Thursday, 25 July 2013

This is what I put as my Facebook status this morning :-

First day of the school hols and I'm up with the a courier, a broken oven, a broken washing machine, a filthy house, a load of paperwork to fill in and file, 3 children, 2 dogs and a pigeon to sort out...did I mention it was the start of the summer hols???

Now let me explain...yesterday was an absolute nightmare of a day.

I had woken early, jumped out of bed and woken the kids for their last day of school for this academic year. Knowing that it was due to be a busy day, I got the breakfasts sorted, the lunchbags sorted and then myself showered.

Racing against the clock, I pulled clothes over me as I dashed downstairs only to find the kids still enjoying a leisurely breakfast.
Shocked, the conversation went a little like this:-

"What are you doing? It's quarter to nine!" I whispered, still unable to talk properly due to my tonsillectomy.

"No, mum, it's quarter to eight! You got us all up an hour early!" I was told emphatically and rather irately!!

And do you know what? They were absolutely right. So instead of just accepting this and cooling down, I then proceeded to clean all four bathrooms and arrange a courier for some books I had sold. I also phoned the washing repair man who seems to have either died before completing the job of repairing my machine, or alternatively has been eaten by sharks...because it's been a week since his last visit and still no sign of him returning.

Then [at the correct time], I took my youngest child to her leavers' assembly and sat and watched their teary performance. After this I walked my dogs and met with a group of mothers in town who were going to celebrate their children leaving first school.

Hungrily I watched them devour huge platefuls of appetising food, unable to participate due to my very recent tonsillectomy. I consoled myself with the thought that I had to leave early to collect child no. 1 from his school to attend an orthodontics appointment.

So a mere hour after sitting with the mums, I was back in the car, on route to the school once more. And what greeted me when I arrived? A truculent teenage who informed me that he was not happy to be missing the last hour and a half of school!

Annoyed now, I escorted him to the dentist where they took moulds of his teeth and raced him back to school for the final 40 minutes.

Then, passing the group of mums who were just heading back, relaxed and jolly, I set off to the next school to pick up the daughter who was finishing school that day.

At least she was pleased to see me.

We came home. Buoyed by her youthful exuberance and high spirits, I thought we would have a celebratory tea of spare ribs [I was hoping I could suck the meat off and bypass it into my throat with a lot of liquid libation] chips and chicken wings.

An hour and a half later, when the food was mildly warm but still raw, I knew there was something wrong. The oven had died. either in empathy with the washing machine or completely independently, it had lost the will to live.

It was then I went completely insane. Flinging  cooking utensils to the left, right and centre of myself, I hunted for alternative methods of cooking the foods I had promised to the kids.

Now at this juncture, most sane people would have said, 'ok, lets get a take away'. But you see, dear readers, that is where I differ from pretty much everyone else in the universe.

Like it was a personal affront to my dignity to throw away this food, I took it as a challenge that I would not be beaten over.

Throwing the chips into a wok, I proceeded to burn them into charred remnants of what they once were, whilst I undercooked [yet also managed to burn] the ribs and wings in an electric frying pan.

Thinking that it would be a good idea to make an adventure of the situation, I then [unwisely as it turned out] put all the food on a sharing platter and a whole two tins of beans in a large bowl for the kids to help themselves.

What a mistake to make! In between arguing over who got which charred rib and how many chips they each loaded onto their plates, the kids complained that this was how cowboys ate and why had I made so much washing up for myself [oops forgot to say that the dishwasher broke a few months ago too].

After the squabbling had ended and I had cleared up, I was so wound up that I decided to take my frustration out on the oven itself.

Watching me trying to heave it from its cabinet, the coolly delivered "you might want to take the screws out first" from my eldest, did not really help. Head aching and the place where my tonsils used to hang out, burning in my throat, I wrestled with the oven, trying to get it out so that I could measure its dimensions for a new one. It was at this point that I accidently yanked the oven door right off, causing me to stagger backward with the weight of it in my hands.

The pigeon watched me from the safety of it's cage as if it were I who was some rare and endangered species of bird, beedy eyes alert and if I'm not mistaken, filled with humour at my situation.

It was at this precise moment in time that the middle child came and told me that the upstairs toilet was now broken.  As I strode upstairs, summer dress flowing behind me, covered in grease, grime and sweat to repair/ make worse that situation, one thing occurred to me...I left home at eighteen and since then I have lived only ten years with a man in the house...and I still don't know how to fix one damned thing!

So that's why this morning my Facebook status read as it did.

You are probably not as relieved as I am that as I write this blog at one pm, there is a man booked to come fix [I hope] the oven, the washing machine man has been located alive and well and will be back next week and I have vacuumed and tidied the house [oh and the courier has been]...did I tell you it was the first day of the summer hols...?

Happy holidays folks!


Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Latest Review

Here is a review which has just come through to my Facebook, from a lovely lady called Lisa Dean.

" I have really enjoyed the first two books of this series. The characters are interesting and as a reader I really care about their journey. The story lines are interesting and you can imagine being in the world they inhabit. My daughter (aged 13) and father (aged 73) have both enjoyed the books and we look forward as a family to reading the next one so we can discuss it together."

Well Lisa, daughter and father, I hope you will not be disappointed with the next instalments!

Whip-crack away!

There was a funny comment today which made me realise how much of a slave-driver I am to myself. One of the mums I met today said, "I see your books are doing really well, I keep hearing about them are on your third aren't you?"

And my response was the inevitable, "actually I will be starting my sixth in October."

Who said you need a boss behind you to crack the whip? I am more than capable of cracking my own whip, thank you very much.

Wrong again!

Ok, ok, far be if from me not to admit I was wrong!

I got everyone up this morning, screaming in a hoarse whisper that it was already quarter to eight and that just because it was the last day of term, they should not all be late.

And last day of term or not, it's a busy one. Sophia has her leavers assembly and Ryan has a dental appointment. In between those times a courier had to be booked and four bathrooms were in desperate need of cleaning.

It was only on emerging dripping from the shower and pulling clothes over me, even as I rushed downstairs, that I found all three of my children at the dining room table, enjoying a leisurely breakfast.

"What are you doing? It's quarter to nine!" I whispered, still unable to talk properly due to my tonsillectomy.

"No, mum, it's quarter to eight! You got us all up an hour early!" I was told emphatically and rather irately!!


Never mind, the courier is booked and the bathrooms are all sparkling.... ;)

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Pigeon Power

In Glasgow there is a place in the centre of the city called George Square.

When I was little and lived in Glasgow, my mother used to take me there with bags of corn to feed the birds.

I would sprinkle the seed on my arms and legs and sit with all four limbs outstretched, as the pigeons came and settled onto me to feed and strut about.

Last year I went there with my children. Light of heart and heavy of bag [containing pounds and pounds of corn] I was full of anticipation. I'm not the sort to go all teary-eyed at Christmas but I find the thought of communing with nature and all nature's creatures unbelievably humbling.

But the pigeons were mostly gone and the city itself was almost unrecognisable to me. Yet what hurt the most were not the new unknown shops and buildings that had emerged but the absence of the susurration of beating wings and the loss of the childlike sense of wonder as hundreds of birds flocked to my side for food and admiration.
So, come on Glasgow, bring the birds back and let your children have wonder in their souls again.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Pigeon racing?

Now let's see what is going on here...I have three children, two dogs and a pigeon.

The pigeon was supposed to be a temporary fixture but it's looking to me like he has had that conversation with someone, who has reliably informed him that children don't leave the nest till they are into their thirties nowadays...

Sorry Mr Fluffy but it's not in either of our interests for you to stick around that long! There are sunsets to cruise around, days of light and promise where warm winds will caress and gently buffet your wings as you stretch them and look to the horizon...go pigeon, go!

I'll let you know if he takes the hint.

A Vision.

I went to see a clairvoyant a year ago, having been recommended to him by a friend, who was herself recommended by another friend.

It was a fascinating experience and I remain open-minded. However several particularly interesting things did come from it. One of the most pertinent things was that I was so open-minded. Where I had thought that I was pretty decided on what I wanted to happen in  my future, I found that I was unable to dismiss this man's alternative viewpoint. It wasn't that what he told me was so earth shattering that it was beyond disbelief, it was more that I lacked the conviction in my own vision, to see that it was in fact a real possibility.

To that end, his viewpoint seemed infinitely more probably than my own. My past had already attested to the likelihood of his view becoming more likely than my own and although he knew none of it, there was a clear and distinct pattern to be seen.

Now, a year on, I can see that other things he said are coming to perhaps there is something in it after all...

However there remains the question of how much I read into his words and how much effort I have put into them becoming reality. I am trying to step back from destiny and allow it to do it's thing but I admit that it is not an easy thing to do.

I'll let you know how I get on.

By the way, I am feeling a little more like myself today. Much of the swelling has gone down and although I ate through tears yesterday, due to the excruciating pain, I got something down and kept it down.

My voice [what little of it is audible] is unrecognisable and my throat still feels as if it is lined with glass shards but I will get there. Already feeling much stronger than yesterday...roll on tomorrow and world domination...