Just me 'blurbing' about life..past, present & future…family, ancestry, books, sport, crafts…whatever pops into my head!

…Way back when…!

I am a hoarder…in fact, that word probably doesn’t do myself justice…I am far bigger/better/worse/weird than a hoarder depending on whether you are for or against!

I just don’t throw anything away and still have insignificant items dating back to pre-Secondary school.  I love nothing better than to go up in the loft and just sit and go through old bags & boxes of ‘stuff’…a wee trip down memory lane can often turn into a ‘Gap year’ of sifting through old relics…it would probably bore anyone else to death apart from the people who were there at the time!

This is why I love and have decided to join in with her linky this week…her blog about Playground games took me back to my lovely village school where we had some very strange favourite games…would love to know if anyone else did these:

French Skipping: This was a more obvious one but I remember playing it for yonks…loved it..”in, out, in, off, jump, jump, off, hook feet under, over etc, I could complete it now I reckon.  It only required a length of elastic and started at your ankles then went to knees, thighsies & hipsies then back down to thinsies etc.  I will definitely be sharing this one with Little Miss Red when the time comes.

Bead Swapping: I’ve never heard of anyone else playing this outside of our school.  I had various old medicine bottles full of sequins, indian beads, moonstones and loads of random pretty buttons…you just made up your own bartering system of what you would swap for one of your finest semi-precious! Yes, of course, I stil have the box…will have to dig that out of Mum’s loft and post a pic, a beautiful wooden box made by my Dad and so much classier than some of my friends margarine tubs. When my Nana used to come over with her old necklaces, my sister & I used to sit in front of her putting our hands up for which jewel strings we wanted for our collection…weirdo’s!!!

Swing Socks: What was this all about?  Putting a tennis ball in a knee length sock, back to the wall and swinging it side to side so it hit the wall and bounced off, then lifting your leg to bounce it down there…rhyme went something like “What are you doing here, Sir…Catching Polar Bears, Sir…How many Polar Bears did you catch, Sir…1, 2, 3 etc.  The best bit was when your sock toe was so worn from it banging the brick wall that it eventually gave way and your tennis ball went wazzing across the playground.  When it suddenly became a ‘weapon, this was probably about the time of its’ demise!…shame really!

Join on for….?: Walking around the playground linking arms with whoever wanted to play whatever it was you were chanting…”join on for kiss chase, join on for kiss chase”…you never actually got around to playing Kiss Chase, it was all about creating the longest link!!  Oh what fun!!?

There were also loads of rhymes that I remember from ‘hand clap/slap’ rhyming games like…

“You’re the King & I’m the Queen, You’re the one that stole my ring and She walks with a wiggle and a wiggle and a wong, doing the Tennessee, Ping Pang Pong”

“Under the bram bush, down by the sea, sea, sea, True love for you my darling, true love for me, When we get married we’ll raise a family, so a boy for you, a girl for me, umtiddly um pum, pum pum”

“Om, pom, pey, pom-a-lay, pom-a-lassie, om pom pay, om pom pay, zaca-fari, zaca-fari, zaca-fari, poof poof”

“See see my baby, blah blah”, can’t remember more than that but remember the actions.

I’ve taught my 6 year old how to “1 potato, 2 potato, 3 potato, 4, 5 potato, 6 potato, 7 potato more, last spud’s out…” to see who takes the first turn at whatever….he loves it!

I have no idea what the boys were doing while we were doing this nonsense…probably looking at us saying “What the heck is this nonsense these weird girls are playing?”

Take a look at  a few more: that seemed to have survived!

PS….”faynights!”  I don’t even know if they were real words, certainly no idea how it would have been spelt but you would shout it with your fingers crossed which meant no one could ‘get’ you!

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Baking & Blogging

I’ve invited a friend around for a cuppa after the school run…why then does that strike the fear of God into me…errrr, must tidy/clean the house, ensure all dirty laundry actually IN the basket and not lurking at the top of the landing where sons’ flicked it off the end of their foot (nightly occurrence, they find it hilarious, me less so!) and most importantly, make sure there is something yummy in the larder to offer them.  Well the 1st 2 chores took me until now so I have only just put a cake in the oven…quite sensible at 11pm!

I love looking at other peoples blogs, especially the baking ones where it is all neatly laid out and followed step by photographic step , still looking tidy as if it were Saturday Kitchen…am I the only one who’s baking experiences could not be further from the truth?

Firstly, I never seem to have the correct sized tin, how can that be?  I have so flipping many of them, surely one must be a ‘usual’ size?

Secondly, my ‘baking’ cupboard apparently is full of stuff I never need in recipes so how did I come about buying it in the first place…(no, I don’t put calpol or marmite in my cakes!)  I have already disgarded about 20 simple recipes on account of missing joker ingredient like semolina, cornflower or Alchemilla Vulgaris!

The empty jar (bottom left) is not some vital ingredient as such but the biscuit jar and is always empty apart from on shopping days!

So anyway, after 20mins of blurbing on about my lack of baking finesse, the moment is finally here…

It’s a success…in as much as it came out of the tin in one piece and is very edible…will be even more so once the artistic lemon icing has been ‘piped’ (don’t have a piping bag so will go for the spoon drizzled effect, I am sure Tana won’t mind!) on.  I have to let it cool so will have to be a rush job tomorrow morning before school run…no pressure!

…now to dust off the posh guest mugs, they’re here somewhere…


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Hello Blogworld!

Sunday, 12 February 2012…The Sunday papers!
In the long forgotten days of yesteryear, pre-children, those golden days when you could laze around on a Sunday morning drinking tea, eating bacon butties and spreading the Sunday Times out all over the bed/ settee/living room floor are sooooooo long gone!
I still buy them occasionally to remind me of what our life used to be like and in the vague hope that those type of lazy mornings will one day revisit our home. The reality is they are now just spread over the kitchen floor to soak up the snow/rain/mud when the kids charge back in from the garden or on the dining room table to catch the glue/paint spillages when the Mister Maker box of delights comes out!
I sometimes happen to glance down and a headline grabs my attention so I just bend down and read it there, on the floor, amongst the wellies or shift a child and their work of art over a bit so I can catch the sports results.
So I guess our life hasn’t really changed that much since having 3 children in the last 6 years after all…just a few more bacon butties to be made!
Phew, what a relief!!
…Silent Sunday
Thursday, 9 February 2012…The Gallery: A Family Story

Ok, seeing as I am feeling a bit fluey with no inspiration for something to blog about today, now would seem a good time to join in The Gallery…best idea I have seen so far of getting people to join in..see Tara Cain’s The Photo Gallery
This week is ‘A Family Story’ so here is my photo…

…an easy one to choose.  My parents celebrate 50 years of marriage this coming September and are still in love after all these years.  My Dad turned 80 last August and when we asked what he fancied doing for such a momentous birthday, a nice restaurant or a trip to the Opera or Theatre…he said he just wanted to go where our children like to go so he could sit and watch them play and have fun…we all spent the day at Bushy Park and he did just that!

They have been the most incredible loving parents to my sister and I and just inspire me on a regular basis.  Along with fostering many children for as many years as I can remember, they also adopted my sister and I as babies which, in our eyes, makes them even more special.

I can’t wait to celebrate their special anniversary with them later this year.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012…Whinge on Wednesdays!

I find everybody always likes to moan on Mondays and about Mondays…understandably as they’ve usually enjoyed a fun or relaxing weekend with family or friends and now it’s all systems go, back to the grind stone etc.  In our household, it’s generally just another day with the school run thrown in just to spice it up a bit.

Being a sports photographer, CameraGuy works 99% of weekends so it’s just me and the 3 children on a Saturday & Sunday, going it alone, trying to do what the majority of families do…sports clubs/matches, day trips out, endless birthday parties and the like…but with just one pair of parenting hands.  It’s fine (knackering, sometimes relentless!) but makes Mondays less of a miserable day.

…so I thought I would try to not moan on or about Mondays…I’m going to wait for Wednesdays!  I figure my moans would just be lost amongst everyone else’s if I joined in at the start of the week.  Then I’d count to 10 or hold my tongue on Tuesdays, but on Wednesday…that’s when I am going to whinge.  If it’s still bothering me by Wednesday then I figure I have earnt the right to get it out and have a little (or a large) rant.

…so Welcome to the 1st of my ‘Whinge on Wednesdays’…the only trouble is I can’t remember what I wanted to whinge about…point to self for next week…write it down!



Tuesday, 7 February 2012…What the ‘Dickens’?

Happy Birthday to Charles Dickens then!  I’m sure he’d be delighted that Prince Charles & Camilla were sharing a cup of Rosie Lee to celebrate him being so old.

I feel like I have a small affinity with Charles (…Dickens, not the Royal one!) as my Dad has the full collection of his books and I grew up looking at the beautiful old tomes all covered in dust…it didn’t occur to me that I might actually pluck one of the shelf and read one. They didn’t sound as exciting as my Nancy Drew adventures or latest copy of Blue Jeans. I don’t recall covering his stories in English at school either although I was in more productions of A Christmas Carol than I care to remember (never a decent part..bah humbug!)  I always thought I should read them as it would’ve been a few extra points at pub quizzes if I knew who Mrs Havisham or Peggotty were.

I then spent a couple of years at college in Broadstairs and everywhere you looked were Dickens related places…mainly the pubs where I spent most of my time, The Charles Dickens & Fagins to name a few.  There was a Museum there too along with Bleak House but they weren’t really on the schedule in those carefree days.  So we were both predominantly from Kent…always a soft spot for people from the same county as me!

And now, nearly a grown up, I am finally reading my first Dickens novel, David Copperfield…inspired by the BBC’s adaptation of Great Expectations, which I loved, I suggested it to the Book Club girlies and they went along with it. I can’t deny there were a few groans when everyone’s Amazon deliveries arrived to find that it was 700+ pages of the smallest print!  I was going to borrow Dad’s dusty old copy but was snowed off at the weekend so downloaded it for free on iBooks and have got stuck in.  What a surprise to find out that it is really fun to read, not hard going at all…a bit disconcerting reading it on my iPod as only on p261 of 3893 mind!  I have also learnt what a ‘caul’ is (“I was born with a caul, which was advertised for sale, in the newspapers, at the low price of fifteen guineas“) so I reckon that could be a help in a Pub Quiz too (I don’t actually do Pub Quizzes but if I did…!). Tip…if you google what a ‘caul’ is, don’t do google images…yikes!
Having watched Sue Perkins ‘Mrs Dickens’ at Christmas, it transpires that he was actually a bit of a rogue and pretty awful to his wife (understatement) but I can’t deny, he wrote some fab stories and I will definitely dust off a few more of my Dad’s collection in the future.



Monday, 6 February 2012…Sunny & relatively snow-free in Suburbia!

I love a Monday morning, me…I am joking of course!

My husband left for Russia for the week (Sports Photographer, to be referred to as ‘Camera Guy’) so having to wake up (did I ever get to sleep?) earlier than usual in order to get 3 children changed, dressed, fed and out the door in all the attire winter requires is no mean feat…oh, and on time occasionally, not really my idea of fun.

I used to struggle being on time when it was just me…I was the eternal optimist where time was concerned believing I could cross from one side of London to the other in approx 10mins but never quite succeeding. I have slowly realised (it took the 3rd baby to arrive) that you need to allow a minimum of hour an hour to actually make it out the door with everyone and everything. Sometimes I fall back into that unrealistic optimist mode and have the embarrassment of traipsing via the school office en mass, double buggy, school bag, water bottle etc to fill out the ‘late arrival’ book…love the section where you have to put the reason for your child’s lateness, it’s a smaller box than where you fill in your child’s name…unrealistic really given that I could fill a couple of pages on the reasons why…!

However this morning, 6yr old son managed to squeeze through the gap as the school gate was closing saving me the hassle of writing in the ‘book of shame’! To celebrate our achievement we went into town and slumped in Nero’s for coffee & croissants.

Now why can’t all Monday mornings be like this?




Sunday, 5 February 2012…In the beginning…!

…so I guess there is no time like the present, even though ‘that’ time is nearly 11pm on a frozen Sunday evening following 2 sleepless nights. My vision is blurred and my head slightly fuzzy and it’s nothing to do with the empty glass of red sat by my side…honest!

Just in case I wasn’t ‘quite’ busy enough, I have taken the jump after vague mumblings on other social network sites, namely FB & Twitter, of starting to blog…I don’t know why because I really don’t have the time but I am in real need of trying something new.  Having been on maternity for what feels like the last 6 years with a short hop back to work in between the 3 children, I am in grave danger of succumbing to nappy brain and I am fighting back!

I generally have a lot to say on all manner of topics & interests but most of the words that currently come out of my mouth consist of ‘hurry up’, ‘eat up’, ‘tidy up’ and ‘CAREFUL!!’…the last one usually yelled after the event..pointless!  I figure no one listens to me at home so why not blog a bit to no one in particular and if anyone actually decides to listen..well that will be a nice surprise.  I’m also a good listener so I am looking forward to reading lots of other peoples blogs.

This feels like a big step into the unknown and I am preparing for the stumbles, falls and full-on face plants that will definitely happen while I find my footing.  I would appreciate any comments & advice from all you experienced bloggers as well as newcomers like myself.  I hope as it goes along, I will find some semblance of order/organisation in my blurb…oh actually, strike that, it’s highly unlikely..order & organisation is a distant memory from my work life, I much prefer chaos & disorder, so will continue in that vein.

So that’s it folks (how many people have signed off with that old Warner Bros line?) humble beginnings as a ‘blogster’..improvements & updates soon.