Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Calling All Cars

Five kids.

Five different venues.

Five different arrival times.

One night.

A military style logistics operation will now ensue.

If I make it to tomorrow, I intend to spend the day catching up with everybody whom I have abandoned all week. I may even post something longer than three lines.

In the meantime, wish me luck.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

To Russia With Love

Too emotionally shattered after tonight's 'entertainment' to write any sort of coherent post.

Even Fr. J. was pacing the floor during the Enquirer's Meeting while we waited for live text updates from the Football Fanatic.

These people must be wondering what sort of religion they're actually signing up for.

Well done lads. I knew you'd do it.

Monday, 28 April 2008

Hair To Dye For

Last Friday I decided to have red streaks put in my hair. This has nothing to do with football, or any team that plays in red. It was a whim.

There is a background to this story. I have always been satisfied with my own hair colour, so I've never put anything artificial on it. Well, except for that time when I was eighteen and 'Aubergine' was fashionable and I bought a Harmony wash-in colour. Some bright spark said: 'Ooh...your hair's really'd better leave it a bit longer than the twenty minutes'. So I did. I left it two hours. Just to be on the safe side. And although my mother's bathroom sink took on a nice indigo hue, and two of her best towels were permanently stained purple (I was eighteen - who knew you didn't use the best towels when using hair colourants?) my hair remained exactly the same colour that it had always been.

So since then, I've never bothered. Until last Friday. Karen the hairdresser arrived, put a cap on my head and proceeded to pull bits of hair through the little holes by means of a crochet hook. Well, it looked like a crochet hook. Hairdressers probably have a fancy name for it. The red colour was duly applied, and we waited for the prescribed length of time. Nothing. No red. Hair exactly the same as before. I felt this was probably not the best time to tell her about the Harmony incident.

'I'll have to bleach it' she said. 'That'll work. I'll take your own colour out with bleach and then the red will 'take'.' Off she went to the car and came back with some solution that my mother used to call 'peroxide'. After this was applied, we waited again. Twenty minutes. Nothing. So we waited a bit longer. Still nothing.

'I've got something a bit stronger in the car' she said, and came back with a bottle of some industrial strength soloution which looked and smelled like what I imagine the ancient Egyptians bleached their linen with. By the time I had waited for the next stage I was losing the will to live and I have to admit that this thought crossed my mind:

Anyway, finally there was some success. Some. Not much. The streaks are more of a copper colour than actual red. In fact, my hair now reminds me of those days when I was teaching Year 1 and I got a bit too near the painting table.'s a change. But somehow, I don't think I'll be bothering again.

Oh, I almost forgot. If you happened to be watching BBC News 24 on Saturday during the United and Chelsea match, and you saw a blonde nineteen year old pacing the streets outside a bar in Old Trafford with the voiceover saying:

'....and the tension is just too much for this diehard fan....she just can't watch....'

That would be the Football Fanatic. National news. Fame at last!

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Fruits of The Spirit

It occurred to me that I haven't done a proper Sunday post for a few weeks. I was sitting in church this morning, waiting for the Mass to start, when I read something on the front of the bulletin which struck a chord with me.
Despite the fact that I try to make light of what's happening around here, my life really is in a state of flux at the moment. It's a bit like living in continual limbo. I seem to be playing a waiting game, and other than wait, and hope for an outcome which suits everybody, there's not a lot I can do about it.
So I was quite uplifted to read this. See what you think - it might be what you needed to hear today as well:

In ancient Israel the almond was known as the 'Watchful Tree' (Jer. 1:11) because it was the first tree to flower - the earliest sign of Spring. Patience is not a very fashionable quality in our fast-paced world of goals and deadlines. Most men persue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it. And it's well worth rediscovering the art of slowing down. Growing flowers, plants or herbs from seed is a good way to learn patience, because you can't hurry the seasons. Just as the Israelites watched the almond tree for the first signs of life, so you must wait for nature to do her work. So much goes on beneath the bark and below the soil that we can't see. The lesson is that the key to patience is faith. 'Strengthen your patience with understanding' wrote St. Peter Damien, 'and look forward serenely to the joy that comes after sadness'. And indeed, after the long winter, comes the almond blossom. When you see the first signs of life emerge from the soil, or the first flowering of the year, say a prayer of thanks that your waiting and watchful patience have been rewarded.
Caroline Hodgson
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Friday, 25 April 2008

That Was The Week That Was

It's been a very busy week, all told.
I have spent two days at my mother's house, cleaning. My mother's house is now all shiny and sparkly, while my own, due to a distinct lack of attention, resembles Beirut on a bad day.
I attended a talk on 'Fair Trade' products on Tuesday morning, and without even opening my mouth, found myself involved in knitting squares for hospital blankets. (30 sts; 22 rows - any offers of help gratefully received)
On Tuesday evening, I was helping out at the Enquirers Group (people coming into the Catholic church), minding my own business, when Fr. J. told the entire assembly that the Father of This Lot and myself remind him of Dr. Cox and his wife in a programme called 'Scrubs'.
Bearing in mind that
a) I have never seen 'Scrubs', and
b) I may have misled the said assembly slightly by not actually mentioning that we are, for the most part, not the perfect specimens of an ideal happy Catholic marriage, in that we don't actually live in the same house,
...there were some quite bemused looks coming my way.
This afternoon, I have watched ten minutes of an episode of 'Scrubs' which included a bedroom scene involving Dr. and Mrs. Cox.
As Mrs. Cox was heard to say 'I cannot let you back into my life to go through all this again', I can only assume that Fr. J. is either psychic, or has spent many an evening bi-locating as a fly on my bedroom wall.
And on the subject of The Father of This Lot, we had an evening out during the week.

Some of this lot were quite excited. However, any hopes that they had of their parents spending a romantic evening together were quickly dashed when he phoned minutes before I was due to meet him and said:

'The quiz is about to start. Ask your mother does she want me to get her a sheet.'

Needless to say, I was not harbouring any thoughts of romance. Which was a good job, really, because I wasn't disappointed.

Actually, he's been around quite a bit this week. It has made blogging and commenting rather difficult, since he is blissfully unaware of it. It has, however, kept the neighbours busy, looking to see whether his car is on the path in the morning or not. (He could have kept them guessing and parked the car in the garage, were it not for the two Tesco-sized freezers, spare washing machine, various bikes, extra television and three rabbits with hutch).

And I know that I was supposed to be doing the draw for the giveaway today, but as the prize hasn't yet arrived from Amazon, I'll leave it open for a bit longer in case you missed it.

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Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Puzzle 101

Blimey, this real life business is making a habit of cutting into this blogging lark. At some point, I will have time to reveal all - possibly a 'Week in Review' post on Friday!

For the moment, there is a Champions League semi-final match to pace through. It starts in an hour and the Football Fanatic is already hyperventilating. I am however, quite pleased that I managed to talk her out of travelling to Barcelona to watch it live, with three lads, no accomodation and no ticket.

So, for tonight, because we haven't had one for a while, I will leave you with a puzzle. You'll like this one - it's one of Fr. J's. He sometimes puts them on the end of the bulletin when he can't think of anything holy.

In heavy fog, there was a serious road crash which involved two trucks and six cars. All the vehicles were severely damaged. Police and ambulances were quickly on the scene, where they found both truck drivers and took them to the hospital for treatment.
However, no drivers from any of the cars could be found at the scene of the accident.
Why not?

Comments off in case anyone gets it right!

Oh, you clever lot!
Nearly everyone got this one right.
I'll have to tell Fr. J to make the questions harder!

The two trucks were car transporters, so the six cars that were being carried by them didn't have any drivers.

And as usual, David had the best answer!

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

One Hundred Not Out!

I have made some great friends during the last one hundred posts, and so I would like to give this award, which I received from Maggie May to...


I'll be coming round later to check that it's being displayed! Sorry it's a quick post, but, for the moment, real life is getting in the way!

Monday, 21 April 2008

It's A Giveaway

This is my 99th post. Who'd have thought it? And apparently, it is traditional that when you reach 100 posts, you are supposed to tell everybody 100 things about yourself

Not a chance.

I couldn't even think of 100 things about myself, and if I could, I wouldn't have the time.

So instead, I'm having a giveaway. A much better idea in my opinion.

And since the 'Mothering Monday' posts were such a hit, I thought I'd giveaway the book which contains most of these little gems.

(No, it's not the one The Peacemaker bought me for Mother's Day - I went and bought another one)!

So, if you'd like to win a copy of
'The Mums Book - for the Mum who's best at everything'
just leave a comment. Nothing fancy. You can just say hello if you like.

If you've been lurking and haven't commented before, now's your chance!

I'll do the draw on Friday.

And now I am off to see my own mother, who, so this lot tell me, is not very pleased with me, since I haven't been to see her for a week.

I will return later, no doubt suitably chastised.

Oh, and I do hope this new found award-winning celebrity thing dies down soon.

I was snapped by the paparazzi this morning on my way to the shops.

I only went for bread.

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Saturday, 19 April 2008

The Party's Over

I can't believe it.

You'd think somewhere as posh as The Waldorf would employ their own cleaners, wouldn't you?

I think girls, that when we've cleared up we should shake the dust of this place off our feet and never darken their doorstep again.

Don't you agree?

Girls?........hello?........where did everybody go?

Oh well. Looks like it's you and me, George.

I'll wash. You dry.

Real life will resume tomorrow. Possibly.

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Friday, 18 April 2008

Night of a Thousand Stars

Well, we made it - Joint Winner of the 2008 Cannonball Catholic Blog Awards!

As a special thank you for voting, I'd like to invite all of you to the Awards Ceremony.

You'll have to be quick - I'm being picked up in half an hour. I imagine it will be in something like this:

Now, I'm sending cars for all of you - just stand outside the front door. The drivers know who to look out for. I can't promise which car you'll get though. It could be this one:

Or perhaps this one:

Then again, it could be this one:

There will be refreshments available en route. However, if you are in the same car as Grit, try and keep her away from this will you:

I don't like to speak ill of people, but this week, her alcohol units have exceeded her calorie count.

Make sure you are properly dressed for the occasion, because this is where we headed:

If you look really closely, you can see Daryl and Bella waving. They're a little bit upset because they didn't get a car - they had to make their own way there.

Ronaldo's been on the phone all morning, pestering the life out of me to come with us. Of course, I had to say no. He's far too young, I don't trust any of you lot with him and anyway, he's got an away match against Blackburn tomorrow.

Poor lad, he did look a bit crestfallen when he finally realised I meant it.

And anyway I was thinking more along the lines of:

Hmmm...perhaps I'd better stick with The Father of This Lot.....

....although hang on - it's Friday night. He won't give up The Star Inn for an evening in New York.

And you'll NEVER guess who's giving the awards out.......

Well, I suppose he thought since he was there anyway.....

See you there!

Now, where's that mantilla? I last used it about 1965.......

(I'm sure I was never this daft till I started this blogging lark)

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Thursday, 17 April 2008

Last Chance Saloon!

Only hours left to vote for Mother's Pride in the Best Hifreakinlarious category.

And there's a message from the Football Fanatic regarding some of the comments on my desktop wallpaper.


And look - he cooks!

This is a talent he will find highly useful if the Football Fanatic eventually gives in to his constant proposals and does decide to marry him, because we all know how useless she is in the kitchen.

But for those of you who are completely unappreciative of his footballing skills and are quite happy to describe him as merely 'eye-candy' (unlike me of course), here's a couple more:

Now I think you should all go and calm yourselves down!

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Wordy Wednesday

Location: Private room in up-market Casino

Football Fanatic: 'Can I have some of that chicken please?'
Waiter: 'It's lamb, madam.'
Football Fanatic: 'Really? I didn't know you could get lamb drumsticks.'

I know.

In her defence, I can only assume that she was offered breast of lamb cut into ribs, something which she has never seen, it being a cut of meat that my mother, food snob that she is, would not have in the house.

It wouldn't have been that bad, had the waiter, spotting the four BLT's on her plate, not been obliged to say:
'Excuse me, madam, it's one per guest'.

Last chance to vote in the Cannonball Catholic Blog Awards
'Best Hifreakinglarious Blog'

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Tuesday, 15 April 2008

What's On Your Desktop?

I've been tagged by CrazyCath to find out what's on my desktop.

Here it is:

Well, what did you expect?

And you must admit, he is rather easy on the eye.

I tag:


Dusty Spider



Manic Mother of Five

(Thanks Cath for your excellent instructions on how to do a screen shot)!

Well that was going to be it, since I have been trying to publish this post with a very unco-operative Blogger since seven o'clock this evening, but there is some breaking news...

The Football Fanatic is out tonight at some charity do in an extremely up-market Casino with a group of 'ex-United legends'.

I have just sent my usual two-hourly check-up text and have received this reply:

Playing blackjack with Lou Macari and Denis Irwin. Embarrassing incident at buffet. xx

I have a feeling I don't want to know.........

Monday, 14 April 2008

Mothering Monday

Prison Versus Motherhood

It sounds like an easy choice, doesn't it?
But hang on - let's look at the facts...

In prison, you get three square meals a day.
At home, you cook three square meals a day and try to get your kids to eat it.

In prison, you get an hour each day in the yard to exercise and mingle.
At home you get to clean the yard up so you can mow it so your kids can spread more toys all over it so that you can go out and clean it again because one of them can't sleep without his latest lego creation.

In prison, you get to watch TV, cable even.
At home, you get to listen to your children fight over the remote control and get treated to hours and hours of mindless cartoons thanks to cable.

In prison, you can read whatever you want and attend college for free.
At home, you get to read weekly readers starring Dick, Jane, and Spot and worry about how to them to college and still be able to eat for the next twenty years.

In prison, if you have visitors, all you do is go to a room, sit, talk and then say good-bye when you are ready or your time is up.
At home, you get to clean for days in advance and then cook and clean up after your guests, hoping all the time that they will soon be going.

In prison, you can spend your free time writing letters or just hang out in your own space all day.
At home, you get to clean your space and everyone else's space, too, and what the heck is free time again?

In prison, you get your own personal toilet.
At home, you have to physically hold the bathroom door shut in order to keep from having someone standing over you demanding to know how long till you're done so you can do something for them.

In prison, the prison laundry takes care of all your dirty clothes.
At home, you get to take care of them yourself, plus everybody else's, and get yelled at because somebody's favorite shirt isn't clean.

In prison, they take you everywhere you need to go.
At home, you take everybody else where they need to go.

In prison, the guards transport all your personal effects for you and make sure nothing is missing.
At home, you have to lug around everybody else's stuff in your bag and then wonder who went in it and took your last pound.

In prison, there are no screaming or whining children or spouses asking you to do something else for them, or screaming at you because you didn't.
At home....stop me when I get to the downside of jail, will ya?

Hmm.....there's a bus leaving for Holloway in ten minutes.
Shall I keep the driver talking till you get here?
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Sunday, 13 April 2008

Good Shepherd Sunday

'I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own, and my own know me....and I lay down my life for the sheep'.
(Jn. 10-14)

Always keep in mind - it's not what you know, it's who you know. Do you know him?

It's been a funny old week, all things considered. I've had a lot to think about, but don't worry, over the years I have become an expert at taking one day at a time, and something tells me I'll be thinking for a long time yet before I cast caution to the wind!

Once again I have been amazed and encouraged by all your comments. I am left speechless, really (and that doesn't happen often). So, because it's Sunday, I will leave you with a prayer for all of you, that this week you will have:

Enough happiness to keep you sweet.
Enough trials to keep you strong.
Enough sorrow to keep you human.
Enough hope to keep you happy.
Enough failure to keep you humble.
Enough success to keep you eager.
Enough friends to give you comfort.
Enough wealth to meet your needs.
Enough enthusiasm to make you look forward to tomorrow,
and enough determination to make each day better than the
day before.

God Bless.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

The Scores on The Doors

In case you should turn up while I'm out, and find yourself wandering round upstairs, you'd better be aware which room is which.

The Football Fanatic:

The Singer:

The Fixer and The Peacemaker:

The Noise:

And Me?

Just in case the Father of This Lot turns up unexpectedly.

Friday, 11 April 2008

It's Been Lovely Stella, but.....

(If the need the background on the storm tossed saga of this marriage, go here first)

Well, whaddya know? According to the Father of This Lot, Stella's had the old heave-ho. Yes, after years of succumbing to her charms he's finally decided it's time to give her the boot. Well, in the house at least. I have no doubt she's still lurking and enticing him with all her wiles every time he goes in a pub.

BUT...the word on the streets is that she's been replaced in his affections by an old flame. His first love, in fact. They grew up together, these two. He honed his commendable drinking skills on her. And compared to Stella, this one's a pussycat. This one I can handle.

Personally, I think his mother has had a lot to do with it. I'm willing to bet that, seeing the state he gets in when he's been out with Stella for the evening, she's said something along the lines of:

'Not in my house, Sonny Jim. Either give her up or move out.'

The woman's brought up six sons. She doesn't mince her words.

I hope it lasts. He says it will. He swears that he and Stella are finished for good But I think I'll let him rekindle the relationship with his old flame for a while longer before I make any life-changing decisions.

I know Stella of old. I've battled against her for years. And somehow, I don't think she'll give him up without a fight.

Thursday, 10 April 2008


Well, since we're all still waiting with baited breath and I have nothing to tell you yet, I thought I'd better pass on the stack of awards which have built up over the last couple of weeks.

I had this one from CrazyCath and Katney, who reliably informs me that since I've had this one before, I don't have to pass it on, which I'm really glad about, because choosing ten blogs is so hard!

I think Cath must have been up all night last night, because, inspired by The Fixer, she has been making a little awards portfolio of her own! And I got one! This one - 'You raise my spirits when we talk'

There are no rules with it, but I'm passing it on to those blogs which raise my spirit -

And this one from Lynn at All Things Bright and Beautiful. There have been lots of days when I've sat in front on this computer with the weight of the world on my shoulders. Well, not literally, but it's felt like that sometimes. A quick visit round these blogs has cheered me up no end: Family Affairs, Mean Mom, Beth, Merry Weather, Expatmum, Kimmie, Dusty Spider, Working Mum, Suburbia, Expatkat, Akelamalu, Ciara, Monkey Giggles, Autumn, Katney, Amanda David Carolyn, Crystal Jigsaw

And two more newly-created awards (that Fixer's got a lot to answer for if you ask me)

This one, made by Working Mum is called 'Blog of Distinction' - she's a teacher - what did you expect? It is to be passed on to those blogs which make you laugh, cry, think or sigh.

So, without further ado, here's the ones that make me laugh:

Pig in The Kitchen, Manic Mother of Five, Chris B, Belle, Swearing Mother, Milla, Lizzy , The Lehners in France

The thinkers: Casdok, Adrienne, Jen at Gathering Grace, Meggie, Jeni at Down River Drivel, Mulier Fortis, Holy Chaos, Sweet Irene

MOB made me cry profusely the other day, so she gets the crying award! And Amrita makes me laugh, cry, think and sigh all at the same time!

Finally, this very special award was created by Amrita. It is the custom in India to give a garland to someone as a sign of honour, respect, welcome, love and friendship

I would like to pass this award on to Renae. She'll know why.

TWO HOURS those links have just taken me.

Hope you all enjoy your awards and don't forget to pass them on.

Oh, and I may have some news regarding the Father of This Lot by tomorrow.

Did I mention he was staying the night?