A brief spattering

We had a little bit of snow, not much at all, enough to create much excitement!

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It’s the fastest I’ve ever managed to get the little lady out of bed! She spent ages in the garden playing with the snow before school.  The little man is not so keen but got carried away by his sisters enthusiasm.

The school run was a trauma, the council don’t grit the road leading to school and its rather steep in places.  We had icy conditions with cars sliding and traffic backed up rather fast.  It was my day for traffic management, so I left my car at the top of the hill and walked down with the smalls. I was pleased I did! Ours is only a small school but everyone drops off in 20 minutes, its usually a well oiled machine but ungritted roads are a bit of a nightmare. A little bit of snow causes so much havoc in the UK but I still love it to bits!

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We had to pause to take a picture of the snowdrops, it’s become rather a tradition, the first flowers poking their head out after the dullness of December, it’s the hope of new life they bring.  We stop, huddled together and proclaim over them every year.  Beautiful.

I hope you are staying warm and safe and enjoying the snow (or your own weather) wherever you are!!

Do that thing!

You know that thing, when you stop doing something you once did. You stop doing it for so long that it becomes almost impossible to start again, yet you want to start again but for what ever reason you feel you can’t. That.

All the reasons stream around your head; I can’t just now, I’m too tired/brain fogged/have nothing to say/busy/have nothing to say/out of practice/have still more nothing to say…

If you love doing something enough, you know you will come back to it when the time is right, yet that is an excuse too, it’s not the right time.

Such is my relationship with this little bloggy thing.

it’s been such a long time (over a year, yet I wasn’t very good at it before that.) I feel rusty, I still don’t have much to say and yet so much! it’s been a very big year, lots of ups and many many downs, life changes, learning curves, the road has been bumpy with cow sized pot holes.  I stopped talking and sharing somewhere along the way, I abandoned twitter, couldn’t manage more that naff facebook updates. I stopped writing, the stream of images in my head dried up. There was nothing but cotton wool and tinnitus.

Just sitting here shows me how far I have come in the last few months.

Perhaps its time. Perhaps not, I’m nervous. WordPress looks different, I feel out of my depth, the number of times I have said to myself “will you just get bl**dy on with it woman!”

So I took a deep breath and opened up this page and just started spewing type at it, which is pretty much all I ever did anyway. Perhaps I won’t say another thing until January 2016, perhaps I will find myself here again tomorrow. I really don’t know! I guess, like the rest of my road to recovery, its all about pacing, about taking one day at a time, about feeling my way.

It’s all about me!!!

*sniggers*

2014? No, seriously?

So here we all are, 2014…. It’s well underway already and has started well in our little corner of the world. So far, we are doing okay. *touch wood*

The year of the Horse… The international year of family, farming and crystallography!

The year is unfurling in front of us, as it always seems to do once you get past silly season. We have thought about holidays, discussed caravans and cars, locations. Got confused about where the first week of summer should be spent (Cornwall or Wales, I’d like to do both but they are both happening the same week!) Considered plans for evening entertainments, It seems that the small people are of a ‘scouting’ age. I’ve signed the little lady up for Brownies and the little man is chatting about beavers, he’s still a little young but almost there. The little lady is practicing hard for her Orange belt, the grading is set for April, she and himself have bought a kick bag to practice with.

I’m thinking of ‘sausage inna bun’ nights and perhaps a souper Sunday get together! I’m looking forward to a party in March for a 60th and wondering if himself and I might get the prospect of a child free weekend and if so, what to do.

Chinese New Year is almost upon us, one of the little ladies close friends is from China, in past years we have had parties and lanterns, red envelopes and Chinese crafts. It’s always a fun time.

2014 sees the approach of the Winter Olympics, a firm favourite in this house, especially the skeleton. The smalls loved the 2012 Olympics and all the excitement it generated. It will be their first Winter Olympics they are old enough to watch and enjoy. Russia is a fascinating place, I’m looking forward to discussions of culture, vodka, weather and much more as I’m sure there will be topics at school and much coverage.

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Pancake day seems late this year, march 4th, we don’t need an excuse for pancakes in this house, we love them, I think we may have to do a few trial runs 😉

And soon, before we know where we are, the snowdrops will raise their gentle heads, followed by crocuses, then daffodils….

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Some friends of our left for the US of A today, there have been tears. I’ve managed to hold back the floods in the face of my friends wobbly lipped braveness but the little lady has balled her heart out. We’ve installed skype on my iPad so she can gossip to her friend across the Atlantic. I have put CST time into my world clock, I can tell we are going to have some issues explaining that one! Anyway… We wish them well on their adventure and we will see you soon!

Come dine with us….

We don’t do many dinner parties. My minimal cooking ability fell into disgraceful disrepair when I married a man who eats for fuel not pleasure, we also set up home together a long way from anyone we knew and then proceeded to be antisocial (at best) together, again due to location and work etc…. When the children came along I did meet some lovely ladies and started being social locally but the men never really meshed. I was also deeply ashamed of my thrown together kitchen which had 3 different styles of unit. Not ideal to invite someone to your home and then feel you have to apologise for its dilapidation.

So, I’m a shocking cook, a shocking house wife, can’t organise my way out of a paper bag….
The excuses we give ourselves to not make an effort… Shameful!

Just recently though, we have found ourselves in a fabulous social circle, more by luck than judgement to be honest and the amazingly welcoming people who seem to enjoy our company keep inviting us to their lovely homes. Payback is of course a pleasure to provide; but I’m reet rusty on being hostess and have a propensity to burn water.

And a little scared to be fair….

With all bullets to bite, starting somewhere needs to happen. So Friday evening we invited some friends and their daughter to dinner. On the way home we were discussing the coming evening and I said to their little girl “You are coming to ours for dinner but you are going to have to cook it yourself,” the look I got was priceless! “No!” She said, at which point my girl started dancing around in glee “cook it ourself?!” She giggled “Oh! Are we using that grill thing?” “Yes! We are going to have Raclette.”

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One of our fondest memories of our skiing holidays is the Raclette evenings. Friends all sitting around a large table in a chalet in La Clusaz. A roaring fire in the corner, wine flowing, filling our little dishes with food and popping them under the grill, the meat sizzling on the top, more wine, loads of laughter… Lovely!

My husbands favourite part was the Tartiflette, a Haute Savoie dish comprising of potatoes, bacon, onions, Reblochon cheese and cream. (Here’s mine ready for the oven)

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We also had veggies and pickles to cook.

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And a selection of meats; steak, turkey, chicken and salmon (although I ate my salmon raw, I really can’t resist raw salmon!)

It was a really lovely evening with mini pavlovas for pudding, coffee and chocolate to follow. I know I certainly had a great time! I hope our guests did too, even if they did have to cook their own food!

And so, will we be opening our rusty hinged doors to friends again? You betcha!

Sleepless in…. just about anywhere!

Sleep, the final frontier….

These are the voyages of a mother of two small people, a nearly seven year (ongoing) mission to explore a new world, to seek out a safe and happy life, to boldly go where almost every mother has been before but you just never would have believed them if they had told you; and even if you did your hormones would have made you do it anyway.

My sleep pattern pre kids was so good. I got tired, I lay down, I read a bit, I fell asleep, the alarm went off, I got up. 8+ hours every night happy as larry. During my first pregnancy that all changed. As a hugely preggers lady I could never get comfy, at 38 weeks through to 42 weeks (yes, two weeks late) my bladder had so little space I was up to pee every few hours. Then there were the seemingly endless nights of feeding, in fact, until my son (second baby) started sleeping through the night at about 2ish (it might have been later, it’s all a blur) I was up with one or other of them every night. By the time they were sleeping well my own pattern seemed set in, ruined, insomniac incorporated. It’s been nearly seven years and I can honestly say I might sleep through one night out of seven, maybe, if I’m lucky.

I’m in tune with them still, if they murmur in their sleep, I’m awake. If a door creaks – usually the cat, I’m awake. Smells drifting through the window will wake me. Mr. K.s alarm going off any time from 2.30am – 6am and never at a regular time doesn’t help in the slightest. I just wake. All the time.

And once I’m awake, I’m awake for two, sometimes three hours…

I have mentioned in the past my under active thyroid, when it plays up it scrambles what little brain I have left.  A few years ago I was pleading with my endocrinologist to help me gain back some cognitive thought and clear out the cotton wool that is my prime symptom (there are many others) and he said:

“The thing is Mrs K. I don’t think your thyroid is playing up at all, I think you are chronically sleep deprived.” And just like that, the building blocks of thought connected in my brain and I could see I have an issue. Chronic sleep deprivation… Try and find a way to sleep better he said. Easier said then done quite frankly.

Recently I had an email from a nice PR person saying Hi, did you sleep well last night? I said out loud “Sleep? Remind me what that is?” out loud. So, that means no… They asked me to fill out a questionnaire and perhaps try a sleep accessory, its seems the very lovely people at Silentnight Beds had a few ideas they’d like us lack-of-sleepers to try, I was all for it!

Dutifully, I filled out my questionnaire, explaining my sleep pattern or lack of it and my use of ear plugs now the children are old enough to fetch me if they need me and they sent me a gift to try, to see if sleep accessories can aid sleep.

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Nice huh? and it smells divine! All warm and comforting, just the sort of fragrance you can snuggle into.

So, I’ve been spraying it on my linen for a week and seeing how it goes, making sure I try and get to bed about the same time. I usually have a hot cup of tea as I find this soothes me too, then I will play mind numbing games on my ipad for 20 minutes and settle down to sleep.

As ever, getting to sleep the first time is not a huge issue, I drift off quite fast. But there has been two outcomes of note since I started using the spray. The first being that over a period of seven days, if I wake, I snuggle into the lovely smell and drift back off, even if I have to get out of bed to pee (which always meant in the past I was looking at a long waking period). The smell has become a mental signal for me that I still need to sleep. This is going to prove interesting when the school run commences next week!

I am sleeping longer, 3 nights I slept through to 6.30 without being disturbed at all!

I’m a little fuggy in the mornings; but then I’m NOT USED to sleeping!

Which brings me to the other outcome of note.  Which is a purely personal issue.  The spray doesn’t like me.   It seems I’m ‘intolerant’ of it; something in it’s ingredients has triggered the reaction in my muscles that I usually have for a gluten overload or food poisoning.  I’ve been through my food and drink intake carefully and I can’t lay it at any other door. This saddens me a bit as it does smell dreamy.

But! It has got me thinking… If I can train my mind to recognize another smell as meaning it’s time to sleep, something without the unreadable words in the list of ingredients and keep a spritz bottle beside the bed, perhaps I can achieve the same results?

Gotta be worth a try! Anyone know what I could use? (Mr. K is allergic to lavender btw)

Of sneezes, wheezes, wine & dining… And a lot of mess.

It’s been a funny old fortnight… Highs and lows. The highs being good feedback at parents evening *beams* and a marvellous night out, with great people, at a school fundraising evening. There was curry, wine and a quiz, such fun. The lows being a week spent fighting a very nasty flu like virus, fortunately just me (so far)! Another low is the ongoing battle against the sprawl of mess.

I’m one of life’s bohemians, (apparently) with an ‘artistic temperament’ I have a very relaxed attitude to most things… I don’t follow fashion; can’t be bothered mostly but I’m not good at following the herd. I don’t alway spot the social/political nuances of life, you can call a spade whatever you like, it digs stuff… I see everyone as humans rather than their position, job or origins, after all, everyone has their worth and we all s**t. I’m a bit lacksidaisical about keeping my world organised to say the least (personally I put that down to having very little brain, a bit like pooh bear…) I’m also easily distracted…

Oh! Shiny!!!!

Where was I…

Yes, the mess…

I do struggle to keep my house in order, Ive always been proudly “not a domestic goddess”. I’m hopeless at tidy, oblivious to dust, every flat surface requires clutter and not in a good way. Why should I cook and clear up when I can clear up tomorrow, or the next day…. Maybe.

The inner conflict I’m facing now is many fold. Firstly, how does a naturally untidy person encourage her children to keep their toys tidy? I’ve tried asking them to at least keep the floor clear for emergencies, we have threatened to throw it all out in bin bags. Today I resorted to offering money, I thought this was working until just now when I realised they are playing, not tiding. Hmmmmm….

Which comes to the second issue. It’s probably old age (rolls eyes) but I’m starting to find the clutter hard to live with… This. Is. A. Disaster.

The biggest turmoil I have, is dealing with the fact that everyone else’s mess, care, living space, order etc is my world. Himself and I agree that it’s best for the small people if I am available to them 24 hours a day… And I generally am (unless rare socialising is undertaken for my sanity.) I’m not saying he doesn’t get to be at their beck and call too, he does! But it’s my general feeling that the day to day mess and muck-shovelling of running the house should fall upon me as the stay-at-home-mum. This is where I run around frantically, melodramatically pulling on my hair, shouting “I fail! I fail!!”
Of course I’m not doing that at all, I’m sitting on my bed, calmly, blogging on my iPhone rather than washing up the lunch things or tackling the ironing mountain.

*sigh*

Of course, as ever, the only point to this blogging thing is to get the mess out of my head so I can laugh at myself tomorrow. It works generally…. It’s a shame I can’t blog the mess out of my house!

And now I’m done, I’m going to bash some pans in the kitchen and look efficient. While I’m doing that I shall chuckle aloud at the fact that if my step mother ever reads this she would be muttering about ‘comeuppance’ and the odd ‘I told you so’ and probably giggling….

Buzzzzy!

When my crochet teacher Ali asked me why I wanted to learn to crochet my answer was two fold (although I ramble rather, so here’s the potted answer) Firstly, it’s always annoyed me that I couldn’t. People say it’s easier than knitting but picking up a crochet book and trying to work through the diagrams is a nightmare… Secondly, I wanted to make things. Toys mostly but blankets and hats, scarves and other things. Things that can travel to the caravan for crafting in the evenings, perhaps something to pop on a table at school fates to see if anyone is gullible erm lovely enough to buy them…

Crochet has more than lived up to my expectation. It’s fun and can be quick to produce something, like my first toy project!

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A bee! Surprise surprise! I’m very pleased with it *grins* many more to come I hope!

Moving On

2012… Is it done yet? I’ve had enough of it….

For me personally, this year has been without growth, I’ve taken many backward steps. It’s been rocky and those rocks are precipices through my soul and mind. I’m so lucky I have the support of my husband, a doctor who is fairly human and empathetic, the sensible guidance of friends and the devoted love of my children because I’ve flailed about so much in this ill wind called life this year that, without them I would have been lost.

Anyways, in true me fashion I’m very pleased that I can now see the forest for the trees, think a little bit more clearly, look forward to 2013 and move on… I’m trying to see 2012 with a positive light, good stuff did happened I just haven’t had a brain to share it!

10 of ‘The Good Stuff’ (in no particular order)

1) We got a caravan! …and we all love it!
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2) I grew a Pumpkin.
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3) The little man finished nursery and went to school.
4) Himself became a bee keeper.
 
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5) The small people started to play independently in the early hours of the weekend rather than requiring parental input 😉
6) I realised a creative writing publishing ambition.
7) We had a lovely summer school holiday.
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8) I’ve done their christmas shopping already!
9) I managed to do crochet (Thanks to @crochetali)
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10) My sleep pattern is not so crazy mad!
 

I know there is more good stuff, much more to think about in quiet moments and smile about. Long summer days (yeah, it rained muchly) of playing. Escaping with a friend to chat and share life. Wine. More Wine….

So here’s to 2013 as it creeps up on us amid the nativity, carols, chocolate, baileys, crackers, turkey and the magic of Christmas. I’m looking forward to a fun packed, healthy, hearty, trouble free year with much laughter and maybe a bit more blogging? That would be a good thing, I think.

 

Pussycat pussycat, where have you been!!

You know those times when you know something just happened, feel it in your boots but without actually seeing proof you have to shrug and get on with life?

The school my daughter goes to is 5 minutes away by car. It’s a small village school, the parking is terrible. In the mornings they run a stop and drop so we don’t have to park, just drive up and the smalls get out and go in. They can do this in the evening so we park at the top of the hill and charge down a quiet lane to get to school. It’s really steep and has worked wonders on my glutes 😉

Fellow Instgramers will know where I mean as I’ve taken many pictures on the school run.

Thursday night, collecting my girl, I parked up in the usual spot. Turning off the car I heard a funny noise. I was a little early so I was sitting fiddling with my phone as is my wont. I heard the noise again so I got out and looked under the car, nothing there! One of the other Mum’s asked me what I was doing so I explained “I thought I heard a cat, I must be going mad!” School pick up continued and when we got back up the lane there was no noise, no cat, nothing. We came home.

Later that evening my moggy, Pippa, came in soaking wet and fed up, she’s not keen on coming in but it’s been very wet. My husband and I shouted and shouted for our other cat Sophie but she didn’t come. She’s a creature of comfort and is usually in when it rain. Sophie also has a second home 4 doors up the road where she often spends the day curled up in their greenhouse; naturally we thought she must have found a warm spot and fallen asleep, she’s getting a bit scatty with age.

This morning it was pouring with rain, I mean sheets of the stuff, it did all night too. As Friday is not a Nursery day for my son, I let my daughter have the choice of stop and drop or parking and walking. She does like to be walked down to the classroom and taken in so even though we were going to get soaked we opted to park up and walk. I’m sure if you are a Mum doing a school run, you know how it goes.

1) Park Car
2) Wait for traffic to ebb to get out.
3) Get round to nearside then start yelling at the kids to “Unbuckle, get out, don’t forget your coat/bookbag/lunchbox, get a move on, don’t hit your sister, you can do your own zip” whatever…

At this point, although I was being really loud myself, I could here loud and sorrowful mews from the bushes at the side of the road. I called out “Sophie!” but there was no response, so I bustled the smalls off down the lane to school saying “We will have a proper look when we get back.”

On return to the car, my son said, “There’s something under the car Mummy!” and low and behold, the cat, our cat Sophie, stuck her very wet head out from under the car! She was really pleased to see us! I managed to scoop her up by her scruff (shes not that keen on being picked up) and we all got in the car.

She obviously knew she needed to behave because she sat next to my son on the back seat all the way home!

Daft Mog!

The trouble is I have no idea where she hid under the car to manage to ride so far relatively safely, shes completely unharmed. I really hope she doesn’t do it again!

Bluebell Wood

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We are heading off on a round robin of visits this weekend, it occurred to me that I might just need to take my phone. Modern technology is so incredible isn’t it.

So, this is a bit of a test post and a bit of a ‘I love Bluebells post’.

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Now I shall run off to the lap top and see if it works….