Friday, 28 October 2011

A Fortnight of Fun

Since my school changed to a two week October half term three years ago it has become a much more relaxed holiday. I still have a list of jobs to do, cars to MOT, garden to sort out and such, but at least I have another few days to relax. My enlightened headmaster said that this would reduce illness in the second half of term for both staff and pupils and he was right; it has made a huge difference to the second half of term.

So what have I been up to?

Well, I went to see Peter Kay in "The Tour that doesn't Tour Tour" at the MEN Arena and laughed until my face hurt.

I've made lots of pumpkin cake and thai pumpkin soup, but none of it survived long enough to be photographed.

I went out for meal with two girlfriends, which felt like having a pass out for the night because I never go out unless it's work or choir related.

And we spent a few days here:

Husband surprised us by booking a couple of nights at Albrighton Hall, near Shrewsbury. He found a great deal on a family room for dinner, bed and breakfast. Unfortunately we didn't find out until we got there that it must have stated in invisible small print somewhere (it certainly wasn't on our booking confirmation) that the dinner part of the family room deal only applies to the adults of the family. Huh? Don't children eat?

Anyway, we decided not to starve our daughter, so we all enjoyed lovely food in the restaurant, we swam in the pool and we had a couple of days out.

We spent a day in Shrewsbury visiting the Abbey ( where daughter was amazed to see the 1000 year old tomb of William the Conqueror's right hand man, Roger de Montgomery) , the castle and wandering around the amazing Tudor streets with higgledy piggledy buildings.

We also spent a day at Ironbridge where we walked over the first iron bridge in the world:

and then visited Blists Hill Victorian Town (use for the TV series "Victorian Pharmacy"):

Tonight daughter is at a sleepover, husband is out for the evening and I've got my bar of Green and Blacks and an episode of Downton Abbey to watch. Great way to end a great fortnight!

Monday, 24 October 2011

It's Wagner, but not as we know it!

As part of her musician's badge, daughter needs to talk to the tester about some music she enjoys. Now, over the last few months I have been trying to broaden her horizons and have been introducing her to some classical music. Mozart has featured heavily, but there have been other pieces which I thought would appeal to a child and I hoped she would choose something that I have played to her to talk about.

"I like that 'Raid of the Vikings' " she said.

"I don't know that one" I said, "Sing it to me"

She promptly did:

"Da da da daaaah dahhh, da da da daaaaah daaaaah"

"It's the "Ride of the Valkyries", sweetheart"

Thursday, 20 October 2011

A Proper Little Imp

Quick update:

Daughter was enrolled into Brownies this evening and is now a proper Imp (it figures).

She has gone to bed reading her "How to Be a Brownie" book which she brought home this evening.

I now have the list of dates and contact numbers on my pinboard in the kitchen and I've just spent an hour sewing Pack, County and Six badges onto her sash.

All is well with my little Brownie!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Brownies, Badges and Bread

Well, I finally got round to phoning Brown Owl and all became clear.

I explained that I have a depsondent little Brownie who wants to be enrolled and did she know when that was likely to be? She said that they take a while to complete their book for enrolment, but she would dig out daughter's book and see where she is up to and test her tomorrow on her promise and law (she'd better relearn them!) At least I can now explain to daughter and she seems happier.

Brown Owl also said that she gave out a list of dates and events at the start of term, but I suspect my dizzy Izzy of a daughter walked right out of the hall without collecting one! She will give me another one tomorrow.

Brown Owl has now explained to me how they do their badges, some on Brownie nights and the others they do independently. She told me the sort of evidence we need to produce and we've already got people to sign for her Rider, Swimmer, Swimmer Advanced and Musician badges as she already fulfils the criteria. Izzy's also made invitations to invite her grandparents to dinner and fireworks on 5 November as the start of her Hostess badge.

She's now a happy Brownie!

And the bread?

Husband bought me this book for my birthday:

I've been trying out some recipes.

Who knew that cherries and chocolate would go so well in bread?

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Concert, Curtains and Cake

It's another busy Saturday morning: I've done the Tesco shop, unpacked it whilst doing four lots of washing (all the while husband sat watching the rugby, don't go there) and I've got two minutes to check my e-mails before I have to get ready to go and do a concert tonight for which I haven't yet memorised three pieces of music (wonder if I can do that whilst driving to the venue?)

Whilst whizzing round the house tidying up I noticed our weeping fig had very aptly weeped sap all over the carpet, cabinet and curtains in the lounge and during the last six slobby weeks, in which I have only entered the lounge to open and close curtains, the sap has happily grown some lovely green fungus on the cabinet and curtains - aaaaaargh!!

Good job I've just broken up for half term and can now sort the house out.

And I will find time to phone Brown Owl, promise.

Oh the joys of being a working mum!

And the cake?

Well, I've bought a pumpkin to make Halloween Pumpkin Cupcakes.

Watch this space!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

No Brownie Points for Brownies

Daughter started Brownies five months ago and apart from the initial "Welcome to Brownies" leaflet, I've had no information at all.

Five months on and every week daughter comes home upset that she hasn't done her promise yet, but I've no idea what she needs to do or how long it will take, so I can't placate her.

I haven't had any lists of dates of meetings (vital since daughter does not have local school holidays so I don't know whether Brownies are meeting or not) or of Church Parades, consequently we missed the first Church Parade of the year. Luckily my MIL told me when Harvest Festival was so we didn't miss that one and I assumed they would need a Harvest Box.

Last week, in sheer desparation, knowing that some sort of subs must be due, I sent a blank cheque with a note saying I didn't know how much it was or who to make it payable to!

The last straw came tonight:

Daughter said that this week was "Badge Night"

"What does that mean?" I asked her.

"Don't know"

I assumed that they would be doing some activities toward a badge.

When I picked her up I asked

"Did you get a badge?"

"No" came the dejected reply, "But loads of girls got two or three!"

"How?" I asked.

"Don't know"

I now have one very demoralised Brownie on my hands.

Now, I know there are some wonderful Brownie leaders out there who read my blog, so I want some advice:

I don't want to be the "mithery mum", but should I phone Brown Owl and ask what is going on, when daughter will do her promise, ask for a list of dates and what daughter needs to do to get badges? Or do I just let it run it's course and all will be revealed at some point?

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Move over Freddie!

Another busy week in the Working Mum house.

Luckily, daughter's class teacher has been off ill this week. Well, not luckily for the teacher, I hope she is better soon, but it did mean a reduction in homework this week and we've done lots of other stuff instead.

The first thing I did was to become

"Best Mummy in the World, Ever!"


Well, my daughter loves Lauren Child books and has ambitions to be an author herself, so when I saw that a local bookshop was holding the launch of Lauren's latest book "Look into my eyes" (about Ruby Redfort; Clarice Bean's favourite character) with food, a talk from Lauren and a signed copy of the book, I got straight on the phone and booked daughter and me a place.

Daughter was so pleased she could hardly speak!

Then she said,

"Shoot me if I'm not already dead!"

I think that meant she was happy!

She also wants to enter the Ruby Redfort Code Creator Contest that accompanies the launch of the book so I've been teaching her about different types of ciphers and she's been leaving coded messages for me all over the house!

Music has figured highly this week as daughter passed her audition for a local choir and has continued to show enthusiasm for learning the piano. On Thursday she asked me could she play "Bohemian Rhapsody". No, not after two lesson sweetheart. But then I got the sheet music for Bohemian Rhapsody and I played the "bummmmm, dum, dum, dum" bit while daughter played the "tink, tink" bit. (You know what I mean, just hum the intro to yourself.) We could hardly play for falling about laughing!!

Then, this weekend I have been preparing for a cupcake demonstration I'm doing tomorrow for some Duke of Edinburgh Award pupils at school. I decided to go for a Halloween theme, so daughter and I have been busy making all kinds of cake decorations:

So now I think it's about time to sit down with a cup of tea and catch up on "Strictly", another favourite of daughter's and mine.

So much better than homework.......................