Monday, 29 June 2015

Moving On, Getting Ready

This September daughter is moving up to Senior School.  

She is ready, but am I?

Well .........................

Last week we went to the New Parents' Information Evening, bought the requisite dictionaries, art pack and valuables pouch from the school bookshop and met her new form teacher.

We received a pack containing no less than 10 letters I had to read, fill in and sign, ranging from Day Trip Consent to Health Information to Bad Weather Contingency Plans.

I have an extensive uniform list (why does PE kit consist of three times as much stuff as day to day uniform when they only wear it for 2 hours a week?) and I have already mounted a preemptive assault on M&S to buy socks, tights and shirts.

I've also been to the official school outfitters to buy the rest at three times the cost of normal school uniform.  (Why does the embroidering of a school badge onto jumper increase its cost by £15?)

 There will be lots of sewing of name tapes.

I've also put in place insurance, as the school recommends we do, in case we can't pay the school fees in the future (Bank of Grandparents).

But all I can think is "how have I got here?"

It doesn't seem two minutes since this:

 (Starting in Reception, Sept 2008)

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Last Sports Day

Today was daughter's last Sports Day.

I can say that with some confidence because in the Juniors all pupils take part in Sports Day, but from next year, in the Seniors, they have to be chosen to take part in an event, and as daughter is blessed with my sporting genes, she will be a spectator for the next seven years.

Whilst attending my last ever Sports Day as a mum I heard other, disgruntled, competitive mums complaining about the fact that the children are put into ability groups to take part in events, so those who are good at sports don't always get medals, whilst lesser sporty children do.

At the end of the day daughter looked like this:

That's right, six gold medals!!!

I have never seen her so pleased or proud of herself.

She even wanted to keep her t-shirt on until daddy came home so that she could show him.

That's why they are in ability groups, competitive mums!!

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Get with the Programme!

I'm often heard to utter the phrase "Get with the programme" to hubby when he doesn't know what's going on in our family.   He really seems to opt out of responsibility for ensuring things get done and that people, primarily Izzy, gets to where she needs to be with the right stuff and on time.

However, there is one area where I stand firm.


I do my side, he does his.

They are all written clearly in green ink on the family calendar in the kitchen.

No excuses.

Today, hubby said:

"Oh, it's Gary's birthday tomorrow and I've not sent his card"

It's been visible on the calendar since 1 June!

In that time I've:
  • sent my brother and his wife an anniversary card
  • bought my mum's birthday card and present
  • sorted out my dad's fathers' day card and present
  • sorted out hubby's fathers' day card and present
  • bought card and present for daughter's friend's birthday
  • bought presents for hubby's birthday from me and from Izzy

and he hasn't managed to post one card!

(There are several to choose from in a box in the study, where stamps can also be found)


Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Trouble with a Trojan Horse

No, I haven't been on more classical holidays, this is the computer variety.

I thought I had grown accustomed to my new laptop (have I mentioned, it's purple?!).   I have finally got it all set up how I want it and was beginning to relax when using it, but then, on Saturday, disaster struck.  Despite having McAfee installed, up and running and up to date, I acquired a trojan horse.

A trojan horse is malware that pretends to be something else, then reveals it's evil intentions, installing more malware onto your computer at the same time.

In this case, it was something called "LowPrice" which hijacks your browser so that you are bombarded with what look like real offers and coupons for the website you are on (or the subject of your Google search), but if you were to click on them, you would go to a part of the internet you never want to see.  I realised straightaway that it wasn't legitimate, I didn't click on any of the ads, but I couldn't stop it.

I didn't ask for it, I didn't download it, it snuck in somehow while I was uploading photos to a respectable photo printing website.

It took me an hour, two laptops (I needed a second to look up instructions on how to remove it, as I couldn't use my browser) and a lot of inner calm to remove it from my laptop.

I think I've fixed it.

So beware of "LowPrice", and never leave your laptop connected to the internet for a few hours while you upload your photos of Rome!

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Arrivaderci Roma

Over half term we went to Rome.  It's 22 years since we last went to Rome and although the Eternal City hasn't changed much, the queues certainly have.  Can you believe that last time we went there was no queue for St Peter's, we just walked in, but this time there was a five hour queue around St Peter's Square!?!  (We didn't bother).

Luckily, we skipped the two hour queue for the Vatican Museum by booking on-line before we went.  Hurrah for the internet!

Anyway, did this:
and this:
and this:
and this:
and lots of this:

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Travel Conundrum

On Saturday I began the day at 7.00am BST in Rome and was due to sing in a concert at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester at 7.30pm that evening.

In 2015 this should be possible, shouldn't it?

So how come I can travel by train from Rome Termini Station to Leonardo da Vinci airport, take a plane to Manchester airport and take a taxi home without any bother, but then I try to take a tram into Manchester and it can't be done?

Why did I pay £4 to travel as far as Trafford Bar, then walk to the replacement bus service stop only to be told the bus isn't coming and they (Metrolink) are trying to commandeer some public buses to get us into the city (but we won't all make it) and so then take a tram home again?