Sunday, 24 February 2008


This is the bit of my life that keeps me sane.

Every week for two hours I am no longer "working mum", but fully fledged second soprano in the world famous.........

The Chorale are perfoming on Radio 4 tomorrow, but sadly without me because, as a teacher, I cannot take time off work. Maybe next time ..........

Saturday, 23 February 2008

We're "doing up the house"

Part of my mission to have it all is to have a beautiful home. Definitely not succeeding there. Let me explain why this is my hall, stairs and landing carpet (and yes, that is a threadbare patch, there are several).

About five years ago we spent a considerable amount of time, money and effort transforming our lovely little home into a haven. New kitchen and bathroom. Beautiful decoration, mature gardens, newly laid south facing patio, etc all in preparation for starting a family. Idea being that after having said baby we could concentrate on raising child and not worry about house.

Eight weeks after child born husband announces house is too small and drags me and baby househunting. Moved 14 months ago to an overly large house that hasn't been decorated for thirty years with jungle for garden and a forty year old axminster. This was the only way we could afford overly large house and hence why we are "doing up the house". We did seven rooms in seven months then ran out of money and energy! Baby has grown up knowing Clive the fence builder, Keith the plumber, Chris the electrician, Liam the kitchen fitter, Dave the tiler, Martin the alarm man, etc.

Baby now nearly four years old and thinks stripping wallpaper is great fun. Good job really .....

Wednesday, 20 February 2008


Back at work three days and completely frazzled!

One Inservice Training day followed by departmental Christmas do in evening (we had neither the energy nor the motiviation in December). One full day teaching followed by intensive choir rehearsal (supposed to be singing on Radio 4 on Monday, but as teacher cannot get time off work) and then today's debacle:

Arrived in work this morning to find that new software had been installed for my interactive whiteboard without warning. Had 10 minutes when I should have been at assembly to learn how to use it before my first lesson. Put on cover with the dreaded 3R during my only 'free' so couldn't even get up to speed with software then. Flew by the seat of my pants all day. Luckily was rescued a few times by techno sixth formers who suggested how to find what I wanted. Really sixth formers should run Inservice Training on how to deal with new software.

Daughter now back in routine of refusing to come home from childminder, watching CBeebies until tea is ready and then declaring "I don't want that!" about whatever healthy, nutritious meal I have created. This is swiftly followed by the bribe "Well that's all there is and if you don't eat it there's no pudding" after which daughter tucks into meal with gusto. Oh the joys of family life!

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Perfect family weekend

Have just finished perfect family weekend:

Yesterday husband and I took daughter to cinema to see 'Bee Movie'. Ok, so it was a day out at the Trafford Centre, but these things are what you make them. Particularly pleased to find Bee Movie was Odeon 'Kids' Movie and adults go free with £2.50 child ticket. Bought two child tickets (inventing imaginary, never in a million years will I do that again, second child) to get two free adults, total cost for three of us £5! Daughter had slight tantrum as she thought she would be spending the morning in the Early Learning Centre (only reason she can see for going to Trafford Centre). After appeasing her with overpriced pick and mix (thus negating ticket reduction), she enjoyed the movie and sat on my knee making me feel like real mummy.

Then had lunch at Cafe Nova where kids eat free with adult. Perfect!

Of course, then had to take daughter to ELC and, whilst dutiful husband played pirates and dragons, I nipped out to buy shoes for work and came back with five pairs and £160 worse off, thus negating free child's lunch.

Today was my Dad's 60th Birthday lunch at my brother's. Daughter made beautiful card and had present of photo montage of her with Grandad framed ready for his study. I had got him a nice bottle of brandy and a dignified card. A bottle of wine for my brother, chocolates for my sister-in-law and stickers and activity books to keep daughter amused during long lunch. Nothing could go wrong.

Mum phoned to ask if we could pick them up on the way, no problem, still one and a half hours to lunch. Husband went for shower, I sorted out daughter's party outfit, my turn for shower. Emerged from shower (having forgotten to shave legs - not usually necessary in winter but forgot I was wearing dress today) to find there were five minutes left to get dressed, dry my hair, put on make-up and organise child. What happened?!

I have a theory that time takes on a whole new dimension after having children. BC (before children) you get up, get ready, go out. Now, you get up at some ungodly pre sunrise hour, thus having hours to get ready. Spend quality time playing pirates, doing sticking and commentating on rocking horse races only to find that time has speeded up and a mad, five minute dash is necessary in order to leave the house on time. I agree with those scientists; time trully is curved!

So, scoring well on family front at the moment. However, returning to work tomorrow and who knows what chaos that will bring.

Friday, 15 February 2008

Nursery Coffee Afternoon

Felt like virtuous '5os mum' today. Spent morning decorating heart shaped gingerbread biscuits with daughter (see picture).

Then went to nursery coffee afternoon where I made a valentine card with daughter and then indulged in cakes and biscuits (all to raise funds for PTA of course).

Felt particularly virtuous for making biscuits rather than buying Mr Kiplings as other mums had done. Some Grandmas had baked, but obviously are primary carers and thus enabling their daughters to have it all.

So, winning on the 'mum' front in terms of having it all. (However, it was half term and had the coffee afternoon been last week would have resorted to Mr Kipling in order to win on 'work' front so not quite having it all yet)

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Having it all

Who was it that said women could have it all? Who? I suspect a woman with a 14 hour a week job that paid enough to have a full time nanny and housekeeper! (Probably Nigella)

Well, I'm here to set the record straight. The reality in today's world is a mum who works 60 hours a week, relies heavily on fabulous chilminder, has shopping delivered by Tesco (my motto is 'thank god for Tesco') and devises a rota for cleaning house (lounge this week, kitchen next week, etc).

Generally this system works well until the lurgy strikes.

Yes, this week is half term and I'm ill again. Negotiated lie-in this morning so husband entertained daughter from 6.30am by playing Britney Spears CD full volume and singing into Disco Diva microphone - not exactly what I had in mind.

Have spent most of the week preparing for tomorrow's Valentine's day coffee afternoon at nursery by being '50's mum' and making gingerbread hearts with daughter to take to nursery. Looking good at the moment, but daughter yet to decorate them in weird 3 year old picasso fashion.

Husband now cooking Valentine Day dinner to spoil me, but suspect washing the dishes may fall to me.