Bit Of Me Time

Searching for more time …

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A family first

Today was an exciting day for us – our first family bike ride.  We all jumped on our bikes and cycled to a friends’ house for a BBQ.  In the past the children have cycled and we have walked/run alongside.  They are 6 and 4 years old, so stayed on the pavement, but I had a “Mummy moment” (warm and fluffy feeling) as we headed off.  So sweet.

We all arrived safely, and most of the village would have heard us, or rather Son in his excitement, as we pedaled along.  Whilst this was a magic family moment, the reason behind the idea was simple – our great mates had their leaving party and neither Husband nor I wanted to drive!  It was a really enjoyable party, and we all made it home safely.  Kids now in bed, dog walked and Husband and I relaxing.  A lovely day.


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I don’t know about you, but I get very irritated with salesman, the door-to-door variety.  The part I really dislike is the fact that you have to sign the paperwork then and there, because you have the “cooling off period” in case you change your mind.  Why can’t they give you the chance to think about it in the peace of your own home (not whilst they are sitting next to you), and then you call them when you’ve decided? I’m sure someone in Sales and Marketing can answer that (and I can guess the reason), but I don’t like it.

Recently we had a solar panel bod turn up on the doorstep.  This is something we have been interested in, and so Husband made an appointment.  Husband then did lots of fact finding, so we knew quite a bit before the salesman turned up.  The rate paid for this electricity is changing from 21p to 16p at the end of July, so we knew there’d be a bit of pressure.

The salesman stayed for almost three hours, partly because Daughter refused to settle and either Husband or I had to keep going upstairs to settle her; these sales pitches seem to take at least an hour, and we had lots of questions.  I remember a double-glazing salesman who took umbridge when I asked if it would last much longer, after an hour and pick-up time was looming, but I digress, more about that later.

He left saying, because of the deadline, we’d hear very soon.  We didn’t.  We’ve rung Head Office and said if it is not done by this deadline, then we’re not interested.  Still waiting.

I should add at this point that we don’t make a habit of letting in the door-to-door salesman, we usually do research ourselves and contact companies as and when.  I am naturally sceptical of them and the aforementioned double-glazing salesman proved my point.  The story was that he his company, Pure, knocked on the door, we made an appointment, then salesman got grumpy because I asked how much longer it was going to last, after nearly an hour.  He then gave us a quote on a flyer, and when we tried to find out more about the company, we could not even find a website, and we had not seen any headed paper or business card.  The price was great, but both Husband and I had a feeling of “too good to be true”, so we decided to go with a local company, who were recommended, and although a bit more expensive, we were more confident that we would get a good service – we did.  However having turned down “Pure” they kept ringing us for many weeks.  Thank goodness for caller ID.

Meanwhile the solar panel company is starting work very soon.  Exciting.

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Book Club – Chapter 5

We have just had our last book club in it’s current form.  One of our gang is moving to Kuala Lumpur next month, so it was a bitter sweet evening.  We therefore chose an easy read because we did not have quite as much time as previously.  Our latest book was “Fifty Shades of Grey” by E L James.  Like so many I was very curious about it, with all the hype and comments that are “out there”.

My own view was that somehow it was compelling, whilst not brilliantly written and I did find myself skipping bits here and there.  I surprised myself by reading all three books, and have found that they merged into each other.  Without all the “Mummy Porn” it would probably only stretch to one book, but then it probably would have stayed on the shelf.  Our host played the music from “50 Shades” and we gossiped about whether Ann Summers had sold out of various “toys”, if husbands were having more fun and whether we’d see a baby-boom in 9 months’ time!  As for making this into a film, only time will tell.  Our conclusion though, was that E L James is a very wealthy lady, and well done to her.

So, we then turned our attention to the next book.  “Bleak House” by Dickins was suggested, as we all felt we needed something with more to it than a “kinky shag-fest”.  However we wimped out of this for the time being as we felt it would be more of a winter read.

Our next book certainly has more content to it.  We are reading “Unaccustomed Earth” by Jhumpa Lahiri, which is eight stories that travel from Cambridge and Seattle to India and Thailand explaining about the lives of sisters, brothers, fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, friends and lovers.  Jhumpa Lahiri is an internationally best-selling, Pulitzer Prize–winning author, and the stories in this book have been described as “longer and more emotionally complex than any she has yet written”.  I can’t wait.


The books we have read so far are: “One Day” by David Nicholls; “Before I Go To Sleep” by S J Watson; “Ship of Brides” by Jojo Moyes; “Vanishing Point” by Danielle Ramsay and “50 Shades of Grey” by E L James.


Wednesday Witter #1

Well, its Wednesday and I’m wittering.  What a great idea by Sarah Miles at Hello Wall.  I’ve not joined in with a linky before, so this is first for me.  In my hesitation, I missed the very first week, and am now wondering about a topic to witter about.  I thought about, the weather (of course), door-to-door salesmen, school holidays, children, dogs, and can only conclude that a combination will be too much.

So here goes – school holidays.  In the last week, I’ve started my holidays, Husband, Daughter and Son having broken up a week before me.  Whilst they have eight weeks off, I work part-time in the holidays and full time in term time.  We therefore have a “map” of the holiday weeks, and please forgive me when I say, they never seem to be long enough *squirm*.  It always amazes me how the time does fly, we always aim to have lots of days at home just being together, and then visit a few friends, family, get the shoe and uniform shopping done, haircuts booked, dentist etc and suddenly find ourselves returning to work all too soon. *squirms again*

So this year, our plans are simple – hang around for some sunshine and then head to the beach, campsite and days out, with the rest of the country.  Only time will tell as to whether this is a good plan, or a disaster.

We have started well.  Last Sunday we visited Sealife, which was fantastic and wet (but no rain drops in sight) and then the beach, in the sunshine (yes, really).  We hope that our luck will continue this weekend, on Friday we are off to a Forestry Commission in Surrey, armed with bikes, picnic (and hopefully no recorders! – no offence Sarah).  On Saturday and Sunday are filled with parties, that due to their size, need to outside – so please forgive me if Fri, Sat and Sun are non-stop rain, just because we have planned outdoor activities.. Time will tell.

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Friday was worth the wait.

I started this post last week:

I am really looking forward to Friday, for several reasons.

1) It’s the end of term, and although I work in the hols, it is on a very much reduced basis, so we all get lots family time together,

2) I can go to “posh staff and Governors lunch” with Husband on Friday, because children are being collected from school by Granny.  The joy of this is that we don’t need to picnic in the rain with them (as they are not quite old enough for adult “posh lunch”),

3) Granny has invited the children for a sleepover – so Husband and I get a proper lie in on Saturday morning.

The holidays will be off to a very good start. Yipeeee

Now it is Sunday and I can safely say it was worth the wait.  We got home on Friday, last day of term for us, and although exhausted, we headed off to staff drinks.  There were no children and therefore no babysitter at home, so time was not an issue.  Then there was “the lie in”.  All was quiet on Saturday morning, and Husband and I made up for the long hours at work, and slept, and slept, and read, and slept.  We eventually surfaced after midday (about a six hour lie in compared to school days!), had a late brunch and headed to Granny to collect the children.  Daughter and Son were wonderfully behaved whilst with Granny and Pop, who coped admirably with two small children on a very wet day!

This is definitely the best way to start the holidays.  I will sending Granny our term dates and ensure that she is free on the last day of every term and the first day of the holidays.

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Happy Christmas…!

It’s the end of term and so the presents for staff need to be given out.  After much searching for nine presents, we found Disco Beads and Cath Kidson.

All presents wrapped, and cards written, and off to school.  I explained to Daughter and Son that when we give the presents to the teachers we need to say “thank you for helping me this year”, not too difficult, or so I thought.

Daughter, dutifully, followed instructions, said the right thing and hugged her teachers, making Mummy feel very proud.

Son, however, managed to do this once, and after that, with a very cheeky grin, looked up at his teachers, gave them their present and said “Happy Christmas”!!!

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How things have changed…

We have recently met up with our NCT group.  In 2007 there were six fat ladies and six husbands, in 2012 (having lost touch with one couple) there were five ladies, of varying sizes, fives husbands, also varying sizes, and 11 children.

It was the first time we have all been together,  with all the children and husbands, and we had great fun, particularly remembering the NCT lessons.  All those years ago, when we really knew so little about how our lives were going to change, however we still remember our NCT teacher, who was new to the job.  Poor girl, in her “class” she had three teachers, an Army officer, two doctors, a highly qualified sales and marketing director, a couple of secretaries and a land management bod.  She needed a bit more confidence and didn’t stand a chance, as we asked questions and queried this and that.  In the pub afterwards, we had much pleasure in dissecting her lessons and spent many a fun evening discussing whether there was an introduction to what we would learn, learning it and then review what we had learned (as the teachers explained how a lesson should be done!).  It was not all bad and we did learn something, but, more importantly we’ve made some great friends.

The children got on well together, there were of course tears and tantrums and ‘sharing’ issues to resolve, but it was a rare sunny day and there was plenty of outside space for them to whizz around in.   A treasure hunt, toys, space and a sunny day kept the kids happy, and the parents chatting.

With one couple heading overseas, there’s no telling when our next gathering will be, but I know we’ll stay in touch and will all enjoy watching the children growing up.