March 15, 2015

Tuesday 24th February Signs of Old Age!

Morning…I’m sounding like a stuck record these days..I didn’t sleep well, but can’t blame a snoring husband this time as he is away! Maybe it’s a a sign of old age, but worried that my facial wrinkles, which are already etching themselves into my whole body at top speed, will appear even faster thanks to fatigue and sleep deprivation. Oh what to does one force body to sleep and stay asleep?

I was very grateful that my son last night cooked me frozen fish and chips, but not so grateful this morning to find that he left the unused pieces of frozen fish in the box on the side…defrosted and now in the bin.

fish pieces

This morning instead of a class of children I have an Early Years course to attend at The Holiday Inn in Farnborough.

I didn’t think it would take me so long to get such a short distance, so when I arrived I was in desperate need of a cup of tea. The hotel thankfully put on a selection of pastries, fruit, biscuits and even some jars with nuts and dried fruit to spoon into a cup. I found a breakfast teabag and poured hot water on it only to find the hot water was in fact hot coffee, a drink I don’t even like! I then caused mayhem as I tried to rid myself of the mug of cofftea and find the right machine to make myself a proper cup of tea with boiling brain was fuddled and not even 9.o’clock!


Another sign of old age is the fact I need glasses..two pairs for different things. One prescription pair for night time driving, watching TV or screen work at a distance and the other, over the counter glasses for reading in dim light. The course meant that in fact both of my glasses were required because one minute I was looking a a screen at a distance, the next I was looking at small text at the table. The course finished and we had to leave quickly, as we were late and needing to get back to work. Not being sure how to get back thanks to a one way system, I had to follow my colleague. I got in my car and as she drove off I pulled my glasses down from the top of my head to find I couldn’t see where I was going…wrong glasses! Trying to then not lose my colleague who I was following and check I had my prescription glasses in my handbag was a nightmare. I have two different textured glasses cases so they are easy to find and feel in my bag, a necessity for women of a certain age but even that didn’t help as I’d put one glass case in a different bag!

photo 2 (78)photo 1 (86)

Fiddler rehearsal later and I was describing the fact in the car that I’m at that age when I need two pairs of glasses..unfortunately I paused after I had said ‘ I’m  that age when I need two pairs of…’ the person I was talking to thought I was referring to an incontinence issue and I was about to announce I needed extra knickers! Old age is getting to me…

March 14, 2015

Monday 23rd February Caterpillar Boogie

Morning…well, that half term week went quick! I had a horrendous journey back from Lymington in torrential rain. Driving carefully and having to concentrate hard is so tiring and yet despite being exhausted, I didn’t sleep well, as overactive mind was thinking about things I need to do. My middle of the night thoughts were sadly interrupted by noisy snoring, so I tried an episode of Escape to the Country…unfortunately, I only mildly escaped! Hi Ho for me..oh, happy Monday!

This weeks book is The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

photo 1 (84)

My morning at school started in the classroom with a little practise of the caterpillar boogie, part of my interpretation of  the Life cycle of a butterfly. I do like to see what I’m doing before teaching dance to the children, but I’m not sure the caretaker wanted to be included in my vision. He walked through my classroom door at the wrong time and was faced with me ‘shaking it all about’ and whilst there isn’t a lot to shake, the surprise on his face and the ‘I’m not sure where to look’ expression said it all!

The children are writing a caterpillar food diary each day this week..

photo 2 (76)

It’s probably something I could usefully do for my own food intake, but it might highlight the fact that CAKE is a daily entry..I blame it on working in a school, not my lack of self will! Which reminds me I must get back to using My Fitness Pal to try and monitor my daily calorie intake and exercise..the combination is a huge problem with my lack of weight loss!

Staff discussion at lunchtime and my colleague said to another whilst talking about their holidays “We’re both mooning”…bare bottom showing was not what I expected from either of them and I was about to see them in a new light, when a colleague seeing my shocked expression enlightened me by saying “they are both going on Honeymoon!”…what a relief!

The kitchen table has finally returned to the kitchen, instead of  looking like an oversized ornament on its side in the lounge. Whilst not having any units, no floor covering or paintwork the kitchen is beginning to look more like a room… but with a strange assortment of shelving in it!

photo 1 (85) photo 2 (77) photo 3 (54)




March 12, 2015

Sunday 22nd February Back In Time

Morning…I have woken up in Lymington, the house my parents have lived in since I was ten years old, with a very sore throat and no Manuka honey in my possession. Last night I spent an evening with my dad and brother trying to find pieces of music that will depict the Life cycle of a butterfly for dance next week. Making them all sound different but appropriate can be tricky, but think we might be getting somewhere finally.

Decided today to find old family photos of our beagle dog Pippa, who I have been writing some very simple children’s books about. She was such a character and I have many fond, childhood memories of her. She had a cute face, but was always thieving food and was so overweight many people mistook her for a Basset Hound. She used to sit on her back legs and bottom and beg whenever anyone was eating and wouldn’t leave people alone until they fed her. She used to escape from the garden to go on a scavenging hunt of the local streets and houses and we would have to send out a search party to find her. My dad used to be mortified when visited by clients, who told tales of how Pippa had taken food from their kitchen table on a hot summers day. She once ate several Easter eggs, paper and all and was very sick, but as naughty as she was, she was sweet natured and gave us some stories to tell!

with Pippa

photo 1 (83)

An afternoon spent in front of the fire, which included my mum reading out one of her ladies groups magazines with answers that 16 year old teenagers gave in exams…good lord, it does make you wonder!

photo 5 (24)

mums booklet

I think I might be on the verge of being intercontinental!

After all my research, a great LSA from last year has found the butterfly life cycle music from last year so I wont need to search for music any longer!



March 10, 2015

Saturday 21st February New Forest to Lymington

Morning…sniffling, tired and contemplating whether it should be train or car to Lymington to visit my parents. Getting down there is fine but trying to work out a way back without taking hours and having to mix trains with buses is a nightmare…public transport is never simple and is why I don’t often use it!

Decided to dose myself up with painkillers and take the car, hope the M3 is kind to me…at least the sun is shining!

New Forest 1

photo 2 (75)

photo 3 (53)

photo 4 (32)

An uneventful drive down and a chance to appreciate the lovely New Forest.

My parents have the most amazing garden which has the bird life I never see in our own. The one bird that we get that they don’t is the House Sparrow, which is apparently dying out. Unfortunately, they also have other visitors who we never see, who are not quite so popular and who seem to think that the catering my parents provide, is for them as well as the birds.

photo 5 (23)

They are soon shooed away or the cat sent out to chase them away!

A relaxing day full of chat and a good old catch up, finished off with a gin and dad was horrified to see his posh, expensive cut glass not on a table as one would expect, but precariously balanced on a knee! One can only be thankful that the glass was almost empty.

gin glass


March 7, 2015

Friday 20th February Once The Musical

Morning…a great day yesterday at The Picture Restaurant..didn’t quite reach size 24 after all that food and drink! So on to today.. not another suitcase and another hall, but another rehearsal, another train journey, another trip to London, another meal and whilst I might not be seeing Evita, I am seeing a Musical Show…I’m off to see Once and it seems likely it will only be once, since it is finishing…very excited, not that it is finishing, but that I’m going to see it and hear the lovely Ronan singing . A happy Friday indeed.

photo 3 (50)

The dance rehearsal today was at the dance show venue, Camberley Theatre. For once, it was for myself and not my children. It included me:

  • zimmer frame boogieing, which I’m sure looked very appealing… to those aged over 80
  • Hot stuff strutting with a truncheon, which I’m sure looked more like a tepid limp, thanks to my back and body’s inability to look sexy or hot
  • Fosse with style, but perhaps not the style intended
  • Drunken Les Miserable acting, which I’m sure looked wonderful to the children I teach. I hope they recognise the difference between natural ability and skillful talent, as otherwise I’m in trouble
  • wrestling with a twirling mop, with more focus on wrestling than twirling. Unfortunately a few children came in rather close proximity to my mop end. I didn’t fill in a risk assessment, so hoping I’m not accused of assault

Rehearsal finished, a quick change out of strangely dry clothes (my body obviously didn’t work as hard as my head thought it had!)  and I was all set for London again.

First stop Melanie Italian Restaurant, close to the theatre, where I added to yesterdays calories with a pizza and pudding.

Second stop, the intimate theatre that is The Phoenix.

photo 1 (67)

Third stop a visit on the stage..

photo 1 (80)

Fourth stop, a pose on the piano..

photo 2 (73)

Fifth stop…I couldn’t help myself..I will be one of those mums who embarrasses their children and sometimes friends and who some will look at and think “what the hell is she doing?”

photo 2 (64)

The show was not like any other musical show I had seen. It didn’t have big dance numbers or different style songs.. the music was all in a gentle folk style. There was no orchestra, no costume changes and no changing of sets. The story was set in an Irish pub, a simple love story relying on two strong leads, which they had in Ronan Keating and Jill Winternitz. The audience became part the scene because they could go to the pub and purchase a drink before and during the interval creating a relaxed and intimate atmosphere. The musicians who were part of the cast. mingled with the audience and scenes were changed via movement and lighting.All in all a very enjoyable evening and confirmed the need for me to go more than once a year to the theatre!

March 3, 2015

Thursday 19th February The Picture Restaurant

Morning…got a cold so not happy. I’m off to London to eat six courses which according to my son is going to make me FAT. I’ll see you when I’m size 24. Happy Thursday.

Husband kindly brought me my breakfast orange juice in a wine glass. When I raised my eyebrows the reply was “you can drink non alcoholic drinks in a wine glass, you know..I didn’t want you thinking every time you saw a wine glass around the house I’d been drinking alcohol!”..who’s he kidding?

photo 1 (72)

Now follows my day in photos….

We catch the train to Waterloo, meeting everyone possible at Fleet Station and then on to the tube to Oxford Circus..

photo 3 (45)

First stop..The Argyll Arms in Oxford Circus where we drank Prosecco to toast a birthday and start our day off.

photo 5 (20)

photo 3 (46)

photo 4 (29)

Then on to The Picture Restaurant in Portland Street London.

photo 5 (21)

photo 4 (27)



photo 1 (74)

photo 5 (19)

photo 2 (71)

photo 1 (78)

photo 3 (47)

photo 5 (22)

photo 1 (75)

photo 3 (49)

photo 4 (30)

Every course was delicious,the attention to detail magnificent, the surroundings relaxed and the service excellent. My personal favourites were the soup, roasted butternut squash, Charred Salmon and of course,the chocolate mousse. The whole meal cost £35, to my mind a bargain.

We perhaps ran over our two hour slot as the place was empty when we left!

photo 3 (48)

We then had a quick shop and an end of the day drink at The Shakespeares Head Pub in Carnaby Street before making our way back to the station to travel home.


March 1, 2015

Tues 17th & Wed 18th February Rehearsing, rehearsing.

Morning…woken not by an alarm but the racket of our early refuse collection and the thought I’d failed to put out the overflowing bin. Garbled sleepily at husband, who these days never seems to hear what I’m saying with his wax filled ears even when I’m speaking clearly, but he claimed it has been done, so here’s hoping!

I have two fun days of rehearsals ahead of me! Firstly,two days of rehearsing for The Young Set show, which is a singing , dancing extravaganza that is an assault on the senses and full of sequins, feathers and more sequins, because of course, there is never enough! I might add I am not rehearsing any dance moves, my body and legs have never been flexible or coordinated enough to do the movement required, but my sons are. I meanwhile am costume organiser and preparing to be a backing singer in the orchestra pit. Here are some photos from the last Showtime show.









Then Secondly, my usual rehearsal for Fiddler On The roof.

The car journey to rehearsal was entertaining as usual. We were discussing my Pippa the dog books and who could draw some illustrations. “What you need is someone to draw different doggy positions”  said my husband…the discussion went down hill.

An extra friend joined the old bags dancing group.. we counted up to eight, danced with vocal sound effects, even choreographed some moves of our own.. well, an extra two stamps and a swing of our imaginary skirts! When we shouted Mazel Tov (Good Luck) to the married couple, I think it was probably us needing it more with our forthcoming dance routine, but the Mamas did good! After watching some of the Papas and unfit sons dancing at high speed and rather enthusiastically, we did wonder if the Cardiac arrest team should have been on standby…entertaining but worrying.

photo 1 (71)

Friend-I think we actually counted to 10 at one point, shall I bring a crash kit next week?

After today all badger culling will stop as I’m getting my hair done! For the first time someone else is colouring it rather than myself, so lets hope it makes a difference!

photo 2 (68)