Monday, 26 December 2011

It happens every year ...

Every year around this time. I get introspective.  I think about the year just gone and the year yet to come. I make lists.  I make plans.  I may start these lists and plans.  I may carry them out for a week or two.  I certainly lose focus on them.  I certainly lose my grip. I definitely forget them, maybe for a moment, maybe for a month.  I come back to them and bemoan my inability to follow things through.  I hate myself for a while.  I get introspective.  I write another list.  I hate this journey.  I want to get off.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Seven more sleeps!

We track the countdown to Christmas through the number of sleeps that are left.  My eldest, Cornichon has been counting (on and off) since 364 sleeps.  There are now seven left and that magical night is all the more'touchable' now!  We celebrated the countdown today by watching Christmas films.  We went to the cinema to see Arthur Christmas and really enjoyed it.  I love the way the whole Father Christmas story is depicted as a massive NASA-style operation!  We then found a new episode of Prep and Landing Naughty Vs Nice.  It was good but not quite as awesome as the first one which is a constant Christmas reminder all-year round in our house.  My two boys were wide-eyed during the films and totally stoked for Christmas!  1 more day for Little Pickle and 2 more for Cornichon and then Christmas Holidays!  Whoopee!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

So I'm being naughty but I just don't care

4 weeks ago my friend gave me a Christmas present in 2 parts. One in a box and one to be kept in the fridge. Obviously I guessed they would be foodie gifts and tonight I opened them.

I am looking after the kids whilst Mr Gherkin is out on a Christmas night out and I just had to open the box (posh black olive crackers, cornichons-she knows me well, chutney) and the packet (3 flavoured cheddars). Well the crackers ORDERED me to serve with white wine. So I did. I am smashing my way through all of the above and have given up on a shit Catherine Zeta Jones film after 19 mins and have put on the Royal Variety Performance.

Get in! Be naughty!

Monday, 5 December 2011

Blog Clear Out

Just had a clear out of 20 blogs that I don't read any more and have got my subs down to a more manageable 132. I will try to get to 100 in the new year. This cleaning lark is cathartic! Books to read lined up for next year, blogs reduced by 14%, lets see if I can use up my fabric stash some time soon too!

Saturday, 3 December 2011

To Be Read 2012

I have shelves full of books in my house many of which I have read but many of which I have had on my To Be Read list for years. I saw this challenge for 2012 and thought it was right up my street.

Here is my pile

31 Songs - Nick Hornby
Love in the Time of Cholera - Gabriel García Marquez
Paula - Isabel Allende
Big Stone Gap - Adriana Trigiani (oops picked up the wrong book for the pic)
The Resurrectionist - James Bradley
Birdsong - Sebastian Faulkes
Dylan Thomas - Andrew Lychett
Eating Children - Jill Tweedie
The Christmas Books - Charles Dickens
Birds Without Wings - Louis de Bernières
Quiet Moments in a War - The Letters of Jean-Paul Sartre to Simone de Beauvoir
Tess of the D'Urbevilles - Thomas Hardy
Insomnia - Stephen King

In no particular order I have to read 12 of the TBR pile in 2012 (with 2 spares in case 2 are no-goes). The challenge starts on 1st January 2012 and ends on 31st December 2012 by which time all the books will have been read and reviewed here. I think it is a fab challenge and hope it makes a big space on my groaning bookshelves in 2012!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011


I am not happy with my life right now.

That sounds awful, but it is not that dramatic. I have a penchant for the dramatic sentence. To clarify, I mean to say that there are things about me that I hate, not so much about my life, that make me unhappy.

There are things that I want to go but never get around to doing. I am currently trying to apply for Olympic tickets with 51 minutes to spare before the 5,000,000 day deadline is up. I could not motivate myself to apply for something I have been wanting to get for years. There are thousands of other people trying to do the same thing and causing the website to crash. I actually set up a ticket account this afternoon which was awfully foresighted of me. Not foresighted enough to actually get the bloody things though. What an idiot.

I have no energy or get-up-and-go and I can't control my eating.

I can't even be bothered to finish this post. 23.23

23.41 I have just come back from the Olympic website after trying for an hour, and managed to request 4 tickets for the night of the men's 100m final! Whoop whoop! I did it! If ever there was a time to pull one out of the bag that was it! Ok, so I don't have them quite in the bag yet, but at least I applied for the ambition! I am so pleased with myself I just want to apply for jobs now!

Friday, 4 March 2011

Reasons to be cheerful 1, 2, 3

My family is safe and well and home.

We should be enjoying a glass of local Spanish wine on the desk of a large cruise ship, about to set sail from Tenerife with the warm breeze on our faces and a belly full of good food. Instead I am at home, at my desk drinking a cold glass of sauvignon blanc and looking on the bright side of life. Thos morning at the airport before we check in our baggage, Little Pickle took a tumble from Mr Gherkin's shoulders and landed on his head. He cried and puked and we rushed him to hospital in an ambulance and abandoned all plans for our well-planned, much-looked-foreward-to cruise holiday with the in-laws whilst they looked after Cornichon at our house. He was wobbly in the ambulance and then fell asleep and then was fine in the Emergency Room and bright as a button as we waited for a bed on the ward and positively bouncing when we stayed on the ward for 6 hours. Whilst we were doing all of the above the in-laws were phoning round trying to work out a way of carrying on with our holiday despite missing the flight. We came home at 4 and have a plan in place. We catch the cruise up on their next stop tomorrow, flying from a different airport further away from home.

Taxi is booked, boys are sleeping, wine is in hand, waiting to start out holiday all over again tomorrow!

Monday, 17 January 2011

Small achievements, big picture

I love parenting. I think about it constantly. I love spending time with my boys. I make a conscious effort every day to to teach them about the good things in life that will help them grow. I am a bit of, well not quite a "stickler" but I do love cooking heathy food for them and I steer away from processed food, however convenient it may be. I am not totally against the odd trip to fast food places or the occasional frozen convenience food, but I really love making a special treat of eating out and making my own convenience foods and bunging them in the microwave for a quick 5 minute 'ding tea'.

Anyway back to my point in the title of this post. Cornichon has a packed lunch every day in school which I make every morning (as I really think that sandwiches made the night before can get a bit wet/dry/wet and dry and I've made my bed I'll lie on it so I am not complaining!). I make him a sandwich (he has had couscous/rice/pasta salads in the past but they come straight home and are wolfed down here as I think the other kids may take the mick when he has anything more interesting than a sandwich) and he has a little salad (veg/cheese/olive/whatever chopped up in a tub) and a dessert (yoghurt/fruit/flapjack/whatever). He eats most of it each day and I am pleased that he loves my non-processed foods. Yesterday he went shopping with Mr G and they came home with Mini Baby Bel cheeses as his friend has them. OK I thought. He can have them to see what they are like, let's see how they go, and I popped one in his box today.

"How was your dinner today sweetheart"
"Nice. I didn't like the cheese though. Friend A has that cheese but I didn't like it. It doesn't taste like proper cheese."

I did a silent punch to the air. I am bringing up a boy who loves "proper" food!

Saturday, 1 January 2011

New Year - introspection

I always find myself every new year, in a resolving mood. I love a fresh start to a day, a week, a year, a new exercise book and a clean car interior. I do irritate myself when I let days, weeks, years, books and cars get into such a mess (and they always do). This year, I will not resolve to do lose a zillions pounds by February or read 12 books a week or never each chocolate again as they are easy resolutions to break. This year I will take stock of what I have, use things I need and charity shop everything I don't need or use. We have a reasonable sized house but we have limited storage available. I plan to go through every part of this house (and my life) and re-organise every little corner, understand what we have and what we need and clear out the excess shite and make the most of what we have. Today I tidied 2 cupboards in the kitchen and made a note of things we need and moved things that were in the wrong place and will charity shop the stuff we have that I hate. 2 cupboards down and it's only day 1!

I also spent a hour or so in the garden whilst the boys messed about. It was good to get some fresh air as we have a had a bit of cabin fever these last few days. I want to DO the garden this year. Get a greenhouse. Dig a border along the back fence. Dig up my pots. The front garden needs a LOAD of work done to it but I think that if I focus on the back garden and get that where I want it then I will be brave enough to tackle the front maybe later in the year.

I will re-visit the 101 list and go back to the monthly goals I started last year. When I was blogging and writing them I was doing them and it was good.

This month I shall ...
1. Write and start a weight-loss plan. I work well when I have it written out in front of me.
2. Clean the inside of my car (Mr G did the outside today and I feel compelled to finish it!)
3. Make a playmat for my best mate's little boy.
4. Get a gardening diary and work out my plan for the year.
5. Find a dentist.
6. Complete The Great Organisation of the kitchen.

Come on January - let's get sorted!