Saturday, 26 July 2008

House Guests and Lawn Mowers!

Well, I don't seem to have solved my fly problem but it is comforting to know that it's not just my kitchen that seems to be attracting them!! No surprises this weekend, my husband really has got to work this weekend so he won't be turning up this time! But he will be back for the show next weekend.
We had a lovely day in the sun today, just pottering in the garden. The neighbours are doing lots of DIY at the moment and my girls love to go over and supervise! Keeps them out from under my feet! I actually managed to mow the lawns today, my God it took some doing! With all the rain we've had it was a real jungle. I kept telling myself it went with the wild borders and that it was a wildlife garden! The cats certainly enjoying hiding in the wilderness!

Anyway, I ended up borrowing the neighbours' petrol mower because my mower packed up in all the effort! So there I am happily mowing and emptying the grass box every two steps. After one of these emptying sessions I go back to start the mower again, mower starts fine but I realise I still have the pull cord in my hand and it's no longer attached to the mower! Oh! So good old Andy came over and we managed to put it back together and I finished my lawn. I must admit there is a certain satisfaction to seeing a nice neat lawn.

I have a very excited 10 year old at the moment, she's driving me bonkers! Her friend is coming up from Somerset on Monday to stay for a few days. S was her best friend and she hasn't seen her for about seven months so it's all a bit exciting! I'm not really sure what I have let myself in for but maybe it'll make for some interesting posts! We will be taking her back to Somerset on Thursday, so we'll drop in on my parents and check they are still in one piece!

I managed to get some photos off my digital camera onto my laptop at last the other day so here's a few older pics to finish;

The babies when we first had them.

The boys having a cuddle! Aaaaaw!

Never turn your back on a Bengal!!

Thursday, 24 July 2008

No flies on me....yet!

I have definately found another downside to living in the beautiful countryside, apart from the hayfever and having to drive my rubbish to be picked up! FLIES! I love having the rabbits and chickens in the garden and sheep, cows and horses in the surrounding fields, but I guess it helps to attract them. I can't believe the amount of flies we have swarming in my kitchen! They are driving the cats bonkers as they fling themselves around trying to catch them. I've hung up the very disgusting option of fly paper but they do an amazing job of avoiding it, and of course it's not very pretty. I wonder if any of you other country folk have any ideas? I am slightly chemical sensitive so I would obviously prefer natural solutions.

Me and the girls had a lovely day at the river again yesterday. No rocks were thrown in faces and my sister brought her mad Kelpie for a bit. She has a tendency to run off, the dog, not my sister, so the girls had the job of continuously throwing sticks into the water to keep her interested. She did disappear at one point though, when a plane dared to come over. She saw it as her duty to chase it off and make sure it didn't land, again, the dog, not my sister! But with lots of splashing and stick waving, she soon reappeared and got back into the swing of things. After a while my sister took her mad Kelpie back home and me and the girls made fish corrals and tried to catch little water beasties with an empty scotch bottle that someone had shamefully dumped by the river. Then it was down the shop for an icecream and home. Lovely.

Today we having a nice relaxed stay at home day, which A doesn't approve of in the slightest. But I told them both at the start of the holidays there was no way we could do something exciting everyday. What with living in the middle of nowhere and petrol prices as they are, it's just impossible. So we are working on going somewhere every other day. Besides, they are entering a few classes at a local village show soon, so we have things to do!!

Speaking of village shows, I was telling my darling husband about the girls entering and then had to spend half an hour explaining to him what the hell a village show is all about! Ok, I know that he's a real town boy, and as a kid he was fishing at the docks and nicking milk of doorsteps and things but not to know what a village show is about? He thought flower arrangements in wellies and showing off your best onions was completely mad! So that weekend he is most definately coming home so we can drag him down there and give him a real country education!! Can't wait, I might even enter him in the bale toss!

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Well! That'll teach me!

I really should have blogged sooner, but my mysterious husband turned up again on Saturday evening, after swearing on Friday, that he wouldn't be home this weekend! And not only that, he stayed three whole days!! Only heading back to Liverpool this evening. What a treat! Except that , again, I hadn't shopped for him on Friday and he didn't mow the lawn! It was lovely to have him around though. Anyway, because of this I have been completely distracted, so, please bear with me, this may just be a long post!

Saturday I had the great pleasure of entertaining my parents for just a brief time. They endured the three hour trek to have a look at a bungalow, not far from here, and dropped into see us before heading back. It's the first time my mum has been up to Wales since we moved so hadn't even seen the house! I went outside to meet them as they pulled up outside, only to be met with the most awful site when my mother stepped out of the car!! Now my mother is doing well for her age and is not unattractive, so it was nothing to do with that, but more to do with having a face that had done ten rounds with Tyson!! I kid you not, I have never seen anything like it, and my first reaction was, of course, to think she had been attacked!! But fear not, I don't need to send my husband and a few of his biker mates out looking for anyone, she had simply tripped!! Simply I say, if you call catching you toe on the kerb and throwing yourself in front of high speed traffic on the A39! (I think I may actually run out of exclamation marks but really, OMFG!!!!) Thankfully, my mum being quite spritely for her age, leapt to her feet as quick as she had fallen, and was narrowly missed by the first car that was approaching. Thank God, she did get up because it doesn't sound like he would have stopped! So anyway, smashing her face onto the tarmac has resulted in the most fantastic black eye, which I imagine will take weeks to fade away, and a fat, very bruised lip. In fact the whole right hand side of her face is bruised from her head to her chin. I just wish she would have warned me before just turning up like that!

They didn't stay long, but J had baked so they had coffee and cake and cookies. Had a tour of the house and met the chickens. Mum grew up with chickens so I though i'd ask her to help sex them, but we are still non plused. In fact, if anything, I'm now convinced that the two I thought were the girls are actually girls. How does Vanilla sound for a big handsome cock? Vanilla Ice maybe?

Moving on, after mum and dad had left I took the girls to the river for a walk. I am now convinced that the wonderful Qu-chi band is not so effective after all. But we did have a lovely walk and spotted herons, buzzards, swallows and some unidentified ducks. We also found a rather disgusting dead sheep which we would rather forget! The girls had a great time searching for unusual stones and attempting to skip smooth pebbles across the river. Until... A came along with her rather lopsided aim and managed to smack J straight in the face with a sizeable rock! Where did it hit her? Eyebrow and lip. For a while I was convinced she would wake up looking exactly like my mother, just on the other side of her face! After a few tears and a bit of shouting, I managed to convince J that it was a sympathy injury for Granny. I must say that she hasn't bruised too badly at all and, although it's been a bit sore, she looks fine now. I didn't get any photos this time, but this is from the last time the girls enjoyed the river;

Now, I hope you're still with me, 'cos I'm not done yet, oh no! The other day I though to myself that maybe I was beginning to bore you all, as I hadn't had many comments for a while! So imagine my surprise when I logged in today to find, not only comments, but awards and tags! How wonderful! My verbal diarrhorea is not so stinking after all! So a huge warm thanks to The Dotterel and Lehners in France for awarding me this;
Now the rules of this award are that I pass it on to seven of my favourite blogs. Now, i'm sure that some of my favourites are other's favs too, so some of you lucky things will get squillions of these awards and rightly so.
Right, the first of my awards goes to Little Brown Hens, because, not only, like me, she has a passion for the poor ex-battery hens, she has invaluable chickeny advice for me when I ask silly questions and she has become my first real blogging friend. Thank you Greta.
Next I would like to award A Mask to Hide Behind. I'm sure she is a favourite of many of you and if not, why the hell not? This chocolate box contains only nut varieties and will keep you entertained (or peeing your pants) on a daily basis. Thank you LJ for highlighting the bladder weakness that having kids gives you.
Thirdly I nominate The Lehners in France who tell us wonderful stories of relocating and a passion for a new language. So right back at ya!
Next is Norfolk Single Dad who tells us the story of raising a charming young man and totally underestimating himself.
Frog Blog by Frog in the Field is one of the first blogs I read and it led me on to a lot of you so for that I am grateful. Also our lives appear to similar so that's always comforting.
Jo Beaufoix has wonderful stories to tell of her two little angels Miss A and Miss M, who of course come out with the wonderful things that children do.
Last but by no means least I nominate Little Veg Patch who again has ex-batts and is experimenting with growing her own fruit and veg. Something I aspire to do but don't seem to be able to find motivation for.
This last nomination leads me nicely on to the final part of this post. Which hopefully you are still awake for!! Little Veg Patch has tagged me to supply six random snippets of information about myself.
Tag Rules:
Link to the person who tagged you. Post the rules on the blog. Write six random things about yourself. Tag six people at the end of your post. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.
Ok, hmmmmm.
1. I was born in deepest, darkest Somerset but I absolutely abhor cider.
2. I also detest olives, much to the disgust of my Cypriot husband, who is convinced he will convert me to their evil ways.
3. I like to eat Frosties before I go to bed, but never at any other time!
4. I am a champion of the underdog, or so my dad tells me!
5. I would always have loved to be able to sing, but despite my Welsh roots, I sing like a pig with it's head stuck in a bucket.
6. I'm a biker chick at heart and have partied with Hell's Angels. (That shocked ya!!)
Phew, right, tagging, um well, seeing as how this post goes on forever I am tagging all of the people that I passed my award onto. Except for Little Veg Patch who tagged me in the first place! If you are still with me, thank you so much for your patience and thanks for continuing to read my blog. To anyone who didn't get a mention, I apologise, I love reading all of your blogs and I love being part of this community. Happy blogging to all!

Thursday, 17 July 2008

School Summer Fair

Well yesterday was busy but successful. I will start the story a little earlier though! Last summer I had radio 2 on in the car, they did a piece on Greyhound racing and the plight of many of these graceful dogs. The figures are staggering, thousands of young dogs killed off or dumped every year when they don't make the grade, and thousands more badly treated, then abandoned or killed when they no longer run fast enough. Of course I must say that it's not all like this, some owners love their dogs deeply and take very good care of them, but more often than not it's about money not passion.

J was so touched by this story that she couldn't shift it from her already incredibly busy head. So early February, this year, she came to me, out of the blue, and said that she wanted to give her pocket money to the greyhounds. So we had a look on the net and found Greyhound Rescue Wales (GRW). Looking at their website we discovered that for £50 you could sponsor a greyhound that needed extra love and attention, either physically or psychologically, for a year. Well J doesn't get THAT mouch pocket money, so I suggested we got her school involved to see if we could raise the money and sponsor a dog.

J and her friend made Valantine's cards and sold them at school and started to whip up some interest. She then managed to convince the Head to let us hold a fete. He agreed and she managed to organise quite an impressive event (with a little help from mum, of course). I din't tell her that I had managed to get the local newspaper interested, along with the local GRW rep and her two rescue dogs. So what a surprise she had when they all turned up at school!
In all we managed to raise a very impressive £150 for GRW and the school now sponsors 3 dogs!
Here are J & A and their friend with the dogs that came to visit.

Anyway, yesterday we had a stall at the school's summer fair and managed to raise another £40 for GRW. I'm going to hang on to it and hopefully raise some more so the school can sponsor a dog or two again next year.

I have to say, even though I am biased, that it's wonderful to see a kid so interested in helping others rather than just worrying about themselves.

Monday, 14 July 2008

This weekend I was mostly writing poetry!

I used to write a lot of poetry, i've just always liked to write. Doesn't matter what it says or whether it's by pen or keyboard! So, inspired by J, i've been writing again. I found this amazing poetry site called Allpoetry. It's a real treasure trove of talent and covers just about anything you could imagine. If you enjoy reading poetry then it's certainly worth looking at, but if you write as well then you have to sign up! You can air your pre written poems for public viewing and comments in a very friendly place, all comments that I have seen have been full of praise and/or constructive advice. Or you can enter competitions relating to a prompt and let your imagination run away with you.

I have been writing as BerthdduSuit, of course, and if poetry appeals then you can check out mine at For those that don't know, Berthddu is pronounced Berth-thi or more commonly round these parts Berth-di. Hence BerthdduSuit! Get it? I'm writing naked! J has also got a page at Allpoetry and is writing as BerthdduCake. How cute is that? So anyway, come along and have a look and tell us what you think.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Published Poet!

Busy couple of days! Ian, ended up coming in for a cup of tea after all! He had some more drops to do in the area and decided to park up not far from the house for night. So I went down to fetch him and he came back to the house for tea (eggs, of course!) and a bath! The girls weren't here when he arrived, they were both out at friends houses, so it was a nice surprise to find him there when they got back. They got to stay up late too, so we could take him back to his lorry, Ashleigh Emma. Quite posh those cabs, excellent suspension, on board computers and even a cooker! How he fits in his bunk though, i'll never know, he's not exactly short! The girls enjoyed seeing the truck and enjoyed sitting in the cab, even though it was like climbing a mountain to get in it! Not a good picture i'm afraid, but here they are with Ashleigh Emma!

Yesterday I was brushing up on my Greek, I don't know a lot but I'm trying. It's a very difficult language to learn, quite complicated, but apparantly not as much as English. I have been practising typing in Greek and learn to spell properly and put the accents in the right place.

Γέια σου. Είμαι μάθηση Ελλίνικα!

I was going to post last night, but I had a little too much wine and couldn't think straight, so it's probably best that I didn't, who knows what I would have written.

Anyway, today I took the girls to the local pool for 'Aqua Splash'. It's not cheap but they love it. The have lots of floats and inflatables in the water and this huge inflatable assault course. It's well controlled and I can happily sit back and relax and watch them having fun. Here you can just see A coming down the slide.

When we got back i emptied the post box, it was full, and for a change there was lots of post for J. A postcard from Granny for both of the girls. Lots of long awaited sponsorship details from Greyhound Rescue Wales after, thanks to J, her school raised £150 for them at Easter! And the best yet; a Young Writers Award! J entered a poetry competition, along with the rest of her school, ( and today came the news that her poem had been one of the selected to be published this autumn! How exciting! This was J's Poem;


She walks three miles to find water,

Little food remains in the clan,

She is the youngest daughter,

Of a very worried man.

Then came the global warming,

The crops did not grow,

It came with no warning,

The hunger slowly began to show.

But one day a plane flew down,

They all let out a delighted cry,

Everyone wore an upside-down frown,

As they realised they weren't going to die.

Clever little sausage!

(I apologise for the weird spacing in my posts of late, for some reason it doesn't seem to want to let me put them where I would like!)

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Thanks Eddie!

Okay, the rain has stopped and I can see blue sky. I still haven't sexed my chickens but I feel better anyway! I just had a phone call which lead to an unusual event that made me do silly things at the side of the road!

Where I used to live, I was surrounded by friends, they would often pop in for coffee, not a day went by without one friendly face or another and usually more, sitting round my kitchen table and talking rubbish. So being here, that is one thing I miss. Yes, I am making more friends, but none of them live 'just round the corner'. And for one of my old friends to pop in for coffee would be a 6 hour round trip. Hmmmm, just a little bit much.

So, when I receive the phone call from Ian, I get a little bit excited. Ian, who has been a family friend, since he dated my sister many moons ago, drives for Stobarts. Look, here he is taking a break!
He drove our lorry for us when we moved here and I haven't managed to catch up with him since. He rang to say he was passing but unfortunately didn't have time to stop. So I walked down to the end of the drive to wave him past. So there's me, stood at the side of the road in the middle of nowhere with my leg out, being beeped at by a passing Stobart's lorry! I resisted the urge to flash my breasts, but the following cars must have wondered what the hell was going on. Nevermind, the odd but brief encounter has left me with a smile that will keep me going for a bit.
So thanks Eddie Stobart for sending one of my friends through the Welsh countryside to cheer up the strange folk that dwell there.

Chicken Sexing

Okay this time i'm not just rambling, i need some advice please. Do any of you chicken people know how the hell I can sex my chickens. I keep thinking I know, then one of them looks totally different overnight! I'm estimating that they are around 16 - 17 weeks old. They are Heinz 57 variety so no feather sexing here. I am not about to squeeze their bums either, so please don't suggest vent sexing thank you!

The two that I thought were boys are the two black ones. They are slightly bigger than the others but I thought this was due to the other two being ill early on. They both also don't have such developed wattles as the others, although their combs are the same. One though, has changed his tail shape. It has become longer and less feathered. This chap is also the more dominant one of the group. I am guessing he's a cock.

This one, however looks exactly the same, wattles, comb and all, but has a much stumpier tail, like the others.

So am I just being hopeful, stupid, or is it just too early? I need to find new homes for the boys because J won't let me cook them. We may have found someone who will rehome one, but I need to know if I am giving away the right bird! I don't want to give up my layers! So any ideas gratefully received!

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

A tin of Roses for all

I actually haven't got much to say today! Shocking I know! So I'd just like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who reads my nonsense and leaves me kind comments. When I first started blogging I was terrified that no one would read it, or, worse still, that everyone would think it was a load of crap, or worse STILL not give a toss wether it was even crap or not! But you have all been wonderful and I feel that I have joined a happy, friendly community. I love keeping up with everyone else's posts and my blog roll grows daily, soon there won't be room for me to blog at all!

So again, thanks to all for reading and commenting, and thanks to all that blog. You thought provoke, inform, advise and often have me in fits of laughter on a daily basis. It doesn't do my housework, but it does go well with a cup of coffee.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

A 6 year old's adventure

I have just been reminded of an incident that happened nearly three years ago, which is one of the reasons we wanted to move away from town life and into the country. We used to live in and ex council house on an estate. It was a cul-de-sac (or the arse of a bag, as kindly pointed out here; and the kids had a small, set area where they were allowed to go. They had strict instructions on who they could talk to and where they were allowed to be. A, being A had to be reminded of the rules everytime she went out the door. She is an independent soul and has been a handful ever since she learnt to crawl!

Anyway, one day, not long after A's sixth birthday she came flying in the door and straight upstairs to her room. This was quickly followed by a knock at the door. Imagine my surprise when, on opening it, I found two police officers.

'Your daughter was at Sainsbury's, did you know she had gone?'

Sainsbury's was not far from the house, well for an adult. A must have ridden her bike down along the side of the river, over the bridge, across a very busy crossroads and down to Sainsburys. Did I know she had gone to Sainsbury's? Of course not, I would have given her a list! Anyway, she'd only been gone for a little while, she must have gone out the door, got on her bike and ridden straight there!

It turns out, that bloody lucky for her, there are a few genuine people left out there. A man driving his car happened to be at the traffic lights as A had passed. He parked up, and went to speak to her! He decided she shouldn't be out alone and was walking her home when he bumped into the coppers on bikes. Man handed A over to them and they brought her home. I mean how bloody terrifingly lucky! Man went back to get his car and drove round to the house to check that she had got back (in case the police didn't bring her home?). Anyway, I am eternally grateful to Man, 'cos God knows where she would or could have ended up!

The police asked if she had been running away, I guess it was their job, but I found it a little insulting. They were obviously looking at me as a bad mother who didn't know where her kids were and who probably did drugs and had a husband that beat her. But A was just being A. She'd gone for a bike ride, that's all. She didn't understand what all the fuss was about! Even when I told her what could have happened. I even considered staging a fake child abduction to try and frighten the point home, but then I thought knowing my luck it would back fire and we'd all be arrested or something!

She has improved over time, she isn't such a handful as she used to be, but it does feel somewhat safer for them out here in the countryside.

Chickens and bungalows

So, Saturday afternoon, when I was being lazy and helping J with a computer game instead of doing the housework, S turns up unexpectedly, AGAIN! I had spoken to him on Friday and he told me he wouldn't be back for two weeks! Now S does like a tidy house, and wasn't much impressed with the pile of washing up I hadn't quite got round to, so I appeased him with a cup of coffee and two beautiful, tasty, poached eggs! Speaking of chickens, look at these two now, making out that they always liked eachother!

Saturday evening my sister took the girls to the theatre and kept them over night, so me and S had a peaceful night to ourselves. We had to go and get him some food, because, thinking he wasn't coming home, I hadn't bothered to buy him his 'man' food! Me and the girls eat a lot of pasta and rice, S is a meat and two veg man. While we were out we stopped off to look at a bungalow which might suit my parents. They have such a long list of criteria, but all of them quite important. They are not looking to move again, so the house has to be just right. They are both keen gardeners, dad has grown his own veg for years, but the garden can't be so big that they won't cope a few years down the line. My mum doesn't drive but is extremely independent, so the house musn't be too remote, or have an impossibly good bus service! The bungalow, unfortunately, was too far out of town, and would have meant mum would have quite a walk, up a hill, to get the shopping home.

It's hard looking for a house when you are so far away, we know, we did ourselves not long ago. They had a couple look at their house this weekend who were really interested, so I think they will end up renting up here for a bit until a suitable house comes up. At least that way they can see what's available and get used to the area a bit more. My dad, of course, was born and raised here, but my mum only knows the area from passing through when visiting relatives.

Anyway, as me and S cuddled up in bed quite late on Saturday night, my phone sounded to say I'd received a text message. I had left my phone in the bathroom and really couldn't be bothered to go and get it.

'Who's texting you this time of night?' asks S

'I don't know, can't tell from here' i replied, snuggling.

After the third reminder that I had a text message, i hauled myself out of bed.

'Damn it, forgot to put the chickens to bed too!' I say as I make my way to the bathroom.

'Perhaps it's them asking you to close the door!' says S from the cosy comfort of the bed.

Qu-Chi Band Review

The Qu-chi Band is a completely natural and drug free solution to the symptoms of hayfever. Developed by Andrew Broch, a hayfever sufferer himself, who is an acupunturist in Leeds. Qu-chi is the Chinese name given to the acupuncture point in your elbow crease. The English name, The Pool at the Bend, somehow just doesn't sound quite the same! So the Qu-chi band works by putting a little pressure on the Qu-chi with a small stud held in place by two bands, one of which fits around your arm above the elbow and the other below. Of course, because of it's nature, the band is suitable for children too, can be worn overnight, and may also help with other allergies which cause itchy eyes and a running nose. The band should NOT be worn during PREGNANCY.
Putting the band on is simple, getting it in the right place just takes a little practise. There is information printed on the packaging to help you position it. At first I found it a little uncomfortable, it felt like my sleeve was pulled up and I kept wanting to tug it down, but I have got used to it. I have skinny arms though, so someone larger than myself may find it a bit tight.

Sunday morning I was sneezing before I even opened my eyes, so when I got up I put the band on. Although we are nearing the end of the season and the weather has been ridiculously up and down, I do think the band has made a big difference. It appears to work within minutes of putting it on, my nose magically dries up and my itchy eyes are relieved. The first day I wore it, I took it off in the late afternoon because it was a little uncomfortable, but after going off in the car for half an hour, my eyes were itching terribly, so I put it back on and within minutes I felt much better. I think the real test will be next summer at the beginning of the next season, but from what I have experienced I think it will at least calm my symptoms if not completely remove them.

I don't know if this works for everyone but, although late in the season, I can definately say it has worked for me. I do suffer quite badly from hayfever, so I know what lengths we can go to for a bit of relief, so it has got to be worth a try. Thanks again to Andrew Broch for sending me the band to try out.

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Religion and Acupressure!

Wow, what a morning already! I decided to have a lie in, as I can usually rely on the girls to feed the cat monsters and let the chicken babies out. So, after a much enjoyed doze, just as I decided, reluctantly, it was time to get up, J came up the stairs saying there were two people on the doorstep. This doesn't happen very often. We are in the middle of nowhere and we don't tend to get many random callers. But the Jehovahs Witnesses are a determind lot! I decided to hear them out. I am not at all religious, in fact I find most of the claims in the bible to be ludicrous, but each to their own. I respect others' needs for religion and believe in good morals.

I actually kept them on the doorstep for a good hour, fair play to them, they answered my questions, mostly with what they obviously believe to be fair answers. I was just puzzled with how, faced with the question; 'Who made God?', that 'He has just always been.' was a reasonable arguement to his existence. I doubt anything will ever make me 'believe' but I do find the whole concept quite interesting, and don't mind a sensible debate on the subject. As long as I teach my children to be strong, confident, independent and respectful of others I don't think I am going far wrong.

Returning to the subject of Hayfever, i have an update. After posting of my misery the other day I received an email from a man named Andrew Broch, who is an accupuncturist in Leeds. He offered to send me something called a Qu-chi band. The band fits on your elbow and puts a little pressure on the spot which is believed to help relieve hayfever.
I accepted Andrew's gracious offer and the band arrived this morning! I am wearing it as we speak, and although it feels a little strange, i do believe my eyes aren't quite so itchy as they were earlier today. I will continue to wear the band and let you all know how I get on.

As some of you may already know, my number one daughter J, suffers horribly from car sickness so I have also asked Andrew advice on this too. Something similar to the Qu-chi band would be an amazing solution and end a lot of 'sticky' situations!

The girls are off to the theatre with their Aunty tonight, OH is away, so I have a nice peaceful evening to myself. I wonder what I'll waffle I will come up with.............

Friday, 4 July 2008

Well how bloody amazing are my kids?

Today was the school sports day. With both of the girls running in 80m, 200m, obstacle type race, relay and both doing high jump also. J came first in all her races, except the obstacle one! She had a troublesome hoop which meant that she came in second. And she came first in her year group high jump! This is a massive acheivement for number one daughter who until recently was not very good at the physical stuff, she's much more academic.

Here she is taking an easy first in the 80m

A came third in all her races and got a second in the high jump. She has always been the more pysical of the two but struggles to concentrate on what she's doing! Something her recent school report reflects!

Here she is coming a very close third in the 80m

When I first saw these pictures, I picked up on something I hadn't noticed at the time. My girls' unusual running style! Both may be slightly unorthodox but totally different! Go on, have another look and you will see J almost leaning backwards and A determind to kick her own bum! Oh well, whatever works for you! It certainly worked for them and I am deservedly proud of both of them.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Sunshine, birds and apologies!

Now I know that I've been blabbing on quite a bit since i started blogging only a short time ago, but I just keep thinking of things I want to say, and as the sun finally made an appearance this afternoon I heard the now familiar and strangely almost threatening sound of a kite circling.

I'm not a huge bird person, although I do have a soft spot for birds of prey, and i'm now living smack bang in the middle of Red Kite country, which is wonderful. But it's not just the kites, there's the buzzards of course and my neighbour swears he saw one of those escaped eagles not far from the house. It's the little birds too. We have the great pleasure of a family of woodpeckers who visit daily, along with a host of other birds that previously living in a town, i haven't had the pleasure of seeing before.



Tree creepers

We even have Herons flying over the house sometimes! We have all the usual birds too, of course, House Martins, Finches and Tits of all shapes and sizes (I am still talking about the birds), and of course the Sparrows which sit on my satellite dish and disrubt the telly! Unfortunately though, the cats like the birds too, I'd rather they stuck to the mice, but I've had a robin at the bottom of the stairs, a baby nuthatch on the sofa and a blue tit flying round the lounge!

They all end up in the compost along with the vole I found on the patio this morning.

What is this stuff made of?

My kindly and generous neighbour gave the girls some 'Bath Confetti' the other day. Her girls are all grown up and no doubt use expensive products now. Last night when the girls had their bath they obviously thought it was time to use some. I guess you sprinkle it in the bath and it dissolves like bath salts, but not when you sprinkle it around the toilet! When i went to bed last night i had noticed that the bathroom was like a bomb site, as it usually is when these two have a bath, and that a bit of confetti had obviously escaped. Job for tomorrow, i had thought as i went to bed, to tired to contemplate starting the rescue misson.

So today i set about tackling the wreckage. I had underestimated the spillage! By the time i had cleared away all the disgarded clothes and other micellaneous items which appear periodically in my bathroom, i discovered it was everywhere, all around the toilet, in the tricky bit where the seat hinge is, and over pretty much all of the floor. And what happens when a damp cloth is used to clear this stuff up? It turns into slime, of course! Now my bathroom is pretty small (we plan to extend as soon as S has the energy and time) but it has never taken me so long to clean it! The more i cleaned, the more it spread! I have done it, now, but i swear that the bathroom has a slight blue tinge that wasn't there before. And how the hell am i supposed to get it out of my hair? My turn in the bath i guess, WITHOUT confetti.

That's one nice gift that might have to get lost along with the noisy things and nail varnish.

The joys of summer continued!

Okay, okay, i am now sorry i wished for the rain, i may have stopped sneezing quite so hard but this wetness is all getting a bit depressing. Yesterday was ridiculous, just as i decided it was time to go to town the skies opened. We've had a good drenching and today doesn't look much better. Last night when i spoke to my husband he said they'd had a beautiful day yesterday, but when i spoke to him again this morning he said the rain had come, sorry my apologies to Liverpool, it's all my fault. At least the neighbour's horse is getting some resbite from the flies that have been plagueing her relentlessly.

I lost the lead that connects my mobile to my laptop, so i haven't been able to put any new ones up. My phone takes quite good pics, and i always have it with me, so i use it a lot. At last the lead has turned up. So here's a couple of pics.

These are the youngsters, who all have interesting names, thanks to the kids; Far back; Vanilla (my favourite), in front of her is Eagle, right is Woody and front is Bumble. They are around 16 weeks, and we think the two black ones are both coqs so they will be looking for new homes. J won't allow them to go in the pot!

The other day when i let the ex-batts out, i thought i'd let one of the cats out too. Next door have chickens and the cats don't bother them anymore. I decided on Clay as he's the calmer of the two. At first he ignored them but then thought he'd have a stalk, the chickens had no concept of danger and completely ignored him. This is going to take some work if all chickens are to free range in the future!

Speaking of cats, this is H getting up close and personal with Blue one of our neighbours' horse. H is a bit nervous of Blue, but I caught C lying behind her playing with her tail the other day! She is a lovely old girl, with a wonderful calm and friendly nature.

She loves a carrot or apple and a bit of fuss, unfortunately she doesn't get as much attention as she should, so she loves it when the girls (A left, J right) come and give her some love. Here she is giving J a really good rub. When we first came A was very nervous around horses (or ponies for that matter) she wouldn't even feed her a bit of apple, but Blue has really helped her overcome it, she's a good 16hh but A is confident enough to go in the field and give her a brush, and she has learnt to gently push her away if she gets too close.

These pics, were taken a couple of days ago when we were lucky enough to catch 30 minutes of sunshine! I take it all back, it's July! Please bring back the sun!

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

The joys of summer

Never thought i'd say it, not on the first day of July anyway, but Thank God It's Raining! I knew the hayfever would come in at some point! I've been keeping it at bay with drugs (there must be some natural alternative, any ideas?) and just about surviving, until today. Must have been the wind strirring it up but now i feel like my eyeballs are bulging and i've sneezed half my brains out, something certainly isn't working properly up there! I've soaked myself in the bath and have finally stopped sneezing (for now) so now all i have to do is replace all the fluid that has escaped from my nose, apply some vaseline to said nose and tuck myself into bed for an early night, cats willing.