18 June 2009

Knees up Mother Brown

As part of my on going battle against my fat squatters I've taken up running and am following
the Couch to 5km plan. It's not going well. Week one was ok, then the Count caught chicken pox and the gym went out the window. Once the Count was over the contagious stage and could be dragged screaming and kicking (honestly) back into the gym's creche I started again, and once more it went well, so I moved on to the next week.... and this is where it all went wrong. I've rather knackered my knees. Fortunately they just need a bit of rest and hopefully that will be them mended and I'll be able to go back to running, week one again.

The FB is now on the mend. He had an awful night last night, no sleep again due to itching but as he's bossing his brother about, arguing about doing his school work and leaping onto furniture I'd say he's over the worse.

For those of you who like books, here's something to drool over

17 June 2009

A pox

Round two of chicken pox at present. The Count had it 2 weeks ago which was fun, and now the FB has it. Fortunately my sister has a spare freeview box which she has very kindly lent us so the FB can watch Cbeebies to his heart's content. He's discovering that chickenpox is not the fun, tv watching, chocolate eating heaven he thought it would be. Oh well, it doesn't last. Unfortunately tomorrow is his class' outing to the Botanics for a Teddy Bear's picnic and he can't go. I think we'll have a little picnic at home tomorrow for lunch, just me, his daddy, the Count and any teddies that fancy attending.

20 May 2009


I wish I knew an electrician who could come round and check out the wiring in this place. Our main lights, the ones that hang from the ceiling, keep blowing. Last night my bedroom light went so now we have no ceiling lights in one bedroom, the livingroom and the kitchen. And they are so a pain to change. Edinburgh ceilings, in old flats (by old I mean over a hundred years old) tend to be pretty high so ladders are needed not chairs when new lightbulbs are required. But this is the second time our bedroom bulb has gone in less than a year which to me is a bit too frequent. Electricity seems to be our curse. In Tooting we had exactly the same problem with lightbulbs, in Wallington it was appliances that kept going on the blink, and here we're back to lightbulbs with the odd flaming shower chucked in.

Was it yesterday I mentioned the mice? Or the day before? Doesn't matter because I was gropping about in the kitchen last night looking for the under cabinet over sink light when I heard skitter skitter skiddddd crash as a mouse shot across the floor, skidded round the corner into the wine cellar and crashed into something. Grrrr!

19 May 2009

day three and things are still going well. Our bathroom has a very old enamelled bath which currently sports a not so pleasant ripple pattern on it. The bath didn't start out with this pattern, it gained it over many years of sloppy cleaning, and I am trying to get rid of it. Unfortunately the blasted stuff seems impervious to all bar one cleaning product and the one exception so far only fades the marks rather than remove them. But we shall continue and maybe one day it will be gone, probably in time for us to move out.

Spent the afternoon with a friend and her children. One is in the FB's class and the other a few years ahead. Was good to sit and talk about books, politics and organic vegetables and not discuss children and the usual stuff for a change.

18 May 2009

crash, bang, smash, waaaaaaahh

such was the theme tune of my day. It's Victoria day today in Edinburgh which means the schools have a day off to give the teachers a break from their little horrors and the parents a few more grey hairs. The FB's school has got inservice days for part of this week as well and MrV has a very well timed (purely coincidental he swears) business trip to London. It therefore seemed like the perfect time to start getting the house under control. I've cleaned, tidied, retidied, further tidied the livingroom, bathroom, hall and both bedrooms but despite the children's best attempts to keep us living in a tumble of brightly coloured plastic debris they have been thwarted and the place is tidy.

As for the mice, well as I type there's a very suspicious rustling sound coming from inside the wall to my left. I'm still finding droppings, but not in the kitchen any more and we're not actually seeing them running about either. I suspect that word of MrV's amazing mouse catching skills are making their way round the rodent population.

17 May 2009

beige continued but with a hint of sunshine

Well after a walk to the playground, a stroll to Blackwells for a book of Burns poetry, and then a trip to Black Medicine for a chocolate milkshake I'm feeling a bit more upbeat. I've got to get this malaise beat otherwise I'm never going to get anything I want done and we'll all end up wearing filthy clothes and living on takeaways. So I decided that I'm going to make myself do one thing a day towards one of my personal goals, and a couple of things for the housework.
We also came up with a few rules for the boys which will be stuck up on the kitchen wall. They're simple rules like only one toy out at a time, no hitting, you know the sort of thing.

So my thing for today was to put my list of books to read onto the excel spreadsheet where I'm currently inventorying the books. Eventually that spreadsheet will go back onto my phone and when I'm in a bookshop or library and pondering whether or not to get something I'll know if I've got it or not. Next step is to go through the pile of magazines and look at their book suggestions.
Housework front? Dishes done, laundry will go on tonight, boys' room tidy as is the hall and livingroom.

beige beige and more beige

Things are getting on top of me again. The house is a pig sty, the laundry is piling up and I'm getting absolutely nowhere on any of my freetime stuff. When we were in Wallington I had a routine and it worked, and since moving up here I just can't get a routine in place. I try but it just doesn't work and so nothing gets done and I am getting so frustrated by it all. I think that was (apart from the Ikea coffee mornings with MrsT) the only good thing about Wallington, the bad things are too many to list! So any suggestions on how to get over this?

On a daily basis I have to do the following
get myself and the boys up, dressed etc
take the FB to school
do the housework
go to the gym
do laundry
cook dinner
have playtime with the Count
do something of my hobbies

not much huh but none of it (bar getting the FB to school and cooking dinner) actually ever gets done. I have a fantastic book called Time Management for Manic Mums that tells you how to get your life in order and do things not just that you have to do but also stuff that you want to do; and I follow it and make lists of what I want to do and then never actually do it. Its very frustrating and infuriating and many other words meaning exactly the same thing

Any suggestions very welcome!

26 March 2009

Smiley days again

Much better today. Last night I cleared all the sides in the kitchen so the only things left out were the kettle, breadmaker and microwave, put the Count's highchair in the middle of the floor with nothing around it, and put all the other chairs on top of the table. This morning no poo, and all the mouse poison has gone. We heard a couple of squeaks from the kitchen but there's been no sign that they've crossed the floor or been on the sides at all. Hurrah! Tonight I've done the same thing and put out more poison so hopefully they'll be gone soon.

I had my first pilates class in wow over 6 years today. I've been doing a home class called yogalaties for a few years on and off but as much as I liked it it's not the same as having a proper instructor who can make sure you're doing things correctly. It was good but hard work, might be able to get those fat cells moving.

And then nieceA came round for lunch and a play with the Count. She's 3 & 1/2 (she says she'll be 4 in 5 minutes) and the Count is 22 months, and they are pretty much the same height! But the best bit, was while she was here, the estate agents' maintenance guys came and fitted a new shower. No more trecking off down to the gym for a shower.

Alas since then the Count has started running a temperature and has thrown up, but we have to look on the bright side - we have a shower!

25 March 2009


I am not in a good mood today at all.

1. Walked into the kitchen last night to find a mouse on the side. When it escaped it ran across my oven gloves then down the clothes airer through the clean clothes. Prior to me walking in it had visited the Count's highchair (I know this because of the mouse poo I found there)
This morning more poo.

2. The Count has taken to screaming every time he is thwarted in his evil plans. It is not a nice scream but one that sounds like all the demons in hell are trying to sing "These are a few of my favourite things" backwards whilst sucking down hellium.

3. The recession is getting to me, am fed up with worrying if MrV will have a job at the end of the month or not and, and even the news that Fred Goodwin's house was vandalised last night barely brings a happy smile to my face.

23 March 2009

Smoke across the water

Yesterday was Mother's Day and, to make sure that it was definately one not to forget, MrV had four fire-engines, and crew, pull up outside our main door! At 8am.

Our shower went up in flames. (Electrical fire inside the shower unit, not very big fire, not much smoke damage, horrid smell though - rather glad I've caught a cold really).

10 February 2009

Best Friends Forever

I have very friendly fat I've decided. Very friendly and very persistant, to the point that you wonder if it has some sort of condition because it continues to stick around even after you've dropped several very pointed hints about why it should leave. And yet there it is, wobbling away happily to itself while I eat salads for lunch, in Scotland, in winter. It is also very good at making friends - if for example I stupidly and absentmindedly look at a bar of chocolate in a shop I can hear all the little fat cells in my body shouting out "hello, welcome, come for a visit" and hey presto their little friends move in. So really I'm being invaded by tiny little friendly squatters.
This would all be fine if I could eat a normal diet without incurring more squatters but in order to stabilise, not lose, my weight I have the following

muesli & skimmed milk for breakfast
salad for lunch
soup or small dinner


27 January 2009


Obviously as well as being able to steal bait from traps without springing them, the damn creatures have learnt to read. Within a few hours of posting last night who should appear scurrying across the livingroom floor? Yup, that's right. And who did I hear scrabbling away in the corner of my bedroom last night?

Mind you last night was freaky weird anyway. At 12.40 I got woken up by the sound of music playing very loudly in our flat and when I got up to investigate I found the radio on in MrV's study and a cd playing in the stereo in the livingroom. Everyone else was in bed. Three hours later and it happened again only this time it was just the radio going on. I figure we must have been having very small powercuts because the FB's clock beside his bed was flashing the wrong time.

I'm not going the change the name of the blog. I like it and it will always remind me of my two little penguins. It was a hard hard decision to make and it was one that I had been putting off for a long time but it was also the right decision to make.

26 January 2009

Ode to a mouse

go away.

pack your bags.

there's no food for you here so please, just, leave


We have a mouse (did you guess?) of the free range sort. It appeared a few months ago in the bathroom while I was sitting on the toilet . We saw it a few more times and then it vanished. A few weeks ago it came back and now it's so brave that it runs into and out of the livingroom in broad daylight while someone is sitting in there. We've put traps down, and poison, and the little bugger is still about.

Wait a minute, I hear you say. What about your cats? Well, we had a few weeks apart back in August when we first moved up here, and I noticed that for the first time the Count's nose wasn't running. Within a day of the cats returning his nose was back to being blocked and his eyes had swollen up. So the cats had to go.

Fast forward 2 weeks.....

We put down poison 2 weeks ago, and a mousetrap which is still waiting to be sprung. The original mouse has gone, is probably an ex-mouse now, and has been replaced by its identical twin. The only difference is that mouse a wasn't afraid to run into the livingroom of an evening, and mouse b is and hasn't ventured out of the kitchen. Although, he hasn't been seen recently either.

03 January 2009


The sun is shining at present, and the building opposite mine is glowing golden. I love sandstone buildings, the way the bricks turn different shades through the day and through the years. It doesn't feel like it will be such a bad year. And yet we have a recession looming (I don't think Britain is officially in one yet), businesses are going bankrupt and massive unemployment seems inevitable. I wonder how this will affect my family, will MrV keep his job through it all? How will it affect our area - there are a lot of little shops around here - will they manage to keep open? And what about the online sellers like Posy gets Cozy? Will they still keep their heads above water? I hope so. There is a feeling of gloom, and understandable worry, but also a bit of excitment as people wonder what will come out of this all. Will there be more equality or will the country be even more financially divided than before?

So, here's to an interesting 2009. May you all come through these times intact.