Sunday, 27 May 2018

Liverpool Did Not Win

I am not looking forward to breaking the result to bear tomorrow morning.  Nor am I impressed with Ramos' tackle as someone who has dislocated four shoulders.  Moving on...

Today has been lovely and quiet.  I'm spending some thinking time.  Anyone who has a child in High School will know about expense.  I will need to keep a second car on the road to get bear there and back, bear is getting nearer a teenage appetite and the school costs are painful.

To be honest, most schools are strict about uniform and expensive with it.  The lovely lady at the newsagents must have spent around £150 kitting her son out for the local school a few years ago.  However now we are looking at blazers - £54 a time!  It's the going rate for most schools.  Then there is the school tie, school sweater, sports kit with a wide span of equipment which must not only be of the school design but also in the House colours.  You know the drill.  It's not plain white t-shirt and plain black shorts anymore.  It's fancy shirt, logo'ed shorts and socks in the right colour along with two types of trainers and football boots. 

The school have also said that they are in favour of extra curricular activities, and taking part is important.  Bear is hanging out for piano lessons with school.   I am unconvinced as the amount of warfare I've had over piano practice is far over my limit.  Bear has mentioned the clarinet.  I have mentioned £150 per term.  Negotiations continue but piano practice is being used as leverage.

There is also the issue of the residential in the third week of September, at £170.  Bear doesn't want to go.  I can't afford to take to drink.  And don't forget the enclosed form to make a monthly donation. 

This week is going to be a thinking week.  I need to start bringing in a decent income.  I may consider affiliate marketing, which is apparently something blogs can do to make money.  I'm hesitant, because I consider the people reading this my friends and I don't want to make money from friends.   If I do go down that sort of path I will be completely transparent.  You never need to pay for the equivalent of dropping in for a coffee.  I am holding off on the idea of chasing affiliate marketing because the advice and goodwill from the people who read this blog is worth more than rubies.  Whatever happens, I need to pull myself up by my bootstraps because it is expensive when a child goes to a good school, and it is completely worth it. 

So far I have signed up to which is a site that randomly picks postcodes and if your postcode is chosen then you could win a prize.  It's free to use and is funded by adverts.  You could win a tenner or maybe even £100.  I'm not affiliated.  It looks like a small place that does its best.  I've looked into a few sites that do competitions.  I'm looking at things that can work around running bear to and from school.  I also click on the Hunger Site daily, as it costs nothing but supports those in a far worse position than me. 

I know that bear and DH and I are all really lucky and things could be a lot worse.  I suppose I should feel all stressed and anxious about the demands of school.  But what I am feeling is more like, challenge accepted. 

Friday, 25 May 2018

How They All Rise Up

We have lilac in our garden.  The botanically inclined may also spot a lot of weeds.  It's on my list.  It reminds me of Terry Pratchett's Night Watch which is a cracking good story.

There have been no six legged sightings in the kitchen today, but the weather has been miserably rainy and I believe ants don't go out much in the rain.

Today's fail was falling for a special offer.  If you have a nectar card and if you spend over £10 this week, and if you have registered the special offer then you get 8 times the points.  I don't really need anything but for some reason I ended up purchasing a quantity of yarn from Yarn Paradise.  Do not click on the link if you are tempted by weird yarn.  They are based in Turkey and ship all over the world but I order through eBay as the shipping is more reasonable.  The yarn has always been good quality, the service has been excellent and I wish I was getting sponsored for this.  To balance it, I also recommend subscribing to Marriner Yarns newsletter.  It's always lovely and cheery and they occasionally do free patterns and competitions.

Speaking of newsletters, apparently lots of authors have a newsletter and there are lots of articles encouraging authors to collect a mailing list.  I have no idea what I would put in one.  Mind you, I'm not sure I'm qualified as an author.  I just write stuff.  And speaking of that, the latest instalment of the White Hart is here.  Feel free to dip in. 

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Start Again Tomorrow

Today has included a poorly bear, a blocked toilet, continuing (although lessening) ants, a HUGE bundle of paperwork for bear's school next year and noticing brick efflorescence where the tiles and plaster came off from behind the cooker. 

It's okay to google.  It's just salts leaching out of bricks due to damp.  I have no idea what to do.  I'm starting off by trying to dry out my kitchen.  The kitchen, however, is getting regularly dampened by being sprayed with 50/50 white vinegar and water with cinnamon added.  

I'm starting again tomorrow.  

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Another Day, Another Challenge

I think I may have spotted where some ants are coming in.  I've sprayed the place with 50/50 water and white vinegar which has reduced the numbers from a town meeting to a few bewildered and six legged souls wandering around looking lost.  Tomorrow Tesco will deliver ant traps.  I have scoured the web and am also getting a variety of essential oils delivered plus some sonic deterrents.  It has been trying.

Bear has been very sick. His tummy is not happy and it's been grim.  No further details, but I'm sure all mums understand.  Apparently there is a sickness bug at school, and the 48 hour rule obviously hasn't helped.  He is currently flat out asleep at least an hour earlier than normal.  DH is out. 

I promised bear that I would listen out for him, and I think the monitor is still working, but I'm keeping all noise off so I shall sit here in the quiet and perhaps get some knitting done.  Tomorrow I'm back into the fray. 

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Crawling along

I have a phantom intolerance.  There is something out there that makes me very poorly.  I get headaches, violent pains in my ribs, sometimes throw up and I'm out of the game for a day or two.  I have no idea what it is.  Whatever it is, it's in Morrison's gluten free rice cakes, but not in the ones from Tesco.  When I can see better I shall compare ingredients, but I suspect it's in the 'flavourings'.  It crops up in the strangest places and I have had to learn by trial and error.  I can't have Thornton's chocolate liqueur either.

There is also ants in the kitchen.  I know what I'll be doing tomorrow - stripping down that kitchen.  It badly needs it anyway. 

Today has been a fail, so I'll leave you with this...

How do you know if an elephant has been in the fridge?  By the footprints in the butter.

Monday, 21 May 2018


There is an article on the BBC website about the risks of talking about your kids here.  It says that with a little digging, children will find that the answers to their security questions will already be all over social media. 

And it's true.  Anyone who follows this blog will know bear's date of birth.  They would find it fairly easy to find their first school, if they did a little digging, and anyone can have a good guess at their favourite football club.  It is probably easy to find the name of their first pet, and there are all sorts of bits and pieces about bear that you can pick up.  It might be harder to pick up my maiden name, as I don't think I have it anywhere on the net, but it may have slipped through.  I don't answer any of those 'your mother's maiden name plus your first pet is your secret name' thingies on Facebook which are phishing expeditions and should be ignored, but you never know. 

It has given me a reminder that I need to write about bear and his pals with respect.  There are some things a lad shouldn't have on the internet and I've tried to be careful.  It means I've had to keep some hilarious stories to myself, but that doesn't matter.  There are some things a boy should never see about himself on the internet.  As he gets older, I'll be dialling back the stories. 

I only saw this article today, but a few months ago we were discussing passwords with bear and I advised him to lie shamelessly on his security questions.  His first pet was not Timmy the Dog (for example) and I encouraged him to be as creative as he could when it came to my maiden name.  I keep a note of passwords I rarely use, but in an obscure way and just enough to jog my memory.  For example, if I had a password 'Goldilocks' then I would make a note that the hint was 'bear bear bear'.  None of my passwords are 'Goldilocks', to be clear, but you get the idea. 

Today, bear is doing fine.  There is still some lingering traces of the stress, but he's much better.  And he got 96% in the optional Science test he sat on Friday, so he's got that as a boost. 

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Bear and His Leg

Bear seems to have forgotten he has a syndrome.  He has been playing football in the street and then DH took him to a park with a climbing frame.  He's still out of sorts, but he has the start of a stonking cold, so I'm waiting to see what happens. 

We rented a film from Amazon that he wanted to see, The Greatest Showman, which I loved.  Bear disappeared from the room when kissy stuff happened.  Long may that continue. 

I have just found a few interesting lectures about the legal position of witches in medieval and early modern England, including one lecture from Yale.  I'm settling down with my knitting and I may be gone some time.