April 29, 2015

Thursday 9th April- Saturday 11th April Oh Boy It’s Great To Be Young

Morning..Last night was a great show, a fantastic audience with huge cheers and a standing ovation at the very end! I was very proud of both my talented sons and their friends…oh boy, it’s great to be young!”…their finale song said it all. Everyone was smiling, which means that all of the mummies and daddies must have tried hard with their quick changes and costumes, performers worked hard and although Babette who in her eighties directed and choreographed the show with some help, couldn’t apparently hear us backing singers in the pit, she was smiling too, which means not all was bad! We were grinning from ear to ear as we had a such a fun time singing songs you never get the chance to normally sing and watching the show, although from an angle, (a stiff neck by the weekend!) and with half an eye on the words we were supposed to be singing!

singing in the pit YS 2015

in the pit

No one thankfully commented or seemed to notice that my son went on stage with a terribly unironed shirt (a big no no!) although from the pit I did unfortunately notice! The school manager didn’t seem to notice that she had her bottom pinched by a friend who thought from behind it was me…she was mortified when she turned round to laugh and spotted who it in fact was..she is now going to Specsavers and hasn’t decided whether to go and apologise or keep her head down whenever the manager comes into view!

At the show we were eating our picnic tea in the car, when we spot an unusual litter bin raider….the squirrel ate his crisp so quick I’m surprised he didn’t get indigestion!

Well it is indeed again ‘ oh boy, it’s great to be young’,  not because of the talent and energy the young possess, but because they can sleep in until lunchtime! However exhausted I am I wake up early. The show has contiued to have rave reviews, amazing costumes and I have had compliments about my sons talent, which is lovely to hear. Last show tonight and after last night, I’m contemplating wearing my fire retardant black sequin number just in case! As the final fireworks went off one was faulty, backfired and scorched some of the pit singers music and clothes..I bet the risk assessment didn’t imagine that scenario.


I was feeling quite happy at only being kicked once into action for looking like I was sitting in my TV lounge watching TV, instead of being ready to sing!

Hoping tonight is the best show yet!


April 27, 2015

Wednesday 8th April Boots and Breakfast!

Morning..I woke at 5am singing in my head the song “This was a real nice Clambake” from Carousel..I even had the American accent! The accompaniament of snoring next to me sadly spoilt my rendition and prevented me from going back to sleep….It is now 8am and I am tired and have a whole day and opening night of Showtime 2015 to get through!

I tried on some new boots yesterday and the assistant seeing me struggle said “Can I help you?”…Often Shop assistants ask if they can help when you want to be left alone to browse, but for once I did want some assistance. I replied “this zip doesn’t seem to work”…I was expecting the great customer service reply of “let me try and help you Madam” but instead I got a “that zip isn’t supposed to work, it is part of the design…the one on the other side does”….of course! I felt a complete fool. Once I unzipped the correct zip I managed to fit my feet into the boots, which was a surprise as I have such fat feet that most boots don’t get past my big toe!

black boots

The plumber is at the house installing radiators and connecting the hob, my sons are asleep in bed, so my husband and I have decided to go for a cooked breakfast at a local pub called The Chequers. It is situated opposite the cricket green so has a lovely outlook.

Chequers pub

We arrived and the bar was empty….

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apart from a friendly face who was smiling above the fireplace.

boars head

I had a delicious cooked breakfast of egg, sausage, bacon, mushroom and toasted sourdough accompanied with fresh orange juice, which reminded me of fresh orange juice abroad..it was properly FRESH!

My cooked breakfast at Chequers

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My husband had the Chorizo hash and free range fried egg with balck pudding on the side.

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We finished our meal with a tea and coffee which had the cutest milk bottle holder and some choclate Easter eggs, that presumably they had left over from Easter weekend..I wasn’t complaining.

Chequers tea

The toilets were in Vogue…

Vogue photos in the toilet

and I was well and truly stuffed and looking anything but!

We got home to find the plumber had finished his installing and connecting and our sons still asleep.

Wishing luck to my sons and all those performing in the show tonight. I hope you sing out, remember your words and moves and don’t mess with your dresser, who has been known to have hissy fits when messed with!

April 26, 2015

Monday 6th and Tuesday 7th April The Kitchen View I Dreamt of!

Morning…while the world is asleep I have been awake and pottering in my new kitchen.There is still so much pottering to do! Today it should be being tiled, whilst I’m out rehearsing for Showtime 2015, which is this week. My husband is thrilled to be spending one more day with his favourite man. I am thrilled to be looking out of my lovely new bi fold doors on a sunny Spring morning to this wonderful view…

bi fold doors

It is all I ever dreamt of! A mountain of cardboard and polystyrene, radiators, cupboards, a dishwasher, cooker and fridge freezer…all of nature’s beauty, in my garden for me to enjoy!

It is not surprising I wish I had a view like this…

New Forest sunset

that of the New Forest coming back from my parents on Saturday. Or maybe just some grass, flowers and a little patio would be nice…I don’t want to appear greedy!

So, another early morning drama! Three people have to get out of the house and need early morning showers, a tiler is mixing his tile adhesive and we suddenly have no water coming out of the taps! Chaos reigns. We have to wait and sons manage to brush their teeth in some dribbling hot water coming out of the upstairs bathroom tap. As long as teeth are brushed everything is alright in a man’s world.

After rehearsal, which had a few manic moments, we had an impromtu visit with friends to the pub where my son works for a drink and a meal. Unfortunately it doesn’t serve food on a Monday which we didn’t know. We stayed for alcohol and crisps and nuts as a snack stop gap.


We popped across the road to another pub, but they had stopped serving food by the time we arrived, so more alcohol, crisps and nuts as a further snack stop gap. A successful night on the drinking front, less so on the food front as our snacks and drinking took us to closing time, but I did give out two Fiddler On The Roof leaflets to random people I was chatting to.

Tuesday and it is dress rehearsal night , so if we haven’t got everything now and if my sons don’t know their words by now it is too late! Me and my singing chums in the pit will be warming up our voices and singing “Oh boy it is great to be young”.the finale song, with feeling and wishing we were as young as the people on the stage.

April 24, 2015

Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th April An Easter Weekend Sort Out

Morning…yesterday was spent washing every dust covered plate, cup, mug, bowl, pot and pan and unpacking boxes. We are still not finiished as the men in my household got tired and needed a little rest. My bad back couldn’t cope and also needed a little rest. After washing everything clean, we had to find a new home for every pot, pan, plate and bowl in the new cream, shiny, kitchen cupboards, which like everything else, needed a clean. The kitchen is finally taking shape although we await flooring, wall tiles, radiators and the plumbing of ovens and hob to be finished…the list seems incredibly long! Microwave meals are sadly a necessity for a bit longer! My husband’s favourite man is returning on Easter Monday to do the tiling and will hopefully bring a bit of Easter cheer to the house instead of the misery that he has apparently subjected him to last week. By mid week we might have a working oven and proper food will finally be an option.

kitchen done

The skip also left our front garden yesterday after four months, which must have pleased the neighbours. Now our back garden looks like it needs another one as it is so full of rubbish…when will our house feel normal again?

Today we are taking a break from washing and cleaning to go to Lymington to visit my parents for our Easter weekend visit. It will be the first time my husband has seen my mum since her big cancer operation and the first time my son and I will have seen her out of hospital. We didn’t want to put too much work on my brother and dad so we are taking a selection of desserts and going just for the day instead of an overnight stay as we usually do.

Happy Easter Sunday everyone! Hope the Easter bunny brought you lots of choclate…my body is trying to resist it all.

Easter bunny

We had a lovely day yesterday although sadly my son was not feeling well ,so decided to stay at home as he didn’t want to make my mum ill and wants to be fit enough for his show performance next week. Mum is doing brilliantly and has had her stitiches out. She had so many get well cards and flowers which was lovely to see.

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We had to go on a Easter Egg hunt…not the usual hunt in the garden, but a hunt round the shops to see what eggs were left as we were buying for my neice and nephews from ourselves and my parents…not a lot of choice in a small place like Lymington on the day before!

I had a little wander round my parents garden which, unlike my garden, is looking lovely in Spring and has so many flowers and so much colour.

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spring flowers

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Whilst it is Easter Sunday there is still more washing and dusting off for me…how can we possess so much stuff?

April 22, 2015

Friday 3rd April Back At Home

Morning…Awake at 5am on this Good Friday, an unearthly time on the first day of my holiday and hardly good! The laundry basket is overflowing, so thought I’d put an early morning wash on only to find the vital ingredient in washing…the washing machine, is no longer plumbed in! I was feeling peeved, the washing machine relieved and the washing basket overburdened as it continued to overflow! Roll on next week when the kitchen is hopefully finished! Hi Ho Hi Ho and off to work we go…not me, but the kitchen fitter who my husband thinks is a character from Show White, thanks to his size, character and demeanor. Whilst his characteristics might resemble Grumpy and I’m feeling very sleepy after my early start, we can all at least be happy he is working on Good Friday to try and finish the kitchen that has been going on for far too long. I’m finally seeing light at the end of a very long dark tunnel!

Yesterday I tried to say a tongue twister ‘Ken Dodd’s dad dog died’ and failed. Most of our chicks successfully returned to Living Eggs to hopefully the farm setting that the lady who collected them promised. At the last moment we managed to find a home for the three girl chicks. Before they were collected we allowed them all to roam on the classroom floor, inside a circle of children so they hopefully couldn’t escape. Most of he children enjoyed seeing them up close and personal, except for a couple who were petrified at the pecking and flapping of feathers quite so near and cried! One chick did look like he was very interested in reading the newspaper article on new denture care but not sure if beaks are included in current dentistry training!

chicks on the floor

Some of the children were brave enough to hold the chicks and stroke them. Some of the adults were also very brave and chased them round the circle in order to catch them.

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Once we finished looking at them, watching them poo, peck and piddle, we retruned them to the brooder box, deposited the messy newspaper and dentistry article in the bin, just in time for the boy chicks to be collected. The three girlls were put in a storage box filled with sawdust and a lego base lid which was situated next to a radiator, so it could resemble the heat lamp. Bless them, they looked quite frightened and huddled together for comfort.

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I took the girl chicks home in my car, a nervy journey, as I didn’t want flapping chicks to escape and cause an accident. They were collected shortly after I got home which was just as well as having three cats I wan’t sure if they would survive for long! They have now been re named Milly, Molly and Mandy. It was really lovely as the lady who was having them had just lost an adult chicken aged eight years old, so was thrilled to be having some new baby ones to replace her and join her other family of chickens.

In the evening she sent a photo of Milly, Molly and Mandy settled in their new home.

Milly Molly and Mandy

Today, it is my mum and dad’s 54th Wedding Anniversary. After a very difficult few weeks, they can hopefully have a lovely day celebrating together at home.

Sid, Clara dad,mum, Pat & John

April 20, 2015

Wednesday 1st and Thursday 2nd April The First and Last Laugh

It’s evening, rather than morning…I had a hospital appointment this morning that I thought was going to be an MRI scan. My doubts were raised on taking a closer look at my paperwork when I saw nothing mentioning ‘MRI scan’. It turned out to be an appointment where I was told I needed to have an MRI scan, which I already knew. I had been told by both my Dr and physio that I was going to require one, which is why I presumed that this was what was happening at the hospital today. Nothing like being told a third time…most useful!

I returned to work at lunchtime and spent the late afternoon and evening being a chauffer, an ironer and velcro sticker extrordinaire! I am not a sewer, despite my children performing in shows that have required costumes to be sewed, since they were aged three. I never finished making anything when I was taught sewing at school and I broke my mum’s old sewing machine the first time I used it ,so my track record is not great. Up to now I have had my mum to help me with her new fangled sewing machine and able needlework skills, but she is no longer well enough to be able to do so, which means I pay or stick and I choose to do both! My new found joy is iron on sticky velcro for quick show costume changes…it is wonderful and requires not a stitch or a needle!


It must be very nearly Showtime 2015 with all this conversation about costumes and sewing! It is a show of numerous costumes, numerous changes, numerous sequins, feathers and all in aid of The Variety Cub. The wonderful but formidable Babette Langford has raised enough money for eleven sunshine coaches over the years and is continuing to raise money even in her eighties. Thanks to Surrey County Council having different holidays to Hampshire, reherasals for the show which is next week in Hampton (Surrey) start at 3pm. It is alright if you are on holiday, but my life is going to be one manic rush after work. Transporting a great rail and numerous bagged costumes will also be a nightmare!

I returned home late to eat another sandwich…the staple diet of someone who is having their kitchen fitted and has no oven that works.

It’s Thursday and I’m having that Friday feeling one day early. So tired. Rehearsal yesterday was a tech run so no costumes were worn. Eldest son’s costume run today should be interesting, as he is yet to do one at all, which is unheard of! On the postive side I no longer have a huge rail and costumes to trip over at the top of my stairs!

Our kitchen fitter, a small elderly man who smokes heavily, has been getting to my husband all week in more ways than one. He is finding problems and my husband is struggling with his misery and negativity. I think the kitchen is more challenging than the fitter thought. He managed to drill  through a pipe, put the stack of ovens on the floor and when my husband pointed out that there should be a unit underneath, he put in a fixed unit, not the drawer according to the kitchen plan. He also managed to put the units down too low, so had to raise them all up and we now have holes where he made mistakes. My husband and I have had many conversations regarding him, but one miscommunication was always going to make my husband try to have the last laugh at my expense.

Husband- Oh God, another day with that miserable, depressing dwarf skulking round our house”

Me- ” you need to be more caring toward your wife”

Husband- “I was talking about the kitchen fitter”

Knowing my husband so well, I got in first with the poster below and the comment.. “Life is too short you should spend it with the kitchen fitter….”

Life is short

He had to reply “touche”….yep, I had the first and last laugh!

My kitchen joy at the moment  is the American freezer which was delivered yesterday and gives us iced water and ice on tap. Even my son is impressed. My husband had been telling me I needed to make choices when it came to the kitchen and I said I wanted a big freezer. Now we’ve go it…he’s oohing and ahhing over it and I can’t help but smile.

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April 19, 2015


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April 18, 2015

Monday 30th and Tuesday 31st March A Body At The Bus Stop

Morning…whilst most schools have broken up for the Easter holidays, in Hampshire we are struggling on until Maundy Thursday. I had a bit of a rushed morning with washing the dishes, putting a wash on and clearing up cat mess because someone failed to put the cat litter tray back in the kitchen. It is not much good in the garden when the cats are locked inside for the night. The cats found an alternative toilet…the thankfully yet uncovered, concrete kitchen floor. I didn’t want to leave the mess there and offend the kitchen fitters, so I suffered and was put off my breakfast by a rather unpleasant early morning job.

This week at school we are looking at the Easter story as part of our R.E curriculum.

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After the chicks spent a holiday weekend away with a colleague, they are returning to school today so we can continue with chick watch. They go back to Living Eggs on Thursday unless we can find a home for them. As always we have more boys than girls, ten compared to three, and offers are usually only made for the girls as no one wants neighbours complaining about an on mass early morning ‘cock a doodle doo’! The chicks get big so quickly and also like the cats, don’t seem to care where they go to the toilet. They happily mess in their food bowl and despite it’s whiff being in such close proximity, they don’t get put off their breakfast, happily eating from the same bowl..most off putting!

chicks when older

After work I went in search of white shirts and blue jeans for the Young Set show, it is helpful having one of the biggest Tesco’s on our doorstep! We have dancing later up the M3 and I’m trying to finally get myself prepared. I also found myself sitting at the barbers, for my youngest son to have his hair cut. At aged nineteen you would think I was past doing this job but thats what happens when mum is paying and drives.

Well, that was indeed a night and a half! As we were leaving dancing last night we saw a body at the bus stop nearby. Two of us backed our cars, stopped and got out. It was clear that whilst alive, the body was not responding to us shouting and nudging him. He had an alcohol  bottle in his hand and a mobile by his side, which we picked up. One of our party phoned for an ambulance and we waited in the freezing cold for it to arrive. The 999 people asked us to turn him on his back, which I was under the impression one shouldn’t do, but we did as we were told. His mouth looked blue and he was frothing a little. He looked in a real state, but was still not responding. When we got worried we put him on his side. We were all so cold I went to get a blanket from my car, only to trip down the kerb myself and into the gutter…hopefully not a sign that there was where I belong! The friends I was with all rushed over, apart from the person still on the phone to the ambulance, to pick me up. What a fool I felt. A nice jolt to my back, just in time for my hospital appointment tomorrow. We continued to wait and just like red buses two ambulances arrived at once with their lights flashing.


The ambulance men managed to get the man to respond eventually. However, it wasn’t anything intelligible, it resembled a cow ‘mooing’. They said that alcohol was the issue and I think very likely from the look of him he had taken something else as well. As the ‘body at the bus stop’ was now in the capable hands of the ambulance crew we left them to it…knowing that we had made sure he had got the help needed. Who knows what would have happened if we hadn’t stopped?

I arrived home late, exhausted but had no sleep, not due to my husband but the howling wind…another day ahead!


April 17, 2015

Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th March Cakes and Madness

Morning…ten out of ten chicks hatched so a hundred per cent success rate.The staff and children have loved chick hatch watch. The song “I’m coming out” has been sung in our department all week, referring to the chicks coming out of the eggs and nothing else, but it has stuck in my head. I keep singing it at random places, with people giving me funny looks! My student, along with another final placement student, left yesterday so they baked a variety of cakes, which of course had to be tasted..it would be rude not to. The creme egg cup cakes with a creme egg in the middle, made especially for our department were delicious.

creme egg cakes

Our staff seem a bit obsessive about cakes. Cakes for birthdays, cakes to cheer people up, cakes to celebrate, cakes because it is a certain day and cakes because the people making them want tasters to see if they are delcicous or not. Our students were very astute and realised to fit in, making cakes was the way to the staff’s hearts. It is is not surprising that they will be working in our school next year…they were obviously very good teachers as well as excellent cake makers, we are not that shallow! However I’m looking forward to September :-) My student gave me and my LSA an Easter lush bath bomb to say “thank you”. One of my five a day in the bath is a new experience!

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After a ‘little bit of this and a little bit of that’ all day,  I went to my dancing class and the words of the song I’ve been singing all week have now been aptly changed to ‘I’m hanging out’…cake tasting is lovely, but gripper knickers are not enough and ‘hanging out’ is not a look you really want to see in a dance show!

Today we have a Fiddler On The Roof rehearsal all afternoon and I’m hoping that we can sell a few more tickets for The Young Set Show in aid of The Variety Club, which is coming up in a couple of weeks. My life is so manic at the moment. It is such a spectacular song and dance show. Although you need to like sequins and cutesie kids. My son many moons ago was a cutesie cockerel but I just love it!

Penguin Jack

My kitchen is also manic as the delivery of Kitchen units has arrived taking over almost the entire kitchen. The fitting started yesterday but we haven’t got very far yet and I think for a while my life is going to be chaotic.

kitchen cupboards

We had a lovely Saturday night at the pub with our TOPS friends..a whole gang who always meet up regularly and have a laugh. It wan’t dissimilar to Fiddler On The Roof in that the ladies and gentlemen were divided. We didn’t have a rope to divide us, but we did have a gap so it looked like we didn’t like each other, let alone want to talk to each other!

This morning  I made my husband a cup of tea, for which he was sort of grateful. He asked where his crossword was to which I replied I didn’t know, but seeing the paper poking behind the roman blind I told him it was on the window sill…he then had a little rant accusing me of lying and knowing all along…he may never get out of the toilet with no handle..just saying! Today another rehearsal for another show…my life is complete madness.


April 16, 2015

Thursday 26th and Friday 27th March Chick Watching

Morning…Yesterday was a stressful day at work and when it came to seeing my mum I left as early as I could. The M3 was fine but I reached the M27 and it was gridlocked.A fifty minute journey took over 2 hours. I was not happy, my back was not happy, my son who came with me, was not happy, the only thing that put a smile on my face was seeing my mum so much better than expected. She has had transfusions, so had more colour in her cheeks than when I last saw her. She was very chatty and able to walk with her zimmer frame much faster than I do with my zimmer frame prop in the Upstage dance show! She managed the stairs, so is hoping to be home by the weekend..hurrah :-) She has praised Southampton Hospital for her care and has felt extrmely well looked after. We are all feeling very grateful to the NHS. Having found that hospitals have shops and take away food venues my son decided he needed to experience an unhealthy hospital Whopper meal. I did the same after visiting my mum. Strange that a hospital has such a food place if it is encoutraging us to be fit and healthy, but at that moment we didn’t care!

At work we are on chick hatching watch. Yesterday four chicks hatched in the incubator in the morning.

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By the time we left school we had 6 chicks and the children had plenty to write in their daily diarys. As usual we have more of the pretty yellow boy chicks than the cute , but not so pretty, brown girl chicks They dry out very quickly and find their feet but keep having to have a rest as it is so tiring. The children loved having a go at depicting this in dance.


Anothe day, some more chick waching to be had. I am tired and for the second night on the trot I got stuck in traffic on the way back home from dancing. The M3 and its roadworks will be the death of me!

We now have nine chicks. Some of the bigger chicks have been moved into a brooder box, so that they dont trample the smaller chicks.

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chicks again

In the middle of my music lesson there was a crack and everything stopped and all the children rushed over to see the last chick finally hatch. We left one chick in the incubator, the smallest, to keep the newly hatched one company.

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The last one seemed weaker than the rest and at one point we thought perhaps he had a deformed foot. Thankfully with time it seemed to sort itself out. The chicks cheep at each other a lot,as a way of encouragement ,so it is good to keep some of them together.