Daily Archives: March 28, 2005

Two birds with…

And to think I sent the pair of them to respite so I could have a day to myself while Dad was at the home.
I was stood there, calmly listening to Dad’s dismal tales of his terrible day, when the Smudgelet returned home.
By ambulance.
Well, by minibus actually.
But both injured…. during the last half hour of the day.

I’ve always said Football is a dangerous sport. Tiddles was in goal, apparently. But what he forgot is that it’s not a good idea to reach out with your hands towards the ball when someone else’s foot is headed in the same direction. We think the finger is fractured slightly, judging by the interesting colour and impressive swelling, not to mention the “ouch” factor of my brave little soldier. SO it’s cold compresses and Nurofen every three hours through the night, apparently. Oh bliss.

Smudgelet feels a little robbed of attention, of course. After all, his injury is just as impressive but less needful of nursing care. He was most indignant that I wouldn’t tell the NHS Direct nurse about it. He had a run in, not with a football boot but with a carrier bag. A carrier bag containing a bottle of Dr Pepper’s which has contributed a lovely black-eye-to-be and a small plastic container of sour fruits which has managed to inflict a nasty cut right on his eyelid. While I was trying to bath Tiddles, he came out of his bed five times at thirty second intervals to complain that his eye stings. I informed him that if he came out a sixth time, his bottom stinging might take his mind off it … and miraculously he recovered and fell instantly asleep! You know, I should have been a nurse 😀

Who’d’ve thunk it?

I’m quite chuffed with how industrious I’ve been this morning. Oh for more time without Dad or the kids to distract me, I could possibly make some sort of impact on this place. I’ve filled five massive storage boxes with assorted junk and deposited them in the garage as my task for the Easter Holidays. The disconcerting fact resulting from this is that the contents of my home look no less overwhelmingly junk-laden and cluttered, but at least some of it is a little more contained now. Only trouble is, I twisted my hip carrying the fifth box to the garage so at the moment, although the spirit is willing, the body has given up. A soak in the bath will probably make the difference so I just have to wait until M’s been round for her afternoon cuppa before I closet myself away in there to recover in preparation for phase two.

Meanwhile I’ve been hard at work arranging accommodation for the wedding. Did I tell you my nephew is finally getting married up at Culzean Castle in the summer? It’s a source of great excitement. We’ll stay with my brother beforehand, but the night of the wedding we’ll need somewhere closer to stay and, if we want to spend time with the Caribbean side of the family – not yet met – then we’ll want to be there a little longer too.

First of all I phoned the hotel where my nephew’s made a block booking in anticipation of the family wanting to stay there. Ouch! I reckon it must be a lovely hotel! Actually, for me and the kids it’s not bad as you don’t pay for children sleeping in their parents’ room. But I can’t see Dad smiling sweetly at the thought of paying £50 a night bed and breakfast. The brainwave was to seek out self catering accommodation for a week up there, so I spent a while on the phone calling various places to seek somewhere suitable. Finally I found the perfect cottage – right within view of the castle and at a reasonable price for the week, with a lovely landlady who was only too happy to oblige. I booked it there and then, and then rang my sister to share the good news. As her phone was engaged, I left a message and went back to the grindstone, only to be called back to answer the phone.

Would you believe it – my sister was not as delighted with the news at all. She’d phoned the same landlady earlier in the day to enquire about the two cottages she owned and, having discovered they were vacant, said she’d check with other members of the family who were travelling with her (my other two nephews and their families) and get back to her to book them, but hadn’t actually made a provisional booking. She’d just been about to phone her and confirm when my message had arrived.

It makes sense, obviously, for the three families (complete with two babies) to have the two linked cottages. Anyone know of any self-catering accommodation in the vicinity of Culzean Castle?


It was disgracefully early for a holiday morning. Actually, it wasn’t. 7am was really quite a respectable time, even taking the hour’s difference into account, seeing as we didn’t have to organise breakfast and I didn’t have to get Dad up, but it was still rather special to feel that the alarm was ringing disgracefully early when it resounded – somewhat muffled resounding, I have to admit as it was still shoved under my pillow in disgust from the previous morning. I woke my sleeping babes, all snuffly under the duvets in their rather aromatic room, and we dressed ourselves in several layers of clothing (most of Smudgelet’s being inside out and back to front as he’s not all that good in the mornings!)

To my amazement, Dad was up and dressed and ready to go too. It seemed a bit lazy going up the road in the car, but I did have a rather heavy accordion to carry, and a huge music stand, and I knew I’d be transporting things home from church afterwards too. Not quite dark, not quite light, disappointingly cloudy but with a few rays just about strong enough to burn their way feebly through, and a good crowd of people assembled on the Rec whose welcome was as warm as any sunshine as we gathered to sing Easter praises in the beauty of our new “Village Doorstep Garden” as the Rec is now.. quite rightly… called.

Playing the music was a bit of a challenge, I must admit, as there was the most bitter of cold winds whipping its way across the lawns and, it seemed, focussing in particular on my fingers. The accordion is, of course, played almost entirely by touch – not good when you have icicles for fingers! I ended up borrowing a Smudgelet and burying my fingers in him 😀 But the singing was rousing enough to cover up for my wrong notes. And I was incredibly proud of my Tiddles who was invited, at short notice, to start off the prayers of thanksgiving. “Dear God, we thank you for the sun, for flowers, for nature. And especially we thank you for your son Jesus rising from the dead. Amen”. And here was his untrusting mother thinking a jumble of made up words would come tumbling out which didn’t make any sense at all (as sometimes happens when he tries to pray “formally”) He was delighted to have been asked.

Breakfast was.. well, as always breakfast was delicious and far far too much – enough to keep us going all day. In the “new” church the kitchen facilities are superb and it made a usually fantastic breakfast into something even more special. It’s hard to believe how few people actually turned up for it and a shame that so much had to go to waste. First a choice of a dozen cereals (now adorning our cereal cupboard as we offered the left overs a good home!) and fresh baked rolls with honey or marmalade, accompanied by fresh juice. Then a full breakfast with two sausages, bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes and beans. And finally hard boiled eggs and toast, an Easter egg and tea or coffee. Mmmmmmm….. we could hardly move afterwards, but the exercise of washing up all those pans helped burn a bit of it off. And Jack.. that first little Easter egg was for you – and lovely it was to feel the soft silky chocolate melting on my tastebuds!

It was a quick turnaround, then, to get back to church in time for the morning service. The service was less than I might have expected – a lovely chap leading worship, but so incredibly nervous that he was at a loss to keep things together. And not helped by the congregation. I ask you – forty people who were, for the most part, long-standing church attenders, not knowing the response to “Alleluia, He is Risen!” Three times the preacher tried it, and three times it fell apart in a total rabble of random noises. I felt as though I was the only one there actually saying “He is risen indeed, Alleluia”. A fantastic children’s address, focussing on the story of Barrabas which was, for me, something totally new… and for once Smudgelet came out with a well-thought-out answer (although he blotted his copybook by immediately losing interest in the whole children’s address and using his finger to mirror the movements of the second hand of the clock – which rather disconcerted the poor preacher further!)

No Easter Eggs for the Smudgelets this year.. well, not at first. They’d been warned that the Easter Bunny, who usually delivers to a tent they build and decorate in their bedroom, would not actually be able to get in the room at all unless they made some effort to tidy it. Smudgelet declared that he couldn’t be bothered and left Tiddles to do it. Tiddles in turn got distracted by Smudgelet’s determined playing and wandered off to join him. Three warnings, three times ignored….. and the Easter eggs ended up waiting until I actually saw them doing something helpful of their own accord. Tiddles earned his immediately by offering (and doing) the washing up at church – even the greasy pans! – and by helping with the dinner. Smudgelet needed the prompting of seeing Tiddles get his basket – whereupon tidying the bedroom suddenly developed a rather unexpected appeal 😉

The afternoon was spent having our first experience of making trifle – a favour for M who was exhausted from cooking all those breakfasts and had a dessert to make for the lunches being served at the church today. I thought it was the least we could do. And great fun it was too.

The Lord is risen – He is risen indeed – Yippeeeeeeeeee 😀