Saturday, 11 July 2009

Strange Houses Around The World

I have nothing to do this afternoon. It's pouring down here in London, so I can't go to the garage and start to tidy it, can't garden, although if you have seen my slide show of British weather you will already know that I am not gardening much this year, that's 'cos I am too ill.
The house is disgustingly tidy, I say disgustingly as it's been a tip for some time now, due to my illness and this last week we have all got together and sorted it out, therefore there's nothing to do in it either. Am bored of reading, fed-up with films and the tv. The family are all busy.

So I turned to one of my favorite things architecture, while searching around the internet I was lead of to you tube where I found this smashing video of some truly amazing houses.

Bear's New Trick

I have to tell you what the wonderful Bear has learnt to do.

As you know, he is our stray cat who lives in our garden and I have managed to get him from the back of the garden right up to the back door now.

This makes life easier for me, as it means two things,
A) I know when he's in the garden, so I can then feed him more often.
B) When it's pouring with rain, I don't have to get wet feeding him at the end of the garden.
So we both are winners in this.

We have a cat flap for our house cat Misty, set in the patio door.
Sitting in the dinning room, munching on a sandwich just a few moments ago, I heard the cat flap. Not in the normal way, as if Misty had just come in. I dismissed it as the wind, then it went again. It wasn't Misty, as she was in her now normal prone position and fast asleep.
Then, it went again and again very quickly, so I got up to see what was going on.

As I looked there was a little face staring back at me, then his little paw came out and he hit the cat flap, as if he was knocking on a door.
My smart clever little Bear has learnt to knock on the cat flap for attention, how smart is that.
I'm beginning to realise just what a little smarty he truly is.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Morecambe and Wise

There is an advert on the TV, that is driving me nuts. I have known for sometime that the voices singing it are familiar to me. I just know I should know them. But until now they have alluded me.

I can't sing, not if the lives of my kids depended upon it could I carry a note. In fact if the note was in a box, within a box, like a Russian doll of boxes and they were placed in a carrier bag with good strong handles and a hulk of a muscle man helped me to carry it around, I still couldn't carry a note, yet has this deterred me from phoning friends and relatives and squawking down the phone at them in my bestest of best singing voices....Oh No! not me.

It has been driving me nuts, I sereached the inter-net, scoured youtube and racked my memory.
Then, there as if from nowwhere, while chatting on the phone with Nutty, it all fell into place.
Mind you, it so didn't help that I was looking at the wrong advert, turns out the ad is foe a VW and I had been looking for an Audi advert. Hormones, I'm blaming them!!!!!!!

Whose The Mamma!!!!

Call me old fashioned, but I will be darned if I will tolerate one of my 3 kids calling someone else Mum.

Darn it! I earned that title the hard way, as the only parent of these 3 bright and beautiful kids, the only parent, the one that stuck it out. It would rock my World and throw my mind into chaos.

I earned the money, doled out the discipline, cleaned up the sick, mopped fevered brows, got them through homework, teenage angst, mood swings, washing, ironing, cooking, shopping, paying the bills, lost teddy bears, fights over who has the remote, rainy Sunday afternoons, picnics in the park, camping in the rain, bed-time stories, nits, chicken pox, mumps, colds, coughs, lego, trips to the zoo, sea side, school trips, lost school ties, new shoes x3, ABC, learning to read and write, table manners, manners, social graces, death of Grand parents and Great-Grand parents, seriously stupid hair cuts, learning to bike ride, learning to swim, feeding the ducks, going to the farm, tom and jerry, monopoly, pokemon, barbie, mobile phones, facebook, the importance of breakfast, good nutrition...................................

I could go on, you see there's Shakespeare, poetry, history, culture, respect for their selves and others, dignity,decency and family loyalty.

For years now I have been busy doing all this, so when one of mine asks me would I ever be offended if they were to call someone else Mum, the answer is a resounding Yes.
You may wonder where this has come from, one of the friends of my kids has started to call his girlfriends mother Mum.

I would be totally mortified if one of mine was to do that, there's no way I am standing in a room with some other woman listening to one of mine call out Mum to another living person.
This may seem petty to some of you, but I earned the right to that title, the title mum is a badge of honour that I wear with pride and I would have to seriously question what it was about my mothering, that was lacking so much my lot went off to find themselves another Mum.

As some of you know my relationship with my own mother was a some what rocky ride and at best she tolerated me, however I would never call another woman mum. We only get one.

I was pleasantly surprised when my lot said they would never consider it, until the oldest Ashley said, "Not now you've had a rant about it,well certainly not in ear shot of you haha". Little toad, I should have smacked him into line when he was a kid!!!!!!
Once we got all talking about it, they all said that they couldn't really imagine calling someone else mum, they all feel that it would be disrespectful to me.

Funny thing is, I actually have two long term foster kids one boy one girl, both in their early 20s, with kids of their own, who call me Mum, yet I have never really batted an eyelid at that.
Although I did tell both of them that they should really keep that honour for their mothers, both basically said I had been more of a mum, so more worthy of it. I never encouraged them to say it, but neither did I out rightly stop it either. Mind you I am never likely to be in the same room as these two women who can loosely call themselves mothers.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Dyslexia and Him!!!!!!

I adore my partner, I really do.
He's a great man, with so many good qualities, but there are times he drives me nuts and this is one of them.

Some of you may know that I am dyslexic, now I have never let it get in my way, totally refuse to be held back by it and as a result I am a very avid reader.
I actually never learnt to read until I was about 8yrs old and it is really only due to the efforts of my older brother Roy, who spent hours with me as a child going over and over letters and words and helping me to form pictures in my head in order for me to be able to spell.

For example the word bed forms a picture in my head which enables me to spell it. Let me explain,

b= the headboard and pillow.
e= the person curled up in bed.
d= the bed end and the covers squashed up at the end of the bed.
altogether it equals - bed in my head.
It may not make sense to you but it very much does to me and there are many, many, words were I have to form a picture in my head in order to spell them. This takes but a nano second.

I know what your thinking SPELLCHECK Lia, use spellcheck, well I would, if it wasn't for the fact that it is American and often the spelling are different, which can actually lead to far more confusion for me. On the plus side, as a result of my dyslexia, my children have grown up to be excellent spellers, due to the constant cry from me of "how do you spell such and such and what knot"

I pride myself on being able to spell, form fairly coherent sentences and read.
So imagine my horror when today, I started to write a post for you guys and along came the beautiful beloved, who reading my post over my shoulder said to me "Babes, that's not how you spell my name, it's an i not an e, in Francis" You see when I started this blog I had decided to use every ones middle names or nick names and for the beloved I choose to use his middle name and I did check that it was 'i' and not 'e'. However when I first started he told me that I was spelling it wrong and it was spelt with an 'e'. Now today he tells me I am wrong. We had a little tiff about this and I said to him that I had even got him to write it down the last time he had said I was wrong in the spelling, I really am glad that I made him do that, because it meant that I was able to go over my notes and there it was in his own handwriting....FRANCES.

I am beginning to wonder which one of us is the dyslexic!!!!!!!

Off course it now means I have to go through my whole blog and change every post with his name in, but at least I know I was right in the first place, after all I have the proof in the man's own handwriting. I wonder if I can get a new pair of shoes out of all this, mmmmmm shoes!!!!

Don't Panic Captain Mannering!!!!

It's 10 days to my first camping trip of the year in our new Bell Tent.
Now some of you may remember that I was suppose to be testing it out in the garden one weekend a couple of weeks back. (See my post entitled "British Weather (summer))

Well, the madness that is the British weather put paid to that, which is funny really, when you consider that we were meant to be ironing out any problems that the weather might throw at us, while halfway up the country and with no car for the first week. (Francis can't join us the first week and at the moment we are a one car family) So the first week will be spent with my sister, which we are both very much looking forward to. The kids are staying home, which doesn't bother me in the least, as I have left them all here before and found no evidence of mad young peoples parties, so I guess they either don't take too many liberties; or are very good at covering their tracks ha ha ha. Basically I trust them, so I am not worried.

So what's the panic, Oh, that will be that we haven't been camping for two years and I haven't tidied, cleaned, sorted, organised, or otherwise done anything in the garage for about the same length of time, thing is we were going to sell the house a couple of years back and we basically emptied every thing into the garage, in what can only be described as an haphazard manner; and over the last couple of years we have added all sorts of other things to it as well.
For starters: there is most of Francis flat in there from when he moved in with us.

You guessed it, in amongst all this total chaos is the rest of our camping equipment!!!!!!!!

Don't Panic Captain's okay, I'm doing it for both of us!
If you don't see or hear from me for a while, please sent a St Bernard and a rescue team, as I am clearly lost under an enormous pile of junk.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Busy Doing Nothing

I have been so busy to day running from job to job and taking on way too much....phew!
What a day
, I have had.....Oh ok I can't lie, I have had a do nothing all day long, day.
You may well call it laziness, I prefer to think of it as recharging my batteries lol.

I just thought you might enjoy this as much as me. Oh happy memories of days gone by and loved ones passed.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Real or Fake?

Hey people take a look at this photo, you think it's real, well it is a real photo, but is it a real island, to find out more go to this site.

Here is a video for those of you who don't have time to look at the site, but I recommend the site to you as it is rather interesting.

Little Known Fact

One thing that kind of surprised me in the aftermath of the 7th July 2005 bombing atrocities was the relative lack of coverage given by the media to the irony that the "bus" bomb in Tavistock Square exploded less than about 30 metres from a statue of Mahatma Ghandi. Ghandi, who probably had more to complain against Westerners about than many of the 1st- and 2nd-generation Westerners that actually murdered all the poor souls on 7/7, espoused the principles of non-violent direct action.
I went down to Tavistock Square recently to pay my respects at the memorial plaque outside the British Medical Association building where so many good people helped the first officers and paramedics on scene to look after the living, injured and dying in the charnel-house that the murderers created, and I then wandered over to the statue to ponder upon what Mr Ghandi would likely have made of that day.

I doubt he'd have been impressed. But then he too was murdered by extremists. It seems we really are doomed to repeat history

I found the above post on this blog and thought you might be interested, I'm sorry to say that the last time the writer of this blog posted was in 2008, shame really as it's an interesting blog.

I know this statue, but unlike the owner of this blog, it had never really occurred to me to link the two. I have to say here and now that the sentiment of this post is not now lost to me.

July 7th.

Today is the 4th anniversary of the July 7th 2005 bombings.

There will be an unveiling today of a new memorial to the 52 people who lost their lives that day and about time to.
It will be unveiled at midday, in London's Hyde Park, it will have 52 stainless steel pillars in 4 clusters, one for each victim and one cluster to represent each place where a bomb devastated lives.
There were also over 800 people injured that day, some with huge life changing injuries.

London had got up that day, to beautiful clear blue skies and was still over joyed that we had been selected for the 2012 Olympic Games, so there was hope, happiness and optimism in the air. (well a lot of Londoners were happy about this, but I can't say in all honestly that I was, but I'll save that for another post)
As over 250,000 commuters travelled across London on the tube to their various jobs, bombs began to go off, Russell Square, Aldgate and Edgeware Rd, then another one on a London double decker bus at Tavistock Square.

As always I was listening to BBC Radio London 94.9FM and Jon Gaunt was the presenter that day, the show was just ticking along nicely, in fact if I remember rightly it had not long started so Jon had barely got into his stride.

I was working at the time and was halfway round the M25 working at a place called Esher not far from Ascot race course and as usual I was working with Frances.
We had got up at our usual time of 5am, fought our way round the M25 and made it to work early. We had breakfast and then got down to the business of the day.

When Jon Gaunt reported the 1st bomb going off, I at first barely reacted, to be honest, I have grown up during the I.R.A bombings and was fairly unfazed to begin with.
It was when he reported the second one that I truly became alarmed.

Once a year, the teachers at my youngest son Callum's school take the children out for the day, to celebrate a good year at school and they do this at their own expense, which is wonderful. Callum was on a that trip that day to the centre of London and suddenly it became apparent that London was under attack.
At first, I couldn't take it in, I turned to Frances and said I was worried about Callum, he said don't panic, London is huge, it's nowhere near him. By the time of the 3rd one I was ready to leave work and have a full on panic attack.

Frances phoned Callum, no reply, I phoned the school, the lines were busy. We kept phoning lines were busy, mobile phone satellites were overloaded and the radio reported yet another bomb had gone off.
By now I was almost beside myself with fear for my youngest son, barely 13 yrs old. Finally I got through to the school, the receptionist told me that all the classes were accounted for, except 3 and Callums was one of them.
I can't even begin to put into words the terror I felt at that moment. Bombs were going off, London was under attack and I had no idea were my youngest son was.
At this point we didn't that there would be four bombs, London had no idea whether anymore would go off.

The radio was reporting the devastation all around, in the background of all the reports, I could hear sirens, what sounded like hundreds of them, as Londoners it is a sound of the city that we are use to, in fact a lot of us barely hear them now, so use to them are we. But on that day, behind all the reporters you could clearly hear them and they seemed to be coming from every direction.

I remember looking up and seeing the site manager, a very hard man, who was tough old school man, but fair to work for, as the words, "What do you mean you don't know where my son class is?" escaped my lips, I was looking directly at him. "Go girl, go find your boy, forget work, go on go" I didn't know that he too was also wondering where a member of his family was, thankfully his wife turned out to be safe. I told the school that I was on the way and could they phone or text me if possible when they had located the class.

We hit the road and made it to the M25 in record time, I remember thinking that there was a huge amount of traffic on the motorway for that time of day, we were still listening to the radio and they explained that London was emptying as fast as it could, that people needed to get out of the capital and that we were not to travel in. I had already decided that the last place I would go was into the centre, we still didn't know if more bombs would go off and I thought what good would it do to go up to town, after all I could end up hurt or worse and then who would look after my kids.

Frances had managed to get through to my other 2 kids and they were both headed for home.
Frances's mother also works in the center of London, right next to Lloyd's of London, but she had called him told him she was safe and was headed for home, she also said that his father was safe.
Various friends and family had either phoned or text to say they were safe, but we still had no idea where Callum was.

I'm not sure how I drove home that day, the motorway was busy and it took a lot to concentrate on that journey, but I knew I had to head for home. I really couldn't speak and every time a text came through my heart skipped a beat, was it him, was it the school, was he safe, was it the worst news in the World, was I dreaming and this was all a horrible figment of my over active brain. I remember thinking, what would I do if Callum was injured or worse, how would I live with the fact that I had signed the form, that had allowed him to go on that trip.

Frances told me later that there had been times during the journey home when I had repeated over and over, please keep him safe, mum please watch over him and bring him home, don't let it be Callum. Please, please don't let it be Callum.
I don't remember it.

As we came up the junction that we always come off at, the traffic had come to a grinding halt, you see it is not far from the Dartford river crossing, which is a bridge and tunnel crossing over and under the river Thames; and quite rightly the authorities were being cautious in letting vehicle over and under the Thames, it is after all the biggest crossing over the Thames. There are four lanes under it and a four lane bridge over it.

We crawled to the off ramp and finally made it to the round-about and traffic lights, my mobile phone rang and I snatched it up, to hear a voice on the other end ask me if I was Callum's mum, with my heart in my mouth, I replied yes.....He's safe, came back the words and they are on their way back to the school where we can come to wait and then take them home.

It was at this point that I lost it, I remember shaking and hot tears rolling down my face and handing the phone to Frances, as a wave of relief and emotion washed over me.

He was safe.... the greatest words ever said to me. This quiet, calm female voice, giving me the greatest most profound words I have ever heard,..........He's safe.
We drove to the school with a lot less urgency and listening to the radio, by now reports of the dead were coming through and I am ashamed to say that I was greatly relieved that none of the dead would be one of mine.

We waited at the school and as he strolled up to me in that nonchalant manner of a teenager, I so wanted to scoop him up and cuddle him, He sensed this and gave me the know the one, it says, please do not embarrass me in front of my friends.
When we pulled up outside the house, the front door flew open and the look of relief on the faces of the older two kids was clearly visible.
I remember feeling unbelievably safe and secure as I closed our front door to the outside World and the horror of London, for a while afterwards we all stood cuddled up in the hallway, just so grateful that we had all made it through intact.

To be honest, this is actually the first time I have ever talked openly July 7th 2005.

We were immensely lucky that day and I will never forget the full horror and range of feeling I went through that day and my son came home safe and sound. I can not begin to imagine what it must be like for the families of those who lost their lives or for those who were injured that day and still live with the injuries, the memories and the vivid horror of it all. That is why on the 7th July for the rest of my life I will honor those people with a two minute silence, as I never ever want to forget that we were the fortunate ones.

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