Friday, 25 December 2009

Happy Christmas! I hope you have/had a lovely day and remember, if something didnt get done, or got forgotten, will it matter this time next month? In 6 months time? This time next year? Probably not.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Well, you wanted photos, so here are a few to keep you happy (and if you’re the person who voted no, then I apologise for this photo heavy posting).

If you read lots of blogs then you’re probably fed up of people’s snow pictures, but if you’re not then here’s a few more. I took them about 3pm and you can see the sun is starting to set - we get some fantastic sunsets out at the front of our house here. I’ve even considered taking a photo of the sunset every day to post.

Chicken prints in the snow. The poor old girls are not impressed with all this cold and have been spending a lot of time in their house.

Hopefully this will be our indoor Christmas tree in a couple of years!

The chicken house and a glimpse of the view out to the back of the house. We only get to see it in the Winter when all the leaves and other greenery have gone.

Out to the side of the house. Notice our neighbours lovely pristine snow. How I would love to run around on it!

Taken at the front of the house.

Another one out to the front, the sun starting to set.

Top one taken out to the side of the house, the one below was taken between our house and next doors, towards the back.

The front of the house. The bit with the front door is a later addition to the original part of the house just behind it (originally built in 1802)

Another one of the front of the house

Up and down our lane. You can see how icy the road is.

Our dining room looks out to the front and sometimes I think about having it as our lounge instead to take advantage of the beautiful views but there isn’t a fireplace in here. Maybe we should have it as our summer lounge and move back to the other one for the Winter??

If you read my entry yesterday you may recall I said (again!) I’m fed up of sewing. What I am about to say next doesn’t change that, but I am very excited about this:

It was offered up on Freecycle today and I would have missed it had I not spotted the word “sewing” in the title of an email that Craig had just deleted. I made him open it to see what it said and there was this machine being offered. It has been given to someone months ago but they didn’t turn up to collect it so it was being re-offered. I have wanted an old treadle machine for years, mainly just for decorative purposes, I don’t know if I would ever use it. So, it’s now sitting in my dining room awaiting a spot somewhere safe.

I’ve done a bit of research on it and have pinned it down to being a Singer 66K, the serial number was allocated on September 27 1934 in the Kilbowie factory in Clydebank.

The top of it needs some restoration but the actual machine seems to be in perfect condition apart from needing a new belt as the one that came with it has snapped. It even had the manual which is in an envelope sent in 1973 - I’m wondering if the machine was sold or given to someone and they had to send the manual on later on. It’s soaked in machine oil so not easy to read but seems in pretty good condition otherwise. Better still, I have found a copy of the instructions on the Singer website for it so I can download them and not have to risk damaging the original.

There are a couple of the accessories missing such as the under-braider but the feet that are there are useful - a hemmer is very handy as I hate doing hems and to have something that does it for you is great!!

Friday, 18 December 2009

I couldn’t blog today without mentioning the snow could I? It took me over an hour to do the school run this morning (more like a crawl today!!!). It usually takes me 20 minutes. The snow was really thick and heavy and driving was not much fun.

Our lane was very slippery as I discovered when I tried to stop to let a car past a van that was parked by the side of the road. I had a moment of panic as the car didn’t stop and I just had to try and guide it through the gap between the van and the oncoming car without hitting either.

On the way home I nipped into the shop to buy a couple of bits and also a packet of cigarettes as part of my work Secret Santa present - I was most chuffed when I got asked for ID. The poor woman was really embarrassed when she discovered how old I am but I told her she had made my week.

Beth’s school closed early so we had to go and get her. Work had phoned to see if I could go in earlier than I was meant to so we decided we’d pick up Beth and then go on to Tesco. It took nearly an hour to get halfway to the school (it takes 10 minutes to get there normally) and the weather was getting worse so I rang and said I wouldn’t be in at all.

Craig dropped us off at home and went off to get the primary school children early as he didn’t want to have to go out later if it was really bad. Typically the snow had stopped by then and it seemed to be starting to thaw but it did snow again a bit later.

I did some sewing this afternoon - Millie has several “sheeties” that she has had since she was born. We got them from Baby Gap and they’re made from 2 pieces of gorgeously soft interlock with a binding edge and have various different designs on them. They have been snuggled so much over the last 9.5 years that they are starting to fall apart. The binding on the edge of Giraffe sheetie had come away and it all needed sewing back together. I think I did an ok job, at least it will last a while longer anyway.

I also cut off the waistband on my favourite Julius the Monkey Pjs and remade it, replacing the elastic so they will now fit me (lets just say they had no trouble fitting me when I was very pregnant but now I’m not pregnant and have lost 2 stone they just wouldn’t stay up).

Then there were three stockings to make - a lovely online friend of mine embroiders the latest addition to the family’s name on a stocking every time I have another baby and this year I got her to do one each for me and Craig. So they’re now all sewn up and ready to hang on Christmas eve.

It was all very simple stuff, no need to even really think about what I was doing yet I very quickly got a headache, sore shoulders and back from being so tense and was really stressed, snapping at anyone who came in the room. I definitely don’t enjoy sewing anymore. I’ll keep my machines as they’re handy in case of needing to mend things or make a costume for something, but I suspect 2010 will be the year I get rid of all most, if not all of my fabric and other stuff. We could really use the space it all takes up, and the money I will hopefully get for it.

Wednesday night was school play night. Sophie and Jack’s was good. Sophie was a teacher and was a bit too good at being bossy, lol Jack was a toy soldier and did really well. He was so cute, especially when he was signing the songs (all the songs were signed by the children). It wasn’t too long either so it didn’t matter too much that I didn’t have a clue what was happening.
Millie’s though was another matter. It was waaaaayyyyyyyyy too long, it didn’t make sense and was not a pleasant experience to sit through. It went on (and on!) for over 90 minutes and I have to admit I got to the point where I couldn’t stand it any longer and had to leave. It could have done with being a lot shorter and I wasn’t the only person who was willing it to end. A lot of the audience were fidgeting, chatting and looking at the clock.

I also had a slightly unpleasant experience when one of the people I, to put it bluntly, hate, decided to try and talk to me. She was telling the children how well they had done and I decided to ignore it and hope she went away but then she kept saying “Lucie, Lucie, Lucie” trying to talk to me. I gave her a look and ignored her and she did go away. But then at the end she came over again and started talking to me again. This time I told her not to speak to me or my children ever again and she walked off saying how sad it was. I wish I’d told her that it was her own fault for deciding she would rather be friends with that stuck up, fake, patronising bitch but I didn’t and I don’t suppose I will get the chance again. Ah well, at least she is aware that I do not wish to ever speak to her ever again. Ever. Or any of the rest of them. After what they did to me I have no interest in them. They showed just what they are like when they basically just dumped me and we don’t do the forgive and forget thing in this house - as Craig’s family will confirm over 16 years since they last saw or spoke to us.

Life is too short to spend with people who think so little of you that they upset you, betray you, piss you off, dump you or whatever, or to spend getting stressed and upset about whatever it is they’ve done. Don’t waste any more time on them. They’re the ones who suffer in the end. Don’t want to grow old having never seen your 8 grandchildren, or even knowing that they exist, what their names are etc etc? Be very careful how you treat your children and their spouse then.

Rant over, lol. I used to have another blog on our website (which we no longer have as we didn’t bother to renew the subscription for the name when it ran out last year and if the email address you have for me is linked to that website you may have discovered it no longer works for that very reason) that I used to vent my feelings on. Someone told me they had found it and they couldn’t believe how strong it was. I had to laugh as it was an incredibly toned down version of what I wanted to say. A good old rant is good for the soul sometimes isn’t it??

Anyway, hope everyone has a nice weekend planned (unless you are someone I don’t like in which case I hope you have a crap weekend) - I must sort out some homemade wine for one of my lovely real-life friends, get the new bedroom arrangements sorted out (the children are moving around) and make my final batch of mince pies. Might do a bit more sewing as well.

Ciao for now.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

We have had more steps forward this week. In fact things have suddenly progressed at a fast pace.

I had a call this afternoon from a family support worker who has been assigned to us. I know her from the children’s previous school and she is a really nice person. She’s going to send us a form to fill in and is going to do an assessment of us to see how she can help us and the school. An organisation called Autism Outreach have been called in as well as several other agencies plus the educational psychiatrist.

The FSW mentioned special schools as well - now, I have no problems with Millie going to a school that specialises in children like her, in fact I am thinking it might be a good idea. Funnily enough, just half an hour before the phone call (which I wasn’t expecting) we had been talking about considering taking her out of school and either home educating her or seeing if we could get her into a specialist school.

I think she might do better at home again, so am beginning to think about how we’ll do it if we do go down that route.

I have waited for things to get to this stage for so long now, so why was I so upset afterwards??

Anyway, in other news, I’m finding the healthy eating is going well. It’s amazing how changing my way of thinking has made it so much easier. If I eat something cooked or just not something that I “should” I don’t think “oh, I’ve failed, I give up”, it’s fine, it’s no big deal. I’m finding that I really don’t want to eat cooked food or wheat etc as well. I had made the decision to eat our traditional Christmas foods on Christmas Day (croissants, turkey dinner, Christmas Pudding, mince pies, Christmas cake etc etc) but the closer it gets the less I want to. But, if I do I am not going to stress about it. It’s only one day.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

I can’t quite believe it’s only 12 days to go til Christmas! Both the trees are up and decorated - the one in the dining room was done first but it took several days to get round to decorating the tree in the lounge. That may have been a slight advantage as the children came home on Friday after school and their little faces were so sweet when they saw it had been done.

I’m a bit of a control freak when it comes to decorating the trees but this year I let the children do the dining room one themselves - the whole lot apart from the lights. It looks lovely. I did the lounge one though and it’s colour co-ordinated with pink and purple decorations. I got the boys to put the chocolate decorations on it and amazingly they didn’t realise that they are edible - I wonder how long that will last???

I also have this lovely wreath made by a lovely friend of mine - isn’t it gorgeous??? I thought it was too nice to put on the front door where no one but us and the postman would see it so I put it up in the kitchen. Unfortunately it started to wilt a bit so it is now on the front door and it has perked up again.

My new diet is going well. I’m eating mainly raw food but I am having the odd bit of cooked - today for example we went into town for the Christmas market and the children wanted chips from the chip shop on the way back to the car. They smelled so gorgeous that I had to have a couple but they didn’t taste as good as they smelt so that was all I had (I have to say they are really nice chips, it’s one of the best shops in town, and normally I’d have had loads of them but I concentrated on the taste and whether or not I really wanted to eat them and the answer was no).

I’ve meant to take photos of the things I’ve been eating but have either forgotten or in the case of last nights dinner have eaten it before I could get the camera out. I do have this photo which doesn’t do the food justice but it’s avocado, broccoli and dulse in a hemp seed oil, lemon and chilli dressing. Really really nice. I’ve had it twice - the first time I was a bit uncertain if I liked it but then I craved it for a couple of days so had it again and loved it.

Last night I had nori rolls from Kate Magic Wood’s book Raw Magic. While I was making them I thought they were going to be horrible but they were sooo gorgeous I was really disappointed when I realised I’d eaten the whole lot. I’m having them for dinner again tonight.

I also received this in the post this week:

I ordered it from a US co-op months and months ago (May or June I think) and it finally arrived. I am really inspired to make a quilt with it for Alfie but I’m trying to work out where to use which fabric. I have a panel for the centre of it and only plan to do something very simple. I did think about making him a quilt cover and pillowcase set but I think a proper quilt might be nicer. It’s the first time I’ve felt really inspired so I hope it doesn’t wear off before I actually get round to it!!

Mind you, I have no excuse as my sewing desk is pretty much clear and the dining table is fairly clear as well. Hopefully I will find an afternoon very soon to sit down and sew. Or maybe I will start going to a local sewing group that has recently begun at the same place as I go to knitting group then I will have no excuse not to do some sewing!!

Friday, 11 December 2009

Is that light at the end of the tunnel we see??

Craig was a little late getting the children to school this morning. The Head stopped him and told him she was trying to write a letter to us but didn't know how to word it. She's written it twice already but still wasn't sure what to say. Basically she wanted us to sign a referral form so Millie can be assessed by the ed psych. She had gone over the head of the person who refused to see Millie because she wasn't extreme enough and the more senior person has agreed she can be assessed. Yay!!

The Head was relieved that we're so supportive and that we're not the kind of parents who refuse to accept there is a problem with their child. We've made it very clear that we are fully aware of the problems and that we're desperate for her to be looked at.

I'm now thinking that she needs a brain scan - after we were told she would be severely brain damaged when she was ill after she was born I am convinced 100% that there is some damage there somewhere.

Fingers crossed we start getting somewhere now!

Wednesday, 9 December 2009


We were really pleased when school wanted to refer Millie to the ed psyc to get her assessed and if necessary diagnosed. But, because she isn't violent or falling behind in her work they are refusing to even look at her.

She is disruptive. She has these stupid tantrums which must disturb the rest of the class. How can that not be enough of a concern to be looked at? When she is possibly causing the other children to have their education disrupted she is a problem. I know I wouldn't be happy if my child had a disruptive child in their class who was making such a noise.

I had to go in and get her tonight after school as she was refusing to come out. I found her in the corridor crying and screaming because she wasn't allowed to do the advent calendar (she'd already had her turn which is fair enough). She refused to come out with me, screaming even more when I walked to the door. But the baby was in the car on his own and I couldn't be so far away from the car for so long so I left her and went to check he was ok. I went back for her and she was being marched out by two of the staff, still screaming and crying.

I am convinced they were probably talking about me afterwards, how awful I am for shouting at her and for walking out and leaving her. Hey ho. Next time I will be lovely mummy to her and give her a big hug and see if that makes any difference.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

I’ve been slack again haven’t I???

I’ve had lots of ideas of things to write but haven’t been at a computer when I’ve thought of them. Anyway, here’s a quick summary of the past week or so.

I made the first batch of mince pies of the year at the beginning of the week. They went down so well that I have no photos to share with you.

I was going to post one of my lovely new polka dot cake tins. I love red and white polka dots, I’m thinking of transforming my kitchen into a polka dot fiesta, lol They’re not quite as lovely as they were when I bought them - Robbie dropped one on the floor and swore blind it wasn’t dented. No, it wasn’t dented, it was squashed into a very unround shape.

I took a tin full to my knitting group thinking that I’d bring most of the home again - they were so popular that I came home with about 4.

I absolutely love my homemade mince pies. The pastry is gorgeous and very short - I use Delia’s recipes for my Christmas baking. Unfortunately I can’t eat them anymore.

I hadn’t eaten wheat for about two weeks until I ate a couple after I’d baked them. I’ve always suspected I’m sensitive to wheat - I won’t claim to be allergic to it, but I do react after eating it - and the mince pies seemed to confirm it. I got the familiar itching in my throat, nose and ears I always get when I eat something with wheat in and had stomach cramps and I could feel the wind moving through my intestines. I went wheat free again for a few more days and then tried again - same symptoms. So I am finally going to do something about it. Ie cut out wheat from my diet.

It’s not going to be easy, but I am determined to stick to it. I’ve had an interest in raw food for many years now and have “gone raw” numerous times but it never lasts for more than a few days before I’m back on cooked food again. I think my mistake has been that I’m an all or nothing sort of girl and so always vow to be 100% raw, fail one day and then decide to forget it. So, I am going to go “high raw” this time. If I eat something cooked then that’s ok, but the majority of my diet is going to be raw, and I’m going to include lots of raw super foods such as maca, lucuma, purple corn extract etc etc.

I got all my raw books out last night to get some ideas and I managed to get quite a lot of the ingredients from the health food shop in town (considering how behind the rest of the country Lincolnshire seems to be this particular shop is amazing, and sells all sorts of things you wouldn’t expect them to have even heard of let along stock). I’m going to have to put an order in to one of my fave raw food sites Raw Living for some other bits and pieces and I suspect a bar or two of their amazing chocolate will find it’s way into my shopping basket!!! I just wish I lived near Brighton still so I could go and try one of their delicious sounding raw cakes.

Updated to add - I had some cheesecake yesterday and felt really ill before even finishing the slice. However, I had some chocolate tonight and didn’t react so I can still eat that - phew!!
A bit of big news here is that we’ve decided to try Alfie at playgroup again after Christmas. The last attempt was September last year and he hated it, but we feel he needs to get used to being away from us with other people before he starts school next year. He’ll be the fourth one of our children to go to this group so we know he’ll be well looked after. I took him for a look round yesterday and he seemed to like it - until the end when he wanted to take the picture he had been doing home with us, but the little girl who was helping him wanted to keep it as well…. There was a bit of a tug of war and tears (from Alfie) until one of the ladies managed to get the picture back for him.

Amos is now crawling quite well - I say crawling, it’s more of a dragging himself along but he can get himself to wherever he wants to be. Usually the plug sockets. It’s so cute!!

On Thursday I went to my knitting group - I didn’t bother with any make-up, didn’t do my hair, wore a scruffy cardigan and didn’t bother with my contact lenses. It’s only knitting group after all isn’t it?? Guess who was chosen to present a cheque to the lady from a local hospice?? They decided that they needed to dispel the myth that knitting groups are all old ladies and that the youngest person there should do the presentation and have their photo taken for the local paper. Grrrrr.

The Christmas present shopping is going well. I think there are only a few more bits to get. I have to admit that Craig has done most of it again. He’s so good at it. Once again I am in charge of the stockings. I’m also meant to be making a few bits for the children too. I really ought to get on with it!!!