Archive for June, 2011


Good morning Gladys and how are we today?

Whats good about it? I’m still ere aint I?

That’s one reason to be happy Gladys, we all look forward to your cheerfull face every morning. Now shall we get you downstairs to breakfast. Bert is already there wondering whats keeping you so long.

Let go you don’t have to hold me I can walk on me own young man
I know you can young lady but I just wanted to show off escorting such a pretty lady down the hall.

Ok Ok enough of your banter where’s me stick gone?

Here it is now let me hold the door for you, there we go.
Steady as we go now, wait for me I’m not as young as I used to be you know


Ha ha that’s funny your not much older than my grandson and that’s another thing


Oh no what I have done this time Gladys?


Cant you cover them arms of yours up


I thought you liked my tats


I don’t care but me grandson is coming to visit me today and hes bringing the younguns. I don’t want you scaring the little babyies do you hear me Barry.


Yes Gladys I will make sure I don’t frighten the children is that ok?


Well you just make sure you don’t.


Right here we are climb aboard and I’ll strap you on. We’ll have you down stairs in a jiffy.


No I aint going on that thing I’ll walk down the stairs if you don’t mind I aint an invalid yet.


Gladys just you get on this chair you know as well as I do the doctor says your not to walk down the stairs not after that fall last month. Do we have to go through this everyday.


You knows how much I hates this thing Barry. You know if you were a real man you could pick me up an carry me down them stairs.


Now now Gladys you know I couldn’t do that even if I wanted to. Tell you what, if you get on this lovely chair I will change my shirt to one with long sleeves so you wont have to see my beautifully decorated arms and nor will anyone else.

It’ll be your fault when Mavis rips my shirt so she can see the pretty pictures.


That Mavis is mad, crazy mad, she talks to er self you know.


Gladys now stop that its not nice to call your friends names.


Shes not my friend just cos we both live in this ere home don’t make er my friend do it?


I guess not but, you still have to get on with the others living here. Right lets take the strap off and you can step down.


How did I get down ere already?


Gladys you was naggin so much you didn’t notice you were moving.Right now you can race me to the lounge Laura will be serving the coffee in a few minutes. Now you behave yourself while I go and get Freddy.


June 26, 2011 at 3:46 pm 1 comment


I have been having a discussion with a young man who is training to be a teacher.  I asked him what his opinion is and will he be striking on Thursday. He isn’t entirely sure, he has doubts. Some of the mothers in my office have been on tender hooks all week not knowing if they have to make child care arrangements for that day. It is already a nightmare trying to cover all the school holidays and inset days.

I understand that the teachers and other public sector workers are upset that they will have to work longer and have their pensions reduced. But do they think it is any better for the rest of us. I don’t know what the starting salary is for a trainee teacher but I bet it is more than I earn and I have had to build up to my current salary. I don’t get a pension only the state pension and I cannot afford to pay into a personal pension scheme at present. But having said that I know there are millions who earn even less than I do. I also know that I am one of the better paid employees in the company I work for. It still isn’t enough to cover my bills and I have never been able to afford to go on holiday.

I think rather than thinking about what they are losing and I know it is hard for anyone to lose something they already expect to earn. They should take a good long look around them.  They should look at the kids they are teaching. If the kids they teach are predominantly from families who are worse off than they themselves are then please don’t strike. If on the other hand the children are from predominantly better off families then they might feel entitled to strike.

I know all the people from the different unions who strike have their grievances but often they don’t look at the bigger picture. Maybe they don’t know how it feels to be on the breadline as it were. If they did then they would know about the sacrifices those of us with no money have to make in order to live from day to day, week to week, month to month. Those of us who have no money cannot afford to strike (even if we had a union) because we need our jobs, we cannot afford to risk the company we work for being so damaged that it cannot survive the current financial climate. Similarly do they think they are the only ones that will need to be catered for in the future.  Instead of moaning about cuts to their pension they should be grateful they have the prospect of having one.

I apologise if my opinions are offensive to any teachers or other public sector workers but this is just the opinion of one hard working single mum who doesn’t have the same privileges and doesn’t complain about not having them. I just get on with managing what I do have.

June 26, 2011 at 10:08 am 2 comments


A few minutes ago whilst blog browsing, you know how you follow a ling from one blog to another and then another until you find something that makes you think I want to keep coming back here but I have no idea how I got here. I used to do that all the time in my previous blogging life. This time around I have got it sussed. I keep my own blog open on one tag whilst browsing from a seperate tab. Then when I find a blog I want to return to I just copy the link straight onto my own blog hey presto problem solved.

Anyway I found this blog The junk Drawer. It is clear that the writer is on a similar wave length as me even if we choose to show it in a different way. So honey you are already on my blogroll (I hope you won’t mind). Anyway the most recent post mentions shopping vouchers which triggered a thought in this sieve they call a brain.

Yesterday I popped into a grocery store on my way home from work. It is near to my work place rather than my home but it’s conveniently close to the motorway junction …..very obliging of the planners who decided to put it there. It means that I don’t have to cut across town getting snarled up in the rush hour (it isn’t limited to just an hour) traffic to get to my local store.

I was only buying a few essentials like dinner for the three of us who are at home, some cat food and a storage box for my shoes…….new project (storage boxes for shoes according to colour). When I was paying the cashier she asked me if I knew about the price challenge ………ummm I have not been living in a bubble I have seen the adverts.  4 women sitting around a laptop coding in their receipts to see if they could have got their shopping cheaper anywhere else.

This afternoon I decided to give it a go …..of course I knew it would be the cheapest but not by much. The result was that yes my shopping was cheaper than the other stores but not by 10% so I can now print off a voucher to take with me to the same store along with my original receipt.

Ok that is fine except that my laptop at home is not hooked up to a printer. So I now have a pop up window with a voucher I cannot print but I don’t have the option to save it until I can print it!!!

Ah I have just had an idea I have saved the image to my pictures that way I might be able to email it to myself so that I can print it later…….the brain cells do work occasionally.

If this works I will do it every time I shop maybe all these vouchers will add up to something worth having this one was for a grand total of £0.83

June 25, 2011 at 9:38 pm 6 comments

Not Known

It is early Saturday morning, no particular reason to get up early. Outside the world is damp and grey, hadn’t they promised us dry and hot for today after the rain of the last couple of weeks!

Padding along the landing to the bathroom I am mulling over the important decision.

Shall I get up and make my breakfast or just go back to bed and snuggle under my duvet and sleep until the weather improves.

Exiting the bathroom I can see straight down the stairs to my front door. To my utter suprise there is a dark shape against the frosted glass of the upper half of the door. From where I am stood I can see that the shape is that of a young man.

It can’t be  Pug as he was in his room when I locked up last night. It doesn’t look like My baby. I am 99% certain it isn’t Statto who is at his Uni house for the big clean up before handing back the keys tomorrow. Besides he and his mates are going to Wimbledon for the tennis today. Conclusion it must be prodigal come to pick up his post……he now lives within cycling distance . But it is very early maybe he wanted to get his post before he goes to work.

Carefully I unlock the door and open it about 2″.

It is not Prodigal or any of my sons at all.

The bedraggled stranger stood in my doorway is unknown to me. He is probably in his early 20s. He has obviously been out in the rain for sometime and looks damp his face has a vacant look. There appear to be scratches and particles of greenery on his face……I didn’t look too closely.

I asked him who he was. I didn’t understand what he muttered. Having asked him a couple of times who he was. I told him that I didn’t know who was and please go away. He turned and staggered away.

Part of me felt sorry for him for being out in the cool wet morning. If I was being in good samaritan mode I would have made him come inside given him a towel and a cuppa and some toast. But I was in vulnerable single mother mode. Running upstairs to Pug’s room I looked out watching him, holding onto the fence pulling his socks up…….literally (I hadn’t looked at his feet I wonder if he had been wearing his socks when I found him?). Before staggering down the public footpath and disappearing around the corner.

I was relieved to see him go. I don’t like to assume but I could take an educated guess that he was either drunk or stoned or both. Good thing I had made sure the door was locked before I went to bed last night. There are times when I have relied on the boys to lock up and they have forgotten. I have no idea how long he had been there.

I had thought that he might have been my neighbour’s eldest son trying to get into the wrong house (I have only seen him once or twice in the year since his mother & step father had moved in). When my previous neighbour had lived there with her daughters there were often young men calling there (some knocked my door by mistake).

So here I am back in bed but not snuggled down …..wide awake ……I think I shall go and put the kettle on for my first brew of the day. If I put a wash on will the rain have cleared away by the time the first load is done?

Such important things I have to worry about on a Saturday morning!!

June 25, 2011 at 9:29 am Leave a comment


I was chatting to the office manager about what our teenagers would be doing after the end of this education year when the announcement was made.

I have to tell you that Kat died this morning, her dad just phoned to tell me.

The stunned silence in the room was tangible. We were all shocked even though we had been told less than 3 months ago that Kat was riddled with cancer she was dying. Two years ago Kat was on sick leave having treatment for breast cancer. Her treatment had been successful and she returned to work.

Over the months after her return to work we shared conversations about our cancers and treatments. First I was signed off  by the hospital having been in remission for 9 years. Kat was still having checks but less frequently.  At the start of this year Kat took time off from work with a bad back. She had just returned to work a few days before I was struck down with flu. When I returned to work after 2 weeks Kat was on sick leave again. A few weeks later we were told that the ‘slipped disc’ Kat was being treated for was actually cancer.

There was talk of raising money to send Kat and her teenage son on a holiday. Then there were rumours that the cancer was not as bad as had been thought. There had been no news filtering through for weeks.

I know I was not the only one to wipe tears from my eyes after hearing the news.

I do not cry very often. I did not cry when my dad died. I did not cry when I was diagnosed with cancer in 2001. I do not cry over the things other people cry about. No I cry over things like exceptional kindness. I cried when the soccer coach told me an anonymous donation had been made to pay for my son (Prodigal) to go on a trip to a soccer tournament in Newquay when he was 10. I cried with pride when Statto received an award for coming top in his year for his maths with his record of 100% in his exams and coursework. Books and films make me cry. I don’t cry over sad/bad news.

Yet here I was in the middle of the room wiping unexpected tears from my eyes. I felt choked, I hadn’t expected to feel like this. I hadn’t given a thought to how I would feel on hearing that Kat had passed away. I found it difficult to concentrate on my work.

Maybe the fact that Kat was merely 38 (the age I was when my cancer was diagnosed)had hit me harder than I had anticipated. Maybe it was because Kat was a single mother who had not had the easiest life.

Maybe I was just having a particularly sensitive day.

Today will go down in history as one of those rare times that I was seen with tears on my face.


R.I.P Kat

June 22, 2011 at 11:40 pm Leave a comment

Dinner time

Statto is home from Uni for a few weeks.

I had been home from work for a little while, having changed out of my office clothes, had my ritual visit to Pug’s room to chat about his day at college I was just making myself a cup of tea. Statto joined me in the kitchen, we discussed the evening meal of breaded chicken breasts, lightly spiced potato wedges and beans. He said he would cook dinner, see there are some advantages of having him home. He asked me if it would be one piece of chicken each.

Well thats obvious isn’t it as there are 4 of us and 6 pieces in the pack! I left him to it while I took my mug of tea with me for a sit down and finally get onto the student finance website so that he and Prodigal can get their money sorted for the coming year. Half an hour later my baby sits down with his plate of dinner.

Oh does that mean my dinner is ready?

there are only three plates!

Statto!! he says there are only 3 plates!

Oh! did you want some? I didn’t realise.


Hmmm Statto is back. I don’t usually eat processed food but as money is tight right now and I have an extra mouth to feed. It was a case of buy what will go the furthest for the least cost. To add insult to injury Statto had cooked and dished up a whole pack of wedges, where I would have made them last for two meals not just one. I bet my baby and Pug thought christmas had arrived early when they saw their plates.

June 22, 2011 at 1:43 am Leave a comment

Dream kitchen

It is funny how the mind works sometimes. Today I had the strangest of dreams. I have two sons living at home with me, my baby (he’s 15 and much taller than me) and Pug (19 and spends 95% of his time in his room). I have been having a pyjama day as it is wet and miserable out. Ok that’s an exaggeration but one minute it is sunny the next it is tipping it down. (sharp showers they are calling it). I had fallen asleep and was dreaming that I had gone into my kitchen which the last time I looked was piled with dirty plates and glasses. Wasn’t that why I got the dishwasher to end that?

Anyway I dreamt that I walked into my kitchen and found it not only tidy but clean………all those lectures and the nagging had finally paid off……hmmm must be after something!! But when I opened the wall cupboard where the crockery is kept I discovered my old brown tea pot on the top shelf. It doesn’t belong there, it lives on the shelf on the other wall. (I can’t remember when I last used it).

Turning around I see that the shelf and work top below it have both been cleared and cleaned. There is nothing there except bare wood. It takes me a little while to notice that the small cupboard that is usually next to the shelf has gone. The work top has been cut short and the tall fridge-freezer is now slotted in. Wow doesn’t my kitchen look so much bigger now I have more floor space. That corner of the kitchen has always been wasted space being difficult to utilise.

Next I realise that the kitchen cupboards are not the old cupboards anymore. But the wardrobe and tallboy from Pug’s bedroom. He had asked me a few days ago if he could get rid of some of the old cupboards in his room to make space so he could have his father’s drum kit in his room. What was even more amazing than the fact that he had cleaned and tidied my kitchen (without being told) but he had moved furniture downstairs on his own and done DIY without waking me and all in the space of less than an hour!!

Of course when I woke up my kitchen was still waiting for me to clean it as usual. But Pug had emptied the kitchen bin (even though it is my baby’s job to do that).

June 18, 2011 at 10:41 pm Leave a comment

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