Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Wordy Wednesday

On the Ning Nang Nong - Spike Milligan

On the Ning Nang Nong
Where the Cows go Bong!
and the monkeys all say BOO!
There's a Nong Nang Ning
Where the trees go Ping!
And the tea pots jibber jabber joo.
On the Nong Ning Nang
All the mice go Clang
And you just can't catch 'em when they do!
So its Ning Nang Nong
Cows go Bong!
Nong Nang Ning
Trees go ping
Nong Ning Nang
The mice go Clang
What a noisy place to belong
is the Ning Nang Ning Nang Nong!!

Friday, 24 June 2011

6 months today

We'll be waiting on Santa arriving ;)

Ducks quickly to avoid all the things doubtlessly getting thrown at my head! :D

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Wordy Wednesday

Attention please! Attention please! - Roald Dahl.

'Attention please! Attention please!
Don't dare to talk! Don't dare to sneeze!
Don't doze or daydream! Stay awake!
Your health, your very life's at stake!
Ho–ho, you say, they can't mean me.
Ha–ha, we answer, wait and see.

Did any of you ever meet
A child called Goldie Pinklesweet?
Who on her seventh birthday went
To stay with Granny down in Kent.
At lunchtime on the second day
Of dearest little Goldie's stay,
Granny announced, 'I'm going down
To do some shopping in the town.'
(D'you know why Granny didn't tell
The child to come along as well?
She's going to the nearest inn
To buy herself a double gin.)

So out she creeps. She shuts the door.
And Goldie, after making sure
That she is really by herself,
Goes quickly to the medicine shelf,
And there, her little greedy eyes
See pills of every shape and size,
Such fascinating colours too ––
Some green, some pink, some brown, some blue.
'All right,' she says, 'let's try the brown,'
She takes one pill and gulps it down.
'Yum–yum!' she cries. 'Hooray! What fun!
They're chocolate–coated, every one!'
She gobbles five, she gobbles ten,
She stops her gobbling only when
The last pill's gone. There are no more.
Slowly she rises from the floor.
She stops. She hiccups. Dear, oh dear,
She starts to feel a trifle queer.

You see, how could young Goldie know,
For nobody had told her so,
That Grandmama, her old relation
Suffered from frightful constipation.
This meant that every night she'd give
Herself a powerful laxative,
And all the medicines that she'd bought
Were naturally of this sort.
The pink and red and blue and green
Were all extremely strong and mean.
But far more fierce and meaner still,
Was Granny's little chocolate pill.
Its blast effect was quite uncanny.
It used to shake up even Granny.
In point of fact she did not dare
To use them more than twice a year.
So can you wonder little Goldie
Began to feel a wee bit moldy?

Inside her tummy, something stirred.
A funny gurgling sound was heard,
And then, oh dear, from deep within,
The ghastly rumbling sounds begin!
They rumbilate and roar and boom!
They bounce and echo round the room!
The floorboards shake and from the wall
Some bits of paint and plaster fall.
Explosions, whistles, awful bangs
Were followed by the loudest clangs.
(A man next door was heard to say,
'A thunderstorm is on the way.')
But on and on the rumbling goes.
A window cracks, a lamp–bulb blows.
Young Goldie clutched herself and cried,
'There's something wrong with my inside!'
This was, we very greatly fear,
The understatement of the year.
For wouldn't any child feel crummy,
With loud explosions in her tummy?

Granny, at half past two, came in,
Weaving a little from the gin,
But even so she quickly saw
The empty bottle on the floor.
'My precious laxatives!' she cried.
'I don't feel well,' the girl replied.
Angrily Grandma shook her head.
'I'm really not surprised,' she said.
'Why can't you leave my pills alone?'
With that, she grabbed the telephone
And shouted, 'Listen, send us quick
An ambulance! A child is sick!
It's number fifty, Fontwell Road!
Come fast! I think she might explode!'

We're sure you do not wish to hear
About the hospital and where
They did a lot of horrid things
With stomach–pumps and rubber rings.
Let's answer what you want to know;
Did Goldie live or did she go?
The doctors gathered round her bed,
'There's really not much hope,' they said.
'She's going, going, gone!' they cried.
'She's had her chips! She's dead! She's died!'
'I'm not so sure,' the child replied.
And all at once she opened wide
Her great big bluish eyes and sighed,
And gave the anxious docs a wink,
And said, 'I'll be okay, I think.'

So Goldie lived and back she went
At first to Granny's place in Kent.
Her father came the second day
And fetched her in a Chevrolet,
And drove her to their home in Dover.
But Goldie's troubles were not over.
You see, if someone takes enough
Of any highly dangerous stuff,
One will invariably find
Some traces of it left behind.
It pains us greatly to relate
That Goldie suffered from this fate.
She'd taken such a massive fill
Of this unpleasant kind of pill,
It got into her blood and bones,
It messed up all her chromosomes,
It made her constantly upset,
And she could never really get
The beastly stuff to go away.
And so the girl was forced to stay
For seven hours every day
Within the everlasting gloom
Of what we call The Ladies Room.
And after all, the W.C.
Is not the gayest place to be.
So now, before it is too late.
Take heed of Goldie's dreadful fate.
And seriously, all jokes apart,
Do promise us across your heart
That you will never help yourself
To medicine from the medicine shelf.'

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Father's Day

One of the last conversations with my Dad that has stayed with me all these years was while he was up staying with me in the Easter holidays of 2004.

I was just about to go on a field trip to Prague with my college and my Mum and Dad were up to look after my girls while I was away.

My Dad wasn't big on showing emotions, he had had a pretty crappy childhood. A Father who was in his 50's when he was born and a Mother who was so busy keeping her husband from sharing his fists and dealing with her own grief of a still born daughter meant there wasn't a whole lot of love shown in his childhood.

Despite all that my Dad was and is the only man in my life that I knew loved me and really did. He may not have talked about it but he showed me it in so many ways that now having two daughters of my own makes me realise my girls are missing out on so much.

Anyway...that conversation was an out of the blue moment. The girls were playing in the garden. Big one was 9 and wee one was 3 and a bit and my Dad was sat in the sun keeping an eye on them when he turned to me and told me how proud he was of me. Proud that I had spent the last two years studying at college for my HND and achieving A grades and proud for me keeping it all together, family and home when I had left everything I had known, including my own career, behind for my husbands job which effectively left me alone as a single parent the majority of the time.

Within a few days of my return from Prague my Mother in law died, three months later I received a phone call telling me my hero had had a heart attack and shortly after came the most horrendous call of my life telling me my Daddy was gone.

I thought when people said their legs gave way was just a phrase of speech but I can honestly say when I heard the words that my Dad was dead my legs gave way and I sank to the floor screaming.

This July will mark seven years of my life that I haven't had my Dad. I still have the urge to phone him to ask for advice when I'm attempting some diy project or I need to hear his voice. Seven years on and I still haven't deleted his number from my mobile phone.

Today there will be no Father's Day celebrations. My small people's Father has taken himself away on holiday despite the fact that big one is due to leave shortly for her month away in Malawi. I think that just about says it all!

I miss you so much Dad and I am just glad that we had that last chance for you to tell me how proud you were of me. I love you then, now and forever Daddy Bear. I hope you're still proud of me xxx

Friday, 17 June 2011

Thank **** it's Friday

I'm not sure if there's some sort of universe shift going on but a lot of my friends seem to be feeling out of sorts this week, there have been many cases of if it's going to go wrong then you can pretty much guarantee that it's going to. And today I was pushed to my very last limit - that is to the limit that I actually did something about it and instead of allowing myself to be treated like an ever useful doormat I did what I find so easy to do for everyone else.

I stood up for myself.

There were tears, mainly due to sheer frustration and the amount of stress I've had piled on to my already fun packed days.

But I did it.

I stood up for myself, I reiterated that my No actually did mean NO. I told, when asked, exactly how it was and how I felt I had been backed into a very tight corner and I was thankfully met with understanding.

I shared with friends who rallied round me and one arrived at my house to take me out for coffee and a good old fashioned chat.

I came home and threw myself into yet another cupboard purge and then the phone rang. I received an apology from someone who actually didn't have anything to apologise for but it was nice to think that they thought they needed to do it and were prepared to offer it so freely.

The person who has caused all this stress has not phoned. In fact I don't even want them to, I do have an outstanding appointment with them next week and my gut is already twisting thinking I have to see them.

For now it's Friday night, I have a glass of wine prescribed by a friend and I have a huge shopping day to 'look' forward to tomorrow. I don't know if you remember me mentioning it before but my eldest small person is off to Malawi this summer. She leaves in 12 days :( and she will be out of my reach until the end of July. I can't phone her, text her, email her or even know how she's managing unless there is an emergency and then they will phone me. Hmmm yes thinking about it perhaps it was not the best time for someone to try and upset my little world when I have all that going on in my head.
Anyway that's the reason we're going shopping, she has a kit list as long as my arm and it's going to leave my purse very empty BUT I am so proud that my 16 year old is off to do something so worthwhile and have such an amazing experience.

I hope you've all had a better week than me and have something fun to look forward to this weekend.

Pics of bathroom are coming ;)

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Wordy Wednesday

All That is Gold Does Not Glitter - J R R Tolkien.

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

Monday, 13 June 2011

The fugly bathroom

When the ex and I bought this house 9 years ago it was decreed that we could live with the avocado bathroom for the time being but it would be refitted in due course.

7 years on and the ex had left but I was still living with the bathroom. Did I mention the walls were originally painted yellow? Oh yes this bathroom was just delightful!

Just imagine that the toilet was once that delightful shade of yucky green too, I forgot to take proper before shots and the toilet had already been changed as I started ripping it all out.

This all took place last year, as some of you may remember. I have still to get the extractor fan fitted, the guy returned once with the wrong size fan and has not been seen again. I am still in possession of his step ladders though so not sure how the exchange rate works on that. I'm not out of pocket anyway. He was paid for all work undertaken so I'm guessing the fitting of a fan is not worth his while to come and get paid to fit. Anyway minor details, let me show you the good stuff. ;)

I learnt a new skill - tiling! Well it helped keep the costs down.

This was my first wall. :)
I have to admit I didn't do the fiddly bits of tiling that involved cutting round things like the shower hose and outlet pipes. I left that to the professional.

The big white wall tiles were sale bargains, the fancy wee border tiles were expensive but I bought a couple of boxes of the large tile size and cut them down into strips myself which worked out far cheaper than buying them as strips ready cut. Crazy!
Floor tiles again were an on sale bargain.
Toilet and sink were a set in a box from the cheap and cheerful range.
And my lovely big double shower base was bought during a quick buy it now and we'll take a few percent off the price weekend. :)

Do you want to see it all finished now?

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Cupboard cooking


1 chopped onion, peel off and cut away the dodgy bits if it's been lying about in the cupboard too long.
A couple of crushed cloves of garlic, if the fresh stuff has shrivelled up in the cupboard hunt for the jar of lazy garlic you know is in there somewhere.
1 tin of chopped toms or if they're not chopped as mine weren't just use a knife and chop them up yourself.
A squirt of tomato puree, cut the tube open as you would toothpaste to get that very last bit out.
S+P, Herbs to your own taste or whatever you can find in the cupboard.

Simmer away in a pan until you have your very own lovely tomato sauce.

Cooked with a bag of Quorn Mince found stuffed at the back of the freezer when you were doing your clever inventory.

Now either make up the packet of cheese sauce again found in the cupboard or make up some fresh cheese sauce with some flour, milk and that hard bit of cheese that was in the fridge that nobody seemed to be eating.

If you're me then realise you've no pasta sheets then take the left over tortilla's from the bread bin and use in place of said pasta sheets.

Then get on with some fancy layer work.

A bit more of that grated cheese because of course you'll have remembered to hold some back for the final topping.

Pop in the oven for 20-30 minutes, I can't be more accurate than that I'm afraid as I kind of lost track of time and just judged it by eye. This style of cooking makes my small people giggle as the timer bell inevitably goes off when we're already sat down and starting eating.
Anyway I digress....
Serve up with a lovely salad and there you are..

A healthy, frugal yummy meal from things you already had in your cupboards/freezers/fridges - see told you those lists would come in handy eh? ;)

Saturday, 11 June 2011

This is really cool

What happened in my birth year.

Check it out!

Do you know exactly what you have?

Don't panic I'm not asking you to share anything racy but rather I'm curious as to whether other folk know how much food they have in their cupboards and freezers.

I'm sure I can't be the only one who used to rummage about and couldn't remember either buying that or when exactly it was put in the freezer.

I've been doing weekly menus and posting them up on the fridge door for some time now. Not only is it a great money saver as I know exactly what I need to buy each week, it has also stopped the daily "What's for tea Mum? Ooooh do we have to have that!" conversations. Everyone knows what's coming and amazingly no one seems to moan. Of course no doubt now I have totally jinxed myself saying that.

So there I was buying only what I need for each weeks menu but still having to do the rummage to fit things in the cupboards and freezer.

Enough I thought to myself, well I probably said it out loud to the dog. Poor old beast has to listen to a lot of my ramblings bless him.

So I pulled everything and I mean EVERYTHING out of the freezer and the cupboards and I wrote me an inventory.

As you can see when I painted the kitchen cupboards with the blackboard paint I didn't have enough to do the insides of the doors - oops!

Once the lists were made I realised I could feed us for a good couple of weeks only having to buy a few fresh bits and pieces thus saving my grocery money and having that cash free to put towards an upcoming large bill. Brilliant!

Now each week I consult my lists and never have to wonder whether I have something when the mood takes me to make something.

Next job is to design some nice sheets so they look a bit prettier stuck around my kitchen. :)

So do you know exactly what you have?

Friday, 10 June 2011

New stuff for the walls

In an attempt to make my house prettier and with very few spare pennies to spend on non necessities I decided to try something out from my stash pile.

A few fabrics that I have been loathe to chop up and some embroidery hoops bought very cheaply from my local charity shop (big one went through a cross stitch phase) and this was the result

I've tucked the fabric in at the back so I can still use it for a future project when either I tire of them on the wall or inspiration strikes me.
For now one wall in my living room looks a whole lot nicer. In fact my wee one on her return from school asked if I could do something similar for her bedroom, unfortunately big one didn't agree and thinks this is just yet another example of my weirdness. LOL

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Cakes but you can't eat them

A couple of weeks ago I sent very patient swap partner, yes that's you Beki, her parcel

I didn't take pictures of everything I sent - because I am useless in more fields than just posting things.

But I did manage to take photos of the cake bits....

A mixed media painting of something I know Beki enjoys

Beki tells me the sprinkles survived the journey south. :)

And a knitted dishcloth....

Just something to help brighten up those tedious daily chores.

Like I said there were other things but no photos I'm afraid.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Wordy Wednesday

Cinderella - Roald Dahl.

I guess you think you know this story.
You don't. The real one's much more gory.
The phoney one, the one you know,
Was cooked up years and years ago,
And made to sound all soft and sappy
just to keep the children happy.
Mind you, they got the first bit right,
The bit where, in the dead of night,
The Ugly Sisters, jewels and all,
Departed for the Palace Ball,
While darling little Cinderella
Was locked up in a slimy cellar,
Where rats who wanted things to eat,
Began to nibble at her feet.

She bellowed 'Help!' and 'Let me out!
The Magic Fairy heard her shout.
Appearing in a blaze of light,
She said: 'My dear, are you all right?'
'All right?' cried Cindy .'Can't you see
'I feel as rotten as can be!'
She beat her fist against the wall,
And shouted, 'Get me to the Ball!
'There is a Disco at the Palace!
'The rest have gone and I am jealous!
'I want a dress! I want a coach!
'And earrings and a diamond brooch!
'And silver slippers, two of those!
'And lovely nylon panty hose!
'Done up like that I'll guarantee
'The handsome Prince will fall for me!'
The Fairy said, 'Hang on a tick.'
She gave her wand a mighty flick
And quickly, in no time at all,
Cindy was at the Palace Ball!

It made the Ugly Sisters wince
To see her dancing with the Prince.
She held him very tight and pressed
herself against his manly chest.
The Prince himself was turned to pulp,
All he could do was gasp and gulp.
Then midnight struck. She shouted,'Heck!
I've got to run to save my neck!'
The Prince cried, 'No! Alas! Alack!'
He grabbed her dress to hold her back.
As Cindy shouted, 'Let me go!'
The dress was ripped from head to toe.

She ran out in her underwear,
And lost one slipper on the stair.
The Prince was on it like a dart,
He pressed it to his pounding heart,
'The girl this slipper fits,' he cried,
'Tomorrow morn shall be my bride!
I'll visit every house in town
'Until I've tracked the maiden down!'
Then rather carelessly, I fear,
He placed it on a crate of beer.

At once, one of the Ugly Sisters,
(The one whose face was blotched with blisters)
Sneaked up and grabbed the dainty shoe,
And quickly flushed it down the loo.
Then in its place she calmly put
The slipper from her own left foot.
Ah ha, you see, the plot grows thicker,
And Cindy's luck starts looking sicker.

Next day, the Prince went charging down
To knock on all the doors in town.
In every house, the tension grew.
Who was the owner of the shoe?
The shoe was long and very wide.
(A normal foot got lost inside.)
Also it smelled a wee bit icky.
(The owner's feet were hot and sticky.)
Thousands of eager people came
To try it on, but all in vain.
Now came the Ugly Sisters' go.
One tried it on. The Prince screamed, 'No!'
But she screamed, 'Yes! It fits! Whoopee!
'So now you've got to marry me!'
The Prince went white from ear to ear.
He muttered, 'Let me out of here.'
'Oh no you don't! You made a vow!
'There's no way you can back out now!'
'Off with her head!'The Prince roared back.
They chopped it off with one big whack.
This pleased the Prince. He smiled and said,
'She's prettier without her head.'
Then up came Sister Number Two,
Who yelled, 'Now I will try the shoe!'
'Try this instead!' the Prince yelled back.
He swung his trusty sword and smack
Her head went crashing to the ground.
It bounced a bit and rolled around.
In the kitchen, peeling spuds,
Cinderella heard the thuds
Of bouncing heads upon the floor,
And poked her own head round the door.
'What's all the racket? 'Cindy cried.
'Mind your own bizz,' the Prince replied.
Poor Cindy's heart was torn to shreds.
My Prince! she thought. He chops off heads!
How could I marry anyone
Who does that sort of thing for fun?

The Prince cried, 'Who's this dirty slut?
'Off with her nut! Off with her nut!'
Just then, all in a blaze of light,
The Magic Fairy hove in sight,
Her Magic Wand went swoosh and swish!
'Cindy! 'she cried, 'come make a wish!
'Wish anything and have no doubt
'That I will make it come about!'
Cindy answered, 'Oh kind Fairy,
'This time I shall be more wary.
'No more Princes, no more money.
'I have had my taste of honey.
I'm wishing for a decent man.
'They're hard to find. D'you think you can?'
Within a minute, Cinderella
Was married to a lovely feller,
A simple jam maker by trade,
Who sold good home-made marmalade.
Their house was filled with smiles and laughter
And they were happy ever after.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Burn baby burn

I do enjoy a good fire.

Every so often I light one at the bottom of my garden with all the woody debris that builds up.

I think being raised in a house with no central heating but only a coal fire for heat means I spent a lot of time watching the pictures in the flames.

Now I get to take cool photos of them so on the nights we don't need a fire I can still feel it's heat.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Wordy Wednesday

TELEVISION - Roald Dahl.

The most important thing we've learned,
So far as children are concerned,
Is never, NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your television set --
Or better still, just don't install
The idiotic thing at all.
In almost every house we've been,
We've watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone's place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they're hypnotised by it,
Until they're absolutely drunk
With all that shocking ghastly junk.
Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,
They don't climb out the window sill,
They never fight or kick or punch,
They leave you free to cook the lunch
And wash the dishes in the sink --
But did you ever stop to think,
To wonder just exactly what
This does to your beloved tot?
'All right!' you'll cry. 'All right!' you'll say,
'But if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children? Please explain!'
We'll answer this by asking you,
'What used the darling ones to do?
'How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?'
Have you forgotten? Don't you know?
We'll say it very loud and slow:
THEY ... USED ... TO ... READ! They'd READ and READ,
AND READ and READ, and then proceed
To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks!
One half their lives was reading books!
The nursery shelves held books galore!
Books cluttered up the nursery floor!
And in the bedroom, by the bed,
More books were waiting to be read!
Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales
Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales
And treasure isles, and distant shores
Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars,
And pirates wearing purple pants,
And sailing ships and elephants,
And cannibals crouching 'round the pot,
Stirring away at something hot.
(It smells so good, what can it be?
Good gracious, it's Penelope.)
The younger ones had Beatrix Potter
With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter,
And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,
And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and-
Just How The Camel Got His Hump,
And How the Monkey Lost His Rump,
And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul,
There's Mr. Rate and Mr. Mole-
Oh, books, what books they used to know,
Those children living long ago!
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books,
Ignoring all the dirty looks,
The screams and yells, the bites and kicks,
And children hitting you with sticks-
Fear not, because we promise you
That, in about a week or two
Of having nothing else to do,
They'll now begin to feel the need
Of having something to read.
And once they start -- oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy
That fills their hearts. They'll grow so keen
They'll wonder what they'd ever seen
In that ridiculous machine,
That nauseating, foul, unclean,
Repulsive television screen!
And later, each and every kid
Will love you more for what you did.