Monthly Archives: June 2004

I hate these weepy days.

Not that I’ve wept, I hasten to add, but little things have been hard to dismiss and it annoys me that I can’t just let them pass like water off a duck’s back. Still, I kept my cool. I was nearly late picking Smudgelet up because I had to put Tiddles’ bike in the car boot to take to scouts and when I went to go in the garage I could hardly move for abandoned bikes and scooters all in a jumble. Then the Smudgelets decided to play “let’s see how long it takes to get mummy irritated”….. and soon discovered the answer!

Dad came round to babysit while I fetched Tiddles home. This morning I’d asked the boys to move two bags of garden rubbish off the lawn. They’d been gardening voluntarily on Sunday and had filled two huge green bags with leaves. They moved them off the grass and placed one of them on the doorstep, the other on the path. When Dad came round he interrogated me. Why precisely was there a big bag on the doorstep? Did it actually need to be there? Who had put it there, and why? Did I realise it had been there all day? (Mainly because we had actually been out all day!) Didn’t I realise it was in the way? What was it doing there in the first place?
AAAAAAAGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!! I mean, he could have just moved the bag! When we got back from Scouts, he laid into Tiddles verbally about leaving bags where Grandad would fall over them (if he were totally blind and stupid enough not to notice a binbag full of leaves) and not having any common sense. While I may agree that Tiddles sometimes shows a limited amount of this commodity, I was a bit sorry for him getting it in the neck for basically doing what he’d been asked to do…. especially as it was actually Smudgelet who’d put the one on the doorstep! And then Dad lambasted Tiddles for walking past the lounge door and not saying goodnight on his way to bed. I pointed out that Tiddles was not actually on his way to bed, he was going into the bathroom to get changed into his pyjamas and would have come back to say goodnight to us both! That went down like a lead balloon. Little things, but very annoying.

And to add to the evening’s annoyance, I was harrassed on the way to Scouts by a crowd of teenagers. How sad that kids these day can only find enjoyment in disrupting the lives of others who are nothing to them. These decided to use their bikes and bodies to prevent me from driving down the road, to hurl abuse, to bang on my car bonnet with their hands and to swing their bikes into the side of my car. Thank goodness no real damage was done (or maybe that’s a shame!) Luckily I had my mobile handy so I simply rang the police. Children leaving bags on the step and forgetting to say goodnight suddenly pales into insignificance, doesn’t it?

My foot hurts and I want to curl up under the duvet and be a wimp.


I have had to cancel my doctor’s appointment. I had forgotten (how could I?) that Smudgelet has counselling tonight and I have to be there too. It’s now postponed until Wednesday evening. Typical – I had just decided that I really do want to have the doc or the nurse look at my poor bruised foot. The little toe is moving again now, but the bruising’s getting more painful 🙁

Go on, feel free to say “I told you so” .


I decided to have a snack lunch so I could get on with the lounge this afternoon. Wonder why my snack lunch has taken me an hour to prepare and eat. I’d never make it on Ready Steady Cook. Nor a house-decluttering programme. I’m sure these two facts are unrelated.

School was classic this morning. The new stress-free me in the middle of a staffroom full of very stressed people. I was randomly shouted at by almost everyone I spoke to this morning, despite being my usual lovely (and modest) self. The kids were up the wall, too. I managed to walk without smirking past the 13-year-old who was walking round in circles on the hot water pipes, followed by one of the helpers who was trying to get him back to class. I confiscated a treasure chest. I had a child throw a sulk because I asked him to sit on the chair by the table instead of moving another chair there…. oh, the fun of teaching. Never a dull moment. I have decided to take each day as it hits me for the last three weeks of school.

Now, I’d better turn my attention to some household paperwork – sending off my speeding fine (*blush*) and the form for Dad’s pension which I accidentally put my address on instead of his (*blush*) and my application form for a massage course at college 🙂 Oh and four overdue letters to birth families which I am going to be in trouble for not having written sooner. Trouble is, both the Smudgelets had expressed an interest in enclosing a picture or a letter and they just cannot get around to doing it. Hard balancing act, encouraging them without pressurising them. And I’d better do something about this lounge before Dad comes in to babysit tonight.


Well, as it happens, I was escorted to the concert by a handsome young man. Single, and of good family, with a wicked sense of humour and a dashing smile. Yes, when Tiddles heard that I was going alone, he begged to be allowed to come with me and, as he’s been coping so well with later nights just lately, I decided to let him. I’m glad I did. He’s such good company these days, and he thoroughly enjoyed what turned out to be an excellent show, despite having to fight to keep his eyes open towards the end.

The whole day went well, actually, and the rain didn’t really detract from it much. Smudglet threw himself into the dancing at the summer fair with abandon, if not precisely the right moves in the right places, and I was really proud of him – especially as the group were predominantly girls and he didn’t let that bother him. Then meeting my friends for tea at Godshill was also a success as they and the Smudgelets got on really well.

Smudgelet was a bit disappointed last night at Tiddles being allowed to go to the theatre with me. It’s a hard lesson in life to learn to be glad for others at their good fortune instead of envying them, isn’t it? I sometimes struggle with it too, although generally I don’t suffer from envy as much as sometimes a little discontent. Still, Smudgelet was easily comforted with an exciting adventure of his own. He was allowed to go to Grandad’s for a sleepover. Just imagine it… being allowed to go and sleep on Grandad’s spare bed in a sleeping bag. I was delighted, actually, as it meant I didn’t have to worry about what time we got in and Dad sitting uncomfortably babysitting. I was less delighted when he phoned at 6.30 a.m. to see if I was ready for him to come home!

He had a bit of a roasting. I mean, how does an intelligent child like him not realise that when I say “Get yourself ready for swimming,” I actually mean for him to get his swimming bag ready too. We’ve only been going swimming on a Sunday morning for two years now, and it does take a bit of a while to establish a routine, doesn’t it? Then he left without his bag of clothes to change into for church and we had to go back and get them. Finally he realised that, by not thinking ahead, he had managed not to pack any pants. He had to go to church commando style. Of course, I was very careful not to embarrass him in church by mentioning it really loudly to anybody…..

Interesting this morning the contrast between being in the Church of Fools and being in my own Methodist church. I enjoy both equally, and feel equally close to God in each, although they are so different. I must admit it was rather nice to be able to enjoy the service this morning without having to smite anybody! I was a bit busy with the music side of things, though. And it was funny: when M asked me if I’d play “Father I place into your hands the things I cannot do” on the accordion, I had expressed how much I dislike that hymn. The tune and the words don’t match – the tune needs to go fast and jauntily, the words need a more slow and contemplative style – and the end line is just weak. But of course I agreed to play – along with several other good accordion ones. My opinion was borne out when the preacher announced that we’d sing “Father I place… ” sitting down and singing it prayerfully. Quick change of plan. Accordion drops to the ground as I rush the music book over to G on the piano!

I was reading, too. I am growing to love that reading from 1John 4, 7-21. I used to find it a bit repetitive and convoluted, but then I suddenly saw it in a different light – John playing with words and plaiting them together, over and over, into a strong rope – love and love and love, God and Jesus, self and others, love and love and love. It’s a beautiful reading, and such a strong message. Can I do it?

Interesting times ahead. I wonder what the future holds. One day at a time.

Picture of the bike ride

Well, I’ve read the instructions on how to put a picture in my wiblog and.. well… suffice to say that I got no further than reading them. Who writes this stuff? Even though it was written in words of one syllable it just went in one ear and out of the other (and don’t you say there was nothing to stop it!). So I have decided that I will put the photo on the money-raising site and you can look at it there and laugh. I’ll also put a few on my fotopic site and do a link to there. I demand money for every moment spent giggling, though.

No wonder Dad’s not seeing well through his glasses – they’ve given him totally the wrong glasses! They were varifocals.

Sunny day at last

Dad’s depressed this morning. I can see that’s going to be my challenge – staying positive when he’s negative, yet masking my irritation as it turns his depression to anger. He took my “lots of people must have to deal with this so there must be a solution to the difficulty you’re having, let’s think this one through” as meaning “you don’t know how lucky you are, quit moaning and acting as though you’re the only person with any problems”. By the time he’d finished, I was biting my tongue to stop myself saying “you don’t know how lucky you are, quite moaning and acting as though you’re the only person with any problems”! 😉 I was a good girl, though. I changed the subject.

I’ve decided to shelve my plans for this morning until this afternoon and take him out scooter-viewing. Hopefully then he’ll buy me lunch. A new cafe has opened at the Island lavender farm and it’s one of the most calming places I know. It’s quite easy to get to, so I can see us going there fairly often. Who knows, I might eventually get to really like the smell of lavender.

I had a lovely relaxing bath with some of their lavender and lemon grass bath salts this morning, by coincidence. I am not over fond of the smell but it’s certainly relaxing. Smudgelet sat by the door and read me a Puddle Lane story as I soaked. Unfortunately he read so well that I just drifted off to sleep, lulled by the rhythm of his voice. I woke with a jolt to hear he’d stopped, so I congratulated him on his lovely reading – only to discover he was crying because he’d made a total mess of the page he was on and had lost his place and couldn’t find it again and felt he was a hopeless reader! Poor Smudgelet. He soon cheered up, though, and read on to the end.

Tiddles is exhausted, bless him. He’ll have a job to keep his eyes open through school today. Thank goodness Portugal won the match last night as he couldn’t cope with any more late nights watching England play. He was quite sweet as he insisted that the match was over when the whistle blew last night and was heading off to bed, unaware that there was still some to go. I handed him a tissue when England lost. He handed me one when my computer went wrong again. “Diddums need a hanky? Diddums going to cwy?” Cheeky monkey! I don’t know where he gets it from.

The doctor can’t see my foot until Monday and it’s not painful or swollen enough for me to feel the need to go to casualty with it. You can say “I told you so” if it turns out I was wrong to wait.

Late night.

Bother it. My internet connection has been dodgy all evening, throwing me out of MSN and the Church of Fools at regular intervals until it finally refused to cooperate at all. Then what does it go and do? It starts working perfectly just as I am about to switch off and go to bed. Result, here I still am!

I see England lost the match. How sad. Last late night for Tiddles, then! 😀

Bathed Dad’s bad foot. I wish he could do the body-language-reading bit and realise when I’m tired and want to do the job quickly. But then, he never could read body-language so it’s a bit much to expect him to now. He’s all bandaged up now and ready for bed, anyway. And talking of bed, I’m off to sofa. It’s all very well having a day off tomorrow, but I still have to get up at the same time to get the Smudgelets off to school.

Filial and maternal duty calls

I like this business of only working half the week. It’s definitely the way to stay sane. The money aspect is still an unknown quantity (and seems to manifest itself in a desire to spend spend spend) but what is money compared to the peace of mind of not only myself, but also the boys and my father? I like being stress free. I intend to talk to the doctor after the weekend about reducing the anti-depressants so that I can do it while the weather’s good rather than as the darker days and longer nights begin to make their presence felt. I have been nagged into seeing the doctor about my rather black-and-blue-looking foot too – especially as I had to give up before the end of aquafit this afternoon as I was feeling rather battered. (Well, that was my excuse and I’m sticking to it 😉 )

The good news is that Dad is now seriously considering buying an electric mobility buggy. I am delighted. He would probably never have given in to our hint-dropping but talking to a friend who has one has really inspired him to explore the possibility while the weather’s good. He’s had some advice for another medical problem too, which now means he needs my help every evening for half an hour, but in general is able to manage the problem more effectively and feel more confident too. It’s worth spending the extra time helping out – although a bit of a pain when I accidentally forget and go to bed instead. It looks like the next medical treatment he’s going to be having will be an op to remove an ingrowing toenail – slightly more serious than it sounds because of his diabetes. My sisters and I are discussing how to organise the summer holidays so that Dad will not be alone while we go on holiday and so we will not have to feel guilty or concerned about him. It’s great having such support from them.

This morning I was able to take Dad and his friend to the Priory – somewhere they used to go every Thursday when Dad was driving, and which they really missed. It’s good that it ties in so well with my aquafit. M and I even had time for our usual cup of coffee and.. er.. umm… doughnut *blush* before driving off across country to collect them and arriving home just at the right time to collect Smudgelet from school too. Now Tiddles is fast asleep in preparation for being allowed to watch the f**tb*ll match tonight, while Smudgelet is in the bath taking advantage of the fact he has the whole bath to himself and can have bubble bath in. I would hate you to think that I have promoted this idea as a real treat in order to get an hour to myself and peace from the Smudgelet. I mean, the thought was never further from my mind!

Now, should I do us a healthy tea, do you think, or could I get away with chocolate spread sandwiches?

To be or not to be….

I was shattered last night. Can you tell? This aquafit lark is certainly having some sort of effect on my body, even if it’s not making me any slimmer. I am bound to lose weight if I sleep through my meals. Not that that was the case yesterday, as I washed my exercise down with a box of chips and a box of chocolates, but the tiredness is still hovering round today and certainly affected how much tea I ate. More aquafit tomorrow.

Actually, I had to be careful as I have an extremely bruised foot at the moment. I hope it isn’t broken as I don’t think Tiddles could cope with the guilt. His first tantrum in months, and he just couldn’t stop himself from hitting out and sending me flying. He was devastated afterwards, of course. I suggested he might like to kiss my foot better but, although he was full of remorse, he wouldn’t go quite that far. Walking is a bit painful, though.

Torrential rain today, and blustery winds made teaching in the caravan extremely… er… interesting!

I look to have a battle on my hands at school. The current trend of targetting those children whose SATs results will directly effect the school’s and government’s statistics is, to my mind, quite immoral. I usually manage to ignore it, but it’s hard to ignore when it means my hardest teaching group possibly increasing from seven (with three adults) to twenty-nine (with one) next year. What is happening to society where the less able seem to be getting scrap-heaped and the more able ridiculed into conformity? Whatever happened to each child learning at their own pace? To mutual support and encouragement? To catering for children’s needs? It’s at times like these I could easily resign from teaching, if only it weren’t such a rewarding job. I was amazed today to find these seven children, who came to me unable to count, now able to add two two-digit numbers and to multiply by four.

The Smudgelet has lost another tooth. It’s the final one from the front top – he is now totally gummy there and it’s hysterical to watch him trying to eat an apple. This time the tooth fairy was far more efficient! This afternoon I slipped my coat on and, on putting my hand in my pocket, was promptly bitten. Yes, I’d slipped his tooth into my coat pocket out of sight and had forgotten to take it out again. Boy, was it sharp!

Yet more decisions to make and think about. Why is life never straight-forward? Still, wouldn’t it be boring if it were?