Sunday, 30 September 2007

Poor parenting

I'm not very good at taking criticism, especially regarding my parenting skills.

This is not through some overblown notion that I'm perfect, far from it. I know I have many flaws and my problem is when the criticism touches a nerve and I recognise the truth therein.

I'll give you the latest incident that came in for criticism.

Hannah has a tiara, bought on Saturday, to wear at her uncle's wedding in a months time.

She wanted to show off her tiara for visitors who popped in today. Just before they knocked on the door she refused to put the tiara on.

I said that if she wasn't prepared to wear the tiara for our guests then I would have to assume she wouldn't be prepared to wear it in front of everyone at the wedding, so I might as well take it back to the shop.

She put the tiara on her head, it was admired and it isn't going back to the shop as a result.

Apparently this approach will make Hannah feel she must always please me and put her in fear of me. She will go through life worrying "what will my mother think?"

There is some truth in this and this is what is making me feel inadequate, useless, pathetic and sorry for my children for having to put up with such a poor mother.

Saturday, 29 September 2007

Tables turned

We had lunch in M&S today.

The kiddie offering was a picnic bag containing organic apple juice, organic raisins, cheese triangle biscuits, chocolate lollipop and yummy sandwiches.

The yummy sandwiches were to be selected at the checkout. Given the upmarket sounding organic contents of the remainder of the selection, I was optimistic about the 'yummy' sandwiches.

How disappointing then to have the choice of either tuna, or cheese, both housed in white bread.

Anyway this lunch consumption had to be supervised. It's commonly understood that before one gets ones paws on a chocolate lollipop one needs to consume ones savouries.

The frequent cajoling of my two took a familiar form. "Eat your sandwiches and cheese triangles and then you can have your chocolate lollipop."

The cafe was crowded and my verbal encouragement became more consistent and insistent as I felt guilty about occupying a table for so long because my children were eating exceptionally slowly.

After chivvying Ethan just one more time that was tolerable for him, he responded with "I'll eat if just stop talking!"

That told me.

Friday, 28 September 2007


I know I've mentioned that there's a filthy rumour that our house is haunted but I'm beginning to wonder whether there's substance to the claim.

Things have been going missing for as long as I can remember but I've always put that down to my forgetfulness and untidiness.

Yesterday evening Hannah was transferring DVDs from a travel CD case back into the DVD cases. There was one (High School Musical) for which the case wasn't on the shelf, but I knew where it was. Hannah wouldn't have known where to put that DVD without having a case to hand.

This morning I asked her where the DVD was. I looked for the DVD (because a friend wants to borrow it for her children). I cannot find the DVD but Hannah assures me she saw it yesterday and couldn't find its case.

There are only a limited number of places where a Hannah could have put the DVD and I have almost, but not quite, turned the house upside down looking for it today. Nothing.

Could we have a cheeky poltergeist or is it just that my daughter has inherited my ready ability to misplace items?

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Nuisance calls

Recently I've been increasingly annoyed by sales calls.

We signed up to the Telephone Preference Service years ago and for many years we had peace and quiet. We had been abandoned by those wanting us to take out a loan, remortgage the house, buy double glazing, write our wills, invest in a new kitchen, etc.

The last few months have seen these calls returning and these people have picked on the wrong person.

I wait patiently for the caller to advise me of the reason for the call. I ask for the name of the company, the individual calling and their telephone number and location.

I then politely advise them that they shouldn't be calling me because we've signed up to the Telephone Preference Service and that I will be reporting the company for not following the appropriate procedures.

When apologies are offered I am grateful but advise that this will not change my decision to report the company.

When they advise me they'll remove my details from their list, I tell them that removing me won't solve the problem it's their processes that need changing.

The last unwanted call I received was from a company trying to promote voice over internet phone (VOIP) calls.

I went through my usual routine but with a difference. This time I followed through with my threat to report the offence. This is easily done with a visit to the TPS website.

Today I received a letter from TPS, which wasn't unexpected. Having complained before I knew this would be a letter advising that the complaint was received and would be processed.

It wasn't. The letter said "We have no record of you on our database."


Wednesday, 26 September 2007


We were talking today about the shocking behaviour of mothers who live 20 yards from the school and still choose to get in their cars, or more likely 4x4s.

Well we don't live 2o yards away, but the school is just a couple of streets away, and so is the nursery. When I was on maternity leave I usually walked to nursery but things have changed now I'm back at work.

In the morning we drive our children to school and nursery en route to work and pick them up on the way back from work. On days when I don't work, we always walk (rain, snow, sleet - always).

Anyway the conversation made me feel guilty so I finished work a little bit earlier than normal today so decided to walk. It was chilly but the sun was shining.

I was feeling virtuous. I collected Hannah and we started to walk to nursery. Hannah loved walking, although actually she skipped most of the way. I thought it was lovely that when she's happy she skips rather than walks. How fantastic to have that much energy and enthusiasm towards the end of the day.

We reached nursery and Ethan was delighted to see us. He always runs up to me and leaps at me when I pick him up. I have to be ready to catch him otherwise I get knocked over.

After getting our happy, smiley boy ready with his coat on we prepared to walk home. And realised it was chucking it down. And I wasn't wearing a coat, or jacket and I didn't have an umbrella.

The children did not look happy about the prospect of a wet walk home. I called Dave thinking he might be on his way home and perhaps he could divert to pick us up. He hadn't left the office, so we braved it.

I got soaked. And instead of feeling virtuous, I felt cold and miserable when I got home.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Give one, get one

You'll be familiar with BOGOF (buy one get one free) from your trip around the supermarket.

Today I learnt about G1G1 - give one, get one.

It's a simple idea. You buy a cheap laptop and the price that you pay is sufficient to cover the cost of a second laptop which is given to a child in a developing country.

Anyway I thought it was a damn sight better in principle than the usual Tesco offering which means you have two of something when you only wanted one.

Here's a link that tells you all about it:

Monday, 24 September 2007

Women are from Venus

As a women I am able to claim the ability to multitask. Similarly I can claim to lack a highly developed spatial awareness, something that is usually more of an inherent male ability.

These are things that are generally acknowledged by both men and women. I'm not entirely convinced.

Today, as I drove into the station car park, I was listening to the radio and I was also thinking about stuff, also known as daydreaming.

There were quite a few spaces, but the one I had my eye on was at the end of the row. I normally like to reverse into a parking spaces because it makes for a quick getaway and it's also something that I was taught on a driving course. In order to reverse into this space I needed to turn the car around and then reverse.

The space between the lines of cars made a three point turn impossible so I needed to use another parking space to make the turn possible.

Let's just check what's going on in my head right now. The radio is still on, I'm still thinking about stuff, I'm doing mental manipulation of 3D objects to work out this parking manoeuvre and I'm also driving the car.

I reversed out of my turning space when "crunch" happened. I had reversed into a 4x4.

I got out and checked for damage and there was none on either vehicle, so I got back in, and to hide my embarrassment I just parked, nose in, in the space I had intended to use for turning.

I was embarrassed because the parking distance sensors had been working, I just hadn't processed the noise.

So I managed to demonstrate my lack of spatial awareness, but I also managed to show complete inability to multitask.

Sunday, 23 September 2007

The smallest things

Sometimes it's easy to forget what it is that's a big deal for small children.

I go to work and see the office as a drab, grey place that is only given life by the people in it. I took the children into work on Friday and they saw it differently:
  • It's a huge building with lots of car parks and therefore lots of cars.
  • You have to go through Security to get a badge that allows you into the building and to get into the building you have to use a turnstile.
  • To move between floors there are stairs, escalators and stairs.
  • The corridors seem never ending with secret areas obscured by cube walls.
  • There are computers everywhere.
  • Everyone has a swivel chair and a telephone.
  • People have toys near their desks like model cars and vans.
  • Offices have large white boards offering endless creative possibilities.
  • People treat children as special guests.

It's still possible to read the above list as an adult and consider it unremarkable, but if I read with a child's view, I remember how exciting it was to visit Dad's office, and his office was equally unremarkable.

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Environmentally friendly

I think the blue tit I cruelly murdered (or was it bird slaughter) had friends in the underbelly of the animal kingdom.

I went into the bathroom this morning and spotted a few wasps. A bleary eyed count of wasps numbered 17, which is a lot of wasps. Some were dead, most alive although a little dopey, a bit like me first thing in the morning.

I looked out of the window at the old overflow pipe that used to lead to the water tank before we installed a combi boiler. The last time we had a wasp nest, the buggers were using the pipe to gain easy access to the loft. Not on this occasion though.

After the usual Saturday morning routine of getting everyone up and breakfasted then carting Hannah off to gymnastics I had the time to take a closer look.

This time the stripey beasts were making a beeline (intentional and quite good pun I thought) for the corner of the front loft, and there were lots of them.

I reached for the yellow pages and under 'Pest Control' there were plenty of firms claiming '1 Hour Callout, 'Sameday Service', 'Emergency Response'. I discovered these claims were only valid if 'it wasn't a Saturday', 'they hadn't gone away for the weekend' or 'they could be bothered'. Eventually I found a company that promised a call within two hours.

The nest is now sprayed with noxious chemicals, as is half of the house, but the wasps are now no more, although they did have a manic hour or so of being really angry.

So I killed a blue tit yesterday and hundreds of wasps today. I doubt I can claim to be environmentally friendly.

Friday, 21 September 2007

I didn't mean to

Ethan has some stock phrases when he's caught doing something he shouldn't.

"It wasn't me." and "I didn't mean to." which, if you think about it, are contradictory.

Well today it was me, but I didn't mean to.

I have no idea how it got there, but this afternoon there was a blue tit in our study/computer room/office/spare room. It was very much alive and trying to fly through the closed window. This room is the farthest room along the upstairs landing and I'd just returned to the house which had been left with windows and doors firmly closed. If the cat had brought it in then it was showing remarkable good health, considering.

I don't think I panicked but I definitely wanted to get the bird out of the house as quickly as possible.

In front of the window is a large desk. It's far too big for the room but, when we looking for desks, Dave said he wanted a large desk so that's what we bought. This means that getting to the window to open it is not easy, especially if you're only five inches over five foot in height.

The other thing that made it tricky is that it's an old sash window and therefore a bit 'sticky'.

And finally it's difficult to concentrate on the task in hand when there's a blue tit flapping around the room.

I had the presence of mind to close the door so that once I opened the window the bird would have just one escape route.

As I fiddled with the bottom sash, forcing it upwards I hadn't been paying attention to the whereabouts of the tit.

Oops. Somehow the blue tit's neck was caught between the two sash windows as I was applying pressure and although I stopped as soon as I realised what was happening it didn't take long for the flapping, or any sign of life to stop.

As the bird was now lifeless it went limp and became more and more wedged between the two windows. Every time I moved the window the situation became worse.

With the aid of a spoon (don't ask why a spoon was in the study) I managed to extract the bird. Baby wipes were used to clean up the blood and left a messy smear where the blood had been.

So I had dead blue tit in hand and an open window at this point. I figured that if the cat had caught the bird, something it hasn't done in the last ten years, then it deserved a meal, so I threw the bird out of the window.

I think this means I'm guilty of bird slaughter and callous disposal of the body.

I didn't mean to.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

First base

Facebook has the functionality to allow you to ask friends a question and they have the option to respond if they want to.

I was clicking through questions yesterday and came across "Do you kiss on a first date?"

Well clearly, as a married woman, I don't go on first dates very much these days so I raided the memory banks.

I think that, for all of my first dates, I had kissed before the date. I'm not sure that paints a very positive picture but allow me to explain how I justify this to myself.

To put it simply, what's the point of going on a date if you know the kissing is going to be rubbish? And kissing tells you all lot more about a potential date than just the kissing.

All of this means a lot of kissing because you have to find the good ones worthy of a date. I think the phrase is that one has to kiss a lot of frogs before one finds the prince.

I'm still not sure that paints a very good picture...

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Ooo now there's a question

What are the five things you'd change to improve your satisfaction with your job and your company?

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Test of reasonableness*

If a couple are married or co-habiting then should they act like a couple or act like a couple of individuals?

Let me give you a scenario.

If my husband wanted to go for a four hour bike ride on a Sunday morning, which of the following courses of action should he follow?
a) check with me that I don't mind
b) tell me that he's going without asking
c) just go and leave a note

I don't think this is a difficult quandry but let me give you a different scenario.

My husband knows that if he asks me if he can go for a bike ride, I'll likely say no because we've already arranged to go to the park with the children. He still wants to go for the bike ride. Which of the following should he do?
a) check with me that I don't mind
b) tell me that he's going without asking
c) just go and leave a note

d) tell me he has to go into work, but secretly go for the bike ride

I tend to think there is a test of reasonableness and that test runs along the lines of 'do unto others as you would have them do to you'.

But what would you do?

*any resemblance to any persons living is entirely coincidental (or similar caveat)

Monday, 17 September 2007

Don't listen to the news

I went to bed early last night. My body needed a bit of recuperation time after a nasty tummy bug over the weekend.

I didn't watch the news yesterday, I didn't listen to the news. Come to think of it I haven't absorbed the news for a few days because of lack of opportunity/interest.

Today as I walked into the train station I noticed a distinct lack of people. I walked straight to the ticket desk. This is unusual. Normally I wait behind at least 15 people all of whom are struggling into consciousness in the quueue.

I was running a little late, maybe 10 minutes, but this didn't really explain the lack of people; I've been running late before and it's never been this quiet.

As I walked towards the platforms I noticed the displays for train arrivals were displaying a service message: "The RMT Union has called off its industrial action planned for Sunday 16th and Monday 17th September."

Perhaps all of my usual fellow travellers had made other arrangements or perhaps there's another more obscure reason. Either way it made me realise that, sometimes, media consumption is a negative thing.

Sunday, 16 September 2007

People only get married in the summer

We went shopping for a bridesmaid/flowergirl dress yesterday.

Did you know people only get married in the summer?

John Lewis had no stock of any dress that was remotely suitable. Their explaination, when questioned, was that they only get one delivery of wedding 'stuff' a year, and that's in February. Once it's sold, it's sold. It's September, and it's sold.

Marks and Spencer, when a similar lack of stock was apparent, explained that the wedding stock had been removed to make way for Christmas.

These weren't the only stores to demonstrate a clear bias towards the summer wedding.

Fortunately, amongst the dregs left from the summer wedding buyers, we found the most beautiful dress, but this didn't detract from the annoyance at the wedding attire strategy demonstrated most clothing retailers.

And what's wrong with getting married in the winter anyway? My anniversary is in December.

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Call the cops

Hannah brings a book home every day from school which has to be read by Hannah to someone before she returns to school the next day.

Friday's book was "My Friend Whale" which is a moving story of a boy who has a blue whale for a friend. As the story unfolds the reader learns amazing facts about blue whales. At the end of the book, the boy is no longer visited by the whale and the boy fears that the whale won't return.

At the end of the book there's a brief description of the extent of diminishing whale numbers and the causes, together with suggestions of organisations to contact if more information is wanted.

Ths evening Hannah said "I want to stop the people who kill the whales." "How do you want to do that?" I asked.

She thought.

"I'll call the police."

Friday, 14 September 2007

Pain or pleasure

Dave has muscular problems. He sees a physiotherapist every week or so to have some serious pain inflicted. This always strikes me as a little strange but, as he tells me he feels better afterwards, I let it go.

Dave couldn't always get physio appointments when he needed them and was talking to the physio who recommended that he buy a Backnobber II.

Being a gadget nerd, Dave took the bait and purchased one.

Anyway the point of the post is to provide a third party recommendation for the Backnobber II.

As I arrived back from the gym tonight Dave was applying his Backnobber II to a variety of pressure points along the spine and had been for 34 minutes.

Apparently it's really good....

I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Cruelty to babysitters

We went out the other evening while Mel came over to babysit.

When we came back it was dark. I mean everything was dark. The sky was dark but so was our house.

I was confused because I knew I'd left a couple of lights on before we left the house and I had expected, as it became darker, that Mel would have turned more lights on.

As we drew closer to the house we saw a glow from the living room, a telltale sign that the TV was on.

We crept into the house worried about waking Mel, and then I thought we might scare her unless we did make some noise, so we became excessively noisy.

Mel explained.

All of a sudden, during the evening, all the downstairs lights had gone off. Mel hadn't known how to fix this, even after a call to her hubby.

We're not unused to this phenomenon. It happens when any one bulb downstairs blows. The fuse trips and all lights on the downstairs lighting circuit are immediately without power.

So the next time we leave a babysitter in our house, we think we need to provide a torch and directions to the fuse box. Leaving someone who's doing you a favour sat in the dark, when they brought a book to wile away the hours, is just plain cruel.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007


A while ago I told you the sorry tale of my binoculars.

Well add the following items to the list of things I want to find:

My silver dolphin bracelet watch - bought on ebay for about £16. I know it's not worth much but I love it and it's been missing for about two months.

The DVD remote control - I'm pretty sure that there are some functions I can only access using the remote control. I am surviving without it, but it's disappearance is annoying.

Monday, 10 September 2007

Incy Wincy

We have an unofficial pet.

Hannah received a bug collectors kit for her birthday and we had some free time on Thursday in which we could play with it. The kit had bug collecting tubes with lids, a mesh covered box to store little beasties and a jar with a magnifying glass in the lid for close observation.

We started by collecting ants, but they were boring after a while so Hannah moved onto a different activity.

A couple of days later I found Spidey spider next to the shower. He's a reasonable size and quite pretty. I put him in the viewing jar and when Hannah woke up I showed her Spidey.

I managed to find a fly who was a bit dopey for Spidey's lunch. The fly didn't last long.

I found a dead fly for dessert but Spidey wasn't interested.

The next day there was a daddy longlegs (crane fly) hanging about not doing much in the kitchen. He was easily persuaded to join Spidey. Daddy Longlegs didn't last very long either.

Now I don't want Spidey to die on my watch but I don't want to have to keep collecting live meals to keep him (or her) going. And Hannah says we can't let him go. What should I do?

How to start drinking at lunchtime and avoid a hangover

1. Take a Piriton tablet in the morning
2. Have a Lemsip at lunchtime
3. Have a reasonable lunch
4. Drink gin and tonic (copious quantities)
5. Have greasy burger at train station on way home
6. Drink pint of water just before bed
7. Wake up early and drink another pint of water
8. Cook a decent breakfast and eat it (bacon and eggs must be included)

I think this is the formula that worked for me. The problem is that I'm not sure which elements are the key factors and which were just coincidental. Additionally I've included all of the details that I consider salient but I could have omitted some. Should I, perhaps, have included 5.5 Take cab back from train station, or 5.8 Wait two hours after getting home before you go to bed? There are other examples of items omitted but I'm not sure they're relevant, hence the omission.

Maybe you could try my method and tell me if it works for you. Perhaps I should engage on a serious of scientific experiments in which I vary the list and judge the effects.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Food for thought

My husband and I are very different.

When we've returned home after a trip out I will generally want to sit quietly and have a cup of tea or just sit and not do much.

Dave is into action mode even before we're in the house. Within minutes of arriving home this evening he'd unpacked the car, sorted the kids tea, sorted and put the recycling out, changed three sets of bed linen, put a wash on, sorted some other laundry into various different piles.

I managed to sit down and chat to the children and run a bath for them, which I do consider to be a value added exercise because, had I not done that then they would have been bugging Dave and he wouldn't been half as productive.

I can't imagine how terrible life would be if I'd married someone like me - now there's food for thought.

Saturday, 8 September 2007

The things kids say

Recently, in a restaurant on holiday, there was a young waiter attending to our table who was bald but had a beard.

Ethan said to the waiter "You've got no hair."

We died from embarrassment. I don't know why. He was only stating a fact.

The waiter had more of a sense of humour and replied "Oh no! Where's it gone? Where's my hair gone?"

Hannah joined the conversation with "It's on your chin" in a tone that implied he must be joking because it was obvious his hair was on his chin.

Friday, 7 September 2007


I've told you a million times, I don't exaggerate.


How is it possible for me to drink 8,384 gin and tonics (and a bucks fizz) and not be comatose?

Thursday, 6 September 2007

It's easy isn't it?

Most people believe we should be recycling more but I wonder how many people buy a product based on it's recycling potential.

Currently our local council will collect and recycle: tin and steel cans, paper (not shredded), cardboard (not plasticised and not Tetrapak), glass (but not broken and no metal lids or caps), plastic (PP Polypropylene and PET Polyester only).

This means that a whole array of items end up in landfill.

There are some easy conventional ways to increase the amount of packaging that is recycled: educate the consumer and encourage purchases of items that can be recycled, and persuade councils to collect and recycle more types of plastic.

Alternatively there's my plan.

I propose that goods should only be sold in materials that are recycled by 90% of local authorities.

This would mean the end of Tetrapak or any other mixed material packaging. It would also reduce the proliferation of plastics that, while recycling is possible, aren't currently collected. And it must be possible, mustn't it?

I wonder which way is, ultimately, the easiest?

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Strategies on the hoof

Tube strikes are a pain.

When I used to work near Victoria and there was a tube strike I used to resort to the bus. Clearly I wasn't the only one doing this which meant that the bus stop next to Victoria station was very busy.

I could have done the traditionally British thing of queueing politely and waiting my turn, but I didn't. I walked about 20 yards away from the bus stop and waited until my bus drew near. As it slowed down I ran after it and hopped on the back. That meant that when the bus came to a stop, I was already on the bus and didn't have to fight for a space like all of the polite people at the bus stop. (I know - nasty person aren't I?)

This week I knew there was a tube strike affecting my usual route. I figured that some people would opt for the bus alternative but I only assumed I'd see a slight increase in bus queue volume. How stupid.

At Liverpool Street as I made my way to the bus stop I noticed that the gallery level was full of hundreds of people looking down onto the station concourse. A closer look revealed that all of these people were queueing for buses.

I went out onto the road and saw that the taxi situation was equally ridiculous.

I walked back to the bus area and saw the bus I needed leaving. No chance to do the Routemaster trick of hopping on the back because Ken Livingstone has killed them all. I had foolishly left the house without a tube map or an AtoZ so I resorted to following the bus, on foot.

For the first couple of streets I was keeping up with the bus. I thought about trying to find a bus stop far enough away from Liverpool Street for the bus to have emptied a little, and also for a bus stop to be uncrowded.

I did think that strategy was a bit daft but, while I was keeping up with the bus, I didn't care.

Just as the bus was going out of sight, I spotted a sign for Moorgate station and I had a vague memory of Moorgate being on the Northern Line, one of only three lines operating.

I diverted, and the rest is history.

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Organisational skills - part deux

In addition to yesterday's pathetic last minute sorting of the library summer read project, I also found myself sorting out last minute school uniform buys.

Shoes were first on the list and were sorted quickly. Writing this reminds me that I haven't bought plimsolls. Note to self: task for the weekend.

Last week I'd bought school pinafores and polo shirts. The polo shirts are supposed to bear the school emblem. I cheated this year and bought plain polo shirts. My thinking is that if they are worn under a pinafore then the embroidered emblem is obscured, so why pay the extra?

The thing that was still on the list, because that does require a trip to the school uniform shop, is a trio of cardigans bearing the school emblem.

I owned up to my lack of forward planning and someone mentioned that the school uniform shop had moved. It's a good job someone told me because I could have turned up to an empty retail outlet and resorted to hair pulling and wailing.

At 4:45pm on the day before the first day back at school, I found myself at the end of a queue that stretched out of the school uniform shop onto the pavement. Five minutes before the shop closed I reached the counter. I bought the last three cardigans in Hannah's size. That's what I call cutting it fine.

Monday, 3 September 2007

Organisational skills

Today was my last day of a 26 day break from work. It is also the day before the first day of the new school year.

Over the summer libraries nationwide have been conducting a programme to encourage reading during the summer holidays. They do this every year and this summer's theme was 'The Big Wild Read' - something to do with the environment.

The theme varies but the concept remains the same year on year. A sticker chart record of book records is issued and stickers awarded for each book completed. If six books are read though the holidays then a medal and certificate are awarded.

It's a reasonable programme and, for children who stay at home with their mothers for all of the six weeks of the break, it's easily achievable.

Our lives are a little more hectic. Reading the books is not a problem, but scheduling six visits to the library presents more of a challenge. So we cheat.

We get away with taking two completed books in for each visit.

Last week I had planned to do the final trip to the library, collecting the last stickers and enabling Hannah to collect a medal and to be presented with her certificate in a special school assembly.

Plans are all very well but one needs a back up plan when the first one is scuppered.

The children spent longer at their grandparents last week than we had predicted. On their return we bundled them in a car to go away for the weekend.

Panic set in today as I knew this was my last chance. I heard from another school mum that the programme finished last Saturday.

I went to library sheepishly and pleaded. Luckily I didn't need to pinch or kick Hannah to induce a hysterical screaming fit to help me get my way; The staff were used to parents who just weren't quite organised enough and they added Hannah's name to the list. Her medal will be ready for collection next week and her certificate guaranteed before half term.

Mission accomplished. Phew!

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Living in IKEA

IKEA has a strategy of arranging the store as a series of rooms so that consumers feel that they too can live the IKEA way.

It's a bit like the strategy I once heard about the importance of mirrors in a house that you're trying to sell. Apparently if the potential buyer is viewing a house and looks into the mirror they then see themselves, but in your house. Psychologically that's supposed to help them envisage living in the house and thus buying it. This could be utter codswallop of course, who knows?

I've often wondered whether living in an IKEA house would live up to the dream of the marketing both in the catalogue and the store.

I had the chance to find out. Our holiday home was almost exclusively filled with IKEA furniture, crockery, kitchen utensils, linen etc..

It does work. In fact I now need a trip to IKEA to buy loads of things that I wouldn't have picked off the shelves but, having used them and lived with them, I now need them.