Monday, 31 May 2010

Husband's Birthday Update

While hubby was out last Saturday on a football, beer and curryfest (I made him sleep in the spare room when he came home), I rang some of his friends to see when everyone is away.

Putting together all the dates, I've decided on a day in August for a 40th Birthday Barbecue Bash.

So last Monday, while he was out at another beer and curry "sort of stag do" thing (I don't ask), I worked on the laptop creating the invitations and then posted them the following day.

Then, the replies started to come in, and I got a text:

"Great idea, yes, we can come"

To which I replied:

"That's great, but who are you?"

I then received the reply:

"Oh, sorry, it's me"!!!

Yes, this it was definitely one of my husband's friends!

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Half Term Happiness

It's half term!


Just a week, but still, a week to catch up with stuff, see old friends and enjoy myself.

I started the holiday yesterday with a concert here:

What a beautiful setting!

We sang in the Abbey's Priory Church of St Mary and St Cuthbert:

I stood on those steps to sing.

And what a great concert!

Every so often I do a concert where my voice just flows like honey out of my mouth, the notes emerge with no effort, as pure as the driven snow. It doesn't even feel like my voice; it's like I've been taken over by some singing spirit.

Last night was one of those concerts.

That's why I sing.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

The Way of the Dragon Warrior

Today I went to help in daughter's class with one of their "Activity Week" lessons. (Luckily my exam classes are on study leave so I had a free lesson to pop over to the junior school; one of the perks of having daughter at my school)

Today's lesson was "Fruit Kebabs" and each child had been asked to take in a fruit; the more exotic the better.

I had dispatched husband and daughter to buy something on Saturday and they came back with .......

........ dragonfruit!

Whilst we parents were busy cutting up fruit and laying out plates and skewers, daughter's class teacher was showing the children the fruit and asking questions.

Then she came to daughter's dragonfruit.

"Do you know where dragonfruit comes from, Izzy?" she asked.

"Yes", said my daughter proudly,


Think about it........

Monday, 24 May 2010

Babysitter Required

As a Working Mum and a teacher, I have to spend a lot of evenings at school after daughter has gone to bed. When the dates of those evenings are published at the start of a school year I hope and pray that husband isn't busy and can get home in time for me to get back to school or better still, pick daughter up from school.

Mostly we manage.

If we can't, I had a few babysitters who could step into the breach. However, two have gone to university, one has emigrated to France and one has a husband critically ill in hospital. At times I have taken daughter to stay at my parents' overnight, but this isn't feasible now she has started school, and anyway, they are both at work so it isn't easy. So this leaves me with .................................. you guessed it, my MIL.

Now, next month we have an evening where both of us need to be at work, so we need a babysitter.

On Saturday, MIL turned up mid morning, as usual, whilst I was unpacking the Tesco shop and doing the washing. (I know, I know, I still haven't done anything about this). She took up residence on the patio awaiting her coffee and watched me pegging out the washing.

"Do you feel like you do lots of washing?" she asked, as I pegged out the third load.

"Yes," I said.

"So do I" she said.

Yes, that would be one retired woman's washing compared to a family of three with work clothes, casual clothes, school uniform, PE kit, sports gear and bedding. I let it go.

She stayed so long that husband fired up the barbie for our lunch, and felt he had to invite her to stay. (Well, how can you send a widow home to eat alone when there's a barbie going on?)

After partaking of our hospitality (and my homemade burgers) I took my chance and asked if she could babysit on said evening.

"Oh no, I have Womens' Fellowship on a Wednesday"


Sunday, 23 May 2010

Over the Rainbow Error

Last night, while husband was out for football, beer and a curry, I let daughter stay up to watch the final of "Over the Rainbow". She was rooting for Sophie and I was rooting for Danielle.

I hadn't anticipated the trauma that would follow the outcome:

After the announcement of the winner, daughter burst into tears and was inconsolable!

Perhaps I shouldn't have voted three times for Danielle in the kitchen where daughter couldn't see me?


Won't do that again!

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Working Husband Birthday Bash Blues

Remember this bloke?

Meez 3D avatar avatars games

Yes, long suffering husband to Working Mum.

Well, it's his 40th Birthday this summer.

I want to make it special for the man who puts up with me and my querky ways (see last post).

The man who made me skip hand in hand with him (a la Michael MacIntyre) along the green outside our house this week, much to the amusement of our neighbours!

He makes me laugh. A lot.

He deserves a good 40th birthday.

But what to do?

Firstly, I asked if he would like a party.

He said "Yes, a barbecue."

I thought "I can do that" and started to make the invitations.

Then he said "No, everyone is away on holiday and my best mate has moved to France".

Scrub the barbecue.

I suggested a meal out with just the three of us.

"Well, we do that a lot anyway"

Scrub the meal out.

You see, he always says not to bother and he isn't a birthday person and it's no fun having your birthday when everyone is away on holiday, but when the day arrives he wants a special day dedicated to him with lots of fun.

And he sulks if he doesn't get it!

So far I have secretly arranged a tour of Manchester City's stadium for the three of us and I've bought him a mega amazing birthday present of a "Platinum Package" for an event at the MEN Arena (more details later)

I'm going to buy this cake tin ....

..... and make him a footballer cake (in City colours, of course)

But what about the party aspect?

He's a really gregarious bloke who would love to spend time with his friends for his 40th, but most are away on holiday for his birthday.

Any ideas?

Monday, 17 May 2010

Under my umbrella ella ella!

Husband: Why is there a school umbrella in the hall?

Me: I've always had a school umbrella; usually it's kept in my classroom for when I move around the site, but it was raining the other day and I'd left my umbrella in the car, so I used the school one instead, which was then in my boot, so when I went to pick daughter up from Rainbows and it looked like rain I took it out of my boot and carried it. That's why it's in the hall.

Husband: Nothing is ever simple with you, is it?

Me: Well you asked!

Friday, 14 May 2010

It was time ........

The eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed a new ticker in my sidebar:

It was time .......

It was definitely time.

Too much comfort food over winter has taken its toll.

Too little exercise since daughter was born.

Too much chocolate.

Too much wine.

And far too many cupcakes!

I need to get trim again.

I'm trying something new and if it works, I'll let you know.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

In five years' time ......

At work our department is due an internal review in a couple of weeks. Reviews should be on a three year programme, but for some reason we were the last dept to be reviewed in the last cycle and one of the first this time so it's only been a year.

Not a lot has changed in a year.

(Except that I am no longer suffering from acute bronchitis)

I still have to fill out another Personal Development Form, though.

So my question is this: for the bit about "Where do you see yourself in five years' time?", can I put..........

Winning Cardiff Singer of the World

Writing a best seller based on my award winning blog ;)

Winning the National Geographic Photography Competition

Running a consultancy advising people on how to renovate and redesign neglected houses

.................... or do you think it has to be work related?

Monday, 10 May 2010

I really want one of these...............

I have been coveting one of these for weeks.

I have been dreaming about it.

They are available from today.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Working Mum Strategy Wins Prize!

Guess what? I won a competition!

Nadine, over at Time Management Mum asked for your best time management tip and I entered this little time saver for busy working mums:

My life saver is to stock up on lots of age appropriate presents, cards and wrapping paper in August so that when daughter is invited to a party I don't have to find time to go and get a card and present!

I realised what a time saver this is this week when one of the SAHMs from my daughter's class told me that she had spent the afternoon at ToysRUs buying a birthday present.

An afternoon?

An entire afternoon?!!

The Worry Box

In my daughter's class there is a "Worry Box" in which the pupils can put their worries. Then, at the end of the week, the box is opened and they discuss the worries. They can choose whether to write their name on the worry or not, so they are free to put in whatever bothers them. I think it's a great idea and gives children the chance to air and discuss their worries.

This week daughter told me she had put two worries in the box.

"What were your worries?" I asked.

"Getting lost and losing Tigger" she said.

"They are good worries to talk about, lots of children will worry about those" I said, "Did you write your name on your worries?"

"No", she said, "I did it enormously"

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Pony Riding Party Bliss

For daughter's 6th Birthday we decided on a pony riding party.

We prayed that the weather would be good.

It was.

We hoped it would stop the mithering about riding lessons.

It didn't.

(Who was I kidding, of course it wouldn't!)

However, the sun shone and a great time was had by all:

"Best Birthday Party Ever!"

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Pat a Cake, Pat a Cake

Remember way back in February I ordered a pony cake tin to make daughter's birthday cake?

And I said I may live to regret it?

Some of you left comments to the effect:
"What the hell are you doing woman? Just buy a cake!!"

Well, I didn't listen.

After the tin arrived, and it became clear that I had to purchase half of my local sugarcraft shop to make it, I trotted off to the shop to ask the nice lady's advice.

She took one look at the tin and said "That'll take you hours"

Not what I wanted to hear.

Still, she managed to whittle down the list of necessary items from the recommended to just a few piping bags, two nozzles and three colours.

On Thursday I made the cake.

I sat watching the oven anxiously as it baked, to make sure it rose properly.

On Friday I iced the cake.

It took me two hours, a pound of butter and a kilogram of icing sugar.

On Saturday we took the cake to her party, lit the candles, sang "Happy Birthday" and then....... was cut up into little pieces!

I could have cried.

And I'm doing it all over again now for Monday's Family Party.

Oh, you want to see what it looked like?


Okay then:

Orders being taken now!