Easy crier

I cry so easily. I blame the kids. Before I had them I was as hard as anyone else, but now I’m a soft, tearful mess at the slightest provocation! And usually, happy events will set me off more easily than sad ones (I’m a freak!). So, Chilean miners being reunited with their families – me crying. The Scottish performers looking so happy during the handover ceremony at the Commonwealth Games – me weeping. A happy outcome in a film – that’s right, more tears. Uplifting music – I’m gone. I can’t even talk sometimes!

We used to laugh at my mother in law when, on watching some young sportsperson doing well on the TV she would say “Imagine how happy his mother is!” rather than commenting on the actual person’s performance. Now I find myself doing that as often as not, imagining how it must feel to be a family member of almost anyone featured on the television. So I don’t laugh any more!

I’m glad that I’m empathetic (yea, I said EMpathetic, thankyouverymuch!). Empathy is a good thing, and I think goes hand in hand with tolerance and understanding, which are all virtues I prize. However, I do so wish that I could find the ‘off switch’ for my tear ducts, and keep the glistening eyes for genuine times of great emotion!

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An appeal for Motherly Solidarity

I need some support from my sister Mummies out there. You know who you are, the ones who have so many things to remember that you routinely forget everything!

Daddies don’t seem to have these problems. In my experience, daddies seem to be able to focus on one thing at a time, even with screaming children around. I don’t have that ability to screen all but one thing out, so I’m regularly multi-tasking and multi-thinking. Now this is not always a bad thing. I can, for example, knit, follow a conversation (or ten!) on Twitter, watch the television and mediate an argument between my children, all at the same time. But oftentimes (I love that Americanism!) I will forget seemingly basic and sometimes important things in sorting through the maelstrom which is my mind.

We all know (and love, hopefully!) ladies who forget to eat lunch when they’re so caught up with everything else there is to do. We’ve all experienced that feeling of dashing off to the post office/bank  etc only to discover on arriving that we’ve left the parcel/bank book etc at home. And we’ve all brushed our teeth or washed our face or shampooed our hair twice because we can’t remember doing it the first time.

(I really hope I’m not alone in this, otherwise I may have serious problems which need addressing!)

This afternoon was a case in point, and one which made me rush to my laptop to record it before the extraordinary and mundane of my everyday life wipes it from my recollection for ever. I had a lovely, lazy morning, knitting and catching up on my tv programmes on my laptop. I headed off for a shower after sitting on my bed for the longest time (bliss!), but with a hundred and one things whizzing through my brain. I’m a typical gemini with a butterfly brain which doesn’t help much either. Anyway, after shampooing my hair (whilst thinking about dyeing yarn, shopping for some sensible clothes, cleaning the bathroom, washing the windows, Christmas, knitting patterns and ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ – I think fast!) I found myself staring at the shampoo with no clear recollection as to whether I’d actually used it already. On replaying the couple of minutes just passed, I decided that I was fairly definite I had shampooed, so I moved on to conditioner. Which passed uneventfully. Body wash was, however, another case entirely. I’d just started to squeeze the bottle into my hand when Handsome started his scales. I was paying so much attention to whether he was in tune that it was only when the suds started dripping down the side of my face I realised that I was shampooing my hair again…with the Oil of Olay Moisturising Body Wash. So of course I had to condition my hair again (I have the cleanest and softest hair in Cardiff now, by the way). Then, after shaving one leg I felt the need to dash off and make a quick comment to Handsome about his violin playing. It was only when I was finishing drying and thinking about what I should wear that it occurred to me that I’d not shaved the other leg!

All in all, not a good afternoon for the purposes of convincing me that I am compos mentis. I plan on a quiet time for the remainder of the day, including a leisurely trip to Marks and Spencers for the aforementioned sensible clothes, some more knitting and possibly a little time lying down in a darkened room.

Allotmentation, allotmenteering…??

So, I’m now an allotment holder. But I’m unclear on the terminology. Does that make me an Allotmenter, an Allotmentist, an Allotment Practitioner, or something I’ve not yet thought of? I’m sure I’ll have many more questions over the coming months (and years, if I manage to keep the Allotmentation going). The burning issue, though, is one which worries me on a daily basis.

Bodily functions.

It is a well known fact that the majority of Allotmentists are men. As such, they have (literally) a built in advantage in that they are able to ‘pee on the move’ with minimal need for preparation or forethought. However, how do Allotmentationers of the female variety get by? So far, I’ve held it in until I’ve got home. My allotment, you see, is not of the upmarket variety with toilets provided, and we are surprisingly short of bushes behind which one might achieve a certain  degree of privacy (except for clumps of stinging nettles, and I’ve never been the most daring thrillseeker in the world). So really, how do I cope? Men are advised to pee on their compost heaps, to encourage faster biodegrading of the ‘organic matter’, but it would take a far more brazen spirit than I to climb up and then squat upon the heap of horse manure which passes, at present, as my compost heap.

As far as I can see it, I have a couple of options. 1. Develop greater bladder strength (although I do pretty well, especially after two children!). 2. Build myself a small cubicle over part of a compost heap, to use as an open air toilet. 3. Buy my shed, put up curtains and buy a Shewee. Then discreetely dispose of contents of bottle onto compost heap in nonchalant manner.

Decisions, decisions. As you can tell, this issue has been occupying my mind for some weeks now, and I still haven’t reached a satisfactory conclusion! It’s all very well if I were gardening in a remote field with only cows or sheep for company. But allotmenteering with many gentlemen around, only two of whom were my side of sixty, makes the issue somewhat more difficult to resolve.

I worry about people sometimes…

If you write a blog, and if you are as interested* in the statistics as I am (*for ‘interested’, substitute ‘mildly obsessed’ at your pleasure) you will know that you can see the search terms that people use to reach your mutterings. I am often surprised and amused by some of the things that people type into search engines and manage to follow through to my site. I sometimes type the same things into Google to work out how they have reached me, but usually with no success. So, I thought I would share some of my favourites from recent days and weeks, see what you make of them all!

“pig baby congratulations cards” – first of all, pig babies are called piglets, and second, if you are referring to a human baby, please don’t tell the parents that you think it looks like a pig – it is guaranteed to upset!

“david tennant and condoms” – eeeewwww, what are you thinking? Does this LOOK like the sort of site which would cater to this search request?? Move along!

“branagh or tennant hamlet” – Tennant, every time, of course! He’s cuter, and does ‘mad’ better!

“doctor who obsessed” – no no no, that’s my son, not me. And he doesn’t have a blog (yet), although I will pass along all well-meaning comments!

“grapple jam recipe” – Yay! I may be on my way to getting my own word in general use! I made grapple jam a couple of years ago – a very flavourful mix of grape and apple, of course.

“crochet my hand writing” – I would if I could, but I can’t, sorry.

“buckingham palace plan” – floor plan? Plan of what? I hope this is not linked to anything unsavoury!

“words to express excitement” – Woohoo! Yeehah! Weyhey! and Yippedeedoodah! spring to mind!

However, my mother’s blog routinely gets visits from people following much stranger search engine requests, such as “hardest granny”, “granny sex”, “salsa dancing granny” and “two grannies off to europe on bicycles” – she gets all the best ones!

For a giggle…

I’ve just found this website with a little help from my mother, Granny Anne. It’s a tribute website to all the fabulous altered Conservative campaign posters which have been created since the Tories unveiled their airbrushed David Cameron poster a few weeks ago.

I was crying with laughter at it – there are some very witty anti-Conservatives out there!

And just for fun, a couple of my favourites from the site;

MyDavidCameron.com | They forgot to lock the cell.

MyDavidCameron.com | Some of my best friends are poor.

MyDavidCameron.com | My chums from school….

And if you want to create your own, there’s a really easy way to do one over at Andybarefoot.com.

Tamiflu? Rubbish – just drink Welsh Whisky!

Just a quick post, but I couldn’t let this one pass!

For all of you out there worried about contracting Swine Flu, stop panicking and drink Welsh whisky! According to the head of the Russian Football Supporters’ Association, Welsh whisky (I’m not sure what’s wrong with Scotch or Irish, but hey ho!), if drunk in sufficient quantities, should prove a form of disinfection and “should cure all symptoms of the disease”!

The Penderyn Distillery will be laughing!

Ebay: selling=addictive; packing=not so much

Selling stuff on Ebay may well be addictive, and might even have remained so had I been able to avoid the inevitable truth: How on earth am I going to pack this very weirdly shaped yet slightly delicate object, given that I discarded the original packaging several years ago when the items were first bought? I’m not kidding, it takes a very creative mind to try to work out how to pack a toy vet’s surgery together with figures and, the killer, a base plate to stand the whole thing on. My first thought was to get a really big box, put Cheeky in it to hold the playset and just stick a ‘Please Return’ label on him and hope for the best. A couple of holes in the lid, a sandwich or two and some crisps and he would have been happy as a sunbeam!

After half an hour spent wandering round the house, cursing that I’d not sorted out packing materials before I’d listed the items, I was inches away from either 1. driving the damned things to their new (and scattered) homes at various points around the British Isles, or 2. taking apart my kitchen cabinets to make sturdy boxes which would be a challenge even for the Royal Mail to break (I’m joking – to Posties everywhere, I think you’re all fab! Please don’t punish me for my sad attempt at humour by jumping up and down on my parcels!).

Eventually, though, they are packed. And sitting in a pile waiting for me to load them into bags, strap them to Handsome and Cheeky’s backs so that they can carry them to the Post Office for me. Seriously, why have a dog and bark yourself? Or rather, why have children and then let them sit idly by when there are heavy parcels to transport? I need to think of my carbon footprint, and it’s far better for the environment if I get the kids to carry everything, rather than cranking up the car.

parcels

And in future, I might not curse so much about the boxes that toys come in. No, actually, I still will curse, because I’ll never, NEVER have the room to store all the empty boxes for easy disposal of the toys in the long term.

Oh well, out into the drizzle I go. It’s just as well I took that picture of the sky yesterday, given that it has today returned to its normal British summer colour of dirty white. I’m going to get soooo cross though, if  my parcels get rained on. I spent HOURS packing them. Each one is now a little work of art (even if you can’t tell that by looking at the photo). They’d better be appreciated, is all I’m saying! I shredded anentire IKEA catalogue to fill in gaps, and also an entire Sainsburys magazine. The amount of sellotape I used, before we even mention the brown paper wrapping, would be enough to wrap all of my Christmas presents, and then move on to help with the rest of the street. I’m a firm believer in wrapping parcels securely in paper, then re-wrapping them in sellotape. OK, so it makes opening them a little hard, but the thrill is in the anticipation, isn’t it? Which means I’m just increasing the thrill.

What a lovely person I am! Although this all does go to show that I’ll never become an online toy retailer. Perhaps I could handle clothes, or books or something which is a regular shape. But it would be highly inefficient of me to specialise in toys, given that it has taken me two hours (give or take) to parcel up FOUR sets of toys. Hmph. I wish I’d charged more for postage and packing now!