Friday, 29 July 2011

Emergency School Holiday Plan

I normally save this for a point later in the school summer holidays.  It's the "Emergency School Holiday Plan" which should only be deployed in case of emergencies.
Yesterday was the first day of the holidays that I was spending with Hannah and Ethan.
Last Friday didn't count because a) it was an inset day and b) Hannah spent most of the day at the local horse sanctuary having an "experience".  She was mucking out horses, preparing feed, grooming and generally having a good time and learning about horses (and pigs and goats and....because even though it's a horse sanctuary they do other things too.)
Weekends don't count because they don't and because weekends happen all year; school holidays don't.
Monday to Wednesday didn't count because the children were staying with their grandparents.
So yesterday was our first day together.  And I had an appointment with British Gas in the morning and "Fridgeman" in the afternoon.
Our boiler has been kaput for an age and this was the first time I'd been able to get an appointment on a day when I could be at home during the morning or afternoon.  And our fridge went pop earlier this week so Dave arranged for Fridgeman (nice chap from C & M Domestic Appliances) to pop round and fix the fridge (or try to).
This meant we were tied to the house and, after a DVD morning, the children needed a project.  I resorted to the tried and tested plan without any regard for the consequences: Camping in the garden.
I didn't get the big tents out, just the two man tent that Dave and I used to use.  The project involves putting the tent up, making up beds and ensuring the tent is filled with home comforts and then, the final touch, sleeping in the tent overnight.
I now have nowhere to go.  The Emergency Plan has been deployed and there is nothing left.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Maths homework

Yes really.  Maths homework.

I know, I know, 90% of you have switched off now because if there's one thing you weren't good at when you were at school it was Maths, or Math if you're American.  Well imagine you have a nine or ten year old who has come home with homework.  Do you want to know the type of homework that they might receive these days?

Well this homework wasn't received by one of my children but by a friend's.

I got this text "Hi Ann.  I hope you're well. 'Cos you're really good at maths.  How do you work out which two whole numbers between 50 and 70 which, when multiplied together produce 4095?  (Johnny's homework)  Is it a case of trial and error?"

Well firstly can I set the record straight... I used to be better than average at Maths.  I did take two Maths A Levels and even went on to study Maths at University.  The decision to study Maths at University was stupid and I should have listened to my A Level teachers who warned me that it was a stupid decision.

So anyway, can you work it out?  It's from an old SATS paper.

Is this what we expect our nine year olds to be able to do?

Monday, 18 July 2011

Diggerland June 11

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Diggerland June 11, a set on Flickr.
Diggerland trip for Hannah's birthday. If you haven't been, you should (Rochester in Kent and elsewhere around the UK).

Saturday, 16 July 2011


It's Saturday evening and if I were religious I might be preparing a confession.

I'm not religious but here's a confession anyway.

To the owner of the Seat parked outside my house, registration number ND07 KUJ, I'm sorry.

I called the police and reported it as abandoned. It was Lesley's fault really.

I'd spotted your car after it had acquired the parking ticket. I noticed that the car stayed there for a few days after the ticket was stuck to the windscreen.

Lesley deliberately bumped into me to discuss the car, suggesting I should report it.

I'm easily led and, after inspecting the car (6 month tax disc expiring at the end of the month and some collision damage on the driver's side), I called the local bobby who was a woman. What's the feminine of bobby or is it just bobby?

Nothing has happened. There's been no activity to slap an offensive "POLICE AWARE" sticker on the vehicle so I assume it's not stolen or abandoned.

And I bumped into Patrick. He'd also reported it, but to the Council, who have equally taken no action. Do the Council call the Police? Who should be notified? Where should nosey neighbours turn when their inner Neighbourhood watch emerges?

Patrick had the best idea. We should phone and make a bit of money. Now there's a thought.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Stupid design

I sometimes take pills.

Sometimes they're the compressed powder ones (like Paracetamol or Aspirin), sometimes they are the sugar coated ones (like Ibuprofen) and sometimes they are the caplets (made up word) (like Co-codamol or Fluoxetine).  (Haven't taken Fluoxetine for a while although I keep threatening to.)

The compressed powder tablets are disgusting and dry and have to be taken with water.

The sugar coated ones are yummy but only if quickly swallowed with water because as soon as that sugar coating wears off you're left with the foul taste of the drug.

The plastic caplet things are the worst by far.  In the first instance they are usually huge (except Fluoxetine which was quite modest in size).  The dumb thing about these is that they also need to be taken with water but they float.  They float!!!

You pop a caplet in your mouth and add some water and the damn caplet is floating on top of the water in your mouth and when it's floating it's further away from where it needs to be which is the throat.  All of this means that it's harder to take the medicine to the point that the caplet starts to dissolve.  And that's just gross.  You're left panicking and desperate to swallow the drugs.

Anyway all of this explains why I actually (madness and toothache apart) try and avoid pill popping.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

The ultimate strapless bra

Strapless bras are generally useless.  I've lost track of the number I've bought and discarded soon after because they simply don't work.

The first issue is that generally, in order to provide support that isn't there because of the lack of straps, they are very substantial.  This means that a low neckline can't be accommodated.

Some strapless bras are constructed of such heavyweight materials, in an attempt to provide support, that they don't mould to the body and the wearer spends all day hoiking the bra back in place.

Then there are the multiway bras which are the worst of all strapless bras.  As a bra worn with straps they are overly bulky and cumbersome and as a strapless bra they usually lack shape and support.

Wonderbra has the answer and they call it the Ultimate Strapless Bra.


I've used it, more than once, and it is, quite simply, brilliant and well worth the money (about £34).

The first this that impressed me was its ability to stay in place.  All day.  Once it's on, that's it until you, or someone else, decides it needs to come off.  And it's as comfortable as any other bra but so much better than any other strapless bra I have ever bought.

The second thing is that it can be worn with low top.  It sits quite low which means that the dip at the cleavage point is quite low.

The last thing is either a plus point or a negative depending upon your point of view.  It enhances cleavage.  I don't need or want that and I think it makes me look like a matron but there are plenty of cleavage enhancing bras on the market which tells me there's a demand.  As far as I'm concerned it's a disadvantage I'm happy to live with and I know others will see it as a bonus.