Is It Just Me: Who is Happy the Holidays are Over?

*Can I start by saying, I love the Bratlings, really I do, they are the light of life, the centre of my darn universe, yada yada yada. *

Next Wednesday, our house will become gleefully quiet for the first time in seven weeks.

I say gleefully, and now some of you Mums reading will scrape yourselves off the floor at the use of that adjective rather than “sadly”. However, in my house, its a happy occasion for us all.

Why?

Seven weeks is too damn long if you ask me.


The thing is, our holiday, despite us not actually going away during the seven weeks, has served to:

  • Obliterate mine and Elder’s bank balances, including the joint account
  • Turn my hair ever greyer
  • Render me deaf
  • Push me to the point of nervous breakdown
  • Mean my daughter and I are arguing more and more about her behaviour
Oh, my God. In small doses, say when they come home from school/nursery, its nice. There is a small amount of tidying, less arguments between “Gobby” (or Mini as she was previously known) and me, and it makes for a relaxed atmosphere. They are happy as they have seen their mates and been entertained all day. They aren’t constantly after magazines, or pens, or ice creams and sweets. Its a very zen environment (ahem).
“Look Mummy has at least £1 in her purse, lets moan for sweets til she gives in”
















In the holidays, they wake up at 8am, and from that moment on, all I hear is arguments over what to watch (and no hope of me watching the news or they tag team me and gang up), choruses of “I’m bored” or “I miss my friends” or worse still “can I have”. They eat breakfast at 8.15, yet by ten are asking if it’s lunchtime yet as they are “actually starving” (as said by Mini in that drawn out effort filled way kids have).

You suggest a walk to town and it’s almost as if their legs have fallen off, such is the disgust at the very idea of putting one leg in front of the other and looking in shops. And don’t even ask me about going food shopping. That was like a diplomatic incident that was. We gave up, and I had to send Elder off in search of food on his own (exactly- I was desperate). 

The problem was that Asda happened to have a Bieber poster and frame in the section we were in (collecting Mini’s new school coat), and Mini went mental when I said I wasn’t shelling out £25 for a picture of this chimp faced tit. Which she didn’t appreciate, and made clear by crying and wailing. 

The holidays have been OK- mainly when they went off with their Aunt to her seaside house and left us in blissful peace for 3 days. The little vein on Elders forehead even stopped throbbing, and it felt like a snapshot of our pre-parenting days. Until they came back and went feral with boredom again.

We tried soft play this week for Littlest’s fourth birthday, after the water balloon and super soaker fight I had planned was beggared up by the weather turning arctic. Except, whilst Mini loved it and raced around with untold happiness, throwing herself in and out of ball pits and down slides, Littlest got to the second (not very high) tier and screamed like a girl. Earsplitting screams at that. Even Jaffa Cakes couldn’t calm him, so we went home and sat in doors willing the rain to stop and feeding the children consolation prize food as a treat.

Seven weeks of moaning, grumbling and epic fails. No wonder Mini cut her hair off, at least it stopped the boredom for a few hours. Although I’d preferred a different kind of distraction, obviously.

I’m starting to see why Mum’s buy games consoles. At least if they are preoccupied pressing a button or dancing in front of a screen, they can’t moan about being hungry, bored, or start shouting how they think you suck. 

Make me Prime Minister and my top priority will be a week off at the end of each month. Much more manageable if you ask me than seven all at once.

What do you think? Will you be tearful next week, or will you be dancing a silent, but guilty, jig? 

Is It Just Me: Who Thinks the Catholic Church Needs to Butt Out?

I need to write this post, if you’re reading and you’re a blogger you’ll know what I mean when I say it’s been knocking about in my drafts folder and I just had to tidy it and hit post. If you’re not a blogger, this may be a contentious issue. 

It’s not “anti” religion, or anti Catholic followers- Elder’s lot are Catholic, and so are mine, so no, I am all for something which means something to someone on a personal level. I wouldn’t class myself as religious (apart from when I put my bank card in after paying rent and pray there will be cash in the account), but if it works then that’s great.

What I do find laughable is the Catholic Big Wigs, the guys who run the show, count the collections and pass out the communion wafers. Those guys take the pee.


 I’m referring, of course, to Sunday, when Catholic Priests in Scotland read out a pre-prepared speech to their flock, denouncing the idea of Homosexual marriage. 

I understand, totally, the concept that, according to the Bible Homosexuality was wrong. BUT the Bible also bans shaving, eating Lobster, and associating with women during their, ahem, periods. 

Whether you are Catholic or not, I doubt you pay much heed to those though.

I am for Homosexual unions- the thing is, if someone has been lucky enough to find that elusive, much talked about “one”, then who cares if they are a man and woman, a man and a man or a woman and a woman. I’m all for the idea of love in whichever way it manifests itself. 

I also wholeheartedly respect that for whatever reason religious or otherwise, not everyone agrees with me. That’s cool. 
However, in the case of Catholic Priests, well, frankly I think they have a bloody cheek.

This is a bunch who, not all but quite a few amongst the high ranks from Priests upwards engaged in, or hid that they knew others engaged in, child sex abuse. Which may or may not be in the Bible (I’m not that knowing on it) as a very wrong and unacceptable thing to engage in, but it should be. 

Every few months you hear of another Priest, either still preaching or retired, being arrested over this most despicable of act. You then find out that rather than being the only person in authority who knew, that the trial goes far wider and many in authority within the church knew too, and did nothing. 

What right, then, do these Priests have to comment on Homosexuality- an act that is between two consenting adults which is completely within the laws of the land? 

Here’s a thought for Catholic Priests everywhere- get your own house (of God) in order first before commenting on the sexual fancies of others?

What do you think? Should the Catholic Church keep schtum, or do you agree with them?

Mini and the Scissors

Before

There I was, thinking this blog was going to move away from talking about the Bratlings as, frankly, now they are toilet trained, sleeping through the night and happy to amuse themselves, they make for pretty lacklustre blog fodder, when Mini had to pull a stroke of epic proportions.

As many will know from watching her grow up from a precocious 2 year old to a Diva-ish 5, Mini has long hair. She always has had long hair, and she’s been to a hair dressers only a few times. Yes, the length of her hair is annoying and takes ages to plait before school, not to mention to comb the two times she got nits last year, but its worth it.

Well, it was.



You know how Mini loves to sort her own clothes and likes to think of herself as a stylish little thing? Well, it seems she was bored of merely choosing her clothes, shoes and bags.

She thought she’d have a pop at her hair too.

I sent her to bed at 8 last night- she likes watching The Simpsons, then Big Bang Theory, and as the holidays are (thankfully) drawing to a close, she wont be able to stay up late much longer. Its not even dark until 10pm now so she often sits upstairs looking at books and playing Barbies. Which is fine, as she sleeps later.

All was normal up there, and I went to bed myself at about 11pm.

I got up at 7.30 as the neighbours are having their roof tiles replaced and their builders decided to start at 6.30, so I gave up trying to sleep and got dressed. Elder wanted to pop out to collect a parcel and grab some bits for our trip to Kent tomorrow and the kids sleep over at his eldest sister’s house, so he got the Bratlings dressed. He then asked me to chuck a hair brush down for Mini.

I then heard him getting increasingly concerned as he brushed. So I asked- what’s going on after he had asked her “what have you done to your hair Mini?”

I imagined that she may have gotten crumpet in it- she often gets chocolate spread or cheese in it in the morning as she chews her breakfast whilst half asleep and her hairs so long it kind of ends up going in too. Or perhaps she’d put some more glitter in like last week.

Oh no, nothing so boring as that.

She had, it seems, used a pair of kids “supposedly too feeble to cut butter” scissors from her art box to chop off whole chunks of hair from around her ears.

She was, we learned later, trying to copy Jessie J’s hairdo. She loves Jessie J, and I was always more inclined to allow this love than that of Justin Bieber’s musical earworms. Now I wish I hadn’t.

She looked ridiculous, all the really long hair was still at the back, reaching to her bottom, but the sides and some of the top was varied in length from to her shoulder to the top of her ears.

And after….


I cried.

I know, how ridiculous, cutting your hair is nothing, it’ll grow back. But I have spent hours brushing that hair, and I loved how shiny and long it was.

Elder, sensing impending Mummy melt down, decided to usher her to the car and off to the hairdresser, who did the best she could.

The thing is, she finds the whole thing hilarious.  She cried earlier and I asked if that was due to her showing me where she hid the hair (thank God she did as it was in a big furry ball shoved down the gap between her bed and table, I’d have thought it was a mouse and died) and wishing she still had long hair.
No, it was because she had upset everyone.

She loves her new “graduated bob” (ahem), says its not as heavy, doesn’t annoy her neck and she doesn’t feel as hot. She doesn’t regret it at all, she just wishes she’d let me take her to the hair dresser instead.

Her other comment was, whilst laughing her backside off, that it wasn’t her who cut it, it was a witch, who needed her hair for a spell. The bloody lunatic child.

The only thing she is slightly peeved over is that she may not get picked as an angel in the nativity, but a part from a this minor irritation, she is very happy with the outcome and fails to see that what she did was naughty. As she added before, its her hair, she should do what she likes with it- imagine what she’ll be like at 14 if this is what she is like at 5!

So, the days of long hair are over. For a year anyway at least. 

Is It Just Me: Who Thinks Music Isn’t as Good as in the 90s?

*This post stems from a very late night/early morning conversation between myself and Elder. It may of been born from tiredness, or too much Cider. Just thought I should point that out*

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net





As long time readers and friendlies will know, I love music, I live in a music loving household, and music played quite a big part in Elder and I getting together. We’re both part of a great Facebook site (although I’m more of a quiet observer) called The Yeah, Yeah Yeah, were the idea is that anything, musically, goes (except Bieber of course).


This sparked a debate between Elder and I as he was choosing tracks via Youtube to post to the site for other’s to enjoy, he’d run out of ideas so I made some suggestions of my own.



Now, I like music from any era, but perhaps my favorite era is the 90s. Its when I was old enough to gain a taste in music, it was also a decade of some really amazing artists, songs, albums and genres. At the start you had the Seattle grunge sound, then britpop and indie, moving into angry women rock like Alanis Morisette, and closing on UK Garage blasted out from the Dreamteam on Radio One.

However, with the chimes singing out the year 2000, it’s like the whole thing turned to crap. 

That, if you ask me, is the real “Millennium Bug”.

I voiced this “no good music since the year 2000” opinion to a, frankly skeptical, Elder, who voiced his opinion that there must be something. So, it became annoying for us self confessed music nerds to try and figure out who has been around in the last 12 years (and not before, we’re talking brand spankers bands and singers here) who could compete with the talent that came before.

If anyone asks me who was great in the 60s, 70s, 80s or 90s, it takes me two seconds to reel off a list as long as my right arm and then some.

Try and do the same with the 2000-s (I’m not saying noughties, Elder told me off last night), and I’m hard pressed to find a handful.

Yes, before you shout, we have had Amy Winehouse, who I miss dreadfully, and the amazing sound that was Back to Black. Perhaps, grudgingly, you can count Lily Allen, for her quirky, clever and funny lyrics. I also like Jamie T, but then even he had one good album and I’m yet to hear anything since which has been as great.

That, that list there, was all either of us could come up with in hours of thinking. 

I know many will say Adele deserves an honorable mention, but that’s mostly for doing well over the pond, and if that’s a way of gaining entry to “best of the last decade” lists, then on that basis we’d have to include “the band I’m legally not allowed to mention that was off that singing show and who sound a bit like Wand Erection”, and The Wanted. I find Adele a great singer, granted, but her songs are miserable. 
At least in the 90s, when you had a break up/miserable song act, like REM or Radiohead, you had Blur and Supergrass to cheer you up again. Hurrah!

The problem I find is that too many acts now stem from the fodder that is talent shows. These mass market, 2 year lifespan acts and the shows they are launched from are, in many a music lover’s opinion, killing good acts and stopping them being signed.

I for one hope that, with the vast drop in ratings that The X Factor received, and the lack of interest in any of the Voices finalists and their cancelled tour, perhaps these shows are finally going to be relegated to TV history.

Maybe then we can all listen to lots of great acts again.

Spammers and the Residents of Anonoville

Don’t worry, this isn’t a howling at the moon episode in blogging response post, oh no.

Its in response to something I’ve been thinking about as a blogger for quite some time now, for different reasons.

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Comments to most bloggers are our life blood. I love them, I’m not going to lie, it is nice n my view to write something, have someone read it, and then take the time to write a little (or huge) comment. I know of bloggers, whose blogs I adore, who don’t have comments on their blogs by choice. That’s cool, but I think with the direction my blog seems to have gone in I’d feel strange not inviting people to comment their point of view.

The issue is with who comments. The anonymous ones.



These have two strands. The spam comment leavers who write something completely unconnected to the post just to leave a link, and the anon comment leavers who deliberately hide who they are (in name at least, we all remember the tracking down of one persistent offender).

First up the spammers. 

I used to get perhaps 2 or 3 max of these per month, now it’s more like 2 or 3 per day. Its bloody annoying, as I moderate my comments and always have done- not to be mean but just due to the odd spam comment. This Sunday, I joined in with Silent Sunday, and logged in to see I had 15 messages. Which is pretty normal for Silent Sundays. Anyhow, I get into my inbox and its 15 Anonymous spam comments, all in foreign (I’m not even going to tell you what they translated as). 

Its nothing world shattering but it’s still bloody annoying- after all, I have never posted a spam comment in all the years I’ve been blogging. You’d think they’d have given up by now.

The next strand are often annoying for a different reason.

Most times, when someone remains anonymous, its to be a troll, or rude, or to just tell you they don’t agree. Now, I don’t have a problem with anyone not sharing my opinion, I’m a social commentator, I’m not God (or Buddha or any other variations. I wouldn’t want that job in a million years). Therefore, if you don’t agree, and are just popping in to say so, put your name on it.

What do you think a blogger will do if you don’t agree with them? I’m not going to be putting turds through your letterbox. Alot of the time when someone leaves me a “I don’t agree” response, especially those who do leave a name, its been well thought out, and they’ve made a great point.

However, the ones who leave a right hissy fit fuelled, acres long response, including telling me I am (as one from this morning did) a “vacuous, avaricious, sausage headed bully”, well those a) make me chuckle, b) make me realise that disgusted of Anonoville didn’t read the post before getting on their high horse and c) make me go look up the word avaricious. By the way, the word avaricious just baffled me by its use as, once I did look it up it meant I was jealous of greediness. Which, on the post it responded to just made me laugh more.

I also get some pretty nasty messages (no I don’t consider the above nasty, just stupid). Such as having another resident of Anonoville take me to pieces over my post to promote the disappearance of Tia Sharp. It came after her body was found, and yes, she was in her Gran’s house, and yes, I’m sure there were certain authorities who now look a bit crap. 

I however, wrote the post purely because someone from the campaign asked for Mum Bloggers to write and bring more attention to the case at a time when resources were not being diverted from the Olympics. None of us knew what had, ultimately happened to the poor child. 

Idiot of Anonoville (who couldn’t spell, and made barely any sense, such was their shaking of fist while they obviously typed one handed and spat in derision over the keyboard) decided I was a disgrace for writing the post, that the poor girl was found dead (fail to see how that was down to my post), they really let me have it. For what? For using my little webslice to try and help find a girl whom, at the time, we were all led to believe may have been snatched? I did think about removing the post but why should I? 

In my view, if you are going to leave any form of comment, especially those that question me as a human being (yes, really), you should have the guts to stand by them by leaving your name? I have disagreed with other bloggers (yeah, we know that, right?) BUT I can safely say that I put my name to it so they can always pull me up on it. I’m accountable for my thoughts. 
To leave a comment, obnoxious or not, you should do the same.

The thing is, I’m starting to see why my fellow chums of blogging have ditched the comment feed altogether. Not every anonoville comment upsets me, most make me laugh and then laugh again as I tell Elder and he laughs too. 

So, here’s a vote for you all. 

Should I just ban anon comments unless and only unless the comment is one which would possibly leave the writer open to being found online writing about their own experience in private?

OR

Should I just keep the really funny ones and do a “Best of Anonoville” link up post every few months?

I leave it up to you guys!

Is It Just Me: Who Wishes Teen Girls Would Leave More to the Imagination?

I was up late this morning, unusual for me but I all but kicked Elder out of bed for his turn with The Bratlings.  I actually think they are more evil in the mornings, having had hours of sleep to recharge, so its nice to sleep in. (Actually, more often than not I can’t get back to sleep so end up reading a book).

However, I like to watch Lorraine of a morning and so tuned in to the ITV+1 channel to catch the end.

Today, they were chatting about the latest trend for scarily skimpy shorts. These go beyond (literally) the realm of hot pants that skim the bottom but although they look naughty don’t actually show anything other than leg. No, these show bottom too. Alot of bottom. 

The discussion was whether teens should be allowed to wear these things. I can’t bear to call them clothing as I’ve got bigger hankies. And socks. And belts.


It made me think of two such incidents when I happened to be in first Maidenhead and then Slough with the Bratlings.

On Sunday, Elder hopped in the Mini and went off to Kent to visit friends, so he dropped us in the High Street on the way. The Brats love the local Coffee Shop, so in we popped for a drink and a muffin whilst we waited  for the supermarket to open.

In walked two typical specimens of Maidenhead 16 year old girl. Tiny vest top- check. Converse boots or Uggs- check. Jaunty scarf with Union Jack-check. Acres of golden hued skinniness on show and lots of long hair held back by designer sunnies- check, check and check. 

Both had “Maidenhead standard” uniform denim shorts on. My niece has some, and most teens here seem to wear nothing but these or their leather versions come sun, wind or snow. Which is fine.

Except one of them turned round to be served at the till. Revealing that her shorts flashed at least an inch and a half of butt cheek. Whilst I will admit, this was not a flabby bum cheek, neither I, nor the poor elderly gentleman sitting near us who looked on the verge of a coronary wanted to see this at 10.50am of a Sunday morning. 

Littlest saw too, and began snorting muffin out of his nose- “I can see her bum Mummy, look, look, its her bum!” Mini, taking up the theme, continued “look Mummy, she forgot her skirt! Silly girl. You forgot your skirt, I can see your knickers!”. 

The girl went bight red, and on collecting her coffee got the hell out of there. 

Cut to Slough and again, we spotted arse wobbling along in front of us. Now I say wobbling because the wearer of these knicker shorts was the same size as me. I am not ashamed to say I have “Mummy arse”. I, however keep mine firmly under enough material so I don’t inflict it on others.

This lady had no such worries. She wasn’t even slightly concerned at the looks of horror and mirth being directed at her or her ample cheeks. 

Really? Really?

Do we need that much information? I have no want or desire to become a gynaecologist, but seriously, these don’t exactly spare blushes. And imagine the waxing involved?!

Now, I’m no prude, and there’s nothing wrong with flashing a bit of leg, but does flashing this much flesh not leave girls open to all sorts? And what must young guys think- surely to them a girl who flashes her backside is fair game right? 

The problem is, girls are attacked all the time, and sadly, if they happened to be drunk at the time they are seen as “having asked for it”. So what happens if they wear these things and are attacked? Its a hard line really.

I know, being a Mum to a daughter, I wouldn’t let her out in these at any age. I would want her to respect herself more than that to flash herself in public. But apparently there are girls as young as 12 and 13 buying these things and that just horrifies me that parents allow this to go on. 

Kids should be kids, so to allow them to follow the looks of Rhianna, a grown woman who chooses to sexualise herself on stage and who, at the age she is knows what that means is irresponsible. 

Do you let your kids out in these? What would you think if your teen wanted to wear them?


Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net