28 April 2012
Changes are afoot, these changes could be huge and could impact us greatly.
The husband wants to take a risk. I don't. I want security and the knowledge that the mortgage will be paid every month with money to spare. We are bickering about what to do. He says I'm negative. I don't see much to be positive about though.
I have my dreams but I'm also realistic. Maybe I'm too serious. Maybe I'm too boring. Maybe life is too short and one day I will look back and regret not trying something new. Maybe in ten years time I will look back and think 'Why the hell did we do that?'
I have a headache thinking about it.
Crystal Ball anyone?
23 April 2012
Sheesh, this took some thinking about to pinpoint my very first gig as I went gig crazy in the early nineties. I am certain though it was EMF at the University of East Anglia and I have a sneaking suspicion they were supported by Carter USM. I definitely saw them play together at some point but am not completely sure it was my first gig. I am annoyed I never kept all of the ticket stubs I collected through my teenage years. Anyway it must have been 1991 and I have clear memories of being very chuffed to get served at the bar - Scrumpy Jack anyone?
EMF - Unbelievable
I've never been to a gig where I've left thinking 'what a complete pile of tosh' but seeing Oasis play in Boston USA at the Orpheum Theater in 1995 was a bit of a letdown as Liam was a complete tit and stormed off stage. Saying that, I prefer Noel anyway.
Oasis - Champagne Supernova
Simply because of who they are it has to be The Killers at Hyde Park in 2011. It was the first time I had seen them - hopefully not the last - and they were supported by one of my other favourite bands, James, who I saw in the good old nineties too. The weather was crap, they should have played for longer and the volume should have been louder but I don't care as I'm biased.
The Killers - For Reasons Unknown
I'm in shock that my last gig - I'm not including festivals - was last July when I dragged my husband to Cornwall for a mini break purely so I could see Brandon Flowers at the Eden Sessions. This was a great venue for getting a good eyeful of the delectable Mr. Flowers - my husband just about put up with it.
Brandon Flowers - Jilted Lovers & Broken Hearts
This isn't an easy part to complete as I've seen so many of my favourite artists and when it says Dream Gig I feel it should be someone I am desperate to see or am gutted to have missed. I'm going to trawl through my CDs to see if there is someone blatantly obvious I never got to see or have yet to see. Back in a mo...........
.....going back to the nineties again then I would have liked to have seen Pulp. I don't think they are my Dream Gig though just someone I missed catching live.
Pulp - Babies
So, do you have a Dream Gig? Someone will probably say an artist now that would be mine!
I'm going to tag Mum of One and Cat's Yellow Days as I know the pair of them have enjoyed some pretty fine live music!
20 April 2012
I have just been sitting here quietly, whilst Alban chills in the front room with a DVD - wasn't he doing that in a past post?! Bad parent! - thinking about this past week. I had panics about returning to work. I had panics about changing Alban's preschool setting this late in the academic year. I had panics about abandoning Edith to Breakfast Club. The usual things to get my knickers in a twist about. I know it's only been a week but already I have found some pros and cons to going back to work. Here they are:
I feel like a person again, not just a mother and a housekeeper. I have valued the time so much as a SAHM but I needed a change.
I can put my past training to good use. I am a trained primary school teacher and am now working as a TA so I feel I am actually contributing my skills and knowledge again.
I love being a TA. I knew I would love it and it feels great being back in a primary school but with the weight of teaching stress removed from my shoulders.
Alban is shattered. He crashed out for two hours on Tuesday afternoon but I know he will soon get used to the earlier starts and new routine. We are only getting up 40 minutes earlier and I have shifted his bedtime - the lazy toad.
People tootling along at 40mph along the derestricted roads. GET OUT OF MY WAY, I AM TRYING TO GET TO WORK ON TIME. I hate being late.
Stressing out about the drop off at preschool / drop off at Breakfast Club / drive to school. The nursery car park is a complete pig and is far too small for the morning rush so we get there 10 minutes early and wait in the car. Sad I know. But, I hate being late.
Stressing out about parking at work. The car park is very tight and the spaces are all angled back on themselves so you have to do some snifty manoeuvres to reverse in in order to get out again. Things like this make me worry. I seriously need to calm down a bit.
The upcoming realisation that I will be working more hours throughout the week and taking home less money than I did teaching for 2 days a week.
Mmmmmmmm. Errrrrrrrr. Erm. Nope. I can't think of anything.
Oh, here's one - when Edith and Alban are feeling under the weather and I'll have to make the decision to send them to school or have to take a day off work. That's when I'll start to feel guilty either way.
How have you felt if you are back at work after being a SAHM?
SAHMs - do you want to go back to work?
Working mums - do you regret your decisions?
I would love to hear your comments.
x x x
15 April 2012
Brrrr. It was a cold one but I'm back having survived a freezing cold night in a tent camping at the Barge Inn, Honeystreet, Wiltshire.
The reason for this craziness was the official first music festival of the year, One Fest. Yes! That means summer is just around the corner. There was no sign of it anywhere yesterday with parka coats, boots and woolly hats as the sensible festival wear of choice.
One Fest is a small gathering in a field near Marlborough so if you want to sink a few ciders travel arrangements are best planned in advance. We had booked ourselves on a coach from the Barge Inn to the festival site for £10 return, and following an initial panic that they hadn't booked us in we were off. Upon arrival the site did look very small with everything in one enclosed space. As well as the main stage there was the BBC Intoducing... Tent, Bar Tent - very important, coffee vans, a few food outlets and some stalls. It was a safe environment for children with limited opportunities to get lost but I was glad I had made this an adult only trip as there wasn't much there to keep them occupied.
To warm up, and stop my belly from grumbling, we headed to a food tent, The Hungry Elephant(?), for my first ever cup of Chai - amazing stuff - and a plate of Chilli Bean Nachos.
We chilled some more in the Hungry Elephant tent then as a fantastic end to the night went for a Hoedown in the music tent. This warmed us up perfectly for the coach ride back to the coldest night I have ever spent in a tent!
13 April 2012
Find more at Mammasaurus.
I'm out on a rare day off at OneFest so I will catch up with your SatCaps tomorrow.
x x x
Oh For Goodness/Gods/F@#k Sake - delete according to mood and who is in earshot. This is probably my top muttering and I have just said it one minute ago whilst trying to highlight some text on here. FYI I said the last choice. *gasp*
Where the hell is it? Book bag, drink bottle, potato peeler...whatever I need at that very moment and it isn't there.
Hang on a minute Usually to the children when they need me to do something. Sometimes, for variety, it is "Hang on a sec"!
Come on Most of time directed to Alban who is one of life's dawdlers. He always needs a minutes head start on everyone else. I forget to give him a minutes head start so am repeatedly getting at the poor chap with that one.
Mummy just needs to finish this 'work' Yes, that's right, mummy 'works' on her computer at home sometimes. (I think we all know what I mean by work don't we?! Shhhh, don't tell my children what I'm really up to.)
Find it yourself Mummy where's my coat? Where's my rabbit? Where's my Octonaut toy? Where are my marbles? Ha!
If you want something done do it yourself One for the husband! Usually after asking for the umpteenth time for a household job to be done. You know what I'm on about.
How many times have I said....? Moan, moan, moan.
Am I the only person who knows how to wash up around here? It seems I am. No one else seems to understand how the taps, washing up sponge and Fairy Liquid combo work. Clearly there is a magic fairy who swishes the dirty plates back into the cupboard.
The laundry bag is right there Yes, right there. Look. Next to your pile of clothes you have just removed from yourself.
Jeez, I have just realised that I am a seriously grumpy cow. I need to find some more positive things to say myself!
I'm going to tag Bod for Tea, Life, As I Know It & Motherventing to see what words of wisdom they spout.
And as for you, dear reader, tell me, what is your most common daily muttering?
x x x
12 April 2012
So, it's that time of year again. Time to open up the loft hatch and be attacked by cobwebs for the yearly game of Where are the bloody sleeping bags?! Time to air out the tent and check for any damage from when it was put away rather too quickly on a damp morning at the end of last years camping. Time to pack the cans of cider and pull out the festival hat. Yes folks, the music festival season is officially upon us. And it kicks off just up the road from me, near Marlborough, with the festival that is.....One Fest. And I'm going. Huzzah!
Here's the lineup:
It's only a one day festival but myself and my friend have decided to get into the true festival spirit and we will be camping at the Barge Inn pub in Honeystreet - the original site of the Honeyfest festival, as it was previously known. Apparently this a favoured pub for Druids and mystical types so I may return as a barefoot UFO seeking hippy. Who knows?!
Anyway, I am so looking forward to 24 hours or so away from home. I know it is only going to be 1c overnight in the tent so I will be packing duvets and blankets - or I'll just drink myself into a deep sleep. But it is supposedly meant to be dry with a little peek of sunshine on Saturday so hopefully no need for a pesky umbrella. Whatever the weather I am going to have a day and night of intellectual adult conversation - well it may go a bit silly once a few ciders have gone down- live music and chilling out. I may even get myself a 'mystic massage'.
I will let you know how it all went when I get back!
x x x
11 April 2012
Unfortunately not all babies have this opportunity to thrive. In Africa a new mum cannot simply pop to Sainsbury's to pick up some formula, they might not have the access to the safe, clean, sterilised equipment that I had, their own breast milk could be passing on the HIV virus and the medical staff are not just a quick phone call or ten minute drive away.
This makes me feel fortunate. I am glad to live in a country where I have been able to ensure my babies thrive. Yes, I am known to moan and vent about things in my life - who doesn't?! - but today I am stopping and thinking about the things I am grateful for. Mostly these two...
Michelle and the Thrive Campaign are asking us to help:
Sign up to ONE.org
If you have your own blog write a post and link up here
Tweet about the campaign #LetsThrive
Thanks for reading.
x x x
9 April 2012
The in laws arrived on Wednesday and moments like that always present a bucketful of pros and cons. Top of the pro list is it means we have babysitters. I have
occasionally regularly grumbled on Twitter about the frustrations of having no family nearby to help out so the husband and I have been able to leave the house on our own. The father in law (FIL) has helped the husband put up a fence and make huge advances in the battle of the garden. The mother in law (MIL) has fixed holes in Alban's trousers and beaten me to the pile of washing up after each meal time. All good so far. HOWEVER.........
A big issue I have with seeing the in laws is that it is always at our house. My FIL made the decision to leave England and buy a
wreck barn to renovate in the middle of nowhere in France. Actually, wreck is a pretty good choice of word. So we cannot go and see them anymore for a break and change of scenery. They always come to us. I have a big issue with space and we have a severe lack of it in our house. It doesn't take long until we are all bumping into each other, desperate for the toilet at the same time, telling the children different things and needing our own little bit of breathing space. Eventually I want to SCREAM.
The husband and I thought we had come up with a reasonable solution for space - extend the house at the back with a simple kitchen/diner extension and turn the existing box of a kitchen into a downstairs loo and small utility. This would also mean our current lounge could be used as an extra room - a spare room for visitors which would give everybody a bit more space.
Now, according to the Government, we are wealthy. (This judgement was discussed in this post from Mutterings of a Fool who summed up my feelings well) My husband earns enough to be taxed at a higher rate and we will take a huge cut in Child Benefits next year. I'm returning to work next week so we thought our income situation may put us in a good position to borrow some extra with our current mortgage to improve our living space and make life easier at home. The reality was different. I rang the Halifax who made an appointment for us knowing full well their mortgage advisor was not at work that day (?!) so we ended up being told, rather patronisingly over the phone, that we could not borrow any money. Not once were we asked about our income but were judged on the value of our house and our current mortgage - amazingly Halifax valued the house over the phone (again ?!) 20k less than the local estate agents. So, the Government see us as wealthy, the banks see us as a financial risk. Head. Wall. Bang.
Anyway, back to the in laws. The Halifax meeting made me even more frustrated with our space issues and then I started feeling resentful towards the in laws that they buggered off to the France and put all the pressure on us and our house to get together as a family. I am banging my head against the wall as there is no way for us to get some space added to our house. I am banging my head against the wall as I am fed up with being classed as well off due to my husband's income, regardless of the fact I currently earn nothing and when I return to work will be earning a low salary. I am banging my head against the wall with frustration at friends earning more as a joint income, losing nothing and being able to borrow big mortgages to buy big houses.
I am worried about how resentful and rarrggghhhhhh I have become.
Maybe my FIL is onto something leaving the country?