Reduce, Reuse, Recycle…

Peppa Pig just reminded me that I wanted to join in with the Kindness Club’s post about Recycling this week…

I know that many countries are not so good about Recycling as ours, here in West Wiltshire we have a green bin for garden waste and a black bin for household waste, a recycling bin for tins, cans, bottles, paper, foil and old rags all collected from the curb and we have to take the cardboard and plastic bottles to the tip which also recycles most other household items safely such as old TV’s, fridges, furniture etc.

There is also a very active Free Cycle on line where you can place unwanted items for somebody to collect, along with the sunday Car Boot Sales which are also recycling really – there is very little you can not recycle here..

The Recycling lobby seems to have pitched it’s message at the younger generation with CBeebies the BBC’s under 6 channel practically brain washing children to Reduce Reuse Recycle as Bob the Builder tells us.

We join in and do our bit, the smalls both help flattening cardboard or bagging plastic bottles.

Our favourite recycling is the Scrap Store.

The scrap store is a charity that gather waste products donated from local companies, items which would be waste ordinarily but can be used by children to stick and glue, make something new. We get a bag to fill up and get shiny paper, bottle tops of varying kinds, felt, wool, paper, card – all sorts of wonderful stuff. The biggest problem with this is trying to think what to make with it all!

We have made many Christmas decorations, a shiny wind mobile, people puppets out of old thread cones and loads of collages.It is a real adventure to go and see what you can find as it is very different every time, they also do an out reach program bringing scrap out to the towns and villages and involving children in making play – it’s fab!

The best thing we ever had from the scrap store is a piece of floor lino which we put on the wooden coffee table or carpet to make our surfaces a little bit safer!

There are scrap stores all over the UK, Google them they are really great 😀

Things your parents say…

You know those moments when you suddenly realise why your parents nagged you about things so much…

There were a few rules in my Mum and step Fathers house which caused some hilarity and tension at the time but now I can put my hand up and say – Yes! you were right…

We were not allowed salt on our food, it was apparently used in the cooking and our food therefore required no further seasoning.

Toilet paper was on ration, we were only supposed to use two pieces, which I imagine was fine for the boys but not so good for us girls…

We had to be on time, on pain of Death…

As I am now the adult (allegedly) I can appreciate that with a house full of teenagers some rules had to exist or the hell that broke loose with alarming frequency would have been too terrible to live with…

I don’t cook with salt. I might if a recipe demands it put a little in but it is rare, we also don’t add it to our food.  Like all things it has it’s place, in moderation…

I’m always surprised how quickly toilet paper just vanishes in our house, now the little lady is using the loo a roll can go in a morning – I kid you not!  I questioned how much paper she was using and she said the ladies at nursery said “you have to use lots and lots” I told her that was fine at nursery but at home you “just use 4 pieces” and smiled quietly to myself at how generous I am.

Here in blighty we are into the school holidays and I thought having the smalls with me all week for 6 weeks would be a tough call, since May I have started to enjoy a little me time each week, so far though it has been really great and it has made me realise what a slave to the clock mornings are.

Instilled from an early age never to be late, it causes a mild panic in me if it looks like we are not going to be on time. I’m the woman that turns up to the airport 2 hours before the check in desk opens so I can be happy we got there – well, traffic can be terrible you know…  Getting ready for nursery with a two and three year old takes organisation and persuasion and shouting, well mostly shouting..

But I hate being late and would prefer to be early…

Last week was a dream, no nursery to rush about to get too, no appointments our playdates were both at 10am and when you have been up by 5am that really wasn’t that hard…  I might even be looking forward to the next 5 weeks….

Image from Flickr Creative Commons by Cristian V – Fourteen Past Ten

Everyday, I love you..

I have been struggling with the last few weeks of the Kindness Club, not because I don’t say sorry (week 6) because I do frequently and I do try and use my mobile with respect to others (week 7) (I haven’t made a phone call outside my house for about 3 weeks!) But because I have terrible memory retention and just can’t call up examples of things like this happening to me, I know they have but I get brain blur,  I’m struggling to complete the “It seemed like a good idea at the time” meme too for just this reason…

Complimenting people everyday is a toughy too, in my life as a stay at home Mum I don’t see a huge amount of folk, I don’t deal with crowds and noise well so playgroups are difficult for me, a lot of the ladies I met when the children were born have gone back to work in some form but I admit that I am happy with my own company and could do more to interact with people if I wished.

There are two people in my life who I believe in complimenting at every opportunity,  every success no matter how small, every picture, every dance, every song… “Well done, what a fantastic picture” “Brilliant eating!”  I tell my children every chance I get, “You are beautiful and I love you”.

This, as any mother will appreciate is harder than you would think, my daughter at 3 and a half thinks it’s ok to do what she wants even when told other wise and my son at 2 does whatever his sister tells him, in between tantrums and naughtiness, exploring and jumping down the stairs (from the middle), my saying “no!” a zillion times a day, my trying to calmly explain to someone screaming in my face that ice cream is not suitable for breakfast, dealing with a full on steaming nappy at 5am with matchstick keeping my eyes open, daddy bellowing because someone is too loud, too bossy, throwing stones in the pond, talking with their mouth full etc (he only has two settings 1.calm 2.bellowing very loudly) It’s a wonder that any compliments come their way at all!

But of course they do and I try and only say it when I mean it which is often, because they are beautiful and I love them.

Foot note:- I have been paying compliments to all sorts of people I have met/chatted to this week more in keeping with Susie’s idea but this was the post that “wanted” to be written, whats a girl supposed to do 😀


You are beautiful by Curiousillusion on Flickr

Stress reduction kit by Progamwitch on Flickr

Old Tales

This week I had a bit of trouble with The Kindness Club suggestion of visiting the Elderly, not because I don’t actually know any one Elderly enough in my community to foist myself and the smalls on for half an hour, although that is true, but because until recently I had my own special elderly couple to visit, my grandparents.

I used to take the children to visit Nana and Gramp every couple of weeks. Before the smalls came along and I worked in the area they lived I used to pop in for lunch on Fridays.  It didn’t take a lot to set them off on a tale or two about the war or the family and I would sit and listen, fascinating stuff. I would give a fair amount to be able to sit with them for a little while again.

Sadly they have both gone now, Gramp at 91 4 years ago and Nana at 93 2 years ago, I miss them very much, often.

A soon as I get my lappy back I shall pop in a picture.

Mummy Role Model

Week 3 of the Kindness Club

Yea! I’m a model!

Imagine me with my 6ft graceful and painfully thin frame gliding down the catwalk in Jimmy Choos swishing my perfectly straight long hair and gazing seductively through my almond doe eyes *POP* whoops the bubble just burst!

Not that kind of model, I’m a role model, almost everything my toddlers have learned I have taught them to some degree, I taught them to wave, to clap, to coast the furniture, to walk, to talk and it’s also up to me and of course Daddy to make sure they learn how to behave in society.

A small part of that behaviour is politeness in requesting things with a please and then showing gratitude with “thank you”, a small part perhaps but it’s like a cog that keeps everything around them turning. I seem to be constantly reminding my daughter “magic words” or “ask me again, you missed something” or standing there with her desired object looking expectant until she remembers what I need from her.   At 3.5 she is actually pretty good at getting it right and I put this down to the fact that whenever we are out together interacting with other people I’m pretty good at it too!

Our little man just recently turned two, he is slower to talk than our daughter at the same age and sometimes slower to grasp what is expected of him which some how makes it all the more of an achievement when he screws his eyes up tips his head to one side and says “eeeeeeeese!” when he wants something and it warms my heart every time I get “an-koo Mummy”

At the ages they are now saying please and thank you are a constant lesson so trying to do it more often was difficult!

It did remind me of our trip to America a few years ago where I found that the differences in culture were never more pronounced then in asking for things in shops and cafes, queuing up for coffee one day I was surprised  to listen to the people in front of me asking “Can I get a coffee” “Can I get a do-nut” etc it was the same thing over & over, then they would pay and leave. I have noticed it on the TV in shows since too, it seems to be a normal way to ask for things over there (please correct me if I’m wrong).   I got to the front of the queue and said my usual “Please may I have 2 coffees” you should have seen the grin on the servers face (his name badge said he was from Australia – all staff at the resort had badges with there name home town and country) maybe he fancied me 😉 I’d like to think it was because I said Please.

So this week as  well as remembering to use my P’s & Q’s, reminding the smalls to use theirs, I have tried to listen to see if others do here in my small corner of Blighty – it’s disappointing isn’t it. *shakes head ruefully* it doesn’t take a lot to be polite….


From Flikr by Spider blue, End of coffee break

Disarming Sympathy

Week two of The Kindness Club, this weeks task was to smile at a stranger at least once a day, although a brilliant idea for us all, any time it has been like a weapon in my arsenal this week…

Last Sunday morning, my two little terrors were being their usual selves, running up and down finding all the noisy tuneful toys and chucking things about liberally, like any morning really but last Sunday was the Chinese Grand Prix. One of the only GP’s which is on quite so early in the morning and Daddy had got up for it – it’s the only sport he really follows, there is no football and rarely rugby in our house, so I took the smalls upstairs to have a loll about in Mummies bed.

We were having lovely cuddles when the little man decided to start jumping around, I was in the process of asking him to stop when he lost his balance and jumped backwards smashing the back of his head into my face – my word that hurt!

He caught me just above the right eye on the brow bone, (after I stopped crying) I applied a bag of frozen sweetcorn and spent the next couple of hours sitting like that with my head feeling like it was about to split open, it is still tender a week later, the result of this clash was a bright red, large black eye for Mummy and a bewildered little man who must have a very hard head!

So, Monday morning, I took my daughter to nursery as usual, large black eye and a jolly smile fixed on my face deflecting the looks of sympathy, curiosity or disapproval – yes! Disapproval! what are people like!

The nursery staff asked me what had happened and so did my good friends husband dropping off his son and I could see they believed me. Of course then I had to do shopping, the lady in the bakery who is usually friendly wouldn’t meet my eye but everyone else looking at me got a blazing hot smile, teeth the works and it seemed the best policy because most people smiled back and stopped looking.

The rest of the week continued in much the same way, anyone I knew asked, everyone else stared and was then disarmed – result for me but perhaps not the one Susie was after *giggles*

Sink or Swim? No Wallow!

This is my first prompted blog – thanks to Susie at the Kindness Club for reminding us we all need me time.

I once told my Mother ” we have a great life style, it would be great to share that with a child”  she smiled at me but didn’t say anything, of course what she should have said was “you can kiss that great lifestyle goodbye once you have less income and a baby to look after!” I would never have believed her though, I don’t think anyone really grasps the impact a child makes on your life.  Of course it’s all worth it, they are fabulous but they do encroach on your “me” time somewhat and for the first 3 years (or so) at the end of the day you are too seriously tired to want to do anything but sleep.  Without a constant supply of babysitters near by you are tied to your little darlings every one of their waking moments no matter when that might be…

So what was that me time of old?

In my twenties I had a hectic social life, I worked in hotels and socialized with the staff at any available hour off shift, I lodged with some great people my age and there was lots of going out and about, I took up skydiving for a few years which tied up many weekends camping at the DZ and that is where I met my husband.  Once we moved in together things did slow down of course, we were in a new town and I was commuting to work, he would go out every Thursday night and I would have a quiet night with an indulgent curry and a chick flick.

I loved books, demolishing my way through 2 or 3 a week barely able to exist without some story of sci fantasy or passion winding it way through my brain, baby brain put paid to that, although I am pleased to say that I have recently experience a resurgence in the reading department.

I used to cross stitch too, that started on the DZ waiting for the wind to drop or the clouds to raise enough to jump, there are after all only so many parachutes that need packing at any one time.

I have never been a beauty salon babe, I love saunas, steam rooms and swimming, Bath Thermea Spa is paradise on earth for me and yet in my pre children life when I had the free time I didn’t  indulge that often, I had no need.

We bought our hot tub when we were DINKY’s, It was one of those things that we really wanted but normally would never have justified but my husband had a small lottery win and we thought why not… Thing is with the rise of Electricity costs and the reduction in available time we invariably shut it down from November to April every year even though it’s a really pleasant experience to be outside in the hot tub in the cold, especially surrounded by snow…

So the me time of now? That would be anytime spent without any noise or worry, rare indeed!

Last weekend, whilst constructing my new vegetable boxes for our “where does my food come from” garden the husband said “Why don’t you fire up the tub?”  I didn’t need to be told twice.  Little Miss and I washed it out and filled it up.

The tub takes 24hrs to heat up to 37 degrees, which is about time the chlorine takes to wear off from the first “flash” then you have to balance the ph so it’s safe, we usually use bromide when the smalls are getting in too.  So it wasn’t until Monday night it was ready and by then I’d forgotten about it – dafty!

Tuesday, little miss and I had a good splash in the afternoon whilst Daddy was back at his boxes and little man was asleep, later that night Daddy and I had a relaxing soak together once the smalls were in bed.  It is sooo good for a marriage to have some time together where you can’t watch mindless car programs, you are not stuck with your head in the lap top tweeting or blogging and there are no smalls demanding attention, in the tub we have to sit and read, sit and talk or sit and do the stuff married couple forget to do once they are not courting anymore ;-P

In the interest of Susie’s Kindness club I have made sure that I have chilled out in the hot tub every night this week, either with himself or just me and a book, no other reason you understand…. And it’s been REALLY hard to do, (not).

Thanks Susie!