Myself

It doesn't often happen, and when it does it is usually by accident but sometimes I achieve something I thought impossible.

Be it having to grin and bear it while spending time with an ex who purposefully keeps me strapped for cash (for the sake of the Hobbits this was on Christmas morning, it doesn't last long as he is on a tight leash and for that I can be grateful.) Be it through passing an OU course I thought I had completely blown thanks to an exam where I was the first to leave.

Considering my brain is addled by the after effects of too much cold medicine and the Christmas hangover those are the only two examples I give at the moment simply because I am concerned with the latter.

Because I passed my history course. And I really didn't think I would. And I am very smugly pleased with myself. And it doesn't happen that often. And now I am repeating myself.

Anyhoo, the course is done, I do not need to resit. Checking the results page online I got an average score, very few people did any better than I did. So that horror of being the first to get up, hand my paper in and leave was not justified. Keep to the question. Worked.

I have been advised by a friend that what I should take is Vitamin C tablets, orange juice and Lucozade. She also mentioned rest despite the fact that, as a parent, she should know that is but a dream.

Friday, December 19, 2008

37 Plus One Day

I have a cold, the Hobbits have a cold. Only the four-legged ones and finned ones in this house are safe. Speaking of four-legged ones. In an attempt to give myself one more challenge we are joined by two kittens, Padme and Anakin - can you guess who named them?
Resident Grumpy Old Cat has taken to them relatively well. They can be his child warriors against the big, clumsy, lumbering oaf of a dog - I would imagine that is how Paris sees it. Poor Andrex sits quietly while they dance around him, all part of the training my dear.
Photos to fallow when normal service resumes and it isn't the medication doing the writing, regardless of what an improvement that may be.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Goodbye To A Hero

I don't use that title lightly. There are few people to which I would label as having a lasting effect on my own life but there is an agreement of millions of other people who were little children in 70s Britain so I feel it is only appropriate.

And I realised what that meant to me personally, when I heard it on the radio this morning and was actually really upset at the thought. His voice is the one that soothed me throughout childhood; his tales of Noggin the Nog, The Clangers, Ivor The Engine and of course my own favourite Bagpuss. Because of him for years I thought that people in Wales rode in wonderful green trains that went tsshhtt-ko, tsshhtt-ko as they trundled along and there were singing dragons living in the mountain tops. The stories he told were, and there is no other word for it, gentle, proper stories. Not the frantic dash and splash of the short-attention span kids tv now. This was tv to calm you down, ready for dinner and then bed. Like a comforting blanket on a cold day. Even now I hear the opening chords of Bagpuss and it is complete contentment.

I introduced his programmes to the Hobbits a few years ago and they laughed at the Soup Dragon dancing on The Clangers which turned out to be their favourite. Noggin was, and is, perhaps a little too dark of a saga for some but perfect for that even if Nogbad was a bit scary.

Perhaps Mr. Postgate will forever be in that top left-hand corner of Wales.

Bagpuss, dear Bagpuss,

Old fat furry cat-puss,

Wake up, and look at this thing that I bring,

Wake up, be bright, be golden and light,

Bagpuss, oh hear what I sing.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Once In A Lifetime...

There should perhaps be a question mark after that title. During their few short years in this world there have been many defining moments that the Hobbits can look back on as being historical events they lived through.
It has been a while, I haven't blogged for a while, I haven't done much to be honest. I am coasting at this time but this must be like when JFK became president. And again, when Labour had the landslide victory in 1997. Only this won't turn out to be as soul-crushingly disappointing as what Blair became.
Bush has been a dark time, I still find it ridiculous that he was voted in...twice! Obama has a very steep hill to climb, he at least acknowledges that. Already he has done so much to repair the damage caused by Bush.
Watch the news reports, there is a tingling along the spine, goose-pimples.
The Hobbits live in such interesting times and things have just gotten a little better, it doesn't look so God-awful bleak.
(I do feel a little sorry for McCain though, I think he was aware at what kind of people were supporting him and he should really have gotten the post in 2000. I guess his daddy just couldn't buy him the presidency like Bush's did.)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Crazy With A Cherry On Top

Hazelnuttin sent me this story, strangely from a Welsh news website, although the story originates in California and she lives in Chicago. The world goes like that sometimes.

It has to be this sentence that really gets me though...

"The farmworkers told police the suspect woke them on Saturday morning by rubbing spices on one of them and smacking the other with an eight-inch sausage."

Okay that has to be one of the most bizarre paragraphs in a news story ever. Never mind the sausage, he rubbed spices on them? Who would think to do that? What spices did he use? Totally off the wall! (Bet they were relieved though when they discovered it was a sausage he had hit them with and not something else.)

Monday, September 01, 2008

Summer Is Officially Over

The Hobbits have been back at school a couple of weeks now and today, officially, summer is over.

The question is though...when did the summer actually happen. I feel I may have missed it at some point, it sneaked it, shone happy rays of sunshine for a few hours and then skipped away before I noticed.

Meeja says that this has been the dullest, wettest August since before we can remember.

I says; you are not kidding there mate.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Power Of The Book

No, not "The" Book, I haven't found religion, or anything else for that matter.

I just find myself pondering the power over imagination that books can hold.

Case in point, and the reason I am pondering at near midnight on a Monday night...

The story we are reading at the moment is The BFG by Roald Dahl. While the Hobbits enjoyed the reading of it at the time the fact that both of them were downstairs at 11 p.m. very frightened because "there is a hand and three shadows that are going dut-dut-dut" I may decide to change the book rather than continue tomorrow night. I forgot what it was like to read a story and need to spend the night with the light on for fear of what might happen - and this from someone who spent her early teens reading all the truly *scary* Stephen King novels.

I am glad that the Hobbits have my love for reading, now they are able to sit and follow a story themselves it is fun to see them in intense concentration over their little library. Okay so most of what they read is scientific - space, the universe, Earth and the delightful subject of natural disasters. The stories they prefer to be read to them.

A job I am glad to perform, funny voices included.

I realise this post is of the "I got up and had breakfast" type that blogs are ridiculed for. Ach well, it is late and I could care less. The star lights are on, the Hobbits are sharing a bed - the furthest from the imagined "hand." Funny there is no side-effect to Doctor Who (and wasn't that ending disappointing - how much did the writer hate Donna to do that to her!), not even Blink which I admit to being a little startled by - or Primeval. Yet the idea of giants visiting certain countries because the "human beans" taste better there...
(Now see what a kind person I truly am. I could have put the Blink image on this page rather than as a link...and we would all have had the star-lights on tonight as a result.)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Cuteness Factor Reading 100%

Normally I am not sentimental, however on receiving our Guide Dog puppy, who will live with us for his first year before going off to what the Hobbits refer to as "dog school" to learn his job, I have to say...awwww.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Today I Will Be Mostly Feeling....


Drum Fingers On Table

Things roll on.

Life becomes more expensive.

Laughter takes on a maniacal edge (is that a word - it is now.)

It does sometime feel like teetering on the edge of the precipice.

On the plus side though, I got a free book. Sent to me. For once I felt...important. Well...sort of...a little bit. Its a free book, gotten by sharing a story about an incident in Italy on our honeymoon *cough*, went the way of the marriage really.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Irony Let Me Show You It

***Time to pick up a stick and poke it through the railings at the freaks again. Big Brother started this week. I won't watch and it will be a better life for it. That sound you hear is Orwell crying somewhere.***

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Meet the Dobbys

I'm presuming that is how you spell it - rhymes with a Scottish word for poo, so that is my best guess as how you would write it down. Six-year-olds are not very forthcoming with details of the mundane type.

Anyhoo, I had always thought that the language-inventing was a multiples thing until I had a bizarre conversation with one of Youngest Hobbit's classmates today.

Seems he has introduced my boys to his world where everyone is classed as Dobbys, but only if you are good and a friend of ETs, well a friend today at least. So Eldest Hobbit is in Dobby world a 9-year-old Dobby, but in Dobby language that is said as nine hundred and ninety-nine.

"Aha," says me acting like I have a clue, "So then if you were a 7-year-old Dobby you would say seven hundred and seventy-seven."

"No," says ET looking at me as though I am some kind of idiot just arrived today, "it would be four hundred and eighty-two."

Okay then.

His grandmother explained that this is something ET and his older brother had made up, including a Dobby language. The Hobbits went through a year of speech therapy to encourage them to communicate with other people, and to speak English; their idea of communication was to teach their friends their language when they first went to pre-school nursery.

I have a list of their words, for when they are older, see if they remember any of it. (one of my favourites was when they were about 18 months old they would call dogs "puppy gone big." They could say dog alright but no, it had to be puppy gone big.)

Now where did I put that nosgabby, oh right, it is over by the gabbygab.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Hazelnuttin, Our Girl In Chicago, sent me a link to this eBay auction.

Not only a psychologist's wet dream (think of the meaning behind all of those doodles!) but an interesting insight into some Famous People's mindsets and artistic talents. All while earning dosh for charity. A good idea and I would love to see what some Famous People here would come up with - do you go for an actual doodle or try and impress or perhaps a mixture of the two?

It being an American auction there are quite a few names I don't recognise but some I do and it is amusing to see who is earning the greater amount, is that to do with fanbase or wanting the artwork itself?

I'm also glad to see that I am not the only person whose doodles become pictures, although being a humble civilian my doodles are not worthy of auctioning.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Pinkie Promise

So I've broken the pinkie on my right hand. In an accident involving a lightswitch (yes, really) there was a meeting of bone against corner and a rather sweet little snappy sound.

I then spent a good while swearing every word I know while Hobbits stared wide-eyed, for once bad language was not pointed out. I think they could see this was not the time. As though they don't hate me enough I am now sure the neighbours will think me completely mad.

Now I know it is broken yet I haven't gone to hospital. Most people would scoff and say how could I, a mere mortal, know that it is broken for definite and why wouldn't I go to hospital. There are reasons, I do have them.

A while back I broke the ring finger of my left hand, so badly it had swollen before I could get my wedding ring off. In an act I now see as prophecy of some kind the hospital had to cut the ring off, which was more painful than the actual break itself and which left my finger with burn marks. Even worse was, as they were cutting the ring off they had to pull at the broken finger. I didn't pass out but it was a near thing.

So I know what a broken finger looks like, I know what it feels like and I know how the hospital treat it. For my ring finger I had tape, yes plain old strapping tape, holding broken finger to the finger next to it. No splint or anything. Rather than go to hospital this time, wait around for about 3 hours to hear what I already know and all for a piece of tape, I just went to the local chemist. One roll of tape later and it is sorted (not the whole roll at once you understand, I need the rest to change it once it gets manky.)

Still hurts now and again but the swelling is down and the colour is back to a sort of normal shade, it is interesting that although probably considered an insignificant digit, having the pinkie strapped defenseless against another finger proves its worth.

You've got to laugh.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Single Mum On Benefits

A title like that would have certain parts of the press foaming rabidly at the mouth in delighted rage. A title that sweeps a large section of society together so the rest of the people can form an orderly line to stick the boot in too.

I'm not going to provide a link to the odious article, 'tis what Google was made for. I would love to know who it is that they use as the guideline to judge the rest of us though because she must be really well off.

The majority of single mums, sorry I am going to say single parents as it isn't just the mums y'know, are not simply sitting back and racking in a fortune in benefits. Most of us have never been on benefits before and are using them in the way the are supposed to be used. As a step up, as a helping hand during bad times. Not as a career choice. Not to wickedly take money from tax-payers.

Certainly there is a minority, the kind of people who have parents and grandparents on benefits, who have children outwith a stable relationship and who have no intention of changing the status quo. They are indeed a minority, though the lazy journos who like to write sensationalist bullying stories wouldn't care to point that out.

Instead we are all thrown together. In one big heap. Signed off as useless.

Single parents, of the type I refer to - on benefits now but not forever - are dealing with a lot more than the meeja care to understand. We deal with the effects of broken relationships, we try and steer our children through the mess, we cope with feelings of failure at not making a marriage on long-term relationship work and yes, we feel guilt and humiliation at having to ask the state for help. If they think it is easy they should attempt to comfort a 6-year-old child, or two, crying at night or asking for a new daddy in a way that would break a heart of stone. And during all this we have to read pathetic headlines that the big bad single parents are so much better off than the nice working families.

Guess what, I know plenty of families on benefits. Plenty of two parent families where at least one parent could work. Funny how you never hear of them. Or of the large amount of 18-25 year olds who leave school and can't see the point of getting a job which I think is a scarier and more interesting prospect for a story. I suppose though, it is better to wait until one of that group pops out a baby and joins the already formed pariahs of society.

Easy targets. We have them.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Today I...

...surprised someone.

Someone who only knows me from the past few years. Therefore only knows the watered down, diluted version.

The phone rang during a conversation. Wrong number. I told friend that when I was younger I used to get fed up with wrong numbers, if the person was stupid enough to be unable to dial correctly then it wasn't my problem to deal with. I took take-out orders, taxi requests, told people that the person they were looking for didn't live there anymore.

I was evil. I was a teenager at the time though but that isn't an excuse and nor would I offer one. Tolerance levels were...actually they are pretty much what they are now.

Wicked TIBS, says friend with what I hope is admiration that I am not what everyone thinks I am.

I aspire to Nigella, I am in reality closer to Lucille Ball.

This Time Ten Years Ago

It was at this time, ten long years ago, that I blissfully ignored warnings from friends long since departed (from communication with me that is, not the world as a whole, they didn't die or anything...I digress.) In 24 days I would become a Mrs. still unaware that I was marrying on a lie manipulated from what I possibly wanted to hear.

How do you undo ten years worth of damage?

The divorce trundles on with amazing slowness. The sun shines and the Hobbits are getting used to that unusual glowing orb in the cloudless sky. I don't have much of a life but I am getting on with it.

And sometimes, just sometimes, I want to don a kilt, paint my face blue and run around the nearest glen screaming "freedom" at bemused tourists.

But I don't.

Because that would be stupid. And at the moment I have reached my quota for stupid, in fact I think I am also using someone elses.

(And bliss, someone thinks what I write is good. Not this, no, other stuff. Stuff that gets marked and I even got a smiley face on the last one, not this rambling nonsense. Is this how confidence is built? Inch by inch?)

Tomorrow the Hobbits return to school after the bank holiday and today's inservice day. I had inservice days when I was at school, I don't know what they are, not then and not now and perhaps one day I'll be interested enough to find out.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Price of fuel, price of tax, price of fixing the damn thing.


I know how this feels...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Reality Used To Be A Friend Of Mine

While I put my fingers in my ears and shout la-la-la-la (well it seems to be working for the government) at the thought of having to put diesel in my car tomorrow I ponder the more frivoulous parts of life. Lord I have to, despite the fact that I always put the same amount in the car on either Monday or Tuesday and refuse to join in the jerry-can panic brigade, and get considerably less now and since this stupid Grangemouth nonsense kicked off it is about to get even worse if that could be possible and even though the site is within kicking distance of my house and at the moment I am annoyed enough to do some kicking and sometimes I wonder if Gordon Brown let this happen to cripple Scotland's economy because we are getting too big for our boots and want to walk alone and that we had the good sense to oust Labour from top job last year which they seem to find unforgivable and....wait, yes frivolous, think about frivolous...calm...calm....

Anyway, where was I, I have been proud of the stance I take on rot such as I Need A Musical Star And Free Publicity On BBC, Big Brother, Dancing On Ice/With Stars/Come Dancing With Bells On and X Factor.

Oh don't get me wrong, I enjoy such mind-fluff as America/Australia/Britain's Next Top Model and as for Project Runway/Catwalk, as someone who used to actually make and alter my own clothes it is pure manna. Even Biggest Loser, which I found quite awe-inspiring in a is-there-nothing-else-on-God-I-could-do-with-losing-a-few(hundred)-pounds way.

But there I am, on Saturday night, using the excuse that the Hobbits like watching Ant and Dec , glued to Britain's Got Talent (or not as the evidence sometimes proves.) Considering this is not my usual fare and is probably a kick back to being a teen in the 80s (saving grace sort of was my Goth like tendancies) when taste was not required, I am having great fun watching. Even crying at times. Heaven help us. Still the Hobbit show I get afterward is even better, especially the Simon Cowell impressions they do. Worth letting them stay up that late for really.

Anyway, like I said, must think of better things. As part of this self improvement idea of sending out positive vibes and getting them in return....hmmm, I'll let you know how that works out. It is very grim living in Britain at the moment.

I have Project Runway to watch later on, bless you Sky+. It is sad to get so excited over these things but I am old so leave me to it. I do Tim Gunn impressions to the Hobbits who have no idea who he is or what their mad mother is on about but in the manner of Tim Gunn I will endevour to keep my head above water even if it requires more money than I've got... Make It Work.

God Bless I Can Has Cheezburger, it fair cheers a weary soul up.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

While I Was Away

Consider this a quickie catch up. While not being as disastrous as 2007 this year is trundling along on dangerous tracks. There, that was melodramatic enough.

Nothing much has happened. What a let down but nothing happening is better than all the wrong things happening.

I had quite a fight with Tiscali, who only relented to give me back my line after a threat from both Trading Standards and the ISPA. Ridiculous really.

Then, not too long ago I get a very curious early evening visit from Doofus (as he is now known, polite yet gets my point across without being a complete see-saw bitch about it.) He then proceeds to offload all his problems on me, as though I would be sympathetic. There is a whole other blog for this crap though.

Most importantly - the Hobbits.

Poor Youngest Hobbit (pictured in all his pity) ended up in hospital after an incident at school (when asked he vehemently denied falling over, telling everyone who will listen that "Christopher pushed me!" They were playing tig, it happens.) The resulting gash on his forehead, which rather disgustingly was more like a hole, skull glistening with blood visible - yes it was that bad - was "glued" together. A fact that his classmates heard with awe, quickly to be reassured that it was special super-duper hospital glue and not the stuff they use to make models.

Of course not to be outdone during the Easter holidays, Eldest Hobbit trips over his own large feet (well they *are* called Hobbits after all) in the IKEA playarea and off to hospital we go again. This time the gash is beside his eye, same side as his brother's scar but just as nasty looking and he gets. What is it with kid's accidents that the resulting gashes are so horrendous looking?

Apart from giving me some more grey hairs and entertaining hospital staff both of them seem to have come out of the recent emotional events without too much residue. I don't know what lies beneath though, I know Eldest Hobbit is the sensitive one but that doesn't mean that deep down Youngest Hobbit keeps things hidden. I just need to be vigilant and keep reassuring them that as a family we three are going strong.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Monday, January 14, 2008


Okay, so this is the problem and for once I am finding it hard to come up with a solution.

Here I am at the library, where I usually do my studying. I don't usually go on the computers but since I have been cut off at home I have no choice.

Did you not pay your bill silly girl? I hear you ask. Well, actually I did but you see as the account is in buggerlug's name the internet provider will not discuss it with me. Not at all.

Whereas I never had much issue with getting everything else changed over, phone, utilities etc. This is where I have come a cropper good an' proper one too! (Sorry was watching Lark Rise to Candleford last night, heavy influence on tired brain.)

The internet provider, name and shame - TISCALI. Apparently as He is on the account, He has to phone, cancel the account and then I have to wait (and this is the biscuit right here) 45 days until I can get online. As they have left a marker on my account I don't seem to have an option but while I try and think what to do next I have to catch up on all the things I do online here, at the library.

This is the sound of my head hitting against a brick wall.

Friday, January 04, 2008


No, not a typo.

The New Year doesn't really start for me until the Hobbits return to school on Monday. At the moment we are still bobbing along on a post-Christmas fug. The house is a tip, I have more recycling than space and have squashed the bin down as far as it will go (two weeks without a pick up because no one realised they would turn up on Saturday at 6am!)

Last year is over and I decided, in the wee small hours that are mine now I no longer sleep properly, that this year has to improve. Financially this year will be guff for a lot of people, so a problem shared (only I bet they weren't stupid enough to trust my ex with their household finances! Hey, you live and learn.)

This year I prioritise what is important, I will not rush into things because I feel it is expected of me or that others might think less of me. The opinion of others has never meant less to me than it does right now. I will take better care of myself, if the Hobbits are happy I am too but I really need to get healthier mentally and physically.

It is important for me to succeed at my OU courses to do the one thing I was told I would never achieve because it presumably wasn't for people like me. I've decided also that I want a job which is more suitable and not so liable to change in hours (childcare will see to that.) I also won't jump at the first opportunity but at the right opportunity because financially work will leave me worse off. It is for the self-esteem I will be doing it.

All these things I wish to do this year. So not so much resolutions, I don't make them anyway, but ideas I want to live by.