Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year!

Feeling ridiculously good - happy, lucky, contented good, not hyper, stimulant-fuelled good - this New Year's Eve. No particular reason - it's just feeling more important this year than any other so far to feel lucky that my life's in a good place, with a prickling feeling about those whose life isn't.

We're chez nous tonight, as usual, having a blast of popcorn, great music, probably some Jools Holland, some sparklers, and definitely the London fireworks on tv at midnight. And a splendidly undisturbed lie-in in the morning. 6 Music's been on all afternoon - bah humbug to whichever government, tory or labour, had the daft idea to try to axe it.

To everyone who has put up with my random thoughts this year, inspired me, made me laugh, made me cry - a massive thank you, and I hope next year will be everything it should be, and more.*

Much love xx

* of course, we will ignore the 3 weeks or whatever length of boredom that shall be the olympics ;)

Friday, 30 December 2011

Resolutions 2012

  1. Must. Not. Have. Any. More. Pretzels. In. The. House. Ever...
  2. Must stop buying vintage Quality Street tins. Its getting silly now...
  3. Ditto posters. Even ones that are not massive. I do not have enough walls.
  4. Must remember that cleaning CAN be relaxing, de-stressing and CAN involve the whole family.
  5. Maybe I should start delegating the cooking too, for the same reasons.
  6. Will read more books again, even though magazines are easy visual eye candy.*
  7. Will sort my books out so they are grouped properly, instead of bunging new ones into random available spaces.

*Have started John Steinbeck and Robert Capa's 1947 "Russian Journal". Saw some fuss in the press about schools allegedly copping out by setting Steinbeck's mere 6-chapter "Of Mice And Men" to year 10 kids. Michael Gove, Minister for Something To Do With Making Children Cleverer, thinks children should read 50 books a year. That's one a week. Maybe he means short-ish books. I'm not tying either of my kids to chairs to make them "achieve" a novel a week...

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Something Silly...

One of those moments where
It's No Longer Christmas
but not yet New Year's Eve?

A bit bored?

You should be doing Other Things*?

Then follow these quick and easy steps:

1) Go on this:
2) Ask it how to say "vajazzle"**

And then:
3) Leave me a comment with what YOU ended up asking it to say

* Like your tax return, decluttering your email inbox...

**It sounds quite different from how Amy Childs says it ;)

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Lazy Sunday Afternoon...

... It's getting embarrassing. Up til yesterday I hadn't written a single card, and since Thursday they've started pouring through the letterbox. Including a hand-delivered one from people whose address I don't know*, and even one thrust into my hand by a mate in town yesterday morning. As usual, they are getting blu-tacked up across the mantelpiece, as I never quite get round to putting up ribbon or Sensible Stuff on which to affix them.

So today I set aside the Whole Day to do nothing but write cards. Not that I'm writing that many, its just that they won't stand a chance of getting anywhere in time if I don't send 'em tomorrow. Obviously that freed me up to have a pyjama morning, catching up on blog-reading. And having a few more mince pies. Then it looked quite nice and warm out so I threw on a heap of garments from the pile on the floor and headed out into the garden to put the bulbs in.


That may be a tad late, but not as late as New Year's Eve which was when I got round to doing them once. Yep, I'm all about the optimism that post-December 22nd means we get longer days again, and it'll only be 6 weeks or so before some snowdrops and daffodils start poking through.

While I was out there prodding about with the bulbs the 12 year old asked if we were going anywhere - erm, no. Though we could go out for a walk if he wanted... he decided he didn't want, and miraculously the 14 year old came out with me instead. He's just started back at school again, and is being confident about doing things again. I suspected that conning me into upgrading his phone to a blackberry had something of the ulterior motive about it... whereas him having internet on his phone now gives him no reason not to visit our relatives over the christmas holidays. Win-win.

*Before we went out I wrote 2 cards and put in my handbag, just in case, including one for the people whose address I don't know. And strangely enough, who did we bump into on the way home...

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Oh Heck .... Two Weeks To Go

Well, what a surprise it is to discover that I am Quite Behind With Things this Christmas. So unlike me...

We've got the tree, Glittery Mary and Bertram, and various other sparkly draperies about the place. We've now had two consecutive weekends of eating mince pies. Which is very slobbish behaviour, and is setting me up to want to hibernate a bit, watch rubbish films, that sort of thing. Not to clean the house or do lists, or any kind of silly rushing about.

In fact, apart from some fairly random, and not completely comprehensive, online purchasing of presents, I've been looking for more Marys online - wooden ones, that might smell of churches. Or even fabulous waxy, plastic ones, all the way from Argentina. They are apparently very In Demand for Christmas and going for £££. I blame the Treasures From Heaven programme Andrew Graham-Dixon, Love God of the Reliquary, did the other night


Yesterday, while I should have been Busy Doing Other Things,  Singing In The Rain was on tv. I was getting quite annoyed by the clipped, hurried way the lines are delivered, but ended up finding these adorable posters:


Channel 5 Sex Drugs And Rock n Roll

Have a look at this for 60s fabulousness! Boutiques, Biba, Ossie Clark.... and Cilla and Lulu.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Glitter And Grit

Thank you for all your lovely comments about Bertram, Norris and Glittery Mary.... they probably WILL end up hanging around way past January ;)

Heaven knows what anyone will make of my blog if they end up on it after searching "Paperchase".
(Mightily pissed off, and not able to find what they were looking for,
if the non-rise in followers yet ever varying and odd search phrases in the stats are anything to go by). 


On non-glittery matters, I am banging on doors of routes to help the 14 year old, and have spent much of the day on forums and on the phone - tomorrow I have to write to the director of education outlining the many and dismal failings so far for which he/she has to take responsibility, in order to snowball this thing.
And the jury is out about getting a social worker involved, but I'm doing that too.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

B is for.....


Who has come to live with us for Christmas. But then again a red flock reindeer isn't just for Christmas is it. And it won't need to go walkies at stupid o'clock in the morning...

While New Things were creeping into the house, I realised I had always wanted needed a good ol' bit of Catholic Kitsch. Look who was waiting for me in the window of Paperchase. A glittery Mary!!!

Um, can anyone see a 2nd reindeer?

Friday, 11 November 2011

The John Lewis Christmas Advert

The New John Lewis Christmas Advert (remember "Ellie Goulding" last year???)...........

It went live mid-morning today on Youtube, and Twitter's going A Bit Mad over it. Whole offices of people are blubbing at their desks.......

*************** SPOILER ALERT ***************


Don't read any further

if you want to see it first!!!!!


Prevailing Twitter Thinking, apart from A National Outbreak Of Blubbing (and a few disagreements over The Song Whose Royalties Will Now Get Morrissey Out Of A Fix) seems to be that the film Seven has been a subliminal influence - the boy could possibly be giving his parents a box containing his sister's head. As a thoughtful Christmas gift...

And I'm just trying to figure out what exactly it could be that John Lewis sell that would be big enough to require a box yet be pocket-money price.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

A Post With A Ridiculous Amount Of Labels

So, yes, a few random things, that are really just the tip of the iceberg of life this week.

Actually, who knows - its been a week when I dreamt I worked with the mother of 3 men (which, in my dream, made them brothers?? Was I getting confused with the Bee Gees???? Was this anything to do with Lulu getting voted off Strictly?) in Wire The mother had a  hairdo like Cousin Isobel out of Downton Abbey, but in a more Debbie Harry way.

.... Lulu being Mrs Gibb

 Cousin Isobel. Not Lulu. Nor Debbie Harry


Among the recession-inspired and genuine 40's graphics around at the moment, I like this poster, on ebay:


Watched Rolf "National Treasure" Harris being interviewed by Piers Morgan* at the weekend  and thought  when he was young he was the spit of someone around at the moment. Of course, I've now forgotten who that someone was.... anyone see any resemblance???

*I'd love to write the name that Private Eye call him but you might be eating...


Yesterday I accidentally invented a new method of Cracking The Admin Laziness Problem. Formerly known as the Cupboard of Doom, or Ignore It Until It Ceases To Be Relevant. Yesterday our internet was down... after 15 minutes of headless chicken behaviour (from me, the kids were fine about it) where I didn't really know What To Do Instead Of Wasting Time Online Stalking Caitlin Moran And Grace Dent On Twitter, I had a brainwave. While the sheets were in the washing machine, I blitzed my stagnant pile of rubbish tossed into a wooden wine box on the shelf my intray. 45 minutes, once a week - its the way forward.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Princesses, Pizza And Pictures

Out for another prowl around a Midlands metropolis yesterday. To Birmingham. Despite living oop norf for the past 10 years, we've only been there twice, neither time making it any further than the Bullring shopping centre. I had no idea there were canals going right through it.

Popped into Pizza Express and parked ourselves at a window table to nose at people going past people-watch. Unfortunately we timed our arrival to within minutes of the end of the Disney on Ice show up the road, and the place was soon heaving with pastel taffeta as hordes of little girls in Princess frocks, clutching souvenir light-up wands, descended on the place with their families. There was even a dad dressed as Buzz Lightyear....

Afterwards, to walk off the chocolate fudge cake dessert to recover from the decibel damage, we had a bit of a poke around the city centre, admiring the tall, beautifully embellished old buildings, and some of the even taller shiny new ones. We will have to go back several more times to get to know our way round better. Charity shops next time!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Halloween ..... Yeah, I Know It Was 5 Days Ago

Me'n'Blogger seem to have sorted out our little differences over how to publish photos - and I've just found these from last weekend. So, some belated skulls and orangeyness...

Goodness Gracious Great Balls Of Fire

Had planned an adhoc mini-bonfire and to toast marshmallows in the garden for tonight... as long as adhoc isn't a contradiction of planned. Y'know, the sort of daft idea you get when you watch Sarah Beeny and her tribe scampering about Rise Hall Acres, having good old fashioned family fun on "Restoration Nightmare".

Anyhows, we'd already scoffed most of the marshmallows by the time Strictly had finished, so we went outside to have ourselves a sparklers frenzy - and watch some of the neighbours' fireworks going up in the background.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Happy Halloween!

I've started decorating already!

Necklace restrung from Poundland decoration
Lurex jumper - charity shop

Tuesday, 25 October 2011


... managing marvellously to have some for Neighbor Next Door With The Tidy Yard this morning. Yes, the missing "u" in the word, and the tidy yard. Whose fence post I fixed.

This morning all hell was breaking out the other side of the party wall. Lost-the-plot dad screaming at their little boy, boy screaming back.... at first I cranked up the 6Music volume. Then I got a glass to the wall - to check out what exactly was going on. Seems they were trying to get a contact lens in, for his lazy eye. He's 4, for chrissakes, and was getting totally distraught. And the dad was getting horrible.... I nearly went round there. And then I thought, ah, they wouldn't do this if they didn't have to. And they must hear a fair bit from our side when the 14 year old is on one. It all died down soon enough. And I would have felt awful wading in at their doorstep. And all sorts of awkwardness.

And now the tw*t is HAMMERING - aaaaaarrrrrggggghhhhh. When I've got the day off, with a silly stomach, with no sleep last night. And thought I could have a snooze now the 12 year old's gone to school...

*breathe*. Its all about the tolerance. In Gok voice.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Making Myself A Bit Late For Work. For Real.

Ewwwwrrrrggghhh - back to the World of Work today, after 9, or is it, 10 days off. An utterly slack life indeed. No wonder I need to have a job - I obviously lack the willpower to hack it self-employed. Whatever, I was dumbstruck by How Did It Get That Dark Since I Last Got Up That Early? Despite 2 dreams torturing me that I've been Severely Late (9am and 3pm ....) I am still sitting here, stubbornly having a 2nd cup of black tea, with precisely 36 minutes to shower and find something presentable in which to leave the house.

No doubt Work Talk will be of How Dark It Was This Morning, and who the hell is Patrick Crawley from last night's Downton Abbey. I will, of course, be extremely one-up on helpful in the latter conversation, from watching the previous series. Though maybe less knowledgeable about why Mary seems to get romantically entangled with all her male cousins. Heir or not. Isn't that inter-breeding? Is that what the New Era they are talking about, at the end of the First World War, is supposed to eradicate? Matthew's legs are twitching... he may be back in the running. Literally.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Pictures On The Walls

Last week I was going to spend the afternoon painting a wall grey in my dining room. The plan got waylaid by World of Work overspill... but very much later that evening, watching an old Who Do You Think You Are (Natasha Kaplinsky), the wall got its paint.... The painting mojo hasn't returned since then, so I still haven't got the ladder out of the cellar to do the top 4" of wall.

In a bit of a "blah", down-phase a little while ago, I filled my ebay watch list up with Warhol pop art. So the mini blue Liz and the mini red Jackie O were from there...

And to keep the pop art going:

Poster at London Bridge station.

And on another wall, in my dad's lounge, is this l'il beauty:

It's called "Interlude" by Teymour Amiry, 1963. It's been in the house forever; the downstairs of the house is totally still original mid-century. As is the wallpaper throughout the house... The only thing I've found on the artist is a listing on New Zealand's Trade Me. So possibly a New Zealand artist??? Its quite creepy, as I just don't like still, dark water like rivers and ponds, but its quite enchanting even so...

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

To The Wallpaper Museum. And London?

Off dahn south tomorrow, to the land of oast houses, and a certain house styled as a non-ironic 1950's throwback. Yes, an afternoon and an evening with my dad, which will be lovely, and I will put my fingers in my ears when he tells me yet again that I've filled his kettle The Wrong Way. He has a big birthday soon, and I'm hoping I've managed to find him three things which don't elicite the directness that was the response I've had from him once or twice of "what did you get me that for?".

After that we're kicking our heels round London for a bit. This time around its a bit tricky thinking where to take 2 boys who are getting increasingly less possible to impress. They've never let me forget the time I wouldn't let them in the Apple store. We found out the next day that one of my friends had been in there at exactly that time, and she had stumbled on a Mighty Boosh promo event... I'm thinking a sweep around the low-culture bits of the V&A. Though obviously we have absolutely no expectations of spotting Noel Fielding...

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Perfume Discoveries, Pop Art And Monochrome Tones

Today I had it all wrapped up. I was to be at the World of Work til 1, then free-wheeling the rest of the afternoon, doing exciting things. Like buying a ball of black wool at the market, to finish a black, grey and white scarf I've been knitting the past 2 evenings. And painting another dining room wall mid-grey... having an obsession with pop art and primary colours at the moment, so planning to put up some colourful prints on a darker background in the next few days.

Almost made myself late this morning as Jarvis Cocker was on 6Music, saying something about songs he used to write when he was a young'un. When I got there, the frenzy began - not enough staff, finding awol tutors, no coffee, stopping students gluing each others' faces, coping with students obsessed already by christmas... and doing overtime until 4 o'clock.

Got back. Lovely warm afternoon. Cup of tea and chocolate brioche. Out in the garden. Have an unofficial deal with the American neighbour to bring in each others' dustbins, whoever is around at the time. This involves navigating 2 huge wheelie bins round several corners and down an alleyway between the houses. How quaint - only up north, eh. Invariably there is cat crap somewhere in the alley. Which is not at all quaint, and the cats had been there again.

I wondered about spraying some old perfume around, to see if that would deter the moggies. Lancome's Magie Noire, which I bought a decade ago, has always been a bit heavy and noticeable on me, maybe ok in winter. I could just waste the rest of it on the alleyway... I squirted my wrists, and sniffed, googled the ingredients, sniffed it some more... Found a charming perfume blog and signed up to it... and decided it was definitely too good to waste on the alleyway. I shall wear it over the next few days and expect people to be asking me what it is. Or else some cats may run the other way. And my spam box will get filled up with garden pest deterrent products.

Sunday, 9 October 2011


Friday. An appointment at 2. Which always means that I do zilch with the rest of the day, using the getting ready, and getting to, as the "thing to do" for that day. It was with the psychiatrist who I succeeded in bribing the 14 year old to see 2 weeks and 2 days before. 2 days and 2 weeks of me wondering what she'd concluded from the mere hour (and bulging file of notes from other professionals) that she'd seen him for. Seen his anger, irritation, resentment...

There was a mix-up. I was supposed to have been at her other hospital. Not the one I'd had the previous two appointments in. No, one that I didn't have an address for or even a written appointment confirmation for - she'd just looked at her diary on-screen and given me a date to be there next. Only there was evidently not here, it was actually there. The receptionist took 20 minutes to decide to tell me I was in the wrong place, and hopes of progress fell through the floor. My assertive bolshy streak took over - was there not a way to ensure that the psychiatrist and I could have this meeting, albeit over the phone? There had to be a room I could use? Seeing as I couldn't get there now in such a short time, and she wasn't going to get over here? Phone call arranged, I was put into a room full of open files. Which I did not peek at. I just read a wallchart detailing what they do if parents refused to medicate their ADHD children.

She rang through, apologising profusely for the appointment mix-up, and I burbled apologies about making assumptions about where it would be. Then we ran through what she felt about the 14 year old.

Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Did she mean Aspergers? Yes, she did. Leaflets would be sent, letters written to the school, referrals to other services made. It confirmed what I'd long thought, so it was a relief, maybe I hadn't been a paranoid parent all these years.

But it hadn't been recognised until now - it often is hard to diagnose - so the 14 year old has been having a tough time for a few years, and has cut himself off. What now? How was I supposed to tell him there had been a "diagnosis"? That he has a recognised disability?

I got outside the building and any sense of relief, validation, vanished. I don't know what the future holds for him; maybe he won't ever get a job, am I going to have to tell his future partners? Maybe that's nothing to do with me...

Today I told him. I opened up the conversation with "if the school could give you a bit more help, what subjects would you think you'd like to concentrate on?" He named 3. I said maybe we could look at whether we could get that to happen, having another meeting with the school to see what they could offer him. Then I sort of wove into "well, you know that woman we went to see the other week? The one who sees quite a lot of people your age? Well, she thinks..... and that would mean you could get a lot more support". He told me to go away.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

The Other Side Of The Night Before...

Back on to my "regular" World of Work timetable, and my bodyclock has finally adjusted to the legging-it-like-a-loony pace. I left WoW yesterday, having contributed to the well-being of those I was in charge of by having:
* learnt a new Australian phrase "shag on a rock"
* drunk 3 coffees
* had a lunchtime conversation with the girls about waxing and men with ear hair (euwwwwwggghhh)
* planned some Official Day Off time running about town, dropping stuff off to the charity shop and picking up another old Quality Street tin from the sorting to lurve those mauve patterned beauties.

For once I was ahead of the game with thinking about dinner - something italian, sloppy and autumnal now that we've got the post-heatwave cool-down. And then I remembered... the 12 year old will be bringing home pizza from his school cooking class. So not only do I have the day off today, I don't have to cook tonight! And I just might go and watch the Liver Birds in a minute - boots and beehives - and then I will get myself out, instead of having just a bit more sofatime...

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

More Sunday Night Film Watching And Other Things...

Another one on my list of late-Sunday-night-films-I-have-missed-the-first-10-minutes-of is last week's L'empreinte de l'ange, starring the compelling Catherine Frot. Excellent pacing to the film, wonderful cinematography, and I worked out the twist.

Meanwhile, other randomness:

* One of Zoe Ball's eyes is smaller than the other. Now that It Takes Two is back on, dinner may sometimes be late...
* Philip Glenister is back on tv Thursday night in Hidden. No red Audi Quattro or Bolly Knickers though.
* Len Goodman is on tomorrow's Who Do You Think You Are. I love these trawls through family archives and unravelling of long-ago mysteries.
* I really need to find out what blogger has done to the photo-adding thing; not being able to put photos up is more luddite than I'd like to be. Alas I feel this may require some concentration.
* Some lovely people in town were handing out free bars of Galaxy last week. Guess who forgot to put it in the fridge? Having to put chocolate in the fridge in October??
* We are supposed to be getting a hurricane later this week. Straight after a heatwave? Crazy times...

Monday, 3 October 2011

Sunday Night Film-Watching

Monday morning is never a good time to wish you hadn't stayed up so late the night before. Yeah, I was naughty and stayed up til nearly midnight because I flicked channels after the starchy superbness of Downton Abbey and found Nowhere Boy on Channel 4. I somehow missed the first 10 minutes, so had to quickly catch on that the racy bird teasing a teenage John with a kiss-me-quick hat was actually his mum. Anne-Marie Duff as the latter was full of the amazing facial expressions she does so subtly. Shameless's loss... The whole shebang was a great story, poignant, and a total delight of 30's to 50's decor. And utterly heart-wrenching when John and Paul hug at Julia's wake... And again as John leaves aunt Mimi's for Hamburg, after telling her to tick both parent and guardian in his passport application.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

An Unwise Amount Of Pretzels And Popcorn...

... can only mean that Strictly is back. The dodgy trailer that makes Anita Dobson look like Emily Bishop, the how-bad-can-Lulu-really-be, isn't Russell Grant just like Frankie Howerd... awesome stuff. Especially Nancy Dell'Olio being set-up with that lethal feather boa. Some wardrobe mistress might just be finding a horse's head in her bed shortly.

Earlier today we went out intending to find some cool breeze down by the river in a nearby city. We took the tree-lined pedestrian route to the centre, taking photos of leafery and buildings, marvelling that we were trampling over orange, crunchy leaves in a HEATWAVE, but its too humid and late for me to figure out how blogger have sabotaged the upload-the-pics thing, so no photos for now.

Next along, near the new-favourite caff, were some marvellous gospel-choiresque peeps singing their hearts out to raise money to replace the old folks' minibus that got trashed in the riots. I had to shoo the kids along as the 14 year old was being cranky and rude about how his eardrums were being affected, but they got some bus-building silver from me. Lunch and ice creams were about all we spent on - we steered clear of the hordes in the shops, and I stayed out of the charity shops but popped into a couple of air-conditioned emo boutiques so the kids could window-shop t-shirts. Then by mid-afternoon it was back for a siesta on the sofa with the papers. And a bit of Celeb Masterchef. Danny Goffey made some interesting cake, and multi-tasked brilliantly despite Greg and John's butting in. I was distracted by how nicely he speaks - being a rawkstar an' all, I thought he'd drawl but no. Very home counties.

So, the ebay photos are getting done tomorrow - as is pretty much everything else I've deferred and wriggled out of doing. Why do today what you can put off doing til the next day, or something... ;)

Small Plans...

... oh I really shouldn't let myself post sometimes; especially not when I'm meant to be getting ready for traipsing off to the World of Work. Must remember; hang out lots of washing in the mornings instead of writing self-pitying drivel!

Anyhows, I'm putting plans to move to the seaside on the back-burner for now for reasons of (im)practicality, but instead looking at cutting down the way money trickles through my fingers so that we can go on far more seaside adventures/travel/blah blah blah. Top idea so far though is to make more money... so I've been faffing about on ebay and typing in random objects that I happen to own and happily finding out people are paying ££ for the same things. A gas heater for VW vans being one of them - a very random car boot treasure from eons ago, purely because it was turquoise and silver, for instance. So later on today, with the glorious sun still out (we hope) photos will be taken and Some Proper Ebaying will get done.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

I Need A Change...

... of life. Don't know if this is a mid-life crisis (yeah, if I was a bloke I'd buy a motorbike but that won't cut it for me) but I'm tired of my life. Tired as in fed up with it, and the other evening I couldn't even think of any place I could think of being. Place as in "the last time life was fun"... maybe I should just watch Vicar of Dibley, join a whist drive and order some plant catalogues. Or maybe I should pull my socks up and find some way of getting my life back again. Right now, I would love to move to Scarborough. A house high up on the bay, with amazing daytime and night time views. They've even got an M&S if I fancied posh-people watching in the food aisles... And anyway, I've got one elderly parent in Kent, one in Northamptonshire, and some inlaws on the south coast. None of them would be thrilled with me and the kids being any further north... South coast is sort of out of the price range... and there is the slight issue of schooling-interruption/uprooting of the 12 year old, and the immense network of bureaucracy concerning the 14 year old. I think I need to Make Some Plans.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Ballroom Dancing, Blur and Bad School

A while ago I kept banging on about the Pixies, since when I don't think I've mentioned music much. One of the things that gets me to put a cd* on is to drown out the awareness of the low-level noise coming from our neighbours. The random amateur carpentry games their 4 year old plays, the accelerating vocalisms of their baby. Not the shouty lady who rants at her husband, who we recently discovered has taken to peppering his gujarati with "fuck off". 50 years in this country, and the local dialect is rubbing off on him... No, we are blessed not only to live in a terrace, but one in which the party walls** on either side are Very Thin. So I'm listening to Think Tank, the massively vermillion-fabric'd cd Blur did about 9 years back. Damon Albarn and Kristin Hersh's voices are always good to re-tilt the axis in a mad day...

Because it has been one of those. Back in the swing of the World of Work, with a morning where the recent training actually came in useful in a fairly heavy situation, and where I'd got the 14 year old off to school. By bus for the first time. All good so far. And then his school sent an automated text that he'd got a detention to do that lunchtime... no explanation. And possibly the best way to ensure his continued enthusiasm to attend, with a less than 50% attendance so far this month.

No one at the end of the phone knew anymore than it was for "failing to follow instructions". Yes, that's why he's not been at school for the past year, etc, etc, and why he's under their monitoring... By now already late for the afternoon session I was working in, I got hold of someone who was able to tell me he'd walked out of school 2 hours previously. Although fairly confident his homing instinct, and desire for a quiet spot with his computer, would guarantee he'd be at home, I excused myself and went straight home to see what was what. After which I calmed myself down by catching the tail end of a programme about the coachload of ballroom dancers who'd been called in to be in the Magical Mystery Tour film.

* Too old to be trained to use an iPod. That's for when I'm 80. And I usually forget about 6Music.

** To non-Brit readers, that's a technical term for the bricks 'twixt you and the neighbours. Not a wall covered in lurex, Twister mats and balloons.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Time Flies

No, that is (probably) not a new species of nuisance, buzzing, insect. It is that I have just done a Proper Day's Work for the first time in months, not counting the rather rubbish 2 days of training at the World of Work, which were short bursts of relevant and some utterly irrelevant corporate speak, intermingled with hanging around in corridors being told off for being noisy and critiquing the free buffet. Therefore, it is suddenly 17.43, even though it feels like I only just got in, and I've had to quickly put the oven on. The 12 year old is in a pie-mood, so its some packaged vegetarian interpretation of cornish pasties tonight.

Another bizarre but not-unexpected start to today - especially if you include the dream I had about watching the clock tick by past 9am and not being at work on time - with the 14 year old refusing to go to sleep last night, probably til around 1am, then me waking him at 7am so we could set off at 8.15. Wide awake but acting catatonic, blanking me. How do they do that? Decided not to talk about the situation at work unless anyone asked me - I think someone believed me when I said I'd been away, working on my tan. I still have to pin my boss down to explain it all, and give the official piece of paper, from the gp and all.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Today's Mission...

... was to come home with an

The 12 year old's been moaning that I haven't written about him lately.

So here is a bit all about him and his amazing pasta sauce that he's making at the moment. Hence the onion.  He made some earlier this week, but owing to the fail that was me sending him in with narrow-necked container for it, much of it remained on the school worktop. The sauce that made it home was lovely though.


And here are some photos of today's Weekend Wanderings, in Derby. There would have been some more close-ups of this statue-infested building, but there was an outbreak of sibling scuffling and we had to move on sharpish. People were looking.

I liked this spirally thing. But not the traffic light

A lot of lamp posts 

A window display all about invention and stuff