Monday, 31 March 2008
Sunday, 30 March 2008
You are brave...when you overcome your fear and help others to do the same.
You are loving...when your own pain does not blind you to the pain of others.
You are wise...when you know the limits of your wisdom.
You are alive...when tomorrow's hope means more to you than yesterday's mistake.
You are growing...when you know what you are but not what you will become.
You are free...when you are in control of yourself and do not wish to control others.
You are merciful...when you forgive in others the faults you condemn in yourself.
You are beautiful...when you don't need a mirror to tell you.
You are rich...when you never need more than what you have.
You are you...when you are at peace with who you are not.
What are you?
Saturday, 29 March 2008
And I have to say, it was more of a half-family day out. The Football Fanatic was working all day, and anyway, she would rather gouge her own eyes out than spend a day with a bevy of siblings, and The Singer, amidst much hair-tossing and eye-rolling, announced that she was far to old to go 'messing about in water with a load of babies'.
Three kids then. Oh well, at least it made us look like a more normal family for once, and we could avoid all those pitying comments like 'Gosh, are they all yours? All girls as well? However do you cope?' and so on.
I feel the need to point out here that I don't DO water. Well, I do bathwater and washing-up water, but public water, pools and oceans and things - no thank you. I leave all that sort of thing to the Father of This Lot.
So, naturally I sat about at the side of the pool looking extremely elegant:
Oh.....alright.....I sat about at the side of the pool in jeans and a Tesco hoodie, but you get the idea.
And you'll NEVER guess who was there when I arrived:
That infernal woman gets everywhere. Deserts me for weeks on end, then turns up, bold as brass, wanting to pick up where we left off. Some people have no shame.
So, what with water slides, waves in the pool and the descent of a tropical rainstorm every fifteen minutes, a good time was had by all. Even the injury count was relatively low - a couple of decent scrapes on shin and forearm for The Noise, and that was about it. The packed lunch didn't last long. Actually the packed lunch didn't even make it, since it was consumed in its entirety oh, a good five minutes after we left the house this morning, but that's par for the course with this lot.
On the way home on the motorway in driving rain, they all fell asleep in the back of the car. And a little-happier-with-each-other-than-they-have-been-for-a-long-time Mother and Father of This Lot turned to each other and said
'Well, at least they enjoyed it'
which roughly translates as
'I would far rather have been doing something else, but having brought them into the world, it only seems right to provide them with a good time every now and then'
Quite like old times, really.
Thursday, 27 March 2008
....which is going to everybody, because you really all do make my day - and that's something I never would have believed until I started this blogging lark!
Daryl, whom I'm sure could run New York City single-handedly, CrazyCath, for being the only female in the house, Manic Mother of Five and Shrinky for being almost the only females in the house, Adrienne, because she spits like a hellcat when she doesn't get an award and RC because she's shown quite a lot of Girl Power in the last few weeks.
There's no rules with this one - pass it on to whoever you like!
The Fixer is working hard on everybody else's awards - she'll have to - we've only got seven days left on the free Photoshop trial.
Much as I would love to stay and chat, real life in the form of ironing, a bowlful of dirty dishes and preparations for a family day out tomorrow is calling. I feel obliged to get on with it.
Wednesday, 26 March 2008
Me: What's that?
Him: It's a hoover.
Me: I can see that. What's it for?
Him: You said the hoover wasn't picking up properly. I bought a new one.
Me: Oh right. Thanks. Did you get the milk?
Him: I forgot.
It could have been worse, I suppose. And I did notice that there wasn't any of the usual '...don't see why I should be buying appliances for a house I don't live in anymore...' nonsense.
Perhaps now is an opportune moment to tell him that the dryer's packed up and the dishwasher's been on the blink since last August.
In yet another appliance-buying moment, the Football Fanatic has invested in this:
Apparently it is known as an ipod dock. I was quite looking forward to it's arrival because this lot have broken two of the USB ports on the computer, so to charge the various ipods in the house necessitates unplugging my keyboard. The 'dock' would eliminate the need for this because it can charge everybody's ipod without disturbing me.
Also, there was the sales pitch....
".......a beautiful, compact sound system with an integrated Universal Dock that fills the room with rich, audiophile-quality sound......"
Perhaps that only applies to a normal household. In the hands of this lot the noise reached decibel levels that I am certain are hazardous to human health. The strains of 'Glory, glory, Man United' which wafted up the stairs could only be equalled by a crowd of 76,000 people at Old Trafford. Once they had figured out how to jam the volume button onto full, the music began, and, much as I am used to feeling there has been a minor earhquake in the house, I can honestly say that, two floors above them, the ground was actually shaking.
My usual line of 'FOR GOD'S SAKE, TURN IT DOWN' was useless. Have you ever seen a programme about The Ministry of Sound in Ibiza? If you have, you've got the idea.
I gave it up as a bad job in the end. I can only thank God that we are detatched and double glazed. Otherwise, the neighbours could be forgiven for thinking that they're spending Easter week in a caravan somewhere on the outskirts of Ayia Napa.
Monday, 24 March 2008
It's not what you think. (At least, I hope to God it's not).
The Father of This Lot is most definitely an animal person. So it was he who was despatched to the pet shop with The Noise on Saturday morning in search of a nice, fluffy, baby rabbit. The Fixer and The Peacemaker were at a loose end and accompanied them.
I knew things had not gone to plan when the Father of This Lot burst through the door sometime later, trailed by various children with a box displaying the legend 'PORT-A-PET'.
Him: Seventy quid that's just cost me!
Me: FOR A RABBIT???
Him: No. Not for one rabbit. For three rabbits, bedding, a bag of rabbit food and a *@&*ing hutch.
Me: Three rabbits?
Them: Look Mum - we all got one!
And before I knew what had happened, there were three baby rabbits running around the living room floor. I admit to feeling rather queasy at this point and can't actually remember whether I stood on a chair shouting 'Get them out!' or words to that effect.
I rabbit-proofed the kitchen by means of an upturned chair and a broom handle and made a cup of tea.
Photographs by The Peacemaker
Him: What I can't understand about this lot is, when it's somebody's birthday, everybody gets a present.
What I thought was: Well which idiot stood in the pet shop and agreed to it? I'd have pointed out it was The Noise's birthday and made sure nobody else got anything. No whining, no complaining. Home.
What I said was: 'Well, that just shows what a nice, kind Dad you are, doesn't it?'
What I then thought was: Don't come crying to me mate, on the next birthday, when you've got to cough up for five presents. You're on your own.
'If you've never been hated by your child, you've never been a parent'
'There's a lot more to being a woman than being a mother. But there's a lot more to being a mother than most people suspect'
'My idea of Superwoman is someone who scrubs her own floors'
'There is no such thing as a non-working mother'
'A mother is a person who, seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie'
'Any mother could perform the jobs of several air-traffic controllers with ease'
'Being a mother is a profession just like being a doctor or a lawyer, except that if you have several children, it's more like being an Indian chief'
'The joys of motherhood are never fully experienced until the children are in bed'
'When you're a mother, the odds of going into a store for a loaf of bread and coming out with only a loaf of bread are three billion to one'
and my own personal favourite:
'It's not easy being a mother. If it were, fathers would do it'
Sunday, 23 March 2008
And so am I!
Without a doubt, this has been the longest Holy Week of my life. I can't go into detail, but there has been something big going on with the Father of This Lot, and there have been times during this week when I have felt that I have been carrying a cross myself.
Saturday, 22 March 2008
Happy Birthday to a Noisy Nine year old!
Quote of the Day:
'I've waited YEARS for my birthday to be on a Saturday, and it's happened on one of the saddest days of the year!'
Never mind kiddo, it's Easter Sunday tomorrow!
I will be out for the rest of the day, entertaining several friends of The Noise at TGI Fridays.
Thursday, 20 March 2008
My soul is sad, my heart is breaking tonight
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
Answer: I'm afraid this one was a bit of a trick question!
Romeo and Juliet were fish in a bowl. The rumble of the train caused the bowl to smash on the floor. All the water spilled out, leaving poor R & J flapping about until the end......
Quite a few of you knew the answer though!
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
'.....I didn't mean to squirt you with tomato sauce......'
Why would I lie? You couldn't make this stuff up.
Nanny needed for five delightful females.
Monday, 17 March 2008
Things Your Children Are Bound To Say...And Your Likely Response
'But she started it'
'I didn't do it'
'Why can't I have it?'
'That's so unfair!'
'Daddy said I could have it'
'Johnny's mummy lets him do it'
Sunday, 16 March 2008
Except Holy Week.
This week, which starts today and ends next Saturday.
I know, I know. It's the pinnacle of the faith. It's what the Church is built on. And I absolutely dread it, every single year.
Ever since I was a little girl, Christ's Passion has horrified me. When we were learning about it at school, I would put my fingers in my ears and pray that it would end soon. And that feeling never went away. I'm not a little girl any longer, but I still feel the same. For me, it is the worst week of the year, and I cannot wait until it is over.
I found this Palm Sunday reflection here. It's longer than my usual posts, but I urge you to read it.
The liturgies of this week are powerful and primal. In the days to come, there is silence and smoke, fire and water, shadow and light. We are a part of something both ancient and new, and what we do this week reminds us of that. The altar will be stripped. The cross will be venerated. The tabernacle will be emptied. The Blessed Sacrament will be moved. Bells will be stilled.And yet here we stand, at the gates to Jerusalem, palms in our hands and hosannas on our lips, beginning the arduous trek to Calvary.
Because, of all the calendars in all of human history, this is the week that changed the world.
Saturday, 15 March 2008
- Using a food processor, reduce the day old loaf to breadcrumbs. Put it in a little bag marked 'Breadcrumbs' and consign it to the depths of the freezer, in the vain hope that the next time you need some, you will remember where it is
- Split and butter the hot cross buns and hand them round as a stop gap whilst you......
- ......put the two tins of tomatoes back in the cupboard and nip out to the chip shop, where, for an amount of money surpassed only by the debt of a small African nation, you can purchase fish and chips for six people.
This recipe is not subject to copyright. Feel free to use it anytime.
Easy bit: Football Fanatic 19, Singer 14, Fixer 12, Peacemaker 11, Noise 8 (till next week)
People with large families are often asked how they manage it, and the truth is, most of the time you just get on with, because, let's face it, what's the option? You start off with one, and then they just keep turning up, and you just sort of adapt really, without noticing.
It's true that I did things differently once the house was full of kids. For instance, when the Football Fanatic was a baby, I was obsessed with keeping her clean. If she happened to get a smear of chocolate on her face, I would immediately rush upstairs and clean her up with her own snow-white facecloth, dry her with her own snow-white towel and probably change her clothes as well. By the time I got to The Noise, dirt was more of a feature around the place, and my cleaning up babies routine had diminished to either a bit of spit on a hanky or the dishcloth dunked in the washing-up water.
Like I said, I adapted.
I would be guilty of lying if I said they all got on well. The two teenagers appear to despise one another with a passion, seem unable to say a civil word to each other and often have to be physically seperated. I am cheered slightly by the fact that many people have said to me 'I HATED my sister when we lived together, but now we don't she's my best friend'. Hmm....let's wait and see. Perhaps I should point out that whilst they feel it's perfectly normal for them to say and do the most horrible things to each other, they will not let anyone else say or do the same. On occasions when this has happened, they have each turned into tigresses in defence of the other sister and are quite happy to fight one another's corner.
The Fixer and The Peacmaker are probably best friends. They are quite close in age and when they were little they had a secret language of their own. This was fun for them but infuriating for me when all I wanted to know was what they wanted for their dinner. Often, they let The Noise play with them, although this can be quite annoying as she does like things done HER WAY. The Noise has no concept of fear, and will fight any one of the other four. She has even been known to stand on a chair and take on the Father of This Lot when feeling particularly aggreived. In my experience, it's easier to give in.
Would I swap them for boys? Let's see. Well, I have no experience of boys, but I have heard that having a houseful of boys means:
- Television viewing is limited to Match of the Day or Sky Sports News
- Dirty clothes, towels etc. are strewn throughout the house
- They are obsessed with food and constantly eat you out of house and home
- There is always a fight going on somewhere
Swap them? What would be the point?
Okay, I reckon I've bored you long enough. I'll answer some more tomorrow. (This could keep me in posts for a while - keep adding questions)!
The Fixer's award of the day is 'You Crafty Little Blogger'
Friday, 14 March 2008
As a result, there is nothing for tea, the house has taken on an air of 'shabby chic' and from the banging and raised voices coming from downstairs I can only assume that whoever The Noise has conned into playing with her is probably not doing things her way!
So, faced with too much to do in too little time, coupled with a complete lack of inspiration, I have decided to host my own version of 'Question Time'. I've seen this sort of things on other people's blogs.....actually, now I come to think of it, they were far more popular blogs than this one........oh, well, too late now.....
So, if you have a question you've always wanted to ask me, (though why on earth anyone would I don't know)....ask away. Ask two if you like, or even three. I'll answer them all. (God, I hope nothing too embarrassing crops up)!
The Fixer's award for today is 'This Blogger Tells a Good Tale' and goes to:
Don't forget to pass them on - she's rigging up some sort of tracking device as we speak, to see where they end up!
I will be back later. In the meantime I shall be in the kitchen, trying to make a meal out of two tins of tomatoes, a day old loaf and three hot cross buns.
Thursday, 13 March 2008
I will leave you to imagine what a jolly time was had by all. Soaked, due to a deluge which descended the minute we set off, tea in a polystyrene cup and the best part of thirty quid in taxi fares with a driver who obviously honed his skills on the dodgems at Daisy Nook fair last Easter.
Still, at least the options are sorted:
- Business Studies
If anyone can think of a suitable career which encompasses all these skills, please let me know.
I am tired and fed up, and I would go to bed, except that I promised The Fixer that I would distribute her latest award 'Full of Grace'
So, even though I feel about as full of grace as Onslow in 'Keeping Up Appearances' I would like to give this award to those blogs which are far more graceful than this one:
Tomorrow I shall be back to normal - and there's another award on the way! Sorry they're coming thick and fast, but we've only got a 30 day trial so the kid's working flat out!
Wednesday, 12 March 2008
Comment moderation is on, for THE CHEATERS!
I could name names, but you know who you are!!
Good luck! See you later!
(Oh, and I know there's only two men in the picture, but you try finding a retro graphic with four men in a boat when you're trying to remember whether you moved the crate of Christmas decorations out of the confessional box).
ANSWER: Not a single man got wet because......
Comments back on so you can see who all the clever people were who got it right!
Tuesday, 11 March 2008
This first one came from Maggie May, who believes me to be a very busy person. I suppose I am quite busy, but I did notice during the weekend, when the internet was playing up, how much busier I used to be before I started this blogging lark! It's amazing how much housework you can get done when there's no computer to distract you......
Anyway, I would like to pass this on to David, who has got to be the busiest blogger anybody has ever met. Also, it's quite nice to be able to give him an award that he can actually accept, rather than the 'Wonderful Woman of the Web' award that I bestowed on him last time.
This one from Casdok, assumes I have a 'quick wit' - possibly gained from years of dealing with the Father of This Lot. I am passing this one to Milla, Swearing Mother, Pig in the Kitchen and Kitty, all exceptionally witty and probably wise, wonderful and lots of other complimentary adjectives beginning with W.
Actually, that was a complete and utter lie.
But wait......there's more!! The Fixer has decided that she is making more awards. Enough, in fact, so that everyone who has ever commented gets one! She is studying the blogs of all commenters and she's determined to make something to suit everyone!
So, if you didn't get an award today, DON'T PANIC!! (That means you, Adrienne)! Because, before the week is out, there will be something for everyone.
My sincere hope is that The Fixer is only using royalty-free images and that we're not going to get hit with a £100,000 copyright bill.
In the unfortunate event that this does happen, I will do what any caring mother would do in the circumstances.
Deny all knowledge and lay the blame firmly at her door.
Monday, 10 March 2008
If you swallow chewing gum it will wind itself around your heart
If you don't wait an hour after eating to go swimming, you will get a cramp and die
If you pull ugly faces the wind will change and you'll stay like that
One hundred strokes with a brush is good for your hair
Eat your carrots - they'll make you see in the dark
Don't crack your knuckles - you'll get arthritis
Feed a cold, starve a fever
If you eat all your crusts, they'll make your hair curl
If you go out with wet hair you'll catch a cold
Chicken soup is good for colds
So, how many lies did your mother tell you?
And more importantly, how many have you told?
Sunday, 9 March 2008
See you when the revs pick up a bit!
Saturday, 8 March 2008
Enter the Mother of This Lot, stage left. And, boy, did I let them have it. Both barrels? ALL barrels. They didn't know what had hit them. There was complete and utter silence. (Another sentence I thought I'd never write). So while I had their attention I took them on a round-the-world guilt trip. You know the sort of thing.....I don't ask much.....nobody ever thinks about me....nerves are in shreds....as if I don't have enough with your father.... It was worthy of an award. It could even have been made into a film. In fact it was:
Since I appeared to be on a roll I decided to take full advantage and assign some cleaning duties. Furniture was pulled out, floors mopped, carpets hoovered, windows cleaned, wooden surfaces polished to within an inch of their lives and anything that was left lying about was given five minutes to live before being condemned forever to the depths of a black bin bag.
Yep, things are definitely changing round these parts. From now on, we live by my rules:
All in all, a good day.
And tomorrow, girls, we'll tackle the upstairs.
Now, who fancies the bathroom?
Friday, 7 March 2008
But believe me, I am not like any Superhero. They are all far too energetic for my liking. All that leaping and whizzing through the air and scaling skyscrapers by means of spider's webs. No thank you. And the quiz which was provided to help was no use at all, seeing as I emerged as The Green Lantern.
So, I've tweaked it a bit.
Whilst I have no desire to embrace anything that smacks remotely of exercise, I really wouldn't mind having a few magical powers - the sort where you don't actually have to move much to get things done. So, I've picked a few characters that I would quite like to swap lives with for a day, and since you know me quite well by now, I thought you could decide which one you think I would be most like.
I spent a large part of my childhood desperately wanting to be this character:
But then again, there was:
'Jeannie - more than two thousand years old, she can control any situation with the blink of an eye....'
And of course:
'Mary Poppins - practically perfect in every way'
So now it's up to you - which one is most like me?
Bella - DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT - you've got too much packing to do.
(Thanks Cath, I enjoyed it in the end)!
Thursday, 6 March 2008
Now, it may be just me, but you'd think you'd be aware of a key chain jangling from one of your belt loops even if it wasn't on the usual side, wouldn't you?
No common sense.
Wednesday, 5 March 2008
Now, before you all start hiring hit-men on my behalf (although if anybody knows a good one...no, forget that), please believe me when I say I was not remotely bothered about this arrangement.
There were two reasons for this:
1. United were playing in a European cup match, and the prospect of having the house to myself (the Football Fanatic being at the said match) to watch it, as opposed to running around a restaurant trying to find someone with a phone that receives live text updates was just too good to miss
2. The Father of This Lot has always enjoyed the thought that he has a lot of children. He has always enjoyed telling people he has a lot of children. However, his idea of parental responsibility and mine differ slightly, in that he believes that his starts and ends with paying for them. The actual 'down and dirty' of parenting has never held much appeal for him.
Actually, I've just thought of a third reason. I've been to this place before. I've seen the chef out the back having a smoke, and frankly, some of his personal habits leave a lot to be desired.
Anyway, this lot had a good time. Their Father looked rather ashen-faced when he brought them home. I almost felt sorry for him. Almost.
And the match?
Manchester United 1 Lyon 0
A good result all round.
Tuesday, 4 March 2008
I'm thinking of buying her a grafter's belt for her birthday.
I blame the father.
Wherever he is.
Monday, 3 March 2008
Well, I promised you a 'Mothering Monday' and here it is.
Taken from 'The Mums' Book - for the Mum who's Best at Everything'
by Alison Maloney
Things You'll Never Hear a Mother Say To a Child
Be good and I'll buy you a motorbike
Don't bother wearing a coat - it's quite warm out
How on earth can you see the TV sitting so far away?
Let me smell that shirt. Yes, that's good for another week
I think an untidy bedroom is a sign of creativity
Yes, I used to play truant too
Just leave all the lights on. It makes the house look more cheery.
Could you turn the music up louder so I can enjoy it too?
Run and bring me the scissors! Quick!
Just turn your underpants inside out. No-one will ever know
No, I don't have a tissue with me. Just use your sleeve
And that's just the first page! What do you think? Shall we stick with it and do another one next Monday?
Sunday, 2 March 2008
Without a Mum like you,
....when I am cooking with her, ON HER OWN, WITHOUT THE OTHERS.
These were from The Fixer....
...and The Singer....
....and this from the Football Fanatic, which, let's face it, I'm never going to see again after today.
And then, there was this, from The Peacemaker. Now, not only will buying a book entitled
'The Mums Book...for the Mums who are best at everything'
get you endless Brownie points, let me tell you, I have flicked through it and this book will keep me in blog posts for months! In fact, I'm already mentally writing tomorrow's post. I think we'll call it 'Mothering Monday'. Yep, that's got legs...I can see a series.....
And if you thought that was it, think again. I nipped over to Bella's only to find this:
For always knowing what to say, no matter who she’s speaking to…..For keeping her sense of humour in situations when I would have lost mine, and so much more…For making me laugh, out loud, again and again; and then hours later, all over again…For sharing her strength and determination to make the next day better than today - for yes, that thought quietly shines through for those of us who really hear her words…Five daughters. One Mother……Jackie - You Rock!
I haven't commented yet. I don't know what to say.
Bella and I have never met in real life. In fact we've only 'known' each other for a couple of months, but I do know that if we ever did meet, we'd have a fantastic time! Now, I often read about blog friends meeting up and becoming great 'real' friends, but that is unlikely to happen with Bella and me, because very soon, she's moving to the other side of the world. I'm really glad for her, because travel and adventure is in her blood, because she's starting a new life, because New York is the most exciting city in the world.....but I'm sad too, because I would have loved to have had a mocha with her just once!
So, just for you, Bella, here's one for your sidebar.
Have this one on me!
And FINALLY......scroll down two posts for the answer to the puzzle!
Note to self: Never again do a post with this many pictures unless you have three and a half hours to spare.