Monday, 28 February 2011

I've lost my mojo.

My mojo has gone and done a runner!  Actually it's my cleaning mojo that has gone. It could be that after a week of  everyone being at home, with the both the kids and the dogs doing mud sprints through the house from the garden that I've given up any pretence of appearing a little bit house proud.  There is a pile of washing to be ironed and a pile of washing to be washed and I really can't be bothered.  I mean, what is the point?  I'm only going to have to do it all again! BH has noticed, and  has commented. I was planning on visiting an old school pal on the Friday.

"But it's "Cleaning Day" on Friday!"

"Whaddyamean...Cleaning day?"  This phrase has never been mentioned and the very thought of it actually makes me feel a little bit sick.

"Well..." he said, his eyes darting wildly (avoiding mine!) and I could see he was having trouble weighing up how to say what he was going to say.

"You always clean up on a Friday!" he mumbled.

"Oh do I? Well let me tell you this sonny jim...there ain't no "Cleaning Day".  Every day's a cleaning day.  If you want a cleaning day, I suggest you get yourself a "Cleaning Lady"!".

He was clearly upset at the notion of me leaving the house on a "Cleaning Day"!

So on Friday, off I went to visit my friend and when I returned the house looked like a tornado had hit - and the kids weren't even there! I thought we'd been burgled There was muddy footprints all over the floor, burnt pans in the sink and exotic underwear draped over the radiators.

Miriam (the au-pair) was feeling poorly but decided to empty the dishwasher (a first!), she didn't know where anything went so the surfaces were laden with cups, plates (a tin can?), and cutlery so she left them amongst the dirty ones. She said she didn't re stack the dishwasher because,

"You always change it around anyway! No point!"

She then decided to vacuum (she is very thoughtful like that), but vacuumed around the piles of toys that she'd been sorting out, then left the hoover in the middle of the room so that I could see that she'd done it! The bin was overflowing with debris on the floor, with a pizza box in shreds.

"Those bloody dogs wouldn't let me near ze bin" (oh yeah?).

The washing over the radiators were her "smalls".  She hadn't used the dryer because she didn't want them to shrink.  How much smaller they could get, I don't know! I didn't even know she possessed such items, there was such an array.  I had to guide Bart and Finn away as they were becoming curious and I didn't want to  explain why mummy only has white ones!

In her defence I must say it was quite a thoughtful  gesture, although it didn't come off quite as she'd planned. I spent most of Friday evening and Saturday clearing up the mess and now I've decided it's all a waste of time. How many hours do we spend cleaning up?

My brother used to say,

"Dirt reaches a certain level then, so I may as well just leave it!"

I'm inclined to agree with him. I'm not sure I want my mojo back.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Five things I want my kids to know about me....but not just yet!

Following in the vein of the bloggers I so admire ( thanks to @notesfromhome), I thought I'd add mine into the mix. I'm probably repeating some very wise words (actually, I'm probably not!), and these are some of the things that my kids will probably think are gross now, but when they reach my age will realise that I'm a pretty cool mum. They may not see it, as they have no one else to compare me with just yet!

1. I once gave up my job because it interfered with my social life! OK, so it probably wasn't a good move, but if I hadn't left, I think they may have sacked me so I took a leap of faith and it threw up various opportunities which would never have happened had I not thrown in the towel. My parents never made me do anything I didn't want to do, and told me I could be whoever I wanted to be...and this is what I want for you. Do something you makes life so much easier!
2. I had a ball as a twenteen. I did because I had no ties. I travelled. I met lots of different people. I had adventures. I did dangerous things, but I was lucky because there were a lot of good people looking out for me. I believe this had an effect on the person I am now. Never regret the things you do...just the things you don't.
3. Even though I shout, I shout because I love you! If I shout, know it's because I love you and not because I've got big lungs. I shout when you make me afraid and I shout when I'm relieved. I also shout to get myself heard above the cacophony that makes up this household. I have to shout louder than you so that you understand the danger that is just about to happen and if the shout gets higher, it's because I'm really afraid!
4. You may not think I'm cool, but you will when you're my age. You don't understand cool yet...but I am so "it"!! You may think your mummy's a little bit odd, but that's because I'm way cooler than anyone you know. You think Sarah's mother is cool...she's not, she's just got an Aga and happens to bake wicked cakes. I may not bake cakes, but I can make you laugh even if it is inappropriate....and I taught you to stand up on a yeah...I'm cool.
5. I fell in love with your father the minute I laid eyes on him. I never believed in love at first sight until I met your father. I just never thought it would happen...I certainly didn't expect it. I recognised him the moment I saw him, and I knew there would be no one else. We moved in together 3 weeks after we met. I am still in love with your father, and I hope you find someone to spend the rest of your lives with....and if it all goes pear shaped...never regret it!

So, there you list of 5 things. Now I'm going to read the other bloggers postings and realise that I'm completely off kilter and this wasn't what they meant at all!!

Do clothes maketh man, especially if you don't wear them?

Before the kids I was a savvy shopper.  Everything went with something. My wardrobe was arranged perfectly, and I would spend hours working out what I needed. I still have those clothes but they no longer fit. In fact, very little fits.
I used to walk the dogs in beautiful velvet trousers until one of the mums from the school gate commented on them.

"Ohh, I see you're walking the dogs in velvet trousers.  How decadent!"

I'm still not sure if she was being admiring or sarcastic!  From the look on her face I believe it was possibly the latter. Most of the mums at the school gate look pretty amazing, and I wonder how they do it, especially as they seem to have 3 or 4 sprogs in tow.

Now it's jeans and a white t-shirt (if I can find a clean one), often it's a dressing gown until 12, (in my defence I work long hours!), then a quick change into track suit bottoms, wellingtons and a jumper to walk the dogs, then another quick change into smart (ish) jeans, another (thinner) jumper, and a coat (plus a dash of lipstick, mascara and a hair brush!) to collect the kids...then back into the tracksuit!  I  have no idea why I change so much! Some times I wear the "somethings" so often that they actually wear out and I wish I'd bought 2 of the same item.

I also buy clothes that are very, very beautiful.  Things I just like to look at, things that still have the labels on, and things that I'm saving (saving for what?).  I don't wear dresses, but I have hundreds of them.  All sparkly and beady, vintage and precious, and I just love them. Everything is for an occasion, but those occasions either never happen or the dresses are too small!

I sound like some weird Mrs Havisham, but I swear I haven't worn my wedding dress since the day I last wore it. I don't sit in the room with a decaying wedding cake...and I don't have a fire in the room so there's no risk of me setting fire to myself!

I used to buy and sell vintage clothing. Half of the stuff I still have because I can't bear to let them go.  I have a room in my house where all my clothes are stored and no one but me goes in there. The walls are all lined with wardrobes, but most of the floor space is stacked with boxes with stuff in that I can't  bear to part with. Mimi is allowed in, but only if she's clean and without drawing implements! The boys knock on the door and wait outside if they want my attention. Like some paintings the clothes stored away from sunlight because I don't want them damaged or faded. 

If you walked around the upstairs of my home, you'd see that my passion has become a bit haphazard.  On the beds of the spare room, clothes are piled high. I'm sorting, you see. Some of the stuff goes to the charity shop, but most goes back into the wardrobes or remains on the beds until I decide what to do with them, which clearly is taking a long time!

Most of the stuff I have is not practical for daily wear ...and I have to do practical in a big way!! When I first had Bart, I couldn't wait to get out the clothes that were the "baby wear".  I couldn't wait to put on those clothes that were calling out to me. The clothes without the elasticated waists.  The ones that didn't have the "baby guff" on the shoulders. But those are the ones that are my life now.  They have mud on the legs, paint on the sleeves and possible food on the front.

I have no particular style, and if you saw me you'd wonder who I was.  I go from classic to grungy in a heart beat. But if you saw my wardrobes you'd know that all I have is a passion for beautiful things...things I can't wear!!

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Lets talk about dying...

How many times over the past year have a shielded my kids from that inevitable fact?  The one where we're all going to suffer the same fate and die?  Is it fair to shroud it mystery?  Is it fair for the subject to be taboo?  In this household we've suffered our fair share of family deaths and the kids know that some people and animals die before their time. They've been given the "nice" story, the one that says everyone who dies goes to a nicer place where the sun always shines and everyone is good and no one is horrible.  The animals meet their owners, brothers meet sisters, families look after each other....and everyone is happy.  That's good, because it gives them something to believe in and stops them having nightmares....and it stops the awkward questions that I have no answer to.

"Mummy, where do the tigers go?"

"Mummy, does the bad man go there too?"

"Mummy, will they be able to take their favourite toys?"

"Mummy will you be there?"

And the boys...

"Will  the worms eat my eyes?"

"What if they're buried alive"

"Can they take their DS"

"Won't it be boring?"

Some of the questions need answering and are easily answered others rely on common sense. I make inappropriate jokes in the hope that it may take some of the fear out of it. But do I really want to prepare them for it, or prepare them for the death of someone close to them?  If I make it pretty for them, perhaps it won't be as bad.

I'm not a church goer, but I believe in "something" although I haven't  quite yet worked out what that something is.  Faithful church attendees have something to hold onto and that is something I admire, but I can't take the "book" literally..I see the flaws, and the futility of utter faith. I questions and have questioned, but it doesn't answer those questions for me. I have leaning towards Buddhism, but I'm get too angry to be a true one, and I believe that we all have a purpose.  So what does that make me? I'm still not sure, but I know my experiences make me a more compassionate person.

But is it right not to prepare ourselves and our children for the inevitability?  To make it less frightening and to make the grief easier should they suffer in the aftermath of a death?

When I lost my youngest sister through a brain hemorrhage at the age of 9, the nightmare of it all was horrendous.  No one like to talk about the death of a child.  For my parents her death was staggering and an experience no one should have to go through  We are expected to suffer, but all I remember is how I missed her, how she was going to miss everything in our lives.  The lump in my chest expanded until I had no feelings other than the lump. I remember saying to Ma in her suffering that at least she didn't have to blame anyone and that was a good thing.  She didn't need to go through the rest of her life hating and being bitter. She said she was bitter, and hated everyone that didn't go through what she went through.  She hated all of the children that were mean to her daughter. My faith took a battering and I found it hard to believe that there was a purpose. When we lost my eldest brother through cancer it, the nightmare returned. So Ma and Pa, both lost a son and a daughter and all we have are the imprint of their lives. My faith was shattered again.

Have they gone to a better place?  I have no idea. I have no idea if they're happy or if they've gone to the "other place".  I keep telling my babies that there is  another place, and I hope there is...but at the moment I really have no idea. 

I'm not afraid of death and I'm happily/morbidly/practically planning my funeral.  No one want to hear my plans, so I'll have to write it down, in the hope they get it right. No tears, just a "mama mia" style celebration with a gospel choir...and if anyone plays a tape recording of my favourite tunes I think I may just turn in my urn!

Saturday, 19 February 2011

It was the lack of sleep that made me do it......

Someone asked on Twitter what is the worst thing you have done when sleep deprived?  It got me thinking because there are many things that I've done whilst sleep deprived, but as I'm used to staying up all night I can usually handle sleep deprivation. The only thing that drives me to distraction is getting up early! I'll happily stay awake all night, just don't make me get up at the crack of dawn or my life is one complete misery, where I'm counting the hours until I can go to bed or at least have a doze...even then I still have a moan!  Make me stay up all night .....easy peasy!!

There was one incident when Bart was a baby and me a complete newbie.  He was about 4 months old and I'd been away for a few days (work, just in case you're thinking I had a wild weekend away!).  I'd come in after pulling an all nighter, and was so happy to be home, sent the nanny packing for a few days. I happily looked after Bart all day and when it came to put him down, was suddenly wide awake. By this time I'd probably been awake for 48 hours.  I finally fell asleep at about 2 am, to wake again at 4am with Bart crying.  So I went in to change him, fed him, cuddled him and laid him back down to sleep.  I decided I was a bit hungry as I hadn't had much to eat, and for some reason took a nappy downstairs (clean).

Once in the kitchen I opened the nappy, buttered it, then sliced a banana and placed the slices inside that nappy. I then tore of the plastic tapes (I thought I wouldn't be able to eat them!),  then placed it on a plate, sat down with a glass of milk and proceeded to attempt to eat the Nappy Banana Sandwich. For some strange reason, it just seemed like the right thing to do.
I remember trying to tear at the nappy with my teeth, but not succeeding, so I just ate the banana then went to bed.

The next morning I told BH what I did.  He looked at me very strangely not comprehending really what I was saying.

"Why would you butter a nappy?"

"Because I was hungry!"

"But you can't eat nappies!"

"No, but I tried"

"Why would you do that?"

"Because I was probably sleepwalking and probably sleep deprived! "

It took him a few minutes to realise that I was not mentally disturbed and was just very, very, tired!

When I recount this story, people always first ask,

"Was the nappy a clean one?"

As if I would use a dirty nappy!  I have standards!

Friday, 18 February 2011

I like a nice cup of tea...

I love tea. I love coffee too, but I love tea more.  I love the strong, malty flavour of tea and I drink, cups upon cups.I like my tea in a thick mug, not the thin china ones normally used, and the bigger the cup the better. I can usually tell if I've over done it as my teeth go a stained yellowy colour, which quickly comes off with a quick brush. No one can make a cup of tea like me or my ma. And I never order a pot of tea in a restaurant or a cafe, or at a friends home...that's always coffee.

My ma introduced us all to tea when we were kids. We'd come home from school and immediately through the door, Ma would put on the kettle and cut the bread for the toast.  It was always tea and toast after school.  Thick slices of toast, topped with a slice of butter (yummy) and finished off with a dollop of homemade blackberry jam. I can see us all now, standing in the kitchen waiting for our cup of tea and slices of toast...the eldest first down to the youngest. The tea was sweet and milky...and hot! It didn't matter if it was summer or winter, it was nearly always the same.  Now and again, ma would substitute the jam for sandwich spread which I found absolutely disgusting.  Ma didn't use teabags, only fresh loose tea and when I was first married would only use loose tea too and a teapot.

I would visit Kenya a lot and buy my fresh tea from the local market, thick leaves and a few stems thrown in, but it was divine.  A few years into our marriage, I discovered that teabags would save a bit of mess but I would still make it a teapot.  No one else could make my tea, and the mother-in-law wouldn't even attempt it.  BH tries sometimes, but I'm afraid I'm a bit of anal when it comes to my tea.  He either puts the milk in after, boils the kettle then allows it to sit, or doesn't let the tea brew long enough. I always know as it looks and tastes "not quite right".  It may seem stupid, but to me if it's not right, I won't drink it. If a wine is disgusting, would you drink it?  I really don't see the point. I know where the teas are from as they all have their own subtle tastes.  BH says I should be a tea taster...but I'd rather be a chocolate taster.

Always, when anyone visits ma they are immediately offered a cup of tea.  I do it too.  I add a coffee or a glass of wine as an after thought if they seem to hesitate. I have a vast array of teas. Earl grey, fruit teas, mint tea, ceylon, kenyan, green, assam, chai, and oolong tea.  A friend brought me some rosehip tea from Zanzibar. It's very different from the ones we get here and has a thick, sweet & sour taste and has a rich reddy pink colour. Its so precious to me that no-one dare use it.  Beautiful!

I've moved onto teabags for the ease, but not always as nice. You can see through the bags and it's mainly dust, which I think is a pretty poor show.  Sometimes the brand may "go off" despite buying another packet from another batch, so ma and I have a con flab and we decide which to buy next. Teas don't always remain the same, as their harvests are dependant on the weather or climate so we move from brand to brand. I'm not loyal to any brand, I'm just loyal to the taste.

It's funny that none of my offspring enjoy the taste of tea or coffee.  I tried when Bart was a baby.  I slipped a cup of tea into his bottle much to the disgust of BH.  I thought I'd see whether the "tea taste" was hereditary or an acquired taste.  It seems that it is an acquired one!  Finn likes the fluff off my cappuccino (so do I, so it's a bit of a fight!), but all of them gag at the thought of a cuppa. As they all like a glass of water, I'm happy that it's the strongest flavour they like!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

"That dog is a nightmare!"

Lovely Ben and  the girlfriend have been looking after Peewee and Chubba while we were on our hols.  I didn't call home during our sojourn, for fear that the house had burnt down (and I was enjoying myself too much), but I did have a peek on Facebook and found that Peewee had chewed up "the girlfriends shoes."  I thought there may have been worse, and didn't want to be told that Peewee had chewed the kitchen to an inch of its life so crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. 

Chubba is the best behaved dog I've ever had.  He's sweet, loyal and lies on my feet. His kisses are sweet and gentle and I know I can rely on him not to embarrass me.  Peewee, however, is a bit of a thug.  He's trouble with a capital T, and beats up Chubba and loves being outside.  His kisses are big massive licks with his tongue aimed accurately into the mouth! Yuk, I know.  He has commandeered the sofa like he was born to occupy it, and slithers over Chubba and off chairs like a louche cad, He sleeps on his back, legs akimbo and snores...really loudly!! He does, however, make me laugh...a lot. He thinks he's one of the kids. Even Mimi asked the other day

"Mummy, is Peewee my brother?"

"Yes honey, your brother from another mother."  I dread to think who she thinks his father is!

Ben and GF had a fun time looking after the boys, but it wasn't completely without incident.  On returning from the supermarket they entered the kitchen to find the whole room covered in fluff and polystyrene foam. Ben immediately freaked out and counted the chairs. GF laughed hysterically when she realised that the boys clearly had a fine time ripping up their luxury bed.

Ben recounted

"It looked like someone had taken a chainsaw to the bed.  In fact, I think he has a chainsaw hidden away somewhere. Don't leave Peewee alone with the kids! That dog is a nightmare!"

He took pictures of the event which I will try to post here eventually because it looks like I have a fluffy floor.

Yesterday, after I had taken the kids to school I came home to find that Chubba's armchair (yes he has his own!), a lovely old winged back affair, has been completely decimated.  The foam from the cushion was spread all over the office, and he'd broken the strut which held the seat in place.  God only knows how he did this (and yes the blame lies solely on Peewee!), and now  has to be taken down to the local tip!

It's a steep learning curve with this one. Put away the shoes.  Lock all the doors. Do not leave him alone...ever! I think I would have preferred another baby....BH disagrees!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Now which wine shall I choose...

I was having problems buying a Christmas present for BH and hit upon the idea of purchasing a box of wine from a popular wine company.  It was half price so I realised I was snagging myself a bargain. Most of the bottles were delish, (as you can guess, we've drunk most of them!), and BH was delighted with his gift.

Now we both like a drop of wine, but I gag at the thought of drinking Pinot or Chardonnay. That's not to say I'm a wine snob or even a wine buff, but I know what I like.  In the summer BH and I quaff van loads of White Granache (I don't even know how to pronounce it), and thoroughly enjoy our little tipples. I love champagne for special occasions even if there is nothing to celebrate, and will always buy a bottle when I see it on special in the supermarket.  

Bart thinks we're both alcoholics, as he sees the bottles stacking up in the recycle bin and is worrying for our livers.  Now it's come to the time that I need to order another case at the full price, and I'm not really sure what to order.  It probably seems a bit frivolous in this time of economic strife, and I'm not ignoring the fact that I'm getting less for my money, than I did, one year ago. The price of petrol and butter is one of my gauges to how the economy is doing, and the fact that my butter has reached the same price as a litre of petrol, and the fact that very few are complaining now it has reached the £1.30 mark makes me wonder what people are doing to help tighten their belts.  Yesterday I had our mechanic come over to have a look at the car for its yearly service. Back in November and January he thought that his phone had gone on the blink, as he'd had no calls.  It seems that most people are putting off their regular services basically to try and save money. When I suggested to him that it may be a false economy, he replied "I would do exactly the same myself." What a shocking state of affairs when people have to put off potential problems to save money.

But back to the wine.  Depending on whats on offer in the supermarket and where I'm travelling to I generally go for the cheapest wine I like.  So, I suppose I am saving money in a weird way.  To save even more money I could stop buying it, but the BH would not be too happy as it's his only real vice. So, I'm humming and haaing over which wines to pick. They've selected a mixed box of whites for me, but I'm not too keen on Chilean wine and can get my South African from the actual vineyards whenever I visit SA (I know, lucky me!). I've seen a nice box of Chablis for £69.99 (for six), the only real problem being that I never pay more than £10 for a chablis (cheapskate that I am!), but I do know that they are better than the ones I normally go for.

BH is sometimes given a mixed case from a very nice client and we always enjoy them but forget to note which ones we actually like and the ones that we're not too happy about.  I've also found that depending on my mood the taste of the wine differs, and I know that depending on the food eaten, the wine tastes very different.

The year before last I was in South Africa and went on  a tour of some the very best vineyards.  One of the group was a french lady who knew her wines very well. During our lunch at La Petit Ferme in the Franschhoek region, she introduced me to the french way of drinking red with cheese.She picked a gorgeous Merlot from the winery and a  plate of local cheeses with some Gorgonzola and some Stilton.  She instructed me to pop a lump of Stilton into my mouth, then take a sip of the red wine and swill it around altogether. It was a divine experience and one I had never done before. 

So, what do I choose? I think my minds already made up, although I want the Chablis, I'm not sure that we really need anymore wine. I want it but I don't need it! Think I may pop down the supermarket for just one bottle of something yummy!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Skiing with the kids.

We've just got back from the snowy (just) alpine resort of Hinterglemm in Austria, injury free and shattered.

I love skiing, and I couldn't wait until I had the kids so that they would enjoy it throughout their lives like I have.  We go as a family with a couple of other families and it's always brilliant fun. it ain't!! From the accommodation to the kit, the sport has been designed to bankrupt you. Although the resorts we choose are child friendly with plenty of kiddie activities they come at a price.  In comparison our summer Holiday's are veritable bargains.

BH loves taking his family with him, and so do I, but sometimes when the aches kick in I just wish I'd left them all at home.  I can barely lift my head in the morning, let alone attempt to get them dressed in their gear, with their boots on in time for the first run of the day. The kids are exhausted at the end of the day and plop into bed with barely a whimper.

This year we stayed at the luxurious Alpine Palace Hotel tucked under the Reiterkogel run. A 30 second walk from the gondola and a minute walk from the village centre. The hotel is a relatively new addition to Hinterglemm and is a eclectic mixture of old world Austrian charm and ultra modern chic (god, I sound like a travel brochure), and absolutely stunning. Glass and driftwood, sumptuous sofa's and chandeliers, spa, hotub, sauna, and relaxation rooms with water beds and tinkling music, plunge pool overlooking the village and slopes....the place has it all! Oh and it also has a casino (which we couldn't afford to visit!).

The restaurants cater for everyone.  The food is divine. However, if you book through a UK travel agent you're generally given a room in the old part of the hotel, which hardly gives you room to swing a pole let alone a cat...but, as they tell have access the rest of the hotel's ultimate luxury.  The rooms each had a 42" TV but when you were almost sitting on top of it, it seemed a bit of a pointless addition.

But the kids absolutely loved it.  They loved the play room with the pool table and the fusball.  They loved the ski school, and they loved the afternoon tea.  They loved getting into the robes and wandering into the hotel lobby and curling up on the sofas while the adults ordered milkshakes and served them with hearty soups and cakes.Ski school is great as they keep them occupied and learning new techniques.  Mind you, Finn is not too happy and demands that he stops going. He says that as Bart no longer goes to ski school he shouldn't either.  I saw him poking some kid up the bum with his pole, because he wasn't going quick enough. After lunch, they join us for the afternoon for a couple of runs.

I try to prepare ahead, taking with us all we need...suntan lotion, lip balm, and medical kit. The ski gear is handed down from one to the other, if one of them has outgrown, a quick trip to TK Maxx does the job.  BH and I have our own boots and ski's so we don't have to worry about the hire, but we hire the kids when we get to the resort. Hinterglemm is part of a ski circus where you can ski from resort to resort. Hinterglemm-Saalbach-Leogang.  We never made it as far as Leogang...we were too knackered.  There are plenty of blue and red runs, but for the hardened skier it could be a bit lacking as there are only a couple of black runs.

Skiing is not for everyone, but as this is such a child friendly resort it's a brilliant place to go. As the holiday was half board the food was included along with the flights and transfers.

I hate to add up what we spent on our week long holiday, but it was worth it.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

I do love a list.....

I love a list.  I always have done. I buy notebooks, planners, diaries, and those long pads for "lists". I write my lists on scraps of paper, napkins, the back of old envelopes and new sheets of printer paper (folded in half). I wake up in the morning, sit down with a cuppa and plan my list.  Sometimes I write my "To do" list for the month and divide it up into days. I always write it for the day ahead.

I know I'm not the only one in my family who loves a list.  Ma writes one for her shopping, and sis writes one just like mine and sometimes we compare lists and it's surprising how similar they are.  I like to write mine in the order of the day.  Sis writes hers as the ideas pop into her mind. Most of mine states the obvious and sometimes I cheat and add something which I've already done, like walk the dog.  I know, I know, it's something I do everyday anyway, but adding it makes me see how much I've achieved during the day.

1. Get up
2. Wash hair
3. Take kids to school
4. Walk the dogs.....

You get the picture? A clear picture of my day before it happens.  By crossing off each item and recapping (with another cuppa), I can see how much I actually do.  I do get a bit obsessive at times and re-start a messy list.  Sis ticks hers, which makes me wonder whether it's possible she may do things twice, whereas my crossing out denotes a clear end to that task.

Like most families, I have the "Organiser" calender.  Each of us have our own columns, and I put parties, dentists appointments and meetings on it.  Woe betide anyone who adds to this calender and doesn't ask for my permission! I like a tidy calender, with neat writing, otherwise I get confused and could end up in the wrong place at the wrong time.

At the beginning of the month BH and I go through our timetable and list where we will be at any given time.  If he grabs the calender, I know he's going to mess it up and I'll have to re-do it...I must be a bit of a control freak!  Miriam has her own column with the days she's expected to cover for us (which is generally only 2-3 days each month), and sometimes I'll add in a couple of baby-sitting nights, just in case.  We always cancel, and she knows this so she always organises something for herself anyway.

"I knew you'd cancel" she says "I go out wiz my friends.  You haff boring life."

The boys have picked up my love of lists but not to such an extent.  They write their Christmas list (they are warned it's a guide for Santa!), and they have a list for their homework.  They know what they do on any given day by just looking at the calender, and if I omit the dentist or music lesson, they wail,

"But it wasn't on the calendar!"

I have a drawer full of all my notebooks and I get such pleasure from reading through them and seeing what I have actually achieved throughout my life.  I wonder what would happen if I didn't plan my day.  I think I would drift aimlessly through my days without any idea of what I should be doing.  I'm not sure I would function.

I do love a list, I do!


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