Staring at a blank page again…

Its time for a mind ramble..

It’s not like I haven’t tried to write, although to be fair to me (which I do try to do, even with a propensity to be too hard on myself.) life moves so fast and I’m often pulled in so many directions that my head spins.  As each day closes I remind myself to feel blessed that I reached the end of it with everyone I love safe and well. Compared to this, this full life of “stuffs” the need to write is just a niggle which I file mentally under “Things to do next week” along with printing off my endless back log of digital photos and actually doing some housework.

Sometimes the niggle is louder, so I muse on Facebook. Short, sharp often humorous (I hope) status updates observing the latest thing to tickle my fancy, the niggle is short-lived, easily placated and gets burried as I’m pulled into the next thing, endless refereeing, creating culinary masterpieces (scoffs loudly) school runs, evening clubs (theirs not mine, I have no social life!), preparing for trips, ironing work clothes, watching them display their latest achievements on the trampoline… and I do so love it all. It’s good this life. A pause button would of course make it better.

Today I find myself with a little extra time due to school play rehearsals, so I thought, get on with it, and then I thought, I have nothing to say. This discussion has ended my writing aspiration so many time I can not even begin to calculate, it may even have happened daily since my last post… Today I decided I would tell you this. Which makes today a very different day indeed.

In most respects its been a very normal Wednesday! I get more head space on Wednesdays as a rule, the small people have a woodland wander to school which means I get to drop them off earlier. After a brief logistical chat with one of my most fabulous friends, about various to-ings and fro-ings of children I headed home to coffee and i-pad time before work. I work part-time and this morning was a quiet one with friendly customers and chats about camping, puppies and the inability of any human to multitask. After work I wandered through the town running the odd errand, indulging on my favourite pass time of saying hello and exchanging news with people I know, spreading smiles. I was even brave enough to say hello to someone I thought I recognised from Instagram! (It was her too! which is even lovelier.) On arriving home I was greeted as usual by the black and white ninjacat, aka Twinkle, who has mellowed with age to being passably polite to most people and occasionally loving towards me, the food provider. Lunch was an indulgence of goats cheese and chorizo and then I found myself facing the dilema – I could clean/wash/iron/vacumn/sort/tidy etc or I could crochet/sew/read/game etc or I could write…. Guess what won.

Life changes.  Gone is the need to tweet to maintain adult contact in a world filled with nappies and peppa pig. No more, the desire to invite the world of the internets to know my every movement and dinner, it seems.  I never was one for selfies.  The daughter (now 10, I know, when the hell did that happen!) is adverse to my sharing her picture or doings on a web site (and I repect that) so any drivel I do splash onto this page about the smalls needs permission, although its usually granted.  The cats, adoreable as they are, are much the same as anybody elses. I never did write much about Mr. K as it would end up being a moan (possibly) and I’m much too loyal to mouth off so publicly about his good self.  I find myself a little bereft of subject matter.  So please forgive me if another year or so passes before I darken your door again.

 

 

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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!

Granny square rug, not to scale..

Just a quick post to show you the granny square rug I knocked up this afternoon for my dolls house music room. It’s made with a 2mm hook using unsplit embroidery silk. Not 1/12 scale at all but I’m still pleased with the result.

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It’s also made me realise how much better my crochet skill is now, almost a year since I started. My tension is so much better!

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)

Messing about on the river!

It’s the final week for the Mark Warner Holidays Active Families Challenge. I have been really really really looking forward to this one. No REALLY!!

This week we have been getting active by

Enjoy a splash about -active family in the water

I’d thought about swimming but our local pool won’t allow cameras, which makes perfect sense really. With the current weather, puddle jumping would have been ideal; but what I really really really wanted to do, yes REALLY, was Canadian Canoeing!!

We are very lucky where we live, it’s no distance at all to the Kennet and Avon Canal, miles and miles of tow path to walk and cycle, rich in wild life, many lovely pubs to visit. it’s beautiful and tranquil.  There is a canal museum at Dundas Aqueduct, which along with a rather good Bistro/Cafe called The Angelfish and a very friendly and helpful Boat and Bicycle hire company, which makes for a splendid day out for all ages.

The four of us hired a canoe (£10 for the first hour)  for a bit of a splash about on the river.

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These canoes happily take three adults or two adults and two children, we all had a paddle each, although some of us were more effective with these than others (allegedly).

canal 001Yes, that is a rare photo of yours truly!

canal 008Mr. K passed the camera up front after that, the back of my head is so dull…

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So that is it, what a fun month May has been! I’ve really enjoyed joining in with the #MWactive challenge. We have been out and about with friends, having fun as a family, enjoying spring time what ever the weather! And none of it cost the earth either!

Check out the tag #mwactive on twitter (@kailexness) to catch up on what has been going on this month, you will also find the other bloggers taking part of the challenge through that tag.

Thank you very much to Mark Warner Holidays and to Propellernet for selecting us to take part, I’m really looking forward to a trip to London to visit Profeet! So very exciting!