Tuesday, July 22, 2014

time-travelling tuesday (part 11) - all about the "exersize"!

You might remember that last week's installment ended with the earth-shattering news that we were to be without any water from 9-3 the following day.  Have you been on the edge of your seats all week?  Well, read on, my friends...

28th March 1988
Today we werent going to get any water.  But as some strange things do happen. We did.  They were working but our water didn't go off.  I made two dolls out of wool.  One was is a boy and one was is a girl.  I was doing a few exersizes to music.  I watched a brillient film about a bus.  Kerry gave me a doll made out of yarn.

29th March 1988
Tonight I was doing some exersizes to lose some weight.  I did them to an exersize tape.  I was also doing them to hits for kids.  I made another doll today.

30th March 1988
Culltural day. 
[This was an idea of my parents to go on cultural outings as a family.  I think they aimed to do this every Sunday for a while, much to my horror - I liked to stay at home whenever possible.  This wasn't a Sunday, but I suppose it must have been the Easter holidays?]
I went to Aberdeen.  We saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  I made a coin.  I got a pen.  I had a shower.  Had great fun.

31st March 1988
Now for some Shakespeer.  Alas, Alack it is the last day of March.  Good.  Well I think it is.  This morning dad's birthday present arrived. [Ten weeks early?!]  It is an exersize bike.  Kerry and mum went to Aberdeen.  I started my sewing box.  I have three things and a pin cushion that I'm in the middle of sewing.

1st of April 1988 April fools day
This morning Kerry and mum made dad run downstairs in his knickers.  I did four miles on the exersize bike.  We heard Martin broke his leg.

2nd April 1988
I went for two miles on the exersize bike.  I watched a vidio.  It was called The Phantom Tollbooth.  I also watched a film caled The Three Lives of Thomasina.  It was all about a ginger cat called Thomasina.  It was very good.  Yesterday Martin broke his leg.

3rd April 1988
Yahoo.  It's easter day.  I got lots of presents.  Two big eggs, a mug, a small egg, two small wispas and an easter bunny called Benjamin Bunny.  Or Benji Bun for short.  We did a concert at Church.  We saw the moon rising.

Monday, July 21, 2014

twinkle twinkle

Check out these sparklers!  Maybe how an egg from a vajazzled duck would look? I'm not sure that's something to aspire to... 
I haven't painted my nails at all in many a long year, but I figured I should take the "in for a penny, in for a ten pound note" approach.  A little over the top, perhaps?  I do love glitter, though. 
Really, I painted these for Dulcie's amusement and am slightly uncomfortable with the level of glamour I'm carrying around with me.  They're not really me, or not the 2014 me anyway.  I'm sure I would have been very proud of these in the late '90s.  Still, they make the view of my dreary work keyboard look a bit more cheerful.  Shazzam.

Sunday, July 20, 2014


I read this book lately.  I just happened to find it on a bookshelf I had to move for decorating purposes and was intrigued by a) Ian McEwan having written for children, something I didn't know about, and b) illustrations by Anthony Browne, whose books Dulcie and I love.  I don't know where my copy of this book came from really, but it was with a whole load of books I had for the classroom when I was teaching and I don't remember buying it in a charity shop, so I think my mum or dad must have given it to me while I was still busy having a proper job with a classroom bookshelf to fill.  I was probably too busy having a near nervous breakdown at the time to pay it the attention it deserved, but - WOW - it's such a great book!  It's really quite dark and grotesque in parts and kind of sad in others, but the moral core of it is certainly very sound.  I'm going to be putting this on the Dulcie-must-read shelf for when she's a bit older, though I think grown-ups should read it too, for sure.

I seem to be enjoying children's fiction.  Quality children's fiction, I should add, but children's fiction nonetheless.  I don't look on children's fiction (quality children's fiction! ha!) as a lesser genre, but I do worry my brain is subtly telling me it's not up to the mental challenge of "real" books any more.  But I'm thinking I might indulge this interest and read more of the books I found on my once-classroom shelf.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

things people put in books

While having a quick tidy-up on Thursday afternoon, I found my stash of bookmarks.  I did consider photographing more and using it as my annual "accidental collections" blog post, but decided that would really just be an (excellent!) excuse to ditch the tidying up, so instead I decided to share just this one, one of my favourites.  I think we were given these at school in the '80s.  Quite ominous looking, I suppose, but I really like it.  I was quite ruthless and took about 75% of my bookmarks to the charity shop.  I was in a donating sort of a mood and I'm sure I won't miss them.  I didn't give away anything nearly so special as this one.

Beside my bookmarks was my small collection of things I've found in books, which I sometimes like to use as bookmarks too.  I blogged about that a long time ago (2008!) but I don't think I've added anything to the collection since then, so you should click on the link if you want to have a look.  

Later that afternoon, Abe Books sent me an email all about the strange and wonderful things their second-hand booksellers had found in books too!  Weird coincidence, huh?  The article makes for quite interesting reading.

Friday, July 18, 2014


Look what arrived in the post yesterday!  Hummunah hummunah!  No prizes for guessing what we'll be doing if it stays dry today :)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

eagle eyes

One of the fun things about milling about with Dulcie is that she notices every tiny item of any interest whatsoever.  If there's a single insect crawling on the pavement 20 metres ahead, she will spot it and take me over for a closer look.  While we were sticking fallen leaves back on on trees (her idea!) in the Botanics on Friday, she found this crazy-looking little stick - furry at one end and spotty at the other.
I worked out it was one of these things without the seeds.  Not that I know what this thing is either.
It's fun to have someone with you to point out the world's small wonders :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

big girls do cry

Dulcie keeps surprising me lately with how much of a big girl she appears.
Here she is, looking very grown up while she watches TV, wearing the dress I made her a while back.  I had to wrestle her into it for some reason, probably because every task these days involves wrestling, but once it was on, nobody could deny how good she looked, not even Dulcie herself.  It fits her much better now than it did a few months back.
But really, she's still only little, I know.  I have to keep reminding myself of this fact in an attempt to keep myself sane.  Much of the time, she is the absolute epitome of a stereotypical terrible two-year-old.  The crying.  Oh, my god, THE CRYING.  She will scream about absolutely anything and everything, mostly about me not giving her enough attention or making her do one thing when she wants to be doing something else.  And you can guarantee she never wants to do anything we actually need to do - going to the toilet, eating meals, going to nursery, sleeping, getting dressed, visiting the supermarket...  And when you picture her crying, don't think of a stifled sniffle as a solitary tear trickles down her peachy cheek, it's more of a glass-shattering, eardrum-bursting scream, a red face and flailing limbs.  Once the screaming abates, she'll sometimes say something horrendous like, "I'm sad because of you, Mummy."
After a mammoth decorating marathon (helped massively by my parents on their recent visit) Dulcie finally moved into her own bedroom this weekend.  The room is lovely.  Dulcie still whispers, "Wow!" every time she walks in and gives actual guided tours to her soft toys.  She thinks having her own bedroom is the best thing ever.  But sleeping in it?  Hell, no!  After spending ages fighting with me about whether or not it can be night-time when it's still light outside (every night - aargh!) her real gripe is that she does not want to be left alone.  She begs and pleads with me not to leave her and will only stay in bed long enough to go to sleep if I am close enough to her so that she can actually hold onto me, usually by my hair.  Ouch.  Once she's asleep, I sneak out of the room.  This is the unhealthy manner in which I've been getting Dulcie to go to sleep for ages.  The thing is, while she was forced into a sharing a room with us, I would be back by her side by the time she woke up sometime between midnight and dawn.  All I would have to do to get her back to sleep would be to reach out my arm and let her know I was there, I hardly even had to wake up myself.  Now that we're in separate rooms, she wakes up on her own and sets up a blood-curdling and hysterical-sounding screaming session.  She keeps it up until I get out of bed, go to her room, tuck her back in and sit by her side while she falls asleep again, definitely not something I can do in my sleep.  Last night she woke me up at 2.30.  And 3.00.  And 3.30.  And 3.45.  And 4.30.  And 5.  Basically, I was awake from 2.30 to 6.15...and my alarm was set for 6.30!   Ugh!  (Yes, I really did go back to sleep for those 15 minutes...and loved every one of them!)  Graham tried to do his bit and went through a few times too, tucked her in, sang to her, even tried to reason with her, but this just made her more hysterical still and meant it took even longer for me to settle her back down afterwards.  It's nice to be wanted and all, but I need to sleep.  Our new king-size bed is proving to be super comfortable and spacious and it's so frustrating that I'm not reaping the benefits of that.
Dulcie was actually pretty sweet in amongst the hellish frustration and exhaustion last night.  I think it was around 4.30 when I finally succumbed to silent tears.  Dulcie, stroking my face, realised I was crying and said, "I want to make you happy, Mummy."  I honestly didn't have to work too hard to resist the urge to shout, "THEN GO BACK TO SLEEP ON YOUR OWN, YOU EFFING BLIGHTER!"  Ha!  No, really, I was still sitting watching her sleep and marvelling at how bloomin' beautiful she looked by 5am.  (What can I say?  I'm truly besotted.)  But something's got to give.  Even Dulcie herself was suffering as a result, looking pasty-faced and exhausted when she had to get up for nursery this morning.  And every day she promises that tonight will be the night she settles herself and every evening she goes back on her word and I'm left asking yet again, "What would Supernanny do?" and thinking that her solutions just wouldn't work for us, but obviously everything I'm doing is not working either.  At least doing things my way, the neighbours aren't disturbed for quite so long, right?
I feel like such a crap mum.  And a tired one :(