Friday, September 28, 2007


And I thought 10.10lbs was big!

Russian mother has 'giant' baby

A Russian woman has given birth to a baby weighing 7.75kg (17.5lbs), more than twice the average newborn weight.

The "little" girl, Nadia, was delivered by Caesarean section at a hospital in the Altai region of Siberia, joining eight sisters and three brothers.

"We were all simply in shock," reports quoted Nadia's mother, Tatyana Barabanova, 43, as saying.

"What did the father say? He couldn't say a thing - he just stood there blinking," she said.

Fiona(who is only 16 remember) asked if the baby was born normally!
Just thinking about it is painful.

I am officially smegged off!
It is either the result of a reduction in carb intake( I have had a lack of appetite in the last few weeks and so I have put on weight-I eat high calorie rubbish when my appetite is low)with new healthy eating drive OR the fact that I went to buy some canvas boards for my art final piece and found the shop literally festooned with Christmas 'things'.
I really believe that the time for celebrating should begin at the beginning of December.I have been on holiday in Spain a number of times over the week that includes the 30 th of November and the decorations come out overnight and are there for the 1st of December. It is also very pretty to see nativities in the shop windows, something that doesn't happen too often here.
I know I am not a Christian but a month seems a pretty good length of time for a religious celebration.
Last year we celebrated Deepavali with a shrine and a gift to school, I think we will do it again this year.It will also be nice this year to find out about Hanukkah and celebrate that.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Today I accessed this through the BBC website and whilst I had never really thought about the way the German soldiers must have lived during the time they were working at Auschwitz, it is obvious to think they had off duty time and at times they must have experienced 'relative'normality(I can't think what other word would describe it....sorry) but I found these photographs very surreal.I found the funeral of the SS soldiers really strange as it contained such respect and reverence but yet people were being murdered and dying in dreadful conditions a matter of feet away.

Auschwitz through the lens of the SS: Photos of Nazi leadership at the camp

The cover of the photograph album.
The cover of the photograph album. —United States Holocaust Memorial Museum #34579

Such is the terrible inhumanity of man.

Beauty has a new favourite computer show, Sprouts Diner!
I now know all the words off by heart AND I have also been COMPELLED to 'pretend' answer the phone everytime the phone rings on the show and answer witha smile and ask what the customer wants.Luckily Beauty is as yet not aware of sarcasm, my greeting started to change after the 152nd time answering the phone and if I were doing this as a job I would long since have been sacked.How can you remain professional when your name is meant to be Bean and your father's name is Brussel Sprout and he runs a diner and looks and sounds like Einstein!
Here's Sprout's Diner

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Wow .....this video really brings back memories.


I really need to go into business saving waifs and strays!
Yesterday SnoWhite had been to visit to use the internet and left to go home on the 11pm bus. Well a few minutes later I received a phone call from SnoWhite saying she had passed a collapsed man on Pentwyn Drive but as she only saw him through the window of the bus she couldn't do anything, so she phoned me to do something!
Well I found him and couldn't wake him up so I phoned an ambulance BUT then he did wake up and said he was walking home and he didn't want an ambulance even though he appeared to be in a lot of pain. I think he had either been attacked or hurt himself in some way but he wouldn't admit it.Well........after the ambulance was canceled and he stumbled up the road and fell again, I told him I was going to give him a lift home as he wasn't safe. I now that sounds really dangerous but there seemed more chance of him hurling in the car than hurting me! Anyway, I managed to get him to his house and he stumbled on his merry way. I KNOW that if I hadn't given him a lift, forget any possible injuries he might have had, he would have stayed passed out on the pavement and probably died of hypothermia over night. This happened locally a few years ago when a lad went out with him mates and he had lost his key, they left him in the garden asleep and he died of hypothermia during the night and that was in the summer.It is something to do with the way the body cools down after drinking alcohol. I am a proper old woman because now I am worried and am wondering if the lad from last night is OK but what more can you do?

Fiona starts her Welsh A level course today.......up and out of bed by 7:30am is a minor miracle for Fiona,as a typical student(!) she usually gets up in time to worship the Holly Oak(sorry that is watch Hollyoaks!).

Beauty's speech is increasing daily and there are now many things she can say but none of them are really spontaneous speech. Yesterday she came to me saying CHOCOLATE, CHOCOLATE, CHOCOLATE so I took her to the shop which is all of 10 seconds walk from the house. Whilst we were walking back, Beauty clutching her chocolate buttons, she said to me,THAT'S REALLY GOOD, DELICIOUS and TROUBLELICOUS! She knows the meanings of words and phrases she has heard and can repeat and use them in the right situation but she can't construct her OWN sentences.
Even now her ability to natter constantly can be tiring but when she begins to ASK QUESTIONS constantly I shall look back with fondness to the glory days of just natter.I do not think that I will get away with GOOGLE IT with Beauty!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


I really don't think there is a problem being a speaks the daily blogger!
For instance
I do not have an IPOD BECAUSE I hate earphones as they give me a headache(well so does jazz and certain other music even without the earphones!).
I have a mobile phone BUT do not use it BECAUSE even the on/off buttons confuses me(I kid you not-ask my children!) and because if I have my mobile with me when I am out in the car then it is easier to get hold of me for my offspring to ask for lifts.
I try to use my car as little as possible, however not because I do not agree with the technology but mostly because other drivers PI** me off SO MUCH.Plus driving makes my joints ache!
I have a laptop BUT do not use it very often, not because I cannot use a computer(daily blogger remember!) but mostly because it was bought to do my dissertation for my masters and I just haven't gotten around to it yet!
I do not think that I am a true LUDDITE but I think that a lot of it is as I have grown older my brain finds the learning and re-learning of technology to use cameras, phones, computers etc just to taxing and when I go on holiday I do not blog for the week and it really does not bother me.My life at present is extremely tiring with one thing and another and I really do seem to enjoy easy-on-the-mind activities such as painting and drawing.That is why when I watch programs such as Outrageous Wasters I think WOW, NOW THAT WOULD MAKE A BRILLIANT HOLIDAY!
Or there is also the other theory that I am just way too lazy!

Monday, September 24, 2007


Kate Middleton
It seems I am a never ending source of amusement to my children!
Mostly for the things that I do not know.
On Saturday when I took Ariel to Exeter university I was introduced to the world of the current day manifestation of the Sloane but my appreciation of what this means seems to have progressed no further than the early 80's when Lady Diana Spencer was a Sloane. I remember Grace from Big Brother describing herself as a Sloane so my using the word Sloane is not a derogatory term but what they call themselves.They are the children of well off families who have gone to public schools and can usually be defined by the way that they dress and speak. The girls all seemed to be wearing pashminas, mini skirts,uggs and somehow seemed to generally look very similar,Fiona and Ariel did not look out of place.
The girls all seemed very nice, they reminded me of some of Ariel's and Belle's friends from school.

Today Fiona started at college and she had lectures in Maths,English and Geography and she was able to sort out her bus ticket and ID. Brilliant.
Fiona seemed to ejoy herself and on the way home she even managed to go shopping in town and buy herself some gloves and 2 pashminas.
If I hadn't been there when Fiona was born I would be convinced that the fairies swapped her.I took her to town yesterday to buy a winter coat but after 2 hours we were unsuccessful but if I had taken any of her sisters to town and they knew that I was prepared to buy them a coat, then by hook or by crook they would have found a coat.However we did find a coat that she liked but not in the right colour, it was a classic Zara mac and she wanted a black one. The next nearest Zara is in Birmingham so that is a no go, so Anastasia has promised to buy one in Vienna and post it. Problem solved.

Today my art class was cancelled because the teacher is ill, I was so disappointed. If it had been last Monday I would have been more than disappointed because it took me over an hour to get there withe the accident on the M4. The traffic was fine today and it only took me 15 minutes to get to Cross Keys.

Beauty and Wormtail(SnoWhite named it!) the rat are dancing to High School Musical clips on the computer!Scary.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Beauty can be so funny! This morning she awoke at 7:30am and being me I really didn't want to get up so early on a Sunday morning so I told her I would only get up if she told me her name. Well after 10 minutes of being tormented by her I gave in (without her telling me her name) and as I was getting out of bed she said HELLO, I AM BEAUTY. Little mutt,but she did as I asked her, she told me her name JUST not first, which I suppose was my fault really as I didn't make myself totally clear on the WHEN.What a clever girl.

Curiouser and curiouser!
On Friday night I bought a pair of everyday walking type shoes because my feet got slightly damp in the rain whilst out the other day whilst I was wearing my crocs. Fiona bought me a pair of crocs as a present last Christmas and I have worn them everyday since as they are so comfortable. Well I decided to buy some shoes so I could wear them with winter skirts and tights and not look a complete idiot.
Well now I have bruised big toes!
The shoes fit just fine BUT when I walk my toes touch the top of the inside of the shoes AND so now they are bruised and painful. What kind of idiot bruises their big toe nails? So now I am back to crocs until my feet are better.

Give me your waifs and strays!
Last night it was 2 westies! Whilst taking Runningman home from his Bingo I drove along Cyncoed Road and 2 of the sweetest little westies were running around in amongst the cars and nobody stopped to catch them so I stopped the car and called them. They came over straightaway, they were so sweet and affectionate, and I took them by the collars to the side of the road. As there was no address on their collars I knocked on the door of the nearest house but they weren't theirs but then the owner showed up. They had escaped from the owners garden so all was well that ended well.

I was quite surprised that nobody else stopped to try and catch them.

So Ariel is now in uni and settling in just fine.
Here are the photos as promised and girls if you want to see all the exciting pictures of her wardrobe, desk etc (which Fiona took!) they are on photobucket.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Saturday, September 22, 2007


That rat and I are going to have a serious falling out!
This morning at 2:30am, yep you heard that right! Ariel decided to return from a church dance which had been in Reading. Ariel went to her first dance for single adults who are over the age of 18 in the church and she went without a door key so I had to let her in when she got back. I was unceremoniously awoken at 2:30am by the phone and Ariel saying I'M AT THE BACKDOOR,LET ME IN! Well I did but remember my recent eco-drive has meant no lights on anywhere at night so when I went into the kitchen to open the door I had forgotten about the rat who was still on the when I switched on the light I was a just a little bit more than surprised.And there he was again this morning, still on the cooker and still surprising me!
I think for the sake of my nerves he is going to have to go.

I am being as quiet as possible, the animals are still asleep and quiet,so is Fiona(always good), and Beauty and Ariel. The reason for being quiet is that if I let Ariel sleep then the longer it takes before I have to drive down to Exeter to take her to university. I am quite happy for her to go, she has only been back a few days since Florida and she is driving me mad with her noise. It is constant, loud, irrelevant and I swear she IS somewhere on a scale when it comes to Tourettes. Ariel assures me that in classes she is quiet but I am not totally convinced as I have memories of her and her best friend being in trouble for constant chatter. It is so strange to have Ariel go to university as she is so young in lots of ways. I am convinced though it is to do with the school that she went to as a number of her friends are the same. When Ariel was 8 the Assisted places were being phased out and she got one of the last rising 8 places at the best private school in Wales and she has been there ever since. The children are all together from 4 to 18 year olds and in the same building which is an old country house approximately 5 minutes away from the house in Old St Mellons. At 8 she wore a boater, had plaits and still played with the Tellietubbies, and I feel that the school cushioned them in many ways from the rest of the world. She also went to church twice a week , every week whilst she was growing up and so had quite a different childhood from the other children locally. Whilst educationally sound I would say in lots of ways Ariel and some of her mates are a good 2 years behind the rest of her peers but don't get me wrong I do not think this is a bad thing.They are all sweet, very nice girls and having 6 girls, through the years I have come across some' not so nice girls'. The 'not so nice girls 'seem to be amongst a group they call THE ELITE( the popular crowd) in school,whose family either have a little bit of money or they just think they are better. Well this never seemed to happen in Ariel's school as it was a private school and the families were all paying for them to be there so they were all elite in their own way but you would never have thought it. They were just nice , genuine girls.
I think Ariel will cope very well with Uni as she has been going away with cadets for quite a few years now and always enjoys it, of course she is nervous but I know she will love it.
However, will I be able to cope with the quiet?
LET ME SEE..........



Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Friday, September 21, 2007


The last 2 days seem to have passed in a whirl of shopping for Ariel to start University and sorting out Fiona starting college, I shall be glad when Sunday arrives and it will all be over. I will be driving Ariel down to Exeter tomorrow so another quiet day really!
It is going to be quite the family affair really as Ariel already has one cousin who will be going into the second year of a degree at Exeter university and another cousin who is starting this year. A good friend of Ariel's from school is also going as well as a family friends daughter who worked with Ariel at IKEA, what a small world!
Beauty has a new rat!
We saw it in the Halloween Shop and we just had to have it, it is the size of a small cat and looks evil enough to eat your foot off. Of course Beauty loves it!

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Yesterday I took Fiona to 'WHAT' on Newport Road to buy Art supplies for her GCSE class and I never cease to be amazed at that shop. It is a CHEAP shop or POUND shop but it isn't necessarily the price of the purchases but the service that you receive that always impresses me. Yesterday, because the weather has turned, I decided that I needed to buy some blue plastic tarpaulins to put over the Rabbit hutch and the Guinea pig hutch in the garden. In WHAT there is a large DIY/car department so I thought that I would look there whilst Fiona was looking through the rest of the shop. Now in WHAT there are staff on the shop floor all the time filling shelves and on the DIY department it always seems to be the same person so when I couldn't find the Tarpaulins I went up to the guy putting out stock and I asked him and he knew straight away that they had sold out of the product. Not like ASDA or TESCO where they say OH I DON'T KNOW BUT I'LL CHECK FOR YOU! Larger stores locally(I don't know what the situation is across the rest of the UK) seem to employ the majority of their staff part-time as this is better financially for the employer.This means that in larger stores they really do not get enough time to know the stock that well as they are there so few hours and are constantly being moved from department to department.
Also in WHAT they do not use a bar code system, the till operators and the shelf fillers learn the prices of the products because of constant access to the product and this means that you ask them a question WHERE, HOW MUCH and they know the answer straight away. Here I am going to start to sound like a bit of a Luddite but I really feel that technology may increase productivity and profits but it definitely does not always make for better service.
WHAT may not have ALL SINGING. ALL DANCING SHELF DISPLAYS AND TECHNOLOGY but what they lack in technology they make up for in service.
I know many people will find this hard to believe in a woman but I REALLY do have a phobia for shops, specially large supermarkets but WHAT never makes me feel that way. I find that the smaller the shop and the less time I am in them the better, perhaps with WHAT it is because the shop is run on a more traditional basis that it doesn't bother me so much.
I think.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Last night I slept straight through from 12 midnight to 7am and not a thing from the lad opposite(I promise not to mention him again after today). I have however a number of theories why I heard nothing
1. I slept with the window closed as the temperature fell considerably yesterday
Genghis Khan leads his wild hordes to war
2. I was so wiped out after driving so much yesterday that I wouldn't have heard Genghis Khan dancing up the street in his underwear,with his hordes, singing THESE BOOTS WERE MADE FOR WALKING or even singing THE BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC!
3. The lad is only allowed out drinking on the weekends.
4. The lad is a reformed character after a beating with a rolling pin and sleeping on the sofa for 3 nights.
The litmus test will be Friday when the weekend starts again!

I had forgotten, even after only 3 weeks, just how much noise Ariel makes.
All the way back from the airport Ariel and Fiona played SPOT THE YELLOW CAR(am I glad BT vans are no longer yellow), when they saw a YELLOW CAR they would scream(predictably!) YELLOW CAR and punch the other sibling. I was punched JUST once, on getting into the car I had accidentally hit my arm on the door post of the car and it was really hurting and on seeing her first yellow car, Ariel proceeded to punch me in my bruised arm which not only hurt like a little Bit*h but almost propelled the car(remember I was driving) into the back of a Chrysler Voyager.
I have to have a rant about drivers because yesterday I seemed to be surrounded by numptys on the motorway and it only served to confirm why I hate driving during the day. At one point a woman swerved into our lane at the last moment with no indicating and SHE was pi**ed that I beeped my horn at her. And why did I beep my horn? Because I nearly went up her butt, if she wants to commit suicide then all well and good but don't involve me. Drivers do the maddest things and what for? 2 extra seconds up the road in front of the other drivers. It is either a power thing or way too much caffeine. On Saturday nights I drop Runningman off at the local cons club so he can play his bingo and then pick him up at 10:40 pm and drop him off at his place so he doesn't have to catch the bus post drinking(he could end up in Pontypandy after his Saturday night pints!) and whilst there are not many ordinary drivers around, mostly taxi's, the driving of the other cars can be very worrying. Do they not realise that driving at 20 miles per hour in a 30 area is going to get them pulled over by the police? They drive like they have been drinking and are driving slowly and precisely so they will not get stopped. Driving slowly and precisely and at 20 miles per hour is a sure fire way of getting yourself noticed in Cardiff,the average driver in Cardiff is very good but they certainly do not drive like that.

Did anybody read this?
I am totally shocked, this is so wrong.

US children's reality TV starts
By Kim Ghattas
BBC News, New York

Photo supplied by CBS TV network of the 40 children from across America that took part in Kid Nation
The makers of Kid Nation are accused of exploiting children
A controversial US reality TV show involving children is due to get its first airing on the CBS network.

Kid Nation takes 40 children, some as young as eight, to an abandoned New Mexico desert town where they are left to fend for themselves for 40 days.
The youngsters are meant to create a functioning society with a system of laws, commerce and even a class system.
No outsiders were allowed on the set and children's rights groups have said it is tantamount to child exploitation.
Critics see the show as a modern version of Lord of the Flies with a Wild West twist, while supporters say it is just a summer camp with cameras all around.
The show has been surrounded by controversy and accusations it is using the children as entertainment fodder.
Parents signed a 22-page contract, virtually absolving producers from any responsibility for the children's well-being.
There have been reports of accidents and the children also put in 14-hour days in front of the cameras.

You just cannot do this to children.
By getting the parents to sign contracts does not stop the children suffering psychological damage and complaining of it in years to come.
In this day and age of being more aware I have always felt that certain psychological experiments could no longer be done such as BLUE EYES BROWN EYES as it would be totally unethical but it seems I was wrong.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Well I am truly Cream Crackered!
I went to Bristol airport today to pick up Fiona and Ariel from their trip to the US, it sounds really odd to have to go to another country to go to an airport.Luckily the flight came in early and so the whole round trip was only about 3 1/2 hours. On the way from Newark to Atlanta when the girls were flying out on their holiday they traveled with the Pee Wee champions and the fire engines gave their plane a water jet guard of honour on their arrival in Atlanta. Now how cool is that!

SnoWhite walked Beauty to school this morning but Beauty was not too impressed at having to go in the buggy instead of the car so Beauty held onto the garden gate and refused to let go. It was a bit of a battle of wills which thankfully SnoWhite won!

Not a peep this morning from the lad opposite, his woman is definitely keeping him in check.

Monday, September 17, 2007


He was back at 6 am this morning, he started shouting and within a nano-second a window flew open and I heard a woman scream 'IN' and the noise stopped instantly and he went into his flat.
Dog Borstal Trainer, Mic Martin
Mic(we love Mic) from Dog Borstal would have been impressed if a dog had responded so well so quickly.Let us hope that our problems are now over!

Sunday, September 16, 2007


I was unceremoniously awakened at 6:30 am by 2 lads(2o ish!) having a pi**ing contest in the street outside of my window! At the top of their drunken voices they were arguing about what they would do to the other if they got into a fight, I almost flung the window open and told them to BLOODY WELL DO IT. Fortunately, though tired, I did not. After about 20 minutes the contest ended and I thought YES but it then continued with the one lad who stayed repeating to his brother what he had said(his brother had been there through the contest) and that lasted until the girlfriend came out and told him to get inside WHICH HE DID!

Carthusian Street
Banksy's rat in Carthusian Street EC1.
Photo by Richard Bus

Beauty has a new toy.......a plastic rat! 2 years ago we bought a black plastic rat as a Halloween decoration and Beauty became permanently attached to it, even to taking it to bed. Well this year ASDA have a grey rat in their Halloween collection and Beauty insisted that we buy it and now she is carrying it around everywhere, usually chewing on it's tail!

Saturday, September 15, 2007


The Affleck brothers
Ben Affleck is taller than his younger brother Casey
Having an older sibling, particularly a brother, can stunt growth, work suggests.

Experts said the condition of the womb after the first pregnancy may be a factor.

The study of 14,000 families was presented at the BA Festival of Science.

The research, by David Lawson, of University College London, also showed children in larger families were likely to be shorter than average.

Researchers found that children with three siblings were 2.5cm or one inch shorter than the average height for their age.

Did anyone think to tell Fiona at 6 feet 1 inches that one? Or Beauty who looks set to grow even taller than Fiona! I have always believed that you can make research prove whatever you want it to prove, perhaps that is the cynic in me.

The Bible, Romans 13:9

For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

My neighbours certainly make it difficult for me to love them!

We live opposite flats so we are going to have a lot more people than the average road but they seem to have got it down to a fine art at waking me up in the middle of the night. I seem to fall asleep quite nicely at about 11pm and then at approximately 1 am I am awakened quite regularly by the neighbours in the flats. Whether it is the same ones all the time I do not know but whoever it is they seem to come back from drinking and on going into the flats proceed to wake up the whole road with their loud voices. The weekends are worse as you also get the people who have been in town on a night out coming home later, this morning I was awoken at about 10 to 6 by some late night(early morning!) revelers. I really have no objection to anyone going out and having a bit of fun but please do it quietly as the 10 to 6 revelers woke Beauty up and that was the end of any possibility of any weekend lie-in.

Young Simba, Pumbaa and Timon cross a log while singing "Hakuna Matata" in The Lion King.

Now Beauty is happily SCREAMING along to Simba's Pride.In Simba's Pride their is a part where Simba's daughter Kiara is surveying the savannah and Timon and Pumbaa show up and they end up scaring each other( a but like Drew Barrymore and ET in the film ET!). Well Beauty enjoys getting to the scream part, stopping the video and producing the screams herself. Well I have to admit that they are pretty blood curdling and realistic screams! Her screaming sessions have been known to last for over half an hour. Thankfully FOR ME she is watching the video in the dining room but it is not so good for the young couple next door as the dining room is next to their kitchen . I cannot even begin to imagine what they think must be going on!

Who would have thought that as a mother I am trying to teach my daughter to spit? NICE!
Beauty has never been keen on brushing her teeth but we manage it twice a day and she also brushes her teeth after lunch in school BUT she will not spit the toothpaste out! I have spoken to the dentist and he says that I shouldn't worry as the toothpaste on her teeth will actually help protect her teeth. She is however continuing to stress over the paste left in her mouth so now I have taken to brushing my teeth at the same time as her and spitting profusely to encourage her copying me. And this morning she spat for the first time into the sink, just the once but she well and truly spat. Success. I am thrilled because I have taught my child to spit!
I am sure however that there will come to a point where I will regret teaching her this!
A bit like regretting buying Fiona a WOODEN baseball bat!

Friday, September 14, 2007


Now I know where the spiders in my garden hang out!
Today I was putting out the washing in the back garden when I thought OH THE GARDEN COULD DO WITH A TIDY, I estimated it would take 10 minutes but it took over an hour as I decided to empty the planters of old plants and sweep the steps.Behind each planter I found a

Black widow spider
hoard of snails and spiders, the largest spider was about 2 inches across but thankfully that was it's whole size not just the body size.If it was large enough to have a body 2 inches across then Belle in Florida and Anastasia on Rhodes would have been able to have heard my screams without the aid of a phone or Skype.

I am so tired of the way the media is reporting the Madeline McCann story, each time I pass a newspaper stand I have to look awake because I am heartily sick of the lurid headlines of the tabloid papers. I have taken to reading the online version of The Telegraph as it is reporting what is being said and quoting where the source of the information is coming from without making headline claims.

Madeleine McCann saga reflects our society

By Boris Johnson

Yesterday I read a comment by Boris Johnston on the Daily Telegraph website which reflected on how the nation has been considering The case of Madeline McCann, he said

We want the story to end, of course. It has been the most wretched event of a wretched summer, and we want it to climax one way or another, even if the denouement exceeds even the ghastliest Channel Five real-life family murder drama.

I do not want the parents of Madeline to have hurt her in any way, whether by accident or on purpose, I like many other people want the sorry saga to be over and Madeline to get the decent burial she deserves if she is found to be dead or brought home if she is alive.
I like everyone else want the truth to come out whatever it may be.
I remember one case of a mother who killed her daughter and her daughter's friend and I watched her crying on TV for her daughter's abductors to bring her back and all the time the bodies were in the attic of her flat. People do do terrible things and they do lie about them afterwards but only the McCanns know what really happened and I think at this point it is important for the police to be allowed to do their job to bring a conclusion to this situation.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


I blame Outrageous Wasters!
Andy Tugby, Joanna Yarrow and Dan Carraro

Outrageous Wasters sees a crack team of eco experts on a mission to transform Britain's most wasteful households.

The eco warriors challenge the attitudes of energy-guzzling families, and try to get them to change their lifestyles by showing them how to live greener lives.
Our three presenters are Joanna Yarrow, a leading expert in green living; trained ecologist and anti-waste enforcer Dan Carraro; and eco-design consultant and ex-builder Andy Tugby.
Joanna advises leading businesses on how to be green and is proof that you can live an eco-friendly life and be chic with it. In her North London home, she has four different composting systems, organic and recycled interior decorations and furnishings, wears hemp clothes and uses organic beauty products. Dan is a self-styled anarchist. He's no conventional protester, just someone who thinks looking after the environment is the obvious and morally just thing to do. Andy's passion is making buildings greener; to help us all reduce our carbon footprint - and our energy bills.

Whilst I have always considered myself to be environmentally aware, this programme has definitely made me more aware of the environment. In the last few weeks I have been quite zealous about switching off lights and leaving nothing on stand-by and I am really shocked at the amount of electricity that I have saved.I am down to one load of washing(eco-wash cycle) a day, one load of dishes( also an eco-wash) and thanks to having laminate and tiled floors I very rarely use the hoover.
This morning however I got up to find out that whilst I had turned the computers off I had forgotten to turn the screens off and they were on stand-by all night and I was really pi**ed off with myself, how sad can you get!

Anybody catch this one?

New-look Emu back on television
The new-look Emu will be moved independently by puppeteers
The latest incarnation of wayward puppet Emu is set to arrive on British television screens next month.

Toby Hull, son of Emu's late creator, Rod, will introduce a new-look version of the popular children's character to a new generation of viewers on CITV.

The 26-part live action comedy series, called Emu, is aimed at 6-11 year olds.

Emu became a fixture of both children's and adult television in the 1970s, achieving notoriety for attacking host Michael Parkinson on his chat show.

Mr Hull, a trained actor, has performed with Emu since his father's death in 1999.

When I saw this I immediately thought OH MY _ _ _!
I was never a fan of Emu but I feel compelled to have a look to see if son of EMU is as mad as the original EMU.I
If the humour is as slapstick as the original then I am sure that Beauty will love it as she has definitely gained an appreciation for OTT humour recently.I have a feeling that she will grow up to appreciate humour such as Monty Python, the same as her mother.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I definitely need to wear my glasses more often. This morning I was putting food away in the fridge and saw what I thought were black bags at the back of the fridge, it turned out to be a squeezy bottle of Branston Pickle lying on its side! Black bags may be unusual in fridges in most houses but the other day I found a loaf of bread in the fridge and the cheese in the bread I said OLD AGE DOESN'T COME ALONE.
SnoWhite accused me of being a nerdy older student........WHY?
Because I showed her my art sketchbook and she said I was typical of the older student on her art course who does twice as much as everyone else and still worries that it isn't enough.Thanks SnoWhite!
Yesterday in my art class we looked at the work of Georgia O'keefe and whilst SnoWhite has studied her work before I have heard her name but never heard anything about her or seen any of her work.Remember all the students in my class, apart from me are 16 and so you still have to be careful what you discuss as a lecturer and the lecturer asked ME what I saw in the work of Georgia O'Keefe. Well not wanting the other students to think I was strange I said I could see nothing but I am sorry but all the photographs that she showed us looked like female genitalia!
I spoke to SnoWhite and she said that I was right, Geogia O'Keefe was well known for painting pictures of flowers that looked like female genitalia.Thank goodness for that, I thought it was something to do with being a nurse and studying biology was making me see things. They are however very good paintings.
Beauty has taken her glasses with her to school today,it will be interesting to see how long she wears them!

Monday, September 10, 2007


Whilst giving Runnngman a lift home from his Bingo on Saturday night he made a comment about the Death Penalty which showed he was in favour of it.
Big mistake!
Of course a rant followed after which we drove in silence.
I argued that whilst the law produced so many cases where people were wrongly convicted, the death penalty was morally wrong. I must state here however that I do not believe in the death penalty under any circumstance and believe Life To Mean Life is a better punishment.
Last night I watched an episode of Cold Case, and whilst I appreciate that it was only a story I also appreciate that miscarriages of justice do happen like this. A man was accused and found guilty of murder and executed for a murder he did not commit. The Cold Case team proceeded to prove his innocence after his death. The show ended with the playing of the song Hallelujah and I cried, I very rarely cry over films apart from Steel Magnolias and Truly,Madly Deeply but this did effect me profoundly. I cried for the girl that was raped and killed, the girl's father, the daughter of the rapist that had also been abused and of course the man who had died unnecessarily.
It made me think about the Madeline McCann and all the people being affected, I hate the speculation in the media and just want the situation to be resolved and Madeline to be found . I feel that the speculation is tearing so many people apart and it is just a terrible situation for all those involved.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


Well yesterday was more like a day and a half than a day, I am absolutely Cream Crackered.We left the house at 9:30am to visit elderly friends in Caversham, Reading and with the traffic it took almost 3 hours to get there. It wasn't so bad when we got there as we went for lunch and relaxed for a couple of hours, Beauty ate a huge bowl of ice cream and spent the time drawing in my notebook. When we got back to their house we spent the rest of the time making tents with chairs and blankets! This was fine by me as I was able to close my eyes, lie down and pretend to be sleeping, now how difficult is that?
On the way back we stopped at the large Sainsburys on the outskirts of Reading, this is where we were stopped on 9/11 when we saw the 2nd tower fall on the TVs in the TV showroom. Somehow I always seem to be driving up the M4 at this time of year.
The journey back down the M4 was uneventful and we were back home by 7pm.
And the fun continued!
We had been invited to a friends 25th wedding anniversary party, so after a quick change we were off in the car again. The party was held in the conservative club in Penarth and Beauty loved it. For the child who does the assembly hall in school with her fingers in her ears, Beauty couldn't sit close enough to the speakers. She also loved the flashing lights and the smoke machine, she would have been ecstatic if they had had a bubble machine.
After a few hours we left so we could pick the old guy(Runningman) up, he goes to his club on Saturday to play Bingo. We couldn't have him going home on his own as he could do something silly like getting himself run over and break his neck.Oops, he has already done that one!
On the way back I decided to check out Snowhite to see if she were OK and not in a ditch somewhere as I hadn't heard from her in a few days but there was no answer at her flat.
As I pulled out of her road onto Newport road I noticed a girl in her 20's walking up beside the Infirmary wall, she looked to be holding her back in pain and crying. I just couldn't leave her there without speaking to her so I parked the car in the lower part of Broadway behind the library and asked her if everything was OK. I didn't get much sense from her as she was crying a lot and she had been drinking but I asked her many times if anyone had hurt her but she said no. I told her that I would take her to the police station if she wanted to go, it was 10 seconds walk around the corner but she said no. I did however insist on giving her a lift home, she was planning on walking to Llanrumney which is quite a walk without being in the upset state that she was in. I dropped her off at her aunts house and she seemed a lot better, she couldn't thank me enough. All the time I was driving her she cried and talked a lot.
I really felt that I had to give her a lift but in this day and age I was worried for myself as much as for her, she could have said or done anything but isn't it awful that we can feel fear of doing something we know is right. It was certainly and eventful end to an evening.
And as for SnoWhite, well she was walking up Broadway at exactly the same time as us but because of picking up the young girl and going out onto Newport Road at the bottom of Broadway instead of the top, we just missed her. But I did phone her later to find out that she was OK and she was.
Today will be a slow day, a recovery day, I am now sitting quietly at the computer until I have to pick Runningman up from running the Cardiff is Sunday, a day of rest and thousands of people are in Cardiff to run 10K, the thought of it is painful, let alone running it. When driving back from dropping Runningman off I passed the lake and the early morning joggers were out doing their circuits of the lake, all I could think when I saw them was ,' A lie in or a few circuits of the lake', let me see, like I need to think about it!The childminder will be here at 3pm and I can't wait, 3 solid hours of sleep.Forget eating or drinking or jogging(as if!) I will have passed out within seconds of Beauty bouncing out of the door.

Friday, September 07, 2007


Age definitely does not come alone! I have had appointments or things to do everyday this week and it has left me exhausted hence fewer blog entries. Beauty also started back at school on Wednesday and she has slept really well since going back, we were having the 2 hour singing sessions when she went to bed but those miraculously stopped with the return of school.
Beauty is such a happy little soul and really quite undemanding (compared to certain of her sisters!) that I forget about her joint problems because she doesn't communicate well. I have noticed recently that she is limping but I don't know if she is in pain or not and I can't take her to the local Doctor because he will say CONTACT THE CONSULTANT and the consultant is more difficult to get hold of. I think I will speak to the school nurse as that is where Beauty sees the Consultant.
I went to my first Art class yesterday and although not terribly exciting we did learn what is expected of us with regards to our sketch books and we had our first assignments.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


After finishing the change over of rooms for Fiona, I painted the floor in the empty bedroom.
An empty bedroom is a spooky thing!
I went to the bathroom at approximately 5 am and because a lot of the floor boards in the house seem to be connected through rooms, the floorboards in the empty room made a terrible noise.
And talking of spooky!
I lay down to go to sleep last night and I couldn't relax because there was something in my room making a noise...........I was convinced it was a rat or a mouse. I managed to find enough nerve to switch on the light and the noise turned out to be-duct tape! In the spare bedroom wardrobe I had stored the pieces of Beauty's cot and I had strapped them together with duct tape to prevent loss. On moving them out to change over the bedroom , I separated the large pieces of wood from the smaller pieces and the quickest way to take the duct tape off was to pull and tear. Well I am sure there is a perfectly good scientific explanation for it but it was really a strange phenomenon. The pulled and stretched duct tape was constantly moving as if it were being fluttered by a breeze(it wasn't),I couldn't get it to stop so I put it into the bathroom over night. I was so fascinated that I had to stand and watch it for a few minutes.
Random moment............. the gerbil we used to have ended up in the bathroom on the shelf because he too wouldn't be quiet at night!
Last night Beauty must have been exhausted because it took her approximately 5 minutes to go to sleep, the night before it took approximately 2 hours of singing Elephants on Parade(just those words-thank you Dumbo!) before she gave up and went to sleep.
Yesterday I took Beauty and SnoWhite to IKEA Cardiff(I have no shame!) to buy a cheap, small desk to go into the spare bedroom. We decided to go to the restaurant for food before shopping as a treat for Beauty and she loved her fish and chips. IKEA restaurant last night was like being in the middle of a Carry On film! Our food was produced on paper plates with plastic cutlery(the dishwasher was broken), the salad buffet consisted of just chick peas,kidney beans, beetroot and Lollo Rosso lettuce(WHY? don't know),the trays were dirty, no tomato sauce and the soft drinks machine was broken and leaking everywhere!
BUT.......... we did enjoy our meal and we laughed the situation off whereas the family behind us bitched and bitched and bitched. Their family consisted of a mother, a father, an older daughter, a teenage boy and girl and a baby and if my girls ever made as much mess as that family did when going out for a meal they would have been in serious trouble. My girls would have been so thrilled and delighted to go out for a meal as a treat that they would have acted like angels.
In IKEA SnoWhite accused me of having no shame because Beauty started singing along to a James Blunt song that was being played in the store, she only occasionally calls me Mama BUT she knows the words to a James Blunt song(she can also sing along to Daniel Bedingfield)!
So-I like listening to James Blunt, I admit it , I am officially sad!
I am currently playing Simon and Garfunkel in the car to get Beauty to learn to sing those songs. One of the boys in Beauty's school is like Beauty and has a huge memory for remembering and singing songs but he sings songs from the theatre and musicals as that is what his Dad likes. I can imagine him singing songs like I'M JUST A GIRL WHO CAN'T SAY KNOW or BLESS YOUR BEAUTIFUL HIDE.

Next on my spring cleaning list is the bathroom and the airing cupboard, I shall do those today whilst the floor in the spare bedroom is drying. I am leaving the floorboards for another day to make sure they are well and truly dry. Then it will be my bedroom and finally the front bedroom to get the spring cleaning treatment. Whew!

Today I will be starting my AS level Art, I feel quite excited as if I am 16 again! I wonder how long it will take for the excitement to wear off?
And tomorrow Beauty goes back to school- Beauty will love it and so will I. It will be nice to get her into a routine again.

Monday, September 03, 2007


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Saturday, September 01, 2007


Newspapwer cutting

By Marie Jackson
BBC News

The effect of Diana's death on the British public was as perplexing as it was profound. But was it a blip or did it change Britain for ever?

On the morning Diana, Princess of Wales' death was reported, few could have guessed the extraordinary momentum that the mourning for her would generate. By the time of her funeral it had reached fever pitch with thousands lining the funeral route.

A sea of flowers was laid in front of Kensington Palace, strangers embraced, snaking queues formed in front of condolence books, businesses closed as a mark of respect.

I remember that Sunday morning when Anastasia came upstairs and told me that Diana was dead and being so shocked that I just couldn't believe it. I felt terrible sadness for her boys but the overwhelming feeling was of anger at Charles who had brought years of misery to Diana because he was such wimp. If he had loved Camilla all those years ago then why hadn't he just told his parents that he was going to marry her which he ended up doing anyway instead of skulking around having an affair with Camilla all those years and having Diana involved in his mess.

Before her wedding in 1973 Camilla had been the girlfriend of Prince Charles. However, she was not seen by the Royal Family to be suitable to have the Prince's children, so they were not permitted to marry.

I hope the Royal family have learnt from this situation.
Imagine the response from Prince Harry if he were told that he couldn't marry the person he loved! I am sure he would say that he was marrying for love and he would learn from his own mistakes.

The question was Did Diana's Death Change Us?
The other night I watched the end of a program about Great Britons and the conclusion was that Diana taught us the uncomfortable truth that money and fame and privilege doesn't necessarily bring happiness with it. Her personal joys came from her family and the things she achieved through her work not the fairy tales that we all dream of as children. I think perhaps we all lost some of our innocence and perhaps that isn't always such a bad thing.
Diana's life was a cruel reality eye opener and from watching it unfold we all learned to appreciate the precious things we each had in our lives- loved ones, friends and contentment with personal achievements.




An Irish Blessing

(A Blessing from St. Patrick)
May the road rise to meet you,

May the wind be always at your back,

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

May the rains fall soft upon your fields,

And, until we meet again,

May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.