Bit Of Me Time

Searching for more time …


Tooth Fairy

An exiting day – Daughter has her first wobbly tooth.

She’s very organised and likes to have everything sorted in her mind, so she had lots of questions this evening: What happens if I lose the tooth?; What happens if I swallow the tooth?; Which coin does the Tooth Fairy leave?; Is there only one Tooth Fairy?  After answering them all, she sighed and said, “but I’m really worried Mummy”!  I’m not sure what her friends have said, but she is, as ever, thinking through all the possibilities and worrying about lots of them that might never happen!  Once I had answered all the queries and worries, she asked if I was telling the truth!  My reply was simply, “of course”.  That might not be entirely true, but as long as she doesn’t see this, I might get away with it.

The wobbly one is one of the bottom middle teeth, and behind it is the big tooth pushing it’s way through.  The Dentist, at our last visit in April, said that he could see the big teeth coming through and she would soon have a wobbly tooth, or two.  How right he was!

I have just done a Facebook survey about what the Tooth Fairy currently pays, and it seems to average £1.  The “tightest” Fairy pays in shillings and the the maximum seems to be £3 if you swallow it, £2 if you lose it and £1 for those left on the bedside table/under the pillow.  Alternatively it’s £2 for the first one and £1 thereafter.   As one friend said – if it’s too much children might start pulling out their teeth!  Another one said the due to the recession the Tooth Fairy leaves an IOU, but I’m not prepared to suggest this latter possibility to our Daughter.



It’s party time

It’s a Wednesday Witter linky with Hello Wall.

This Wednesday is party time.  When we moved four years ago we had a housewarming.  We are lucky enough to have a large garden (almost a field) and we made good use of it by filling it with children during the afternoon and our friends during the evening.  It faces South West, so the light was beautiful and it was a definite success.

So a year later, we thought, let’s do this again.  It rained and rained and rained.  Husband was under a gazebo with the BBQ and everyone else was huddled inside.  Friends rang to ask if we were going ahead, “of course” we said, and a few more squashed in.  The rain stopped as the last person left.

The next couple of years had better weather conditions, and so to this year.  We’ve watched the forecast, rain, heavy rain, heavy rain and more rain.  Yesterday it was forecast light rain, with some sun!  This morning the forecast is not so good.  We’ll do a sun dance and hope that helps.

Then there’s the house to clear and food to organise.  With it being a bit of an “open house” and not getting a “full house” of RSVPs, we’re never sure exactly who to expect!  So it’s a simple fare with donations in the forms of bottles welcome.  Most importantly, it’s a chance to catch up with friends before the madness of the school term is upon us.

This photo was taken this morning after returning from Jodie’s walk, even she was not happy to be outside in such a deluge.  Perfect weather for a BBQ I’d say?!!  One friend asked if we are taking the British Approach to the party or doing the sensible thing (ie cancel).  A) we are not sensible and B) we are British!  The party is on.

So it’s fingers crossed for some better, drier weather and I’m off to tidy, sort and shop…..

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Three in a row

Well, they say everything goes in threes, and for Husband that has proved to be very true.  Last weekend we went camping and we duly wrote the list of things we would need to take, however as we always leave something behind, I double checked with him before we headed off.  When the tent was up and we were unpacking the “kitchen” etc, he said “you know I said we hadn’t forgotten something……” “yes” says me “well I forgot our sleeping bags, just ours, not the children’s”.  We had a picnic rug to share, which did not really suffice and it was a cold night.  I almost sent him home to get them in the early hours.  However, he did the following day.

When it was time to pack up, I reminded him to check all the pockets in the tent, especially Daughter, who is a squirrel.  Once all packed, I left him to fit everything back into the car, and he asked where the car keys were.  As I had unlocked the car earlier, I was suddenly very worried – I’m not always the best person to leave in charge of the keys! Luckily I had my set, so we headed off home, knowing they in the car somewhere.  Then he realised that his phone was nowhere – which is quite unusual.  We decided that his keys and phone had to be together, and when he received a call, through the car phone system, we knew his phone was definitely in the car somewhere.  So back home I rang his phone and the tent “answered”.  It was in one of the tent pockets (with his keys).  So we unpacked the tent, found the keys and phone and then repacked it all.  It could have been worse, if I did not have my spare set, we would have had to unpack the car and then the tent whilst still at the campsite!

And for his third and final “ooops” moment, he decided to use a slicer to cut sausages very thinly for an omelet supper.  I had just bought a slicer….. and was watched carefully by two great friends the first time I used it – one of them had sliced three of her fingers using one.  Husband, however, thought he’d try out a new gadget and, I’m sure that you can guess what happened…..  “ouch, I’ve taken the top off my finger”.  After a couple of ineffectual dressings at home, we headed to the surgery for a more professional seaweed dressing, which did stop the bleeding.  We were very amused that the doctor greeted him by saying “oh I’m squeamish”!

So, I think that’s his three in a row and hopefully nothing else will be coming his way.  Meanwhile he is nursing a very sore finger (or a “poor paw” as we say in our house).


What? Wednesday again, already?

How can a whole week go by so quickly?  It’s a Wednesday witter day so join Sarah Miles’ great linky at Hello Wall.

Last week left me very sad and blue, as one of my greatest friends moved overseas.  Yesterday, we had a skype conversation and lots of Facebook chat, and all is, not surprisingly, going really well for them.  I spent the remainder of the day with a silly grin on my face.

On Friday we went to a great campsite not too far away, where life slows down and everything is chilled – particularly the wine.  We arrived mid-afternoon, found a patch and set up camp.  Daughter was a little sad as she did not find a best friend immediately, and Son, who is more shy, hung around us a bit as we put the tent up.  We do “camping by loan” and borrow a tent, cooker, and a couple of tables, but have now invested in our own BBQ.  (Not quite as clean as this one anymore).

Once the tent was up, and I returned from the playground and wood collecting with the children, Husband said that there was one thing he had forgotten – our sleeping bags!  Just his and mine.  He’s a geographer and said that he did not think the temperature would drop, so we decided to give it a go, after all we did have the picnic rug.  Unfortunately the temperature dropped more than the geographer thought, and in the early hours, feeling decidedly cold, I suggested he drove home (just over one hour) to go and get them!  Our other slight problem was that the car was parked up a slight incline and on the other side of a very muddy patch – in short – not very accessible. However we survived the night, and the next day, Husband returned home to collect them!  The next night was wonderfully warm and full of sleep!

During the days, we took life at a gentle slow pace and had fun on the beach,with lots of others and another day travelling by steam train and being on top of the world, well top of the castle.

We had sunny days and cool evenings around the campfire, fish and chips, picnics and lots of family time – my favourite.  I also loved being so far away from all the chores!

Today, it’s back to work for me for the reminder of the week, so I can not put off reality any longer!  Hope you’ve all had a happy Wednesday.


Fond farewell

It’s Wednesday, it’s a witter and today it’s a Weepy Wednesday Witter as part of Sarah Miles’ linky at Hello Wall.  I have just waved off one of my greatest friends and her family as they head off to Kuala Lumpur on an adventure.  She and her husband have both got teaching jobs out there.

They have stayed with us for the last two nights and that’s been brilliant, we had a wonderful time including a night bike ride and coffee and croissants in the village shop.  All the children get on really well and we will miss them – terribly.  Their home has always been our second home, they are our extended family.

Husband is taking them to the airport, but I can not cope with nearly two hours in a minibus, knowing that at the end is “goodbye, good luck and stay in touch”.  So I’ve stayed with the children at home and we waved from the doorstep, not that I could see too well, as the tears streamed down my face.  She has been my life-line over the years…  as a friend, confider, and keeping me sane; as well as a second mother to our children.  We will miss them all so much, and I’m feeling very lost right now.

They have a fantastic experience awaiting them and I have to admit to be quite jealous too. They have decided to leave these shores to gain a better quality of life.   His job does not include weekends, so they will have a much greater amount of family time, having a maid is “the norm” and so she will be able to work full time as well, giving them more money, and local flights will be cheap, so they can explore and travel.

I wish them the best of luck and will be counting down the days until they return next summer!  Bon voyage my amazing friends.

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My favourite ingredient – Waitrose

This is the current “show and tell” topic from Sarah Miles’ linky on her blog What Would Nigella Do?.

My favourite ingredient is “Waitrose”!  You’ve guessed it, I’m not chef.  I enjoy cooking, but I find deciding what to cook on a daily basis a bit of a bore.  Husband does much more of the “entertaining” cooking, and I do the day-to-day meals, however Daughter and Son are both getting very fussy, so whatever I put on the table is always met with grumbles!  The exception seems to be pizza and pasta, and maybe I should give them pizza or pasta for every meal, and see how long it takes before they beg for something else!

Hence Waitrose is my favourite ingredient and will always be my shop of choice – the quality is extremely good and I can always be tempted by the many yummy goodies that they sell.  Not forgetting the little green disks, that are perfect bribery to keep children, so that they can choose which box to drop them into!  I am their perfect customer in the way I can so easily be tempted!

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My favourite celebrity chef(s) – Jamie and Nigella

This blog is a Show and Tell, started by Sarah Miles and her blog What Would Nigella Do?  I am playing “catch up” as this is the second week’s topic, and I’ve missed the link again!

This week is “favourite celebrity chef” and I have to say I’m not particularly loyal to one chef.  When I left home I was packed off with the complete book of Delia Smith, which is certainly well-thumbed.  Since then, I’ve done my own thing, copied from friends, but never found one chef that I’d always turn to.  Now I have two favourites – Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson, although when I get my hands on Lisa Faulkner’s book, I think she’ll be up there too.

I love the way Jamie Oliver cooks, a lug of this and that, bunch of herbs etc, and I always enjoyed watching his programmes on the telly.  I have found his recipes easy to follow and the results never disappointing.  In some cases I do add more of the spices for my taste; for instance his fish pie in”Ministry of Food” is really yummy with a bit of chilli added (an idea “borrowed” from my sister-in-law).   I am also a great fan of what he has has done for school meals, in practical terms, as well as raising awareness.

A close second is Nigella Lawson, whose “Nigella Express” is another well used book.  I love the way she seems to chat in her recipes, my favourite of this being Nutella Pancakes – where the pancakes are bought and it’s very easy to make, however as she says “I long for this pudding almost constantly, and it is not good that it is so easy to make, not good at all”.   Also I find her recipes very tasty, and very easy to follow – with simple steps and not heaps of ingredients.  I now have the confidence to use friends as “guinea pigs” and do not need to try them out in advance.

Now that I am up to date – bring on the next one Sarah….!

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We are going jousting “for real”

A year ago we met up with friends and went to Bodiam Castle to watch some jousting.  Bodiam is a favourite with both families, because it is a classic looking castle, the type a child would draw, and, as a National Trust, has some great days out.  During the Easter holidays we have been on a dragon egg hunt and a golden egg hunt.

This weekend we’re going again.  Since last year the children have chatted about it a lot, particularly about who chose which knight!  There are six “Knights of Arkley” and we all chose a colour.  Son and I chose red and black respectively, but as they were “baddies” we knew the were not going to win.  The other girlies chose the purple knight, but he was “rubbish” and kept missing.  The Dads chose the red and blue Knight, but I don’t think any of us picked the winner!

This evening, whilst out with friends, Daughter and Son explained that we are “going to watch some jousting, for real”.  I think they are getting excited….



It’s Wednesday, so I’m wittering as part of Sarah Miles‘ great linky “Wednesday Witter”.

We’ve had a great time so far this holidays, we’ve got Daughter cycling along the road, and Son on the pavement, we’ve been 10 pin bowling with great friends, been to two weddings, lots of parties (for all ages) and some family gatherings.  Also some swimming, dog walking and generally hanging out.

Then of course  there is watching lots of the Olympics on telly.  We are loving it and it is quite common for all four of us to be jumping up and down when another gold is won by Team GB!  For all the doom and gloom in the press before the Olympics started, and the “we’ll never match up to Beijing’s opening ceremony” comments etc, I think London 2012 is fantastic.  As if Danny Boyle would produce something mediocre, and as I write this we have 22 gold medals, 13 silver and 13 bronze.  Go Team GB!

The holidays are a far cry from the term time rush, when we are all whizzing around simply trying to keep up.  I’m delighted to say that my constant search for “more time” is on hold until next month.

Loving the holidays!

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My Brave Boy

Today was a very exciting day.  Son was invited to a 4th Birthday Party at the riding Army Saddle Club near us.  Son has not done a lot of riding, probably only been once, and is a bit nervous around horses, so I was really not sure how it would go.

We arrived and he was kitted out with a hat and boots, and then all the children posed for a photo.  Son’s face suddenly crumbled as he cried, and from then on he clung to me.  We walked a short way from the stables to the indoor riding school, as he held my hand tightly, he said “Mummy I’m scared”.  It’s the first time he has had to face a fear, so we chatted about being scared, and that the best thing to do is to be brave and have a go.  He asked for his riding hat to be put back on, and was obviously willing to give it a go.

His pony, Toffee, was not the smallest, and once on top, he looked rigid and worried.  We agreed to walk to the where the other children were waiting on their mounts.  He nodded and we set off, with a giggle from him saying “Toffee is bumpy”!  He was then happy getting used to being on a pony, by waving his hands, stretching to the ceiling and learning to sit up straight (like a rider), not slouch (like a banana).  The girls in charge were excellent, and all the children, however scared, all got on and had a go.  They did a series of “races” (I use the term loosely), as all the ponies were being led by the Mummys zig-zagging in and out of barrels – sometimes holding things in one hand, or wearing things.  Son loved it and when it was time to get off and sit and watch the others, he crumpled once more.  I think it was a mixture of relief, delight and sadness that it was over.

All tears were quickly forgotten by winning pass the parcel, pizza and cake.  A great party and a very heart-warming moment for me – my brave boy having a go when he really was “proper scared”.