Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Top Five Albums by a Band

So, 6 days until we move house. The Hubster is conveniently away from home and unable to return until the day before The Big Move. And I have yet to pack a box. Hmmm, blogging probably shouldn't be my priority this week, but when I saw Kate's listography theme this week, I had to join in.

Sorry these are brief and no pics of album covers, but in no particular order:

The Beatles - With The Beatles

I know, I know. Everyone says Revolver is the best. But out of the 12 tapes in my Beatles collection I was given by my Dad for my 18th birthday, it was this one that died first. This must be a sign?

The Kinks - You Really Got me - Best of

I was actually born in the wrong decade. Cheating a bit with a best of, but I challenge you to name me a song you don't love.

Bob Marley and the Wailers - Legend 

I love reggae and Bob is the King. Just hearing it makes me think of dancing barefoot on a Caribbean beach. Not that I've done this, but I'm sure it would live up to my expectations.

Oasis - Definitely Maybe

Definitely maybe this one, or What's the Story. Or Be Here Now. Not the others though. Sooo boringly predictable, but these guys provided the soundtrack to my teenage years and hearing Liam's voice just transports me straight back there.

Ash - 1977

Again hearing this brings back some great memories of summers spent at festivals, beer and moshing. Fantastic stuff.

Longpigs - The Sun is Often Out

If I had to choose number one, this might be it. Controversial, I know. This album is beautiful, passionate, sexy, dark, uplifting and powerful. Try it!

Check out other people's favourites at Kate Takes 5

Right, best start that packing.......

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Cockerels and careers

5am and the cockerel is rousing. No, we haven’t moved to some rural retreat, we just have a 10 month old who for the last three months has considered 5am a perfectly reasonable wake up time.

I stumble through to my screaming son who promptly stops wailing. He gives me the biggest grin and thumps his legs up and down repeatedly. *Sigh*, just like his Daddy. (That’s the cheeky, heart-breaking grin, not the thumping his legs up and down part. That wouldn’t be quite so endearing in a fully grown man.)

So the next half an hr is spent sleepily feeding him in bed praying he might just doze back off.  Today it wasn’t going to be. The leg thumping started back up and he decided the first thing on his to do list today would be a spot of nostril exploration. My nostrils.  At this point in proceedings I sit him up and throw whatever happens to be on my bedside table in his direction in an attempt to entertain him while I continue to try and doze. Today it’s a tube of toothpaste, an empty box and a trashy chick lit novel. He seems particularly taken with the book, but it doesn’t take too long before he’s exhausted all possibilities of what you can 'do' with these items.

I reach out and blindly feel about down the side of the bed and find The Whirlwind’s doctors set. First I have the thermometer poked in my ear. A little uncomfortable, but hey, he put it in my ear! I’m impressed!  Dr Simmonds. Yes, it definitely has a ring to it.  Next he tests my reflexes by bashing me on the bonce with the reflex hammer. Not quite sure what reflex he was testing, but he certainly got a reaction, ouch! As some other piece of brightly coloured plastic is shoved down my throat I look over at The Hubster through the chaos of instruments who is enduring similar abuse. We smile. A ‘How-did-we-get-to-this-point-in-our-lives?’ type smile. Giggle Monster starts to moan so I pass him the mouth mirror. Now my Dad (who can be found at Apache Territory) has grand plans for his grandson. Pops, good news - he put it in his mouth. We could have something to work with here. ;-)

He swiftly moves on to another favourite activity – hair pulling. Or perhaps he’s trying to comb it? Would I be happy if my son turned out to be a hairdresser? Hell yeah, given the amount my hairdresser charges. He’s finding this activity particularly fun, however I’m not sharing the pleasure so I look at my watch. 6am. Dragging myself out of bed I make the same promise I do every day- I’ll have an early one tonight.

Cockerel anyone?! He could have a promising career ahead…….

Monday, 9 May 2011

Bad combinations

As part of this blogging business I have been reading around and getting inspiration and ideas from fellow bloggers. Kate at http://katetakes5.blogspot.com/ is my type of person - she just loves the humble List. So much so every week she thinks of a new list 'theme', writes her list and then fellow bloggers can write their own version. 

This week the theme is 'bad combinations'.


1) Frothy headed beer/ moustauches

Not good look. Always a bit awkward for the drinking companion too - do you mention it or not?

2) Children/ wind

In my first year of teaching a colleague said, "Oh the wind's up today, the kids will be climbing the walls'. 'What is this crazy fool on about!?',  I thought. But six years of teaching later, I can vouch for this - it's true. Wind makes children go completely dolally. No idea why, just another one of life's little mysteries. 

3) Short tops/ leggings.

Just no.

4) Small objects/ nostrils

There was once a raisin related incident. It was resolved with a between the knees head lock and a pair of tweezers. A hairy moment. PLEASE NOTE: Do not try this at home, this is not the recommended procedure for such situations.

5) Sand/suncream

Inevitable combination, but bad none-the-less. Or sand/sandwiches, sand/knickers, sand/flip-flops- take your pick. Hell, anything combined with sand is bad. I don't like sand much.

Any to add followers?

Thanks for the inspiration Kate, I'm so new to this I can't work out how to comment on your blog, but I LOVE your work.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Picnic in the Park

So it was 4.30pm. The kids were cranky and as I peered out of the window, black clouds were looming in the distance.

‘Let’s go for a picnic!” The Hubster suddenly announced.

Now I’m not one for knocking a bit of spontaneity, so we got our bits together and as quick as you can say ‘I hear thunder’ we were at the park.

Just as we pulled up, the heavens opened:

But we weren’t going to let a bit of torrential rain scupper our plans so we got out and kitted ourselves out for the picnic.

Now I’ve had a bit of feedback on my first blog.  The Hubster’s not too familiar with the term ‘positive criticism’ and his comment was ‘it’s too long’. So I’m not going to detail the whole event. However, I would like to note a few points to follow when visiting the park on a rainy day for future reference. 

1)   Ensure all members of the family have correctly sized outer rainwear garments.

2)   Check all said family members have weather appropriate footwear, ie not open-footed/open-toed or fabric based.

3)   Cease the opportunity of a break in the rain to choose a picnic spot, but ensure it is close to a place of cover. ( Ideally one all members of the family can fit under)

4)   You know that spare bag of clothes you always drag around wherever you go but never use? Yep, don’t forget to bring it on this occasion. 

5)   If a goose comes at you barking (??!) in an aggressive fashion, DO NOT under ANY circumstances bark back.

This may just look like an ordinary goose to you, but I can assure you, this fella was ANGRY! 
I’m not sure this final one is weather related, but hell something got up his beak. 

Happy picnicking people!

Retale therapy

So here is my first post! As the title of my blog promised it's a 'tale' from the Simmonds household. I have to admit it's an old piece of writing, but I promise to get something up to date on soon. 

Date: 10th January 2010
Location: Workington, Cumbria

“No, we don’t need the buggy! The Whirlwind is getting really good at walking along nicely, holding my hand. It’s really quite amazing considering she’s only just two, she’s so clever!"
Famous last words.

First stop, Marks and Spencers. We whizz around as quickly as possible, though spend a little time deliberating between the lamb shanks and the Angus steak pie. Once the decision has been made (the pie, if you’re interested) we head off to the checkouts.
“Come on darling,” I say grabbing The Whirlwind’s hand and walking rather smugly past a Mum struggling to squeeze her squealing offspring into a trolley.
Unpacking the contents of my trolley on to the conveyor belt, I pick up a children’s fish pie. Hmmmm. I don’t remember putting that in there. Hang on….. two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight …. There are nine fish pies in the trolley. Ah, so when we were debating over the merits of the pie versus the lamb, it seems The Whirlwind took it upon herself to make sure she was all sorted for the week. Well, fair enough, I guess that means we’ve brought up our daughter to be an independent, resourceful little girl who also happens to be fully aware of the importance of Omega 3 in one’s diet.  Good stuff. Moving on.

Next stop Debenhams for a spot of good old retail therapy. The first thing that draws The Whirlwind's attention is the carefully thought out Valentine’s display which includes several strategically placed balloons.
‘Boons, boons, boons!” The Whirlwind shrieks, pounding them with her fist.
‘Ooo darling, leave those! Come on let’s have a little walk around. ” I say removing her hands from the mannequin’s lacy thong while simultaneously trying and failing to re-attach the balloons.
“I’d quite like some new shoes,” The Hubster announces wandering over to the shoe section.
“Oooo look Mummy, boats!”  The Whirlwind has removed three tubs of shoe polish off the shelf and is pushing them around the floor. It strikes me that in a two year olds’ mind, everything around them is there purely for their entertainment and that reason only.
“Race you!” The Whirlwind challenges.
“No, not in here….” My voice trails off after I run after her. She’s heading to the till area.
“Stop!” I demand. And she does just that. Right in the middle of a rather lengthy till section.
“Er… no keep going, erm just to the end! Then wait for me there."  I go to meet her at the other end and find her smacking a mannequin’s bottom. She then proceeds to tickle his feet, much to the amusement of a teenage onlooker.
“Feet Mummy, feet. Toes…. knee…tummy….. hand…..arm…… shoulder…oh!” The Whirlwind has a rather alarmed expression on her face. The mannequin seems to be missing a rather important body part – its head.
“ Don’t worry, he’s not a real man, he’s just like a really big doll, erm without a head…” I’m not really reassuring her here and worried that she might start having nightmares about headless mannequins I try to distract her.
“I know, let’s go up the escalators, that’ll be fun!” Once we’re up I try to guide her towards the swimwear section, but too late, she’s just spotted the Peppa Pig merchandise.
 ‘Peppa house! Peppa house! Peppa swings! Peppa swings! Peppa slide! Peppa slide!” The Whirlwind sings, her voice increasing in volume with every new thing she sees. “Oo no, let’s just put these back on the shelf….” Her speed is amazing. She is getting things off the shelf far quicker than I can get them back on. I need a distraction.
“Shall we go and find the lift? You can press the button for me!"  Off we trot. The Whirlwind helpfully touches the button and we wait for the lift. Unfortunately the buttons in the lift are at toddler level and The Whirlwind is in the mood for some serious button pressing action. After visiting the third floor, going down to the first and back up to the second, we finally end up on the ground floor.
 ‘Daddy!” she yells and walks straight over and slots her hand into his. No big deal, I think, I’ve only been attempting to get her to do just that for the last twenty manic minutes. I grit my teeth. As we leave the shop I realize: I haven’t actually looked at a single piece of clothing. Looks like my retail therapy days are over for a while.

Later that day.
‘Here you go poppet, one lovely, yummy Fish pie!” I say as I serve up, apparently, her favourite dish.
“Yuck!!” she says, grimacing and pushing the bowl away. “No!! No!! No!!”
In the background, I can hear Adam on the phone to his parents.
“Yes, we’ve been shopping. Yes, very good. I bought a pair of jeans, a pair of trousers and a work shirt. Yes, yes, she was as good as gold……”