Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Tip 15 - Country Folk come to the Big Smoke - 1

Tip 15 - Don't get up at 5 am, it's way too early

So here I am stuck on a very early morning train off to London with no wireless (silly British Rail or whatever they call themselves these days) with little else to do until the man comes round with the cups of tea, for which I am desperate, other than to do what I should have done last week and write a lovely new blog piece. Having said that, since I can’t get wireless and am writing this in Word, I have no idea what I was writing when I last blogged so I’m going to go random.

Today’s adventure to the big smoke started way too early for my liking, involving rising from the comfort of my bed at 5 am. For those of you who know me, you will realise that this is not a time of the morning I am entirely used to. I am not known as an early morning person. One shower, one cup of tea, menagerie fed and watered and I hit the road, barely conscious.

Managed to get to the train on time, panic of being late avoided, took my seat and here I am, watching out of the window at the early morning dog walkers with their Dalmatians and Poodles looking on suspiciously at the train as it passes, seeing the enthusiastic joggers pounding the countryside and the delivery drivers getting the world ready for the day ahead.

Blimey, I’m sounding almost poetic! Must be the early morning air, something my body is so unused to it is having some strange allergic reaction. That combined with the slightly sleepy light headedness and lack of caffeine makes for an interesting concept in the morning. Maybe I should do this more often, ummm maybe not.

Going to get my head down for a quick snooze now and return imminently, perhaps with less inspiration and far less vocabulary but that is a risk I am prepared to take.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Tip 14 - Working or Twittering?

Tip 14 - Do I work or do I tweet? This is the question. (sorry that's not a tip today other than to suggest that bloggers perhaps need to be more decisive)

Well, its been a funny week so far.

Readers of earlier posts will know that this long suffering blogger is also a 'mature student', which I think is the polite way of putting it when someone of nearing 40 decides to rekindle their youth and return to university. Having said that, I can hardly say that studying accountancy is rekindling much youth in me. Rather the reverse. It makes me feel jolly old when the 18 year old young lady I sit next to corrects my addition and helps me out when I get stuck.

Anyway, exams are in full flow this week. One down, one tomorrow and last one next Tuesday, by which point I will be utterly frazzled and in need of a good lie down and a stiff gin and tonic or two.

The big question, revising or twittering, revising or twittering. It's a bit like Daddy or Chips? Although I never quite worked out what answer the advertisers wanted us to give in that instance. Anyway, so I have given up on both counts and blogged instead.

Summer holidays are looming and I am dreaming of luxury hotels in Paris. Oh yeah forgot, have kids, perhaps nice caravan half an hour away from the Sacre Coeur instead of overlooking it. But we might venture in to the big city and give the hobbits a taste of french cuisine, although they have made me promise that taste won't involve Snails, Frogs legs or Horse. No fun!!

What else is new. Suddenly and inexplicably have developed a desire to listen again to the music of my formative years. Have had to dig out the old INXS CD and delight in hearing dear old Michael again. I went to see them some years after my teens had well and truly ceased in Birminham, only short months before his tragic demise. I will never forget the evening for two reasons. One, I was pretty pregnant with my first hobbit which necessitated much sitting down during their set and the other was their live rendition of one of my favourite songs 'Never Tear Us Apart'. I can't listen to it now without it envoking memories of an utterly wasted but much enjoyed teenage, inclusive of angst and clearsil.

Perhaps listening to this sort of stuff is only going to remind me how old I am getting. Or maybe I can just close my eyes for a while and drift back to sunny days, cigarettes and alcohol.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Tip 13 - And the birthday party

Tip 13 - It is eminently not sensible for two 6 feet adults to attempt to sleep in a children's pop up day tent!

I must admit that I totally forgot in my last blog to tell you about the events surrounding Hubby Hobbits' best pals 40th birthday party. Having been reminded of events I feel it essential to pass on the details of this spectacular event.

The event in question fell slap bang in the middle of our Devon adventures during half term week but in view of the importance of said event we felt it advisable, nay imperative, that we attend.

I should explain. Birthday boy, Jock, and his lovely lady wife have been friends of mine and Hubby Hobbits' for many years. Since comparing bumps at what was humorously labelled 'Parent craft' classes and following each others lives since the birth of the bumps (which turned out incidentally to be both boys who are now and have been best friends since birth), they remain our best pals and the turning 40 of our friend Jock was not an event that could be missed.

So we hauled ourselves back from the peace of the Devon sunshine in an effort to be a double surprise at the already surprising birthday party. I should say it was even more surprising because Mrs Jock is not renounded for her secret keeping skills. She really wouldn't blame me for saying (and I really hope not.....please don't be offended Mrs Jock if you are reading this!!) but she has been the butt of much joshing over the years for her completely unintended 'putting her foot in it' as far as secrets are concerned. However, in this instance not only did she manage to keep the party and all the massive amounts of organisation it entailed a secret but also planned several other birthday surprises, including the visit of the entire clan from bonny Scotland on his actual birthday, go-carting the day after and rowing down the River Exe the day after the party (more of which later!!). More credit to her! We all feel totally reassured that our secrets are safe with her from now on.

Anyway I digress, Hubby and I arrived at the house, ahead of the main party to spring our surprise on our friend, only to find that unfortunately, unknowing of the party that lay ahead of him, he had already been the pub for 'one or two' with his clan and already slightly worse for wear was rather non plussed at our arrival. Offence wasn't taken.

More guests arrived and the evening wore one. Food and drink consumed in it's usual vast quantities and the summer sun shone.

Now to the crux of the story. Hubby and I had, in our infinite wisdom, decided, having deposited small and medium Hobbit on friendly auntie for the night, that we wouldn't accept Mr & Mrs Jock's kind invitation of a comfortable sitting room floor for our nights accommodation. Oh no, we thought it would be fun (for fun read pure insanity) to camp in their back garden. Fortunately the weather was kind to us. This was in no way any compensation as it turns out.

The only tent we could lay our hands on in our hurry that particular evening was one of the children's 2 man (HA!) play tents. I am sure you are aware of the variety of which I speak.... the kind that two six foot adults really shouldn't attempt to sleep in! But sleep, or attempt to sleep, in it we did. Much alcohol aided the process and turned the entire evening into general hilarity until about 6 in the morning at which time the inside of the tent, which probably isn't designed for actual sleeping in, was condensed up so much that it felt rather like sleeping in a sauna, only colder. In addition, cramp had set in and the possibilities of return to sleep with the birds, chickens and horse all making their presence felt was fairly remote. At this time wisdom took over and we did retire to the generously offered sitting room floor.

A couple of hours later we emerged to face the detritus of the party being professional cleaned up by Mrs Jock who was totally lacking in hangover.

The days activities, rowing or at least floating, down the River Exe ensued. Clan and assorted hangers on took their places in the two or four man boats with requisite reluctance and rowed their way down to the nearest public house where we all took solace for lunch, together with most of the populous of Exeter, it being a lovely sunny day and that is the only thing to do on a day like that.

The return rowing trip back up the river was slightly more ridiculous with several clan members having declined to re board the boats. Their replacements were smaller children with more enthusiasm than actual rowing ability. The members of each boat where adjusted so that Medium Hobbit, Master Jock and their other friend Cap'n Jack (all aged 11 incidentally) could row themselves round in circles for the remainder of the afternoon.

It should be said at this point that I successfully managed not to involve myself in the actual rowing process, choosing to excuse myself by offering to walk Bobbit along to the toe path and laugh in the general direction of the rowers at their efforts.

Birthday events came to a close with Mr & Mrs Jock taking a brief trip, without childer who parked themselves in our spare room for the period, to Cornwall for two days. The sun smiled on them and I believe they had a wonderful time.

All in all.....a classic and well orchestrated 40th birthday event. Mine...when it comes will be spent hiding in a darkened room, avoiding all and every contact with the outside world, continuing to convince myself that I am actually just 19 years old, which is what my brain remains to believe, and not the 40 years old that my body reminds me daily that I have become.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Tip 12 - And the need for a holiday

Tip 12 - When feeling at your most frazzled, take a refreshing holiday

Which is exactly what I did, and a jolly good one it was too. Went to Devon, lay around in the wonderful, and slightly surprising, half term sunshine, drank white wine at lunchtime, let the kids and the dog run riot and generally 'chilled out' with Hubby Hobbit and the smaller Hobbits.

Having not been on holiday with Bobbit before I was slightly concerned that having him around might restrict and frustrate our usual holiday routine but I am pleased to say that, typical Labrador that he is, show him the sea, a river or even a puddle and he is happy which kept him entertained for most of the week. The only minor cause for disturbance came when we attempted to take him to Exmouth Festival along with several thousand other people, mostly with dogs, at which point he thought he had gone to doggy sniffing heaven and pulled and pushed us around on the lead for more than an hour before we gave up and went to the solace of the caravan and the pool.

All in all the holiday was a grand success and I have returned, refreshed, invigorated and determined to work harder over the coming weeks.

This week has been pretty successful on the whole. Caught up with lots of work, of the boring but fairly well paid variety, and had a very good meeting with Lulu during which we got really focused on the business. If you didn't already know Lulu and I had this notion of working together, pooling our skills and those of other working mums with fantastic business skills but the lack of anyone who would give them a part time job for a decent wage, and forming a company providing business administration services.

We are pretty intent on this business which, if you know either of us, is a pretty startling achievement. Normally together we end up drinking coffee, twittering across the desk to each other and discussing the merits of various child restraining tools such as good old fashioned television, slightly more modern 'Club Penguin' (yes I know, it sooooo 2008!) and the newest variety of children entertainment... 'Go tidy your room and I'll give you a pound' which I find works wonders with mine.

Anyway I digress, Lulu and I finally completed the first version of the website (if you are interested in our new business activities please visit - I know, I know shameless self promotion but if I don't do it who will?) and thrashed out the business and marketing plans as well as putting dates in the diaries for a mountain of meetings. The business is coming on really well, we have our first clients already and are slowly getting our name around. It's amazing how dedicated we can be when required. I think it's maybe because we both really want this to work and are incredibly motivated people.

So if anyone knows of an organisation which needs business assistance you now know who to send them to.....(self promotion over now, I promise)

Other news from the Hobbit front.....

The now testicularly challenged Bobbit has finally stopped attempting to make babies with random assorted bits of furniture and Hobbit legs. This has come as quite some relief and I am slowly recovering from the bruises he inflicted in his more rampant moments!

Small and Medium Hobbits managed to survive their holidays without killing each other and have returned home with renewed determination and staggering creativity in the nature of implements in their assassination attempts. New to the top 10 this week would be the TV remote control, a school bag and the dog, although I think that one has been in the top 10 before and has just made a reentry this week following a blood thirsty episode on the trampoline.

Countdown has now begun to the grand Nose Job!! (please read Tip no 10: if you want to find out more) I would give this it's more technical term but its pretty gruesome I don't want to put you off your dinner! The op is scheduled for 30th June so maybe nearer the time I will be posting some 'Before' pictures so that after the op and recover I can post 'After' ones and you can all give me your professional opinions. Nice comments only please though....

Have spent this morning de-griming the house and so am planning to take Bobbit and assorted Hobbits off for lazy walk this afternoon, as long has it doesn't rain. After the minor blip during half term we appear to be back to the more traditional British summer with cloud coverage and rain imminent.

PS If anyone has any tips for how to make small males keep their bedrooms tidy I would be very pleased to hear them. Mine seem to be completely lacking in any skill in this department and I would be delighted if I could achieve even a small measure of success. Full acknowledgement will be made in the blog for successful tip-pery.