Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Yesterday, while looking after the kiddos, we'd had two science lessons before 9.15am.

The first was biology. We came down the steps of the flat and found a dead mouse lying on the bottom but one step. Little Flower wasn't particularly bothered by it, she glanced at it, and then moved on. Little One, however, was transfixed. First of all he thought it was sleeping. He poked it with his foot, and rigor mortis had obviously set in, because the whole thing moved. Once he realised it was dead, he got quite upset. I had to make him move away from the mouse and walk up the road towards nursery.

We talked about why it was lying there, and how it might have died. I said that it was most likely that one of the cats that live nearby had caught it and left it there. When he heard that he was most indignant. "We need some big dogs to kill the big cats that killed the poor little mouse" was his response. I think it was one of his first real experiences with death, and I'm sure it won't be his last. By the time we came home from nursery the mouse was gone. I think a cat must have moved it, as I certainly hadn't, nor had the downstairs neighbour. Little One seemed to have forgotten about it by the time he got home, so hopefully I handled it ok, and haven't scarred him for life!

The second science lesson of the day was physics. After leaving Little One at nursery, Little Flower and I walked back down the hill. All of a sudden she got really excited and shouted "BIN LORRY". Now you must understand, seeing the bin lorry is a highlight of her day! We couldn't see the lorry, but we could certainly hear it. "Debbie! BIN LORRY!" she said a few times, but then suddenly started crying. "Bin Lorry gone. GONE!" she said, and she was right. The sound was getting quieter - I could tell that the big lorry was going up into the estate, and that we wouldn't see it, but I was impressed that she could tell that too. So there you have it, the science of sounds, and how they change depending on their difference in location, relative to the listener.

(You may be happy to know that later on the bin lorry came back to our side of the estate and Little Flower was able to shout BIN LORRY! to her hearts content, and to wave at it through the window)

Friday, January 23, 2009

This weekend

I am off to Bognor Regis for a church weekend away. I am very much looking forward to it.
I'll see you Monday!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Is it wrong

to pretend that you wrote a blog post yesterday, so that when you write the second post in the same day, it works out even?!
Well, it's my blog, so I can do what I want. Teehee :)

Yes, DebbieBoo has a boyfriend. I'm sure she'll tell you about him sometime! (And with all the links I've been making to her blog recently, maybe she'll actually find time to write something on it sometime soon...!)

Last night I got to play pool. It was great fun. I've never been very good at that sort of thing, although I'm happy to do it for a laugh. I was playing with someone who's pretty good, and was able to learn quite a lot, so that by the end I was able to feel like the cue and balls were behaving like I wanted them to (at least some of the time, anyway!). I look forward to playing again soon, although my right thumb joint hurts a bit - I think that's to do with holding the cue, but hey, it was worth it.

Today I am hyper. Earlier today I was feeling a bit lacking in motivation, but it was probably more the fact that I was still waking up. I know I had some weird dreams last night. I don't remember what they were, just that they were weird! Anyway, I started listening to a couple of songs from the Moulin Rouge soundtrack (Elephant Love Medley & Come What May) which are the sort of songs I can't help but sing along to, and it made me hyper. After all, they're the type of song that I can't help but sing along to at the top of my voice, complete with arms flung out for emphasis. Combine that with the treadmill, and it's a whole body workout!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

M1 Fiasco continued

I arrived in Luton on the A6, and it all seemed pretty clear. I congratulated myself on making it that far, and decided that maybe this time around it'd be easy to get home. I was feeling a bit peckish, so I pulled over to a row of shops on the outskirts of the town and picked up something to eat. I forgot to buy anything to drink, but figured I'd just stop a bit further in to Luton.

But then, somehow it all went wrong. I was carefully following signs towards the M1. I got into Luton itself and it was all flyovers and seemed pretty grungy and not a very nice place to be. I decided I didn't really need to stop anywhere, I could just wait until I stopped at some services on the M1, or at worst, until I got home.

Suddenly, the signs stopped being so regular, and roadworks started appearing. There was a big sign with a whole bunch of information on that we passed pretty quickly. It said that there were diversions to get to the M1. Ok, I thought, and I followed the diversion signs. After travelling all over Luton (possibly twice), and out to the airport, and back again, I found myself on a road with a pretty bumpy surface. There kept being signs up telling me that speed cameras were in force, but never any signs to tell me what the speed limit was. I stuck to 30, given the state of the road, and that I was trying to follow the somewhat irregular diversion signs.

Then the was a 'End of Diversion' sign, and we were spat out onto a roundabout. I actually went around it at least twice, trying to get my bearings. I found I had the following options; M1 North, or a dark unappealing road to Harpenden. I couldn't even take the road I'd come on, because it didn't seem to exist going back in the other direction. Since I definitely didn't want to go North on the M1, I decided I was off to Harpenden!

It was a dark, winding, country road, and not particularly pleasant to drive along. I found myself following an AA patrol van, and I considered flashing my lights and indicating to try to get them to pull over and help me work out exactly where I was, but decided that given that it was pitch black outside, and I was in the middle of nowhere, I should just continue driving until I came to civilisation again!

I eventually reached Harpenden. I was getting really thirsty by now, and I realised I needed to stop and look at the map, so I pulled into a petrol station and stopped. I looked at the map, and also rang home to tell them I was lost, but that I thought I'd be ok. They reminded me that my cousin Emma lives in Harpenden, and told me her address, so that if I happened to spot that road I could call in and see her. I went in to the petrol station, got myself a drink and queued up to buy it. I said to the guy behind the counter that I was trying to get to London and had lost the M1. I asked if I continued on this road whether I'd be heading in the right direction. (I could see on the map that if I went towards St Albans that would be the right way. The man behind the counter looked at me although I'd escaped from the nearest loony bin (after all, I guess not many people wander in there saying they've lost the M1, and could he please direct them towards London, but not even mention the M1 whatsoever, or else!). He agreed that yes, I should just continue along that road.

As I continued that way I spotted the road my cousin lives in, and decided to take a quick detour. After finding somewhere to park, I knocked on her door. There was no answer, so I got her number from my parents and tried to call her. There was no answer, so I left a rather convoluted message on her answer phone and headed on my way again. (She texted me later that night to let me know she'd been out at the student bar, and hadn't taken her phone with her. If I'm ever in that area again I'll try to visit again, since I know now where she is. I can't say I ever want to be in that area again though!)

I got back in my car and headed on my way. I knew that I had to head towards St Albans, and I did. I was doing ok until I got there, and there were no useful signs. I was cold and tired and slightly overemotional. I was literally about to burst into tears when I saw a sign towards the M25 (the big motorway that goes round London). I think I may actually have clapped or waved my arms or shouted or something (much to the amusement of the people on the pavement outside - since I was sat in a traffic queue at the time!). Once I found that sign the drive home was pretty simple.

Well, kinda. I stopped off in Enfield because I was feeling really in need of a hug, and I knew that a group of folk from church were meeting a a pub there. I stopped in the car park and tried to give them a call, except neither of the girls I tried to call were answering. I went into the pub to try to find them, but they weren't there. That was the last straw. I headed home, feeling a fairly unhappy bunny, arriving there 3 1/2 hours after I left Bedford. But once I got home I took out my feelings about the M1 on my blog and on facebook, and that helped a lot.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The story of the M1 disaster (part one)

On Friday I went to visit DebbieBoo for the day. On the way I'd intended to drive up the M1, but a sign on the M25 told me that there were delays on the M1, so I drove up the A1 instead. I managed to find my way to her house, despite having directions that were from the M1 and A6, rather than the A1 and whatever road is was I took after that.

I had a lovely day with Boo, I got to have lunch with her and her boyfriend, and get to know him a bit more (although she says he's not usually that grumpy, he'd just come off a night shift ;) ) and lots of chatting and catching up and chilling out. I also got to visit the night shelter where Boo works, and we watched PS I love you on DVD in the afternoon. What better way to spend a day?!

The route home from Bedford to London ought to be easy. You take the A6 to Luton, and then the M1 to where it meets the M25. The M25 to my home, I can almost do with my eyes shut (well, if someone else is driving!). Last time I drove home from Bedford I somehow managed to lose the A6 before I'd even got very far out of Bedford. I ended up giving up on that route, and taking different, longer route. This time I vowed that I'd try again. I found the A6, I stayed on the A6. I made it all the way to Luton. That's where it all went horribly wrong.

(I was going to type it all in one go, but I've run out of energy, so I'll post this and write the rest tomorrow)

Monday, January 19, 2009

What is it with children's television these days?

Today I've been looking after the kiddos, and we spent a bit of time watching C-Beebies. In particular, we watched an episode of 'In the Night Garden' which focused on the character Makka Pakka. Before seeing this episode I think I knew that Makka Pakka likes washing things, and has a little bike/trolley thing that he pushes everywhere, and a horn that he (I think he's a he) likes to blow, but that's about all.

After watching today, I am utterly convinced that Makka Pakka is obsessive compulsive. The general gist of the plot was that Makka Pakka got up (from his bed made of stones) and went for a walk with his trolley. He found three stones just lying on the ground and decided that this would just not do. He cleaned them, dried them, and then arranged them neatly in a tower. He then (eventually) continued on his walk, and came across several more piles of stones (which he had clearly neatly arranged together on a previous walk). Then he realised that he was lost. Luckily the Pinky-Ponk (a big airship with cute paddles on the side which flap up and down and make farting noises) came along, and he was able to follow it home. When he got home he stood and looked at his stones for a little while (not to be confused with the ones in the forest, but ones that he had in his house already) and then the programme ended.

Additionally, Makka Pakka seems incapable of walking along without saying his own name every
five seconds. I wonder how long I could do that before someone decided to sock me one. Makka Pakka also appears to have some sort of nervous twitch. He is incapable of walking along pushing his trolley for more than a few steps, before he has to stop and adjust his hold on the handles or the angle the trolley is pointing. As Little One observed "He doesn't go very fast. He has his slow feet on today".

As I sat watching this seemingly obsessive character acting out this strange scenario I wondered what exactly it was meant to be teaching children. I'm sure I'm just reading too much into it, but I'm sure he ought to see someone about his behaviour. Actually, his desire to wash the stones did remind me of my friend Tracey. She has a bit of a thing about dirt, and is slightly obsessive about using hand sanitizer. I wondered how Makka Pakka and Tracey would get on if they met in real life.

I don't think this post really has a purpose, except that it amused me. I hope you don't think that I've totally lost the plot!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The M1 hates me

or I hate it. One of the two.
I have a story to tell you, of how it took me 3 1/2 hours to make a 1 1/2 hour journey home from Bedford yesterday. But right now I'm off to Sutton to visit my friend Sarah.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Chickpeas = garbanzo beans, in case anyone didn't know.
I'll be back later with a proper post!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I had a really weird dream last night, or several weird dreams, maybe. I couldn't tell you an overall plot line for it, in fact I'm not sure if it even had a plotline. I just remember a few things that appeared in the dream.

Chickpeas - I know at one point I was in our kitchen, and every cupboard I opened had chickpeas in it. I think this must be down to the bag of chickpeas sitting on the counter in the kitchen, and the conversation I had with my Mum on Monday about whether my dad knew there was another packet of cashew nuts in the cupboard.

Minor celebrities in a quiz show - This has got to be linked to the fact that I was talking to people about the TV show dancing on ice, last night.

Minor celebrities in a quiz show where all the answers sound like weird Latin words - Well, and this is a tenuous connection, the only reason I can think of for this is that my Latin loving friend is having a birthday this week, AND I wrote on her facebook wall last night.

I'm sure there were a couple of other things, but of course I got distracted and by the time I sat down to write this post, the dream is beginning to fade from my brain!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Seeing it from another perspective

Presents. Everyone likes them, right? How far wrong can you go with giving a present? It's the thought that counts, isn't it? Or is it more about getting the perfect thing for the person you're giving it to, and if you can't find the perfect thing then you just keep looking.

This Christmas my view on presents was challenged a bit. When I'm shopping for presents I would generally say that I would try to buy something that fits the person I'm buying it for. I'd also say that I'm not very practised at buying presents for guys. I come from a family of all girls - I don't have brothers, my dad generally has a pretty boring Christmas present list (books, slippers, hankies). No offense to my Daddy, but that's just the sort of thing he likes. It's useful and he appreciates it. We are a family of lists, people think of things that they would like, or need, put them on the list, and other people buy them. I'm not saying that there aren't any surprises, but sometimes we go by the philosophy "well, it's a surprise to someone, even if not to the person receiving the gift"!

So this year was the first time I've ever been dating someone at Christmas, and therefore the first time I'd ever had to think about what to buy for a guy who isn't in my family. We went shopping together before Christmas, and he bought me some lovely things then, but I hadn't got him anything. I was then ill right before Christmas, and didn't manage to buy him anything. To cut a long story short, I finally bought him something when we were out together last Friday.

The thing is, it turned into a bit of a joke. He'd ask about his present, and I'd tell him to more he asked, the longer he wouldn't get anything. But I came to realise that he had a different view of presents. To him, it is the thought that counts, and he'd rather give something, than not give anything (or be delayed in giving). We chatted about it all, among other things, on Sunday afternoon and realised a bit more about where the other person was coming from. I realised how it looked that I hadn't bought him anything for ages, and he realised why I'd held off getting him something until I knew what he really wanted.

I'm sure that we'll continue to have misunderstandings, that we'll disagree about how to handle different situations, and that, like several couples I know, there will be the big things that we'll always disagree on (For several people I know it's how to put on the Christmas tree lights! I don't think either of us has particularly strong views on that, but there'll be something, I'm sure!) But I also know that I'm looking forward to having my viewpoints challenged more. To have the chance to think about a situation from another direction. And that, my friends, makes it all worthwhile.

When I said tomorrow

I obviously meant tomorrow's tomorrow. Which is now today. Watch this space.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

*waves sleepily*

I'm around, just very tired. Will check in properly tomorrow!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Some Goals

Get a job. I really need to get motivated to find something more than what I'm doing at the moment. I love looking after the kiddos, but it's not enough to live on.

Lose more weight. I lost lots last year, and then ended up putting some back on. I want to get in shape for being a bridesmaid for HP in August, and maybe some other reasons too ;)

My relationship with God. I need to get into a better habit of bible study this year.

Those are a few general ones to start off with, there may be some more specific ones at some point.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

I like life

This week my church is having a week of prayer. Personally I think that's a fantastic way to start the year - focused on God.
In fact, we did also start the year together cos we had a party/celebration/prayer meeting thing on New Years Eve, and welcomed in the year with worship and a time of prayer and thanksgiving.Anyway, last night we had the first prayer meeting of the week and spent time praying for our nation, and our city, and the outreach that our church has planned for this year. My church is charismatic, so our prayer meetings can get pretty loud and energetic, and I love it. I'm a practical person, and to me it makes sense that I get excited about something that means so much to me. I like the loud-ness and clapping and all that goes with it. I understand that it's not everyone's cup of tea, but it just makes sense to me. I love being a part of a church that is so multi-cultural, so charismatic, and so focused on God - worshipping in Spirit and in Truth.

I was reading earlier, or rather skimming vaguely, an article in the Times magazine from last Saturday with an article about Anne Frank. Since I was only skimming, I don't really know what the article was about, but a sentence caught my eye about some children in Northern Ireland, where for the very first time Catholic and Protestant children were working together on a joint project. On Sunday afternoon I met up with a friend from school, Maria, who is Catholic. Although we don't always agree on some faith related issues, I'm still glad that we know each other and are friends. Similarly, the girl I lived with the year after I finished university (referred to on this blog as 'I'), is a Presbyterian, and we didn't always agree on certain issues, but I still value her friendship and her opinion. I think it's good to have the opportunity to question why you believe something, and not just taking it in blind faith, and it's also good to have friends who don't always believe the exact same things as you, because I think it makes you a more rounded person.

I think I may be waffling now, so I'll try to round this up. I like my church, and the beliefs that I hold. I'm glad that I have a personal relationship with God, and over the next week or so I'm going to be sitting down and praying and thinking over my goals for the next year. I think it's going to be an exciting year, but that's all I'm saying about that for now! I'm looking forward to the exciting things that will be happening in my church, and I'll enjoy being friends with all sorts of people.

(I think I got a bit lost in the middle of this post and forgot what I was actually trying to say. Does it show?! Give me a break though, cos it's been a while since I wrote a proper blog post, so I'm trying to get back into the swing of it)

Sunday, January 04, 2009

A few highlights

All the cousins (plus a wife and a fiancee)
The Christmas pyramid
The day of the great Christmas Tree saga
The traditional self-portrait (with HP looking over my shoulder). I was having issues getting the camera to focus on what I wanted it to, hence it being a bit blurry. But still fun.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Nearly back to proper blogging

First of all, let me wish you a very happy new year.
I promise that I will resume proper blogging soon, it's just that life got very full over Christmas, what with visiting relatives and spending time with my friends and boyfriend.
I took lots of photos which will be uploaded in due course.
I'll be back properly soon.