Well the girls have been off with their dad since Monday, they are due back tonight. It has been strange without them, but very peaceful!! I've had an extremely lazy week, although I did take my sister out yesterday to visit some of the old folk yesterday. It was a nice day actually. The kids get so bored with visiting the old aunts and uncles, so it was nice to catch up without worrying about them playing up. I also managed to bump into my cousin and his wife at Morrisons with their new baby, so that was lovely too, but something A will wish she hadn't missed. She has a real baby obsession, so will have to take her over to their house soon. I was going to go out tonight, but they have scuppered my plans. I guess I will just have to stay in and be a responsible mother instead!!
Well that was an interesting weekend. After drying out from all the excitement of Thursday, I decided to surprise hubby this weekend, and instead of him turning up here unannounced I would sneak up to Liverpool for the weekend. I rang him first thing Saturday morning to make sure he wasn't coming back, then dropped the girls off at my sisters. Off I went with a SatNav and phone on loan from my sister's boyfriend. I didn't fancy making a totally unknown journey without a phone, just in case. Funny how quick we forget what it was like before we had mobiles isn't it?
Anyway, the weather was appalling but the trip up to North Wales and Chester was fine. Then about three quarters of an hour outside of Liverpool I passed my darling husband going in the opposite direction!! Aaaaah!! Just as well I saw him. I pulled over and rang him. (See if I hadn't had that mobile he would have just continued).
'What are you doing?' I say 'Got fed up with the rain, I'm on my way home. I did try to ring you.' 'Well you'd better turn round then' I say 'Why? What are you on about?' 'Well I just passed you' I was actually a bit cross, because this wasn't how I had planned the surprise! 'What? Why? Where are you going?' 'Liverpool to see you, you bloody idiot!'
So he turns round and we drive the rest of the way together! Anyway, after that lucky crossing of paths, we spent the rest of the afternoon in the pub next to his flat. Probably not the best descision, because I haven't been out since the wedding at the end of June, and have forgotten where to put alcohol! But it was a lovely afternoon. S is working in Liverpool with some of the lads from back in Somerset, so there was a bit of catching up to do and plenty of new faces to meet. Needless to say I was done by about half nine, and had to retire!
We spent a very lazy Sunday morning in bed watching the Olympics on telly and ahem, doing what loved up couples do when they haven't seen eachother for a while and are without the kids. Well, I was far too drunk the night before! Then we headed down to the Albert docks for a stroll and some lunch. It did make a nice break although I was a bit hungover and probably didn't appreciate it as much as I should have, note to self; next time don't drink so bloody much!
Anyway, the kids' dad is picking them up today to take them away for a few days, so I get even more of a break. Yay! I wonder what trouble i'll get myself into?
What an afternoon! My neighbours have gone away for a couple days and a family friend is staying at the house to look after the dog, cats, chickens and ducks. Unfortunately she has no car at the moment so I offered to taker her and said doggy, Cracker, down to the river with the kids. So off we went and met up with my sister and her dog. They had a blast and Cracker really loves the water. We had him on an extendable lead but couldn't let him off, you know, just in case. The pair of them loved running in and out of the water and chasing sticks.
Then Cracker decides to hurl himself right into the water and he managed to wrench his lead out of O's hand. The river is very full at the moment and the islands that the girls usually play on have disappeared, now there is a swirling whirlpool thing were the two rivers meet. And yes Cracker managed to throw himself into the edge of it. Bless him, poor dog was swimming against the current desperately trying to get back to dry land and getting nowhere. We tried to reach him but he was too far out.
In I go, and was quickly surprised by how deep the water was, and how strong the current was. I grabbed hold of Cracker and tried to pull him in, but all he wanted to do was climb on top of me!! This didn't help and wasn't getting us anywhere. So I decided to let the current take me and hope it would take me to the bank, but I let Cracker go and couldn't get him to come with me. But the rest on me must have given him the edge because as I floated away he managed to haul himself into shallower water and was helped the rest of the way by my sister!
I watched my cigarettes float passed me, guess it's time to give up, and eventually reached the shallows. It took me another ten minutes to work my way out of the river up the bank through all the nettles and thistles, but at least we were ok! I then remembered I had my car keys and phone in my pocket, keys work, phone doesn't! Oh well, if that's the price for not seeing your neighbours dog floating away down a river then I'll live with it!
Wow! What a day Saturday was. We got up bright and early to get ready for the show. We baked Abbie's pizza very carefully, can you imagine burning it at the last minute? One of the cats nearly knocked Jade's layered chocolate pudding of the kitchen worktop, that wouldn't have gone down well either. We then had to get flowers in wellies, chocolate pudding and pizza to my sister's house. There we picked up her and her entries to take to the show.
When we got there I was pleasantly surprised by the high standard of all the entries. I was a little disappointed that some of the childrens' work looked very 'assisted'. Most of the flower arrangements in wellies were very over done. We had gone for the wild river flowers and cottage garden look. We thought that it suited the wellies better. Anyway we layed everything out and then the tent was closed for judging, so I took my sister home, unfortunately she had to work.
We returned at two o'clock when the tent reopened to see how we had all done. My sister's baby blanket won third in the knitted baby item class, and the Christening jacket she had made for J many years ago, won her first and best in section! The kids did well too, J got a first for her handwriting, and her chocolate pudding, that we had had to top in the car when we got there! A's pizza won second, which was great because some of the pizzas were very good and it was a class up to 11 years. Unfortunately A's cyprus flag collage didn't get placed which I was very disappointed with because it was very good. And neither did the welly flowers. The judges obviously liked the totally over the top 'manufactured' look rather than country flowers. Never mind, you can't force the judges to think the same way as you do, and the kids had fun anyway.
The rest of the show was great with a donkey derby, dog racing, lots of stalls and laser clay pigeon shooting and archery. Unfortunately S had to work Saturday morning and didn't get there until late and most of the good stuff had finished. He was also shattered and didn't really get into the swing of it. I never did find the bale toss, but I don't think he would have had the energy to pick it up let alone hurl it anywhere!! I think I'll take him to the Royal Welsh next year, if that doesn't get him excited I don't know what will!!
I found a couple selling amazingly cute bantams of varying colours and fluffiness and nearly ended up with a whole heap of new birds. But one of my ex-batts is poorly at the moment and I really need to concentrate on her at the moment. I read somewhere that chickens were very addictive, and who ever wrote that comment was right. Although, being champion of the underdog, I think I will probably concentrate on the ex-batts and not get pulled into fancy breeds, it does seem a little unfair when so many birds need the help.
Anyway the show was great, the kids won some prize money, I enjoyed the tug of war, especially when a local stag party did it in their underwear! And the weather was decent enough to stay relatively pleasant for the day. So I think a good day all round.
I am absolutely shattered. I shouldn't really be writing this but I must. I should be snuggled up in bed with my cats, snoring gently. But if I don't post today, you will have the longest essay tomorrow, and you won't bother reading it! So this has been my week;
Monday morning J was up with the larks, she's been unbearable waiting for Monday to come. So excited that her friend was coming up from Somerset to stay for a couple of days. So in actual fact I was more than happy when Monday came too! So eight o clock there was J baking chocolate cupcakes to go with the biscuits she had made on Sunday!! And by nine she had laid the table for lunch, complete with lavender to keep the flies away, glasses neatly placed at every setting and pretty kitchen roll squares folded as napkins. The cakes and biscuits were laid out on doillies and covered with cling along with a jug for water and a bowl of crisps. Later we were to make sandwichs and fruit.
Just as we were discussing how much longer they would be we had a phone call saying they were just leaving Bristol!! Oh no! I had to put up with a couple more hours of over excited 10 year old! So I distracted her with making the sandwichs. Eventually they did turn up, and friend's dad immediately fell in love with area and we had a lovely lunch and then a cup of coffee in the garden. That evening as I put the chickens to bed the wind picked up and the storms came. We had one at 7 and another at 12. No more glorious sunshine. Just as well though, I got burnt to a crisp on Sunday while the kids were out with my sister!
Tuesday was just appalling, storm after storm, torrential rain and wind. So the girls swam! We went to our local pool for an hour's free swim and then to the other pool for Aqua Splash. Then a McDonalds. So they managed to have fun in the wet after all. Wednesday they were happy to spend time together at home and go swimming again, which was just as well as the weather was terbile again and we didn't manage to do half of the things we wanted. We had planned picnics on the hills and days at the river but the rain was just too much.
Yesterday we made the journey back to Somerset to take friend home again. We arrived at about lunch time, had a quick bite to eat then went surprise visiting. We hadn't told anyone we were coming so we had a bit of fun dropping in on friends who certainly weren't expecting us. The we went over to my parents and did the same thing. The look on my dad's face when his youngest grandchild just waundered into the lounge was priceless. I can also report that my mother looks a hundred times better and her facial bruising has almost completely gone. We stayed there for tea, which was lovely, my mother hates surprises that mean she has to magic up food but she did a great job! We eventually left at half eight which was probably far too late but I had to admit it was hard to drag myself away. I have only seen my parents for odd hours here and there since we moved and it is a big difference compared to when they were only three miles away.
The girls slept most of the way home, they had had a few rather late nights with friend staying over and it was beginning to catch up! So they didn't notice that in the rather dingy, rainy weather I could have sworn that the dry patch under a bridge on the M49 was a speed bump!!! I even slowed down, until sense kicked in and informed me that they don't generally place speed bumps on motorways! I guess I was a bit tired too. They didn't notice when I had to carefully judge my path to avoid squishing frogs that were happily hopping across the country roads in the rain. They didn't notice my battle with huge puddles that had formed on the side of the road, threatening to drag me into the hedges and then throw me back into the middle of the road in front of oncoming traffic. And they also didn't notice when I came round a corner, about a mile from home, to find the biggest bale of hay right in the middle of my side of the road! I'm glad there was nothing coming the other way, because I had to swerve to avoid it! The girls obviously assumed it was just my crazy driving and slept through it. Needless to say, when we finally arrived home at 11.15pm I gave the local police a ring to ask them to remove just the last part of the assault course to ensure that someone wasn't unluckier than I.
The kids woke up at half past twelve this afternoon!!! My God they were tired. I don't think any kid in the world has slept that late before. We had a lot to do today but I just hadn't the heart to wake them. So when they did finally wake up we had a busy afternoon preparing for tomorrows show. We went to town to buy ingredients for J's layered dessert and A's pizza, then went to the river to pick flowers for their 'display in a welly'. Once home A did her collage of the Cypriot flag. A back ground of cut up doillies to represent the lace which is famous in Cyprus, the yellow country shape has two large lemons amongst scraps of yellow paper, and we found two little leaves to make the olive branches. I have to say it looks rather good. J made the most amazing chocolate and fresh strawberry layered dessert. Then A made a pizza with four different toppings which we need to cook first thing in the morning. After all that the flowers were arranged in the wellies!! Blimey, at one point I didn't think it would get done. A really should have done her collage sooner but good old mum lost the glue! J has already written ten proverbs in her best handwriting.
So tomorrow will be a busy day and I will be knackered again. I will post pics tomorow and let you all know how we get on. Wish us luck!!
A single mother of two trying to wake up. When my children are off exploring their own selves I will be heading for the East. There must be more to life than this.
I call myself Buddhist in Training, because, although I have no interest in any other religion, I do not think that I can quite claim Buddhism yet. I have a lot to learn.