Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Help Disque

OK, I need some help please. I have tried to comment on a number of blogs recently and been told I need to sign into disque to do so. I try signing in and then nothing happens, my comment is still sat there in the commnet box I wrote in and I can't access anyone elses. I have tried signing in with my gmail details, with my twitter details and nothing happens.

What am I doing wrong please!?

Another year gone by

Today is Little Man's last day with his teacher. He has 2 teachers Miss L Mon-Wed and Miss B Thurs and Friday. Being the crap person I am I didn't realise it was Miss L's last day until we got to school this morning so have nothing prepared for Little Man to give her. I feel flowers are a bit of a cop out as we always try and do something personal from the kids, so I am at a bit of a loss at the moment of what I can cobble together for 3.00. I did wonder if I could buy a small plant and decorate the plant pot with some to Little Man's drawings for her. The other option is we take time to do something tonight, my sister-in-law works with Miss L's father so I could always ask her to pass it to him and him to Miss L?

I can not believe that another full school year has gone by, it is scary how quickly time is flying by. Little Man will be going into year 4 in September and Mini man into Year 1. They are growing up so fast.

I wonder what other people are doing for their teachers. In the past we have done framed drawings, hand painted mugs or plates, and cakes and I do like it to be something from them.

Any ideas?

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Reason's to be cheeful with a G

I have not taken part in this for ages and it seems we now have a theme to try and do, which I am assuming is the alphabet. I like the idea, I took part in the A-Z Blogging challenge and really enjoyed it. However, reasons to be cheerful beginning with G may be prove more tricky!

One of the reasons I used to love taking part regularly in this link was the fact it is great to shout about things when life is good, but it also made you dig deep and realise that life isn't so bad when you were feeling low.

I have been feeling really low for far too long and stopped taking parts in lots but am trying to sort myself out now and need to remind myself that actually life could be so much worse so my reasons to be cheerful are:

Grateful - eternally grateful.

On the 25th June, a beautiful little girl in our town lost her battle with cancer. She wasn't yet 3. Sadie Rose was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer when she was just 14 months old - neuroblastoma. She underwent gruelling first line treatment but her parents were told the devastating news that the cancer had spread. There was potentially life saving treatment for her in America and with the help of the town, her parents were able to take Sadie Rose to the centre in America. The town had fundraisers everywhere, quiz nights, non uniform days at every school in town, everyone helped. The target was £500,000.00. With the help of the town more than £400,000 was raised. Sadly Sadie Rose's parent were given the heartbreaking news mid June that the cancer was widespread and there was no more treatment available for their beautiful daughter. Just 10 days later she fell asleep for ever. Sadie Rose caught the hearts of the town. We have all mourned her. It makes me so grateful for my boys and their health. Life can be so cruel and unfair. My thoughts are with the family.

Good weather

The sun is out today - I do admit I had to google to find out what the strange bright, ball in the sky was that appeared to also throw some heat off it and I can report it is the sun. The sky is blue (well it was, bit cloudy now) and the sun is out which is always a good way to feel happier.

Good times

This weekend I am heading to Bristol for a hen weekend for one of my closest friends. I haven't seen her for a year since she moved to Switzerland, so I am VERY excited about seeing her. Lets hope I can relax, have a few drinks and a dance and let my hair down a little and help her celebrate her forthcoming wedding (which I am also dreading in some respects but the next reason why explain that).


OK so I am struggling with a G here but Google has led me to doing something positive and something I am finding very hard to admit.

This morning I used to Google to find the number out for Relate and have booked an appointment next week. I find it hard to admit that my marriage is proving difficult at the moment but there you go I have said it. I will go to this appointment alone, not because my husband doesn't want to or is not interested but because I want to and feel I need to do this for me first and foremost and then if necessary we can go as a couple. We all hit hard times, this has been bloody hard, it has drained me and destroyed me. I never thought we would be one of those couples. We do both however know where we want to go and that is together as a family and I have finally accepted that I maybe need to talk to someone. I just feel so warn out by it all that I now feel I am going in circles, so I am hoping this will help. The husband seems to have been able to sort things better and we have spoken long and hard which is the first major step. At least we both want to try and make it work. The day I got married was the happiest day of my life and when I said my vows I meant them and still do - til death us do part, so I will fight and I will fight bloody hard for us to work this out.

And I think I will leave it there - that is the first time I have admitted to anyone we are having problems and emotionally it is very hard.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Getting that groove on

Its ages since I have taken part in this but then I have had about a month (or more) away from my blog for one reason or another.

To be fair I haven't had much groove at all of late and have been pretty darn unhappy and I still don't feel much of a groove but I am at least feeling I need to find it again and getting the 'don;t let the bastards grind you down' attitude beginning to nose its way in.

Last weekend I went to a baby shower which I didn't really want to go to, it is so much easier to sit at home, on the sofa and wallow than putting that 'face' on and going out and being sociable but I went and agreed to do a cake for the occasion which I posted about here. I did indeed have a good night, and the reaction to my cake gave me a real confidence boost as well.

I am going on a hen weekend this weekend as well to Bristol. I have never been to Bristol but know that it is meant to be a really good place to visit so I am looking forward to that, I also very sensibly booked a train ticket ages ago so got a good price so can look forward to 3 and a half hours of undisturbed time on the train, there and back with either my kindle or I am considering taking my laptop and shifting a report which has been bugging me - I might revise that idea though!! 

I have struggled a bit about the actual hen stuff, I am one of 4 bridesmaids and we all have done something towards it but I have found it very difficult to conjure up enthusiasm, partly because I am actually worried about the bride. When she falls in love, she falls head over heels, hook line and sinker, you get the message. Her new man as lovely as he is, worries me though. He floats from job to job, he is currently out of work as they have moved to Switzerland for her job so he is learning German and swimming, playing tennis and socialising all day while she works, She is so in love this is fine (at the moment) and neither of them seem to have much of a grip on finance. less than a year ago he was declared bankrupt and lost his house, after she had taken a 10k loan to do his house up. The wedding costs are sky high, all males guests are on a strict black tie dress code and not wearing a tux is not optional, the grooms attitude was 'get over the cost'. The discounted room rate it £175 per night, we are staying in the nearest B&B as a result, best man is in the Travelodge and they are both put out very few people have opted for the wedding venue and don't think its that expensive. I also worry that when they start a family and they both want to from the wedding night kind of thing, that she will struggle with him staying at home and her having to return to full time work as there will be no choice. I like to worry so hopefully it will all be fine, I am sure it will but I was the one who picked her off the floor when she last got hurt and when she falls she falls and I never want to see her that unhappy again

Anyway moving on from my concerns, I plan to enjoy the hen weekend, I don;t know many people but seem to have hit it off with one of the other bridesmaids over the email, who I am sharing a room with so its a good opportunity to meet new people.

I am also going out with t'husband tonight for a rare night out and although it will probably boil down a night where we decide to talk and air a few things, that cant be a bad thing either in the long run as we rarely get the peace and quiet to do that.

So that's it for me this week, I hope to check in more regularly now!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Baby Shower Cake

Recently I was invited to my first baby shower. I have always associated these with being an American event but it seems more and more people are beginning to hold them over here.

I wish I could of had one as it was really good fun. Big excuse for a group of women to get together and have fun.

I was slightly hesitant about going as I still feel like the new girl up here despite having grown up here. The pregnant lady in fact went through school with me and I really like her, although at school she was in the 'in' crowd and intimidated and scared me! How it changes as adults and when you get to know someone.

We were all asked to bring some food to the shower and I was asked to do a cake.

I decided I wanted to do something fun, N knew she was having a girl so of course I wanted to theme it this way.

I baked 2 square maderia cakes - I choose maderia as it is more of a solid cake than say a sponge and easier to carve if needs be, less crumbly too. I added a little red food dye as well to make the sponge turn out pink. These I cut into rectangles of the same size, stacked on top of each other with a layer of butter cream and covered with butter cream and then some ready to roll icing which I coloured green. I then added a strip of white icing to make it look like a bed.

Next job was to use the spare bits I had cut of the cake and make a couple of pillows by covering them in white icing and placing at the head of the bed - a simple brush of water over the icing is enough to make them stick.

I then set to work on my pregnant woman. I really enjoy doing sugar paste figures but have not yet been able to master how to give women natural looking boobs! At this stage I was using about half ready to roll icing and half petal paste so the figure would dry harder and hold it's shape. I coloured a little flesh coloured, and then some pink for the dress. The pregnant lady has ginger hair which was a little more difficult to do (I really need to invest in some orange dye)

Finally I placed my pregnant lady on the bed and put in the finishing touches and

Ta Da......

Bit graphic but everyone had a good laugh over it - the pregnant one laughed so much she had to sit down and accused us of trying to send her into labour!!

So that is how to make a baby shower cake.
(For those of you who fancy trying this or any other cake for that matter, don't use the liquid food dyes you would use in icing sugar and water as they make the ready to roll icing too sticky, you need to get pots of colour from a bakers or off the Internet).

Monday, 9 July 2012

Not a good way to start the day

Little Man is not sleeping well at the moment. I can only assume it is due to the school having just completed an Olympic fortnight so the normal routine was all disrupted with a focus on sporting events, although each day the kids were being told tomorrow they would be playing x sport, but then it rained so they did something different indoors or had lessons so none of the kids knew if they were coming or going.

Tomorrow they also find out their new classes for next year. Last year we got told a week in advanced and Little Man got to spend a bit of extra time with his new teacher and got to have a few extra transition visits. This year we are struggling to find out. Its not just the teacher and classroom that will change but also his classmates as the school mixes the classes up each year. So this is all causing him to be a little out of sync with life.

I am a bit miffed with the school for not letting us know. Problem is they don't see him at 3am when he is inconsolable or at 7.00am when he is throwing a paddy about the chair being turned the wrong way or absolutely having to have the moshi monster character his little brother has and it not being fair so therefore it is OK to be really horrid to both mummy and Mini Man and kick the furniture.

Problem this year is the special needs teacher is on long term sick, and last year the infant school and junior school which stood in the same grounds, merged to one school of 500 children. They have just had their first ofsted which was not particularly good, and as a result contracts are not being renewed for September and new staff are being brought in - including 1 year 4 teacher so interviews complete today, so they don't even know who will be teaching next year yet.

It s a bit of a nightmare. I was not ready for it kicking off this morning over breakfast, honestly the day those moshi monsters entered our lives was not a good one! They are his latest obsession, he has a box full of them. He has also learnt to trade, well I say learnt to trade, he trades but then wants them back and doesn't understand that the other child may not want to give it back.  I have banned trading, the school have banned trading but they are all still doing it.

He was being very verbal this morning as well as kicking the wall and his chair. Verbally he was telling his little brother he wished he was a goldfish (which Mini Man got very distraught about), and telling me I was the worst mummy in the world, he hated me, Daddy was much nicer and better to him, Daddy cared about him, I didn't care about him etc etc.

To be honest, I was a little upset and told him. If only he knew just exactly what we mothers give up for them. Right now I am doing alot just for the boys so that they are happy and their happiness far exceeds my happiness. They will probably never know but it really bothered me. I know he is just 8 and I know he is not being rationale when he is this way inclined but its more the fact I can't turn round and tell them the truth, make them understand just how much I am doing for them.

I was also pretty miffed that I am apparently so much more horrid than Daddy, this is Daddy who spends 80% of the time shouting at the moment at them and getting cross with him over his school work, how easy it is to forget! This at the moment is also a consistent thing, Daddy can do no wrong, again I know it is just a phase and try not to take it personally but when all you've heard all weekend is how he loves Daddy the best, a lot more than mummy, although he does love me apparently but not as much (his words not mine) it does take it toll by 7am Monday morning when you are tired (another broken night with him) and its not the way you intended to start your Monday.

Gurrrhhh and while I am on a rant, I have just had an appointment with a man about seeing if we were mis-sold payment protection on our mortgage. He turns up 10 minutes early and the time it took me to walk from my office (the small bedroom in a 3 bed semi), down the stairs to the side of the house to open the door, and lock the dog in the other room, he had rung the doorbell twice and hammered on my front door so hard it shook. He then marches in, plonks himself at the breakfast bar, gets out the paperwork and tells me there is a 25% fee if they win and was I happy with this. I said I wasn't sure as I had not looked into others but it seemed quite high to me so he flung the paperwork on the breakfast bar, shut his briefcase and marched out of the kitchen saying 'well if you want to go ahead fill the paperwork in and send it back in the pre-paid envelope' and with that he had shut the door and was gone. He was so rude and the way I feel today I feel like ringing up and complaining about him. On principle I don't think I will go with them now anyway.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

What was that you said?

Conversation last night with Little Man

'Right Little Man, time for you to get into bed now please'

'OK then mummy'

5 minutes later, call up the stairs

'Erhh Little Man, didn't I ask you to get your teeth cleaned and get into bed? You still seem to be playing'

'No I'm not mummy, I'm just cleaning my shit up'

'I beg your pardon, what did you just say'

'Mummy, I said I was cleaning my ship up, my Lego starwars ship, it's been in a battle and is all damaged'

'Ahhh, that's OK then, do it quickly and I'll be upstairs to say night night in 5 minutes'

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Best friends

Next weekend I am going on a hen weekend for one of my closest friends. I met her a year into my PhD, I came from North Yorkshire, she started a year after me and was from Kent. I remember the day I first met her & commenting to my fume hood buddy in the Chemistry lab that I could hardly understand her with such a Southern accent! That was 11 years ago. We hit it off immediately, neither of us have an ounce of common sense between us, we are both dippy and on the same wave length. To cement our friendship we discovered a shared love of horses, drinking and talking. Once I left Nottingham we spoke at least once a week and an average call would be the 59 free minutes on my phone, followed by a call back and 59 minutes on her phone. She has always been there for me, and me for her. She was one of the first to visit our first son & always called in on her way down the M1 from Nottingham to her parents in Kent. We have laughed and cried together many times. I was there for her when her then fiancé took a years contract in Boston, USA & she had to stay in the UK as she couldn't get a job. When she turned up on my doorstep unannounced 4 months later, my first words to her were 'you are either pregnant or have met someone else' the look on her face told me it was the latter & the hesitation confirmed I knew him (best friend/best man to be of fiancé). She was at my house when she told fiancé. The new relationship had her head over heels, shame the wanker didn't feel the same. He broke her heart, again we saw her through that. The boys loved their Aunty Nut! She has now met a new man and is due to get married. Her job has also moved her to Switzerland. I miss her like hell. She skypes but it's not the same, new man is always in the background, she is busy, I am busy & we can go months without speaking now :( I hate it. I haven't seen her for a year, last time was when I attended a conference in Switzerland & she made the 2 hour journey to me and I sneaked her into my hotel room for 2 nights. I worry about her though. She is head over heels again. New man is nice (DH & I both loved original fiancé but agree it was right to end). New Man is crap with money, he seems to float from job to job, spending numerous months 'looking' for something. They both had their own houses. She rented hers and moved in with him. She took a 10 grand loan to help do his house up, and he then had it repossessed as he was in so much financial trouble and went bankrupt. See why I am worried? He is bankrupt, she has the 10k loan round her neck. His Dad got him a job at his firm, my friend gets a 9 month secondment in Switzerland, she pays for all flights for both his & hers visits. Christmas just gone she got offered a permanent position in Switzerland and she accepted. Now he lives there with her, she works, he does, well not quite sure what, according to Facebook, swim, walk, drink afternoon beers and bum around the apartment. Oh & is learning German. Apparently he won't get a job until fluent and even then may struggle. As for the wedding. Well let's just say I don't think the bankruptcy has hit home. I am one of 4 bridesmaids. The dresses are lovely. Shoes are yet to be decided but she fancies the £150 a pair John Lewis' ones for us, she says she doesn't mind buying them. We will wear them once. We all like the £30 debenhams shoes with matching ballet pumps for the pregnant bridesmaid. As for the guests, it is strict black tie for all male guests. T'husband is going to have to hire a tux. When I (among others) broached the subject to see if a black suit would surfice, groom said across Skype 'I can't understand everyone's problem with this black tie thing, it's only the cost of a suit, people should get over it'. Ok that told me! The wedding venue, discounted rooms are £175 a night, again she recently said to me she was a little upset the best man had opted for the Trsvelodge & not many were staying in the hotel. I then had to admit t'husband and I had booked the local b&b with one of the other bridesmaid & partner for both nights. As for the hen weekend well lets just say I have spent £198.00 so far on train fare & hotel before even arriving. I hope my 2nd mortgage comes through before next Friday as despite needing it, I can't bloody wait to see her again!!!

Friday, 6 July 2012

New School Year Approaching

I know it may seem odd to be already thinking about the new school year but there are a couple of logical reasons for it (well logical to my mind that is). Firstly I have today received a London 2012 Paraolympic Games package through the post containing 4 tickets and passes and an official programme thanks to the lovely people at Sainsburys! I was lucky enough to win tickets through them a while ago. I am stupidly excited about this but the events we have are on September the 4th, the kids new school year starts September the 3rd. We live in Yorkshire, the games are in London. So I have spent the day trying to work out logistics. I obviously need to ask for authorised absence for the boys - I am actually against taking kids out of school however I also feel this is a once in a lifetime experience and one which will teach them a lot especially about disabilities and how they have no need to stop you. My plan is boys start back to school on the 3rd, meet their new classes and teacher, we get the train to London Monday night, spend the following day in Olympic Park and then get the train home that night so they only miss 1day of school. My second thought about a new school year stems from the special needs teacher being on sick at the mo - long term as her husband died at Christmas, I just pray she is back in September. Last year she told us early who Little Man was going to the following year so we had about a week to prepare him for when their classes were announced. He is very out of sync at the moment and waking about 3am wanting to 'chat' or tell me about his dreams and all conversations relate to change. I am on my knees and have spoken with the headmistress and asked if we can know his teacher again to try and aleviate some of the anxiety he is experiencing. The school has just had an ofsted which wasn't great. They recognised that the infant and primary school merged a year ago so this headmistress now has 500 children under her care with 2 deputies so she is so busy it's a nightmare. Due to ofsted there is now a massive shake up of staff so they are appointing a number of new teachers. I can't complain as I feel the teaching has been excellent. Little Man has gone up 6 reading levels in a year and he can now read. Ok so his Maths and literacy is still very poor but they have done loads to help. Mini man has come on as well. Compared to our old school which had an outstanding ofsted the teaching seems better, but attendance record for this new school is very poor which ofsted don't like. The changes in teachers bring me to my third point. I was in the school office this morning and loads of candidates were arriving for interviews for the posts. Talk about me suddenly feeling my age - it was a bit of a slap in the face infact. Next year one of my sons could be being taught by a teacher, a qualified teacher who doesn't even look old enough to of taken his GCSEs, let alone have a degree. More than glad looked about 16 (but obviously weren't!). On the reverse side that must mean to them that I look ancient :(

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Should I? Shouldn't I?

As I write this I am fighting with myself as to whether I should - sounds a jumbled I know.

I really, really need to off load, to get something out and I don't know whether to, I don't know if I will regret it, I don't know what it will achieve, but to be honest I am pretty darn up happy at the moment and have been for a long time and don't really know who to turn to or what to do about it.

It is affecting everything, if I am on a bad day because of it, I sit at my computer staring out of the window or playing patience avoiding all forms of work as I can not concentrate, so sit and wallow. I can't bring myself to blog, I don't have the time as I am so disorganised with everything, and take 3 times as long to achieve simple thing, so work is behind and I am getting more and more aware if I don;t pull myself together I will stop getting work sent through, in some respects I think it has already happened. Back in February I was working on 2 main accounts with this one agency and was lined up to do a meeting in Madrid in June for project A. Project B is pretty full on at the moment as we are working towards a major European launch in September, but suddenly when I asked about what I needed to be doing towards the June meeting for Project A< I was told someone else had been getting on with it and not to worry about it. yes my hands are pretty full with Project B, but I think A were told to back off as I wasn't coping with w major projects :(

I know there will be one person reading this who is now feeling very worried about me, please don't go ringing and being concerned as my main problem is I wont really talk about it - stupid isn't it? You are probably one of the main reasons I have not spoken about it on here before as I don't want you to worry, I dont want it discussed with me or anyone else (not that I am saying you will go ringing round everyone as I know you wont, but its just like tell one person and I then might tell someone else as the first person kept it to themselves but that 2nd person might not...). I am waffling.

OH flipping, bollocking hell, I really can;t go on like this - saying it, is admitting it, admitting it is facing the bare truth.

Do I have the courage?