Saturday, 24 April 2010

A Quiet Saturday....

After a busy week involving 3.5 days work and a day off with my lovely DP, I really feel like I've earned a quiet Saturday. My plan was to do the cleaning I hadn't got to in the evenings (out 3 out of 4 evenings since Monday!!!), go and watch the kids swim in their last proper swimming lesson and then go to a friends housewarming.
Ha. Fat chance.
I'm home with two thirds of the children, no house warming and half the washing done. The princess is not feeling well. She has tummy ache and is spending a lot of time rushing to the toilet. There's nothing for it. We need a little Mummy and daughter creating time, and I know just the book.

The Lina loves making, but she's still a beginner. Finding an appropriate book for her was nigh on impossible. I remember having an Usbourne How to Sew book that I read until it disintegrated and was searching for something similar for her. I think I've found it.
I got her this book last Sunday and she has been inseparable from it since. She even takes it to bed with her and today, as she lies there groaning and clutching at her tummy (memo to self; read 'The Boy who Cried Wolf' to her soon and remind her that a blood-curdling 'I'm going to be sick' cry is not necessary just for a cup of water) she has it by her.

It is a lovely starter's book, with simple things to make and do, using embroidery, knitting and sewing. They're basic stuff, yes, almost not needing instructions, really, but the photography is cupcake cute and the items are small enough to dream of doing without being too long to finish.... my daughter doesn't need to start her life with a load of UFO's hanging there.
So our Saturday is an At Home. My felt box is coming out, her cross stitch threads are in demand, and a little making will take her mind off the stomach. Bless.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Feast or famine....

After a fruitless term spent trying to get on the books of a new supply agency and only 2.5 days supply (enough to keep the wolf from snapping, but still firmly at my door) I finally got accepted by my new agency on.... Maundy Thursday. Great. No work until after Easter, a week later than anyone else as my kids were having the 'trial' holiday of first two weeks in April whenever Easter is. This is my first week of work for them and so far they have supplied me with 2 full days and the promise of 1 more that I could have had except.... the old agency got there first. Why are supply jobs like buses? You wait ages for one and then three come along at once. I'm not complaining, just making the most of my only free morning this week. The washing is calling, but I'm slightly deaf. I'd far rather watch the debates held by the Daily Politics this week; foreign affairs and yummy! economy.

What we're desperately missing in this election is a Barak Obama. I don't think any body really 'gets' the kudos that he did.... forget whatever his policies are/were and how well the man is doing, there was a vision to his campaign that we don't have.

A new hope, a new challenge. Perhaps we desperately need a Luke Skywalker, a New Hope to bring our politics into a more democratic, more caring 21st century.

Certainly it strikes me as strange that a party can lag behind in the polls and still be projected to get the most seats. Applying that to a classroom situation, that's like saying that the kid who scores least on the test gets the award for best pupil.

I've said it before, I'll say it again. Change comes from below; we need to stand up for the country we want and to work together to make it fair. Don't ever say politics is none of your business. If this is our instrument of power then it's our job to wield it and wield it well.

I don't say vote for him, him or him. I say just vote.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

How many cousins do I have?

I remember once as a little girl asking my Mum how many cousins I had.

Mum was an only child so the number of first cousins on her side was zilch, of course.

Dad was the eldest of 9 so there were (at that time) quite a few cousins. Now I can categorically state that I have 29 first cousins. I counted them, with my Aunty Roberta, four times, with much hushing of questioners and hasty recounts (does Worra have 5 or 6? Who came next in Tess' 4?) and we decided that, yes, I have 29 cousins.

With my family there are 33 cousins on our step. (Cousins in my house are always done by steps; that way you can actually get first and seconds and removals into some sort of order) We don't assemble often; Dad's homeland is Northern Ireland and a trip there is not usually in order. It's a shame, but that's life.

But last August I am glad to say that the saddest of events lead directly to a happy event. My Uncle Kevin died; that's Aunty Roberta's husband. He was a lovely man and a lot of cousins made the effort to get to the funeral. And in the mad meetings that form an Irish funeral the cousins there complained that it only seemed to be sad events that pulled us together.
And that this was wrong; that good things should unite us as well. And so, Cousins Day was born.
Last Easter Monday 19 full cousins and sundry other halves and second cousins all assembled at Collow, the family homestead, and had a fun day. We shot rifles, did clay pigeon shooting and archery and had altogether too good a time.

There was a trophy and a presentation ceremony and a winning team, and a barbecue and cakes and always, always a lot of talking. Meeting cousins that were only teenagers last time you saw them, meeting children that were babes in arms, talking to cousins that you hadn't seen in years and more years. It was lovely.

I have cousins and I like it. My childhood years were spent in exile, due to the troubles in Ireland and the cost of travel, and I wonder whether I would be closer to some of my cousins than I am had I spent years looking forward to a summer spent roaming the hills of Tyrone, but that is sheer regret. Circumstances beyond my control.
All I know is in my middle age I have a sense of family and forefathers that I could never be sure of in my youth. I am half Irish and proud of that, much as I am half English and proud of that, too. And the event was so popular that it must happen again (2 years time is the rematch)
And the winners? Meet my cousin Amanda, my cousin Fiona, my first cousin once removed Bronagh, my nephew Michael and me. We won! (winners photo is not uploading yet; I have to cook lamb & potatoes; will post it on later!)

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Easter passes too quickly....

I know lots of you are back at school and work, and I am lucky to have an extra week off after Easter to spend with my gang, walking in the wood, picking up bags of chips to share at lunch time and generally just passing time together, but 2 weeks is not enough. I long for every holiday to be a 6 week long space to breathe and be together.
We had afternoon tea with butterfly cakes on Monday. Yummy. My sons showed me what to do with a decent piece of wood on Tuesday and today we have been in the woods. The bluebell leaves are peeping through, while daffs bounce in the breeze. Tomorrow is a day off while my 3 spend time with cousins and grandparents and Friday will be a walk in the park. The sun is too good to ignore.
How many weeks til May holiday?
Can I homeschool?