Monthly Archives: June 2005

I’m a wise woman too

Wiblog International Secret Exchanger

Now surely there can’t be anyone on the wibsite, reader or blogger (or both), who has not yet heard of the great Wiblog International Secret Exchange? If you haven’t, you’d better get clicking on the link above, conveniently provided by Deeleea who knows how good I am at doing links, which will explain all. But do it quick, or you may miss the chance of receiving a parcel of goodies from another part of the world.

Now, I suppose I’d better go and retrieve my papers for this morning’s service. The cat’s asleep on them!

Well….

…we’re still alive.

Actually, I have to say it, he’s not a bad little cook. He managed the pasta bake completely independently, only needing to call on my once when he overcooked the quickjel for the top of the peach flan and needed help sorting out the stodgy mess of red goo that he was trying to spoon over the peaches. I have to say that presentation isn’t his forte, and is maybe something we need to work on somewhat, but as to the taste there was only one thing wrong with it……. we could all have managed an extra helping!

Mean mummy – I made him do all the clearing up afterwards too. 😀 This is the life!

Blind faith?

Well, this is going to be interesting. I am sitting here doing serious work on the computer (as you see 😉 ) – updating my school records and finishing my preparation for tomorrow’s service – while, for the first time completely without the aid of a safety net, Tiddles is preparing the dinner. We did the same meal a week ago with me acting as kitchen assistant, but this week he’s on his own. Nerve racking indeed, but at least we’ve enough bread for toast if necessary.

This time next week he’ll be off on his grand adventure to the Peak District. He’s so excited, you could bottle the excitement and use it to make sparkling mineral water for a few months to come, I reckon. This afternoon, once I’ve done the ironing, we pack his bags in anticipation as it’s an early start next weekend and a busy couple of days before it. If I hear the words “Peak District” one more time in the next seven days, I think I shall scream! Poor Smudgelet will miss his big brother, though. A few treats for next week, I think.

I faced this week yet again the probability that we’re facing a decline into Alzheimer’s for Dad. He’s still lovely, but he can have such moments of total irrationality. I decided on Thursday that he’d better have Alzheimers for an excuse because otherwise I’d say something I’d regret about his selfishness in giving me a rollocking for not cooking him a full three-course meal while I was lying in bed feeling drained and listless after a stomach upset. (Apparently two hours was quite enough for me to spend being ill and then I should have pulled myself together and seen to my responsibilities rather than asking him to cook himself a jacket potato). He’s also set his mind on using the bus service to convey him to his hospital appointment next week if I refuse to take him (because I happen to be in work) – walking to and from the bus stop up an extremely steep hill – because he resents paying the £5 it would cost him to get a taxi door to door, or the £3 it would cost for a hospital car. After talking to my sister about it, I have decided to get him a bus timetable and leave him to make his own mind up!!! I just pray he’ll see sense before then.

He’s all of a lather because he’s done the unthinkable and spent some money. He’s getting – after much argument against it – a new reclining chair which automatically lifts you to your feet to help you stand. Lovely, it is… all in leather (which will be a blessing when he suddenly wakes from an unexpected nap and tips his cup of coffee all over the place!). He’s having a trolley on wheels to give him a bit more stability around the house, and he’s finally accepted that he’s going to have to fork out and replace the bath, although there’s still some persuading to do to convince him that a walk-in shower is going to be a far better investment than a bath with a door on it. He reckons the latter will be more sellable when his bungalow eventually goes on the market – he can’t see that the opposite is actually the truth, and that a walk in shower is far more practical anyway as it means I will be able to get alongside him to help him get clean. Whatever I say, he’ll do the opposite, so I’m just praying that the surveyor will be able to make him see sense.

As for me, I have my second service tomorrow. Think of me, if you will, at 11.am BST. I’m already having nightmares! It looks like I’ll be preaching to an organist and a congregation of approximately one. And this one is a local preacher of long-standing.. one who likes everything “politically correct” – who reprimanded my father for thanking him for leading worship “Don’t thank me brother, thank The Lord” – and who reprimanded my mentor for starting The Grace with the word “may” because it was sacriledgious to suggest that God might not do as asked! I decided that if he criticises the service I should say “Don’t criticise me brother, criticise… ” What do you reckon?

Dear God,

When I next happen to mutter to myself that I could do with a day off work to get a few jobs done, I’d like to point out that a) I don’t mean it quite literally and b) I’d rather not spend a day glued to the toilet thank you very much.

I might have known how your sense of humour works – but after all, I wasn’t exactly talking to you at the time!

Still, I suppose that, while it isn’t ideal for getting the kitchen cleaned, the time spent in the bathroom is ideal for doing a bit of studying. :rolleyes:

Whoops

I started that bit of blogging full of the joys of great-aunthood and ended up letting out all the pent-up fedupness which I’d only half acknowledged was there. Sorry 😉 But hey, better out than in, as Shrek would say for something a load less polite !

We walked through the recreation ground today on our way to take Smudgelet to the pottery and were excited to watch the hustle and bustle of preparations for the Isle of Wight Rock Festival. I was so caught up in the excitement that for a moment I almost wished we had tickets. Almost. Still, with the wind in the right direction, we should hear the music… all through the night! If I could work out this linking business, I’d link to the website and you could see all the big names who are coming to the Island. In fact I think there’s even one or two I’ve heard of! 😀 It’s exciting, though, and if the wind that carries the beat of the music also carries some of the.. well, shall we call it “atmosphere”? … then I’ll be very chilled by the time the weekend’s over, man.

And as for the ironing, well, I think that’s had it. I’ve discovered The Puzzler’s website. I’ll be there once I’ve just finished this rather challenging puzzle……

Yes

You’re right, Jack. It is indeed baby Edythe, my second great-niece, the photos of whom arrived yesterday. I’ve gone all googly-eyed and broody. Although as I reminded a friend of mine last night – a sure cure for broodiness is to remember that they remain tiny babies for only about a year, they remain teenagers for seven years (at least! My Smudgelet is a teenager already at the age of eight!)

I must admit to feeling slightly robbed of the babyhood of my children, and resentful of the women who nursed them on their knees and yet didn’t give them the care they needed – maybe not a good feeling to be experiencing right now as I write my annual letters to the birth families, but an honest one none-the-less and exacerbated by the fact that I seem to be suffering perimenopausal symptoms at the moment (possibly for other causes, however… must remember to make that appointment for the blood test results!) and it rubs in the fact that I shall never have babies at all. But then, I wouldn’t be without my Smudgelets… no matter what I told them to the contrary tonight at bedtime!!!

Tomorrow Uncle B goes home. I shall miss him – it was wonderful spending time with someone who was such a fundamental part of my childhood.A shame Dad was so poorly while he was here, but at least I managed to take him out a few times – this afternoon dropping them both at Osborne House for a stroll in the grounds in the summer sunshine, yesterday driving them on a whistlestop tour of the beautiful downs and the southern coast of the Island. I’m glad to have been able to share with my children the joy of having this lovely man surround them with love just as he did for me when I was their age. I’d love for him to stay for longer, to read them stories and play with them as he did for me, and to share a bit of my grown-up life too. But I can imagine it must be distressing for him to see my Dad brought so low – and so miserable and argumentative (with me, not with B – fortunately) – when he himself has aged so well and the two of them have always been real comrades-in-arms. Certainly the contrast has brought it home to me in a big way.

I ache

My arms ache
My shoulders ache
My wrists ache
My fingers ache
My back aches
My thighs ache
My calves ache
My ankles ache
and most of all

… my bottom aches.

But we did it. 73 laps for Tiddles, 55 for Smudgelet and a modest 38 for me. Each lap approximately a quarter of a mile. It stayed fine except for the last half hour and the three of us were pretty well the last off the track. We were extremely disappointed that this year there were no medals for taking part, but the boys got a lapel badge and a sticker and a book, and we were given one of the left-over bottles of water!

Smudgelet is currently stood out in the rain cleaning his bike. There was no point him getting in the bath until he’d done it. On the track for the younger children there was a large clayey puddle and my beloved Smudgelet did 55 laps straight through the middle of it! He now appears to be wearing the puddle, so I would guess there’s no water left in it. His bike too changed colour from green to a nice even coat of brown.

Although I did two less laps than last year, I am convinced I must have cycled just as far. This year they divided the track in two, with younger children doing the inner oval and older children and adults doing the outer circuit. Last year, needless to say, I hogged the inner position to reduce my mileage but this time it wasn’t an option. What was particularly nice though was that this year Tiddles decided to forgo his attempt to ride fast and wanted instead to keep me company by riding alongside me. He wasn’t such a hero, though, when I went over to the announcer’s cabin to give a report on how we were doing, stepped over the barrier with my right leg and discovered my left leg just didn’t want to cooperate any more. My beloved eldest son just stood there laughing at me rather than racing to the rescue. I’m just relieved he couldn’t remember where the camera was!

Thanks to all those who sponsored us (apart from those who did it from malice to make me suffer! 😉 ) – we raised a grand total of over £300 for Leukaemia Research, and what better cause could it go to? I may well ache, but we’re lucky not to need the research at present and it was worth every single aching muscle to help those who do.

Hmmm… a massage would be good. But all the benefit my body gets from my training is that I know the proper latin name for every single muscle I can feel!!!