Tuesday, 23 December 2008

It's real!

Yes, it's true, they exist and they look just like a cross between an echidna and a platypus. I knew it, Scots are really Australians! Check out the annual Haggis Hunt. Have you found one yet?? *lol*

Tuesday, 16 December 2008


Riddle me this, Batman. Why does my (nearly) four-year old son's coat have a mobile phone pocket inside?

Friday, 12 December 2008

Who writes these things?

Keiran had his last day at preschool today, and being Christmas the ladies handed out presents to all the kiddies. It was so lovely of them and they picked out something from the Early Learning Centre called a Stretch Sphere for Keiran because he's very mathematically minded. I can't find a picture of it, but it's a plastic thing that stretches into a sphere and collapses to form a polygon. He loves it. As on all these educational toys, there's a bit of a guide for how to play with it, the sorts of things the toy helps to develop. Under 'Playing Tips' the manufacturers suggest the following:

Sphere today, polygon tomorrow.
It's a ball, then we drop it on the floor and it changes into a star. Let's play catch and watch it change shape as it goes.

Let's spin and twirl it and watch how it moves.

Great for:
  • Learning about polygons
  • Practicing saying 'geodesic globe'
  • Mesmerising movement
Now this is particularly useful. I can't think of all the times as a child I wanted to say 'geodesic globe' but just didn't know how to say it. Keiran will never be lost for words again now he's got a toy that will allow him to practice saying 'geodesic globe.' The opportunities for putting those two words together must be uncountable when you're four years old.

I did try saying to him 'what a lovely geodesic globe.' He was very sensible and replied 'no, it's a ball.' Clever lad. He loves the thing, no matter what he calls it. An excellent choice by the ladies at preschool, and really demonstrated to me they know my son well. Still, I need more practice typing 'geodesic globe.' I haven't been able to do it once without a mistake. Geodesxi.. no... geoded... no... deogeis.. no.. geography... no.. dang it. Well, at least I can say it!!

Monday, 1 December 2008

What it says on the tin.

So, I pop into my blog and check to see whether anyone's made any comments, and lo and behold, there's one! A single solitary comment that tells me I'm not talking to myself all the time... It's a bit silly how pleased I was to see a comment, but it is nice to know one isn't having a conversation all on one's own. Talking to yourself is a little bit mad, isn't it? Or maybe a sign of incalculable intelligence. After all, no-one will talk back if you talk to yourself. I suppose if someone disagreed with you while you were talking to yourself you might have to get yourself checked out by men in white coats though.What does it mean if you start referring to yourself in the third person? I'm thinking not a lot. It's just irritating for others unfortunate enough to be in hearing distance.

This weekend just gone being the last in November, I thought it was time we got the Christmas tree out. So now it's blinking merrily at the room and exuding an air of general contentment. The star and dove in the windows are staring out onto the street, striving to remind passersby of the real meaning of Christmas. Forget the santa and reindeer down the street, this is what it's all about!!

I had a good day today. I had a Claytons interview - the interview you have when you're not having an interview (look up Claytons drink on Google if you're totally lost. Although to be honest, if you've stayed with me this far you deserve a medal. A chocolate one.) It was for a temporary teaching job at a very good college and I'm really looking forward to it. It will get me out of the house and prevent me from going mad (I can hear you, you know. Stop shouting 'too late' you'll wake the kids) and stimulate the grey matter. Not to mention earn me a few pennies, although most of it will go to the childminder. Who happens to be my friend so I don't mind too much.

Are you getting the relevance of the title yet?

The Christmas tree is blinking at me more urgently now. I think it's saying I should go to bed. After all, it's late and I'm very tired. Does anthropomorphosising a Christmas tree make me crazy? Possibly, but being able to spell anthropomorphosising without a spellchecker should count in my favour...

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Must be the time of year....

There seem to be quite a lot of people I know with major issues to deal with at the moment. One dear friend is having something removed we hope won't be cancerous, another is dealing with the implications of an increased risk of developing cancer due to a family history. Someone's baby daughter is having significant facial surgery, another's relative has been burned and won't talk about it. There are friends struggling with their close relationships, others struggling with the lack of a close relationship...

My heart goes out to all my friends, no matter where they are. I thank all of them for the joy their friendship has brought me and I hope I can be a small support to them in difficult times.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Found out something today...

I am more stupid than people give me credit for.

My friend sent me a link to a puzzle site called Zahada. So I click on Begin and that's it. I reach one of those dead end pages on the internet that are (hopefully) now few and far between, the ones that have no link to any other page on them. You can only get away from them by clicking on the Back button. So anyway, I can't get any further. I have to email my friend and tell her I can't get any further what do I do? She tells me what to do and of course it's blindingly obvious, if you just read the page, but as I said, I'm more stupid than people give me credit for. I do what I'm supposed to do and I get to level 2. Which I can't figure out. At all. So I'm stuck again. I've read about people on the forum who have got to level 11 and my friend assures me it's a very addictive thing to get your grey matter working, so obviously someone can do these puzzles/riddles. But I just get intensely frustrated within about 5 seconds of not understanding it, my head explodes and I just want to throw something.

That's not my definition of fun.

So I've come to the conclusion that I'm more stupid than people give me credit for. I'm a bored housewife and my grey matter has moved out in search of a more stimulating environment.

Never mind. I've just opened a bottle of Italian Pinot Grigio and I think my white matter might well follow the grey soon...

I Never Could Get the Hang of Thursdays...

Actually, I'm not sure whether it's Thursdays I can't get the hang of or just the days that end in 'y'...

Anyway. I'm crawling the walls at the moment. Part of me wants to ignore the phone, delete the internet (yes, the whole thing) and crawl into bed with a large drink and go to sleep forever. Don' wan' talk ta nobody or nuffink. But then I think if I did that I'd probably feel worse so I'm putting up with the rest of the world at the moment. Maybe it's the weather. Or hormones. Boy, I hope I'm not pregnant. I think husband would hope I'm not pregnant too, because if I am he has to have the snip. End of story!

Really, Thursdays are not a good day....

And a bit later on in the day, I've had a stimulating conversation with my nearly-four-year-old. He made traffic lights out of the food on his plate - a cucumber, a banana and a red apple. I great a real sense of achievement when... the baby falls asleep. And if I hear the ABC song again I'm going to hit the roof. I really need to get out more...

Oh, that's cool! The random verse on my page says "But I will call on God, and the LORD will rescue me" (Ps 55:16). Okay, here goes.... GET ME OUTTA HERE!!!!!

*looking around...*

Nope. I can still here that blasted ABC song.

And as I sit here reading the news, I can here Keiran copying the dialogue from a movie he's watching. The funny thing is, he's in the toilet at the time... the next thing I hear ... Mu-um!! You need-a wipe my bum! my cup runneth over...

Speaking of which, have a look at this. Gives Bible illustrations a whole new dimension.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

An Eye for an Eye?

Don't let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good. Rom 12:21

I like this!! This pretty much sums up what I was saying on that Facebook group I was posting on about Baby P. If we react to such horrendous things in an equally horrendous way, we're not going to achieve a thing. The way the world wants to deal with things is not the way God wants to deal with things. The world's way doesn't work, so let's try a better way. Don't allow yourselves to be overwhelmed by the awful things that go on in the world. Go out and do something positive about it. Sponsor a child, by a goat or a well for a village, support Free Trade.. there's so much you can do to make a difference! Love your neighbour as yourself, regardless of what they've done. You're no better, but you do know better.... preceding verses make it clear, if you're not sure:

Rom 12:9-21
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary:
"If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Now, if someone would just take out my eye I'd be a lot more comfortable. Keiran scratched my eye this morning and four hours later it still hurts...

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Easy Like Sunday

Well, today on the way to church the car clunked out of gear no less than three times before I'd even left Woking, which left me feeling rather concerned, given the roads were very icey this morning and it was pouring with rain. Definitely time to go car shopping. A Volkswagon Passat, methinks. For the same money, as far as I can tell (which isn't very, as many people who know me can attest) we could get a BMW with three times the mileage but it's not worth it for the badge. A VW is a perfectly respectable car. Plus it's got built-in car seats which should give the kiddies much more room in the back without us having to buy an MPV...

In other news, I came across an article on the beeb by Clive James on swearing. This had particular resonance with me, because just recently I've been posting on a facebook discussion board about the inappropriateness of people's language (among other things to really get them worked up *lol*). The way these people were talking about other people they didn't even know was hugely offensive to me. I wouldn't say I'm a prude (maybe I am, feel free to disagree!) and I think swearing has its place (particularly when you're stuck behind a numpty doing 30 in a 60 zone but that's another blog entry...). I love comedians like Billy Connolly. Blue as an Antarctic fly and pants-wettingly funny, but anyway...

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Into the Lions' Den...

So, Keiran's been insisting I read him the story of Daniel and the lions every night for the last couple of weeks. We did a reading challenge from church (six readings over two weeks, get a sweetie at the end - now that's what I call motivation!) and of all the stories we read, this one was his favourite. We read some cool bible stories - David and Goliath, Jonah and the Big Fish (he quite liked that one too...), Noah and the Flood... but Daniel and the Lions was the best one. Every night we cuddle up together and he asks me for Daniel. So I started telling him the story from memory and I discovered something very obvious. Stories change the more often they're told. This is not a bad thing, because I found as I added bit into the story the meaning of it grew richer. I mean, Daniel and the lions was a bit of a childhood favourite for me, I must admit, and it's true that familiarity breeds... well... familiarity and you stop learning things from the passages. But as I told and retold the story of Daniel I learned something new.

I learned that if you keep faith with God He will keep faith with you.
I learned that even the seemingly impossible is possible with God.
I learned that the path to popularity doesn't lie in being true to your convictions.
I learned that prayer is the most powerful weapon in existence.

I'm pretty sure there are other things for me to learn from this story. More news as it comes in...

Idiot Alert!

Found this on the beeb:

Panda attacks man in Chinese zoo

A man has been attacked by a panda at a park in southern China, after he climbed into its enclosure hoping to cuddle the creature.

The 20-year-old student had ignored warning signs and scaled a two-metre (6.5ft) barrier to get into the pen.

State media say the panda bit him on his arms and legs, and he had to be rescued by the animal's keepers.

Speaking from his hospital bed, the injured man said the panda had looked so cute he had just wanted to hug it.

There's more if you want to read it here. Some people are just plain stoopid...

Coffee with my friend

I really love it when my friend texts me out of the blue and asks me if I want to go out, even if it's just for a coffee. It makes me feel like a grown-up! You must understand, I'm at home with three kids and sometimes I feel as though my identity as a thinking, participating adult is being slowly subsumed. I love my children passionately, but I need to use my cerebral cortex a bit more! I think that's why I've become involved in this Baby P thing on Facebook. I decided to stop posting there by the way. I figured when someone suggested I must be a child abuser I obviously wasn't getting my point across and I never would do. So instead I've joined another group which seems (so far) to be free of vigilantes. We'll see. Anyway, back to coffee.

I love my friend Lucy. We met at toddler group and somehow bonded instantly. She's a biology teacher and has a mad family too. She loves superheroes and takes pride in the fact she dresses like she's 17. She doesn't care what other people think of her! When I talk to her it's like looking in the mirror. She is how I might have been if I hadn't been so uptight. She is really intelligent (way smarter than me) and knows her own mind. She doesn't take rubbish from anyone and speaks her mind. She's got no respect for authority at all and personally I think she loves picking a fight. I'm completely the opposite. I don't mind debating with people, but I find it difficult to confront people in authority when I think they are wrong. I tend to put up with things and internalise them. Sometimes I have a rant at my husband but that's about it!

I have hugest respect for her, particularly at the moment. She's on a diet and is losing weight to improve her health. I'm fairly certain I wouldn't have the determination to stick at the diet she's on, but she's doing really well and she should be proud of herself. I do want her to hurry up and come rock-climbing with me again. I'm not getting my money's worth out of my membership!

Friday, 21 November 2008

On the nature of justice...

I know, that sounds too deep and meaningful for me, but I thought I would share some thoughts with you. Now, settle down and prepare to be serious for a minute.

On Facebook I've started posting a little bit to a group called In Loving Memory Of Little Angel Baby P...x. I've read an awful lot of hate on that page, contrary to the title of the group and in trying to address that, I've tried to... well I don't know what I've been trying to do. I've been posting from the heart, I guess, and I wanted to share it here and basically get your opinions, I suppose. So the following is a sort of amalgamation of posts I've made...

The law is made for a reason. What makes you qualified to decide it's a bad law and you can ignore it? What would happen if we all decided we would only obey the laws we agreed with?

I didn't say the law was perfect. I didn't say it shouldn't be changed. What I am saying is that until it *is* changed we need to work with it and inside it if we are to maintain a just society. These people should get what they deserve through the justice system, but sadly this case clearly highlights the system is flawed and inadequate. I hope that rational, reasoned argument in the public domain will lead to a change in the law and that's what I'm asking for. I object strongly to the vigilante mentality I perceive.

So you think just because one person (or three) breaks the law it's okay for you to as well? And you think it's okay to expose innocent children to who knows what by naming these people? If I didn't live in the real world, I would probably be much happier. As it is, I do live in the real world and I have to read about such appalling treatment of one human by another. And then I read comments like "Hang, draw and quarter them and feed their entrails to other child killers" and I realise it's not limited to 'out there'...

As I would die for [my children]. It is upsetting, but, and I say it again, we want a just and merciful society. That has to apply to *everyone*, even those we think don't deserve it. That's the hallmark of a truly just society.

What I have said, over and over again, is that in a just society the law, flawed as it is, must be upheld otherwise there is anarchy. I have said that you cannot have one law for people you deem worthy or deserving of it and another law for everyone else.


Well, since all the really cool people I know have blogs (well, just Marco, Dave and Nick but until I have another definition of cool it will have to do) I figured it was time I started my own. Not that I think there's anyone remotely interested in the drivel that is likely to slide out of my brain, through my fingers, onto the keyboard and onto the screen, of course, but it's better than harassing talk-back radio...

Okay, so on to other things.

I see on the beeb today that the government is going to fine you if you don't keep your ID card information up to date. Also, you actually have to pay to get an ID card, but there's no compulsion to have one. So riddle me this, Batman: who in their right mind is going to get an ID card if they don't have to?? I don't particularly have a problem with them, but they do seem redundant. We've already got passports and drivers licenses as proof of identity. Why do we need yet another?

And here's another question that's been plaguing me a bit today: will layers of baby food on clothing ever become the must-have fashion item of the season? Because honestly, I think I'm way ahead of the game here....