Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Now ,About these cats....

Cats are a relatively new concept for me. Although I grew up in a house with multiple cats, it was a long time ago and truthfully I didn't have much to do with them. I was, at that stage, thinking of boyfriends, hanging out, school and staying out late. Cats were not high on my list of "things to do"....

But these little critters fascinate me, they are gorgeous and sooo funny.

So here's what I've learnt so far.....


Cats like Oxo cubes....

Although I did not intend for the cats to find the box of Oxo cubes, they still did.
They then proceeded to rip to shreds the contents of said box, including the foil wrappers. Only then to demolish, spread and sprinkle like fairy dust the crumbled cubes.This happened two nights in a row.....I was not best pleased.


They are expert at the game "guess what I'm looking at"...

A game where they stare at something, usually over your shoulder, and you then have to guess what they are looking at. Usually you try to resist the urge to play this fruitless game by not looking around. But as usual, they continue to stare, you cannot help yourself and you find yourself looking around and over your shoulder to see what is soooo interesting. When you have discovered there is nothing there, you look back round at them, only to find they are looking intently somewhere else. At this point you have lost the game......

Cats like your bed more than you do....

They like to pretend that your bed is actually theirs, when getting into the bed at night, to be comfortable, you might have to adopt either the fetal position or laying in the preying mantis position, which ever it is they prefer at the time, this could however change during the night when you might have to get out of bed and reassess where you could fit in the bed now, if at all....


Cats like jam.....

If you find yourself eating jam on toast in the presence of a cat (normally it's Charlie) be aware that, if like myself, you have to leave the room for, lets say 10 seconds, make sure that you have hidden your toast. It wasn't until I had nearly finished my toast that I realised, I had infact put jam on said toast. Charlie, I am assuming, was the culprit as he was happily licking his paws and face......


Cats are assassins......

It's true... they like to trip you at every turn and step. They lay in wait for you to step backwards, only to find you have trodden on them. To stop your self falling on them or treading on them again, you will grab at anything to keep yourself upright. Usually the nearest bookshelf or pot of boiling water or child. Should you have died in the process, there will be no evidence to show it was them.

The Inspector will note "Well, it was a nasty business, the lady just seamed to have taken a fall, lost her footing probably. Took the whole shelving unit with her I'm afraid, all that china and glass broken. She would have survived I reckon if it hadn't been for the chandelier, like I say, messy business and all that........"

And finally, make sure all of the cat has gone out of the window before you close it......

enough said!!!

Friday, 3 December 2010

And then there were three....

We have had a delivery today. A rather pretty little bundle of fur. I don't have a photo just yet but i'll take some and post them in the next few days..


I had a phone call in the week explaining that someone had a cat that they didn't want, they were not prepared to look after it and was thinking of getting rid of it in a not very nice way...


She has not been neutered or vaccinated, de-flead or wormed. By the sound of it she has been left to roam the streets and has no proper home to go to.


Her name was socks and she is a very pretty cat who actually looks very much like our Florrie.


She travelled along way to get here and arrived cold and a bit frightened.


My wonderful Auntie Hazel has lent me a nice big dog cage for her integration into the fold, and so far she likes it in there very much. She has a blanket and a cushion, a cat igloo and a toy to play with. It is lined with newspaper and some doggie/moggie training mats, and then her litter tray. It's quite a pad with all mod cons. What more could a puss cat ask for.


She is very friendly and she even laid down on Katie's lap and then went to sleep.


She has hissed at Charlie who looked at me as if to say "did you know there is a cat here?" He's not very bright....


Florrie on the other hand, was more than aware there was a new cat on the block,
he went over to greet her straight away, and then she hissed at him too...
At this point they don't seem too bothered and we are trying not to make a big fuss. We need Charlie and Florrie to know we still love them too.


When Charlie and Florrie go out we have let her out of the cage to have a stroll around and investigate, but after a few minutes she goes back in the cage so we close it again so she feels safe.


She is starting a new life here and so we are changing her name to Penny. I tried to think of a new name for her. The black and white cat from "Pepe La Pew" came to mind, that poor little cat he adores. Apparently her name is Penelope. So Penelope it is, and we shall call her Penny.




Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Winter, winter everywhere....

Yes, winter is upon us, I totally missed autumn. I mean, I could smell it, but then before you knew it, it was winter......
I have been soooo busy I just simply haven't had the time to blog.
I'm at college part of the week now and I am "actively" looking for work.... that's a whole nother story.

So I figured, to get my blog up to date, I shall fill you in with what's been going on and add photos from the archives of the past few months..
So briefly, this is what has been happening...
Over the last few months I have made jam, (didn't I mention that?)
We went bowling and it was a disaster, (didn't I mention that either?)
OOOhhhhh and we saw Toy Story 3 and I cried, ( I know I did not mention that....)
We have had our living room decorated (I have photos to prove it and will blog
all about it later)
Our bunny Poppet died ( a sad day for everyone)

Charlie and Florrie had their wotsits chopped off (they were not happy)
We have had our first winter snow, all 2cm of it, and the cats tried to kill it and
then eat it (!!!!!)
To begin with, I will tell you of the Saturday morning that Katie opened her shop......
It started like any other Saturday, no one was up particularly early, most of the children still had PJ's on at 10 am. It was an all you can eat, get your own breakfast kind of day....
As usual, Katie had an idea, a bright idea, lets get all the toys out, can I borrow your chair, lets wreck the dining room kind of idea....
The Idea was A SHOP !!!!

Jim didn't know it at the time but he was to be the first customer/victim. He only came down for a glass of milk.. but she was good......

Real good..... He hadn't even got to the fridge and he had unwittingly bought a teddy and a cow...
He even had to pack his own bag.....





One more cow and a puzzle, there was no going back now.




She was relentless in her sales technique, he didn't stand a chance....


He knew he'd been made a fool of when he bought the foam hopscotch, but there was no stopping the girl now....


And as he counted out his money, she fleased him for every penny he owned, she called for more supplies or maybe it was security.....
Later, in her statement to the court, she was quoted as saying, "But isn't that what big brothers are for........"

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

I can smell autumn...

I can, you may think me crazy but it's nearly here. There are fruits and berries in the trees and bushes and although the trees are not turning their wonderful golden colours just yet, I'm quite sure they are not so green. Summer is fading, it's nearly here I tell you...



This years summer has been unusual in as far as, we had no rain for least two months, the grass in the front garden almost turned to straw and it's only been these last few weeks with the occasional rain shower that have allowed it to recover. There have been hot days followed by cool cloudy days. Then again, this is an English summer so what did I expect. And now the days are rapidly becoming more unsettled and overcast. No doubt we will have a last burst of heat before it fizzles away for good, but It's changing, the relay baton of summer to autumn is being passed.


And I, for one am so excited. I LOVE autumn.


I want to squirrel away my supplies for the impending bad weather, when you don't want to face the rain and the cold and dare I say it, SNOW....


This years fruit and berries have been good but the council thought it best to prune heavily the bushes and trees around the park in early July, hence alot of fruit did not grow and alot of the things that were growing were cut down. Silly council.....









There is probably one more picking time before the rest of the blackberries are all gone.





This is my pantry, a few years ago we turned the store room onto a pantry/laundry/if it's lost or don't know where to put it, this is the room it will be in room.


It does need a tidy up and there is likely more on the shelves now than when I took these pictures. Even on shopping day this is what we have on the shelves, and then shopping comes.

I only buy what we will eat and rotate what is here, so the oldest products get eaten first.







I think we could last a couple of weeks without going to the shops and if someone (ie: Me) got ill and couldn't get out to the shops, we would not starve..






In here I only store dried goods or tinned. Things that have been opened or are perishable once opened are in the kitchen cupboards or fridge.





Last year, with the dreadful snow that we had, the country ground to a halt and deliveries to shops and supermarkets were impossible. Salt was in short supply as were milk and bread. This year, over the last few months I have bought salt each week with my shopping and now have more than the council had last winter.

I have dried milk, flour, yeast, tinned meat, vegetables, potatoes, fruit and pet food and litter, not to mention toilet rolls and medical supplies.

I learnt from last years problems that we needed salt and to stock up while we can, to effectively "make hay while the sun shines" and you can never be too prepared. It's not just for our own benefit though, should someone need something and we have some, it's nice to be able to help if we can.

And I'm not done yet, there is still jam to make (don't worry Auntie Hazel, it won't be long now, I promise) and the jar for winter gas money to be added to each week. Hot water bottles to be bought and yet more socks and gloves to be found or bought (the boys lost theirs).

I love autumn and winter, I love to squirrel away things for a time of need, to prepare my family for what lies ahead, it doesn't even have to be bad weather ahead, it could be financial hardship that causes difficulties.

But I know if my little family have a roof over their heads and food in their tummys, a warm snuggly bed and all the love in the world then it can snow up to the roof tops. (although, strictly speaking that would not be good, because all the wild animals would die, but you get the idea!!)



-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It's such a hard life being a kitten...

It really is, I can't imagine how they cope, what with all that TV watching....





And if it isn't just Florrie watching TV,



Then it's Charlie too..


It must be soooo tiring to watch TV all the time..





So I'm sure they deserve a well earned nap....


------------------------------------------------------------------------

Monday, 23 August 2010

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside...

Oh I do like to be beside the sea, as we stroll along the prom without me knickers on, singing Nelly, put your belly, next to mine.... (thanks to my Dad I know very few of the real words).

But as you can guess we went to the seaside, Great Yarmouth to be exact. We have no transport so we went on a coach trip. We were up bright and early and met the coach in town at 8:30 am.

We stopped at Hitchin and then Letchworth for a few more fellow travellers and we were off on our way..


On our arrival in Great Yarmouth the children ran on ahead and before you knew it they were lost. Or hiding.....



On the beach is a visitors centre and the only reason for this photo is because of the name "Scroby Sands" that's not even a word is it?.....




We travelled light and expected only to paddle in the water with our shoes and socks off, and so we didn't take any towels or swimming costumes, as the idea was to, just paddle. As you can see we only needed to roll up the trouser legs and go in the water up to your ankles, "Jim to your ankles !!" someone please tell him....!!



They had fun throwing pebbles into the sea.



As you can tell, Jim was hard of hearing and was totally soaked, but he loved it all the same.
Unfortunately, while walking along the beach we came across the sad sight of a beached whale, We kept it's skin wet by throwing water at it then we rolled it back into the sea and it happily swam away...



We then went onto the pier where all the amusements are and after ice-creams and candy floss we went on the rides. You can't go to the seaside and not have one of these pictures taken.


Katie really enjoyed herself.....


Katie and Jim went on the swings, which took forever, whilst Charlotte and Sam went on ahead to the next ride.



Sam and Jim went on the "slide of death"...



And nearly died of too much fun....

Soooooo much money was spent trying to get this Peppa Pig doll that I'd estimate it to be at least a months pocket money for Katie... and it was so close too....



"Noooooooooo!!!"





Still, all was not lost we still had the Carousel to go on, The reason Katie is wearing my cardigan is because she also thought it a good idea to go in the sea with trousers on and so walked around for the rest of the day with wet legs and sand in her pants..




On the dodgems they travelled at the speed of light, Katie was too small to be in a car by herself so she was in with Jim and Charlotte shared with Sam.




We all had a lovely day, it's not often we see the sea, this was a real treat for us to be able to go to the seaside for the day. I think Mum and Kevin were worn out by the end of the day. On the coach home there were another family who travelled from Letchworth who asked the driver to play a CD that they had brought with them, it was Irish folk music/Johnny Cash/something I've never heard before. Thankfully we got off before them but only after enduring two hours of this, what can only be loosely described as music. Still we had a lovely time..





------------------------------------------------------------------------------------




Saturday, 31 July 2010

The Unsung Hero

Now here is someone who's face is rarely on this blog, admittedly she is not keen to be in the photos that I take. However I try to take some of her because she is such a important part of our family. She is a a person of few words, as most teenagers are.

Although she would be the last to admit it, she actually loves her brother Sam. It's more likely though because he's the one, in her words, who is "least annoying". Here we have photographic evidence that she almost had her arm over the shoulder of her brother. She can't deny it now.







She is also a person of many talents, one of them being the best cake maker ever. She makes a mean special fried rice with chicken. Also she made the most delicious pineapple upsidedown cake and scones to die for.
However she has managed to burn, to the point of real flames, a toasted sandwich and has flipped pancakes that then ended up in the bin. She also has a habit of starting cooking at 8 o'clock at night of which I end up with washing up duties in payment for eating her culinary delights.

She also has amazing feet, yes you heard right, feet....
(they are clean, this is their normal colour)


When I was expecting her I was a very small frame and only weighed about 8 stone (them were the days, sigh) In the latter part of the pregnancy Charlotte's feet were firmly embedded under my ribs and she was a very healthy 8lbs 7ouches...





And so they formed slightly squiffy. They are called a massive long name which I can't remember but we like the term "windswept feet" very technical....
Just to add, she loves her feet, and so do I, she had an operation to cut the tendons when she was about 3 years old and was in casts for 6 weeks. That did not stop her charging around as if she'd been just given moon boots to wear. Unfortunately she can only wear wide fitting shoes or trainers as flip flops fall off her feet, sandals will not stay on either, neither will slippers so she wears slippers socks instead. The doctors have suggested that, at a later date she could have more surgery but she loves her squiffy feet too much to part with them.
Did I mention she is a computer genius, the amount of times she has had to rescue me from myself with my computer, with a tut and huff she rectifies my problem and walks away with a comment like " stop, before you hurt yourself".
These are just a few of her attributes, and finally, as if it couldn't get any better, at school, academically she is a whizz, a star, correction and A * pupil. She loves school and hopes to stay on to sixth form and then to college. She might spend a whole weekend doing homework, not because she finds it hard, but because she is a bit of a perfectionist and wants it done properly.
At the end of this school year, their final assembly was to recognise the students who had performed well, so certificates were given for 100% attendance, girl and boy of year, house and form, homework always completed etc. There was a last certificate for the pupil who was a quiet and conscientious worker, always on time, could be relied upon, and that award went to Charlotte Plummer.
"Unsung Hero Award 2010, for someone who is always focused and motivated but not always recognised" That's My Girl..........





------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Thursday, 29 July 2010

A sunflower in my garden


I had every intention this year of growing millions of vegetables and flowers and sunflowers.
I was doing well with the flowers in as far as the sweetpeas were beautiful but they have finished now, same with the Dahlias. The cuecumber is doing really well and has decided to grow under the chairs in the garden, most likely to hide from Jim's flying footballs..




These are the "mini munch" cuecumbers, there where only four seeds in the pack and out of that two have grown. So far we have had six or seven cuecumbers that are about four inches long. They are best eaten that day and they are really lovely. Katie has eaten one just as it is and we will definitely try growing them again.






This one needs a few more days then it will be munched..


These are the peppers that we have grown, there where quite a few that germinated but we have had so much warm/hot weather, no amount of watering could save some of them.
These two were under the shade of the parasole so still got the heat and water but not the glaring sun. They are doing well and there are tiny peppers growing.






Now this handsome chap is very shy, he has taken three days to show his face.






Nearly there...


Here he is, Vincent Van Gogh would have been proud..







Although, Katie looks quite happy with it too, all 220 meters or 7ft 3inches of it.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------







Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Cakes, Yummy ish...


It seems a holiday tradition here to make fairy cakes, this time Katie tried some muffins from a children's recipe book. I love the book and the pictures are so colourful and the people are made of plastercine and so is the food.




Katie did most of the work herself and only needed guiding and a little help with weighing.






At this point she needed to melt the butter and mix in the milk.

Give us a smile then...







That's better, just pretend you are enjoying yourself...





I know Katie tried really hard and I think the recipie was at fault this time. I did take a photo of two plates of beautifully decorated cakes but can't find the picture at the moment. When putting the mixture in the cake cases, it was rather tricky as it had the consistancy of frogs spawn.





But not to disapoint here is a picture of what they were supposed to

look like, ish....







------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Sam is leaving Junior school..


This summer Sam leaves Junior school and from September goes to Senior school.

Friday 23rd July was his last day and I just can't believe he has grown up so much and is now going to seniors...


When Sam was born he was a very easy baby, although I had plenty of practice with Charlotte and Jim, he was a good sleeper and ate well,(very well!!)He loved his afternoon nap and still does. He loved playing with trains and cars, oh yes he still loves that too. He did not speak very well at first but when Katie was born and was having her yearly check I asked the health visitor to listen to Sam speak.

His vocabulary was very limited and he did not pronounce his words properly, he was referred to a speech and language therapist and for the next few years he visited them for language and speech lessons.

His hearing was checked and he was found to be partially deaf in his left ear but nothing too significant and had dull hearing in his right ear.

Over the next few years, through the school he saw speech therapists and had some extra help in lessons. This last year he was finally discharged from his therapy sessions.

When he was around 7 we changed dentists and the new dentist, in his first consultation saw that Sam was tongue tied and referred us to the hospital for an operation to "undo" his tongue..

He has continued to do well at school and is a lovely boy, he can at times be an easy target for bullies but I hope in time they will realise that he will not put up with them being so mean. He is also a good head and shoulders taller than them at this point, and is still growing at a pace. He still needs help with his lessons and has to be explained things thoroughly before he can grasp what you mean.


He is so funny at times when he mispronounces things like "tecktically speaking" rather than "technically speaking" a caravan is "portal" I think he meant "portable" and he asked me if I thought he had a good "imaginary Nation" although he meant imagination.....

But like any other child he detests housework and will try to sit on the sofa and hoover, he blows bubbles with his hands while washing up and you'd be mistaken for thinking I'd asked him to streak naked down the street with the reaction I get when I ask him to wash....with soap!!!

He's a good kid and he's come a long way, I love him to bits and am so proud of him.




(final note, I haven't the foggiest idea what I have done with the font/photos/layout and considering I have no idea how I actually managed to start my blog in the first place I'm not at all surprised, normal service will be resumed as soon as I press the right buttons by accident)