Tuesday, July 29, 2014

time-travelling tuesday (part 12)

4th April 1988
We went to visit Martin Scott. [The one with the broken leg - see last post.]  It was boiling.  I could have sizzled like a sausage.

5th April 1988
Quite hot but not as hot as yesterday.  I saw a bee three times today.  Tonight I am going to read Son of a gun.

6th April 1988
We saw Junior Mr Fly.  In other words Mr Fly Junior.  This morning Kerry and I were swimming.  We had a barbecue.

7th April 1988
Donna, I've got something to tell you.  I'm going to buy a Gordon the Gopher.  I've got enough money to buy one.  I went to granny's house to earn some money.  We stuck an L plate on her back.  She went to huntly with it on and everyone was laughing at her.  We earned £5 each.  We sang her our cool song.  [This day could have a whole post of its own, my funniest childhood memory, probably.]

mum mum 8th April 1988 mum
Today it was windy then rainy then windy then rainy then snowy.  I got 70p for helping with the sticks.  Kerry and I did a play for mum and dad

9th April 1988
It was Pinknosewinkypoos birthday.  [He was my cuddly toy cow with a name chosen with help from my granny, she of the L plate debacle.]  I don't know what else to write apart from I am wearing plain white ankle socks.  Kerry only has to get 95p until she can buy a Gordon the Gopher.

10th April 1988
Last night dad videod taped Police Academy and I watched it this morning.  We were looking after Linsay and she never cried once.  I got an easter egg, a T shirt and 2 pairs of socks.

Monday, July 28, 2014

library luck (again)

Dulcie tried to veto this book when I found it in the library recently.  She refused to listen to it for the first few days.  But I persevered.  I knew she'd love it eventually, though I didn't realise she'd love it quite so much as she does.  She chooses this every bedtime and her face while we read it is a (delightful) picture.  Her mouth hangs agape as the boy does something scary and she gasps and beams as the dog stops him doing anything too scary.  It's a lovely book, it really is.  We might have to invest in our own copy.

I blogged about another Helen Stephens book once before, also brilliant.  She's an author/illustrator worth looking out for, for sure.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

note to self (you don't need to read this)

Poster / silk-screen crowd #02-La pool
Beautiful swimming poster/print by Virginie Morgand.  I discovered her etsy shop this week and immediately favourited about 50% of her listings.  So good.

I'm feeling utterly broken today.  Dulcie's sleeping issues (and general clinginess...clingyness?) are wearing me down, big time.  Things had improved and she has been sleeping right through, or settling herself when she woke up, fairly often.  But the last couple of nights she has been back to having me up constantly from 1 or 2 am.  Last night, after hours of hysterical screaming, I ended up caving in and sleeping in her bed with her, clinging on for dear life all night and hating myself for not standing my ground, knowing it was the worst thing to do in the long term.  Graham had promised to take Dulcie out today to give me some much-needed space (also because he was out solo all afternoon and evening yesterday, so owes me) but the few hours of this morning were hard to get through and now, even though they've finally left, I feel like a switch has been flicked and I can't flick it back.  BROKEN INSIDE.  Sometimes I don't think I like being a mum.  That sounds awful, doesn't it?  But I feel comfortable enough saying it because I love Dulcie so dearly and wouldn't have things any other way, of course.  But I'm broken.  Oh, I said that already.

Our house is a bloody disaster area.  There will be something where it's not supposed to be and Dulcie or the cats (the effing cats! aaaargh!) will spot it and drag it out and spread it all over the house.  I turn my back to sort one thing and another thing is speedily destroyed behind me.  I want to have a nice day to myself today, maybe even do some nice things to the house, like hang some pictures in Dulcie's room, but once everyone had left and I could stop and look around, I realised that by the time I tidy up today's mess and go to the shops for essentials like food and toilet roll, they will be back and Dulcie will be limpeted onto me until I leave for work tomorrow.  I can't stop thinking, "What is the point?"  About everything.  Of course, there is more behind this than a lack of sleep and a messy house, but to go down that road really would take all day.

So, what's good?  Well, Dulcie is!  She's funny and sweet.  Her brain is dreaming up a load of nonsense.  She lies hilariously about what she's been doing with her days, write songs constantly ("It's the trainer shoe, trainer shoe, trainer shoe sooooooong!" on an ascending scale was the grand finale of one) and makes up words that make perfect sense.  I stormed into her room with my hair all bed-headed and crazy.  She stopped crying instantly and said, "Mummy, what has happened?!  You hair is all skeltered!"  Skeltered?  Where did she get that from?  But it described my hair perfectly.  I love her brain.

Other good stuff?  Well, we went out on our bikes again yesterday.  Graham found a way to get to the pool without going on the roads much at all.  I had to get off and push at every hill (and there were MANY) but I made it, was noticeably more confident on my wheels and had another lovely cycle home via the canal paths.  At the pool I swam ten lengths and felt good to swim many more, only Dulcie wouldn't allow it.  I'm still planning to go swimming on my own again this Tuesday and am REALLY looking forward to it.  I still can't stop eating things I shouldn't, but I feel like this is a good and maintainable improvement to my lifestyle.  My bum is sore again from the bike, but not nearly as sore as it was last time.  Do they toughen up as you cycle more?

It's not long until we go on holiday and I CAN'T WAIT.  We have three holidays lined up between now and the end of the year, one of them especially exciting.  I'll blog about it some other day.

My mum and dad are nearly ready to move into their new house.  Dulcie and I are going to see it with them for the first time on Tuesday.  Exciting!  My parents will be 20 minutes away, rather than 4+ hours away.  Dulcie will go for sleepovers and my mum and dad will pop through to take her out and help me when I feel ill.  Graham and Dulcie and I will have a lovely homely home to visit for nice lunches, dinners, afternoons in the garden.

My friend is going to lend me her car while she is abroad for six months.  I'll be able to see how much of a difference it makes to our life and make an informed decision about whether it would be worth our while to invest in a car of our own.  We'll be able to do supermarket shops and not have to carry home bags pack-horse style, we'll be able to go on day trips, I'll be able to get to work on Sundays!  We're so lucky that this has all fallen into place and my friend has been so generous.  (Let's not talk about how terrified I am to get back behind the wheel!)

Some little bits of our house are getting excitingly good.  I'll have some amazing furniture to share here soon and we got it for FREE!

So there is plenty of good stuff.  I feel better now, slightly less broken.  I'm off to make the most of my empty :)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

little drummer

Graham found this drum machine thingummy in our back lane recently.  One of our neighbours had thrown it out.  He brought it in and we were surprised to discover it actually works.  Graham has often spoken about buying one of these and he's not the only one who loves it.  Dulcie will play with it for ages.  We did give her some beaters, but she prefers to use mismatched kitchen utensils.  We don't know which of our neighbours originally owned this, but we do wonder if they can hear it from their flat and if they are tearing their hair out, going, "Aaaargh!  I thought I'd got rid of that infernal racket!"

Graham is one of those people with an uncanny knack for finding things in bins and skips... i.e. a tramp!  Ha!

PS, I don't know what was going on with Dulcie's fuzzball hairdo on this day.  It has been very humid.

Friday, July 25, 2014

wallpaper ptaste (the p is silent)

 See what I did with that title?  Oh, me...

We are in the process of choosing wallpaper for our tiny and dark hallway.  Not having found anything in our original price range that we remotely liked, we're now looking at all the expensive wallpapers we discounted for their price in the early stages.  Our hall is so tiny that we're hoping we won't need many rolls at all to cover it.  

Last weekend we went to John Lewis and spent ages looking through all their books before ordering these samples.  I was a bit disappointed the pieces they sent were so tiny (A4 sized) because you don't even see the whole pattern on many of them and it makes it really difficult to imagine the wallpapers in situ.

What do you think?  The three on the right-hand side are definite nos, even though the hexagon one is possibly my favourite of all.  Graham has vetoed it.  To be honest, in the space it's intended for, it looks more grey than I'd imagined.  But it is beautiful hand-printed paper.  I'm glad just to have the sample.
 This one is looking like it might be the dark horse of the pack.  Things we were not looking for: big pink flowers, a white background, Orla Kiely (I love her but see some of her designs too much to be able to live with them) and this is all of those things, but it works somehow.  It's nice and bright in the space, pretty but geometric, '70s but modern.  When you see more of the pattern, you can see the flowers are grouped in hexagons.  (I'll have hexagons one way or another!  Ha!)  A definite contender.
 This pink one (brighter in real life) also seems to work well in the space, but I do worry it might be slightly cliched in its Japaneseyness?  Is it Japanesey?  It does have the advantage of a colourful background with white accents to brighten it, rather than vice versa.  This is more what I had in mind, I think.  Again, it would have been nice to have got a bigger sample.
I'm sorely tempted by this one too.  Turquoise and gold?  Yes, please!  When the light hits the gold, it is beautifully glinty, but we don't have much light in our hall and the turquoise background is very deep and dark.  I worry it might be a bit too much/too dark.

In the process of writing this post, I think I've swung even more in the direction of the pink Orla Kiely flowers.  It reminds me of my childhood for some reason...plus I just found it online for almost half the price we were quoted!  Whoop!  But gold is so special... Oh, I don't know.  Do you have a favourite, or any other wallpapers you'd recommend?

Thursday, July 24, 2014


 The Commonwealth Games have officially started here in Glasgow.  Dulcie is so used to having her photo taken with Clyde the stereotypical mascot that she adopts this pose every time she sees him without even being asked.
And this on a day when the unwilling/grumpy model would only allow me to photograph her back!

Other than giant plastic thistles popping up everywhere and various roads being closed, I haven't really seen any great difference in the city so far, but I guess it's early days.  I have been noticing a few extra tourists over the last couple of weeks.  I always like to see tourists on my home turf, it's nice to be reminded, by people taking photos, that things you walk past every day are interesting if you take the time to look.  

We watched some of the opening ceremony on TV last night (we watched a Mad Men instead while the teams were coming into the stadium) and I thought it was really good.  I like the colourful inclusiveness, the toungue-in-cheek moments and the low-budget elements.  We heard the Red Arrows overhead from our vantage point on the sofa, which was fun, and certainly heard the fireworks at the end!  They were so loud and we are miles away!

I just watched the end of the women's triathlon on TV and was very impressed, but I think it's too nice a day to stay on the couch and watch the swimming that's coming on now.  I could wander down and see if I could catch some lawn bowling for real (that's taking place in our neighbourhood) but I think it might be too nice a day for that too (phew! it's so hot this week!) and I have too many jobs to do around the house anyway.

Talking of sporting achievements...  Yeah, this is not really on the Commonwealth scale, but I did have my own miniature sporting victory this week.  Graham and I have agreed that I will go swimming one evening every week and that he will stay at home and try to persuade Dulcie that she doesn't need me to get to sleep.  This was week one.  Dulcie was distraught as I left and, even though I lied and told her I was going to boring old work, she was desperate to come with me.  Graham bravely restrained her while I ran out the door, telling me she'd be fine two minutes after I was gone.  She wasn't.  After 45 minutes solid of hysterical screaming, Graham reluctantly phoned to ask me if I could come back.  Fortunately for me (and unfortunately for him and Dulcie!) I was already in the pool by the time he called, so was blissfully unaware until I checked my phone while getting changed again.  Ha!

We're hoping this was a blip and she'll get used to the idea.  I have managed to have the occasional solo evening out in the past, including one fairly recently, and I think the swimming would be really good for me (body and soul!) if I could keep it up.  Graham, the brave soldier, is willing to keep trying.  What a guy. 

Anyway, other than Dulcie having a flaky, my swim trip was amazing in every way.  I was so tired as I set off and was sorely tempted not to go.  I struggled with the 25 minute walk to the pool, but once I got in the water I was fine.  The pool was freezing, which was just what I needed after a long day in the hot, hot heat of the park.  I told myself anything over 10 lengths would be good, but I ended up managing to do 30.  Go, me!  I was stopping to catch my breath every two lengths or so, but this is still pretty much what I would have managed before all the heart crap if I hadn't been swimming regularly.  My muscles were lovely and achy the next morning (I had slept so well that night!) so I think it was probably a good amount to do.  I can hardly wait for next week's outing to come around.  Now, if I could just stop eating so much crap and staying up so late...   Well, progress is progress.  I feel good about this :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

cerddoriaeth (that's welsh for music...apparently)

I've been quite enjoying this new single by Gruff Rhys, though it does remind me of this older song...

I loved this naff article when I was little.  I even wrote a story at school about a girl getting the best surprise of her life - front-row seats at a Richard Marx concert!  Ha ha!