Tuesday, January 31, 2006

My shop

Today I decided to clear out my fabric room. I used to call it my sewing room but, as it is so full of stuff and there is no room to sew, I sew at the kitchen table by the aga. I have started to call it my fabric room. It was out of control. Cupboards overspilling, bags of fabrics everywhere. I could hardly get in the room let alone find anything. It took nearly all day but I am happy with the results. I removed 7 big black dustbin bags full of rubbish and things for the charity shop. At last I can see what I have got and can find things easily. I found a few unfinished projects and some things I had forgotten I had. The room needs decorating badly but it is low priority in this house! I think you'll agree that my shop has a great view too. You can usually see the sea behind the trees on the left but today the sea and sky are the same colour (grey).

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Monday, January 30, 2006


I put Lizzy down for a nap this afternoon. When I went back to check her 10 minutes later I found that she had 2 furry babysitters. Not sure if they were keeping her warm or using her body heat!

It was a beautiful sunny day today. Not a cloud in sight but still quite chilly. I love days like this. Spring is just around the corner folks.

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Sunday, January 29, 2006

Musical Interlude

Maybe it's the time of year but I have been clearing out cupboards, throwing away clothes and listening to a lot of old music. I got the box set of The Cocteau Twins 'From Lullabies to Violaine' for Xmas and listening to it whilst listing my fabrics on ebay had me feeling all wistful and wondering what had happened to my youth! Last night Mum and I watched 100 greatest pop videos. Mostly it was great and reacquainted me with music I hadn't heard in a long time and gave great facts about making the videos that I never knew. For example Bjork was running a fever and was really unwell with no voice when she shot 'It's oh so quiet' and the unknown Sadie Frost appeared in Pulp's 'Common People' video (she was the posh totty). I loved seeing Talking Heads 'Once in a lifetime', Johnny Cash's 'Hurt' (so powerful) and Ultravox's 'Vienna' (such memories). We knew that we would hate most of the videos in the top 10 and as the program finished at 1.15pm we thought we would go to bed before so as not to get wound up but of course we didn't and the top 10 was filled with Queen, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Robbie Williams and A-ha with the bloody awful 'Thriller' as number 1. It was great seeing the brilliant Fatboy Slim's 'Praise you' (pure genius) and 'Weapon of Choice'. Bjork had a few entries which made me go and dig out some of my old cd's of hers to listen to this morning. That led me on to uploading some tracks onto my ipod. My ipod was a wonderful Xmas present. I have a huge amount of music on there and can just plug it into my car stereo. This is great, it means no more having to make compilations tapes, no more cassettes and cases all over the car floor and a great clarity of sound as it comes directly from my computer. It is so tiny it fits into my handbag and often I cannot see it in there because it is so small! Ain't technology great?

P.S I bought the Arctic Monkeys yesterday, haven't had a chance to listen to it yet but I was disappointed in the Richard Ashcroft I bought earlier in the week. I adore that mans voice but this album is dirgy and depressing. Pin It

Friday, January 27, 2006

Great Life

I wrote the previous post last night when very tired but blogger wasn't playing so I posted it this morning. In the cold (and it is) light of day I realise that it's a bit moany. Last night in bed, which had little pockets of cold, I realised that there were people sleeping rough and here I was warm and cosy in my bed with my man and my babies. What have I got to moan about? I have a great life.

.............................. Now where's that hoover? Pin It

Back to work

Today I went back to work and listed some fabrics on ebay. I have been doing this for about 4 years now. It's a great way of making some pocket money whilst still being around for my kids. However the whole thing has become much more difficult since baby number 3 arrived 10 months ago. Today she is teething and is tired and grumpy but will not sleep. She also wants to be either cuddled or to stand up, not in her baby walker but outside it whilst holding on to it. Her baby walker moves and she will fall flat on her face so I have to secure it with my foot and have her standing up in between my legs whilst trying to type on the keyboard with one hand. I also have to make a beef stew and dumplings and wash 4 loads of very muddy overalls for Paul as his laundry man let him down and the overalls are needed for a kids party on Saturday. Amazingly I managed to list 28 or so fabrics, made the stew (it was yummy) and washed all the overalls but I am finding the house and housework to be overwhelming. I know I am sooo lucky to live in this beautiful house but it's so big and gets so messy. I fantasize about having a smaller neater house but we are not neat people. To have a tidy house would mean giving up my addiction to charity shops and boot sales. I would also have to stay home and clean more often instead of meeting girlfriends in town for coffee and shopping. I dreamt about mice last night. We had hundreds running around. I was perched up high somewhere looking down on all these rodents and our cats were just playing with them like old friends, eeeek!!!

I hope you all realise that my domestic goddess tag is very tongue-in-cheek. I'm with Trac, I am more domestic slut than goddess. Remember that 'Dull women have immaculate houses'. Pin It

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Here's looking at you Titch. Happy 2nd birthday sweetpea xxx Pin It

Monday, January 23, 2006

Mouse watch update

Well I have completely cleared the pantry. I found 1 more mouse that was nesting behind the herb and spice cupboard and I got Paul to remove it for me. Once I emptied the pantry I decided it would be nice to strip away the old revolting fake tile wallpaper that we inherited so I started pulling strips off. Of course it was horrible underneath so now we have James, a chap who usually works for Paul at the laser site, decorating my pantry. He's in there sanding as I type this. Good old Monty! Pin It

I'm just mad about my Sister

My little sister flies back home today. Back to her family in the USA. Bon Voyage sweetheart. I'll miss you xxx Pin It

There was a pong in the pantry, a nasty niff in the larder. It had been there for a few days. I suspected that it might be something dead and rotting in a hidden corner and thought it might be a mouse. There was evidence of mouse activity (mouse poo). I knew I had to do something about it but I just didn't relish the thought of coming across a dead mouse or a live one for that matter or, heaven forbid, a nest of the critters. I tried to ignore it and hoped it would go away but it didn't the stench just got worse. Paul was having a go at me (like he does) about all the empty containers in there, you know the lovely collectable ones with writing on. He doesn't understand why I have them when they are all empty. He doesn't get it, so every time I asked him to help me clear out the pantry he said 'yes we'll get a big bin and throw out all those useless tins'. Well that's the kind of help I don't want. He's just fed up with them 'cos once he tried to cook and couldn't find any flour. After trying all the tins that said flour on them and not finding it he rang me on my mobile to ask. It's in the jar that says flour in the kitchen of course, in between the empty flour tin and the empty sugar container. God, he only had to ask!! So realising that I was going to get no help from him I started to clear out by taking all the things off of the floor and dragging them into the kitchen, discovering little piles of mouse shit as I did so. I felt very on edge as I did this. Once the floor was cleared and no evidence of the cause of the smell found I decided to clear the shelves. I started to move boxes and tins and picked up a pile of empty egg trays. A mouse jumped out. I screamed. I mean really screamed, very high pitched and very loud. I didn't know I could do that! Jeez the thing scared me half to death. I went into the kitchen feeling all shook up and thought 'I can't do it'. I had to, no one else was going to, so back I went, slowly and very nervously removing things from the shelves. Then I saw him. On the top shelf peering down at me with his black beady eyes and twitchy whiskers. We looked at each other for a while and then he ran off again hiding behind one of my baskets. Oh that was it, I couldn't do it any more. I didn't know where he was or when he was going to jump out. I felt sick and shaky and just abandoned my task, boxes, tins and baskets lay strewn across the kitchen floor. Alfie bravely said that he would catch it for me so donned his wellies and took a Cath Kidston china bowl to catch him in (I ask you!). We saw him again peering at us from up high before he disappeared. Now if he promised to stay where I could see him I could probably clean up around him but not knowing when he was going to jump out just freaked me out. I have never been afraid of mice before, we get them regularly despite have 3 useless, heat seeking creatures they call CATS! I suspect they bring more into the house than they catch. No what bothers me dear reader is the unexpected, the suspense, the not knowing but the inevitable, the mouse is going to appear at some time, I just don't know when. I'm the same with balloons, I HATE them, I have a slight phobia about them as they are going to pop, I just don't know when. Silly thing is that when they do, It's ok, that's phobias for you.

So back to the mouse............I left the job and the next day went to see my Mum and Sister in town. They were coming back for the night and I told them my sorry tale. Mum was very sympathetic and despite being scared of mice herself she volunteered to help me when we got back but as it was Sister's last night with us I didn't want to spend it clearing out my pantry. We had a lovely evening, fish and chip supper, mulled wine then a session in the bar with CBB and topped it off with reminiscing over my Suede dvd (we were huge fans in the 90's went to loads of gigs). Just on our way up to bed, mum making hot water bottles, S said, 'where's this mouse then?". I hid behind her as she went into the pantry and I pointed to the spot where I last spotted him. He wasn't there. She told me to make friends with him and to give him a name. I chose Monty. I showed her the selection boxes belonging to Alfie and said I didn't want Monty to eat them. She said 'shall I get them down for you?' and I nodded pathetically. She brought down one box and put it on a lower shelf for me. At this point mum came up behind me and gently lay her hand on my shoulder. I jumped out of my skin and screeched again which made us all laugh. I was so on edge. S asked me if there was anything else I would like brought down and I said 'yes the other selection box please'. She pulled it down and said (very calmly and quietly), 'OK, the mouse is in the box'. I was off like a shot, quivering like a wreck in the living room. Mum said 'close the box, close the box, close the box' again very calmly but manically, then she said, 'ok, put it ouside on the floor, now RUN AWAY'. Run away?!!!!! Run away? From a tiny mouse? How did we get to this? I was still not happy about the situation as the mouse was now just outside the back door and might come in through the cat flap, aided and abetted by one of the useless furry things, so Saff went out and bravely shook the box until the mouse scurried away. After much laughter at our very silly girly behaviour we went to bed. I was so grateful to my wonderful and brave little sister for saving me. I also thought mum was a star as the last time she suported me through mouse trauma was years ago when the cats brought one in and let it free in my bedroom. That time she shouted words of encouragement to me whilst standing on the toilet, through my locked bathroom door!!

The next morning I looked at the box and its' contents outside. The chocolate was strewn across the floor and you could see that Monty clearly had a preference for KitKats as he had scoffed his way through an entire bar, spitting out the paper. I picked up the paper, untouched chocolate bars and the plastic tray from inside and took them into the house, swept up the mess and picked up the box. It moved. I peered inside, the bastard was back in the box!!!! I dropped the box and shuddering I ran back indoors to tell the others. Damn him, was I never going to be rid of him? Alfie put on his wellies and picked up the box. 'Hello' he said to the mouse, 'ah mum he's so sweet'. 'Yes I know he is now please can you take him away for me?' I asked. My little hero took the mouse around the corner and let him out near his den under the trees. That's the last I have seen of Monty, for now. I suspect he'll be back. I have still got to clean out the pantry, it still stinks, and I am still freaked out about it. Can someone please come and help me? Pin It

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Mountains, chipmunks and shipwrecks

Here is another tale from our holiday in Fuerteventura. Last one I promise!

On New Year’s Day, feeling fragile from the shenanigans of the night before, we decided to go for a drive across the island to visit a shipwreck that we had heard about. It was on a very hard-to-reach beach half way down on the west coast. The journey sounded like it might be another ‘Pregonda’ trip we once took many years ago when Jasmine was small.................

That beach is on the island of Menorca and is said to be the prettiest and most deserted beach. This is our favourite type of beach so we set out to find it in our rented Nissan Micra. I was map-reading the funny little (spanish) map we had found. After many hours of driving around dirt tracks with BIG pot-holes and massive boulders, meeting other bewildered holidaymakers trying to find this now mythical beach our tempers were frayed. We rowed soooo much, poor Jazz cowering in the back of the car wishing her parents would just go to the crowded beach like all the other tourists. Eventually we decided that we must temporarily abandon the excursion as we were hungry and thirsty. Driving to the nearest town we found the most beautiful restaurant in the harbour of Fornells where we had a fantastic meal. During the meal we scrutinised the map further and realised that we had in fact been following a donkey track not a road after all (our spanish was never too good) so we abandoned the trip and we never did make it. Shame really as I hear it’s pretty nice.

This trip started as a journey along very nice, newly made roads. We went way up into the mountains, round hairpin bends and down again with only small boulders between us and the fresh air way below us. I felt nauseaous most of the time and wasn’t sure if it was due to the festivities of the night before or altitude sickness but I kept fairly quiet knowing I wouldn’t get much sympathy. We did make a few stops mainly because they were such good photo opportunities. One such stop was breathtaking. I got out to get some air and take some photos when I noticed a family of German tourists feeding a group of chipmunks. I got Alfie out of the car to come and look and he fetched his packet of crisps proffering them up for the little creatures. Well there were masses of them. Really tame and cute and they had no fear of us humans. The view was stunning. There was a mountain that I called 'Titty' mountain. You can clearly see why!

We finally reached the turning we should make to see the shipwreck but as it was now almost 2.30pm we were hungry and thought it best to get some food before going any further into the wilderness of a deserted beach. We went down to a beach that the guidebook said had some great seafood restaurants but when we got there they were all closed and the only place open was a rough looking spanish bar full of old Pedros having a heated discussion. Paul was keen but the rest of us outvoted him (my hangover just couldn't cope with too much noise) so we went back to the small town we had driven through some 7 kms back. Well we had forgotten it was Sunday, New Year’s Day and now nearly 3pm. We were being stupid English tourists expecting to find somewhere open but the streets were deserted, nothing was open and there was nobody around. Suddenly just as we were giving up hope I spotted, through a door into a garden, someone eating. I shrieked with excitement and made Paul turn the car round and drive past again. Yes there it was! A beautiful tapas bar in the middle of this mountain town and they were serving food. I was beside myself. The food was fantastic. The best tapas ever. So once again the 'Pregonda' curse had thrown us into a fantastic restaurant that we would never have found otherwise.

With food in our tummies we set off again for the shipwreck. It was another Pregonda-like track. Big boulders, pot holes and very dusty. We met people coming the other way and asked them if they had found the shipwreck. The first person put us off. He said it took them an hour from that point to reach it and that the road was almost impassable. The passengers had to get out of the car on several occasions. Well I was not up for this. I thought 2 hours of driving to get back to this point then all that mountainous driving! Paul was not to be put off, we had come this far, so he flagged down the next person coming towards us who told a different story. ‘Yes it’s fine, just drive straight on. It was worth it’.

So that was it. We went for it and I’m so glad we did. The sight was awesome, AWESOME DUDES!!! The ship was huge although the back part had sunk some months before in the last hurricane they had. The beach was covered in flotsam and jetsom from the ship and this was as fascinating to trawl through as the ship was to look at. More information about the ship can be seen here

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Here hair here

Went to Exeter again yesterday. This time to get my hair cut and coloured. It's been a long time since I last went and it had grown out of shape. To get my hair done requires military style planning. Mum has to have a day off work to come to look after Lizzy and I have to get Paul to pick the other 2 up from school. Mum is still on holiday as Sister is over from USA so we all went off for another shopping trip. The more I go to Exeter the more I wonder why I don't live there. I love the town. It has a vibrancy and feel to it that you only get in university towns whilst still being a little sleepy Devon town. I'm sure I will pursuade Paul to move there one day.

Most of my day was spent in Toni and Guy's so I didn't buy a lot but I did manage to get a gorgeous pair of high heels in the Office Shoes sale. They were £15!!! I am enjoying wearing high heels again after being pregnant and having a tiny baby. They make my legs look longer and make me feel slimmer.

P.S. Sorry about the title. Another 'Withnail and I' reference that makes me chuckle. Pin It

Saturday, January 14, 2006

What we did on our holidaze

We had a great holiday but as time goes on I am beginning to forget what we did, what was said, where we went and why! Old age I guess. Still, while I have some details still fresh in my addled memory banks I will share what I can with you.

There were times during the holiday when that well known phrase from Withnail and I came true, ‘We’ve come on holiday by mistake”. We were dropped off by our gracious host in the dark on the evening of our arrival and left to fend for ourselves not knowing where we were or what was around us. It seemed that we were in the middle of nowhere with the town some way off in the distance. Weary with travel, I bathed the two little ones while Paul and Jazz strolled down to a supermarket that we passed to pick up some supplies for supper. They returned with the ingredients for spaghetti and meatballs and I started to prepare the meal. We tried to fry the onions for the best part of an hour before we gave up deciding that the cooker obvously didn’t work and I found a sandwich toaster at the back of a cupboard and we had toasted cheese and onions sandwiches instead! The next day Hayden told us that the cooker controls were back-to-front :-/

The next day we found our feet and strolled into town, which was not that far away, but decided that hiring a car was a good option for avoiding moaning children with sore feet and also to explore the island further. The weather was great but not good enough to just laze on the beach all day. There were enough shops to keep Jazz and I happy including an internet cafe where she could catch up with her friends on MSN. We found a great beach at the end of town with a harbour so that we could watch the ferries come and go while sitting at a great restaurant eating and drinking (we did lots of that). Alfie was happy with his patch of sand and the friends he made and he even tried a spot of fishing with Paul but caught nothing.

New Years Eve was fun. We dressed up and went into town to try and find something to eat. Every restaurant was packed full and Alfie was already fading fast as it was past his bedtime. We found a place right on the beach and while the food wasn’t great the location was tops. Hayden and his girlfriend Claire met up with us and we had a few drinks. We had goodie bags given to us with hats, masks and gifts in. Paul was a clown and Alfie, who had crashed out by now, was one too, although he didn't know, hehehehe. We toasted the New Year with Cava and watched the firework display which was right in front of us, we had front of house seats. Then we decided to go back to the apartment as Paul had kindly decided to be the sober driving one (incredibly!). As we walked back through the town I started to feel quite drunk and silly. I had only had 2 gin and tonics and a glass of Cava but felt very light headed. on the way back to the car we saw a young man who had been looking at Jasmine for the past few days. He would scuttle past, looking under his floppy hair furtively at her and always looked back as he passed her. He was a cute surfer type who looked like her exboyfriend, Bish, so we nicknamed him ‘Holiday Bish’. We saw H B pass us as we walked back to the car. He clocked Jazz, crossed the road and started to walk in the same direction as us. I saw him and said to Jazz, go and give him a kiss. Go and say Happy New Year, give him a kiss and run back. She was horrified at this suggestion but I kept telling her to have some fun, you only live once, all that sort of thing. My poor daughter was mortified!

Once we got home I could hear that several of our neighbours had parties going on. I decided to go outside and see if any of them looked like they might be worth gatecrashing but they all looked pretty boring. I was near the pool so I dipped my toe in. It felt quite nice, quite warm actually. I could just get in there I thought. I went back to the apartment to ask if anyone was up for skinny dipping but they all looked at me as if I was mad. ‘Well I’m going’ I said, wrapping myself in a towel. Jazz was even more mortified now, her mother had truly lost it and was soooooo embarrassing, she was cringing in the apartment. I went out draped in my towel, slipped quietly into the pool and swam. No one heard me, no one saw me, it was purely for me and it was lovely. Actually when I say no one saw me that wasn’t exactly true. Paul had crept down with a camera and as it’s quite decent I will share the evidence with you. Those of you with a delicate disposition or who are easily shocked, look away now!

My friends who know me well know that if I am in a warm climate with enough alcohol inside me I am prone to skinny dipping! Well, you only live once girls! I did feel horribly drunk though and after getting dressed I felt dizzy and spinny and couldn’t settle outside or in so went to bed. The next day both Jazz and Paul said how puzzled they were that I was sooo drunk as I had only had a few drinks. So not only did I come on holiday by mistake, I also got drunk by mistake. Ho hum!

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Friday, January 13, 2006

Hanging out with The Pelvis

Euro Trac would be proud of me. I found this little beauty today. He can hang in my car for the year then next year I shall pop him on my xmas tree, da da! And I found it in Barnstaple too!!!

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The 1661 Woman

On Tuesday we celebrated the 60th birthday of my lovely mother. This glamorous creature is an inspiration to us girls. She still looks like a young lady despite her self titled 'Grumpy Old Woman' nom de plume!

I surprised her with a hairdressers appointment at Toni and Guy at 12.15pm, spookily the exact time of her birth! She was both surprised and thrilled and loved the results. We had a lovely day shopping just mum, Saffron, Lizzy and I and then went home to a chinese take-away, presents and a long session in the bar. It was a great day. Pin It

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Normal service ...........

..................will be resumed as soon as possible. I am back from my hols and have my sister here from USA but will be regaling you with tales of shipwreck, mountain adventures and bad drunken behaviour (yes mine!) shortly. Until then my lovelies I hope that 2006 is treating you well and you are all healthy and happy after the festive period Byeeeeeeee xxx

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