Thursday, 24 February 2011

Can't Touch This!

This ol' Hole In The Wall is apparently a Grade II Listed Building. Which makes me start laughing again. Mr Wrecking Ball will not be permitted to play after all. So all we need now is a fool and an ever-pouring wallet.

Meanwhile we are just arguing about town versus country. Minx trotting down to the shops and getting on buses on her own versus noone tutting over the fence at the boys still mud-sliding 'til the owls start swooping.

It is a difficult one to call.

The ding-dong will be ding-donging for some time yet.

Let you know when we get a final resonating BO-O-O-O-ONG!!!!!!!

Wednesday, 23 February 2011


'Are you sure we didn't get a letter?'

'Yep. Oh there's nothing in that pile I went through that the other da- oh!'

Tuesday, 22 February 2011


Latest News:

The Smokinguns are being evicted from their hovel.


A letter has been sent they say. But no letter has arrived. Just a snotty e-mail to Mr Roving Blade. Will find out more when he gets back from faraway shores in the morning.

Do I get my pitchfork? Or hang out the bunting?

Both I think.

Crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle.

Well well well.......

The funny thing is, 'they' have decided to sell it. This is very funny. Very funny indeed. Now this ol' shack is in a nice enough spot, has a warm 'vibe', if not actually warm radiators, looks kinda cute in a crumbling triffid-coated red brickish kinda way but...... nobody with more than one brain cell is ever actually going to agree to throw money at it. The words bottomless and pit whisper from the damp dark depths of it's cracks and mouseholes. Maniacal laughter echoes up from the dilapidated drains and spill out to grab your ankles if you dare go 'out back'. Sinister swellings and shadows rise up to usher you into its deepest suffocating embrace. They have sent us rosy-cheeked boys in their shiny new suits to survey the decay. We have sent them back ravaged wild-eyed and gibbering madmen.

So I can only imagine the next tenants will be the wrecking ball and his delightful rumbling family. And maybe a neat little line of tiny dollshouses will stand to attention on hard-won tarmac before handkerchiefs of clipped lawn, where once we'd frolicked in the muddiest of puddles surrounded by molehills and rabbit poo.

Maybe it's not so funny for the poor old house itself. And where will all the old ghosts go? Would their footsteps make a sound on fresh laminate flooring or would they be all on the wrong level anyway..... chopping them in half maybe? What will they do with the bats? Will they use all the old beams as charming garden dividers? Would they then feel like they're swaying like they're still attached to an old ship like they do up in the bedrooms. I've always convinced the children that this old boat has stood up to a good 250 years' worth of thunderstorms already and won't lay down and die for this one. How many 'olds' did I slip in there? I can't help it. This place is oooooooooold. Thunderstorms are one thing, the developers army are something else... I can't think who else would take this place on.

And so for us all, a new chapter looms.......




Monday, 21 February 2011

No It Doesn't Work

I found the boys' floor. Wish I hadn't. Filthy it was.

I sellotaped every games box we possess. Even threw some of them away. But they were quickly rediscovered.

I shouted at hooligans smothering every inch of floor-space in the living room with freshly sellotaped-in games. Wondered what was the point of my existence. Did this aloud. Very loud. Hid away and did it quieter. Just the soft sound of chocolate caramels being sucked into submission and faint sobbing.

I noisily tipped frozen things on a blackened metal thing and slid it into the oven thing and then pulled it all out again when the frozen things had turned into burnt things. Then just as noisily tipped these brown things onto chipped round things and called it dinner.

I did all this in arctic conditions as our boiler had screeched and ground to a standstill again so that I had to turn off every switch I could find. Then I picked up an unopened white envelope from the stained kitchen counter that had been slapped down there a couple of days ago with a hurried sneer. Well, I thought to my grumpy cold self, I may as well open it now. I couldn't get any more pissed off.....

WHEN will I learn?

Sunday, 20 February 2011

If It Works......?

And so I did manage to predict exactly what would happen. Blogged in jest..... Set in stone. From the cyber dimension to the concrete one. .....Or is it? Let's not start that again.

I had mapped out my non-productive evening to the minutest detail. Once I'd got the mini men things to sleep, of course I conked out myself and, as feared, had noone else in the house to slap me conscious again and ...... that was that. I did wake up at nearly midnight, got one leg out of the covers, and zonked again. Regained slits of sight in the wee small hours with the lights still on, my glasses at an Eric Morcombe angle and a vague sense of guilt. Sorted out the light and the glasses. Silenced the nagging by flicking the over-ride button of apathy and went back to numbland.

Now one might think that this extra sleep would have me springing out of bed the next morning all perky. Ohhhh no. Early nights always do me in. Crawled out of the pit late and wasted the rest of the morning being all zombiefied. Surveyed the devastation around me with an uninterested eye and staggered out of the house to pick up Minx - late. Despite my outta-time-keeping I stayed there while Minx pretended I hadn't arrived at all and had a cup of tea and a natter with MY friend (chum's mum) for another hour and a half before heading over to my mum's 'for lunch'. Well, it was already half past one but I reckoned I could remember the way.......

Not bad for me. Negotiated all the twisty turnies in the torrentials with Streetdance 3D Soundtrack blaring. Never take a big straight road when several pot-holed snakey ones will do. And certainly never listen to anything serene and pleasant. No No No. Journeys should always be an adventure extremo of the eyes, ears and clutch control thigh.

I knew lunch still wouldn't be ready when we got there. I know my family.

But we're definitely going to leave while it's still light.

Got home a little before ten.

And dribbled off to sleep with the boys again. My life is so exciting. And yes, predictable. Like my rambling.

But this time I do have someone else in the house to wake me up and make me a cup of hippy dippy, scatter chocolate mints before me leading the way back to the crunchy duvet-smothered settee and insist that I watch Carry On Camping with her. Albeit peering through pillars of Lego. Yay for family life after all eh? Yay for unsinkable daughters.

And now today I really do have the boys' room mountain to climb. And the living room jungle to chop through. And kids to feed? Damn. I wonder if I ignore it all for long enough it'll all sort itself out. It worked for breakfast - Little Rock Godling just made scrambled eggs for us all. Well apart from Minx - she's still in bed but it's only twenty to midday...... Maybe she'll wake up hungry enough and make us all lunch. Stranger things HAVE happened.

Maaaybeee if I manifest my day's desires strongly enough - they will occur. Rules of the universe like. OK - I need some big black binliners to float up to the boys' room and devour it. Then I need all the Lego to leap into the blue box with happy little yippees. Pasta would be good. Everlasting sellotape to finish the scrapbooks all neat and like I don't do it in real life. Cushions and blankets to drape and decorate the settees of filth so we can sit in them again without fear. Firm believer in what you don't see doesn't hurt you. And moles, mice and carpet mites Be Gone!!! That humming sound is me imagining that suckky thing..... um ... hover? Haver? Oh Hoover! That's the one.......

Sighhhhhh........ Now I shall just sit back and wait. I'll let you know when we're done.

Excuse me now as I've got some important scratching to do. I'm sure I bought a newspaper the other day..........

Friday, 18 February 2011

More Pinny Smoothing Moments from The Smokingun Hearth

Hubby is away - drumming up some work from the shores of Dubai again til Wednesday. Two-Jack-Russells-and-a-Big-Cousin Boy is away at Nanny and Granddad's livin' it large til Tuesday. Minx is away at chums (and Doing Youthclub) til tomorrow. And so it's just me and my littlest 2 picklies. I can relax a bit and be all mumsy and.... liked. Doughnut/gingerbread man. Comics with the best freebies - an inflatable hammer and 3 little cars with launchers. A Comic Relief car nose - even if it is impossible to fix on. A baaaad cheapo DVD with a dinosaur on the cover. Popcorn smothered in icing sugar. And pizza. Ohhh yeahhhh - 2 kids are like SO EASY!!!

It's nearly bedtime and I'm getting a bit overexcited at the prospect of A WHOLE EVENING TO MYSELF. Once I've got them to sleep that is. But - The Choice????!!!!

The Bath. The Book. The Tree. The Tutenkhamen Cushion Cover. The Piano - (on DVD I mean....) The Piano! - I could you know - we got headphones on it we have. The Song. The Cabinet. The Previous Life Bags/Boxes. Reggae night on BBC3 (or 4). The Scrapbooks.


But...... being such a blissful 1950's model of domesticity, I kind of have to hide some stuff first. Non-stick baking trays with pizza bases welded on. I'm such a Nigella. Cereal bowls encrusted with concrete (or this morning's Weetabix to some). Every cup I possess all ringed with brown. A mountain of boyness in their room we have to squeeze past. A carpet of Lego in the living room along with about a dozen not-put-away-after games and cushions and blankets and probably creatures.

Think I might just go to bed.

Well..... noone's going to wake me up tonight when I've fallen asleep getting them to sleep. And noone's going to make me a cup of tea and show me something they taped off the telly earlier cos they thought I might like it. And nooone else is going to sweep away the memories of my culinary triumphs.........

Ahhh well..... Even if I just pull the newspaper I bought out of the shopping bag it WOULD be a triumph. A newspaper? Yes. You see I told you I had got all overexcited.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Bite Size

I resolved to write shorter posts from now on.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Don't Panic! Don't Panic!

This is a very lazy way of writing a new post but I thought I'd just copy an email I sent out tonight on our Home Ed list onto my New Post space to play around with - but it's getting late and I'm a lame slut.

It follows a trip out today at The Museum of Kent Life where we had a Word War II Day. Some of us dressed up - I did me best. I wanted to go as Lilli Marlene (and being a fictional character I could do WHATEVER....) but the weather was eeeuucchhhh and so Land Army Girl it was. Well - kind of. More like a glam-er 1950's version - not a stitch of khaki in sight but a very nice headscarf that once was an impulse-buy skirt. Make Do And Mend me. Minx was also a Land Girl. So were several of her friends. And well.... let's just say there was plenty o' headscarf action out in the fields today. I tied an evacuation label onto Thuglet's cardigan but he wasn't impressed. Probably something to do with the information on it: 'Please look after this strange alien being carefully. Do not feed it after midnight. Answers to the name of Monkey Pants. Thank You.' Soon hoisted by my own petard, I found myself wearing it for most of the day. This and a large metaphorical dunce's cap for asking THE most stoopid question of the day addressed to Mr Potts of The Home Guard. Not quite ready to share this Special moment with you just yet. I'm rather tired and emotional. (Read as 'thick and embarrassed'.)

Anyway - I splurted this e-mail out tonight in reply to someone wondering if, further to the WWII collages that the older kids had been doing at last Monday's Hall meet, they might like to do some more stuff in a similar vein and perhaps do a page each and bind it all up in a big book. Just thought I'd explain that in case anyone was in danger of believing I'd had an original thought.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

'Ere chaps

I had an idea this evening after our WWII day at Kent Life - but it's probably not viable..... But here comes a bit of a stream on consciousness kinda thing (bear with....)

When my lot ask my mum or J's mum and dad about what they got up to during the war there's always loads of stories. I grew up with talk of The War as an everyday subject as it was just my parents' childhood - our kids have it as an odd conversation here and there and it seems so exotic in a weird way but they love hearing about it - like their grandparents were involved in a 'famous' event or something. When they ask J or I about it we seem to get slightly muddled with the stories already and tell them to ask Nanny and Granddad etc themselves. If it was left to us the stories would get fuzzier and in turn THEIR kids are going to get the family stories even more vague probably....

My Not Viable Idea was to invite some of OUR parents along to the hall one day and get them to tell some of their stories - but I immediately thought the better for it - knowing how difficult it is to extract any of my elders from their comfort zones etc (and like - no way should anyone I know who's met me as an adult get to meet my mother and tell me I'm so like her - No. Way.) BUT what if (hang on - I know this is going to sound like 'homework' but believe me when I say I am the LAST person to suggest THAT sort of thing - BUT) - what if the kids gathered some of their own grandparents' stories (even if their grandparents would be too young - they'd still be 'closer' to THEIR parents' tales) - and shared them in the hall one day? Whether orally, or with an object or photos or clothes or their own drawings etc - or even songs?

It struck me recently that when I was a kid, there were old people who could remember WWI - and now there aren't. It won't be that long before anyone who can remember WWII will be gone - and it's OUR personal family histories that will be fading. My grandparents - adults, parents themselves during The War are gone already. My dad's gone and we've kind of lost contact with his side of the family - and that side of our history. My mum's only a couple years off 80 (but don't you dare tell her I said so even though obviously you're not ever going to get the chance) - so the time for gleaning this personal stuff is really running out. My memory is so appalling already that I want my kids to capture as much of this stuff as possible while they can.

Much as I loved all the workshops today I wanted them to last longer and ask for more anecdotes - and share snippets of stuff I remember hearing etc. Obviously they are timed with gangs of children in mind and not grown-ups who love lingering and waffling - or asking really stupid questions (sorry about my blonde moment with the Home Guard chap - it came out wrong honest!) But you know what our lot are like when they start gassing and swapping tales themselves - chips off the ol' blocks in fact. And they might even listen to some of our yarns too. This h'educashun lark ain't just for the kids eh? I reckon it'd be a good laugh too.

So whatdya reckon? Any takers?

If anyone does want to get more 'down on paper'y - the big bound book idea of these stories could be a fabulous thing..... Now my mind is drifting off towards a time capsule thing again........... somebody stop me - I need to go to bed.

PS - Daddy is getting a bit pissed off with London's Burning. I say play it LOUDER!!!!!!! That'll teach 'im to call me Hilda Ogden this morning.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

So now you know I don't save all my twaddle for just blogs - I spread it out good and thin. Like the wartime butter ration. Oh and the London's Burning bit was about our latest (somewhat unpopular) attempts to get some recorder/percussion jam sessions going. Yeah - jaaaaaaazzzz. I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed making such a horrible noise.

I'm off now to have a little think. Just a little one. Well, there is a war on you know.....

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Who's Children Are These?

Lord 'elp us I bleached and scoured me bathroom tiles today. Must've been inspired by My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding's scrubbers! What are they like? They must reek of Cillit Bang them girls. I had to sit on the back doorstep for half an hour to calm the choking and stinging eyes. It's very unhealthy this housework business. And 'cos me shower curtain was in the wash (which was why I had the stoopid idea to attack the revealed tiles) I never quite got round to having a shower either. As soon as it was hooked back up - it was lunchtime, and another washing load on the conveyor, then I have to appreciate the new tenants of Ant-O-Sphere for longer than any over-9 mind can cope, put away all the Ben 10 figures while the freshly cleared space behind me quietly fills with dinosaurs, when Mr Roving Blade came home and got out his extended hose...... Then I have Carwash II going on outside which naturally leads to a queue for the shower. By which time I decide I may as well stay stinky and just jump under the jet before I go to bed - so I'm all clean and ready for the ice dash in the morning.

But somehow I never quite got round to that either. Mr R Blade had allowed a wiggly snotty small boy in with him tonight, leaving me back in with the wigglier and snottier smaller boy. But that's fine. He had a shower after all. And I even washed his barnet - having cut it tonight. The poor lamb probably needs a cuddle! He won't care if I pong. He's full of snot anyway. If I haven't got my man's mighty nostrils to worry about, I'll not bother. Especially as he's offered to do the dawn raid. Result! Staying stinkypants and getting a lie-in. However, Daddy's chosen companion is the only small person to have evaded the hygiene game - again. He must take after his mother. Poor Mr RB. The hapless fool. A nightful of the rather fruity kicky twitchy hair-tugging sheet kidnapper. We'll all be in for an earful tomorrow from the over-tired pater. But the bad side-effect of not being in with Mr RB is that I sneakily take the opportunity to switch on the 'puter and soak up the blogs instead.

Somebody really ought to send me to bed.

Bringing me to a new list of Rules of the House now sellotaped to the wall. I don't hold with Rules of the House. It's just an invitation to break them. Makes them seem so idiotic they HAVE to be broken. Becomes a point of honour to break them.

Orrrr - maybe that's just me.

But THEY wrote them!!! Those simian hooliganesque offspring wrote them.

I think it started off the other day when I yelled at Little Rock Godling 'When you're all grown up and you have your own house I'm gonna come round and throw tons of crap all over YOUR floor and see how YOU like it!'

Then yesterday he came up to me, all angelic, and said 'When I'm grown up and have my own nice house I'm going to have rules.' 'Oh yeah? Like what?' 'No mess. No punching. No looking over your shoulder when you're on the computer. When you're not well you get to have TWO of your own choice films in a row. And no being annoying.' 'Would I be allowed in your house?' 'Yes. Um.... actually this is my house isn't it 'cos I live here.' 'Yes darling' 'Mmmnnn....'

And so to today's list. He dictated and Minx wrote them out for him. I suspect she abused her position. We have:

List of Ruels

No food upstairs
Wash your hands after you've been to the toilet
And wash your hand (just one apparently - sorry - butting in as usual) before you eat
Tidy up your own mess
When you take your shoes off put them together on the shelf (my sarcastic contribution - never thinking that it would get heard let alone written down)
No swearing (that's me buggered then)
No vilonce!
Go to bed when your told
Eat ALL your dinner! No saying 'I'm hungry!' 28 seconds before you go to bed!
No lieing!
Only hour (maximum) on the computer A Day

I thought I was going to have to go to casualty to get stitched back up. Other suggestions that didn't make it to the list were 'If you get a game out you have to tidy it away before you get another one out'. (Unattractive spluttering from mother.) 'If someone says you're in the way of the telly you have to move.' (With you on that one.) And Dog Whisperer Boy added 'Don't put down praying before you eat. I know some families that do praying before they're allowed to eat anything and it's really annoying.' 'Who does that then?' (I really want to know - I hate being caught out by that shenanigans too.) 'Well only one family I know' - and he reveals the culprits. That's OK - I think I pissed them off ages ago anyway.

The line about going to bed was what really flipped my lid as it fell from the lips of Minx - the WORST to-bed-goer in history. After a couple of hours of flat refusal she then makes cleaning her teeth last another 45 minutes at least. Then she'll need another wee, have a nosebleed, realises she hasn't planned her outfit for the next day, or pretends she's been asleep and had a bad dream, or complains about the mouse noise, or the owls, or the bats, or the wind, or the rain, or says it's too hot/cold/dark/light/hard/soft...... or (most commonly) just comes back down moaning she's NOT TIRED and CAN'T GO TO SLEEP. Thank fuck she doesn't have homework to not do until bedtime. (Can't reveal what stubborn retrobate used to do that.)

She is the best contraception I've ever had.

If I were to write a list of things I wish we'd all do or not do it would be way cooler. No squirting bleach at things that don't look any the better for it. Yes sitting on the back doorstep pointing at ants. No cooking stuff that noone says Thank You for. Yes eating stuff straight out of packets. No looking closely at anything in this house. Yes hiding under duvets. No questioning your mother. Yes go and ask your father. That should have read: 'Um....go and ask your father' - no 'Yes' about it at all. Obviously if we moved house - to a clean one - we would suddenly have a whole ream of rules. No sellotaping lists of rules to the nice decorated walls would probably be the first.

So we shall see how long this nonsensical tablet of commandments of theirs stays up. I know who'll be the one to rip it down.....

No swearing?

And only one hour on the computer a day?

Bollocks to that.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Born To Be Wild. Very Nice.

Mr Roving Blade found a folded note on the floor in my Hole. That's not my pelvic floor. That's long-since collapsed. I demonstrated that very clearly the other day when a nice smiley doctor chap cheerfully shoved a camera up my special lady private boudoir place. Yoooowwwlllll........ This wasn't a new adventure within a loving relationship. This was one of those things you're supposed to be grown-up about. Not good at that sort of thing me. It's not nice. But hey - it turned out to be quite a social event. There was about half a dozen other people in the room. One to hold things, one to learn things, one to smile at you etc. The best one was the lady who does chirpy chatter to take your mind off the nice smiley man sticking a camera up your boudoir. She was SO good at her job that we were quite a double act and I started to worry that my hearty chuckling would ping all that stuff out my 'place' and smack him on the head. But obviously those days are way behind me. Not that I did that sort of thing for a living. Just for a laugh. Anyway, my failure to ping just made me chuckle more. Possibly hysteria. But at least I was there. Hadn't been a dead cert that I'd actually turn up. Could think of better things to do. Being married to a photographer wasn't an advantage here although, bless him, he did offer. I tried to protest that despite not being in very high demand in Bangkok these days I still wasn't convinced I'd have room for his zoom lens. He disagreed. He is not a nice man. SSssssssss......... Anyway - I was quite proud of myself in the end. I did grown-up. Hang on - let's drag myself back to the plot of this blog. What am I like?

Yes - back to the folded note and the floor. I meant the floor of the place where I do my washing. Wildcat. The note was a to-do list of Minx's:

Things to do today

Get up. Get dressed. Brush teeth.
Go to ice-skating. Go to Streetdance.
Get chocolate bar. Go to library.
Go home. Eat chocolate. Watch Whip It or Blades of Glory.
Do more funny videos of E.

'She's inherited your love of lists' mocks Mr R Blade.
'And she's inherited your allergy to folding' I scowl, looking at her jumble sale shelf.
'Some of us were not born to fold'
'I wasn't BORN to FOLD!'

GGgggggrrrrrrrooooowl!!!! Surely there's more to me than that? I'm frowning as I resist the urge to correctly re-align Minx's original creases on the page.

Well maybe her life ain't so constrained. It's not a bad ol' list - it's a bloomin' nice life! Maybe her disdain for neatness will keep her from being crushed by domestic drudgery in the future. She can fly! Go wild. Be whatever she wants to be. The whole world is hers.....

Smoothing over the last flap I read 'PRIVET'

Bugger. In more than one way.

Still - it'll have comedy value in a few years' time. I'm saving it for my scrapbook. The stuff that goes from something the kids are so proud of, to horribly embarrassed by, to (hopefully) nostalgic about. But it's also nice and flat. This helps. Now what to do with the 500 paper aeroplanes that Little Rock Godling is constantly designing, creating and lobbing at breakables? More active crease-making - but all wild and wonderful. Now how come, with my reknowned folding prowess, can't I make paper aeroplanes?

Maybe it's because they don't stack nicely.

Who'd've thought I'd be so ruled by Nice? I am horrified by this discovery. It's really really not nice. Not nice at all. And I start thinking about 'folds' and it slowly becomes far from nice imagery. Folds of fat. Folds over and dies. Folds as in a breakdown. Benetton. Eugh. Hhhhhhhsssssssttttt!!!!!.......

I WAS NOT born to fold.

So I shan't.

Well - I will but you know what I mean.......

* * * * * * * * * * *

Oh god - I've got bloody Kenny Rogers in my head now singing 'You've got to know when to hold 'em. Know when to fold 'em. Know when to walk away. Know when to run. You never count your money. When you're sittin' at the table. There'll be time enough for countin'. When the dealin's done.'

There is only one solace at such a time. And it's this:

It's in your head now.


There - I'm not nice after all am I?

Miaowwwwwwwwwwwwwww ......... Prrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...................

Friday, 4 February 2011

Never At Home Education Part 3 (I think - I don't do maths..... sshhhh )

A week in the life of.....

Last Friday. The courtesy go-kart's power-steering started working again. Hooray for an easier drive down to Hastings than it was for the previous night's wrenching down from Gillingham. Just £3 for 24 hours parking right on the seafront. Words, breath, thoughts blown away by bracing (fucking bracing) British coastal winds. A bun shop widow of pure dribbling delight. Bags of buns procured. Cosy little cinema with lush red flippy seats. Taken over by a horde of Home Ed vagrants. Table suddenly covered in cakes, crisps, biscuits and .... special salmon fried rice to die for - who brought that? Lots of MmmmMMmmmMMMMMmmmming. 'Oh T you're SO lucky!' 'Oh yeah everybody loves his cooking! Noone loves my hoovering, tidying, washing do they?' True. Bless her. But it was bloody delicious. The Thief Lord thoroughly enjoyed by little thief lords and ladies. Fancy dress basket discovered, raided, trashed. Fancy dress dancing 'til it was time to be thrown down the stairs back onto the street. Remains of the table top falling out of backpacks all the way back down to the beach. Chips. Shivering. Slabs of something very very sweet. Cold bottoms. Stones with holes in 'em. Shoes with holes in 'em. Wind-blasted faces. Gangs of rioters. Very very sweet ones. Back in the car. Wet trousers. Pink faces. Cold chips and extra body-weight of flotsam. A good day. And Daddy did the evening football run. Even better.

Saturday. Pick up Minx's chum. Raucous fun. Tiger Shark Boy back from football. Mud-splattered superstar. Man of the Match this week? Ah well.... Can't hog the limelight every week eh? Think that sea air still in my veins. Hide upstairs and pass out. Dance moves. Plots and plans. Unbelievable noise level. Daddy trips up the step and drops Minx's dinner all over the floor. She doesn't see the funny side of it. Everyone else does. Greater unbelievable noise levels. Hide downstairs and pass out. A bit of a day.

Sunday. Back on the beach. Brighton this time. Had done the chips on the walk down from the mind-fuck car park to see Holiday On Ice with big 2 and chum. Lots of 'Ooh' and 'Aah' and 'Where's the Starbursts?' Wonderful show but well..... maybe not as jaw-droppy as last year. At least I didn't cry this time. Still - cool stuff. Ice is cool right? Then back in the smackness of the coastal breeze. Donuts, candyfloss..... Stones with holes in 'em. In between the piers. Amazing light. May as well have pissed into the wind as suggested time to go home. May as well give in and watch the sunset. Seems like all the birds in Britain have gathered for the ritual too. Stunning swooping displays. One minute like flung pepper in the sky and the next they're water-skiing at the speed of fright. (Mine.) Realising I'm not the only one here facing this direction with my phone camera aloft. Even the kids have stopped jumping the waves and are doing the same. When the sun finally flops into the sea there's a round of applause. Looking around me I spot lots of happy daydreamers starting to shift. There's a shared sense of lazy achievement. Glad we all stopped for a bit. Minx bounds up and says the birds over the old pier are 'like pepper in the sky'. I do 'Wow - that was exactly what I said to myself!' 'Well, I am your daughter.' The pier that still beats is all lit up now. But we're still not going on the amusements. No. I said No. Come along. Got a long drive...... And a long queue at the mind-fuck car park to pay £11 for our dalliance. It would only really take 20 minutes to get home - if it wasn't Brighton with it's Sunday evening home-time traffic, but due to courtesy go-kartage I have to go home via Edenbridge 'cos I can't fit Minx's chum in the car in the morning. I expect the coach-load from Gillingham got home hours earlier. But she gives me a box of seashells chocolates to say thank you. She's 12! Not only does she speak to me - she gives me chocolates! A big day.

Monday. Tunbridge Wells. Gymnastics and more chips in the park. Lots of kid politics tho'. Lots of adult wonderings. Discussions. No solutions. Finally decide that sod 'em - they'll have to all work it out for themselves. Another tea? More streetdance moves decided and practised. The crew's name changed from Sunday night's decision. Who's in the crew? Politics and dancing. Tiger Shark Boy scoots off for a sleepover. My car's ready to pick up from the garage - yay! I send the man to do it. Remove layers of Starburst wrappers first. 2-way texting with sleepover household. They're all watching Streetdance 3D (but without the 3D 'cos it's useless) while we catch up on the first Got To Dance semi-final. Seriously dancing obsessed our lot. Tiger Shark Boy homesick. Awww..... 'What's your postcode?' text. I tap it back but protest that I really ought to do the getting - and also our house is invisible. Noone ever finds us. Text beep. TSBoy's chum's dad only used to work with the chap who used to live in our house. 'We know where you live!' Freaky! Interesting day.

Tuesday. A day off! A what? We've switched skating to Wednesdays. This does leave Tuesdays vunerable. Could bomb down to the forest for a wild gathering. But it's a day off! Gingerbread. Robots. Chinese lantern? It's a day OFF - put that DVD on. All the seashell chocolates have been devoured. But - what a result - the trays from the box are sturdy and now we have seashell moulds to make MORE chocolates! Go shopping. Buy chocolate. And needles! Hooray! Achieveful day.

Wednesday. Gillingham. Crack of dawn ice-skating lark. Buy thermals. No Streetdancing this week. Running fortnightly now to ease the general Home Ed purse but now we have such a huge crowd - not sure if this discipline will hold out. We're all howling to get back on the floor. Can't get enough. However, back home - conk out on settee. Dance in my dozing. Clattery noises in kitchen. Run away upstairs. Dig out pictures of WWII from photo books. End up reading them. Reading in the daytime? Outrageous. Hiding place discovered by beautiful mermaid bearing seashell chocolates. Yes! Suddenly remembered I'm supposed to be knocking up a roast tonight. More gravy adventures. If something that doesn't move can be classed as adventurous. Start sewing a new needle case stupidly late at night. Channel 4 on low - discover a new band. I must remember to look them up on YouTube. The Go Team. Sound fun. A long day.

Thursday. Tun Wells again. Drop off big 2 at the theatre for Horrible Histories - The Rotten Romans. Swamped by schools parties being ordered to stay in their crocodile. Scruffy Home Ed gang in the middle. Kids 'hanging'. Adults clutching take-away tea. Then I bomb over to a bang-tastic percussion concert with the small 2. Another sea of schools parties. Another tea-clutching/rabble babble Home Ed oasis. The chap who does all the talky bits does his best in the face of this unruly sect. He asks all the kids in the room how many times do their teachers tell them to listen. 'Never!' we all yell. 'Millions I hear you say' he replies to the uniformed ones. Later he addresses all the adults - who might not like things to be so noisy. 'Nah we love racket!' Bless him. He did very well. Look up O Duo ( - they were blinkin' brilliant. Dive into the sweet shop for change to top up the car park. Wouldn't give me much change tho'. Need to time this exercise to nearest second. WWII reference book snatch at the library. Over to car park. Up 3 flights. Come on! 'Can I press the green button?' 'Can I take the ticket out?' 'Can I put the money in?' 'Hang on! Not yet! NOT YET!! Now! NOW!!' Dump books. Down 3 flights. Hurry up. Back to the theatre for the next show with full compliment of sproglets. Horrible Histories - The Awful Egyptians. And a well-earned little kip for me. May I add I wasn't the only one. Run baby run back to the car........ and no parking fine for overdueness. Phew. Extra chum back again. No ice skating tonight tho'. Knee injury. Should be sympathetic but inside my head the world cheers. More dance moves worked out however. Hoping the ceiling will hold. A busy day.

Friday. Drop Minx and chum back over there (Edenbridge) in time for bus to somewhere else (Rotherfield). Suddenly find 2 hours to kill before more gymnastics (East Grinstead). Or....we could be really really early for a change? Nah. Hobbycraft (Copthorne). Lots of tutting at prices. Lots of debates. Find a clearance bin. In Hobbycraft? All hands on deck to carry as many A1 sheets of watercolour paper and tracing paper for 29p each. Perfect for next Monday's WWII collage gig. And big bag of non-air drying clay. It's clay right? It dries. In air. It's cheaper than air-drying clay. Wot's the problem? Cough medicine. For Tiger Shark Boy's viral-related asthma-like cough thing. A regular event. He doesn't have asthma. But when he gets a cold he gets The Cough - which doctors always say is asthma. The inhaler does help tho'. But when he hasn't got The Cough, he doesn't cough. Or wheeze. I once asked to go along the our doc's asthma clinic. 20 questions. Answered NO to all of them except just one. 'Does he cough after running around?' 'No. Except when he's had a cold and he gets The Cough.' 'Oh classic sign of aasthma. Next!' Anyway - just as I'd agreed to the suggested cough medicine in Boots today the assistant adds 'As long as he's not got asthma'. 'Funny you should say that..... why?' 'Cos if he takes a cough suppressant and then has an asthma attack he won't be able to fight it off' 'Do what?' We had a nice chat about it - she has an allergic-related asthma so knew her onions. No doctor's ever told me about cough medicines being cough 'suppressants'. Weird. I only buy them as a psychological tool anyway. I thought coughing was the body's way of getting rid of the problem, and that the medicines were just to ease the throat or something. Well.... bought a blackcurrant linctus with no child-proof cap. Thank god. Always have to get the children to take them off for me anyway. Gym done but skipping football tonight. Back home my beans-ful Tiger Shark Boy goes downhill. Duvet, cuddling and animal programmes on telly. And again I conk out on the settee. Wake up to see a vision of Roman romance - or Mr Roving Blade in a towel - asking if I want his water. A sleep and a bath? And a take away! Not to mention a little sauce later. The gods must be smiling. Apart from the soundtrack of my poor boy's barking. A mixed day.

A typical week?

Pretty much. Actually didn't do all our usuals. Coughs, injuries, keeping knowledge of certain events to myself...... Already thinking I'd better remember more To-Bake Baguettes for list of to-do's for next week. 'Cept I always bring most of it home again. Usually just find chips somewhere. There was a request on our e-mail list thing recently about sources of good materials. 'Save your wallet for the cafes' I replied. Should have added 'and car parks'. And plasters.... And diesel......

And garage bills.

And tomorrow? Back in TW. Chinese New Year lantern-making. And samba shaker-making? Under The Sea theme for The Year of the Rabbit? Don't look too closely. Don't do thinking. Just go along for the ride....... Shame that Lantern Parades necessarily require darkness. By then I'll definitely have Homing Pigeon Head and be craving Primeval. At least no football for The Cough Boy in the morning. A lie in!!!!

Mmmnnn bed....... I really ought to hit the pillows and get some proper night-time sleep stuff. Little wonder I'm always nodding off in the daytime. This blogging business is almost as obsessive as the kids' dancing. Just thought I'd escape my latterly Me-Me-Me-Moaning and go back to logging the kids' up-tos. The reason I started this blog in the first place. Trouble is - ramble bambling on and on and on........ Well - you don't have to read it....... I don't want to. Just gonna hit that ol' Publish button and move along....