Monthly Archives: January 2010

I’d never built a snowman before

When I was a child, building a snowman was always a dream but never fulfilled. My dad was always working, it seemed, when the opportunity arose and I had no brother and sisters at home to help. I’d start rolling the snowball to build up into the body, but would lose heart before it got much bigger than a snowball. A sad, sad tale indeed. And my friends were more interested in snowball fights, probably having learnt for themselves the monotony of amassing that initial mountain of snow that is necessary before the fun part begins. And when I had kids of my own, I lived in a part of the country where snowman building isn’t a frequent opportunity. So I’d never built a snowman before.

I never dreamed that work would be my first opportunity!

I arrived, having plodded through the snow, to a white world at work and a shout from the back garden “Come and help!” And there, supervised by the children, my colleague had built the most enormous snowman body, determined that this would be the biggest and best snowman ever built at the centre. Hooray! The boring bit was done! My colleague was frozen, so it was now my turn. My turn, and I got to do the fun bits.

The eyes. What to do for the eyes? Nothing was quite right. We tried mini-jaffa-cakes which worked best, but we thought they might not last long, so we finished the packet instead. There were no stones or lumps of coal to be found. I’d better not say what my colleague eventually found which did the trick just perfectly….. I may lose a friend!

We couldn’t find a hat anywhere – well, just one, but it looked silly perched on top of the huge head. Then inspiration hit. Well, the kitchen mop needed a new head on it – it was getting a bit tatty and worn and was much better suited as a snowman’s wig. On top of that, the hat looked just right. (Especially the following morning with a fresh layer of snow on top!)

I’d never built a snowman before, so it was quite something to hear the oohs and ahhs of the other staff next morning when they saw him standing there in the garden, 7 foot high. Several people said “I really like his arms and the mop of hair”. They were my bits 😀


So that's where the kitchen mop went!

A bit sad this week, mind. A little pile of soggy mop, sodden scarf and hat, frozen carrot and two electric socket protector caps coloured green, lying in a little puddle alongside the broom.

The best laid plans…

It was a good idea, the idea of giving the Smudgelet responsibility for the washing up for one week. A good idea leaving him to discover that washing up is best done on the day it is created. Less good an idea when I find he’s gone to school and I want a cup of coffee. There is not a single clean mug, plate, dish, knife, fork or spoon in the house. AAAAAGGGGGGGGHHHHHH !

Good job I love him. Shame I won’t see him again until tomorrow evening. Or actually, perhaps it’s a good job. His life may depend upon it.

Happy birthday to me

It’s always nice to get a birthday card from a long lost friend through the post.
A bit odd, though, when it’s not your birthday.
Even odder when the long lost friend isn’t anyone you know.

I mean, I do know someone called Roy, but I don’t think the card is from him, seeing as I had a Christmas card from him only a few weeks ago. And the other Roy I recall is a teacher from High School and this certainly isn’t him.

No sender’s address, postmark illegible, but nice message:

“With fondest love and blessings for today and every day. Dear Smudgie,” (Well, I think the name was slightly different, but it was my name, nonetheless). “It was (almost) by chance I came across you registered at this address when doing some research at work. I can’t be sure it is the Smudgie I know but there are not many Smudgies about and it is simething you talked of doing long ago. I admire your courage and hope your independance has brought you freedom and the happiness you deserve. Roy.”

Lovely message – I almost wish I was the Smudgie it was intended for.

That’s all white then

Suddenly it would appear that the mainland does indeed have its attractions for the Smudgelet. After all, the Island may be Wight but the outskirts of London are really White! When I rang him to tell him school was closed (he was already on his way there on the bus) my ears were pierced by his squeals of delight.

I now need to find out what happens about work. I am on duty this afternoon from 2.30 until 9pm and the snow’s still falling.
Wish I didn’t have such an irritating cough – I’m almost tempted to go out and make a snowman!

Wet trousers

It took for ever to de-ice the car this morning. That’s when a 7am start at work simply isn’t fun, especially when you were working until just after 10 the previous evening. There I stood in the darkness, chipping away with the ice-pick while the engine did its level best to warm up quickly enough to assist me in my herculean task.

Mind you, if I thought that was bad, I hadn’t really anticipated the fun of de-icing an entire minibus with the aid of one cassette case (my new invention – a better scraper for scraping ice off windscreens than a proper windscreen ice scraper!) and one kitchen fishslice (plastic, I hasten to add). The latter is now done for. As were my fingers, at least temporarily.

Still, it was nice to get our kids out into the open air for an hour, seeing as the sun was shining. Off to the playpark we went. Brilliant fun. But what about the slide. I happened to find myself at the top of the slide, just as my colleagues were discussing whether it was safe for one of the kids to use it because it was quite icy. So, self-sacrificing hero that I am, I gave it a test run. The slide was rather narrow – I half expected to get stuck at the top, but was quite gratified to find that I could indeed just slide down it, even if it was a bit painful. In fact, I slid down it jolly well. Quite fast, in fact, as the layer of snow and ice accumulated under my trousers and I found myself shooting downwards at great speed. As I reached the ground we discovered that the slide was now quite safe for my colleagues and kids. The layer of ice and snow had gone. It was now all collected at the bottom. And I don’t mean the bottom of the slide!

Still, I soon warmed up while talking to my boss. He reckoned it was purely accidental that his coffee cup did a triple back somersault off his desk and landed, inverted, in my lap. He didn’t even laugh….. much!

Honestly, it’s a dangerous place I work in.

Tell you something, though. How many people can honestly say that, when they find themselves with the prospect of arriving at work twenty minutes early, are actually quite pleased? Though, as all places, it has its stresses (and I am quite utterly exhausted tonight, which is not an unusual state of affairs after four days at work), I am delighted to say that I still really love my job.

But fun though it may be, it’s really rather nice to find myself here at a quarter past eight, tucked up in bed with my laptop (nearly out of battery – know just how it feels), a good book of which I probably shaln’t stay awake long enough to read more than a couple of lines, a mug of white hot chocolate laced with Baileys, and my beddypenguin (just like a beddybear, only cuter!). Good night. Sleep well. I shall! 🙂

Happy new day

My sister decided that, bearing in mind the events of the last few years, wishing me a happy new year was a bit optimistic, so we’re making do with wishing a happy new day. In fact, we decided to play safe and stick to “happy new ten minutes” .. which of course necessitated ten minutely phone calls.. but we then realised that this was maybe a bit impractical, seeing as I had a mount-everest of housework to get done before work.

My cat has a bright blue paw. Not sure how or why, but it’s very pretty.

Leaving the car at work the other day and going in by bus and a walk through Richmond Park seemed like a good idea at the time. Seems wrong to be going in to work on New Year’s Day at all.

Yes, I did see the new year in. Not deliberately, I hasten to add. But you’d have thought a kingsize bed and duvet would be big enough for a mother to cope with having her son sleep alongside her for one night – his room was far too noisy for anyone to sleep in, being right next to the pub – but I was wrong. After several kicks and half a night spent without any duvet whatsoever, I gave up and relocated to his room, judging the band and the fireworks less of an endurance trial… or at least a finite one.

This year my brother didn’t ring until about 9. Bless him. I don’t think he’s ever recovered from the “friendly” greeting he got one new year – my sisters rang him at midnight and left a message on his answerphone saying “give us a quick ring when you get in”, expecting him to be home just after midnight. So when he got in, he rang them, and me. 4.30am!!! I think he’s been afraid ever to phone us to wish us a happy new year since then!

Anyway, I wish you the sort of year I wish myself. That your needs are all supplied and some of your desires met. That you be granted strength for the tough times, comfort for the sad times, appreciation for the happy times, and the health and energy to enjoy the fun times to the full. Because one thing is sure, the year will contain all of the above to some degree or other, no matter what our circumstances. But throughout it all, God will be there by our side, living every minute alongside us, and giving us all we need to live the life we’re given.

So my thoughts and prayers are with you for the coming year, and I trust yours are with us too. Lovely place this, isn’t it?