Friday, 24 December 2010
Sunday, 19 December 2010
We had a roof over our heads and my mother would not let us go short of food but it was still going to be a Christmas without their dad and the youngest was already convinced that it was all his fault and if he had been a good boy daddy would still be with us. In November after having no contact I was summoned to court so that he could demand access. I don't have to say that I told the court that he could see the children whenever he wanted to, he could have them every weekend if they wanted to go and he could ring them every night as long as it was before they went to bed. He was setting me up you see because then he demanded that they go to him for Christmas. I said yes IF THEY WANT TO. and suggested that there should be a witness present when they were asked, just to make sure that I didn't unfairly influence them.
The court appointed a Guardian ad Litem to oversee this most difficult situation and a date was arranged. The day arrived and we went to the offices where he was to ask them to go and stay with him - I am sure that he had been promising them all sorts of things during his saturdays with them - He asked them if they would like to go and stay with him for Christmas and before the youngest could say anything my daughter asked "Where will we sleep?" "At Nanny and Bampi's house, with me" he replied. "How long do we have to stay?" she asked. "You'll come on Christmas Eve and stay until Boxing day" "Oh, no," she said, sounding quite relieved "We can't, we have to be in church for Choir on Christmas Eve and on Boxing Day we go to the Village hall for the party." She looked thoughtfully at her father and I suddenly realised that she had planned all this "Dad, why don't you just bring our presents to the mill on Christmas morning and then we can see you and we can still have our dinner with Granddad and Granny." The boys nodded their heads in agreement. The G.a.L was satisfied so that's what happened.
My father did make the children invite their father to eat Christmas dinner with us but he refused. "It's alright," he said, "I have my sandwiches."
My daughter refers to this as her father's martyrdom period and often reminds us all that you can't be a martyr without an audience.
I owe that Christmas to a 12 year old girl who knew how to manipulate her father - and I occasionally remind her of it. She insists that she didn't plan it at all and then she always smiles that smile - G*D! I love my daughter!
Sunday, 12 December 2010
The plot was long and complicated and had the good and bad fairies - both played by the author - fighting for dominance over the elves (the boys, see I said it was not a wise thing) The performance began after we had all partaken of a pretty darned marvellous Christmas Dinner. The audience was me, my Mum and Dad, My Dad's sister Muriel, a Siamese cat called Penny who belonged to Aunty Mu and joined in with everything. The ex was "too busy" and took himself off to the kitchen where he could sup from his secret booze store (he hated that mum and dad didn't drink so didn't buy so anything he wanted to drink he had to get with his own money not theirs. Where was I? oh yes!
The audience were arranged by the director and told that they would be expected to join in. The show began and pretty soon one of the elves had been stolen from toyland by the bad fairy and the good fairy had to rescue him. The bad fairy was chasing the good fairy - this had to be seen to be believed as the director was playing both parts and at some point in the chase the Good fairy gave THE MAGIC RING to my Dad and asked him to "Keep this safe, kind man, I 'seech you"
I know, six years old and she had words like beseech in her vocabulary, spending so much time with her granny was obviously a good thing. Back to the plot.
Dad took the MAGIC RING and with sleight of hand appeared to swallow it. I did say that it was after a good lunch didn't I? and even though we never drank much my dad did like a glass of wine with his Christmas dinner. The good fairy was horrified "Oh Grandad," she wailed, "You've spoilt it now!
"Bernard!" said my Mum, "Behave yourself! " and then a little voice from the corner of the dining room (the bad fairy's domain) said
"I'll never get out of Toyland now!"
with all the sad resignation that a four year old can put into such a statement. The result was absolute hysteria. My Dad roared with laughter and if he laughed then everyone else just had to follow suit because he had an infectious laugh. My Mum hugged the good/bad fairy. the tiny elf that didn't get stolen joined in without the faintest idea what was funny (which made me laugh even more) Aunty Mu was wiping her eyes with her table napkin and the cat hid behind the door and peered, wide-eyed around the edge at all her humans who had gone mad.
We never did see the end of that play but it is one of the first things that is talked about when my children do the Do-you-remember-that-Christmas-when thing.
My youngest granddaughter will be six in February and she is just like her mother, she throws words like beseech and vulgarity into the conversation and they are always in context. We have a notebook where we write all the things she says so that we can always remember exactly what she says and one day I will put them together into an album for her.
Oh, and we never saw the MAGIC RING again!
Tuesday, 7 December 2010
Tuesday, 30 November 2010
She asks for Christmas stories so here's one
Christmas 1980 was different for me and my three children. We had been living with my parentsfor eight years, together with my first husband and then I divorced him for reasons that are irrelevant to this tale. In August 1980 I met Mr M, in October I asked my children what they wanted for Christmas and they said they wanted Mr M to live with us. My father threw a hissy fit and refused to let him through the door so we found an expensive house to rent and the children and I moved out. So we had no money because what we didn't spend on rent we spent on the fuel to get Mr M to work and back.
We asked the children whether they wanted a present or a Christmas dinner because we couldn't afford both. They said they would have a dinner because their father would give them lots of presents.
On Christmas Eve they all went to bed quite late because they had helped to prepare vegetables and make mincepies and do all the things they hadn't been able to do before. Mr M suddenly put on his coat and gave me mine to put on. "Come on" he whispered "this is what my Dad always did"
We went out into the garden very quietly and hid behind a big bush, and from his pocket he produced a string of jingle bells which he shook vigerously. The curtains on the boys' bedroom window shook slightly. Mr M shook the bells again and two little faces appeared.
"I don't care what your name is!" Mr M bellowed "You can't park those reindeer on my roof!"
The curtain dropped, we scurried inside, throwing our coats at the coathooks and kicking off our shoes. We sat ourselves in our chairs as we heard footsteps on the stairs. I carried on with my crocheting and Mr M pretended to be asleep as a little head came around the door.
Nothing was said to us but as they went back upstairs the youngest one asked his brother "How did he do that? How can he be outside shouting and inside asleep?"
If he reads this blog he'll find out won't he?
Saturday, 20 November 2010
Friday, 12 November 2010
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
We sang several songs and at 20.10 20/10 2010 we made and renewed our promise. I didn't expect to be quite as moved by this as I was.
I go to help with my daughter's unit occasionally but haven't really had much to do with the movement for several years. I had recently decided that I would join the Trefoil Guild just to keep in contact.
Actually this decision was a direct result of being told that the woman who was District Commissioner of the place where I was Guider is no longer a member. She upset me so much all those years ago that I would never be in any organisation that she was a member of. She spoilt Guiding for me and even after we moved here it was still the same county so she was still within striking distance.
I was going to say that what she did was a small thing but it wasn't it was huge and nasty and ... well it was spiteful. I was Guide Leader for two Guide companies, there were more than 40 girls in them and we had two Brownie Packs feeding into the guides. I was divorced, and had been for several years and during the course of the summer I met a man and fell in love. My children asked if we could all live together so we found a home for us all and when Guides restarted after the summer holidays I had a phone call from the District Commissioner who told me that as I was living in sin I could not continue to be a Guide Leader, effective immediately.
Yes I was upset, but I took what she said as gospel. I just didn't think she would tell me something that wasn't true.
It was not until Mr M and I were married a year later and I asked if I could go back as an assistant guider and she told me that as I had resigned I could not go back. This was when I quaght the first whiff of rodent.
I then contacted the division Commissioner who told me that living with someone I wasn't married to was not a reason to stop being a guide leader and she had been surprised when I resigned because she had thought I enjoyed being a Guider. I explained what had happened. She had a word with the District Commissioner who said that I was lying, I had resigned, that I never liked her and was trying to get her into trouble. The Div. Commissioner immediately backed off and said it was purely a district thing and we should sort it out. I knew then that it was hopeless to try and go against her and then we moved away from that district but by that time she was involved at county level so I stayed away.
Tonight was really good. I enjoyed being a part of the family of Guiding again. Seeing the girls from my daughter's unit being a part of it as they start out on their Guiding careers was marvellous and haveing my granddaughter there as a Rainbow was very special.
Sunday, 10 October 2010
Monday, 4 October 2010
Saturday, 2 October 2010
Because it looks cute, that's why. Because for some reason fully grown, mature adults seem to get emotionally tangled up and transfer their own wildly inaccurate feelings to an animal. This seems to mean that no one should shoot or trap or reduce the population of these interlopers because they are sweet. They are not sweet they are disease carrying vermin and these same people would be the first in line shouting for Something To Be Done if one of their family caught an infection or disease from this cute little squirrel.
Lets just hope they nver have to worry about that.
Monday, 13 September 2010
I don't speak Welsh, I have never tried to learn Welsh so I am not privy to the mysteries of the spelling and pronounciation of the language. I just have to type it into the draft copy of the information leaflet so that we have the said leaflet in both Welsh and English to satisfy those who think that the old county of Monmouthshire should be Welsh-speaking just because it is in Wales.
Several years ago when I was just (those were the days) Sales Officer for the Society I managed to persuade a welsh speaking member to translate the information leaflet for me. I then typed it into the correct template, had it corrected and proof-read and got it printed so that we had copies of it for the National Eisteddfod and the few who insisted on having a welsh copy and not just a boring old english one.
Now we have had several changes withing the Society, including one branch closing and two Branches moving their meeting place - oh and all the branches changing their name slightly - so the leaflet needs to be brought up to date. Because I did the last one it is understood that I will do this one.
I have been in front of this screen for three hours with the Welsh/English dictionary in front of me so I can compare the English leaflet with the copy of the Welsh and know exactly what I am about to delete. My brane is mushed! I am going to go and play tennis for ten minutes on the Wii just to get my legs and arms moving then I might do a session of step aerobics - again on the Wii and then I might sit down for a bit of mindless daytime TV watching, or a nap. Which ever comes first.
This is one of the many funny signs we have collected over the years. I have decided that I am going to make an album of them and keep it on the table where most of our visitors sit.
Saturday, 11 September 2010
Thursday, 26 August 2010
Monday, 23 August 2010
1. no newspapers except those local to where you are on holiday.
2 No radio
3. No TV
4. Everyone has a nickname that is just for the holidays
Mr M is always Horace when we go on holiday and I am always Hector. This started not long after we first met - August 1980 - at my cousin's wedding. That is a story in itself but not one I want to tell online. Anyhow, I was recently divorced with three teeenage children and not looking for entanglements of any sort.
So less than three weeks later we took my three children for a weekend at the seaside. They discovered what it was like to be treated as adults by a man who didn't shout or hit. I discovered how to laugh out loud without fear and we all discovered how to play the hungry Horace video arcade game. I was so relaxed that I kept falling asleep so Mr M called me tired old Hector and then he ate a cornish pasty and my daughter said he munched it just like the yellow face munched the dots in the hungry Horace game.
I was relieved because until then I was called Tattoo because that was the character from Fantasy Island that kept saying "The Plane, boss, the plane" simply because I had once been very excited when passing Manchester airport on the M6.
Ever since that holiday we have kept our nicknames and every scrap album of our holidays has been titled "Horace and Hector..........."
It is much easier to write the holiday journal and talk about Hector throwing a wobbly because the car park entrance looked like a cave than to say that "I had a panic attack" so When we go on holiday he is Horace and still munches the occasional pasty just like the yellow head in the game and I am tired old Hector who falls asleep with the greatest of ease.
Thursday, 12 August 2010
Apparently this was to be a home birth but the midwife wasn't available so they had to go to hospital. They arrived there at 2.00am and baby arrived half an hour later - I remember doing that too.
It will be a while before we see him because they live in Colchester and we don't. I don't travel well on motorways and the thought of going all that way makes me feel ill.
Thank goodness for tinternet!
Now I must make a quilt for him
Monday, 2 August 2010
Sunday, 1 August 2010
Tuesday, 27 July 2010
Tuesday, 20 July 2010
Thursday, 25 March 2010
I was not a member of Young Wives but I did get roped in to help with the entertainment they put on every year for the Senior Citizens club. This was always in the summer because there was so much else going on around Christmas time. One of the props for one of the sketches was a log that was thick enough for someone to sit on but, theoretically, was small enough to go in the back of a Ford Cortina - the one with the ban the bomb rear lights.
My friend J, who always managed to persuade me to help her had been clothes shopping in the village and when I arrived at her house for lunch before taking the log to the village hall she had several pairs of jeans to try on before making her final choice and returning the unwanted ones to the clothes shop in the High Street. We had pasta and salad for lunch, together with a bottle of sparkling wine and then she tried the first pair of jeans. Someone had said that if your jeans were tight you could lie on the floor and zip them up so J hobbled into the lounge with the jeans around her knees, lay on the floor and tried to get them on. Within seconds I was crying with laughter as she wriggled and twisted. She decided that this particular make of jeans had small sizes and then attempted to get out of them. I was no help because I couldn't pull the bottoms of the legs while standing on the settee because it was soft and I wobbled. Every time I wobbled I laughed and this made me wobble even more. The wine was having a slight effect on my balance too.
Eventually we lay exhausted on the floor the jeans between us and decided that it would be better to take them all back and try again tomorrow when we had more time. We finished a second bottle of sparkling wine - it is thirsty work trying on jeans - and then went outside to put the log in the car. What we found was half a tree! there were twigs and everything. We opened the back doors and began. First I pushed and J pulled then we swapped. Then we sat on the log while we got our breath back - laughing and pushing is hard. Then we both pushed and then we both pulled and then a friend's husband took pity as he walked the dog and he put the log into the car while we held the leash and stopped laughing.
As we were driving to the Village Hall a neighbour stopped us and asked where we were going. We explained and she sighed, "LIfe is so boring and mundane isn't it?" she asked and then stared in amazement as we both shrieked with laughter.
I remembered this story today because I have spent the last two weeks looking after my DGD who has had Rubella (even after her shots and boosters) followed by a tummy upset and now she has Chicken Pox. I mentioned this to a neighbour and she said "Well at least your life is not mundane". I told her the story of the log and she agrees that my life has certainly never been boring or mundane
Tuesday, 26 January 2010
I'll go to bed and finish reading 'The Return' by Victoria Hislop. This is such a good book I have been so glad that the eczema on my feet is really bad, so painful that I don't even want to stand long enough to make a cup of coffee. This has left me with nothing else to do but sit on the settee and either read or knit and watch TV.
As I have just started knitting a jumper for Mr M. I can tune in to the history channel or Yesterday or Blighty and happily spend an hour or two knitting away and watching stuff like "The Making of Britain" or "The War" this is a really interesting series about WW2 that has been done by the same guy that did the award winning series about the American Civil War. It is really interesting to see the conflict from the viewpoint of the people who stayed at home in America. Perhaps I am odd but this sort of stuff interests me and to hear people talking about their experiences is just so fascinating.
Tomorrow Mr M is taking me to the Post Office so I can post all the books that people have requested on Bookmooch.com and the Circle Journals that I belong to and the parcel of Christmas presents that were put under the table in the corner, ready for DS1 to collect only he didn't get here because of the weather so the presents were forgotten.
The cold weather is not good for eczema - hot weather isn't much better either. I am fed up with the horrible cream stuff I have to put on my feet to soften the eczema and prevent it cracking because none of it works.
No, No, No, I am not going to go down that miserable road tonight. I am taking my book to bed.