Daily Archives: June 10, 2008

Talking of being a proud mummy

I think he has an eye for a good photo, and even he was taken aback by how they looked when I printed them out in A4 and put them in a frame.

He still thinks I’m just saying it to make him feel good, though. He won’t believe he has a good awareness of what makes a good photo. But this set on Flickr are the ones he took in Scotland – yes, they were taken with a digital camera so he could have taken hundreds and picked the best, but these were all the photos he took, some fairly run-of-the-mill though with something in each to redeem it, some rather nicely composed (I think, but then I’m biased). Clicking on a photo will take you to the rest.

My favourites:

Scotland 1

Scotland 6

Scotland 5

Scotland 13

Work Experience

Those of you who know Tiddles will probably be interested to know that he had a really positive time on both his work experiences. His first week was at the RSPCA, working in all areas and having chance to talk to the inspector. He learnt things about doing repetitive work as carefully as the interesting stuff, he learnt about not going out in the evening if you’ve got to be up early next day ( ! ), he learnt about making his own lunch and arranging his own transport, he learnt about the importance of health and safety rules (even if it is a bit ridiculous that a boy who can shear a sheep and who drives, feeds and milks the cows isn’t deemed old enough to hold the lead when walking a dog!). He fell in love with ferrets, an animal he’d never liked before, and the lovely one-eyed, deaf cat called Belle who cannot be rehomed. And he learned that if you have to put a presentation together about your week’s work, it isn’t a good idea to leave taking the photographs all for the last day!

I was very impressed that he wrote to thank them for having him there and, even more so, that he set himself the challenge of baking them a cake for his last day there!

His second week was spent at the Hospice. He’d wanted to work there originally when he’d been thinking of going into nursing and decided that he’d go ahead with the work experience, even though he’d decided he wanted to work with animals in preference to people… just to make sure, like.

It was a doddle of a week in some respects. He didn’t have to be there until 9.30 am and finished at 3.15pm. And he wasn’t able to work in the wards, so was just doing the job of a volunteer in day care, making teas and coffees and keeping the patients company. (We made the most of his short hours, however, by finding plenty of jobs for him to do helping his uncle with the DIY jobs before and after work!) But he learnt things of far more value. He learnt that he brushes up quite nicely and looks really rather grown up and cool in a shirt and slacks. He learnt that he has a skill that not many teenagers have, that of talking to people clearly and making eye contact and actually taking the first step to talk to someone even though feeling a little shy. He learnt that he has loads to offer people who are weak and needful of help, that he is sensitive to their needs and enjoys meeting them. He learnt that working with people is actually more to his liking than with animals and that he’s determined at least to volunteer at the hospice during his holidays. And he learnt that he misses his grandad more than he actually realised.

He also learned that it was not just mummy boosting his confidence when she told him that he is skillful with people but also a skillful photographer. He took some of his photographs in for the art teacher to put in their folder of pictures and also a framed one to put in the raffle, and was astounded at the enthusiastic reception of them.

My son grew a good two inches in stature over the fortnight. Standing tall, confident, high in self esteem. I am a proud mum, regardless of the trouble he’s caused. He’s a smashing lad.

Birthday treat – on a small scale

My youngest son is a man of taste.

This weekend we celebrated his birthday (only a couple of weeks late) in style. Given the choice of a birthday party or a family treat, he asked very politely whether it would be possible for him and a friend to spend a night in a posh hotel. Hmmm… this, of course, meant that I had to spend a night in a posh hotel too. What hardship. The downside, of course, was that I had to share my room with two small boys. In fact, I had to share it with two small boys AND a smelly teenager! But luxury it was… and there was an extra treat.

A bit of internet searching and I came up with a rather marvellous hotel – the Crowne Plaza in Heathrow. I had decided to look for a mainland hotel as it added the excitement of going abroad and at no extra cost as I was taking Tiddles back to school anyway. Google it and have a look at the photo tour. We thought we’d died and gone to heaven! The food was delicious and in plentiful supply, and the boys were wowed at the attentive and friendly service. The bedroom was a little palace with everything we could possibly desire (well, not quite everything, after all I was sharing it with three kids and with only two kingsize beds there wasn’t really room for anyone else ;o) ). And the swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna and steam room… well, I am surprised we didn’t turn into prunes. Utter bliss. I introduced both my boys to the delight of a sauna and a steam room – needless to say, they both loved it, even though I only let them stay in a minute or two. They even loved the freezing cold plunge bath afterwards, though I must admit that I only managed to plunge to waist deep – there are parts of my body that I am extremely reluctant voluntarily to subject to low temperatures!

So why did I choose Heathrow, of all places, when Tiddles’ school is so far in the other direction? Well, that’s where the extra treat comes in. Legoland! Can you believe I got a deal which gave us two days at Legoland and a night in a 5* hotel with breakfast for only £50 a head? It was an offer that was far far too good to refuse, even if it did mean a 7 hour drive to take Tiddles to school. And despite the fact that I booked it for the boys and I went with the expectation of enduring the weekend for their sakes, I had the most wonderfully fantastically fun weekend.

My Flickr account has loads of photos, but here’s a taster:

Why should the kids have all the fun?

We will, we will ROCK YOU


Buckingham Palace

Home, sweet home

The Thinker

Nikki Lauder

Chocolate Waffles