Best. Moon. Ever.

Walking home from the station around 7.30 tonight, there was something low in the sky glowing huge and orange and bright.

It was the best moon ever! 🙂

Wish I could have gotten a picture to do it justice, but neither my phone nor my camera (after I got home) captured anything but a fuzzy blur.  Sometimes, I guess, you just have to be there.

I got the girls out of bed to show them, but by this time it was no longer orange, nor were clouds diffusing its glow everywhere.  It was still unnaturally huge, but not akin to a Great Pumpkin as it had been before.

Did anyone else see it?  I’m 41 years old, but this was the best moon I’ve ever seen…

The full set for Millie


Look at that!  Just look at that!

We’ve been working towards this for a while, but it’s the first time we’ve seen a full set of A’s on Millie’s school report.

Well done, my clever little girl – someone’s going to get a great big hug when I get home tonight. 🙂

Worth pointing out, too, that this didn’t come easy to Millie, and we’re at least as proud of the three A’s for Effort as we are of those for Attainment. 🙂

Are you going soft…??

People occasionally ask me, “Stu, what’s happened to the political edge of your blog?” (no, honestly, they do).  “You used to be quite the angry young man – what’s happened?

Well, I only ever wrote about politics with the hope of changing the bad parts and making things better.

But at the moment there only seem to be bad parts.  I despair of the wholesale and irreversible damage being done to this country in the name of “economic necessity” and of “debt repayment”.  Anyone who follows me on Facebook will be aware of that (and just as aware, I hope, of the many organisations rallying and fighting this).

I’m not venting anger here because, frankly, it feels pointless.

Under the last government, there was at least the hope that they cared – that they weren’t trying to cause misery, poverty and insecurity for millions of ordinary people.

That government made mistakes, absolutely, but I could convince myself that they were basically on the side of ordinary people; that they weren’t actively trying to destroy so many of the things that once made this country great purely for the benefit of their rich friends.

This government is doing precisely that, and camouflaging it all with lies of “debt repayment” and “economic necessity”.


When things go smoothly

Posts on here about mornings usually deal with the chaotic times when things go wrong – sometimes with hilarious consequences, sometimes not.

Our mornings aren’t always like that, so I thought I’d try to redress the balance and show how good the girls can be and how easy things sometimes are.

This morning at about seven, two sleepy girls staggered into my room, climbed into bed with me and fell back to sleep.  We eventually got up slightly later than usual, went downstairs, let the chickens out, had some breakfast, tidied up, and got dressed.

Chicken in the garden
You want me to go where??

Amber put the chicken away in record time (two of them were already inside, out of the cold) and was jolly proud of herself for doing so.

Millie put a CD on in her room and did some dancing.  Amber watched Spanish Barbie again.  Millie then decided to learn a bit of Spanish in preparation for our holiday, looking up some words and the numbers 1-10 on the tablet, writing them all down on a piece of paper to learn later.

I had a shower, got dressed, put the girls’ hair into pony tails, and we all left for school, loaded down with bags – not only was it violin lesson day for Millie, but there was a cake sale on and both girls were carrying boxes of delicious rice krispie cakes.

Nobody had a benny, nobody shouted; we were all cool like little Fonzies. 😀

Barbie Ban?

I caught Amber watching Barbie videos again on the computer this morning.  In Spanish.

The girls are usually allowed some computer time before school (because I’m washing up/in the shower/getting dressed).  Millie, if she uses it at all, will play games (e.g., Harry Potter), but more often you’ll find her dancing and singing in her bedroom, eschewing the computer altogether.

Amber, on the other hand, will sit down, type “Barbie” into YouTube and watch any old toss that it turns up.  Which is slightly worrying.

goth BarbieAnd the final straw was catching her watching Barbie videos in Spanish.

Now, since we’re going to Spain (or, more precisely, Ibiza) on holiday in August I tried to make the best of this and talk about learning a bit of Spanish ready for when we go there, but Amber wasn’t interested.  So, I think I’m going to have to look into blocking “Barbie” searches on YouTube.

Don’t get me wrong, I think YouTube is a fabulous resource for kids (and adults), but its recommendations aren’t very adventurous – especially when your tastes are as conservative as Amber’s.

Search on YouTube for “Barbie”, then watch nothing but Barbie and you’ll be recommended…yep, more Barbie.

I really don’t want my children to view Barbie as a role model, so I think the time has come to, ahem, direct Amber’s viewing somewhat, by at least giving her some alternatives.  She might not like them at first but I hope she’ll thank me later…

Now, does anyone have any suggestions for blocking specific searches on YouTube?

Adding swear words at random to stop myself from getting too cross and shouting at someone on the phone

Angry man on phone

I’m still trying to get my parcel from Yodel.  I have a horrible cold.  It’s snowing.

None of these things is making my life easier or more enjoyable.

To keep morale up I am reduced to mentally editing the parcel delivery company’s website.  Whenever reading anything on Yodel’s ironically titled Help pages I’m randomly inserting swear words.

What if I have missed my f***ing delivery?

I have received a s****y Yodel card with a f***ing parcel reference number on it.

Can my b*****d parcel be left with a  f***ing neighbour or in a safe place at my  f***ing property?

Can I collect my  f***ing parcel from your  s****y Service Centre?

What  b*****d identification do I need to pick up my  s****y f***ing parcel?

Well, it makes me feel a bit better…