Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Now I'm a museum piece!

As you may know, this year sees the centenary of the Guide Movement.

Last week my daughter, who is a keen Rainbow, brought home a note saying:

"Mums, Aunties, Grandmas, could you please send any photos of yourselves as Guides to next week's meeting?"

So I hunted about in a shoe box in the study and found this:

Me receiving my Queen's Guide Award in 1984.

(Notice the Queen's Guide Award shaped cake my mum baked for the occasion, this must be where I get the baking thing from)

This photo is now going in a display at church along with my treasured camp blanket covered in my badges.

I'm now a piece of Guiding History!

I feel so old!!

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Queen Izzy

Tomorrow is daughter's 6th birthday and guess what I'm doing?

A full day's work and then...........

......yep, staying at work until 9pm for yet another Parents' Evening.

Why do parents insisit on meeting their children's teachers? ;)

By the time I get home she'll be fast asleep in bed.

So we're celebrating next weekend instead.

I've told her she's like the Queen - two birthdays!

(Of course this means two cakes as well, so she's in complete agreement)

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Ding Dong!

Well, my MIL arrived back from Italy having spent £2000 to hire a car and drive across Europe. (Why? Why couldn't three pensioners with nothing to come back for just stay in Sorrento for another week until Thomson flew them home again?)

I've yet to hear the tale because I've been so busy all week I've managed to avoid her.

On top of my working week I've had yet another Parents' Evening, a choir rehearsal, an evening helping an ex pupil with her PhD (never thought I'd be working out correlation coefficients for pig, rat and human brain drug uptake!) and, last night, a concert.


Yes, last night I sang in a St George's Day concert at the Bridgewater Hall.

"Land of Hope and Glory" and all that.

Lots of flag waving and plenty of "Rule Britannia".

Great fun, but guess who the presenter was.

Go on, guess.

The clue is in the title of this post.


Leslie Phillips!


Wednesday, 21 April 2010

My Mentor

My mum, the original and ultimate Working Mum:

At a work's dinner this week she was asked by a colleague if she'd left my dad something for his tea.

"Yes", she replied, "A kitchen"

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Lux Aurumque

We are currently singing quite a bit of Eric Whitacre in the Chorale at the moment. Eric is a very modern and innovative composer of choral music. I must admit that I haven't quite 'got' him yet, but I'm being open minded.

One of the pieces we are singing is "Lux Aurumque" which, on paper, looks like a mish mash of notes that don't quite go together according to traditional harmonic rules. From my position in the choir in the soprano section it just sounds odd, maybe it sounds different to the audience.

Then, a friend, who had no idea I was singing "Lux Aurumque", sent me this:

I've never seen or heard choral music like it!

You can read about the concept and the project here.

I think the fact that the tracks were recorded individually by the singers gives the piece a poignancy that isn't there when singing is a shared experience.

As far as I'm aware, this is a unique interpretation of a piece of music.

Eric, I am converted!

Saturday, 17 April 2010

WM Masters Cream Cheese Frosting

Today is a very good day.

Today, for the first time in six months we have hall, stairs and landing carpet. No more freezing draughts blowing through the bare floorboards. I have spent the last week painting four coats of varnish onto the spindles, hand rail and newel posts that I have been sanding every weekend for the last six months. Yesterday the carpet fitter arrived and this morning he finished. Even daughter has commented that walking out of her bedroom onto carpet feels funny!

Also, for the first time in three and a half years, I have lampshades in the hall and on the landing. You don't know what a difference it makes. The house is so nearly finished! Just a light fitting, a mirror and some pictures to go up and ten interior doors to be painted and varnished. The end is in sight!

In the meantime, I have been baking and today's offerings are banana and white chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting:

Now, I have always had trouble with cream cheese frosting. Either is doesn't set or I get little lumps of butter that won't blend even though it's at room temperature. I have learned through bitter experience that it has to be full fat cream cheese, the 'light' versions just liquify. So today I decided to try an American recipe. After all, the Americans are the undisputed masters of cream cheese frosting.

Now I know the secret:

Blend equal amounts of cream cheese and icing sugar, then add a little melted butter and blend. A few minutes in the fridge to set and you have perfect, glossy, firm cream cheese frosting. Yummy!

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Every volcanic cloud has a silver lining!

Volcanic dust from the erupting Eyjafjallajökull Volcano in Iceland has prevented all flights to and from the UK today.

They may resume tomorrow, but there will be delays and disruption.

My MIL was due to fly back from Italy this evening.................

(I know, I'm terrible, but she has rung us and she gets to spend another couple of days in Sorrento drinking Chianti, so not really a hardship for her!)

Party Poopers!

I am again seething at the apparent inability of some parents to respond to party invitations.

This year daughter is having a pony riding party which I booked in February to secure a party booking. The farm had asked me to confirm numbers as soon as possible so that they could book another party if I didn't need many ponies. Fair enough.

So three and a half weeks ago I sent out the invitations for my daughter's party.

Also, learning from last year when several of the parents didn't reply, I wrote on the invitation "RSVP by 12 April" with my e-mail address, landline and mobile number. Plenty of opportunity to let me know.

I thought that gave everyone enough time to sort out what they were doing and let me know. Most did.

However, by 12 April, four had yet to reply.

I texted them to find out if their child wanted to come.

Three replied immediately.

I waited until this morning and then confirmed numbers with the farm.

THEN I got a text:

"Sorry, we've been away and I didn't have your number. X would love to come"

I was so tempted to text back:

"Sorry, replies were due by 12 April, no ponies left"

What I really wanted to say was:

"You've had the invitation for three and a half weeks. You had one and a half weeks before X broke up from school to reply. You've had another two weeks since then to reply. You've used your holiday as an excuse. And now you want your child to come pony riding? Get real, woman. If you want your child to attend a party, reply to the invitation. It's only polite!"

Instead, I phoned the farm, begged for another pony and then texted the mum:

"So glad X can come"

Are these parents rude and thoughtless, or am I over reacting?

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Shuttle Launch

We got up at 2am

We drove for one hour to Titusville

We waited three hours for the launch

We spent one hour in a diner afterwards having breakfast

We drove for four hours to get back to our hotel

The shuttle launch lasted about 3 minutes

Was it worth it?


(Photos copyright Working Mum)

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Things I learned on my Disney Vacation

Yes, I'm back. I'll bore you with my Florida vacation soon, but in the meantime I'll leave you with these little nuggets:

  • My personal queue threshold is 70 mins, after that I lose the will to live.
  • "Test Track" is not worth queueing 2 hours for (husband got it in the neck for that one)
  • To get a good spot for the Parades you need to find one an hour before a parade and guard it with your life
  • Regarding the last point; if I have waited one hour for the best spot for the parade I will not let you push your child in front of mine at the last minute! I may be English, but I am not a pushover.
  • To get the best spots for photos you need to be in a wheelchair and then, at the crucial moment, STAND UP to take your photos obscuring everyone else's view! Yes, really!!
  • Disney World Transportation System is fab! Especially the boat into Downtown.
  • You can't do two parks in one day, even though husband made us try.
  • I am the sharpest shooter of my family on Woody's Toy Story Mania ride! 147, 100 points!
  • You are never too old to have your photo taken with a Disney Character:
Hey Howdy Hey!

Friday, 9 April 2010

Hopefully, I'm now doing this.....

....... in the Sunshine State!

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If I didn't manage to get on board "Discovery", that is!

Monday, 5 April 2010

The Final Frontier

By the time you read this, I'll be in Titusville, Florida fulfilling a childhood dream watching this:

I have always wanted to travel in space.

I have the NASA app on my i-touch to track the missions.

I love that my 'random question' on my blogger profile was about going to the moon.

But I tell you this, travel sickness or no travel sickness, if I get the chance I'm
sneaking on board before take off!

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Watch out for Working Mum in Space!

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Not that toilet!

Yesterday I finally broke up for Easter.

So today I changed from "Working Mum" into..........

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...... "50s Mum"!

Yes, I donned my pinny at 9am and started to clean the house from top to bottom whilst doing four lots of washing. I tidied, cleaned, hoovered, polished, scrubbed, mopped and buffed until the whole house shone. I cooked a nutritious evening meal for when husband arrived home, then put daughter to bed and started on a mountain of ironing whilst catching up on "Desperate Housewives".

Now no one is allowed into the dining room, spare bedroom, study or posh bathroom. Only one toilet is available for use and if anyone makes any mess anywhere - THEY CLEAN IT UP!!

I think after all that effort, it is time for my Easter Holiday to begin:

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