It’s not what it looks like…


It’s not as bad as it might look. I know that it doesn’t look great, but I can explain myself.

First of all, it’s James’ fault. I gave him my camera to hold as I went down into the puddle with Immy. Funnily enough, I didn’t want the camera to get broken if I fell. I’ve learnt from my brother that cameras don’t mix well with water. If James didn’t have hold of my camera, this photograph wouldn’t exist.

Immy said she was going to splash me. As she said that, I turned and I was going to kick water at Immy but she ran off and tripped and got wet all by herself. I nearly fell on another rock as I was turning towards her. In this photo, I’m actually balancing myself because I remembered my phone and car key was in my pocket (and because I didn’t want to get wet!!).

I mean, she’s 13-years-old. Surely she doesn’t need me to explain to her that you should run in rocky puddles?

Well, she got wetter than she would have done if she had just let me splash her.

She was alright afterwards. I checked she was ok before I started laughing my backside off. She was in good spirits. She always is.


Flossie Friday: homework

I’m going to try to limit the number of times that I blog about the Flossie character. Given that both Flossie and Friday begin with an F, I thought that I would save what I want to write for a Friday. Therefore, I now have Flossie Friday.

I know that my blog is sometimes read by a couple of teachers. Flossie is the parent that you hate. The kids are sweet but the parent is awful. Her philosophy is that homework is only set by incompetent teachers and that “home life” is not for homework. In Flossie’s world, “home life” is for the kids to do housework.

I don’t know how she can’t find time to listen to the children read for 15-20 minutes in an evening. She has time to be going on Facebook and she has time to watch the television. She finds the time to fulfil her commitments. Why can’t she find the time to listen to children read their books? Or, even to encourage that they read a book?

It’s just listening to the children read books and ensure they do a work sheet. She’s not having to oversee them as they write essays on Shakespeare, or do quantum physics.

Her logic that these things should be done in school is bizarre. Shouldn’t we be encouraging children to open books and let their imaginations run wild within the pages of an exciting story? Shouldn’t we encourage less television and more reading? Surely it is a parents duty and responsibility to ensure that their children are fulfilling their potential? Education doesn’t begin and stop at school. It has to be enabled at home, too – does it not?

This is Flossie:


Image result for facebook addict cartoon
Something I found on a Bing search

A disaster could go off around Flossie, and she would be oblivious because she is glued to her phone, scrolling through Facebook.

I struggle to comprehend how she can find the hours to waste looking at a social media site but she can’t find a few minutes to listen to her children read her a book? Perhaps they could just read her what is written on Facebook – they might grab her interest then!

She can’t even use the argument that she’s been working all day, or she is too tired from keeping the house tidy. I don’t know what she does all day, but I do know that the children work harder than she does by going to school, coming home and doing housework. To be honest, after all the housework that I know they have to do after a long day at school, I think all I would want to do is play with toys and watch television. I don’t think I would want to be doing homework and reading on top of that. Otherwise it really would be all work and no play.

Well, Flossie can have her backwards way of thinking, but mine is: if you have time to waste looking at Facebook, you have time to listen to your children read a book!


Miss vs Ms

I went to the chemist yesterday to collect my monthly supply of penicillin, folic acid and HRT patches. For some reason, possibly stemming back from an incident that happened while I was in hospital a decade ago (!), whenever I collect a prescription I always check the label, the box and the blister packets. On the label, and indeed on my prescription, I noticed something. I noted that they are using the title “Ms”. I have since rummaged through my bathroom bin (gross) and discovered that this is a newly acquired title; previous boxes are labelled as “Miss”.

I’m the only one who lives in my house. So, when post arrives, I generally see my surname and open it. I have been through all of my filing (because, I have nothing better to do!!) and I have discovered that I am Ms or Miss depending on who is writing to me. And, because of my lack of observation on my post, I’ve only noticed that this has been going on for months!

I always select Miss. Always. On forms, I tick “Miss”. On drop down lists, I always select “Miss”. I’m Miss. Not Ms. Miss.

There are a lot of opinions on the Miss vs Ms ‘debate’ on The Guardian. I like the comment that says we could get around the problem by obtaining a PhD and refer to ourselves as “Dr”. Although – the top comment strikes me: men have one title (Mr) while women have three titles depending on whether they’re married (Mrs), unknown/divorced (Ms) or unmarried (Miss). I suppose the “Ms” title is an equivalent of the “Mr” title – we’re unknown. We can’t tell from “Mr” whether a man is married or not. However, divorced women are still able to use to title “Mrs” – so that confuses it all a little.

I understand that someone might use the title “Ms” when writing to me and they’re unsure what my marital status is. However, when I have ticked the box that says “Miss”, surely that’s a clue? Surely I would know if I am married or not?!

It doesn’t really matter what title my post comes in or what they put on my prescriptions. How does it really affect me? It doesn’t. However, it got me wondering whether there is a certain age in which your title gets changed? I read somewhere that the title “Ms” is generally used when we are unsure of a marital status, for a divorcee or for an unmarried ‘older’ woman. At 31-years-old, I am hardly an unmarried ‘older’ woman. If 31-years-old is considered to be ‘older’ than that is quite outrageous. I describe my 81-year-old grandmother as “older”.

To my knowledge, I have never been married or divorced, so I don’t know why, all of a sudden, my title has been changed to “Ms” by people who have previously written to me under the title “Miss”. It’s all rather confusing for me. I suppose, though, a part of it identity and my lack of liking change. Also, Ms for a single person (in my opinion) makes me sound a bit of a divorcee. I don’t see the point in keeping people guessing – I’m happy for the world to know that I’m an unmarried “Miss”.


Something I found on Pinterest



The success story of Facebook recommendations…

I blogged exactly one week ago about using Facebook for recommendations. I was a little apprehensive. I thought maybe I would be ripped off. I wondered if I would have to chase the electrician. I thought that perhaps the job would be botched. I think I have watched too many cowboy trader programmes and not read about the good tradesmen that are out there.

The electrician came promptly on Wednesday, late afternoon. He took a look at the job and quoted me £20. I was quoted £40 before, so I took this quote. He arranged that he would come back on Monday (yesterday) to do the job. Well, 4:30pm came and went. I’ll be honest. I was getting a tiny bit annoyed. So, I sent him a message: are you coming to do my light? He explained that he was otherwise occupied and he would be with me soon. And he was. And I now have a light that works in my bedroom.

I’ll be honest: if he was going to cancel, I would have said I would find someone else. But he didn’t cancel. I am very grateful that he was respectful of the fact that I stayed in and waited for him.

I’m never turning my light off again.

Well done, Facebook. I am super happy with my plain, boring light fitting that shines light around my bedroom. Now I need to buy one of those shade cover things.

Year of the Tiger

Last week was the Chinese New Year. It’s now the Year of the Dog. I was born in the Year of the Tiger. I’ve done a quick ‘Bing’ search and I’ve clicked on the first website it showed me: China Highlights. I’m having a bit of a giggle here.

Numbers Lucky numbers: 1, 3, 4. Unlucky numbers: 6, 7, 8. That’s funny because there’s been a 1 in my address at Nanna’s and my current address. There’s also a 7 in my birthday. But, how’s it “lucky” or “unlucky”? Is it lucky if I eat 4 crème eggs? Is it unlucky if I only eat 8 chocolate fingers with the crème eggs? How are numbers supposed to be lucky or unlucky?

Colours Lucky colours: blue, grey and orange. Brown is unlucky for me. My car is blue but that’s not very lucky because it got keyed in Ireland. I’m actually wearing a brown and orange dress today, so will the lucky orange and unlucky brown cancel each other out? And in what way will these colours make me lucky?

Flowers “Lucky flowers” are a yellow lily and a cineraria. So, do I need to plant lots of these flowers? What will these “lucky flowers” do for me except attract wasps and bees and possibly sting my neighbours? Although, there are one or two neighbours I wouldn’t mind to be stung…

Directions Yes, directions. Lucky directions are north, east and south. Unlucky direction is south-west. How does this even work?

People born in the year of the Tiger are brave, competitive, unpredictable, and self-confident. They are very charming and well-liked by others. But sometimes they are likely to be impetuous, irritable, and overindulged. (Quoted from China Highlights)

  • I’m brave. Flossie, aplastic anaemia and cervical cancer have taught me how to be brave. I wouldn’t necessarily say that I am all that good with self-confidence. Sometimes, I need a pep-talk. But I would agree that I’m brave.
  • I’m competitive sometimes – especially if it means that I can beat my brother at something. If I’m ‘playing’ against children, I’m not so competitive. Also, if I am playing against a sore loser, I will do my utmost to lose. If they’ll suck the fun out of me winning, I can walk away with the satisfaction that secretly, I won…
  • I’m a fairy predictable character.
  • I could probably do with some lessons in charming from Flossie. She has to be somewhat charming to have been married multiple times. Maybe it’s a compliment that I’m not such a charming person 😉 However, unlike Flossie, I have some friends, so I consider myself to be well-liked.
  • I’ve had to look up impetuous in my dictionary. FYI, it means impulsive, or rash. I try not to make rash decisions (except concerning dinner) but perhaps sometimes I do.
  • I can be extremely irritable when it comes to Flossie, hunger, tiredness, too hot and when I’m not well.
  • I am better at not being overindulgent. However, t’is the season of the Crème Egg…

With stubborn personalities and tough judgment, tigers work actively and boldly express themselves, and do things with a high-handed manner. They are authoritative and never go back on what they have said. (Quoted from China Highlights)

I would probably agree with this statement – but it could be true of quite a few people I know who aren’t born in the Year of the Tiger. If I commit myself to something, I give it my all. If I say I’ll do something, I do it to the best standard that I can. If I say I’ll do something, I will do it, and I don’t need to be nagged…

With great confidence and indomitable fortitude, they can be competent leaders. They will not make preparations for anything, but they can handle anything that comes along. (Quoted from China Highlights)

I can competently lead and I can handle whatever is thrown at me. But again, this statement could be true of many people I know who aren’t born in the Year of the Tiger. It’s not exclusive to everyone born in the Years of the Tiger. Otherwise these traits would only be seen in people born every 12 years. It’s a bit like the logic behind the other zodiac – the one where I’m a Virgo.

It doesn’t stop here. Did you know that the Year of the Tiger is broken down even more, depending on what Year of the Year of the Tiger you were born? For instance, I’m not just a Tiger. I’m a Fire Tiger. This means:

Optimistic and independent, with poor self-control (Quoted from China Highlights)

Optimistic – somewhat… Independent – definitely… Poor self-control – depends on the situation.

Now, this is the hilarious part: those born in the Year of the Tiger apparently enjoy “good health”. Overall, perhaps I do have “good health” but I have had a couple of “blips” during my adult years so far.

But picks up when it mentions all the jobs that I might be good at. They include: actor, writer, artist, pilot and comedian. I don’t really rate my chances at being an Oscar-winning actress, or a best selling author. But I wouldn’t mind having a go at flying an aeroplane while telling a few jokes. And, it’s going to happen now, because:

After their thirties they find their direction and gather wealth. (Quoted from China Highlights)

So, here it comes. I’m going to be rich as a pilot comedian.

But, true of me, the Tiger Profile ends with me not being romantic. This couldn’t be more true. I don’t do romance. I don’t want to receive romance. I don’t want to give romance. So, something about this profile is definitely true…

In my opinion, however, just like the other zodiac thing where I am a Virgo, it’s all a load of rubbish. I just wrote this blog post because I was intrigued by what I read on the Internet. I know that there are people who believe in this sort of stuff, but it really isn’t my cup of cocoa. I don’t understand how we can divide people into all these different groups depending on when they were born. The things I have read and quoted apply to people in my life who I know aren’t born in the Year’s of the Tiger – so they’re not ‘exclusive’ traits.

I am wondering, though, what other people believe. I like to try and keep my mind ajar… 🙂

Here’s me and my “tiger” (taken in 2011).

488 Me and Tigger

ABC of Flossie…

A is for actress, a job in which she would excel.

B is for bossing her children around – we should just rebel.

C is for her terrible cooking, which no one thinks is yummy.

D is for the diet that is giving her a rounded tummy.

E is for the ex-husbands – there are plenty.

F is for Facebook, where her friends list contains many.

G is for grandparents who she uses as excuses.

H is for housework done by those she misuses.

I is for imagination – hers is in a fantasy land.

J is for junk food which give her a big waist band.

K is for kids – of which she has nine.

L is for lies which explode from her mouth like a landmine.

M is for her mobile phone addiction.

N is for nonfiction…

O is for obedience of which Flossie demands.

P is for politeness – a concept she misunderstands.

Q is for quietly shaking our heads at her.

R is for “riot acts” which we incur.

S is for snoring through films she wrecks.

T is for tea breaks she let’s her child servants collect.

U is for uniforms she threatens not to wash.

V is for very real possibility that she might sit on us and we’d be squashed!

W is for wishing she might leave home.

X is for x-ray vision she possesses when going over something with a fine tooth comb.

Y is for yelling, which is her standard voice.

Z is for zoning out – when she rants, it’s our go-to choice.

The sofa bed (part 3 or 4)

I have blogged about the sofa bed before. I whined that I hadn’t seen the expectant sofa bed and that we (I mean, Grandad) had bought it before seeing it. He hadn’t even sat on it. I probably sounded a bit brat-ish; I was dreading the sofa bed arriving – which was within the expected time window. While it is completely serviceable and comfortable (to a cert extent), last night I had my first night on it.

It’s quite easy to move around the room (dragging and pulling) and it turns from sofa to bed with minimal fuss. It is what it says on the tin: it’s a sofa bed. It’s both a sofa and a bed.

I shared the ‘bed’ last night with my 13-year-old sister (who, incidentally, doesn’t like fun). I said to the Imsta “wow, I’m sorry the bed isn’t that brilliant. It’s only for a couple of nights”. She replied with “it’s rather comfortable” and then told me that she likes a hard mattress. Well, there is hard and there is sleeping on a sheet of wood.

It wasn’t uncomfortable. It’s just not comfortable. If I were giving myself a review on Trip Advisor I would either overlook the bed or say “could have been better”. Tonight we’re putting a duvet under us to make more cushion. Except, this experience opens up another can of worms:


What do I tell him?!

When he asks me “how was it?” do I lie and say “the most comfortable night of my life” or do I say “ugh, it was ok?”

But then, he will sleep on it for himself. Eventually, he is going to come up here and sleep on it for himself. Is this when I say “you have my bed and I’ll sleep in the living room” – which I could get away with because he likes to sleep in late in the mornings. I could really, really get away with this. But what if he really wants to sleep on the sofa bed he bought? Do I laugh and say “haha”? Do I say “oh, no one else finds it that uncomfortable”? Or do I just calmly ask (without laughing) “can I find you another duvet?”


Previous blog post that I have eluded to: Sofa