It all began in a Pub…..well in Britain anyway

Feeling all charged up and empowered tonight after a good meeting with the village Mums in the pub to talk about the playground facilities and what we would like to see in the village. 

This is in response to the work of a rather lacklustre working group of committee members who are making plans to simply replace like for like on the playground – and us Mums want more! Have they consulted with us? NO. Will they need us to help raise funds for the new equipment? YES!

So we hopefully have the power to influence these less than qualified decision makers (one of the working group is in her 80s…it’s been a while since she sat on a swing).

Our local pub was the venue for the discussion and it got me thinking how many important meetings take place in a pub? In fact, how many important decisions have been made in pubs over the centuries? 

I would say more than the Houses of Parliament.

I say make the HOP a super club, the party capital of Europe and devolve power to publicans…..maybe then we would have, as Carlsberg would put it….’probably the best political system in the world…’

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading.

Woman seeks cave

Earlier my Mum and I took my daughter and son shopping. I don’t know why my daughter behaved like a foul ungrateful teenager but the experience was hideous. Nothing was good enough. When she finally found some trainers she liked they weren’t in her size and no she didn’t want to wait for them to be ordered online. When we decided to leave her to browse down one aisle so we could keep baby boy entertained in another then went back to check on her she spat out her contempt that we were ‘checking on her’ and could we please ‘go away’ (although not sure if she said please). She moaned the entire time we looked at clothes for me,( back to work clothes ) and then moaned that she wanted to go home after my Mum had bought her dinner.

My Mum and I realise that we should have just given it up as a bad idea and left with nothing, giving daughter an important lesson in how not to behave. But we didn’t want to ruin her day, or ours for that matter.

Baby boy presented his own issues but only insofar as picking up random objects and putting them in the trolley – but that was his version of little boy entertainment in a supermarket so he did well. 

When my husband ‘had words’ with her later she said she was tired and that was why she was grumpy. Part of me accepts that but part of me doesn’t. It’s just those damned thing called hormones turning my daughter from Famous Five’s Anne to Roald Dahl’s Veruca Salt overnight.

My Mum then said on the way back that I had to make sure baby boy didn’t copy his sister when she was being rude. I replied by saying that parenting at times is too hard a job and that actually I would like to crawl into a cave.

But, in the absence of a cave nearby, I just settled with putting them both to bed, drinking tea and writing this blog post.  

This blog is for UNICEF, thanks for reading. 

Made-up over business as usual

Missed another blog post last night…was out drinking with the girls (well one small glass of red followed by copious amounts of tap water as I was driving plus red wine seems to dry me out the minute it passes my lips). One of our party had already consumed ome alcohol before she arrived so she wa considerably merrier than we have ever seen her before (normally quite reserved in the school playground…amazing what she had in her once the drink was flowing – i was so impressed by her strong views on school manageent I suggested she should run for Governor – no seriously she was good). I used to find (and still do) that desoite the dryin effects, I am far more articulate after a glass. You would think it would be the reverse but actually it helps to remove some of the filtery, thinking process that you normally go through so you just come out and tell it how it is. Maybe Paxman would get even better results if he spiked the dressing room drinks of politicians before a broadcast?

I now owe nearly £50 to Unicef in missed blog posts (the fundraising element of this blog) but I am sorry to say I spent that in The Body Shop on make-up in anticipation of my new job. I dont normally wear make-up but recently a few people have commented on how tired I look even when I am not tired – so basically my face is now old and tired. NOT a good look for starting a new job. So while I did baulk considerably at handing over a card to pay for beauty polyfilla, I considered it to be more of a long-term investment – even if I am tired on the inside the outside will declare ‘business as usual’.

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.

A bike in a midlife (plus a good excuse)

I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike….(so the song goes)

I am not talking about a pushbike, I am talking about one that goes brum, brum.

Unfortunately there is no parking near my new job and it would take me a while to get through the traffic in a car anyway before I even get to using the park and ride bus system. As there is a perfectly good motorcycle parking bay by the offices, it looks like I will be forced to ride a motorbike to work (plus I don’t need to do the school run anymore – although sidecars are an option).

So as we approach the milder months I will hopefully be dusting down my oversized motorbike jacket (which is so masculine I look like a dyke on a bike) and jumping on something that can make me nip round the traffic into time at all and park without the need to buy a ticket (just don’t tell my Mum).

I am quite excited and nervous about returning to bike riding but it’s all good in the midlife crisis hood….

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading.

Passionate about Health & Education (and feidup with the deficit)

Missed a blog post last night because I was trying to finish off my part-time work before I embark on a new full-time job, so another £1 in the Unicef pot.

I just spent an hour or so of my life watching Paxman’s interview with both Miliband and Cameron. I will be voting Labour in the elections so I found myself rooting for Ed and hoping Cameron’s rhetoric would be dismissed. While I believe Paxman gave Ed a far tougher ride than David, I believe Ed came across as genuinely passionate about making lives better in Britain, whereas David was tired, staid and maybe a bit too relaxed considering all his promises made at the last election were not met, in fact with some of them he did the complete opposite.

But aside from the EU, immigration and the bloomin deficit (I’m sure it’s always been there but it’s the new buzzword in the press and a good way for Tories to sugar up the bitter medicine of public sector cuts) I think that Labour’s pledge to protect spending in health and education is absolutely right. The Tories offer no such protection and that is not good enough.

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 

Yes to lost minutes

Saying ‘yes’ is catching up with me. Sometimes, if you write something down in a list it helps you to see that actually there isn’t that much to sort out, so here goes…

– do parish council minutes, email all partners re web links, start post box listing application, start handover document, do tweet schedule before leave, supervise daughter’s first tutor session, get children used to childminder through booking in time with her, get the working party for playground off the ground (Scuse the pun), go to first meet with new team, do medical questionnaire, get road closure for school fair booked, contact parish council re: using green for said fair, find out how much was raised through textile recycling at school, get November dinner and dance bash booked, set-up childcare voucher scheme, put for sale signs in husbands truck (to sell-off as no longer needs it and we need more cash), get Sailing sessions booked in over Easter, sort out childminders sessions walking the dogs……I’m sure there was something else…oh yes, train for the swimathon.

Everyone has lists like these as long as their arms(s) so no wonder we are all running around like headless chickens with our heads either stuck in a computer or behind a steering wheel. While saying yes has opened up so many experiences and opportunities, there are times when just the experience of taking stock will suffice.

My baby boy said to me earlier, “Mummy why don’t you stand still”. I am always saying to him “just a minute” when those minutes are all I, and anyone else for that matter, has got..

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading.

Plane mad for a lunchbag

I have just spent 30 minutes (or it seemed like that anyway) deliberating over which ‘Disney Planes’ lunch bag to get my son on Amazon. You would think it wouldn’t take more than 5 minutes….why do you need to read umpteen reviews on a bag’s ability to store a child’s lunch?- but you can’t help but get drawn in. Then there is the design, colours, size, capacity, durability (sad isn’t it). Then when you finally go for it and select the seller who is offering free postage, you find at checkout it adds another £3 for packing. By which point you have given up the will to live and press ‘complete order’ anyway.

The saga didn’t start on the Internet. No, this quest for the lunchbox began earlier today when I specifically drove to a supermarket because I had seen another branch selling them only to be told in this particular branch “they won’t be in stock til after Easter”. So I drive back through our local town and try no less than three shops, all of which don’t sell insulated lunch bags, let alone Planes ones. Then that was it, I was on a mission. I had said to baby boy he could have a Planes lunchbag, so he was going to get one……

I think I need to start work (or maybe it’s the guilt of starting full-time work that is making me become insanely focused on anything concerning the children) – yes I think that’s it.

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 

Uncharted waters…

Our boat is now on the water, in arguably one of the most beautiful spots on the South Coast. Compared to others moored nearby, it looks like a wind-up toy but we are boating on a budget so anything that float goes in our book. 

But it’s my daughter that already has ‘the bug’. Having helped us sometimes willingly and sometimes unwillingly on our boat, she is keen to get at the helm of a dinghy and has been studying the RYA handbook for children on sailing. So we decided we best get our money out and pay for a course. As it happens, the place we are now moored has its own sailing club. When I downloaded the membership form I noticed there had to be a ‘proposer’ and a ‘seconder’ which had to be people already in ‘the club’. This gave me the impression it was some old men’s club where you sit in Big chairs, drink brandy and smoke cigars. So, when we went down to the boat today, I noticed the clubhouse was open so decided to see how archaic it really is. I went up to the place that seemed to be most receptive to guests (where they were serving tea and cake) and as I started to explain my intentions a smiley lady putting milk in her tea, who had clearly just come off the water, remarked that her ears had been flapping when I came in and that she would be happy to talk to me as she is the memberships secretary.

She then proceeded to spend the next 40 minutes giving myself and my daughter a tour of the clubs facilities, the boats she could sail and details of all the events they have coming up. She couldn’t have been more welcoming and helpful and said not to worry about the proposer and seconder ‘it’s all old hat anyway’….phew! 

As she talked about the different boats and what my daughter could start doing on the water, my daughter’s eyes grew larger and larger. She desperately wants to start. Being a club I will have to pull my weight too to help her, so I am going to embark on a steep learning curve. I know how to tack up a horse, but rigging a dinghy? Cluelessmum.com

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading.

Life skills in theatre…well the worlds a stage

I had the pleasure of watching my daughter enjoy every single minute of her performance at her Theatre School. She was fab and not only that, every child shone and clearly enjoyed working as a team together on stage.

It is not just performing skills that my daughter is taking part in, but the feeling of camaraderie with her contemporaries and older children. The girl that won the talent contest got a big pat on the back from friends on stage as she finished her performance and every parent was clapping and whooping with gusto regardless of whether their child was in that particular performance or not.

It dawned on me that we all have the ability to share in one another’s achievements and those of our children and take pleasure in witnessing young people do things very, very well.

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 

Motivating a mule, marvelling at Mazda

Still struggling with the education battle. I want to look round an alternative school, hubby doesn’t. I wonder what it will take for him to consider other options, it’s got to the stage where I am actually willing bad shit to happen at the school to prompt him to grant his permission. I mentioned this to Mum and she commented that I was not the only woman in history that thinks up an idea and then has to wait for the man to adopt and claim the idea as his own before proceeding further, until then they are as stubborn as a mule with its feet set in concrete…..gaa! why do we have to dance to these male tunes all the time – drives me crazy ( and is very bad for my libido). I am one week away from growing armpit hair and burning my tiny bras – although not sure what that would achieve, but you get my drift.

As usual I am seeking solace in a book, this time it is a chance discovery in the school pta shed (I claimed it as a perk of volunteering – so did baby boy, who found a Boeing 737 toy going spare). The book is called ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ by Elizabeth Gilbert. It has sold over 6 million copies and is recommended by critics and celebs alike. Although sometimes I want to slap the author round the face and say ‘pull yourself together!’, I enjoy reading her travelling experiences (particularly as I am not well travelled) and the times when she broke down in tears on the bathroom floor (because it’s nice to know you are not the only one who loses it…..except I like to be in a slightly comfier situation). So if you want to read how one woman heals her wounded soul from the dents absorbed by pressured western life and a series of less than ideal relationships, then look no further.

If an alien had looked at our school this morning, it would have seen all the children and teachers looking up at the sky as if searching for something while clutching taped together cereal packets. After a few minutes of this, everyone walked back into the classroom – very bizarre behaviour indeed! The only way I knew something had happened was when my car lights automatically switched on as they would at dusk. While pupils were measuring temperature drops and deciphering bird movements, my good old Mazda was proof the eclipse had happened despite the sky being as thick as pea soup in clouds.

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading.