Friday, 26 February 2010

School Daze

Some comments from The Fixer's Parents Evening:

'highly academic'

'practical and problem solving'

'no shortage of ideas'

'could charm the birds off the trees'

'talks too much'

Tell me something I didn't know.

That makes three Parents Evenings this month and two Options Evenings yet to go.

As one teacher remarked to me lastnight,

'Good God, are you here again?'

I'll be on the payroll next.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Carry On, Nurse

Well, I bit the bullet and decided to 'do as I would be done by', and the result was that the Father of This Lot and I are, for the moment, back to this:

Don't get too excited. In my experience, this state of affairs never lasts very long.

In the meantime, I have spent the week up to now dealing with

2 ear infections

1 case of sinusitis

1 inflamed knee

several swollen glands

(and a partridge in a pear tree)

and now I feel that I may need some of these:

Sunday, 21 February 2010

First Sunday of Lent

So, there I was, trying to be all extra-holy during Lent.
Fasting? Check.
Almsgiving? Check.
Praying? Double check.
Quite pleased with myself you might say, even though we are only into the first week.
Anyway, I thought I had better tackle the ironing, which had once again assumed Biblical proportions, and while I was doing it, I put on a CD of a talk by a priest called Fr. Jack McArdle. (Told you I was being extra holy).
Well, I was enjoying myself, because he was quite comical, and I do like a comical priest, when all of a sudden, he started talking about....forgiveness.
Here's what he said:
Forgiveness is healing. No matter how hard it can be, to forgive someone releases you from the bondage that they have over you by the act they committed.
Forgive. Even if it takes time due to the severity of the act, forgive.
Remember the Lord's Prayer and its conditions for receiving God's mercy:
Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
If we don't forgive others for the wrongs they have committed against us, we cannot expect God to forgive us for the wrongs we have committed.
You can start small by opening up to the person. A small act of kindness can smooth the way for forgiveness.
You may remember that the Father of This Lot and I are still 'daggers drawn' over his latest escapade.
To give him his due, he has made one feeble attempt to start talking, which I resisted.
A bit like this:

(Actually, this picture does look a bit like me. It looks nothing like the Father of This Lot, apart from that shifty, 'has-she-fallen-for-it' expression.....)

Sorry. It's tough being holy AND married to the FOTL.

Anyway, it dawned on me that now matter how extra-holy-during-Lent I'm trying to be doesn't matter a jot unless I start getting down to brass tacks. And I reckon nursing a two-week-old grudge qualifies as a brass tack.

So, as difficult as it might be, I suppose I'd better bite the bullet.

I'll be back when I've done it.

I may be gone some time........

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Let's Give It Up For........Lent!

One of my favourite journalists, or 'an old hack' as he describes himself, Stuart Reid, has this to say in the current issue of the Catholic Herald:

'Blimey. Can Lent really be upon us again? Yes, it can. How time flies when you are old and unemployable....'

The man obviously reads this blog.
Did I not say the very same thing last Pancake Tuesday? I knew there was a reason I liked him.

So, I have eaten the last of the chocolate, I have put all the ribbons in the right places in the breviary to pray the Divine Office each day and I have rooted out the Lenten reading plan entitled 'Forty Days with the Church Fathers'.

What fun.

(Although how you are supposed to get through the Church Fathers without a bit of chocolate remains to be seen).

And then I saw this at Crazyacres...........

..............a Lenten de-cluttering challenge!

What a marvellous idea. Getting rid of a bag of rubbish a day during Lent. And because it is Lent there is absolutely no excuse for getting fed up halfway through!

At Crazyacres, Mary Poppins (Not) is hoping for 'more detachment to stuff and that some personal growth will take place'.

My aim is slightly less spiritual. I'm just hoping to be able to walk into a bedroom without the threat of something crashing down from atop a wardrobe.....

Here's the link if you want the rules.

Monday, 15 February 2010

You Bring Out the Animal in Me

It is not unknown for The Father of This Lot to enter a room, survey the systematic anihilation of it by his brood and declare:

'It's like living with animals'

He has several variations on this theme, including:

'If pigs lived here, they'd move out'

'If you had a dog living in these conditions, you'd have it put down'

and that old tea-time favourite:

'I'll bet the chimps at Chester Zoo don't make this much mess at feeding time'

So in his honour, and because it is Chinese New Year, I have researched what type of animal our birthdates relate to in the Chinese calendar.

We consist of a Ram, a Dragon, a Rabbit, a Rooster, a Boar and 2 Oxen. Not a pig, dog or chimp in sight.

Then, in for a penny, I thought I might as well see if our character traits matched up.

The Football Fanatic: Intelligent, enthusiastic, brave

The Singer: Bit of a loner, can be very outspoken

The Fixer: Tolerant and determined

The Peacemaker: Kind, gentle, even-tempered

The Noise: Friendly and sentimental

Me: Dependable, trustworthy and patient

And the Father of This Lot?

First to complain about something, pessimistic

How amazingly accurate.

Kung Hei Fat Choy!

Find out the animal in you here!

Friday, 12 February 2010

How Many Teenagers.........

......can one person be expected to cope with?

Yes, we did it again.
Another birthday, another teenager.

They'll probably put up one of those blue plaques on the house:


.....or words to that effect.

Happy birthday to The Peacemaker.

May your teenage years be good ones.

And by the grace of God, may I survive them.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Parents Evening

Lastnight was Parents Evening for The Peacemaker.

I was not particularly hopeful, mainly due to the iPod Touch which both she and The Fixer received at Christmas, and which have transformed them both into a type of mummified zombie, unable to hold a conversation, complete homework assignments or get to school on time.

However, I must admit to being pleasantly surprised by her teachers' reports.

Well, most of them.

There was a slightly embarrassing moment with the History teacher. Apparently, they have been learning about the Pilgrim Fathers. The teacher said that the journey on The Mayflower had been a long one, and wondered how they had kept themselves entertained during the voyage.

The Peacemaker put her hand up and asked:

'Didn't they have any alcohol, sir?'

Like father, like daughter, it would seem.

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Monday, 8 February 2010

Passports to Paradise?

The Father of This Lot arrived with a stack of passport forms and grunted that they needed to be filled in.

Obviously, he is considering arranging some sort of holiday.

However, since he is normally more likely to utter something along the lines of:

......I am, naturally, quite puzzled.

Unfortunately, I am not speaking to the Father of This Lot due to a particularly dastardly trick he pulled at the weekend, and pride therefore, stops me from asking about it.

YES, I KNOW pride is ANOTHER one of the Seven Deadly Sins.

May as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb, I always say.
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Saturday, 6 February 2010


Yesterday, I sent the Football Fanatic to Tesco for a celery.

She came home with this:

According to Wikipedia, 'despair' (to give up all hope or expectation) has somehow, over the centuries, been bundled in with 'sloth', one of the Seven Deadly Sins.

If you're listening, Lucifer, you might as well throw another log on the fire.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Don't Ask Me.........

.......because I have no idea why today I took delivery of a catalogue from a company called Jack Wills bearing the legend:


and addressed to The Fixer.

Delusions of grandeur, that one.

Nice shop front, but at £24 for a pair of tights, I don't expect we'll be visiting it in the near future.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Key of the Door

Well, it's finally happened.

My eldest child has reached her majority.

I feel quite old.

I was going to give her the wisdom of my experience, but as they say, advice, like youth, is wasted on the young.

So instead, I have waved her off at the door on her way out to her celebration.

Actually, I helped her down the snow-covered path into the taxi because it is quite difficult to walk in snow whilst wearing five-inch stillettoes.

I do, however, have a word of advice for anyone who happens to be out in Manchester tonight:

Happy Birthday, kiddo.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

The Atmosphere Was Electric.....

Here's a question for you.

If you saw an electrical appliance....let's say it was a hairdryer.......whose plug looked like this:

.....and you had just finished washing your hair, so it is not beyond the realms of possibility that your hands may be slightly wet.........would you blithely pick it up and plug it in?

a) Yes


b) No

You know what's coming don't you?

The Singer answered 'A'. Then there was a bit of a squeal.......

Anyway, amid shouts of 'Oh dear God' and 'Run it under the tap!' the Father of This Lot was summoned from the Mare and Foal to unplug the offending item. There followed the usual diatribe of '....don't know what sort of kids you're bringing up here....' and the various other pearls of wisdom in much the same vein which he airs on every conceivable occasion. The hairdryer was duly fixed and the Father of This Lot was waved off at the door before he could cause any further verbal damage.

Personally, I keep well away from hairdryers. I never got over that business with Valerie Barlow. It left a mark on my childhood psyche which remains to this day.

Anyway, thankfully, The Singer appears none the worse for her adventure apart from the tiniest little blister on her thumb.

Well I think it's tiny. She's carrying on as though it was a third degree burn.

Someone remarked to me this morning after Mass that she had been 'very lucky'.


Luck doesn't come into it, mate.

With this lot, I find that being on your knees for upwards of sixteen hours a day invoking the protection of the Almighty is the key. And that's the method I intend to stick with.

And since she does seem to have escaped unharmed and is back to her usual hair-tossing self, I just couldn't resist this witty little graphic........

Monday, 1 February 2010


......that's what I am.

By your comments, I mean.

I didn't realise you had been worried about me.

Did you think the Father of This Lot had 'done me in'?

Were your minds racing along the lines of...............

or worse..........


You know me better than that.

Wouldn't this have been nearer the mark.....................?

Actually, this is a very inaccurate picture.

For a start, that punch is way too girly and playful for my liking, and I think that rig-out gives the Father of This Lot a bit of a look of Jason King.

If you are old enough to remember Jason King you are most welcome to this blog.

If not, please leave now as you are depressing me.

Anyway, I'm back.

Without explanation or excuse, I might add.

Real life got in the way.

You know how it is.

And I shall be easing myself back into this blogging lark with very short posts.

I thought this best since it took me three hours lastnight to remember how to get on to the thing in the first place.

However, I shall leave you with this little text gem from the Football Fanatic on Saturday night:

FF: Have you ever met anyone from Sicily?
Me: No. Why, have you?
FF: Yeah. Two lads buying us drinks.
Me: Are they good looking snappy dressers who keep going on about how much they love their mother?
FF: God, Mum, how did you know that?

Me: Dunno, kiddo. Lucky guess?

I thought it prudent at this point to step up my prayers a notch until she arrived home.

Which she did.


Is There Anybody There?

Will anyone remember me?

Will anyone still want to hear stories ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous?

Will anyone comment?

I wonder....