Monthly Archives: September 2012

Letter to SC

To my darling boy

I never knew how much you could love someone until I had you.

I loved you from the moment I found out I was expecting you.

People might think I’m crazy but I talked to you all the time about how much fun we would have and how much I loved you and was looking forward to holding you in my arms.

The first thing I remember after you were born was holding you in my arms thinking how tiny you were and how clumsy I felt. You were so precious and fragile and new, my hands just felt too big and awkward.

But most of all I felt so much love for you, and thanked the angels for sending me the most beautiful gift.

You have grown into an amazing little boy – I am so proud of you.

I’m sorry that you will be an only child. I didn’t want that for you, it’s just the way life has panned out.

And that’s the first lesson I can teach you. That life, sometimes isn’t fair and we don’t always get what we want or think we deserve. You just have to learn to deal with it.

You can either whinge, moan and mope about it, in which case you’ll always be looking back.

Or you can accept the disappointment. It will hurt for a while, but by accepting it you can move on and carry on living and look forward to more wonderful things that await you.

And that’s the second thing I can teach you – never look back, especially with regret or anger. If you do then you are preventing yourself from growing as a person. Sometimes bad things happen in our lives and we can choose to continue to let past hurts affect the present or learn to forgive and leave the past where it belongs as it has no place in the present.

We cannot change the past, we can only learn from mistakes made by ourselves or forgive the actions of others to free ourselves from their chains in order to become happier within ourselves.

Part of the job description of being a parent is guiding you through the path to adulthood by teaching you right from wrong and giving you a good set of morals by which to live. It’s a tricky path and there will be lots of trials and tribulations, but always remember I am there for you. You can tell me anything that’s worrying you and I won’t ever judge. If you stop talking to me, then I can’t help. We are walking the path together and all you have to do is hold my hand and I will help you through.

We’re a team – it’s you and me kiddo.

The third thing I can teach you is to always be yourself. There’s no point in copying the behaviour or actions of others, it does you no favours in the long run. Don’t follow the herd. Always be your own person, know your own mind and be strong. We are all unique individuals with our own special character, talents and faults. We need to be aware of our own talents and faults in equal measure as no one is perfect. If you can acknowledge your own faults, you can help minimise them.

Let people see the real you, and not what you think they want to see. Your true friends will take you for who you are, warts and all, and be there in your time of need. Those who do not, cannot really be said to be friends at all.

The fourth thing I can teach you is to always strive to do your best. Ambition, determination and a will to succeed are not bad assets to have. Nothing in life is ever handed to you on a plate or for free. The only way you can get what you want is by working your hardest for it.

Sometimes ambition, determination and a will to succeed are still not enough. You can give it your all and you might still not get anywhere. This is not a failure though. It is only a failure if you don’t acknowledge that a project has reached its natural conclusion. If you can accept this, then again we learn lessons and we don’t make the same mistakes again.

I will support and encourage you in whatever you want to do. I’m not the type of parent who is going to force my interests on you and make you do something you don’t want to do. We have to find our own things that we enjoy – hobby and work wise. So, if you want to be an astronaut and explore the farthest corner of the galaxy, then you go out there and make it happen 😉

We all have dreams. Dreams are what keep us going in our darkest hours. But sometimes dreams are just that, dreams. I’m not saying you should let go of them, just realise that some dreams won’t come true, however hard you wish 😉 And that’s probably one of the hardest things to learn, but even though a dream won’t come true doesn’t mean you should stop imagining.

And that’s the fifth thing I can teach you. Never let go of your imagination. Without imagination we are nothing. As children we have the most amazing ability to imagine wonderful things and as we grow older convention somehow stifles this creativity. Sometimes though a little imagination goes a long way to solving problems.

The last thing I can teach you is to try to show compassion and kindness to all. It won’t solve all the worlds problems, but by showing empathy it shows you care. Always remember to do as you would be done by.

I love you so much my darling boy, and am trying to be the best mummy I can for you. I’m learning too 😉

xxxx

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Darling, I have something to tell you!

Imagine the scene. Husband comes home from a long day at the office. He’s had to endure the commute home from hell, standing like a sardine in a tin can, whilst some drunk next to him breathes alcoholic fumes over him alongside the body odour of the carriage.

Wife pours him a long drink and drapes her arms around him from behind.

Then she utters those words “Darling! I’ve got something to tell you!”

What!

Then his world comes crumbling down as she pours out the truth that she has run up £50,000 debt on several credit cards, paying for various handbags, shoes and designer clothes, that of course have only been worn once and never seen the light of day again.

Being bored at home all day she started playing bingo online, and got quite addicted that’s where the housekeeping money has gone – thousands of pounds frittered away on some hope that she might win the next big jackpot.

The utility bills are piling up, as she never actually got round to popping them on to direct debit.

There is barely enough to cover food and last week she had to try several cards as they kept getting rejected.

But … (as she quivers her lip, flutters her eyelashes and goes all gaga on him) she still loves him and hopes he can forgive her. She tried to sort things out by selling her jewellery to some internet firm – they grabbed the antique items and gave her a pittance – when she realised her mistake and tried to get them to return it, they offered that she could buy them back at face value, the true price that is, not the price they’d paid her. She tried to get a loan, but with no job she was unsuccessful…

Poor bloke!

What’s he to do?

Reckon he has 2 choices:

Option 1

Pat her on the head, say “there, there, it’s OK darling, there’s nothing at all to worry your pretty little head about. Just keep spending money like there’s no tomorrow and everything will work out!”

or

Option 2

Turn round and tell her what a stupid idiot she’s been, and that she’s lucky they haven’t yet been forced out of their house, and he won’t be suing for divorce … yet. then tell her it’s got to stop – the spending. He asks for all the credit cards, bills, etc. Removes her laptop, i-phone and any access to the internet so she can’t fritter away money on bingo. Cuts up her credit cards and says that he will be in charge of the budget and will want account for everything she spends, itemized to the letter. Puts the bills in a pile and sorts out top priority ones first. Phones up credit card companies and arranges ways to repay, ditto the utility bills. He then takes her firmly by the shoulders and says that until the debt is paid off it’s going to be tough, painful and they will have to cut their cloth accordingly – screw keeping up with the Joneses. It’s time to get the house in shape before they can even think about ways to increase their ‘affluence’.

Now, could somebody please tell me what the difference is between the scenario above and trying to sort out the national debt?

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Top 5 Retro Kids TV Programmes

When you become a parent you get to enjoy the thrill of children’s television – all over again!

But of course, it’s never quite the same as you remember, is it? Times change, technology changes and with it the storyboard of children’s television.

CBeebies is very big in my house. Not that it’s on constantly as an alternative babysitter. No, SC has certain programmes he likes and I let him watch at certain times, i.e., after he’s dressed for school until its time to leave, and then after tea as a wind down.

They have a wide selection of fab programmes (some not so fab in my humble opinion), great presenters and, a distinct advantage over their Channel 5 morning rivals “Milkshake”, no adverts! especially those which are wholly inappropriate to be shown in a schedule aimed at pre-school children, but that’s another point.

But what of the shows from my past?

The things I enjoyed and can still remember watching. According to my mother I used to cry when Andy Pandy and Rupert Bear finished (the original not the animated version with the dodgy theme tune that’s on these days)

Thankfully, some bright sparks have put some of the programmes of yesteryear on to DVD so we can all step back into our childhood again. I have bought several of my favourites, and SC loves them as well.

The other thing I noticed after buying complete sets of them, is that not many of the programmes had more than 15 episodes made. That’s 3 weeks worth of programmes! And yet, you never noticed when you were small.

So here is my Top 5 Retro Kids TV programmes, in reverse order:

5. BOD – Voiced by the unforgettable John le Mesurier – a, quite frankly, rather bizarre programme, about a boy called Bod. Very basic animation, bright colours, and an animal band led by Alberto the Frog, and you always had to guess which flavour milkshake he would have. Quirky and very 70s!

4. The Wombles – yes of Wimbledon Common. Love the Wombles, they practically invented recycling – way before any think tank came into operation! Can you name them all? I’ll give you a week and then edit this post and put them in. I have a very old video, yes video, with about 5 episodes on. SC loves them, and he also has the complete set of Womble books – they are totally brilliant 😉

3. The Mr Men – the original version with Arthur Lowe narrating, none of this “in your face” rubbish programme that’s on now – the characters in the new show look nothing like the characters in the books! Surely that would have been a “must-have”, as it’s very confusing if you see Mr Grumpy on the new programme where he’s green, when in actual fact in the book he’s blue? Or are they just assuming that children don’t read books these days? Despite 40-odd books being written, and yes we have them all, only 28 episodes were made. SC’s particular favourites are Mr Chatterbox, Mr Grumpy and of course, Mr Tickle. I think I’m going to have to buy a replacement DVD, we’ve watched them so many times the DVD is wearing and the picture sticks and jumps!

2. Camberwick Green – and Trumpton and Chigley – Brian Cant was to children’s television in the 70s what Justin Fletcher is nowadays. SC loves these too. Chigley for the steam train, Trumpton for the fire engine and Camberwick Green for Mr Crockett the car repair man! All these programmes interweave, and characters from one series appearing in another. Watching again, in my adulthood, I find the costumes a bit on the bizarre side. On one hand the men at the factory and some others are wearing 70s garb, whereas Doctor Mop and Windy Miller are wearing clothes that wouldn’t look out-of-place in the early 20th century. The women too, most of them wearing long, almost Victorian gowns apart from the baker’s wife who’s very 60s in appearance. Costumes aside, watching again, you still find yourself whistling for the wind, or making the noise of the windmill, and having the tunes stuck in your head all day long!

But my number 1, all-time favourite has to be Bagpuss. That old cloth cat, baggy and a bit loose at the seams, along with Professor Yaffle, Madeline the doll, Gabriel the toad and of course, the mice on the mice organ. A total classic, that never loses its appeal. Favourite episode? Well, who could forget the chocolate biscuit factory one? I think everyone does.

These are my top 5, what would your’s be?

And don’t forget, let me know if you can remember all the Wombles names

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The Perfect Man!

Tall, dark, handsome?

Well according to new research there is a definitive list of 30 qualities to determine whether a man be perfect or not.

Before we get on to the list, the research was conducted by Austin Reed, the clothing store and they surveyed 2000 women to determine what qualities make up the perfect man.

That’s right – just 2000 women! Really?

And from this teeny percentage of half the world’s population we are supposed to believe that the qualities those surveyed have come up with represent those nearly all of us desire in a man?

Um? OK, so let’s go through the list, shall we?

  1. 6ft tall – at least in my case, since when I wear heels I am 6ft! For me a good height would be at least 6ft 2.
  2. Muscly, toned and athletic – OK there’s muscly and muscly. My preference is that well toned muscle is good, Arnie sized pecks are not. So someone who looks after their body, but not to the extreme.
  3. Brown eyes – mmm, considering my previous disasters have all been with blue-eyed boys, maybe I’ll give Mr Brown-Eyes a shot next time, but it’s not a deal-breaker or even that important 😉
  4. Short, dark hair – short hair, a definite, but does colour really matter? I’m not convinced on this one – after all there’s something about Damien Lewis!
  5. Smart dress sense – I think this depends on the individual woman involved. After all a smart dress sense to a woman who is into the eco-ethnic-tribal lifestyle could mean dreadlocks, hemp trousers and sandals, not a city suit!
  6. Stylish – Are you seriously trying to tell me that smart dress sense and stylish are 2 separate categories? Surely, they come under the same heading and therefore cannot possibly be separated. After all, if a man, or woman is stylish then they automatically tend to have a smart dress sense. It goes without saying!
  7. A beer or lager drinker – is this really a woman’s top criteria in Mr Perfect. Certainly not mine. I don’t drink, but that doesn’t mean to say my Mr Perfect has to be a teetotaler. My Mr Perfect can drink what he likes as long as he (a) doesn’t think all his answers lie at the bottom of a pint glass, (b) doesn’t think that life is about getting plastered every weekend and (c) really doesn’t mind that I don’t drink!
  8. A non-smoker – but what if the woman smokes? Surely that is a bit hypocritical to say that Mr Perfect cannot partake in the odd ciggie but it’s OK for Fag-Ash Lil? A definite yes for me though. I don’t smoke for the record. Filthy, disgusting habit. Glad pubs are now non-smoking as I hated smelling like an ashtray after being in one – in the dim distant past when I had a so-called social life 😉
  9. Wears smart jeans, shirt and a v-necked jumper – Really, again is this an absolute separate point – doesn’t this just tag under stylish with smart dress sense. But if we must discuss this point, I’m all for the David Duchovny, all-American, preppy college boy look.
  10. Gets ready in 17 minutes – considering it takes most females all day to get ready isn’t this a bit hypocritical? Actually, once I’m showered (I love long, hot showers, it’s my thinking space, but you know that already 😉 ) I can pretty much get dressed, hair & make-up within 15 minutes!
  11. Earns around £48k a year!!!!!
  12. Wants a family – pretty sure this is one for every female out there – who doesn’t want a man who wants a family. We all have dreams of playing happy families, 2.4 children, with a father who actually interacts with them and gets up in the middle of the night (occasionally) and at the weekend pays his children attention rather than just watching the BBC news channel all day with his head in the paper, trying to look all high-brow! (Seriously, how often does the news change?)
  13. Loves shopping – again, really? I think I’d be slightly worried if my Mr Perfect liked shopping as much, or more than I did.
  14. Eats meat – obviously going for the caveman characteristic here. Like brown hair does it really matter. I’m a vegetarian – I really don’t like meat. I have no problems cooking it, just don’t want to eat it. So for me, it’s not really a big ask on my criteria for Mr Perfect. My criteria would be, as long as he doesn’t mind me being a vegetarian he can eat what he likes! Previous disasters always harped on about me not eating meat. Get over it!!!
  15. Watches soaps – who were these women that were surveyed. Really? You seriously want Mr Perfect to be into soaps? So you can have a deep and meaningful conversation about whether Phill Mitchell and Terry Duckworth should get together and rule the underworld? I don’t watch soaps. used to, don’t have time any more. I’d rather Mr Perfect be able to hold a conversation about interesting things, thank you, not blather on about mindless drivel.
  16. Clean shaven – having been out with someone who had a beard (and no, it wasn’t me) it’s not really a big issue.
  17. Smooth-chested – not high up on my list, wouldn’t even make it! I would rather have someone kind and thoughtful.
  18. Enjoys watching football – just football or does this criteria apply to any sport? But again, is it really a deal-breaker?  No! If Mr Perfect enjoys sport fine, if not, equally fine. Just as long as he doesn’t mind me watching Formula 1!
  19. Drives an Audi – Seriously?
  20. Educated to degree level – slightly elitist here aren’t we? Just because someone hasn’t been to uni, does not make them less than perfect. And what about flipping it over to women. Does this mean that men would prefer a woman to be degree educated, or not? Surely, and I’m going all stereotypical now so apologies in advance, blonde-haired, left-school-at-sixteen-without-any-gcses hairdresser would have about as much in common with Eton and Cambridge educated high-flying city lawyer as bum-crack-showing builder with Oxford-educated heart specialist female. Extremes I know, and probably a point not very well made, but surely finding Mr Perfect is about finding the person you fit best with, like a jigsaw puzzle? I’m not saying that extreme examples wouldn’t get on, but could they seriously be ‘perfect’?
  21. Earns more than you – definite plus – been out with someone who didn’t, and he did not like it one jot, always tried to make himself look better at the expense of me! There is a word to describe him, but I’m far too polite to use it 😉
  22. Jokes around and has a laugh – mm, there’s joking and joking. Having a sense of humour and can make me smile, would probably have been a better criteria. After all who wants Mr Perfect if their definition of joking around and having a laugh involves them behaving like a 16 year old … at 40???
  23. Sensitive when you are upset – who wouldn’t want this, along with being kind and thoughtful?
  24. Tells you he loves you only when he means it – see point above – I’m an old cynic I know, maybe if I found Mr Perfect for me I’d change my mind, but past experience has taught me otherwise!
  25. Admits it when he looks at other women – and these women seriously want us to believe that they would be OK with this and not get teary and jealous and say “you don’t love me any more!”. I’m happy for a bloke to say he likes the look of another woman, as long as he doesn’t mind when the boot is on the other foot and I see a bloke who looks rather attractive. After all, there’s no harm in window shopping as long as you don’t open your purse!!
  26. Holds a driving licence – I’d want to know why if he didn’t. After all who doesn’t these days? But surely, if we’re talking Mr Perfect it should be a pilots licence?
  27. Can swim – average IQ of the women surveyed please?
  28. Can ride a bike – see above, unless you mean a motorbike!
  29. Can change a tyre – handy. Even handier would be to be on hand to put the jack under the care and be able to unscrew the wheel nuts, they’re always on so tight, once they’re done I can change the tyre myself 🙂
  30. Rings his mother regularly – as long as he doesn’t mind if I ring mine 😉

So there you have it, 30 points to tell what to look for in order to find Mr Perfect!

I’m off to have a little think and come back with what I want in Mr Perfect 😉 I reckon I can get it into a Top 10!

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Thursday Thought

… from an ancient text.

Well, OK, the King James Standard circa 17th century.

Now, I don’t normally take the little sheet of paper from the church service, but a couple of  passages from the 2 readings on Sunday struck me as summing up the world we live in today:

Mark (8.31-38) – “Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation…”

James (3) – “For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. …. You want something and do not have it, so you commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it, so you engage in disputes and conflicts.”

Religion causes a lot of problems. I’m not saying one is right above all others, each should be at liberty to have their own faith. At the heart of each faith though is “peace and goodwill” to all, isn’t it?

But it just got me thinking that even now centuries after this was written (supposedly) we live in a world where faith, goodness and loyalty is seen as wrong and violence, destruction and selfishness seen as the good and the answer to everything.

How can we change the world we live in?

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Out of the Mouths of Babes – World Peace

“Mummy, I’ve got something to tell you.

All the trouble in the world is caused by grown-ups. It’s not the children’s fault.

The grown-ups should learn to listen and then there wouldn’t be so much trouble!”

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Playing the ‘Glad Game’

Pollyanna is one of my favourite movies – I must confess I have never read the book, I hope you can still get it, because I would like too.

The most memorable part of the movie is when she describes the ‘glad game’. Essentially you just have to think of a reason to be glad about anything that comes your way.

Effectively, replacing a negative thought with a positive one. After all, apparently from positive thoughts come positive energy which makes us feel better about the world and ourselves and ultimately helps us see new possibilities and opportunities.

It doesn’t mean that you should ignore sadness or problems, but just by putting a positive spin on things, for want of a better expression, life doesn’t seem as gloomy.

By thinking of a reason to be glad about something every day must surely be another way of becoming happier with ourselves?

There are, according to film, 862 ‘happy texts’ in the bible. So God must want us to be thankful, “if he took the trouble to write it that many times”?

I’m glad it’s today because the sun is shining and I’m taking myself off to the science museum 😉

What are you glad about?

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