musingsponderingsandrants

Parenting, profundities and humour

Artistic Licence — October 22, 2015

Artistic Licence

Apparently my husband is a bit miffed. Or so he says.

He recently started long distance biking on Sunday mornings and has developed a peloton. A whole bunch of Lycra clad men of a certain age take to the roads of our rural environs and sweat around a 35 mile ish course scaring the locals and holding up traffic. That distance might be a tad inaccurate as I tend to skim over the multiple ‘Strava’ Facebook posts that appear within seconds of them arriving home.

Anyhoo. Apparently the posse have detected a ‘tone’ in my blog posts which, again allegedly, sees my poor down trodden husband getting a raw deal. Bless.

I cannot for the life of me imagine where this feeling comes from….

I have not had time to proof read all my 80 odd posts again. Although from my recollection a large number refer to him not at all.

From memory I may have implied that he doesn’t like cheese. On more than one occasion. This is merely a fact. And a very annoying and puzzling one at that. And it does actually have a daily impact on my life. I feel at liberty to mention it.

At some point his ability to lose things has come up. Again true. And annoying.

I wrote a whole piece very early on about the differences between men and women. It is possible that I based a lot of it on him. One can only write from experience surely. And it was very tongue in cheek. And funny. I apologise for any offence caused.

I may have implied that he ‘made me’ move house and get rid of beloved furniture. Of course this is not true. I cannot ‘be made’ to do things. Except eat chocolate. If you ‘made me’ eat chocolate I would, without hesitation, oblige.

Things came to a head last week when I suggested that when he cleans a room he merely gives it a ‘lick and a promise’. I would like to set the record straight on his behalf. He cleans thoroughly. And takes hours. I was using artistic licence. It is a strategy writers use. Or so I am told. Sorry about that.

So for the record my husband is a lovely man who works very hard, he is a great father, he never ‘makes me’ do anything and he can clean adequately.

He still, however, hates cheese and loses things.

To my mind there are two solutions. Suck it up. Or write your own blog.

Revenge may be sweet.

Love ya…

Footnote: should you wish to check out his claims for yourself please see my posts

Women are from Venus men are just odd

Lasagna

Have you seen my...

Food Glorious Food

Keeping Clean Sheets

My Sofa

My House

In the interests of balance feel free to read any of the seventy odd other posts too….

How time flies — October 13, 2015

How time flies

cake

I am coming up fast on my six months bloggingversary. No, that isn’t a word, I made it up.

I can vividly remember sitting in bed one morning during the school Easter holidays and penning my first tentative post. That same day at a local country park I wrote my second. And by the end of the week several more had followed. And now my current tally is 80. Yes eighty. Who can believe it? Certainly not me.

I had opened a floodgate in my head. Words and ideas poured out. It is a good job for my readers that I discovered the ‘schedule’ button on WordPress and was able to moderate my publications to about three times a week.

And so over the last six months I have fallen into a bit of a pattern publishing on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Sunday mornings. This seems to work out quite well.

I worried I would run out of ideas. And sometimes, like at present, I get down to only one scheduled entry. And I worry gently. Then I remember that I am not under contract to any one. I do not have to post. I could drop off the airwaves and no one would be banging on my door demanding a refund.

I thought my life was quite small and uneventful. Writing this blog has made me see that even though most of my life is indeed mundane and routine there is humour and profundity even in that. And quite a lot of ranting…

What else have a learnt?

Quite often the entries I debate about even posting garner the most readers. I agonised about publishing Lets Not Skirt Around the Issue for days. I honestly thought such detailed information about my intimate medical and personal grooming issues may have turned readers away in droves. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Some entries I dash off in minutes. Some take me hours. And even then I sometimes have to rewrite the whole piece. And the popularity of posts bears no relation to how much sweat I have put into them.

I have different audiences. Fellow WordPress users like my posts about blogging. Facebook friends tend to prefer the humorous stuff about parenting. Some are very loyal and read and comment on every post regardless of topic. I am grateful to them.

And then there is my silent mystery audience. They find me from all over the world. Today someone has found my blog when searching on Google for ‘Sure Cool Blue Aerosol’. So I tried. Sure enough there is Aroma Moan on page 5 of the results. That kind of blew my mind actually. I am on internet search engines….Ok page 5 but still….

And so this blogging lark is a great learning experience. It will never lead anywhere. But I enjoy writing. I get a lot out of it.

Some days the housework doesn’t get done. But hey as my grandfather used to say ‘you are a long time dead’.

Reading between the lines — October 11, 2015

Reading between the lines

books

I wanted to write a piece about books. I penned something yesterday and when I came to read it back just now it was not really that great. My writing has let me down just as I want to write about, well, the written word. Ironically.

And so I am going to try again. Deep breath.

I suppose it is true that it is impossible to be a writer, even one as amateurish as me, without having a love for reading.

In today’s world many, many things get in the way of book reading. The TV with its myriad delights, the internet, social media, work, too many children doing too many things, blogging and the like.

It is also true that the reading many of us do has changed. From lengthy novels to snappy titbits on social media pages, magazine articles, blog entries. The modern world is displayed to us in short, easy to digest slices.

I am currently reading a Hilary Mantel. Not the Tudor ones- which I read in hard back as soon as they came to my attention because that part of history is one of my secret passions, my shelves groan with such tomes- no a piece of contemporary fiction. I am enjoying it. But I only seem to find time to read in bed before dropping off to sleep and so I spend an in-ordinate amount of that short period of time flicking back through the pages to remember what has just happened.

Some novels are like that. They need concerted effort. And the only time I seem to have available for such effort is on holiday. Well that is not totally true. I could turn off the TV. Stop writing. Give up Face book. But I don’t.

It wasn’t always like this. As a child I would curl up on my bed and read for hours at a time. Especially in the school holidays when kids’ TV finished at 12 noon and there was no such thing as the internet.

Middlest has the bug too. Despite all those distractions he spends a lot of time reading. He is a complete book worm. When we can’t find him he is usually on his bed in a position very familiar to me. And I am envious of the time he has to be so engrossed in his books. When I go to his room to bring him down for dinner he looks up almost dazed as he drags himself back from Middle Earth or Sendaria or Hogwarts.

My others read too. But much more in the vein of ‘just before bed’. Middlest reads with a single minded dedication and tenacity that I admire. He gets fully immersed. It is something I remember fondly.

And the thing is it shows in his writing, which is amazingly eloquent for a ten year old, and his verbal language, and his vocabulary.

And so I think I need to rediscover my reading mojo.

For then this piece may have flowed more easily.

Stuff what I have learnt today — October 8, 2015

Stuff what I have learnt today

keep-calm-and-learn-hard-7

So here goes. Some random stuff I have discovered today.

  • It is possible to drive to my kids’ school and back in under 15 minutes when on a games kit/ cello induced mercy dash.
  • If you turn up 15 minutes late to an exercise class you just miss the boring warm up and only semi important station explanation. Although I may discover tomorrow how vital that warm up is.
  • Deleting about 18 months worth of text messages will turn your phone back into a relatively responsive tool.
  • The shops are no longer full of orange hued home accessories now I have decided that orange is to be the accent colour for our newly decorated lounge.
  • It is apparently Christmas already.
  • Allowing the kids off music practice in the morning so they can get more sleep after a school induced late night will see us all falling out.
  • It is quite pleasant to write blogs in Costa.
  • Belgian chocolate tea cakes make that even pleasanterer.
  • My phone’s predictive text will predict good when I want home and home when I want good. Which makes that sentence really hard to get right.
  • One should keep an eye on boiling potatoes rather than ignoring them to write.
  • It is best to wait for the ceramic hob to cool down before clearing up boiled over water. Unless you like the smell of burnt J cloth.
  • Allowing Eldest to have a phone not only heads off games kit/ cello induced emergencies but also allows him to text me cute messages which make me feel better about the tiredness induced morning arguments.
  • I enjoy employing deliberate grammatical errors in my writing. Not sure why. Probably so I can claim any actual errors are supposed to be there. And to annoy pedants.
  • My reverse parking sensors are wildly over cautious. And I actually need gate post sensors.
  • Asking Middlest to be quick out of school will make us late for football training.
  • People are still wearing leggings that are see through enough to be correctly categorised as tights.
  • It is impossible to watch the final of the Bake Off a day late and not discover who the winner is during that day. And I don’t mind that much.
  • As much as I love Billy Joel he doesn’t cut it driving music wise. And I still prefer soft rock.
  • If I would like Youngest to practise her times tables I must threaten the removal of football training.
  • I can’t do bullets on my phone and will have to add them at home later before the scheduled publishing time. Home more to do at good I mean good more to do at home.
  • We can still name all the characters on In the Night Garden. And Makka Pakka is still our favourite. Isn’t that a pip?
  • I still don’t know when to use practice and when to use practise. So I looked it up. C for noun, s for verb. So I need to practise and get some practice in.
  • I care about accent colours.
  • That last discovery worries me most.

So there you have it. Just a normal day. One is always learning.
If you are my husband then obviously the Costa is not part of my normal day. Honest gov.

Ennui… — September 15, 2015

Ennui…

ennui

Today Middlest is ill.

I am of the ‘If you haven’t been physically sick/ emptied your colon in spectacular and explosive fashion/ hit 40 on the thermometer/ lost a limb then you are going to school’ brigade.

Middlest has not done any of those things. But he is doubling up with stomach cramps on a regular basis. And hasn’t eaten anything substantial all day. And he was so white when he got up that I wondered where all his blood had gone.

I consulted his timetable which is stuck to the fridge. He has his double Rugby lesson today. And it was raining when we got up. And so I relented. And once I reluctantly said he could stay home he took himself back to bed and went to sleep.

So not faking I don’t think.

Anyway to be sure I have made the day as boring as possible. Lots of sleeping in his bedroom. That usually does the trick.

Unfortunately that has also meant I have had a very boring day too. I got through my chores whilst he was sleeping. We have caught up with Bake Off. I have filled in my Neighbourhood Planning Survey. There are other boring jobs I could be doing. But they are, well, boring.

It is ironic (in the proper sense of the word (a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often wryly amusing as a result) not in the American ‘rain on your wedding day’ sense of the word) that when I have an ’empty’ day I find it harder to get on with stuff. Although now I think on it, it isn’t that wryly amusing. But it is true that the more time I have to do stuff the less I actually do.

I should have thought up a few more good blog subjects but that isn’t something I can do to order.

This is the best I came up with.

Pretty dull.

Like my day.

Ennui sucks….

You Have Memories to Look Back on Today…. — September 13, 2015

You Have Memories to Look Back on Today….

image

I quite like Facebook. I used to use it for shorter versions of these blog entries. I post less nowadays as a result of musingsponderingsandrants but I still get pleasure from hearing other’s news.

It is also my main platform for sharing this Blog and so I could not really do without it. Well I could but then no one would read anything I wrote except for my handful of loyal followers (thanks to you lovely lot), and those stumbling upon me accidentally.

I have a lot of family and friends who I see too infrequently and I feel closer to them than I would if FB didn’t exist.

I have found handymen and wasp nest killers and cooker repairers from heart felt pleas on its walls.

Others I know successfully sell second hand items through it.

And actually the most lovely thing about it is the snap shot it gives one of one’s life. Nearly daily, because I was such an avid poster, I get a notification that I have ‘Memories to look back on’. In fact I am such a prolific poster that when I tried recently to order one of those ‘My Social Books’ for my time on the site I could not get it under the 500 page limit.

I always look back on those memories. I don’t usually share them because who else is interested. But I gain immense pleasure from them.

Today I was reminded that last year Middlest and Eldest were both away overnight (I have no idea where!) and husband and I took Youngest for her first Chinese restaurant meal. And had a ball.

Two years ago my friendly dashboard spider gave me a fright.

There were pictures of Eldest in Year 4 dressed as a Celtic warrior. It backed up my recent musings that he was by far the most grown up of all my children at that stage in school. Youngest has now just started Year 4 and has no where near the same knowing look in her eye.

Four years ago I had finished knitting Jesus.

And five years ago I was bemoaning how hard it was to cook a curry whilst doing reading with Eldest, avoiding Middlest’s toy cars whizzing by, dressing a dollie for Youngest and avoiding a balloon pig occasionally floating over the hob.

I can remember that moment very clearly- although I have no idea why we had a balloon pig- beacuse I had been reminded of it. I would probably never have thought about it again with out that timely reminder from good old FB.

And so I am glad I was a prolific poster. I am glad I wrestled my inner demons, who worried I was boring everyone to death, and just wrote anyway. I am glad I wrote about the every day, the mundane, the humorous, the annoying and the heartfelt.

For now I have this record of my day to day life since 2009. A most welcome, almost daily, little package of memories which make me go ‘Oh yes I remember that’. It is an on line version of a diary but with pictures.

And it makes me think that I still need to post some little snippets, despite the longer record of current life contained in these blogs. For else I will lose that lovely package of history.

FB has its detractors but for me it has definitely got this right. Thanks.

Mistokes… — September 6, 2015

Mistokes…

editing

When I write these entries I tend to do it quickly. I get an idea or some sentences form in my mind which are either humorous or profound (ish) and which I feel I can hang an entry on.

Generally these thoughts come to me at inopportune moments. When I am cooking tea. When I am driving. Etc.

So sometimes I cannot get that entry written straight away. Therefore I make a lot of effort to retain those ideas and sentences in my head until a time arises when I have some moments to actually write. That is probably why I lose my car keys. Or keep going upstairs and forgetting what I came for. Too many blog ideas taking up disk space.

Anyhoo.

When I finally do get to write I often find my PC occupied by Minecrafters and so I start on my I pad. If that is also not occupied by Dumb Way to Die-ers.

So in extremis, or when parked at my kids’ school with half an hour to kill, I use my tiny Samsung phone.

And then I splurge words and ideas and punctuation in a semi coherent fashion onto the page. With my poor typing, which is even poorer on I pad and frankly atrocious on my phone. Big fingers. Tiny keys.

As such proof reading and editing are key. I never immediately publish a post. Excepting in the early days when I didn’t understand how to delay it.

Posts often lig around for a few days, or sometimes weeks. So I have time to add photos. Refine. Think of more relevant prose. Correct spelling. And add possessive apostrophes. But not there. That would be. Bad.

Of course the software I type on auto corrects some of the more obvious words. If it can guess what they are. But still sometimes I want to write a word I speak a lot but have no idea how to spell.

As such my dictionary is my friend. My children were amazed recently to see me using my dictionary. They all believe dictionaries are a way of taking up school locker space. Not for actually looking up words. So I am a great parental role model. Shines halo.

But even with this editing and proof reading mistakes still get published.

Homophones are not my friends. I was horrified to read yesterday that I had being ‘stationary’ on my to do list in my To Do entry. Obviously that was not my intent. I actually needed to buy pencils. Luckily I can correct once the article is published and so only around 10 of you read my horrific homophone blunder.

I can only apologise to my audience for such blunders. If I were a proper ‘author’ I would have an editor. But I don’t. So things are not perfect.

I hope you can forgive me.

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