Thursday, 31 December 2009

Marley was dead; to begin with........

(Firstly, let me say that this is not a sponsored post, it's just pure me!)

Today we headed off to the cinema to see Disney's offering of "A Christmas Carol".

Now, this story is very dear to my heart. I just love it. Not least because my real name is Carol (no, it's not really Working Mum) so I always felt it was a book written for me.

To start with my dad used to tell me this story as a bedtime story in the days leading up to Christmas when I was a child. I was scared witless by Marley's ghost and cried every time Tiny Tim died.

Growing up I would watch film versions every Christmas and particularly liked the musical version starring Edward Woodward as the Ghost of Christmas Present.

The first time we took daughter to the theatre was to see the stage version "Scrooge" two years ago. She loved it.

This year, I indulged my love of the book by downloading the audio book read by Tim Curry and have been listening to it every night when I go to bed. Authentic, unabridged and beautifully read.

So it was with some trepidation I went to see what Disney had made of it.

Had they changed the story?

Or sweetened it for children?

Had they introduced new characters?

I needn't have worried.

It was fab-u-lous!!

They stayed faithful to the book including using the actual dialogue from the book. The animation was superb and the effects were a visual feast. All my imaginings of the ghosts and their visitations were realised on the screen.

How did this film sneak in with little advertising or hype?

I shall be buying the DVD when it comes out and it will be a firm Christmas favourite.

Thanks, Disney!

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Calm down, calm down

Have calmed down a bit since husband bought flowers and admitted he'd got it wrong. It would have been a lot worse if he'd continued to insist he hadn't done anything wrong! We are now not mentioning Iceland.

So we set off today to pay for the Disney holiday that we should all be going on. In Thomas Cook daughter saw a poster of a girl pony riding on a beach and asked where it was.

"Wales" came the reply.

"Aw, can we go to Wales on holiday instead?" she whined.

"No, darling. Unfortunately we are taking you to Disneyworld, Florida"

You don't really expect to say that sentence, do you?

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

New Year Resolution

Find a hammer and do my husband's skull in.

I have never been as mad with him as I am today.

In the 21 years I have known him he has never annoyed me as much as today.

And that's counting the endless football matches, training and trips!

Here's what happened:

Today I got the new kitchen calendar out and filled in birthdays, holidays, parents' evenings, rainbows meetings, choir rehearsals, etc.

Then I asked him to fill in City Matches and his U18 football.

That's when he filled in A FIVE DAY TRIP TO ICELAND that I knew nothing about!

As if that wasn't bad enough, he's booked it to arrive home about 10 hours before we set off for Florida on daughter's holiday of a lifetime to Disney!!

One 8 hour delay and he misses his daughter's magical trip!

(And last time, he was delayed by 8 hours on his return)

How could he be so thoughtless, naiive and stupid?

At first he tried to pretend that he had told me about it, but I'd forgotten.


Then, when he realised he was getting nowhere with that tack, he said he hadn't told me because I would "go off on one"! (Thus inadvertently revealing that he knew he'd done wrong)

Too right I would go off on one!

Why couldn't he just have discussed it with me and found a more appropriate time to go?

He's now said that he won't go and is blaming me for him missing the trip!

Just watch the Manchester Evening News next week -

"Manchester Teacher Attacks Husband with Hammer"

Monday, 28 December 2009

The Casualty of Christmas

The goose was cooked.

The crackers were pulled.

The mother in law complained about the dinner (yes, really!)

We ate too much and drank too much.

And we watched Dr Who.

A traditional Christmas, then!

Yes, we survived another Christmas Day in the Working Mum household.

Daughter woke at a reasonable hour and loved the pretend pony we bought her.

Husband received enough Wii games to keep him occupied until Summer.

I got lots of cupcake related presents plus a massive box of all my favourite Thornton's chocolates, which will keep me going until, oooo, 3rd Jan!

And the casualty?

One of my beautiful Royal Doulton dessert bowls was smashed during the washing up.

Unfortunately the pattern is discontinued.

But do not fret.........

... I know what to do in these situations .......

..... Ebay here I come!

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

A Very Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas!

Since I broke up on Friday I've turned into a domestic goddess getting ready for Christmas. I've finished decorating the house and putting up the cards. I've made hoards of cranberry and orange mince pies as well as more of those delectable Christmas cupcakes.

I've decorated my Christmas Cake:

Presents are all wrapped and delivered.

I've circled my favourites in the Christmas Radio Times.

All the food has been delivered (including a goose this year!)

The table is laid for Christmas Day.

All I have to do now is two concerts at the Bridgewater Hall (today and tomorrow) and Christmas can begin!

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Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

I'm dreaming of a White Christmas

This post is especially for my friends far away who read my blog (you know who you are!):

Daughter announced today that we don't have to dream of a White Christmas because we've got one!

It's a long time since we've had a White Christmas and we are loving it!!

There are snowballs to be thrown:

Mini snowmen to be made:

(Look in front of her right welly)

And, of course, a proper snowman to be made:



Saturday, 19 December 2009

Strictly Working Mum

As you may or may not know, daughter and I are "Strictly Come Dancing" fans.

Husband, however, is not.

Tonight is the final and he is so glad it has finally come.

Here's our schedule:

On Saturday I watch the show whilst recording it.

On Sunday, daughter and I watch the recording while I do the ironing.

Every Monday to Friday at 6.30pm daughter and I watch "Strictly It Takes Two" in PJs drinking milk (that's daughter in PJs drinking milk, not me)

We like to discuss the dancers, the music, the dresses, the hair dos, the judges comments, etc

Then we like to do our own dancing round the lounge.

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And yes, we give each other scores out of 10.

Too much?

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Digital Dementia

Well, here in Granadaland we went fully digital with the final switchover on 2 December.

You may recall that we sorted out my MIL last year with a new TV and a digital recorder so that she would be fine once the switchover came (see this post).

I've popped over to her house in the last few weeks doing the necessary retunes and then the fateful day came. I retuned her TV and recorder and voila - sorted!

I was too smug.

Two days later she called to say ITV wasn't recording properly.

I went round (husband has no patience with his own mum), tried a few things and decided it was the recorder. One day out of warranty, but fabulous Tesco (TGFT) said they would replace or refund. None of their new recorders were suitable (easy to use) for my MIL so I took the refund.

I then bought her a new one (at a grossly inflated, post switchover price) and tried that.

Fine for five minutes then pixelation galore. Then nothing worked. Not ITV, not BBC, nothing. I took it back and got a replacement. Tried the replacement at our house, it worked fine, took it to her house, nothing.

I have spent the last three days going forward and backwards between her house and mine trying various TVs and recorders and slowly eliminating possibilities until the only thing left is that it is her aerial.

A quick call to our aerial man and he popped round.

Nothing wrong with her aerial.

However, the aerial man said he has been rushed off his feet with calls to houses who can't get ITV or who have "poor signal" messages. He said it's been a nightmare.

We still haven't sorted out MILs problems, but it looks like it's not anything to do with her equipment. It's post switchover mayhem.

Who decided to switch off analogue TV three weeks before Christmas?

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Christmas Cupcakes

Look what I did!

I made all of those!

I had so much fun today at Leah's Pantry

You may remember that I did a cupcake course there in Summer. Well, I loved it so much I booked for the Christmas cupcakes. I was not disappointed.

We made apple and cinnamon cakes, cranberry and orange cakes and mince pie cakes amongst others, but the biggest fun was the decorating. I was a whirl of icing, buttercream and sparkly edible things!

Dont' they look fab?

I especially liked this wreath (surprisingly simple to make):

And I loved making the Christmas Puddings:

I went a bit mad with the snowflake cutter:

I made this lebkuchen with red rose for hubby:

I made this penguin one for daughter:

(Yes, I made the penguin!)

And for me?

Well, Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a beautifully wrapped present:

Classy and sophisticated.

Just like me!

Friday, 11 December 2009

Guess what I'm doing tomorrow........

Yes, I'm going on another cupcake course!

This time it's Christmas cupcakes.

I'm so excited!

And on Sunday the Working Mum family are going to the "Halle Family Christmas" at the Bridgewater Hall. Mustn't forget our jingle bells!

My cold is receding.

This is going to be a good weekend!

Mele Kalikimaka!

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

I don't believe it!

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I have a cold. I am gutted. I have tried so hard this term to avoid illness. I have washed my hands after marking every set of books, I have used the hand sanitisers that are liberally sprinkled around school and I have eaten more fruit and veg than ever. And still I have caught a cold. Damn that cold virus!

Yesterday, as I was sneezing and snivelling through my lessons armed with a box of tissues, I decided that I was not going to soldier on as usual. The decision was confirmed when one 12 year old boy offered me one of his Olbas Oil infused tissues and one of my sixth formers told me to use some Vaseline to sooth my sore, red nose!

So I arranged for someone to take my form's register this morning, I sorted out appropriate and useful work for each of my classes today and told my Head of Department that I would not be in. It felt very odd to make a rational decision to stay off work instead of crying in the bathroom at 6.30am thinking "I can't do it".

I am so desperate not to be ill for the next six months (which is usually what happens). I am hoping that this decision will be for the better in the long run so that I am more able to bounce enthusiastically round the classroom inspiring young minds. I think I made the right decision because I lay shivering in bed this morning as my cold developed and definitely couldn't have taught 100 teenagers today. Not only that, I've just switched on the laptop to e-mail school to say I won't be in tomorrow either as I know from past experience that going back too soon means I don't recover until March.

Plus, I am doing something this weekend that I have been looking forward to since August and I do not want to miss it!

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Easy like Sunday morning

Have you, like me, abandoned the Sunday papers in favour of the Sunday blogs? You know, those bloggers who write interesting posts that require a bit more than a couple of minutes to read?

Well, having received this award:

from Modern Mom at How to Survive Life in the Suburbs, I have decided to pass it on to those who constitute my Sunday morning reading:

No rules attached, just enjoy!

I've also received another one of these:

from Muddling Along Mummy. I should tell you seven things about myself, but I did that recently, and I should pass it along to four other blogs, but I'm being lazy and saying first four commentors can take it.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Simply having a wonderful Christmas time?

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I love Christmas. Well, I love all the build up: the Carols, the lights, the sparkle, making my Christmas cake, singing in concerts. I love all the things that winter festivals were invented for, to give you a boost during the cold, dark winter.

However, I don't love all the extra work it involves when I'm so busy at work and I don't love the guilt of what to do on the big day itself.

You see, my MIL spends one Christmas with her son, one with her daughter, year in, year out, probably until she dies. This restricts us every other year. I have managed to get her to come to our house in the past few years rather than go to hers and that has opened up the opportunity to invite my family as well, but it does mean we have to be at home every other year.

This year we are having MIL so I asked my mum and dad if they wanted to come to us.

Oh, the problems!

My brother has invited my mum and dad and was going to invite us, but we have MIL. Now my mum feels she has to choose between us. You get the jist.

Anyway, my brother and I are pretty easy going and don't mind what happens as long as we all see each other at some point, but my mum loves the big day.

She's now decided that they'll come to us on Christmas Eve and stay overnight so that they can see granddaughter open her presents, then they'll go to my brother's for Christmas dinner, after that they'll go home overnight and come back to us on Boxing Day. We'll have my brother and his wife round on Boxing Day or another day (they've yet to decide) and we'll all go to mum and dad's on New Year's Day.


Why does it have to be so difficult?

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Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Technology - love it, hate it

I have now written all my 130 subject reports, although whether the new data management system will eat them or not, I have yet to find out, but I have done them. Huge sigh of relief. I have written them all in Word and pasted them into the new software so that I have copies to forward to IT Support if they disappear into the ether. Only 20 form reports still to do, but I now have to deal with issue of random sets of initials appearing across pupils' reports for no reason. Aaaaaagh!

I could really do without technology!

However, I have been on the internet and ordered lots of Christmas presents to be delivered to me at work so I don't have to go out to shop and I don't have to worry about not being in when they deliver.

I have reserved daughter's Christmas present on-line so I only have to go and collect it next weekend.

I have booked Tesco deliveries every week up to the 18th Dec (Christmas week not available yet).

What would I do without technology?