Monthly Archives: April 2009


We have froglets.
Yesterday they were froglets with tails, today they are complete and tiny tiny froglets, sitting happily on a stone and exploring their brave new world.
I’ve had frogspawn before and watched the tadpoles grow, but I have never before achieved the froglet stage – clearly a life of neglect has done them good.
There do only seem to be two of them. I can’t help but wonder whether there’s been a bit of cannibalism taking place or whether they grew their legs a little bit too early – i.e. before I actually thought to put a lid on the tank!

On hold

How am I ever going to be ready for the move when an entire day is taken up by something as simple as buying a shed.

First find your shed. BnQ in Londonshire don’t really do sheds. The biggest BnQ I’ve ever seen, and they don’t do sheds. Just tiny little wooden things that’d just about hold a lawnmower and not much else. Not proper, take-up-half-your-garden sheds. And the online version of there and just about everywhere else do sheds, but aren’t very accommodating when it comes to delivering.

Trouble is, we can’t be very flexible on when we take delivery either. I get the keys to the flat a week tomorrow (goodness, is it really really that soon?) and am meeting my brother there for a day or two to put the shed up, so that it’s ready and waiting to store all my gumpf when we finally move in. So it has to arrive on that Friday. Any sooner and we won’t have a home to store it in (or even be there to sign for it), any later and we won’t have time to put it up. It has to be the Friday, and they JUST DON’T DO THAT!

So finally I find it. The website. The shed. The shed that will fit just right in my new garden without looking too hideous or taking up too much room, and the website that will generously allow you (for an extra £30!) to specify which day you want it delivered.

I ordered the shed and paid for it online, then rang the number that they said to arrange delivery. “We’re sorry, all our operators are busy with other customers at the moment. Please hold”.

I did some other paperwork, whilst holding.

I played a couple of round of FreeCell and played Jack and Deeleea at Lexulous with varying degrees of success, whilst holding.

I organised some Wightmeet photographs for the boy, whilst holding.

I went into the kitchen and loaded the dishwasher, whilst holding.

I made myself a cup of coffee, whilst holding.

I returned to my desk and sat down to drink my coffee, whilst holding, and suddenly realised that I had another pressing need which had to be dealt with before drinking another drop. Should I hang up? No, after an eternity on hold, I didn’t want to be relegated to the back of the queue, and I wasn’t going to be a couple of minutes, so I took the phone with me.

I sat down and began to do what a woman has to do, and yes, you’ve guessed it: “Hello, you’re through to the shed delivery office. How can I help you?”

“I am really sorry about the sound effects, but I’ve been on hold so long that I simply couldn’t hold on any longer. I am just going to the toilet. Please hold the line for a moment and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can” ;o)

Trouble was, when I was finally able to speak to her, she informed me that the information wasn’t through to her computer at that point. I would have to ring again tomorrow.

I’ll empty my bladder first, though!

Tough day

Today was tougher than I expected – strange how naive we can be at times. The police came to bring back the things that were seized last September. There was so so much!

Here was me, looking forward to seeing the officer again whom I could happily describe as having become my friend. Here was me, too, looking forward to allowing the Smudgelet to have his big brother’s bike (Eldest son won’t be needing it for a while and the Smudgelet’s kneecaps end up up his nostrils wheh he rides his own now) and to replacing his broken computer with the laptop his brother used. But what I hadn’t thought about was the clothes.

I cleared my eldest son’s bedroom last week, sending some of his larger clothes to my brother’s for storage, and sending the rest to a charity which takes teenagers’ clothes to a Romanian orphanage. I had forgotten that the police had the clothes he was wearing when arrested. It was hard to see them, harder still to re-acknowledge that he’ll never wear them again.

Thanks to a good friend, they have now gone. Bad timing, though. I want to cry. I want to cry and not to stop. All the hopes and dreams I had for that boy of mine. All the love and times we share. The clothes which looked so good on him – new ones, which I’d recently bought for him, knowing how much they’d suit him, and how proud I often feel of how good he looks. Ho hum.

At least it is something which will help in my new job, this knowledge of the feeling of losing those dreams. The grieving for a child who’s still there, but not quite as you’d thought they would be. The lost opportunities.

I love the film “mamma mia” but one song always makes me cry.

“Slipping through my fingers all the time,
do I really know what’s in her mind,
each time I think I’m close to knowing,
she keeps on growing,
slipping through my fingers all the time……

Sleep in her eyes, her and me at the breakfast table,
Barely awake, I let precious time go by,
Then, when she’s gone, there’s that odd melancholy feeling,
And a sense of guilt I can’t deny…

What happened to those wonderful adventures,
The places I had planned that we should go?
Well, some of that we did, but most we didn’t,
and why I just don’t know…..”

But no time for tears. The Wightmeet advance party are here, another coming tomorrow (while I’m “overseas” at my son’s review – talk about bad timing!) and then the whole onslaught on Friday.
At least there might be someone to mend the bathroom light switch!

Welsh Wales

I think it is only fair that we bore you with some photos from our escape to Welsh Wales. I’ll pick some of my favourites – you’ll have to pop over to flickr if you’re feeling masochistic enough to want to see more. You may spot a rather “castly” theme.

For those of you who are concerned – four tadpoles survived the journey and are now massively huge and showing signs of growing legs. Must remember to put a lid on the tank!

Our motte and bailey castle Cardiff Castle Keep

The Smudgelet at Cardiff Castle Going down

Caerphilly Castle Castell Coch

Castell Coch Gone Fishing

I think it’s near-enough ours…

Today the deposit was paid on the Smudgie-Towers-Mainland-Annex. It’s still not officially ours, but nobody can now gazump us. I aim to take over possession at the beginning of May and to be moved in by the end of May.

The new flat

Needless to say, by that time people will be informed of our new contact details and instructions of how to find us if you were to drop round for a cup of coffee. Well, depending on how much we like you – we may give you a totally different address, of course!

Packing up is .. let’s say “a challenge”. 20 years of living in my own home results in quite an accumulation of possessions – parenthood and teaching seem to attract clutter too, to say nothing of being a terrible hoarder. Luckily my brother understands one important thing – he has offered storage space for my books 😀