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Showing posts from December, 2011

New Year Resolutions

 ... Or meandering time for a procrastinating procrastinator

Here we go again - another New Year; another list of well intended resolutions; another December 31st when reflection struggles to recall the failed resolutions made a year ago; another day spent stoking the fire of motivation and ambition, tempered only by the nagging doubt that yet again you'll find yourself unable to follow through, you'll leave the fire unattended, return to find barely glowing embers and kick them in frustration into the dust: another precious year will slip through your fingers.

Am I generally a glass half empty or half full sort of person? - I'm definitely happiest when there is something in the glass - but regarding the subject of making and breaking resolutions, I'm definitely glass half empty ... or drained of every last, hope giving drop.But bear with me a little longer in this procrastinating monologue, while I stop to consider if it might be in my power to change this ... could t…

Walking the dog at year's end

The cutest picture of the year:

Last walk of the year: mud + puddle + freedom off the lead + the odd festering cow pat = lab heaven

Last sniffing-around-for-rabbit-droppings-foxes-and-other-unmentionables session of the year:

Last sun set of the year:

Best picture of the year: profile pic for 2012  ... ?






The sun sets on 2011

Tomorrow - new dawn; new day; new year. Have a good one.

"Tiny, teeny, absolutely weeny bit" stuffed

Christmas ... Such fun! : from the mince pies and mulled wine after carols, to the meals shared with friends, to the exuberant jig of joy from Littlest when she realised it was time for bed on Christmas Eve, to the plate left out for Father Christmas, to the late night but peacefully alone preparation of turkey and last minute wrapping, to the unexpected internet chat with distant pre-dram brother in law and friends/mums also wrapping or preparing food in the wee small hours, to the early morning tea prepared by Littlest and sister before they woke us (it apparently took the grown ups an hour to make the tea and light the fire before assembling for stocking opening last year - far quicker to do it on their own!), to the wonderful, insightful letter to Littlest from the big man himself which made her feel very special and is now with other treasures in her jewellery case, to Littlest's request for pudding - just a "tiny, teeny, absolutely weeny bit please", to sharing the…

Festive conversations

'Tis the season to be jolly, to sit round a fire with friends, to meet strangers over drinks, to search the vacant plot of conversational ideas in our minds, and panic while wearing an equally vacant smile. And then ... discuss the weather.

Alternatively, we could in advance consider a list of possible topics:

While the global/European financial situation could be considered the perfect recipe for inducing sleep after a substantial feast, it also has the advantage of being a topic with no correct answers; one which will generate as many opinions for its solution as there are people sat round your table and one that unless any of your guests happens to be a government financial adviser, no one will have any chance of influencing anyway, so basically everyone can safely say exactly what they want, no matter how extreme. 
Children - we as a family fall into all three of the broad topics on the subject of childhood - the nappies, teething soother, pre-school, childcare, nursery, primary…

Life as bramble thicket

Life passing in a fairly content fog of gift wrapping (mild panic - omg, have I got enough for everyone; will they like it; have I got the right bridge pads for mother-in-law?); cooking (friends all being extremely helpful with offers of puddings, mains and starters - apart from the big event, may not have to actually cook much at all); decorating (post fire, post building work); planning of meals with friends; entertaining (music recitals already being rehearsed by Littlest and sister); feeding the dog; ordering startlingly expensive turkey; walking the dog; feeding hungry mouths (eating me out of house and home - realise just how significant a role the school catering staff play in their lives); gardening with dog; and shopping (again ...), when unexpectedly hit by devastating question of what mark if any will I leave on the planet (assuming that I want to leave a mark, which I think I do, because there has to be more to life than working hard, otherwise what is the point of anythin…

Fairies, pixie dust and another fine mess we've gotten ourselves into.

Out of the mouth of Littlest:

"This is going to sound extreeeeeemly wierd but maybe the fairies use pixie dust and sort of throw it into the sky to make clouds look like Santa's sleigh. Maybe they want us to believe in Father Christmas."

Me: "So do you not believe in father Christmas, then? Do you think it's the fairies who do Christmas?"

Littlest: "NO! Of course I believe in Father Christmas! If the elves exist then of course he does too! And every single member of my family (except me) has seen elves - a hand, a foot, the top of a hat - you know; the ones who visit near Christmas and spy on children to make sure they are behaving themselves."

Oh dear. And we tell them not to lie ...

Felonious kleptosquaters: a plea for help

I have a message for our kleptosquaters - the hidden, uninvited residents of our home, who creep about in the dark helping themselves to odd socks; kitchen scissors; and every working pen or sharpened pencil - why not convert from felonious acts to ones of a more charitable hue?

For example, there are certain irritations I would love someone - other than the usual downtrodden and exhausted, clearing fairy - to deal with:

the hair that blocks the shower drain and makes it smell dog hairs everywherethe long hairs, knotted into elastic hair-ties, that are draped over the edge of the bath (if you don't have long-haired girls, you won't have a clue what I mean!)perhaps one of you could even be enticed to lick up the toothpaste that looks as if the ghost of Jack the Dripper has practised modern art in the sinkspiders' websthe detritus of Littlest's latest "making" project - piles of pencil sharpenings, confetti-like bits of paper, sticky ends of sellotape, and glue …

Bliss

Bliss is not having to choose between the sticky toffee pudding and the apple crumble and instead being allowed a liberal helping of both. With vanilla ice cream.

Bliss is also finding five minutes in a hectic day of painting kitchen cupboards, supermarket shopping, preparing roast dinner, and the inevitable washing and ironing and other daily motherly duties, to sit at my netbook, wine glass close to hand and write.

Bliss is mostly four, hotly whispered words, while little arms are wrapped around your neck, "I love you too."

But at this time of year there is an extra bliss to observe:

Homemade decorations on the tree




And when the lights are switched on, bliss is the reflection in Littlest's eye

And lastly, bliss is also looking forward to Christmas with children who still believe the magic, not having to work too hard, family all at home and sharing time with friends.
... 5 minutes well and truly spent. Time to get back to chores.


Hard wired to worry

I have a theory, honed during a chilly walk with Four-legged-friend,  that somewhere in the intricate and vastly complex knitting that is the genetic make up of a woman there is a strong consistent thread that carries the code for worry.  In most men, the thread is absent or at least partially deleted.

Why do I think this? - isn't it obvious? Three scenarios to persuade you:

You're invited out to dinner - people you don't know very well, so there has already been some anxiety over which dress to wear, how smart to be - but at the time given on the invitation, your man is still in the bath, or worse, has just decided that he needs to measure the bathroom wall ready for the shelves he plans to put up tomorrow before he gets into the bath. You have already apologised to the babysitter for getting her round too early (this is of course nonsensical, as she doesn't care: you are still here, sorting out your child, and she is being paid for watching you). You have changed sho…