Sunday, 25 April 2010

It's so wrong

that it's just right.

This is going on my need wish list. That's not just a random want but a NEED, big difference. ;)

I can't be the only one that loves these....surely!

Saturday, 24 April 2010

When is a fish not a fish?

When it's my new toothbrush holder!

Another of my classically bizarre buys, how could I resist it at only £1. It's a mug but with the narrow top totally impractical to drink out of so it must have been part of a novelty gift set at some point me thinks.
Now of course the small people's toothbrush holders look very boring so I'll have to find something equally nuts for them.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Some days are good

some days are bad, some days are plain blah, and then some days you open your back door and you get to see this.

I'd say it was because of all the Volcanic ash that we've got pink clouds but that wouldn't be right as this happens a lot. The pink clouds happen a lot that is not the volcanoes ;)

Thursday, 22 April 2010

There Once Was A

wee cafe in a nearby town. In fact there still is a wee cafe in a nearby town so I don't know why I started off in the past tense.
Anyway it's a funny wee place. I don't know how long it's been open, but it's certainly been open for the last 8 years that I've lived up here.

Everytime we go in there for there for a spot of lunch I think of a lot of you here and how you'd probably get a kick out of all the wee nick knacks.

You invariably have to share a booth as there are only 5 so it's a case of squidging up together on a bench.

Excuse the small person and her peace sign, cheeky monkey snuck her hand in at the last minute as I was trying to take some sneaky shots.

If it wasn't such a busy wee place I could spend a whole lot longer in here just checking out all the bits and bobs.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010





Hungry anyone?

There were more than this but between the small people, a visiting ex and big one taking a box of them off to her Explorer meeting.....

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

No waaaaay!

Another award! I am a very lucky girl indeed and to be honest it's so nice getting them as I've been feeling a bit sorry for myself of late. But enough of that.

Thanks today are due to the lovely Pea Green Kitty at Memoirs of a Vintage Magpie
She is an awesome lady who is not only a Nurse, something I wanted to be when I grew up but then I knackered my back so that was the end of that, but not only is PGK a hardworking lady is a whizz at home and is currently painting up a storm in her garden. ;)

Right so I'm to tell you 7 things you don't know about me
1. I once played the Dame in our Young People's Drama group Pantomime. We were short of older boys and as one of the tallest girls and the owner of the daftest sense of humour I can't think why they picked me and I was only in my early teens at the time.
2. My 15 year old won't let me watch Hollyoaks cos she says it's SAD! LOL
3. I would love to do a course on Dry stone walling. I'm not even sure why but it's always fascinated me. I know I'm odd.
4. As well as being 6ft tall, wearing a size 9 shoe (just call me Yeti woman) I have a huge head. I love hats but going hat shopping is no fun when you put one on your head and it just sits there...on the top of your you're a giant with an Elf's cap on.
5. I gave up Clarinet in school as I hated the way it made my teeth vibrate, I actually wanted to take Drum but there were never EVER any spaces.
6. I have no idea why people think Ricky Gervais is funny. He is soooooo not!
7. I made Goats Cheese Tart for tea last night, ok I struggling to find 7 interesting things to tell you.

Now I'm supposed to pass this on to 7 other bloggers. As I've already said I've been on the receiving end of quite a few awards lately to I'm awarding this one to you all, every one of you lovely human beans that takes time out of your day to come visit me here at Ratbagsville! :)

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Get on your bike


You can win a Pashley bike for you and all your family with Joules, I'm thinking that's just you, him and the kids and not for every single family member including your second cousin three times removed;)

Anyway if you click on the competion link up at the top of my post I get another chance of winning and I would LOVE a Pashley so pretty please :) But then you could be the one that wins so all's fair ;)

Saturday, 17 April 2010

I'm not worthy

I have received another award. Cheeks very pink and eyes all watery here. Thank you.

Not often beautiful and me get put in one sentence so I'll grab it while I can :) I have been awarded with this beauty

by the gorgeous Mrs Twiggy

I am now to give this award to 10 other bloggers.
With pleasure....

* The lovely Alex who is doing amazing things with her kitchen.
* The debt busting Frugal Queen who is an inspiration.
* The scrummy cake baking Mrs B
* Missy Claire who is currently sitting on some eggs
* Mrs Dollytub who always gives me a much needed giggle.
* The Girl because her posts are always real and that's a good thing.
* Mrs Bobobun because I'd like to give her a smile after her sad news.
* The talented Mrs Juicyfig as her posts are always full of lovely colourful treats.
* The amazing Cathy who creates the most amazing digital art.
* Lydia who I am currently playing a game of pants tag with...on our comments! :)

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

I got an award

from a lovely new friend. Arewenearlythereclaire

The award is for always looking on the brightside of things, thank you sweetie, can't say I'm entirely sure that that is me but I try :)

Now there are rules, why are there always rules? Life is all about rules. LOL

Ok will stop wittering on....

I have to:

1. List the top ten things that make me happy.

2. List 5 trivia things about me.

3.Share with 5 people and ask them to do the same.

4. Link the blogs you choose and link the blog of the person who gave it to you.

Ok so, 10 things that make me happy;

1. My beautiful small people.
2. Cuddles.
3. Laughing, good jaw aching, belly aching laughing. Both laughing myself and making others laugh.
4. Sunshine.
5. Travelling, I fully intend being a back packing Granny. Well maybe not the Granny bit but definately once the smalls have grown up and are doing their own thing I'm off to see the world.
6. Being cooked for. Trust me as a single Mum it is absolute bliss when someone else wants to cook.
7. Music, love love love my music. Nothing beats turning it up full blast, singing your head off and dancing like a loon.
8. Being by the sea. I grew up right on the coast, there is salt water in my dna.
9. Coal fires or wood fires. Fires. It's ok I'm not in the habit of going around starting fires willy nilly. No honest I'm not.
10. Reading. I am a bookworm and I am raising two new bookworms for the world. Now see the fires makes sense now doesn't it. Fire lit, snuggle down with a book with some music playing in the background. ;) Hey I'll take what kicks I can get.

Now I have to tell you 5 trivia things about myself!

1. My second toe is longer than my big toe. Apparently that's a sign of high intelligence. Aye right! LOL
2. When I was pregnant with big one my craving was cottage cheese and pot noodles. Yes at the same time. Spoonful of cottage cheese....dipped into pot noodle. Yes I know - gross!
3. I found Paranormal Activity very funny and not at all scary. Apparently I am a freak as my friends found it terrifying.
4. I've always been able to roll my tongue but only learnt to flip my tongue on the side when I was 30. Yes that's nearly 30 years of practising but man it's worth it when you do it to a small person and they then spend the next 20 minutes contorting their faces trying to do it. Did you know if your parents can't roll their tongue then you won't be to either. Fascinating eh?
5. I am full of useless information...see most of my above comments.

Ok next bit...

Choosing 5 others to share with. I apologise now it you've already been given this award but here goes....

The Tremendous Twiggy
The Lovely Lydia
The Amazing Alex
The one, the only, The Girl
The Lovely Lisa

Woohoo I did it :)

Friday, 9 April 2010

Oh I do so love a bargain

Following on from an earlier post you will understand that when I spend my money I do like to know I'm getting a good deal.
Subsequently you'll often find me in charity shops, table top sales and on the high street...The Pound Shop and Primark. Saying that you can find some bargains in all shops it's just a matter of keeping your eyes open. Friends often say 'How do you always find the bargains? I never find anything!' The answer is easy, 'I root and rummage and keep my eyes peeled for that alluring reduced sticker' :)

I've been wanting to show you my charity shop find for ages.

See that price tag £2.30 for an enamel coffee pot. I've been eyeing them up on ebay for ages so when I spotted this on the shelf in my local charity shop it was swiftly paid for by me.

Now as you may remember I live in a rural village so getting to a decent high street involves around a 70 mile round trip which is probably a good thing as it means I don't shop too much.

Anyway on my last trip to Primark I picked up these beauties.

As our family holiday to Tunisia is not until the Tattie holiday (October half term) we're hoping for a decent summer so we can do some camping. Wee one has out grown her old sleeping bag so when we spotted this beauty for £4 she was a happy little bunny.

I like how the colours are almost vintage in style with cute wee flowers
You have no doubt been seeing this bag a lot around the blogging world.

And finally this cute mug and coaster set. £2. Now maybe I'm stingy but sometimes I see some gorgeous mugs but when I turn them over to check the price I balk. I'm sorry but these things break when you drop them!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Just wanted to add

I just want to add to my previous post that I'm not meaning to sound like I'm moaning about my childhood and by no means do I mean to be preachy about how anyone else should live their lives.
As kids my brother and I never resented the way things were in our house. It was normal to us and we were and still are very proud of how our parents could turn their hand to anything. :)
I speak about how I wanted to have clothes like my friends but that was only in my early teenage years when the 'wonderful' peer pressure reared it's ugly head. I soon realised that I did actually live with my own personal seamstress and she could often turn a rough idea or a picture into what I was looking for. We were often asked where we had bought an outfit as the person loved it and wanted one too. My Mum actually made mine and my sister in laws wedding dresses along with bridesmaids outfits. That's with no formal training but for an Aunt who passed on her own knowledge.
I guess that's what it's all about really, the passing on of knowledge and experiences. Some we learn from, some we ignore. As I said earlier my blog is part scrap book where I want to record things as they come to me and I love reading all about everyone's experiences in life and making new friends on the way. I'm not sure where I'm going with this but I hope I haven't offended anyone, I only meant to share.

We've been doing that for years

First a quick THANK YOU to everyone who leaves me comments. I write my blog as something of a scrapbook come daily release because there's no one else to talk to of an evening so it's always lovely to find out that what I write is interesting enough for others to have a read. I appreciate your comments, especially when they ones that give me that just been cuddled feeling. :)

Now back to the title of the post...
Growing up we were on a very low income, my Dad did work full time but his wage was low. That meant free school meals, school bus passes, what clothes were not handmade by Mum were from the jumble sale. (charity shops were few and far between in those days) The clothes that we had were repaired, darned, adapted to fit someone else and then if nothing else could be done cut down for rags.
My Dad had a huge allotment which we were all expected to pull our weight on, literally. I remember my brother pulling the handmade plough that my Dad had knocked together. We would collect seaweed when there had been a hightide as it was a great compost apparently. The downside of having an allotment is the surplus in vegetables. As a child I was not a huge vegetable lover...well that was just tough! It was a eat what's on your plate family and as a consequence of too many hours spent forced to stay at the table by my Mother till the peas were gone I now at the age of 40 still hate peas.

My Dad also built his own shrimping net, which yes my brother yet again would pull and my Dad would push through the low tide. I would work with my Mum sorting out the shrimp, from the crabs and wee fish from the net.
This is not a picture of my Dad btw and the net that my Dad made was at least twice the size of this one. Idea being the bigger the net, the bigger the haul. That was why my brother had to pull as my Dad pushed, the thing was too big for one person. And before you think well wouldn't your brother walking in front of the net disturb the shrimp....they devised a system of whereby my brother pulled off to the side and not directly infront of the net. Clever man my Dad LOL
Once back with our haul we would then sit at the kitchen table shelling the shrimp, once they were cooked obviously, one for the mouth and one for the pot until our wee tummies were bloated and the freezer was full.

My brother and I would also spend summer days, inbetween rock climbing with no ropes or helmets and daring each other to do other daft feats, (don't tell Mother!) fishing off the rocks. Invariably he'd catch the big fish on the rod and I would be in the water scooping whitebait up in a carrier bag. It still makes me chuckle seeing the price restaurants charge for a bowl of them now.

We spent hours picking blackberries from the bushes on our local walks which my Mum would then turn into jam.
There was a ramshackle greenhouse at the bottom of the garden that was probably several different greenhouses cannibalised into one, where all our tomatoes and cucumbers were grown.

My first bike was a wee trike that my Dad had again cannibalised from other bikes and my boot was a bread bin. The whole thing was painted with some pink paint found in the back of the shed. :)

So what became of that little girl who desperately wanted to be like her friends and have clothes from the shops? I know I know handmade are best, I know that now just back then everything about us was different and not in that hippy way but in that we have nothing but we have to pretend we are the same as the rest of the world kind of way. My Mother didn't instill a sense of 'it's ok to be who you are' in us. We were brought up to conform, not to question just to do. Obviously as a teenager I rocked the boat and my Mother would still tell you now that 'she (meaning me) has always been different' but I'm ok with that and I always, always, always tell my small people that it's ok to be you.
Sorry went off on a tangent then and that's a whole different tale. What I was going to say about how I turned out is...
that growing up with no money it's probably amazing that I didn't go crazy once I got out into the working world myself. But I've never had a credit card, if I can't afford it I don't buy it.
Clothes are the things you wear to cover yourself and spending silly money just because some designer has sewn his label into it doesn't appeal to me at all. I do love my converse though but only buy them when I have the spare cash. As long as I look ok I'm happy. I just wish I had a vintage sized body so I could wear the kind of things I'd really like to.

It's funny how living 'The Good Life' has gone from necessity to trend back to necessity again. I'm just glad that for the good and bad stuff from growing up at least I have the skills that have brought me this far in life and the knowledge that no matter what we'll survive.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Chocolate or cleaning?

Happy Easter everyone.

I hope you've all had a lovely day. I was home alone today, big one is away at a Rally and wee one was spending the day and the night with her Daddy. So with nowhere go to and no one but me and the dog to entertain I set to a bit of Spring Cleaning.

3 bags of rubbish, 2 bags for the charity shop and several empties of the hoover later and they now both have tidy and clean rooms.
I've gained half my glasses and mugs back, the recycling bin is looking very healthy, the washing machine is groaning and would quite like a break and there have been one or two discoveries of things that have been lost for some time.

Now to just tackle the rest of the house.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

The things you find even when you're not looking

One of the wonderful things I love about t'internet is finding new sources of things that I have lived the whole of my life without but suddenly they become things I need.

Thanks to the lovely ladies at Domestic Sluttery I now have Hidden Art bookmarked as one of my favourites. Let's see if any of you agree with my, sometimes odd, likes.

Haven't we all at some time in our lives wanted to dive head first into a plate full of cake? No! Really? C'mon I know you have. ;)

I'd love this in my new (yeah like when is that going to happen) kitchen. But would worry that a visitor would think it was a pan embedded in the wall after my throwing it. LOL Not that I do that...honest!

Every Mummy should have one of these.

These hand hooks are brilliant

but I think I'd have to have this one for those visitors that you really could live without.

Unfortunately I can't afford an online shopping spree just now but window shopping (what is the online word for that) is just as much fun.

Just to let you know I've added comment moderation on as I keep getting chinese posts and I don't want to open any doorways to spam.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Only in Scotland

Yes I did post about winter conditions and yes there really was snow, infact there still is snow lying on the ground in piles by the side of the road where the snow plough has shoved it. But Mother Nature has decided that we do actually deserve a bit of sun and while the rest of the country seems to be sodden and wet the sun has well and truly got his hat on.

So to make the most of a lovely sunny day we went out for a drive and ended up in a local wee fishing village.

I love the no mooring ropes on the light sign, can you imagine how many lamposts were bent out of shape before they put that up? LOL

Obligatory arty lobster pot shots.

Looking at this I could almost pretend I was at some little Greek fishing village. Ok ok I know too much of stretch, the houses would have to be at least white and the sun would be a whole lot brighter and the sea blue instead of the North Sea grey it is. :)

This is a barometer built into a granite pillar that is a Victorian memorial to the seafaring men of the town and there is a plaque to the memory of a local lad who was killed serving in the Royal Navy aged 27 and his ship sank in the China Sea. I couldn't get a better shot as there was a car parked right in front of it. :/

A clear shot of the harbour walls. Romantic or decide.

On the way home wee one said she would like to do some crafting so we got out the beads and she made some earrings.

She made herself and one of her best friends a pair then carried on and one.

The plan is now that she's going to take them to school and see if she can sell some to her friends. My little entrepreneur. She'll be on Dragon's Den soon looking for backing to start her own Etsy/Folksy shop LOL

And of course to finish the afternoon off nicely you have to have a bit of cake.

It's carrot cake so that's one of my five a day covered. :)