Friday, 26 September 2014

I've been conkered

I have been having a bit of a problem this week with unwanted visitors.  Huge spiders have taken it upon themselves to pay nightly visits.  I feel like I am beginning to live in a horror movie.  I hate the things.  Can't stand to be anywhere near them.  I know it's irrational and they are probably more scared of me but they give me the creeps.  I have been bravely capturing them and putting them back where they belong but it is not an easy or a nice job.

I have been told them they don't like conkers and to put them in your room to ward them off.  How much of an old wives tale it is, and whether or not it will work, I don't know but time will tell.  Anything is worth a go. So, after school tonight me and my boy went conker hunting and he found a massive amount that he collected up and brought home.

I told him the plan was to place a few in and around the house in places where we'd seen the spiders and where they might me getting in.  Namely, the hallway and the living room.
"Can I do it, mum?" he asked.
"Sure" I replied.  "Just a couple in each room should do it." I said walking off to undertake other tasks.
"Taaa daaa, come and see mum.  Is that OK?"

Well, there are conkers everywhere.  The spiders won't be coming within 10 miles of this house if it works.  My staircase resembles an airport runway and I have to tread carefully when walking in the front door so as not to break my neck.  And they are little piles on them stashed in every nook and cranny.
"Good job, Charlie" I laughed. "Your job is to collect them all up when we no longer need them though."

I've also read that you can make up a solution a water, washing up liquid and peppermint oil.  Haha, I thought, I still have peppermint oil in my cupboard from my rat problem so hey presto one concoction made up and sprayed all around my house.  It now smells minty fresh.  Fingers crossed it works.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Writer, Mother and Reviewer: Summer is ending

Writer, Mother and Reviewer: Summer is ending: The summer is ending and there's a definite chill to the air in the morning.  Autumn is certainly on it's way. This summer has bee...

Summer is ending

The summer is ending and there's a definite chill to the air in the morning.  Autumn is certainly on it's way. This summer has been great and I have had some fantastic times with my two little devils.  We have had lots of family fun days out exploring the coast and having great times at the seaside with lots of fish and chips, a speed boat ride, hunting for crabs (we only found a dead one) and Charlies thrill at catching his first fish even though it was only the size of his little finger
 We even managed a trip to Crete which was like heaven.  All distant but great memories now... I am hoping to squeeze in a few more days out before the weather turns but we'll see.

I have to say it is nice to have the kids back at school though.  I love having them at home but six weeks is more than enough.  It has been testing keeping them occupied to say the least.  Saying that week two and already I have been called home from work to pick up a sick little boy.  Although there didn't seem a great deal wrong with him when I got him home.  A bit of a sniffle and a little bit sorry for himself but fingers crossed he's been dosed up with the paracetamol and a good nights sleep should have him right as rain for the morning.

On the writing front I have been working hard on various pieces and I have a couple of pieces entered into competitions and I have a further few pieces that are almost ready to be submitted to magazines so hopefully something may come of those.  The good thing about the dark nights is I get the kids to bed far earlier and that leaves more writing time for me.

My book reviews on here are sadly lacking at the minute.  Not that I haven't been reading because I have read some crackers but it's been the case of not enough hours in the day.  Hopefully I'll be back on track with those too shortly.

It's been a fair while since I wrote a blog post and to be honest it had crossed my mind to maybe give it up but sitting here tonight and writing this I have realised just how much I have missed it so no doubt the gap won't be as long anymore I can feel the bug has been re-caught.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Pants, Pants, Pants!

Oh dear, my little man was not a happy lad the other day.  With our up coming holidays his pants were looking rather shabby so it was time to go out and buy him some new ones.  Now, considering he's only 5 he's very picky when it comes to which pants he will wear.  He likes the neat fitting boxers and only with certain designs on, namely batman or angry birds.

I searched high and low for some and had to hit numerous shops to find what I was looking for.  Finally bingo! I found some.

I arrived to collect him from school laden down with bags to which he inquisitively asked, "Is that something for me?"
"It certainly is," I replied, "but you'll have to wait until we get home to see what it is."

Stepping in the front door he eagerly emptied out the contents of the carriers before he looked at me in disgust.
"Pants!" he shouted. "Pants, pants and more pants.  Argghhh, I hate pants"
He proceeded to have a tantrum of epic proportions, throwing himself on the sofa and burying his head in the cushions.  I calmly placed the pants back in the bag and left him to it. That was not the reaction I'd expected.
After a while he decided to have another look in the bag.  "How many pairs of pants have you bought me?" he asked.
"Well count them"
"Eight" he replied.  "Eight pairs of pants and I can't even wear them can I? Not until my holiday." He sulked
"You can wear the pants." I replied.  "I'm not saving them just for the holiday.  I bought you them because I thought you'd like them and your old news are looking tatty."
"Oh OK," he replied.  "You could have just bought me one pair and then bought me some toys though, couldn't you?"

I guess pants wasn't a great surprise. However, he proceeded to inspect each pair checking that the picture was OK before declaring, "Mummy, I love my pants.  In fact, I'm going to put these batman ones on right now."

Sunday, 22 June 2014


It's been quite a while since my last post but things have been more than a little hectic and there simply hasn't been enough hours in my day.  Add to that, the fact that I have been plagued with a stinking cold for the last few weeks and it's not added up to a very productive time for my writing. Today I have set aside the time to write about our special Friday evening.

There has been a lot of sneaking around and underhand dealings of late as me, my sister and brother have been organising a surprise party for mum and dad.  It's a big year for them with my mum turning 60 and their Ruby Wedding Anniversary next month and with those milestones we simply had to make it memorable. Another reason to celebrate is my dads continuing improvement in health.  We were unable to celebrate his 60th as he was undergoing chemotherepy and in all honesty after the nightmare of last year, well, we all feared the worst but somehow he's got through.  So what better reason for a knee's up.

Mum and dad aren't big on parties and they hate a lot of fuss so the plan was to do something small but special with close family and friends.  The room was booked, the invites sorted and all the sneaking around and digging out of old really embarrassing photos achieved.

Friday morning me and my sister put the finishing touches together and there were a few close shaves which nearly let the cat out of the bag, especially when during a conversation with me mum she said she was going to ring my sister at work to discuss childcare arrangements. I knew full my sis well was sat at home making truffles as I'd literally left her to it five minutes prior. Argghhhh!  There was plenty of excuses and quick thinking to be done. Phew, it was hard work.

Finally, the room was set up, the guest all in place and it was down to my brother to bring them at the allotted time and just fingers crossed they weren't too cross.

Result! They loved it.  They both has huge smiling faces and glistening tears in their eyes when the found is all tucked away in the room waiting  We'd managed to keep it a total secret and they'd had no inkling of what we'd planned, which was a surprise in itself and I was sure mum had her suspicions. She always seems to know everything and it's very difficult to get anything past her.

 The night went without a hitch and a brilliant time was had by all.  In the words of my dad, "It was perfect." That was like music to my ears.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Face Painting the Result

I have been contacted by numerous people these last few weeks regarding the outcome of the tests on the face paints that were used on my children's face that caused very nasty reactions.

To re-cap,  I took my children to a family fun day organised by the City Council where both my children had their faces painted.  To my horror when we awoke the next morning both children where left with angry burn like marks as a result of the black face paint used.

The face paints in question were obtained by Trading Standards and sent away for testing. I have now been contacted to advise that the results are inconclusive.

So, I am left in limbo and I have no answers as to why this happened.  It was suggested to me that it may be the way that the face paint was removed at the end of the day but as different methods were used, (one used a face wash in the shower while the other used a make-up remover face wipe of a different brand,) I struggle to believe this.  The humidity of the day was also mentioned but again I struggle to understand how that could have an effect.  The day in question was rather chilly so I wouldn't have thought that would have made a difference.

Both my children have had their faces painted on previous occasions and never suffered any type of reaction nor do I class them as having sensitive skin.  I guess I will never know why this happened and where the finger of blame, if any, should be pointed.

All I can say is that I will be certainly apprehensive to allow them to have their faces painted again and this is a real shame as it was something they have previously enjoyed.

Numerous face painters have contacted me regarding this and I know this this has upset them greatly as they take their profession very seriously and the health and well being of the children they deal with is paramount. I can only hope that this is an isolated incident. My only concern is that my children weren't the only children effected at the event and I only hope that correct procedures have now been put in place for future events.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Happy Easter Everyone

Happy Easter everyone.  We certainly have loads of chocolate eggs in this house again this year and I can't wait for the children to come home from their dads so that we can get our little Easter egg hunt underway.  Looks like the diet is out of the window for the time being and the bit of weight that I have managed to lose these last few months won't take long to go back on by the time I have finished with this little lot.

So, it's been a while since my last post but finally I have a little time to catch up with things.  Unfortunately I caught the decorating bug.  Yep, it's been building for quite some time and bang it exploded.  I have been through the house like a whirlwind.  In a period of  4 weeks I managed to complete the living / dinning room, the hallway and the kitchen.

It's been hard hard work especially when I have work and my normal everyday tasks to fit in, not to mention the various school events that took up valuable free time.  I found myself staying up till all hours of the morning, yep not night, morning.  The latest record time I get to bed was 3am and I was back up at 7am with paintbrush in hand.  It has so been worth it. I almost feel like I have moved into a new house.

My walls and ceilings are lovely and fresh looking.  I have had new carpets laid and even a deliciously comfy sofa delivered.  So comfy in fact that now I have finished and have a bit of free time I find myself falling asleep really swiftly with my feet up and my new comfy soft cushions.

Have a good day all and enjoy all the lovely chocolate.  I'm sure I will.