Saturday, 26 June 2010

The one with art, school dinners and sharp teeth

Things I've learned from my children

Colour by numbers isn't as easy as all that. Boy Two has an art thing going on and he's very good. See the T-shirt he decorated, I think it's cool. He asked for a colour by numbers painting so, yesterday, I met Super Sister and Baby G at The Fort in Glasgow for a catch-up and we spied the Hobbycraft shop. Heavenly, as we ambled round we had to keep reminding each other that neither of us had the time for the hobbies we already do... I picked a CBN undersea scene and Boy Two has been hard at it since he got home from school. It's really hard, there's mixing to do and the sections are titchy. He's loving it.

Boy One will try school dinners at high school for the first week. He doesn't go until 2011, but he is keen on forward planning. At primary he struggled with meals in the noisy chaotic dining hall where he didn't always know what he was expected to eat. The school have been fabulously accommodating and now they serve him hotdogs, grated cheese and ketchup which he is allowed to eat standing at the clear end of the serving hatch with his coat on and the hood up. I'm just adding helping him get from this to a high school canteen to my to-do list...

Baby teeth are sharp.
More a reminder than a learning experience. Boy Three has taken to seasoning his lovely cuddles with a bit on the arm, neck, cheek or shoulder. I've got little bruises. I'm trying to put him on the floor with a stern 'no' the moment he does it. But it's not always possible. As Boy One said: "What if he bit you when you were carrying him on a tightrope or over a pit of crocodiles?"

Friday, 25 June 2010

Confession: there's a little girl I just don't like

I have a confession to make... I have been a total bitch to a seven year old child, and not even one of my own kids.

This child lives in our street. A couple of years ago she had something of a crush on an entirely disinterested Boy Two. She would stand, four-square, arms-crossed in the garden gazing in. Her passion faded and we didn't see much of her for a while.

Now, though, she has transferred her affection to Boy Three, whom she considers "cute". Consequently she's here all the time, asking for Boy Two but peering over his shoulder for the baby.

But, the thing is, she annoys me. I can feel my mouth tightening and my shoulders hunching as soon as she gets here. I know she's just a little girl and I try, but I just can't help it.

Boy Two has got a thing about painting and she decided to join in. She helped herself to paper, paint and brushes and got started. Then: "Boy Two, is there any glue in this house?"
"Um, er, yes."
"Get me some."
And, blow me, he did. I snapped at her "We use pleases and thank yous in this house, Madam." Yikes that was rude and it's not as if Boys One and Two use Ps and Qs all the time.

Boy Three was in his high chair contentedly smearing his supper. Boy Two was pottering at something or other and Madam was messing with their toys. Then... ping. A foam bullet was fired at the baby's oblivious head. Madam, sheepish, holds the smoking plastic gun.
"Madam, never shoot anything at someone's head - especially babies'." Now, Boy Two owns a well-stocked armory and is not above aiming between the eyes.

"The baby's tired," she informed.
"No he isn't, he's just woken up," my teeth were gritted, knowing that his waking may, possibly, have had something to do with her presence in his room.

"Oh my God, look at that!" she exclaimed.
"Madam, I do not like that phrase, don't use it here." Not even a smile or a please, I was feeling frosty.

"Put the baby down, Madam."
"Don't do that, Madam."
"The boys aren't allowed to eat in the sitting room, Madam."
"Put the wrapper of the treat you helped yourself to without asking in the bin when you've finished, Madam."
"Clean up before you go, Madam."
The last a vain hope, there was paint left wasted in tubs and smears on the table.

Oh, no. She's outside now, peering in. There's the doorbell... again. Please make me be pleasant, she's just a child.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

What do you read in the lav?

Not long ago I was chuffed to discover that this 'umble blog was the lavvy reading of choice at the home of a pal. For the smartphone generation littlest-room reading has no limits - with your pants around your ankles you can google yourself to where ever you fancy.

Is it me, or is the notion of having a phone in your hand as you perch on the throne ever so slightly ikky? Or just wrong - like flossing at your desk, waxing in the kitchen or blowing your nose on the antimacassar? Oh heck. Not, obviously that there's anything wrong with Family H-A at all, in the slightest. Please keep reading my ramblings whatever you're up to.

And why is browsing the BlackBerry or leafing through the iPhone off when reading proper, printed pages absolutely not? Toilet literature is a long and noble tradition... Hands up if your dad didn't like getting a 'loo book' in his stocking. One of my favourites from childhood was called Dinkum Dunnies.

Work avoidance took a new twist today when the heap of stuff by the WC caught my attention. Upon sorting I found that the reading-matter fell into four categories.

Lavatory laughs.

These include volumes of poetry and the aforementioned loo books.

Duty in the dunnie.

The kind of should-read snooze fests that can only be tolerated in bursts of approximately a minute. Presumably the idea of taking them to the toilet is do a bit of educational multi-tasking. Get Into Bed With Google is one.

Pissoir finger on the pulse

Yesterday's paper. The supplements from the weekend. Which? magazine. No other time to keep up, more multi-tasking.

Rest-room for improvement

Probably my favourite. This is where I make my dreams come true by reading some improving tract, a page or so at a time. Books on fashion, dieting, fitness, deportment, mental clarity and spirituality have all been consumed thus. The current project is How To Declutter Your Home. Nuff said.

Now having rumbled my bog browsing habits I'm going to take them out of the cludgie (so to speak). It's clear no clutter will get shifted by reading a page a day - there will, sooner or later, follow a journal of my journey to minimalism. Yeah right!

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Why I'm up for the World Cup

Things I've learned from World Cup 2010

My chum Ladyblablahs blogged about the fact that her World Cup is not running over which put me to pondering...

Vuvuzelas and cat bells have a similar function. The vuvuzela may end up being the lasting legacy of this year's outing. It'll go on the souvenir shelf with the WAGs, Four Lions, Beckham's grumpy kicking thing and Ally's Army. I've heard one in the flesh and they're very noisy and I really wouldn't want the lady next door to take it up as a hobby, but actually I quite like them. It tells me when there's a game on and that someone's watching it. From a distance it's a little like a few bees going at a lilac tree.

Passion is what's missing. Apparently. England were a bit rubbish on Friday night although they didn't lose. Which in Scotland is something of a victory (ducks and hides under desk). It seems everyone who understands these things agreed they lacked passion. They couldn't possibly mean that some of the country's top sportsmen went out in front of the world to play a really important game and didn't try very hard, did they? Mebbe it's Nick Clegg's fault too.

Thierry Henry might have va-va-voom but he doesn't have any friends in Ireland. Seemingly, he got his national team into the tournament by cheating in a game against Ireland. Shocking, but still VVV.

The fans are going through it with Rooney et al too. The Panther of News loves his football and, naturally, has been following his country's team. As he left to watch Friday's game at a pal's house, he gulped, drew himself tall and said: "Wish me luck." Duly mustered he marched forward.

Anyone But England seems a little more moderate this year. Or perhaps I just don't get out much. I wrote about the peculiarity of being an Englishwoman in Scotland when these national events come round. However, this year, it's been fine. I wonder what'll happen tomorrow though.

For me the World Cup has been a colourful and amusing distraction: I watched the dung beetle at the opening ceremony, wrote about WAGs, followed it from afar (or online). I didn't think I cared, but I hope tomorrow doesn't mean a trip to the airport for the England squad.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Bike riding, bird watching and food stealing

Things I've learned from my children.

To get started riding a bike, lean over to the side that you don't kick with at football and push down on the pedal with your kicking leg. Boy Two has decided that the best thing in the world will be a bike ride with his mother. His mother hasn't ridden a bike for some moons and is somewhat rusty - he was offering advice. However, The Panther's news bike was hauled out of the shed and put into service. After a wobbly start Boy Two and I were off. "Keep up, mummy." So I did and it was fun. I think we might have another go soon.

The worst thing that can happen is an alien invasion, a volcano erupting and a huge flood, all at the same time, in Lochwinnoch.
Boy One persuaded me to take him back to the RSPB nature reserve in Lochwinnoch following a trip there last week with the cubs. So there we were with our bird bingo clipboard spotting, among others, a handsome young woodpecker. The sun shone through the leaves and we paused to listen to birdsong and catch a glimpse of a dragonfly. Aah. It was properly lovely and not a bit dull. "Birdwatching's fun, isn't it?" Boy One was hooked. Then he realised that time was passing and we were in danger of not getting back to the centre before it shut at 5 to return our clipboards. Oh dear, he began to panic. I tried the worst-possible-scenario tactic. Fortunately we avoided lava, tsunami and little green men.

There is nothing tastier than someone else's food.
Boy Three likes his grub, but he likes other people's better. It doesn't seem to matter that it's exactly the same as what's in his hand/mouth/plate/tray. And for someone who can only say 'hiya', 'dada', 'hello', and sometimes 'yes', he gets his message across brilliantly.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Gok Wan-related heresy

I'm going to say something shocking, it's been on my mind for a while. Here I go - Gok Wan is pants. There I've said it and I'm expecting an army of Gok-worshipping, shopping-obsessed harpies to be waiting for me around the next corner.

What's brought this outburst on? Well if you'll just cease the stunned screeches and gasps for a moment, I'll explain.

Last night a miraculous eleventh-hour rallying saw the Panther of News able to crawl from his death bed to his pal's house to watch the football. This has been a very unpleasant place to be since Boy Two started the family game of pass the norovirus. There I was, alone on a Friday night, tired kids all tucked up and no particular deadlines to meet. I put the telly on.

And national treasure and homosexual stylist of choice, Gok Wan was being rude about people's clothes. He's not coming anywhere near mine, that's for sure. Anything older than five years should get the boot, according to his rules. How is that shop less - wear more? And at what point does something rejected because it's lasted 60 months become vintage?

Fascinated I watched on. Sure, all that stuff about dressing for your body shape is pretty basic. The insufferable Trinny and Suzanna had that one nailed already. And, actually, it's fairly obvious, isn't it? If you're short and stumpy, don't wear things that make you look shorter and stumpier. And if you aren't sure about how short and stumpy you look, em, use a mirror.

Then gushing Gok plucked 59-year-old cleaner Maureen from the crowd for the "makeover of her life". Trim Maureen was later seen mincing up her High Street doing a passable impersonation of Grace Kelly. And she did look lovely with nice makeup and a decent 'do' for her big reveal. There were tears, obviously. But, hang on, she's a granny who works as a cleaner in a nursing home. Erm... When exactly are the chiffon floaty trousers or technicolour frock going to come in handy. Admittedly there was a beautiful floaty cardi and that wrappy necklace thing would be useful, but the rest just wasn't really that practical.

Then it was the High Street v High End pantomime. Gok's best bit were the beautiful purple suede shoes, but at £95 they'd certainly fall into my v special purchase and don't tell the Panther how much they cost category. (Don't panic sweetheart, none of my shoes cost that much). Then he stitched piping onto a beautiful - £199-beautiful - coat. An act of vandalism if you ask me. But was it worth it? Frankly, no. His models looked over-trimmed and the end result tacky. So much man-made fibre, if you turned off the lights there would be sparks. I know the "high end" logic of spending more on your shirt than you'd spend on a month's groceries is bonkers too, but feel the quality. The clothes - in the main - are made to last, longer than Mr W's five years certainly. I'm seriously in lust with that lilac coat by Mackintosh - putting piping on that would be punishable by subjecting yourself to a GW makeover in front of anyone you've ever fancied, even a little bit.

So, that's it. It's more emperor's new clothes, than Gok's Fashion Fix. Girlfriend, I'm outta here to find some comfortable, well-made clothes that, hopefully, look good too. Pah.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Home Alone has a very flawed plot

Things I've learned from my children today.

Just how much vomit can come out of a baby. And with so little warning. It seems something like norovirus is stalking the corridor of this particular semi-detached house. One minute Boy Three was bouncing on the childminder's trampoline and the next he was showering me with half digested lunch. An excellent result for him bespattering every garment I was wearing including watch, shades and work pass. Nice. (He's better now, since you ask, but the Panther is currently too poorly to do anything but watch football and visit the bathroom.)

The plot of Home Alone is fundamentally flawed.
There we were all ready to leave the house for the optician. Boy Two's specs seemed to be welding themselves to his face which, it transpired, is because he'd had a football thrown between the eyes the other day. I'd issued the usual two minute warning and just had time to ring the doctor's surgery to get told off by the receptionist for some vaccination-related confusion. Doesn't she know I don't actually open my mail? Two and Three are in the car, but where is Boy One. Two and I shouted up and down the stairs for him and tried all his usual cosy places... Eventually he popped out of the shed and said: "It was really funny listening to us shouting. I was going to stay until you'd gone and then go back inside to watch the telly."

A little one-on-one does them all good.
Isn't that a horrible expression? One-on-one it's like pre-order, pre-book, outreach and its sibling inreach. However it's the word for the job. I wrote a post about middle children for Ready For Ten. It got me thinking Boy Two is the jam in the middle of two extraordinarily demanding slices of bread - wholemeal divas if you will. Boy One has Asperger's and Boy Three isn't yet capable of doing anything except climbing up stuff. So I decided that I should make an effort to do stuff with him alone and to talk to him by himself. And, what a difference! We've learned that we enjoy each other's company. On Sunday we're going to do something together. Don't let me forget to see if there are any tickets left for the Kids' Comedy Club that is part of Glasgow's West End Festival.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Erotic loaf, a night on the coke and the summit of the cot

Things I've learned from my children today

Some bakeries are better than sliced bread.
Boy One was doing his homework and I was loading the dishwasher. Dishwasher loading now has to be done with much stealth and silence as the slightest clatter and Boy Three hirples through to get in with the pans which probably isn't good for him or the door hinge. So the dishwasher was being filled quietly and the radio was on. I'd probably just listened to The Archers - and was trying to figure out how come Sid had shuffled off while I wasn't looking - so it would be Front Row, on about some arty thing that's more interesting in a five minute chat than the flesh. And suddenly the radio goes "blah blah blah erotic literature blah blah".
"What's erotic mummy?"
"Get on with your homework."
"What does erotic mean?"
"It's to do with sex."
"Oh. What's an erotic bakery then?"
"I beg your pardon?"
"An erotic bakery?"
"I don't know. I'm fairly sure they don't exist."
"They must have them in America."
"Oh, really? I've never heard of them."
"They had them in the Simpsons, so they definitely have them in America."

Excess can be a source of pride.
The Panther of News occasionally puts on his special whistle to coach Boy Two and some other lads in the Quarrier's FC Under Eights team. The season has finished and in a year the little players have gone from ambling around hacking at the ball to actually resembling a football team. One day I asked what the tactic was and he said: "We all try to kick the ball to K and J who go and score."
To celebrate a year of football - Friday training and Saturday games - it was the prize giving in Port Glasgow town hall. A warm evening and dozens of over-excited little footballers hurtled around to disco music while their parents shouted at each other and drank warm wine. Eventually, I took an overwrought Boy One and Three home to bed and left the soccer hard-core to it. At midnight I found myself on the sofa wedging my eyes open and feeling that I might have to get used to the sensation of waiting up for a Boy. Finally they clattered in talking loudly. "I had eight Cokes, mum. It was awesome," said a wild-eyed and sweaty Boy Two as he was chased to bed.

Focusing blindly on the journey not on the destination may take you somewhere you didn't expect.
Boy Three is a climber. At a remove this is a good thing and demonstrates agility, strength, coordination and determination. However, lately it has made things a little fraught: He's been found on the kitchen table, the bookshelf, the top of the stairs, the wine rack and the shelf where the phone lives. He's usually caught grinning madly and casting around for something new to be-drool. So it was with much gusto he discovered that the box of nappies led to the roof of the doll's house in his bedroom. He was however a little nonplussed to find that the roof of the doll's house led to... his cot. And there he was astonished and disgruntled behind the bars with nothing new and interesting to play with.

Friday, 11 June 2010

I'm playing away today

I've done a guest post at the lovely Cafebebe as part of the British Blogging Carnival.
It's about how I blogged my way out of post natal depression. Visit Cafebebe for more.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Raise your flag even if you live in Scotland

Can I get a couple of things out of the way first?

I don't dislike football, I just don't really see the point. I haven't watched a whole match that didn't feature one of my offspring for, erm, ages. Actually I remember. It was the last time Scotland was in the World Cup and I was sitting in a Scottish newspaper office waiting for the game to finish and dictate the rest of my working day. There wasn't much else to do.

I'm Cumbrian - and, yes, that means I'm English, but not, I think, the same English of Home Counties and flat vowels. A Northerner, I'd say, of the Border country, around the Border, that is, not one side or the other.

I live in Scotland because I like it here. It's a fine place to live, work and bring up a family. I'm 43 and it's easier to count the years I didn't live here - as a grown-up, probably about two if you add up the various bits. Maybe three. I went to school and university in Scotland. I pay taxes. Two of my kids were born here. I'd like to think I'm as much an equal citizen of this country as anyone else. I understand Scotland, both its funny little ways and the big stuff.

Right then. So World Cup fever is building. The England squad training like billy-o in their camp in South Africa and, apparently, they are in with a chance. In England it looks a little bit like another Christmas has come along in June. People with things to sell are rubbing their hands together and getting their clever minds turned to the task. Songs have been released - I can't get that Wave Your Flag one out of my head. And many inches - some written by me - have been devoted to the minutiae of the lives of the WAGs. And believe me some of it is extremely minute.

So what's happening in Scotland? Well sticking with the Jingle Bells analogy, we can hear the Ho Ho Hos, smell the mulled wine and see the stockings laid out for Santa. But Big FC ain't coming here. We are allowed to come round and see what he brought, maybe even play with it for a bit, but it's not ours for keeps. Christmas is not coming here.

Ok, you can see how it might be a bit galling that your neighbour is having Christmas and you're not getting any presents. You probably won't even get turkey. However, it's not the festive neighbour's fault and neither are they munching mince pies to spite you. So really it would be exceptionally churlish to set traps to stop Father Christmas emptying his sack - blocking the chimney, poisoning the reindeer and sabotaging the sleigh are not going to stop him for long.

The grown up thing is to take it on the chin. Santa's not coming, he doesn't care about us. We didn't get into the World Cup, we weren't good enough. The neighbours have invited us to the party though, wouldn't it be gracious to accept and, even, join in a little. You never, know it might be fun.

Things I've learned from previous World Cup campaigns observed from a Caledonian perspective.

1966 will not go away as long as there are Scots muttering bitterly about how the English don't shut up about it.

Getting children to support whatever team England is playing can only teach meanness and spite not patriotism. It happened at my kids' school last time and I may not be held accountable for my actions if it recurs.

The Anyone But England campaign is not funny, it's nasty.

International sporting events where England gets through and Scotland doesn't are the few times when this country that I love living in stops feeling like home.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Desperate woman needs time-saving tips

Seeing advice from the Department of Slackery and General Half Heartedness

In the hurly-burly of everyday life, it seems to have become increasingly difficult to find time. It's odd, really - there are still 86,400 seconds in a day, but lately they are as hard to catch hold of as children at bedtime. Maybe it's to do with having three kids and a husband I love dearly but who help make my home a house less orderly on an hourly basis. And then there's work - writing for money is much more rewarding on many levels than working through the perpetual to-do list of chores.

So I've been putting my mind to the things I could cheerfully not do everyday to gain more of those magic moments with my family or my muse. Which task-ditching would be the choice of a rational multi-tasker hell-bent on streamlining and which the idleness of a card-carrying slattern?

I'm already at peace with opening my home to spiders as they eat flies and letting dust settle as it affords children another medium for expressing their creative skills. But what else can go?

Hygiene management
- every morning there is tooth brushing, face cleaning, hair washing, hair conditioning, body washing, drying of everything, anointing various bits with unguents and serums, dressing, dressing again because combo doesn't work, checking for unruly hair - either grey or in the wrong place, throwing makeup at face and dithering about what, if any, jewellery from extensive (but unruly and tarnished) collection, then dressing again as baby improvised for a hanky. As it feels like I'm unequal to the task of remaining groomed, perhaps I should resign and let nature take its course. But then again...

Breakfast and getting ready to leave the house
- the lion's share of this chore is in roaring. "Come and have breakfast."
"Put the telly off and have breakfast."
"Come now."
"Sit down."
"Eat your breakfast."
"Don't fight."
"Don't do THAT."
"Remember your homework/PE kit/dinner money."
"Clean your teeth."
"Get dressed."
"Clean your glasses, they look like you ate supper with them."
"Don't give that to the baby."
"Where are your shoes?"
"Where did you leave them?"
"Hurry up."
"No you can't take that to school."
"Just because."
"You'll miss the bus."
"Go now."
Would stopping be neglectful or helping to encourage their self-sufficiency?

Cleaning up
- what's the point of picking up toys that are just going to get put on the floor again within minutes? Really, and by the same token, straightening beds and towels that are only going to get scrumpled? Every day I pick up the bathmat and put it over the side of the bath, maybe I could have got the novel finished if I hadn't bothered.

- wash clothes, dry clothes, pick solid bits out of washing machine drum, add bits to collection of coins, Lego, rubber bands and DS games, remove Velcro-fastening bibs from other items, sort clothes, iron a scant few of them, put clothes back in bedrooms, clothes worn (and dirtied), dropped in laundry baskets, pick clothes out of baskets avoiding seriously nasty bits and repeat. Options might include making children remove clothes on return to house, or at least at mealtimes, only buying clothes in a sludge colour and out of the stuff football strips are made of - they dry in minutes and never look crumpled, and only eating foods the same colour as our garments.

- they say children will pick a nutritionally balanced diet if offered healthy food on a regular basis. What if I take this one step further and just let them sort themselves out? I'll order the same stuff everyweek from and let them get on with it.

Gardening - actually I'm already experimenting here creating a hyper-local ecosystem and wildflower haven. Children are issued with flags on long poles when they enter so we can find them.

Drinking, rodent dentists and death threats

Things I've learned from my children today

You can lead a Boy to the bath, but you can't stop him drinking. Boy three is picking up new skills at an alarming rate. He's now a proficient clapper, climber and fridge raider. He can also say "Hello", Tellytubby style. But the skill he's currently most pleased with is drinking. Out of a cup, especially, but really anything will do - glass, pelican bib pouch and... bath. Fizzy water is a particular favourite, one you get past the shuddering and gurning. But the absolute most irresistible thing to slurp is bath water. Head down, bum up and most indignant if you suggest it's not a good plan.

The Egyptians cleaned their teeth with mice. Boy One and I were baking. Two-tone shortbread biscuits. He's toying with a career in catering that kicks off by winning Junior Masterchef. I have tried explaining that a phobia of all sauces except ketchup probably isn't a good starting point, but he doesn't believe it'll hold him back. So there we were baking the biscuits - a sort of battenburg-effect cookie, while we chatted about history.
"Ask me any question about history, ever," he said.
"Do you know everything?"
"Nearly," modest to the end.
"Well you tell me some interesting facts then."
"OK. Medieval people washed their clothes in wee. Romans used it as a mouth wash. And Egyptians cleaned their teeth with mice."

Content is not always king. Boy Two was looking distraught. He muttered something about homework and having to do it again. He explained that his teacher had told him he had to do some of his spelling again. Oh. Through tears he said: "I have to do it again, for Monday. She told me off and said I had to do my second sentence again."
"Let's have a look"...
Primary three spelling homework comprises learning a list of ten or so words, writing them a few times and composing three sentences that contain some of the words.
His sentences were beautifully formed - joined up, capital letter to start and full stop to finish.
The second offering read: "I hope you die."
There followed a long explanation about backfiring jokes and thinking things through before you say/do/write them.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Nuts in may? Au contraire fairly sane and quite chipper

Things I've learned in May.

You can't keep a climber down

Boy Three is already following in his brother's footsteps and showing a tendency to clamber, climb and generally get up places he shouldn't. I watched him push - and remember he can't walk unaided yet - a side table up to the bookcase, then climb onto that and, thus, onto the bookcase. Meanwhile, I was reminded that it's probably genetic. My grandfather was a keen mountaineer in the days before Goretex and fleece when it was probably uncomfortable as well as scary. There are some of his own tales of his adventures here.

Men don't deserve the eye rolling and tutting they often get.
Mine are rather lovely. In evidence I offer a little canter in praise of boys written for a friend who's expecting twins; the fact my Panther would wipe the floor with the competition at the Husband of the Year Show; a little gallery of my male family.

Strong belief in anything but self is not often a force for good.

I saw two movies and a play worth talking about this month.
In Four Lions ignorant fanaticism is a source of hilarity until, quite suddenly, people start getting blown up. Funny and thought-provoking.
In Whistle Down The Wind, some children believe G4's Jonathan Ansell is Jesus Christ only he's a fugitive hiding in a barn. Jolly, silly and satisfying.
In Alice in Wonderland 3D Alice's self belief finally means she doesn't have to kiss the frog although she did have to believe some incredible stuff on the way. Fantastic fantasy.

Sometimes the Zen calm of organisation seems within reach... but not always.

A mood of spring cleaning was upon me and I got some oomph to tackle the domestic silt. And I heard a cautionary tale about saving my blog and have made lots of promises to the great god to-do-list. Have I acted on any of that wonderful advice yet? Of course not.

Hypnosis is fairly powerful

Two weeks after the virtual gastric band. I'm about 6lb lighter and have given up my position at the head of the queue at chow time. Honest.

The curative effect of laughter is a cliche, but it's also true
This weekend Mum, Super Sister and I gathered... and no there wasn't a cauldron or blind toad to be seen. We went to the theatre, drank a little wine and shopped. John Lewis personal shopper lady, take a bow. Then we ate - Wagamama and The Weir. Throughout we giggled, can't remember what was funny - apart from the hemorrhoid cream outburst. Felt much, much better for it. Thank you ladies.
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