• Parenting

    Tuesday treat

    Today started as normal, the stress of getting ready for school and all out of the door on time.  Arriving at school, again the kids are excited by the friendly black cat.


    I feel guilty that we haven’t bought them a pet. However, I know that a rabbit would be me cleaning it out and a cat might get squashed on the busy main road that we live on. Holidays would be harder to take due to having to find someone to look after it. A dog would be easier as it could come on holiday with us but it would not be happy with being left alone when I’m at work. There is no easy win to the pet issue.

    My 7 year old has now started to refuse to wear his lace-up school shoes.  He gets very upset with the laces. I thought that he would practice and soon be able to tie them. I made the mistake in September of buying the next whole size shoe as his current shoes fit him fine.  I was trying to pacify him as I had bought new for his sister.  Yesterday he insisted on wearing the bigger shoes as they don’t have laces. Today he completely refused again to wear the shoes that fit him.  These are expensive Clarks shoes.  I can remember as a child not understanding why my parents always bought me unfashionable Clarks and Startrite shoes. I can remember willing them to wear out. My son is pretty much doing the same to me. Due to struggling with the laces we now have knotted laces. Then daddy cut one of the laces due to not being able to undo the knot. So now they don’t fit in all the eyelets but I am now struggling to find new laces the right size. However, he now will not wear them anyway. Has anyone else had this problem, a refusal to wear lace up shoes?


    A few months ago, I had an email from Waterstones to pre-order Lee Child’s new Jack Reacher novel. I could either choose signed or unsigned, of course, I chose signed. Late yesterday afternoon I finally received my email inviting me to collect it from the shop. So straight from school this morning I went to town to collect it. I was waiting outside Waterstones from 8.30am.  At 9.00am I was one of the first to collect my book. I am looking forward to reading it. Along with the other novels beside my bed,  I just need to make time.

    After school today we managed to get reading completed. My little boy’s book was about Dick Francis. It is a shame I have not already got a copy of ‘The Sheep-pig’ I am sure very soon he will read it. We will have to show him ‘Babe’, I’m sure both kids would love it if they sit still long enough to watch it.  My daughter, however, was more of a struggle, she did not want to read. She had other plans and reading was not included. We had a look at her phonics exercise book, but she would not let me explain to her what she should be doing. Reluctantly she read her homework book to me at bedtime.

    Due to the current confiscation of the IPad, my son asked to have my Kindle Fire. My daughter was not going to use it so I let him have a look at it. He was very soon reading about Minecraft on Amazon Kids. I was pleased to see him wanting to read and he had not chosen something easy.

    We read chapter 6 tonight of the ‘Secret Seven’ the mystery is evolving.  I then left my little boy reading ‘The Twits’, which was good. My daughter meanwhile had to be carried out of his room and put on her bed.  She came downstairs a while later for her pencil case. I had to ask her to give me the glue back as I did not want glue over her bedsheets. My little girl is great at making a mess.

    Back to work tomorrow, I have a 42 mile round trip in the morning. Will be glad when I am back home again. I am now going to have a look at my new book and try and relax before the drama starts again in the morning, and I am once more back to being mum.

  • Non fiction writing,  Parenting

    Home is where the heart is


    As Dorothy said in the Wizard of Oz, “there’s no place like home”. L Frank Baum was very right when he wrote this. You cannot beat your own environment with your own belongings and beloved nik-naks. The times that I have been away, whether for a weekend or a week, I have always been relieved to get home.

    Before I met my husband, I lived alone for a few years in my own flat. The experience of living alone was lovely. I could do what I wanted when I wanted to. I could spend all day in bed, I could eat in bed, I could walk around naked, I could bath with the door open. I could put music on and relax in the bath with a glass of Lambrusco light, any stronger and I was really quite ill. I could go for a drive at midnight and I could talk to friends to early hours of the morning, then arrive at work the next day after just a few hours sleep. I really should have treasured these years whilst I was living them. Why didn’t I? I was too busy worrying about what might not happen. The worrying was for nothing as a few years later I met my husband and now have my children that I worried I would never have.

    The silence of my flat and the knowledge that it was up to me if I read all evening or put the soaps on. I went through months of leaving the television off, and worked my way through the works of Dean Koontz and Stephen King, laying on my beloved red settee which now lives outside in our cold summerhouse covered in kids toys.


    My life has completely changed now with our three-bed semi-detached house, a husband, two kids, and a garden. If you are reading this and right now live alone, treasure it, as all too soon you meet a man that completely changes your world. Then your life becomes forever busy and your time is not your own. You are suddenly not only doing your own washing but washing little clothes too and deciding on cloth or disposable nappies.  (Somewhere I have a photo of my cloth nappies on the washing line but that was in 2015 and I can’t find it right now.)

    Your relationship takes on a whole new phase as you are now mummy and daddy. You long for bedtime as this is the only time when the house is really quiet. There may still be times that you bath with the door open if you forget to lock it and a child walks in. However, you will often now find that you have an audience when using the toilet. If I want to be guaranteed no audience, I know I have to go to the bathroom and lock the door. The downstairs toilet does not lock and the kids will often just walk in. Even for things like wanting toast. They can’t just wait until I am finished.

    Unless your children enjoy tidying up, your house changes from organised mess to complete mess. I cannot keep up with them, everywhere I look there are abandoned toys. The number of times we have asked them to tidy after themselves. They don’t and why should they? They are 5 and 7 and they have mummy to do it for them. We need to either move house, build an extension, or just accept this is it. There is no space to accommodate everything and I am useless at parting with old toys especially if they are still played with occasionally. I dream of having a playroom where we could put it all.


    Despite the mess and noise though, I would not change it. This house is our mess, our clutter. It is our home, not a palace. I’m sat typing this and I should be tidying the kitchen, the little voice in my head is telling me to get my priorities right. The truth is I could spend my day tidying, but by bedtime there will be a mess again. The postman does not help when he delivers junk mail that then needs to be shredded or looked at. That’s in the “will look at later pile”, really not good.

    There are afternoons when I work from home and I am glad I can.  Despite everything, my home is my happy place.  The times when I am here alone and can appreciate the silence and everything around me.  My stuff, my belongings, I am grateful for what I have got.  Plus working from home means my kettle and the tea and coffee are right in front of me and I don’t get disturbed so I can be productive which is a good feeling.

    So in the words of Roman Philosopher, Pliny the Elder, “Home is where the heart is” meaning that a person’s love, affection, and fond memories will be tied to the place that they live.  Or Elvis Presley’s well-known song and version of home.

    This was in response to Lorna’s word prompt of Home on her blog Gin and Lemonade.

    If We Were Having Coffee During NaNoWriMo With A Writing Prompt


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