Saturday, January 27, 2007

*tagged - six weird things*


I have been tagged by Gretel and have to divulge six weird things about me; I'll be honest, I'm struggling, and partly because one person's idea of weird might be another person's everyday normality. So bear with me for a sec, whilst I try and dredge up some vaguely interesting, if not necessarily that weird facts about moi...

1. I can turn my tongue right over - there are no real practical benefits in being able to do this, but it does freak out the children.

2. I have one leg (the left one) shorter than the other - I was born with dislocated hips, which lead to a leg length discrepancy, and after a couple of operations as a child the difference is no where near as great as it was. I still walk with a limp, though. And I have two fabulous scars, that look like fat centipedes, one on each hip. Also great for freaking out children.

3. I can tie a knot in a cherry stalk with my tongue, à la Audrey Horne in Twin Peaks - I'm not sure whether this is too closely related to weird thing number 1 to count as a separate item, but since it's my blog and I write the rules, AND I'm struggling for weirdness, it'll have to do!

4. My home is either really, really tidy, or really, really messy - there is no happy medium. I am at my most content after a good clean through - mess makes me low, but I find it a constant battle to try and stay tidy. I'm sure I'm not alone in this...

5. I don't like hotels. Even really 'nice' ones. I would much rather be at home. I find being in a hotel, even with people I love, a very isolating experience, and I am always itching to get back home.

6. I am pedantic about spelling and grammar to the point of being anally retentive, bit I freely admit it, and I try not to let it affect my daily life too much!!! And I realise that by posting this I am laying myself wide open to criticism from other grammar pedants/enthusiasts, but so be it...!!!

There, that wasn't so bad, but I don't know how weird any of the above could be classed as being. I have, in the spirit of these blessed things, to tag six lovely fellow bloggers, so I'm tagging Debbie, Fiona, Sue, Maria, Kirsty and Rena :) - sorry dolls, I don't know if any of you have already been tagged - don't feel obliged!!

Friday, January 26, 2007

*dolly beads!*


This is my lovely new bead and necklace, which arrived this morning from Jaq - she has just started making Dolly Beads, and they are going down a storm! I am on the lookout for a turquoise one, and a turquoise and pink combo, but for the time being I am very happy with my little pink bead.

More later!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

*impromptu photo shoot!!*

Not really a photo shoot, but I've realised that when we can't get outside as regularly at this time of year as we do in the spring/summer time, I don't take nearly as many photographs, and I'm going to try and remedy that, because I don't want there to be chunks of time with no photographic representation. I called an impromptu photo shoot in A's room this afternoon after school, and got an enthusiastic response, which isn't always guaranteed!! The girls are used to me sticking a camera in front of them, and most of the time they're prepared to be photographed, but occasionally they're just not in the mood, and really, who can blame them?! A was reluctant to let go of her sucky this afternoon, grubby old thing that it is:


She was quite prepared to pose with it, though!!

F was all smiles and grins this afternoon; she is enjoying school very much at the moment - long may it continue - and came home today full of enthusiasm about Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole. Her teacher this year is absolutely fantastic, and seems to fire the children's imagination at every turn. F is a different child this year, and it really shows.


We decided, the three of us girls this evening, that, as it is so cold and dark outside, we would have a carpet picnic for the girls' tea. Now that they are having a hot meal at school at lunchtime, a new departure this term, they don't seem to need as much in the evenings, so today's offering was a very healthy plate of olives, red and yellow peppers, carrot sticks, tomatoes, apple, cheese and hard boiled eggs, cut into quarters. They wolfed it down - I wish I'd taken a 'before' and 'after' photo, because I thought I'd done too much, but it all disappeared!

I leave you this evening with a fave from today, taken on A's bed, mid-loon!!


Night, all!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

*a quick catch-up!*

Quick round-up of what we've been up to over the past week; time has run away with me YET again, and I haven't updated as regularly as I'd intended to. Where does the time go - answers on a postcard, please.

Freya had a voucher for Borders which had been burning a hole in her pocket since her birthday last August (!), so she and I had a day out on Saturday, and drove to Oxford which, from here, is a beautiful route down through Moreton-in-Marsh and Chipping Norton. She and I rarely have a day out together alone, and it was lovely to have a bit of quality one-on-one with her. Anja, in turn, had a fab day having daddy all to herself, and had a birthday party to go to as an added bonus. I didn't take the camera with me, but took a couple of photos on my phone, although the quality is pretty poo! Freya still finds real novelty value in any journey on a bus, and she was, yet again, in 7th heaven on the short journey from the Park-and-Ride car park into Oxford!!


I don't know whether I've blogged about it before, but Freya is extremely considered when it comes to making choices when she's spending her money. She takes ages to decide what she'd like, and as her voucher was for a whopping £20, it took us some time in Borders before we were ready to go to the till!! It also meant that I had to keep a running total in my head each time something else went into the basket, which was no easy thing when she was choosing items costing anything from 35p up to £3.99. She came away with a fantastic haul, including another Jewel Fairy book, a skipping rope, a whoopee cushion, a rubber ball, and other items too numerous to mention (and that I can't remember!!) By the time she'd chosen everything she wanted, and I'd done some shopping for birthday presents, and spent some of Anja's pocket money for her (on her instruction - a Horrid Henry audio book and book to read), it was time for a bite to eat. Naturally, we had to stay in Borders and pay a trip to Starbucks - this was Freya's day, and this was what she wanted to do - who am I to argue... She went up to the counter whilst I stayed with the bags, and selected a prawn and watercress sandwich, giant chocolate chip cookie, and a hot chocolate for herself - what can I say, the child has great taste!! This IS as big as it looks:


It was yum!! Chocolate moustaches and sticky fingers all round...a lovely day out.

The girls were treated by my sister to a trip to the Snow Dome at Tamworth on Sunday; they had their first skiing lesson, and had a mess around on the little slope, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I should point out that I have an aversion to snow, and have absolutely no intention of taking them skiing, but my sis and Ed are both keen winter sports enthusiasts, Sian a skier, and Ed a snowboarder, and they would love to get the kids involved. I'm not even interested in the apres ski, so I think they might be holidaying without me!!! Sian plans to go to Whistler next winter, and I think Ed is harbouring ambitions to join her for a week or so, with the childers. I will have to find something else to do...

Am going to go on a blog trawl tomorrow morning, to catch up on my favourite reads, and to tweak my 'links' section; even in the short time since I started this blog last August, several of the links have fallen away, and some blogs that I read regularly need to be added.


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Sunday, January 14, 2007

*a quick jaunt around YouTube...*

The main purpose of this post is to see whether I have worked out how to insert a YouTube broadcast into a blog entry - mundane, I know, but having spent FAR too much time last night hopping around YouTube, it occurred to me that, in keeping with several fellow bloggers, if I find any gems I ought to share them. The first offering is a piece that began doing the rounds ages ago, and I'm sure most people will already have seen it, but if it's been a while, it certainly stands up to a second viewing. Evolution of Dance:

Yay! Just looked at the preview, and it appears to be working!! OK, indulge me a second while I just post a few more. Once the novelty has worn off, I promise I'll limit the amount I post - you are not, of course, obliged to click on any of the links!! Real life Simpsons intro:

I know this is juvenile, nay infantile in the extreme, but I miss this:

And finally, for today, some ER out-takes:

More inconsequential ramblings later today, with a proper catch-up and some photographs!!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

*a lovely birthday...*


I have had a really lovely day, and am now quite ready for my bed!! In all the excitement of card and present opening this morning, I was late getting the girls to school for their first day back, but neither of them seemed remotely bothered, and remarkably, F went in without a backwards glance. I had been prepared for clinging and whimpering, but birthday good feeling must have prevailed!!

I have been spoiled rotten - a very nice feeling!! Ed has bought tickets for us to see Mamma Mia in the West End in March - front row seats in the circle, which should be tremendous. I haven't seen it yet - must be one of the few children of the 70's/80's who has yet to see it - and he couldn't have chosen a better gift. To say I am thrilled is an understatement. Had some of my fave perfume, a beautiful necklace off two of my friends, some great reading material, and some fab scrapbook stash. Was particularly delighted with this gorgeous hand-made envelope file, sent to me by Caz, my birthday swap partner at the Pad:


The tag reads: "Dear Jo, A little album for you to fill with you 2007 memories" - thank you, Caz - I will treasure it.

My favourite card has to be this one, made by F, having raided my stash:


It's not a great picture because the light wasn't very good, but there is lots of glitter glue, some squishy embellishments, and the dots at the bottom spell 'love', although you can't see the red ones against the card in the photo!!

Tonight, Ed has cooked steak, chips, peas and mushrooms - nothing fancy, but just what I fancied, and he has now just made me a huge mug of hot chocolate complete with some sinful squirty cream!!! A perfect end to a jolly good day!

Night, all :)

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

*short-haired daughter, and the eve of my 35th...*

...birthday!!! Yes, tomorrow I will be 'celebrating' my 35th birthday. Still don't really feel grown up - I'm not sure whether that's a good thing or not. I have no idea what I'm getting for my birthday - Ed has been suspiciously silent on the subject, and hasn't asked for any ideas.

Onto something completely different, and the news that A finally has the short hair cut that she had been nagging me about for ages - I took her to my hairdresser just before Christmas, and after we'd both counselled her extensively, and had assurances from her that yes, this really was what she wanted, he went for the chop!! She is delighted with the outcome; a couple of days before, she went to a birthday party, and had asked me to try and make her hair into a 'boy' style; this was the best I could do - not a great effort, but her hair was too long to do much else:


Not terribly impressed, as you can probably tell!!!

Anyway, this is 'after', and I still don't think she could look less like a boy, but she is very pleased with it, as are we, and I think it suits her:


I had made a search of the internet before going to the hairdresser, having it in mind to take along some photos of little girls with similar styles so that Stephen would have some idea as to what she wanted. It appears that, amongst little girls of A's age, having such short hair is virtually unheard of. Indeed, one of the mums at school asked me (jokingly) whether she'd had head lice and I just couldn't be bothered to deal with them!!! And several people have said "is that what she wanted?" - no, I am a cruel mother, who is happy for one daughter to have long hair, but not the other... I ask you! Anyway, we are happily indulging the 'boy' phase at the moment; I have tried explaining to her that there is nothing a boy can do that a girl can't do (with the possible exception of peeing standing up - but I don't want to put that into her head...), and that there is, therefore, no need to be a boy, but she is adamant that that is what she wants to be. A boy called George.

Will leave you with this photo of A, Rudi and F, taken a couple of days ago in front of a roaring fire. I am very pleased to report that, despite having been quite poorly in the week before Christmas, Rudi is now fighting fit, and her legs, whilst not quite back to their old selves, are certainly a lot more useful than they were. She almost has a spring in her step again.


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

*quick catch-up - more tomorrow!*

Just one of the gems I should have posted over Christmas but didn't - A in her first nativity...playing an angel, most miffed, but ended up having a great time. She thoroughly enjoyed the experience, sang her heart out, did all the actions with much gusto, and beamed throughout. F, on the other hand, missed the Christmas production due to illness for the second year in a row :( - must try for better next year. She's just so susceptible to ear/nose/throat-related infections. Back for more tomorrow - need my beauty sleep!!


Monday, January 01, 2007



Can I remember how to blog??!! Sheesh, I'm sorry I've been AWOL again; I'm hoping it won't happen again. Just been a tad busy with all the lead-up to Christmas, and then the festivities themselves that blogging has gone by the wayside. Just wanted to pop in now to wish you all a very happy new year - who knows what 2007 will bring? I haven't made any resolutions, but I do have certain goals that I am going to keep to myself for the time being - nothing major, and probably nothing life-changing, just a few things to keep me on track! Just a short post for tonight - need my beauty sleep, but I'll be back tomorrow with some photos from over the festive period, and maybe a word or two about some of things Father Christmas left for me!!