Wednesday, 14 July 2010
She behaved beautifully, smiling nicely at the nurseryman and answering his questions in her baby lisp (...well, 'wubbleyou' actually...) and speaking nicely to everyone.
We got down to the ornamental bit and there were these bags of what looked like marbles in different colours (to put on the surface of your planters one assumes...) and I picked up a bag in a lovely eu-de-nil.
'I like these, ' I said to no-one in particular. Then Ada points to a bag of much larger stones and a little voice pipes up '....yeah, but look at those bad boys....!'
Nic and I nearly peed ourselves, as did the nurseryman and several customers.....
Thursday, 27 May 2010
So having got to the swing park, Mrs Janocky says, quite sensibly, 'Can't go on slide Gandad - s'wet....' and so it was. It had been raining a little earlier. She proclaimed the same about the little roundabout but decided to chance the swing and the see-saw as 'Gandad' had his hanky with him!
So they toddled, backwards again, home across the now all but empty park, the clouds starting to glower a bit when, suddenly, our little heroine stops dead and, head on one side and two little fingers pointing like a gun she says, 'I've got 'n'idea!' ....'Pick fowers for Nanny!' and I got half a dozen squashed little daisies which will appear, in all probablility, as shrivelled little 'spiders' in one of my projects!
You couldn't make it up.....
Sunday, 23 May 2010
Yesterday, I got two lovely chickens at a very reasonable price so split one for the barbecue we had for the kids yesterday and the other, I roasted in my Halogen oven (fab way of doing them!) which saves all the juices.
As usual, I saved the carcasses and skin etc and today boiled them up with the juices from the halogen, a few roughly chopped bits of past their best greens out of the fridge (onion, parsnip, carrots peppers) and a few bits of prunings of my woodier herbs (rosemary, lemon balm).
The smell was heavenly! I thought I could make soup with half and freeze half as stock.
So, in the middle of watching a film in my craft-room (making a card of course...!), I popped down to the pressure-cooker, and switched it off and got all the equipment out - it's a messy procedure mashing the mush - then in the next break I went down to seive it off.
I took the pressure cooker to the draining-board to open it (it sometimes 'rushes' over the sides when you open it) and then promptly seived the lot down the sink and 'saved' the mush!
Someone please tell me that you've done this too......
Saturday, 22 May 2010
Just to give a bit of background, Nic's a very private person...(Hi darling, you're on the web...!) and our houses since we were married, have been barricaded off from the outside world by layers of net curtains, lining curtains, big curtains etc. etc. because my gorgeous Hubby has it in his head that the world's Paperazzi have their telephoto lenses trained on that spot where the curtains just part company a little and there's a teeny tiny chink...!
He's quite obsessive about it and God forbid I should switch on a light before closing the curtains! You'd think we were still at war! 'People can look in!' is his warning!
Well, clearly when you decorate, all curtains must come down or be ruined and on this occasion, the pole had come down too, but Nic's fertile imagination had gone to work and he got up and fixed a curtain so it was tucked into the brackets that hold the pole up.
It was an elaborate affair with bits of other items tied around the brackets to secure the curtain.
'You can put the light on now,' I was told, so I dutifully put on the centre light as the lamps had been put away.
So we effected our night-time toilet routine and I was in bed reading when Nic got undressed.
It wasn't a big bedroom and the furniture was in strange positions because of the decorating, so there wasn't much room on either side of the bed.
Nic undresses from the feet up so the last thing to come off is his shirt. He stood up and pulled the shirt open, as you do and just as his arms were fully outstretched before he slid it from his shoulders, he must have caught the curtain in it's elaborate fixings.
They weren't elaborate enough, because the whole thing fell down, leaving him stark naked, arms wide open, right in front of the window with a light bulb shining above his head!
Any neighbours watching wouldn't have known whether to call the police or a priest.......
Saturday, 15 May 2010
Every day she asks to do 'stampy, Nanny!'....!
She's amazingly good at it too!
Now, she is only two....I'm not saying she's re-creating the Sistine Chapel, but she can handle the equipment as well as, and shows the diligence of many an adult crafter! Well, why am I telling you this when I can show you?
Ada's Crafting Hour
Now, I shall say this only once, so pay attention...
I'll begin with the green pen.....
Yes, these tops are quite easy to get off....
It's most important you clean your fingers regularly....
I really like this orange pen too....Sakura are SUCH a good make...
....a bit of red marker now.....
Now for my favourite...STAMPY NANNY....!
Oh yes...lickle yellow ducky - I like him...!
...I'll just make sure this is pressed well down....
...now for the elephant......
...hmmmm...this seems to be going quite well....
I like the stamp to pad technique best.....
...It's less messy......
Love this bunny stamp.......
...that's enough bunnies for now
....now for some brayering....
....and these pads are quite good......
...and a bit of DTP technique....
....Brayering with glitter glue.....
....nice wormie of glitter glue there....
Just giving my roller a good clean.....
Now for some bling...I DO so love bling.....
.........plenty of green glitter.........
Okay, that's the glitter stuck on, although quite a lot drops off too...!
Now for some SERIOUS bling... Oh I can't see everything in here...!
Blow it, I'll just tip it out.....
I like this one...! ....Ooooh a butterfly!
I really like this punch - I use it all the time....
.....where is it...?
Now I clean my stamps .......
..................they last much longer that way...!
Here's one I prepared earlier......
....not one of my better ones....... ...............though the perspective's good.....
...I made this one for you Granddad!
It's a masterpiece!
Is she cute or what...?!
Friday, 30 April 2010
This week she has been what I would call a lickle imp! And I've only had her two days! LOL!
Because of her parents' temporarily altered work arrangements, she came to me on Tuesday lunchtime and stayed with me until Wednesday teatime.
She worked hard in the garden all Tuesday afternoon, watering the plants and counting the tadpoles and after having her tea and a lovely warm bath was in her jamas, ready for her to go to sleep. So we took Granddad to work in the car and she just managed to murmur 'Night Gandad' before she conked out in her baby seat!
When we got home, I popped her into her cot whilst I stripped and made our bed (Ada often wakes in the night and comes into my bed after which I don't sleep!) and was surprised when by 1:30 am she hadn't moved so much as a muscle. She just quietly snored! So I went to bed and slept until 4:30 undisturbed! She then came in with me and, as per usual, kicked me to death for the remainder of the night! LOL!
I've no idea how her parents go to work in the day if she's in their bed every night (...and she is...!) because I ached all over the next day! And talk about knackered!
The next morning, we were in the garden again, this time watering the garden, playing on the see-saw and digging in the sandpit and in the afternoon it was time for Musical Minis.
Musical Minis is a fab little kiddie group where tots from 5-6 months up to about four years play with musical instruments, learn nursery songs and rhymes and dance. For me, it's better than the gym! You try manhandling a two year old for an hour - it's knackering! Ada's no lightweight and I'm elderly! There's a very good reason why 57 year old women don't have babies....!
After MM's, Ada usually nods off in the car but this week she didn't. She was awake all day and by 4:30pm she was getting to be a bit crotchety. When she was denied something she wanted, she started 'whingeing' as I call it, putting on a cry. So, as usual, I told her,...
" Okay Sweetie-pie, stop whingeing - you know that doesn't get you anything. Ask nicely and Nanny will see what we can do, but no more whingeing."
Ada stomped off muttering under her breath and making a funny noise and when i asked "What are you doing now?" she replied defiantly "I's whingeing!"
I know you're not supposed to laugh but it took me so much by surprise I just burst out laughing! This actually had a good effect as Ada couldn't keep it up and burst into peals of laughter too! The pair of us were helpless for a good couple of minutes!
Apparently, Bev told me later, when she and Antony were having a verbal play-fight the other night Ada shouted at them and told them to 'Stop whingeing'! She'd wondered where it had come from! LOL!
Monday, 15 March 2010
Mother's Day yesterday and all my lickle chicks came to see me (the best present of all!) and they cooked a fab meal between them!
Rob & Dani made the entree, Bruschetta with Brie, rocket and olive oil - gorgeous!
Michael cooked the main of chicken in a mustard, cream and sherry sauce, sugar-snap and mange tout peas and crushed potatoes........mmmmmmmm! Divine!
Matt was in charge of the dessert which, although it didn't quite go to plan as it didn't quite have time to set, was just scrummy! It was a kind of boozy trifle without the jelly!
I'm afraid I ate rather too much altogether and paid in full with a very sore tum last night and this morning! Entirely my own fault, but I wouln't have missed it for the world!
And yes, Matt did bring two of my three hard-drives with him (..he couldn't get the last one out in a hurry...) but guess which one is missing? You got it...the one with all my stuff on it!
When I told Matt, he looked a bit sheepish and informed me that it wouldn't work anyway because her was fairly certain that the last hard-drive is an IDE connection, not a SATA like the dock I've bought........
How to you spell a very loud scream....?
Friday, 12 March 2010
My number one son Matt is a computer whizz but still hasn't found the time to fix my old one's operating system to get my stuff off it so I've now bought a hard-drive 'dock' so let's see how long it takes him to remove the hard-drives from the old one so I can 'dock' the bu**ers!
Then I'll be able to write again!
She wasn't especially quick, learning to talk, but it's becoming apparent that this was not because she couldn't - oh no! - it was because she was considering what to say.
She treated words as disposable - she would say a word, quite clearly, but then it would never be heard again for months - like 'Well, I've done that one...what's next?'
At 10 months she quite clearly said 'elephant' to her granddad - twice. But would she repeat it...?
Not on your life. All the usual words followed this pattern then she's start to retain a few she liked the sound of like 'pooh' and 'num-num' (her word at that time for food).
She roped 'Daddy' into her collection and then 'Ganda', but the women in her life, Mummy & Nanny? No chance! Not for many months.
She came out with the name for the woman who slaves for her all day, wiping little botty, clearing manure-filled nappies, creating lovely 'num-num' on demand and generally running round like an idiot - namely 'Nanna' on one sunny afternoon, sitting in the nursery reading her favourite nursery rhyme book.
At the time, she was attending a lovely little baby music group called 'Musical Minis' and she adored it, her favourite at the time being musical statues which she'd picked up immediately, complete with the two little fingers to the pursed little mouth saying 'shh..!' when the music stopped.
So, it was only a little book, so I used to sing her the rhymes out of it twice and she used to crow with delight. Until this day. I'd just got to the beginning of the book again and little Ada, all of 14 months old, put her two little fingers of one hand to my mouth, the other hand to her ear wrinkled her little brow and said 'Nanna...Sshhhhhh!'
A music critic at 14 months! I was thoroughly demoralized.
There was me thinking I was quite good at this mothering thing, having brought my own four up okay and dozens of other people's (I had been a registerd childminder in my younger, fitter days) and I had even been a singer before me lace broke and here it was, the truth, I'd given her a headache. Oh the ignominy!
Time went on and dozens of funny things came up which I didn't have the forsight or memory to record - like her brief dalliance with a word which sounded a lot like another word because of her lisp but it was actually 'sit' as she was trying to train her dog (the dog, Izzy did as she was bidden too!) !
A couple of weeks ago, we were on our way to 'Musical Minis' (yes, she still loves it!) and we were singing songs again (...I promise you she does usually like it...!)
and in the second verse of a little ditty i'd composed especially for her, Ada put up her two fingers in a 'Pax' gesture (..not the other one...!) and proclaimed
"Enough Nanny.......I'm busy" causing me to nearly choke with laughter.
Later on that afternoon, back in her car-seat after her exertions in Musical Minis, she exclaimed 'I yawning, I tired, must need bo-boes...' and promptly snuggled down in her seat and dozed off!
All babies are funny and cute to their grandparents, I know that, but nothing prepares you for the overwhelming tide of love that you are engulfed by and the only thing I can equate it to is falling in love - but better.
I've been told not all grandparents feel this way. All I can say to that is 'poor them', never to feel this rush of warm, protective and overpowering joy at the sight of your grandbaby, even at six o'clock on a winter's morning - it must be like going straight to hell but then, I don't supopose they realize what they're missing.
I go to bed of an night-time knackered but with a huge smile on my face at the prospect of seeing my Ada again in a few hours time. It keeps me going.
It's like being a new Mum again...plus a bit of experience and minus the energy!
I love it!
Thursday, 28 January 2010
When I was working full time and running a home and bringing up my four children as well as looking in on my Mum & Dad and having my elderly stroke-patient Auntie three times a week (...sound familiar ladies...?) as well as acting as roadie/manager for our number three son's rock-band, I was in bed late (...rock venues are open 'til the early hours...) and up early (...four kids to get up, washed, uniformed, breakfasted, homeworked, packed-lunched and to school) so Nic, on some shifts, would telephone me at 7:00am to make sure I'd not slept through the alarm.
He telephoned one morning, full of the joys of spring with the announcement "...Come on you lazy lump, out of that pit.! The sun's shining, the birds are singing and all is well with the world...!" the answer to which was a very groggy and querilous "...but I only went to bed at half past two - I've only been asleep a couple of hours..."
"...now don't give me that, you were in bed early last night, I was there remember..."
"...no, honestly, I've only just gone to sleep...I'm too tired to get up yet...."
And then the realization struck. My hapless OH had rung my mother at 7:00 am, an hour she hadn't experienced for very many years except in the aftermath of a party.......
Ya have to chuckle, doncha...?
Saturday, 16 January 2010
My OH has always worked shifts, but my Mum could never get the hang of this and she’d phone at all the wrong times for different things.
On night, he was in bed early as he was on early shift the following day and he was just drifting off when the phone went. I happened to be on the landing at the time so I shot in and picked up the phone from beside the bed , hoping he could ignore what I knew was going to be a call from my daft Mum.
“I’m doing a wordsearch puzzle and I just can’t get it. Can you just go through these answers and say if they’re right or not?”
”Okay, but be quick – Nic’s in bed and he’s on earlies in the morning.”
So she went through all the clues and she’d got them all right except for one.
“So does that help?” I asked, sincerely hoping it had.
“Actually, no, it’s made it worse, if anything. The shaded letters don’t make any sense to me, no matter how I juggle them.”
“Well we’ve established the answers are correct. What letters have you got?”
“ O L O X O X B”
Try as I might, the only thing I could get from that was ‘OXBOLOX’ which to my knowledge went straight to video……
Of course by now, Nic’s and I are wide awake trying to conjecture what was going on up on my Mum’s planet..
“Be prepared to go straight to your Mum’s as soon as I get home tomorrow – I want to see this puzzle!” announced my bog-eyed hubby.
So we went straight round, with all the kids, the next day at 4:00pm.
“Let’s see this puzzle Mum, “ said my OH.
“Oh there’s a good prize and if I win it, I’ll give it to you,” says Mum, “it’s no good to me, it’s the Guinness book of science.”
As usual the telly was blaring, so I motioned for her to turn it down which, grudgingly, she did.
“Why don’t you want it?” my OH stupidly asked.
“Oh I have those…” she waved hr arm expansively in the direction of the ancient book-case in the corner of the room. Upon it, in their customary place, as they had been for all of my life, were the ‘Book of Knowledge’ encyclopaedias. “I‘ve got everything I need from those books…”
“….except film-names…” I heard my eldest quip ‘soto voce’.
“… go on, ask me something..!” she insisted.
No-one spoke, not wanting to be the one to cause the mayhem that was bound to follow.
Nic must have been feeling either brave or foolhardy whan he muttered “Okay, who discovered Australia?”
The room went silent. “Ooooh I know this, just give me a minute….”
A few ‘ooh’s and ‘aaahs’ later is was clear she was struggling so I whispered “Captain Cook.” close to her ear, although everyone but her knew I’d done it.
“…that’s it, I’ve remembered! CAPTAIN HOOK!” and she beamed a big triumphant smile.
No-one could burst her bubble, so, rocking with suppressed giggles (kids too) we tried to be polite.
“I know all about religion too!” she continued. “Jesus wasn’t the first Christian you know …”
This was wandering into dangerous territory. There was only so much laughter a person can suppress without having some sort of an epiphany….
“…when I was working and I travelled a lot there was always, in the drawer in the hotel rooms, this book written by a man called Gideon. I used to read it!” and she nodded to emphasize the fact.
Dad, seeing the hot water she was getting us into, tried to change the subject and brought up the subject of politics. In hindsight, possibly not the best subject at the time.
Nic & Dad bantered points of view about the Irish Question and Dad brought up my Mum’s sister who lived in America who used to pay ‘Irish Money’ and the debate was did that go towards the IRA for terrorism. Despite the subject matter, this banter wasn’t being taken entirely seriously as it was only meant to distract, which it did as Mum had gone back to watching ‘Hector’s House’ – funny in itself as it was a kiddies programme.
Then Dad said “There’s your Jean ….”
Mum instantly sat up, turned round and peered out of the window to the garden. “Where?”
Hubby and I just looked at each other and recognised matching panic in each other’s eyes….
How we managed to make our excuses and leave is beyond me! I only remember driving about 100 yards down the road and having to stop because I couldn’t see for the tears of laughter.
Oh, and the movie title from the original puzzle? It was BATMAN!My daft as a brush mother had not read the instructions properly. You were meant to shuffle the answers around on the grid until the title appeared in the greyed out boxes………..
The wind howled and whistled down the chimney and under the doors of the dilapidated cottage.
Philomena Geraghty shivered in front of the coal fire she’d built, wishing she’d had gas-fires put in like her nephew was always urging her to do. But it was so expensive. At least it seemed so to her, the quotes he’d got for her and those, he’d said, were from a friend too.
He was so thoughtful, her Mark. Always thinking of her and the ways in which he could improve her comfort, although she didn’t know what she would do with a jacuzzi and had told him so. He’d said it would be good for her bad back and was a snip at £300.00.
Philomena sighed. He’d be around later to see her, she’d ask him then if his friend could still get those gas-fires cheap. She had to say, things were much dearer than when she was a girl.
She remembered this coal fire being put in when the old blacklead range was removed. To be honest, she had preferred the range. It was always warm and cosy and her mother kept it `banked up’, which she had tried to do innumerable times with this miserable coal-fire, without much success.
She got up and made herself a cup of tea in the kitchen. She had a new hob and oven, which Mark had insisted she bought for herself. He’d noticed a smell of gas escaping from her old oven and nagged her until she let his friend bring the new hob and oven. She’d also had to buy some new kitchen units to fit the oven and hob into. The extra matching units didn’t cost much more and Mark said it would be better to have a proper job done - much more hygienic.
She filled her new white jug kettle and settled it back on its base. She was thinking how different it was to her old kettle, which she’d boiled up on the old stove.
When Mark arrived, he was doubtful if his friend could still get the fires as cheap as they’d been, but used the mobile phone he’d convinced her he needed so she could always contact him in the event of an emergency, to ring his friend about them.
It turned out they would be £100 more than the originals but were a much better fire and would be installed that evening. What’s more, his friend would bring a couple of fire-surrounds too. Cheap, naturally.
That evening, when the fires and surrounds were installed, she sat in front of one enjoying the warmth. She’d spent a lot of money on the cottage recently, although she still had enough of a nest egg to live on for the rest of her life. And now she was warm too.
The bathroom and kitchen were both done, the new gas-fires installed in all the rooms, although she’d considered putting them in the bedrooms an extravagance, Mark had pointed out that she had to keep her bedroom aired otherwise she’d catch pneumonia and at her age “we don’t want that do we?”.
She thought how lucky she was that Mark looked after her. She thought perhaps she should change her will.
Leaving him this draughty old cottage and leaving the rest of her estate to the cat’s home was something she had decided on when he was a child because he’d seemed such a money-minded boy then. She’d made him aware of the fact that he’d get no cash from an early age and it had seemed to work. To a degree.
He still came to see her every day and was careful of and concerned for her health and wellbeing. Only last night he’d suggested new windows and doors to make the old cottage less draughty and she thought she would do them because, apparently, they were more secure too, having special locks on them and they were made of plastic, so she wouldn’t have to pay anyone to paint them anymore.
Yes, she would have them done. Mark’s friend said they’d be fitted in a day and the money saved in heating and maintenance would offset their considerable expense.
Two weeks later the windows arrived, but unfortunately too late for Philomena, who had fallen down the stairs one evening just after Mark had left the cottage, to lie unconscious o the lobby floor until the next day when he couldn’t raise a response on her phone.
She died on her way to hospital murmuring something about a will but whatever it was would have to remain undone forever.
Two months late, Mark rubbed his hands in glee as he walked down the path to his new home. The windows would be installed today.
Oh, but he was such a crafty fellow! He had always known the old girl would leave him the cottage, but no money with which to resurrect it from dereliction and so had embarked upon a programme of improvements whilst she was still alive. He didn’t really begrudge the kitties the remainder - he didn’t think there’d be much left! And good old Alfie, getting all the stuff dirt cheap and providing extortionately inflated billheads.
If he’d paid the gas board to install the fires it would have cost nearly as much as the receipt Alfie had provided for Auntie Phil!
The windows were in by teatime and the new upvc front door looked really good. Not only that, but it was instantly warmer, the howling gale from under the door having been stopped and the draughts from the elderly windows now having been eliminated.
He was very pleased with himself. The window fitters had done a very tidy job and he wouldn’t even have to re-decorate yet.
He ate his tea in the now warm kitchen and then settled down on his sofa in front of the new gas fire and new television with a large glass of Auntie Phil’s vintage brandy. Not that Auntie Phil liked brandy - she didn’t actually drink, but he had told her it was ‘medicinal’ and she should keep it in for emergencies. It would appear she’d never had one as the bottle was unopened.
He chuckled with self-satisfaction. It was warm and comfortable sitting in his cottage, on his sofa, drinking his brandy. He was feeling distinctly drowsy and thought he’d have a little nap, sleep off the good food and drink that Auntie had kindly provided. He could do whatever he wanted to do now. He could come and go as he pleased, not like the bedsit.
It was three days later they found him. Carbon monoxide poisoning. Due to his death following hard on the heels of his Aunt’s the authorities mounted a detailed investigation into the cause of death. In the course of the investigation, the cottage was checked over.
“Bloody stupid people. Fancy letting just anyone fit gas fires,” Detective Inspector Bob Walls said to his colleague, ”and the fires are faulty too. No doubt some villain sold them to the old duck, probably at an exorbitant price, and fitted them incorrectly too. Shame her nephew didn’t notice. I believe he was devoted to his Aunt and she left him this place. Poor bugger!”
D.I. Walls ran his finger over the seal of one of the new windows.
“It might not even have been fatal had the nephew not installed these new draughtproof windows. No ventilation see? The receipts we found were fakes, so we don’t even know who supplied and fitted the gas-fires.”
“So there’s no-one else in the frame then, Guv?” O’Rourke asked.
“A beneficiary you mean?” Walls sniggered, “ Not unless you count forty-odd moggies at the cat’s home. That’s where it reverts to on the nephew’s demise!”