Thursday, 29 November 2012

So much to say...

...but gingerbread is getting in my way. Bloody hell that was genius wasn't it. I am a blog genius.  I am all gingerbread'd out.  Voila. Here is the gingerbread house I've made for the school fair - it should be fayre shouldn't it? When did it change? I saw it on a poster the other day and I thought "at last someone has spelt it the proper way."
Let me blow my own trumpet..
....I don't do perfect gingerbread houses but if I did..


Pretty darn good wouldn't you say?  Modest ain't I. Well, this my friends, is the reindeers house and I came up with the idea that it should have its own raffle (normally its lumped in with the main raffle). I wanted to incorporate a Willy Wonka Golden Ticket type game. So in exchange for £1 the children will get 2 gingerbread reindeer in a bag.  Within that bag will be a golden ticket whereby they write what they would like to call the reindeer (the one with the hefty mortgage on his sweety house) and drop into a shoebox wrapped with xmas paper. Then we can say "the winner of the golden ticket is....." At the time, I thought this is inspired. I have baked circa 100 gingerbread reindeer today which are being decorated (by my pta cronies at my house) tomorrow. I hope these things bloody well sell!  Needless to say I've only worked out once this week.
My husband had his spinal injection today (he waited 5 hours for it) so had to drop him there and back with les enfants in the evening. I have so much to write about but so little time like turkey talk, over excited mums at Xmas time and what do I consider to be not feminist. An interesting blog post by Pint Sized Rants made me think about what does it mean when I say "I'm not a feminist" and the one on the back burner nurseries.
So I'm off to faff and not exercise. I hope to be back this week with tales of exercise and baggy jeans!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Monday Weigh In

-lb by the skin of my skinny skin skin! Haven't exercised for two weeks on Wednesday. Still recovering from my little flu but have been eating much better since Saturday really.  This is going to be short and sweet I'm afraid. Busy week ahead - gingerbread house to construct and decorate, load of PTA stuff leading up to the Xmas fair, gingerbread reindeer to make and pack, husband has spinal injection Thursday and collapse on Saturday evening.

Hope to see you again real soon!

Until next time....

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Charity Shops...

A typically ridiculously priced item in the shop window of our local 'charity' shop
..are making me mad.  Yes its time they got a good dressing down. Before I start, here's a few definitions of the word 'charity' in case charity shops had forgotten. Maybe they should stick these up in the back room and have a gander prior to plucking up prices for items out of thin air:-

 'generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy or suffering; also: aid given to those in need'
 'an institution engaged in relief of the poor' 'public provision for the relief of the needy'
'an organisation set up to provide help and raise money for those in need'

So what's the big deal? They're on the high street raising valuable monies for the various different good causes. The people that work in these shops give their time for free although as I understand it the manager gets a salary. Well I'll tell you what the problem is - its all a bit one sided isn't it.  Whilst some people pop into a charity shop to find a bargain (fat chance of that if you live down my neck of the woods) a lot of people shop in charity shops because they don't have a pot to piss in. Yes, the needy. Remember them charity shops? People you are meant to help.  These people actually go to charity shops to find clothes, shoes and gifts because they can't afford to buy these items new. They might as well buy this stuff brand new as far as I'm concerned. Have you seen the price tags on most items in charity shops these days? No? Well pop into one the next time you're in your local high street. It is a disgrace. There needs to be a massive overhaul of charity shops and a code of conduct as far as I'm concerned. 

Quite frankly charity shops are taking the piss. Its outrageous. Manky teddy bears in the shop window priced at £5, old used cutlery sets priced up at £25 quid and I kid you not, the other day, I saw a tatty old party dress marked up at £45!  I mean you could buy all this tat brand new for less money. Is it any wonder that their sales are down by over 20% and donations have dropped massively. Get your shit together.
Now maybe they think that by putting a stupid price on items people will bid them down to the price they actually want. How many people do you know would bid down a charity shop?  Its not really the done thing is it. You'd feel a bit mean seeing as its for charity and all. In fact, I tried it recently and was told in no uncertain terms that "we do not accept offers, the price is the price". Clearly the charity shop couldn't give two hoots about your social situation can it now. 

Charity shops have rested (much like the French did with their cuisine) on their laurels for far too long. They are ungrateful and mean. You can't leave stuff outside, they won't put local fund raising (like our school's Christmas Fair) posters in their windows and rubbish customer service is guaranteed. I now just put all my old clothes into the school's 'rag bag' collection bin. The school gets over £1,000 for this each year so up yours charity shops.

On Friday, I very nearly walked into our local charity shop and had it out with them.I walked past and I stopped dead in my tracks. It was the same charity shop that has a snow globe (see above) marked up at £25. Now not only is it more than you would pay on ebay you can't actually take it until 22nd December as it makes up their window display. What shop in the world would say yes we do have this in store but you can't take it home with you? See what I mean. I digress.

In the shop window sat a second hand wooden dolls house of reasonable size. Guess how much. £150. I could not believe it. You can easily get a giant wooden dolls house brand new for less money. Oh, and if you want to spend £150 on a second hand dolls house you can't take it home until 22nd December.  That dolls house should be priced at £20 max so that a person that has little money could get a great Christmas present for a child.

Update - February 2014 - today I tired to buy, over the phone, a wicker basket (okay it was a Fortnum and Mason one but so what!) from my local charity shop. It was in their window display yesterday. The chirpy lady on the phone told me its not for sale and is no longer on display. WTF?!! So let me get this right you have a basket that I'd happily pay £20/£30 for, its not even in your shop window anymore, but I can't buy it?!  Are you seriously telling me you will never come across something that you can use as a little picnic table ever again that you have to have a stock pile of props?  STOP cherry picking items.

Charity shops can you please get a grip - yes you are raising money but you're also meant to act charitable to the people in need. And you are meant to sell the items that people generously donate to you. 

Friday, 23 November 2012

Its My Birthday!

Yes it is my friends. I am 39 today. This will be short and sweet as I'm currently sipping lemsip - I have a bit of cold and now feel a bit ropey! My foot is better but no exercise for one week 2 days. I feel fat and bloaty not good.  I've had a wonderful day - bouquets of flowers from the kids, a lovely card from my husband and an equally tearful card from my bestie.  I got a fab-u-lous leopard print 'N' keyring from my good friend Em - we managed to trot around the shopping centre with toddlers in tow browsing and acquiring in my own words, that I often use 'shit we don't need'.  I saw a coat twas lovely twas a bit snug fitting but I'm going back to get it. I need a kick up the arse. I have a night out in two weeks time also which invariably will mean we wailing at some point "I have nothing to wear". A year on and the same wail re-surfaces. This time next year I don't want to have to wail that if you please. 

Right off to rest and recuperate. Have a fabulous weekend from your now 39 bloggerette!


Monday, 19 November 2012

Monday Weigh In

A zero. I had lost 2lbs up to Thursday last week. I didn't weigh myself but I could just feel it in my jeans etc and I had worked out 3 x before Thursday. Speaking of which I've really hurt the top of my right foot. I think it was when I peddled my bike using tip toes. Why would I do such a thing - who knows! It might have something to do with the fact that my top gears weren't working and I wanted to get more speed. I've since taken my bike to Halfords who fixed it all for nothing.  The pedal crank thingymejiggy wasn't working properly and the guy said "you would have found it very difficult to pedal." Ain't that the truth - my good workout has rendered me pretty helpless on the working out front as by Saturday I could barely walk. 
Pictures my own for once!
Covent Garden soaking up the Christmas cheer
Bear head alert!

Which leads me into why I haven't lost weight. Well Friday I had the Quiz Night at the school (a great success) but it includes a fish and chip supper so I had that which I always intended to do but having worked out that day.  On Saturday I had the best day. Myself and the hubster went up to London to see The Killers and made a day of it by visiting Covent Garden (by the way take the lift - climbing up 190+ stairs did not help). We walked loads (or hobbled should I say!) and had a rather large Chinese buffet at the O2 venue. It was very nice but wasn't going to do my weight loss any good.

My bike ride that caused the damage - beautiful
though isn't it?

The concert was just awesome. Brandon Flowers was belting out the songs with no sign of cancelling the concert like they had to do mid-week due to his voice going. I celebrated (even though its not till Friday) my 39th birthday in style.  The photos of this Saturday highlighted the need to continue my weight loss journey as my 'bear head' needs reducing somewhat! I mean I have a big 'moon face' that Enid Blyton would have been proud of.

Not a great pic of Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Cater who were at the gig.  She looks fab and petite and ate some chips!

My husband bought me this bag from Covent Garden its handmade leather and has a cow print skin - it hasn't gone down too well in the playground!

The Killers are awesome!  Brandon Flowers voice is incredible it really is

Tomorrow I am on a school trip which isn't ideal with my foot but will dose up with painkillers and hope for the best.

p.s shall I change my pop art pic to an old hag now?

Until next time....

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Shit Friends

This little saying keeps popping up on facebook and seems to warm the cockles of a few people's hearts. They don't for me mind. In my view these friends aren't really worth a wank. I'm sorry, couldn't help it, was going to say worth their weight in gold but shit friends happen.

I mean how busy are these so called 'friends' that they go for 'long periods of time' without calling or checking in? If you like someone you'll always make time to phone, email and text rather then the odd comment or two on facebook. I would hold a grudge if I were you. No one is that busy. If you like someone you make time for them. Simple. These are types of friends that go into my yearly cull basket if you please. You know the ones you mentally delete. They get moved into the acquaintance category. The above applies to acquaintances not true friends. Don't get me wrong acquaintances have their place in your life too but let's not get the two confused shall me. Someone that can't be arsed to phone or only wants to see you when it suits them is not a true friend. And why is it normally around this time of year? The time when people are leading 'busy lives.'  Why does everyone have to meet up before Christmas? You've had a whole sodding year to get together.  Yes let me drop everything for you. I wouldn't mind but normally they suggest it (bit like The Ignorer) you give them some dates then they can't make the dates you suggested and it never happens in any event.
Even if you don't live in the same country and with time differences, if you really like someone and want to catch up, you need to do so on a regular basis. You see, if you are only phoning once in a blue moon, there isn't a cat in hells chance that if feels like you 'just spoke yesterday.' You have more than likely missed massive chunks of tittle tattle that us women need to report on a regular basis.  If you talk only once a year you could even be forgiven for saying "oh yeah that, we got divorced a couple of months back, wasn't working out." Whereas your true friends would have heard about all the details leading up to this point. I miss talking to certain 'friends' that I haven't spoken to in a week. I will always make time for those folk. 
So if you see this on facebook how about commenting and saying "oh you have shit friends too and they know who they are!"


Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Monday Weigh In

Okay its Tuesday but I was so busy yesterday and also had a PTA meeting in the evening so I didn't get back home until 10.30pm.

Well 1lb off! Stress is obviously good for dieting.  I worked out a few times last week and will start updating my logs properly. I did the Wii dance 3 x (one with a friend it was very funny) and I was out on the bike with my son Sunday.  Yesterday I dusted off The Biggest Loser workout and glad I did. I worked out for 37 minutes exactly and it was tough. I couldn't do as many burpees as I used to do (I hadn't worked out to this since July!) or sprint starts but it felt good to work out to it again.  Today I am going to do my Wii dance and tomorrow I plan a bike ride (weather permitting in the morning) when Buddy is at school.

My note book is out - writing down what I eat and get this, last night I couldn't sleep as I was so hungry. This is a good sign I haven't felt properly hungry for a while now and its about time I did.

On Saturday me and the hubster are off to London for the day and to see The Killers!! I cannot wait - I'm trying not to think about it otherwise I'll get too excited and then I'll get a migraine - I don't get out much what can I say!

Until next time...

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Ban the Tooth Fairy

Who came up with the shit idea to leave a child some money if their tooth fell out? I want to have a word with them if you please.  I am crap at being the Tooth Fairy. The Tooth Fairy has got some seriously bad press in this house and justifiably so. I always forget to put a coin under the pillow and I feel really guilty the next morning. Sort yourself out woman - how difficult is it to remember to put some money under the pillow? My husband helpfully pointed out that he'd noticed I often miss the fairy deadline. Well my dear you be the sodding tooth fairy then!

Look you can even knit your own Tooth Fairy - If I were the Tooth Fairy I would like to look like this! Pic ebay
On Thursday my daughter's tooth fell out and I did the usual "put it under your pillow and the Tooth Fairy will come." My son has taken it upon himself to value teeth depending on what they are for example molars £1, bottom teeth 50p and so on. I don't know how or when this tooth pricing came about but I stood my ground and said "no, the tooth fairy leaves £1 (or is it 50p?) she doesn't value them on the types they are."

Now my daughter had 3 bottom teeth extracted when she was just 18 months - no I don't feed her sweets and shit. That's another post when kids teeth are extracted because "they're not growing properly" not the ten ton of sugar you give them then? She fell from a step and landed head first into the grass which ripped her bottom three teeth out from the root. It was awful, blood everywhere, they were just hanging there and she screamed all the way to A&E. They were removed a day later. Luckily they were her baby teeth but the adult ones have grown albeit a bit yellow inside. I kept those teeth in a little jar until my daughter decided to put all three under the pillow to fool the Tooth Fairy into thinking they were recent ones. Genius. I like her thinking but I had to explain that the Tooth Fairy knows if they are 'fresh' teeth and that was the reason she didn't come that night. See what I mean? A labyrinth of lies all because so dick came up with the notion of a Tooth Fairy.

In any event, she said she wasn't going to put this tooth under her pillow as she wanted to make up for the ones that were taken from my jar and were subsequently lost.  Great I don't have to be the Tooth Fairy for a good while. This was short lived as on Friday she decided she would, after all, put the tooth under her pillow. The Tooth Fairy went to bed and woke up with my daughter upset that the Tooth Fairy hadn't been. Shit. Forgot again.

The lies started along the lines of well if you first decide not to put a tooth under the pillow she's not sure that when you do that you actually want your tooth to go.  Then when that wasn't washing so well I said I'd probably scared the Tooth Fairy when I went to the toilet (true) and she'd be back tomorrow. What a palarva. 

I can remember all the usual stuff like Halloween, fireworks etc. I can even remember to leave out presents on Christmas Eve and the children's birthdays but I cannot, for the life of me, remember to put a coin under my kids pillow if their tooth falls out. 

The Tooth Fairy has got a bad reputation for that reason and I am always (funny that) sticking up for her. She was probably busy with the unprecedented teeth that fell out this week, I think she heard me when I got up last night so she flew away but will be back tomorrow, sometimes she runs out of coins and has to go to the bank to stock up, sometimes all Tooth Fairies go on strike if they've been working too hard and not getting a break and so it goes on.

I hate the frigging Tooth Fairy. I can take the lies no more.  The Tooth Fairy isn't magical in this house she's a temperamental trade Unionist and I am sick of her.

Please, please can we just ban the Tooth Fairy?!

Monday, 5 November 2012

Monday Weigh In

No change but I am in very good spirits.  It was half term week and we didn't get out and about as much as I would have liked. I did the usual cleaning Monday, food shopping Tuesday, Wednesday we were stuck in all day until the evening trick or treating (see previous post). My friend's son came around she only lives a 10 minute walk away but was waiting for her husband to come back with the car! Walking is such a novelty these days isn't it. So instead of getting to mine just before 10 am he arrived at 11.40 am! She was working so then came back about 2.15pm but it made the day very disjointed. She is always late in fairness and I was going to joke about when the big hand is on 12 etc but thought better of it. On Thursday I say my friend Cath and her kids and we managed to get out to the park so that was good and Friday the eldest two went to my parents for fireworks.

During the week we did play the Wii dance 4 - the kids love it, however, I did over do it a bit as I use wrist weights whilst dancing, to sweat more, which meant I pulled the side of my waist.  Its been aching a bit so may have to rethink the wrist weights until I know the routines better or at least warm up before I go full throttle.

I'm also quite excited as buddy started pre-school today (only on a Monday and Wednesday) he was absolutely fine. He didn't cry or wet himself - bonus!  He looked mighty chuffed when we picked him up (the other two were off on an inset day) which, all being well, means he'll do the same Wednesday.  A free morning for me! I can't decide on a marathon Wii dance, The Biggest Loser workout (which I haven't done in ages), Your Shape or get out on my bike. If its nice, I'm definitely going out on the bike - my friend my come with me if she drags her bike out of the garage and gives it a bit of a dust down.  Either way I am going to be sweating!

When my daughter went to pre-school 4 times a week I joined a gym on a 'yummy mummy' membership. Basically I could do the classes, swim etc for £20.00 a month during off peak hours. It was perfect I used to drop her off then go to a class (hate the gym) and be back in good time to get her.  A very good deal and it did get me in very good shape for my wedding.  I did pilates, spinning and boby pump.   However, since doing my blog and getting into the mindset of never ever re-joining a slimming club I have a similar attitude towards gyms.  I want to do it myself. I have my bike, I have my Wii/X Box for the winter months and there is a local swimming pool nearby.

I am well and truly stuck in the 1970's! Until next time...

Friday, 2 November 2012

Halloween Bashing Part II

Last year I wrote a this post about Halloween. In a nutshell, how it could have a good case for festive discrimination, that people don't like the trick or treating aspect of it and are generally a bit snobby about the whole thing.

In any event, I like Halloween and the kids like it.  I take them trick or treating not to gather masses of sweets (I don't stock them in the house - cakes, crisps and biscuits yes, sweets no) they just like to dress up and knock on peoples doors. What's wrong with that?! Knock down ginger (remember that - where you'd knock on someones door and just run away?) but waiting for the person to open the door. I figure at what time in your life can you do that for before you get locked up. Its just a bit of fun and if you don't want to take part you don't have to. And here's a hint if you don't want to get into the spirit (pun intended) of things - don't deck your house out in Halloween garb and then slap a whopping great big sign saying NO TRICK OR TREATING!

Maybe next year people could carve this instead?
Yes, this year has seen a new phenomenon that I have never encountered in the three years of trick or treating, A4 coloured printed piss off signs.  I would love for the people of this country to feel so passionate about real issues like cuts to public services and things that affect their local community and demonstrate so forcibly like I saw on Halloween night. Alas, that would be too much effort - anything that is worth fighting for is met with shrugs and "they're going to do it anyway". People have forgotten how to protest and protest they must in these austerity times.

I watched a programme last night about the town of Stoke. It was a behind the scenes look at the council and all the pathetic types making the decisions. I tell you something - the people working there wouldn't be able to get a job in the private sector. Its despairing to watch the type of people that are involved in such massive decisions. One councillor (on the committee that made the decisions) did the job part-time (and paid a handsomely £45,000 for it) it was all a bit of a hobby for him. Going back to protesting, one parent canvassed people and got signatures on petitions to save their Surestart centre. She was successful and spoke eloquently at the cabinet meeting. The councillors thought better of pissing off a possible 12,000 voters so it remained open. Protest can bring results but you have to have the stomach and fight for it and most don't but we will have to in the coming years I feel.

Halloween signs my children were confronted with. Basically it says NO trick or treating enjoy it but don't knock on my door. Maybe next year that should be the trick - knocking on these doors with the sign?!
I digress. As ever.  So back to trick or treating and the signs.  Now don't get me wrong I understand some people don't like people knocking on their doors especially if they have babies etc. If that's the case, may I suggest you don't leave out a carved pumpkin, stick up a whopping great big skeleton on your front door and embrace all the Halloween nick naks. Don't be a Halloween tease. I'm not going to put up all my Christmas decorations and then put up a sign up saying "Fuck off Santa" so let us use a bit of common sense shall we. 

I only let the children knock on the houses that are decorated - this to me is a sign that they are partaking in a bit of trick or treating.  So imagine the children's and my confusion, having walked down a spooky path, to then come face to face with a very arty go away sign.  My daughter made a valid point "why decorate if you don't want us?"

Naturally I ranted about it on Facebook and Twitter. One of my followers said she considered it to be begging - I did ask if she had decorated her house but she didn't answer. She also said when she did look out the window she saw 3 children about 12 years old with hoodies. I immediately thought well she clearly doesn't live in South London as this is small fry living on the front line - sure enough she lived in the worried well part of the UK - the shires.

I don't consider it begging, my children would happily have a trick, you don't have to give out sweets.  Besides even if some one was 'begging' which, given that there are now 300 food banks in the UK, it is not against the realms of possibility that the treats a child receives may be the only ones they can get their hands on. Its a good night for a sweet bounty haul and if you've trawled the streets in the drizzle dressed as a zombie and are a teenager you deserve your sweets.

Maybe next year we'll protest about the Halloween Bashing....