Monday, 30 November 2015

Is it a new moon ...

.. or am I just menopausal ? Well, as I'm past all that and the skies are too overcast to spot the moon I can't be certain it's either . Boy am I in a bad mood though.

And whilst I'm at it, who for f***s sake invented predictive text or whatever the hell it's called on a computer. Did I want to write 'cretinous' instead of 'certain' in that last sentence ?

So, another weekend has been and gone. Eldest's 21st and it was all going swimmingly ( although how H would know , I wouldn't know, as he was pretty much absent throughout ) until that is I decided to hoover up some of the mess last night - the usual birthday detritus - confetti, discarded wrapping , birthday cake crumbs. As the men in our house wouldn't know where the hoover is kept, it's always up to me to clear up. The plug I unplugged to plug in the hoover is next to the plug for the router. Identical coloured plugs, leads etc. I managed to pull out the router plug which has rendered our entire internet connection redundant. In most households this would simply involve re-pluuging the router with the possible inconvenience of having to type in the password to re-connect. Not in our house. The thing is on its last legs and H decided to opt for the cheapskate budget package which means that you only have to sneeze for connection to be lost and remain lost for about a fortnight.

Whilst everyone goes into meltdown at my stupidity and I quote here " Nobody would be that stupid as to  unplug the wrong plug"  clearly nobody as stupid except for cretinous me of course , I'm left apologising for getting on with the housework ( on a Sunday evening I might add whilst everyone else is vegging out ). By this time, I am now held responsible for the most heinous crime and my pathetic apologies are falling on deaf ears. I have clearly ruined everyone's lives from H, who now can't watch the remaining 29 hours of tennis that he's sat glued to all weekend, to youngest son who is attempting his homework at 9pm on a Sunday evening having promised me that he'd got it all done on Friday before going ice skating, to a party and out for lunch ... on both days of the weekend.

This tirade of abuse is brought on apparently because H is stressed ( must be all that sport , beer and telly ) and I am hell-bent on spoiling everything for everyone and did I have ANY IDEA as to what a total moron I'd been.

I retired to bed, comforted the cat who is sick and needs to be taken to the vets today ( that'll be my job then as no-one else can be arsed and I partly work from home which obviously doesn't count as a proper job despite the fact that I have to do it 7 days a week ).

This morning, I'll be filling the fridge with food, cooking dinner for anyone who bothers to turn up despite the fact that I'll be out teaching until 8.30 tonight whilst stressed out H attends another party, loading and unloading the dishwasher/ washing machine/ tumble drier, emptying the bins, clearing debris from the boys rooms and generally wondering why I allow myself to be treated like a doormat/mug... oh and squeezing in a trip to the vets  in between my job which isn't really a proper job because I partly work from home.

I'm going to invent a new word now and type it boldly so that f***ing predictive text memorises it for life. My new word is DOORMUG. Now every time I attempt to type words like dormouse, doorman or dormant it will remind me of how utterly cretinous and stupid I really am.

Monday, 23 November 2015

How to keep warm ... when you're husband decides to fiddle with the radiators

I write this from bitter experience. Husband decided to 'tinker' with a radiator on Friday . Never a good idea when the temperature outside has just plummeted by 10 degrees or more. I advised against it but this fell on deaf ears.

Husband informed me, after getting out his toolkit ( and no that is not a euphemism for anything rude sadly ) and poking at a radiator valve that was making a strange gurgling sound, that it was something to do with trapped air ( that IS a euphemism for something else ) .

Unsurprising therefore to discover that we had no heating the following morning, as the entire system decided to malfunction overnight and reduce the house to a scene from Frozen. With difficulty I refrained from uttering  'I told you so' and set about emergency measures ; retrieving ancient fan heater from attic, drawing all curtains and doubling up on layers.

It is now Monday morning and we've had no heating for 48 hours. It would seem that every boiler repair man is on triple time, booked until after Christmas or has left the country for warmer climes.
I'm therefore resorting to some handy hints for those married to the kind of husband that decides they're an expert on heating engineering at an inappropriate time of the year.

1. Your hairdryer is your new best friend - set it on HIGH heat and stick it up your jumper taking care not to singe your vest in the process.

2. Talking of vests - dig them out of the furthest reaches of your drawers and layer them up.

3. Cashmere would be nice, if unaffordable, so go for heat-trapping polyester instead and remember to stock up on deodorant at the next opportunity.

4. Open the fridge door occasionally and stick your head in - the 5 degrees of heat will be a welcome warm-up compared to the sub zero temperature of your kitchen.

5. Alternatively do a a lot of baking ( providing your cooker still works ) . I wouldn't advise sticking your head in , especially if its a gas oven. This may look a little desperate.

6. Make sure you're first in the queue for a shower in the morning. I write this having just stood under a cold trickle having been pipped to the post by all 3 men in our house. Having said that it was nice to feel the relative 'warmth' after  the cold water torture had stopped.

7. Pop outside occasionally for another warm up. If your BBQ is still in working order , have sausages for lunch and grill them for a very very very long time.

8. Wear you cat/s for an extra layer of warmth, they're covered in fur and  probably warmer than you. Do NOT let them get down from your lap.

9. In times of absolute desperation , warm your hands under a light bulb. Believe me , I have resorted to this.

10. Warn any visitors not to take their coats of when they arrive. They probably won't stay long so this is the ideal time to catch up on those 'must come round for a coffee' invites that have been stacking up in your diary.

If all else fails ,  as you sit shivering, because the cold has got into your bones and you feel like a polar explorer ( without the joy of seeing a single penguin or polar bear ) even though you are nowhere near a treadmill or a cross trainer ( swear words in our house ) , comfort yourself in the certain knowledge that you are burning calories like billy-oh whilst not even moving ... which will come in handy when you reach for another cup of hot chocolate.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Christmas Wishes

It seems a little trivial to be posting about something like Christmas in the light of what happened on the 13th November but maybe a little hope and faith in what should be a period of peace and joyfulness will go a little way towards restoring our faith in humanity.

Here is a sneak of my blog post for Hey Little Magpie using the fabulous Lizzie Mackay's adorable illustrations commissioned by the equally fabulous Pinkfresh Studios in their recent scrapbook collection called Christmas Wishes. There is something so beautifully clean, simple and naive about her drawings that makes my heart sing.

Please leave a comment here if you feel inspired !

Oh boy ... so much to say ...

... never enough time.

First things first - to all Parisiens and all those affected by the hideous events of the past weekend may I send my heartfelt condolences. However words are not enough and so I am endeavouring to find a way to put words into actions. It is not enough to simply feel sad and mourn those who lost their lives. We must all be part of the change.

Monday, 9 November 2015


If I had to think of one word that summed up this place it would be excess - of everything - food, noise, thrills, shops, rides. Not complaining , just saying. If you choose to go to Orlando , you know just what to expect and that is what you get in bucketfuls. I'm not sure I could live like that though , not without expecting to have a heart bypass within six months. But for a week long roller coaster ride of fun it is just perfect.

Highlights of our trip were the Kennedy Space Centre, our first french toast /cinnamon bun/bacon/waffle/pancake/hash browns breakfast at Perkins and seeing an alligator up close and personal. I showed my ignorance by shrieking 'Crocodile' but I think I got away without it. The boys' encounter in the Zombie Apocalypse shop where they nearly got shot whilst inadvertently wandering behind the counter thinking it was a glass-topped display cabinet, came a close second as did the bumper sticker reading "Keep honking, I'm re-loading" which needed explaining to me.

Or maybe I should include Cowfish in my top ten list - the restaurant bringing a whole new burger/sushi fusion cuisine to unsuspecting tourists ... or the fact that you could order a Fender Stratocaster on room service at the Hard Rock Hotel, complete with amp and headphones for you to pluck, Jimi Hendrix style, to your hearts content. And I really should give an honourable mention to The Cheesecake Factory whose portion sizes deserve a Guinness Book of Records inclusion - one slice of their Reece's Peanut Butter Chocolate cheesecake would feed a small family for a fortnight. And then of course there was the wobbly blue Jello, jostling for position in amongst the doughnut encased hot-dogs and luminous pink marshmallow fluff on the buffet counter at Ponderosa's Steakhouse.

Decisions, decisions. Our days seems to drift from one dining experience to the next , sandwiched in between by a quick burst on the adrenaline pumping, music-thumping 80mph Rip Ride Rockit at Universal Studios or Der Stuka at Wet and Wild Water Park -a free falling vertical drop into a watery abyss -  never a good idea on a full stomach but we survived ... breakfast intact.

And then there was the shopping. You can segway your way around one of their supermarkets or walk the equivalent of a half marathon, end to end and still barely scratch the service. Needless to say , I did my fair share of craft supply shopping which was sheer heaven.

Ready for take-off

 Rocket Park at Kennedy Space Centre

crocodile alligator

Rock on

This defeated all four of us

 So good to be able to see the horizon at sunrise

Cool Shades

Looky Likey ?

 Choices ... choices

Ubiquitous Palms

Apollo Heaven 

Ron Jon's Surf Shop - surf and skate paradise at Cocoa Beach

Minnion Mayhem


I would happily do it all over again but next time, I'd bring an extra suitcase and ask for a doggy bag.

Today ...

... I have been mostly creating seagull poo - not literally but using a sheet of white vinyl and my Silhouette Cameo cutter and a handful of Sharpies. All will be revealed !