Should Our Schools Amalgamate?


This was the question I, and about 30 other parents and interested parties, found ourselves discussing this morning in the lower school hall.

Currently our children go to two schools, an infant and a junior one that effectively share a site. The infant school is run on the lower floor of the 1930’s brick building, the junior school is situated upstairs. We are lucky in that the schools have enough grounds that each school has  their own, separate concrete playground and a good-sized school field. The schools have separate heads, and teaching and admin staff; the only thing they really share is the welfare room and a uniform. read more

I’ve Written A Book. What Next?

Almost five months after we got home from our summer holiday in Namibia and South Africa, I have finally finished the first draft of my travel book about our road trip.

Basically, it’s the story of our adventures in Namibia, while exploring the question, ‘Do you have to be utterly mad to drive 4 children around Namibia for 2 weeks in a minivan?’ For those of you who can’t be bothered reading it, the answer is ‘Not really, but it probably helps’.

Who do I envision buying it? Maybe no one, and that’s okay. For me, the important thing is that it’s out there and the words are no longer taking up room in my head. read more

Going Grey Update

I had three people compliment me on my hair last week. They said they liked my highlights and thought they were really natural. This amused me as any ‘highlights’ I have are about as natural as you can get.

I’m not one to spend a lot of time on my hair but until about 12 months ago, I used to get it dyed regularly. Then, for various reasons you can read about here, I decided to stop using hair dye.

You also can see what my hair looked like a couple of months into this decision on the link above.

I updated here a couple of months after that, but since then I’ve been a bit remiss. read more

How To Be A Bad Mother.

This was me this morning.

No, it’s not actually a photo of me; I lifted it off the Internet where it’s more commonly labelled ‘Mother Shouting’, but it depicts me as I was this morning. Shouting. A lot. The real thing is a whole lot less attractive.

And just as well that’s a photo you are looking at, not a video because you do NOT  want to hear the things that came out of my mouth. *blush* Yes, I shouted at my children. My sweet, innocent little children. Who seem to have lost the ability to listen to a  bl**dy word I say.

‘Don’t shout!’, they admonish me. ‘It hurts our ears and makes us sad.’ Of course I don’t want to do that, do I? Poor didums.

So I ask them how I *should* get them to do something. read more

Losing The Bookbag, Along With My Mind

When I turned 40, something really strange happened. I began to lose my mind faster than ever before.

It wasn’t just the normal stuff that I’ve been struggling with since having children, like not remembering a school mufti day or forgetting to pay for a school trip by a certain time. I suddenly started to forget really basic stuff, like which word I wanted to use next in a sentence, or how much something cost by the time I’ve picked it off the shelf and walked to the checkout with it. It was scary, but when I talked to my friends who were a bit older than me, they all reassured me it was pretty normal.

It will settle down again they assured me, and it pretty much has.

Oh I’m never going to have the brain of a 30 year old again, 4 kids have put paid to that,  but I can usually manage to remember who has what, on which days and I usually get the right kids, to the right places at the right time. Mostly. And call me unambitious, but these days that all I really hope for. read more

Why Do I Procrastinate?

I have a house that needs some serious decluttering. There is ‘stuff’ everywhere.

The kids’ toys need a sort out, their craft bits and pieces are all mixed up in a pile on the dining table and my desk has layers going back to this time last year. Our bedroom is a dumping ground for everyone else’s rubbish and everyone’s clothing needs a sort through.

Our house is not too dirty as we have a cleaner twice a week. The poor woman tries very hard to impose some order on the chaos but there is a limit what she can do. I really need to get my A into G and do ‘something’. read more

How To Celebrate 12 Years Of Marriage

Last Sunday was our 12th wedding anniversary, and we decided that this year we would go out for a change.

Last year, and a lot of the ones before that, we’ve stayed in. We’ve still marked the occasion with alcohol and a DVD, but actually going out has always seemed like too much effort. To Go Out you have to book a baby sitter, change into some clothes that haven’t been adorned with snot, food or drink, make a decision about where to go and actually book a table or some tickets. It all seemed like far too much hard work when we could simply send the kids to bed, open some wine and flop down in front of the TV.

I don’t know what changed our minds this year; 12 years isn’t a particularly special anniversary but we were both keen to leave the house. Maybe it’s because the kids are older so we feel more comfortable about leaving them with complete strangers. DS’s speech is so much better than it was and he goes to bed so nicely at night. On the other hand, the girls are now a complete nightmare to get down at night. A break from the nightly bedtime drama certainly sounded very attractive. So plans were made. read more

My Right Foot

Apparently, I have the feet of an footballer. But before you start thinking this is good news, let me assure you that in my case, it’s not.

Yesterday, I went to see an orthopedic surgeon who specialises in ankles and feet. My foot is still not 100% from when I injured it a couple of months ago. The swelling has gone down, and it’s not painful as such but it is tender. And it feels slightly unstable. I feel like it’s very vulnerable to getting really sore again.

We are lucky enough to have private health care through DH’s work with AXA PPP, and would totally recommend them. They have mostly been fantastic whenever we’ve need to be referred, and it means we’ve been seen quickly without clogging up the NHS waiting lists.

So when I went off to the GP, she listened to my tale of woe, had a quick look at my poorly hoof and agreed I needed referring. I looked up foot doctors on the internet, found someone who worked out of one of our local private hospitals and rung the insurance company.

A week later I found myself sitting in Dr Foot’s waiting room. read more

The One In Which I Try To Go Into London For The Day…Again

I don’t go into London by myself very often.

Yeah sure, over the last couple of months I’ve been to Cybher and Britmums Live, but for those I had DH at home. If anything went wrong, he was the one in the firing line. The kids and dogs were officially no longer my responsibility.

So I’ll amend my opening statement to ‘ I don’t go into London by myself very often without having made sure there is someone at home to deal with any crises that might arise’.

Last time I tried, and went to Blogcamp last year, this is what happened. read more

Going Grey Update: 7 Months On

Sorry, for the grim expression.

It’s Friday morning, I’ve had less than the requisite 6 hours sleep, we have sports day today and it’s grey and windy, I have at least 23 things I’d rather be doing, and I have to drive over to the ‘other’ side of the A40 and see a client this afternoon.

I don’t like feeling pressured, so this is my anxious face. Anyhow, you are not supposed to be looking at my face. This is a photo of my hair. read more