Thursday, 31 March 2011

"Will you be my child?"

Ok, I just want to mention (ok, moan), that I can't seem to format my text the way I want. Yes, I know there are more pressing things in the world to worry and complain about but right here, right now? I just want some control over my formatting of posts, OK???? Right, ok then ..... Annabel wants to be an art teacher. She's only 5 years old but she knows that she wants to be a teacher. I guess this makes perfect sense, combining her two favourite things in the entire universe; creating art, number one, and telling people what to do, number two! (Or should that be the other way around?) Either way, while Joseph is at after school club once a week, Annabel likes to come up to my classroom and use our Smart board (a damn clever piece of kit, which links your PC to an interactive white board, touch sensitive, blah blah blah, it's great!). In order to practice for her impending career in teaching, she asks if I would, "be the child", so she can practice asking me questions, congratulating me when I answer a question correctly or thrash me if I get it wrong (I'm kidding, I'm kidding!!) and generally be the Boss. And although the Smartboard is her favourite, just occasionally she'll use a white board and marker pen to do her little drawings. Today she drew 3 different types of flower.

Y'see, we just can't get away from Spring!!

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Daft census page

So, have you completed and sent off your 2011 national census then? What? Not yet? Whaddya mean you're not going to fill it in, you've got to, it's the law of the land, you HAVE to fill it in!! Besides, if you don't fill it in, you won't get to read Question 17, one of the silliest, "questions" I've seen to date on a form of any kind!! Like, why didn't they just put Q18 in Q17's place?? Why say, "we've left this question blank on purpose, please go to the next question"? See for yourself below. Let's face it, this silliness will be lost in the sands of time. The information from these forms will be available to all in one hundred years but no-one will be alive to remember stupid Question 17. Tell EVERYONE about it, let everyone know that Q17 is a nonsense, tell them ALL!! Oh, and if I'm not back here within a week talking about something else, you'll know that sinister forces were fed up with me highlighting their governmental daftness one too many times and I was silenced.

Because let's face it, that's the sort of thi ...........

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Spring is sprung, the grass is riz!

Getting everyone ready to leave our house in the morning is no mean feat. Although I'm fairly sure that lots of households play things out in a similar fashion to ourselves, I'm going to run through things from my point of view anyway, just because I can! Digital clock radio goes off, usually with a decent tune playing, all courtesy of 6Music. Nudge M' who grudgingly goes to shower.

Doze for 10 minutes more (sometimes 12 or sometimes even - tee hee - 15!) M returns, I change station to BBC Radio 2 so we can listen to Chris Evans, my turn to shower.

Walk along landing, say good morning to Joseph who is usually reading. I shower, go back to his room again, tell him to remember to look at his times tables poster while he gets dressed (in other words, time to get up and get dressed - now!) Go into Annabel's room, open blind and move her hair out of her face gently, thus stirring her from her deep sleep. I get dressed, walk along to Joseph's room again, inform him for the fourth time so far that week that the mornings are for getting up, ready, fed and out of the house for school; they are not an extension of playtime to be spent connecting lego pieces whilst in the buff - get dressed! Help Annabel to get dressed, brush her hair (commenting once again how much I wish I had her hair and she could have mine - which earns me a "you've got to be joking" look), et voilà, it's time for breakfast; first stage of proceedings completed! (Actually, I've just remembered exactly what it is I wanted to talk about, but for the sake of continuity, I'll finish this ramble quickly).

Cereal, ("surprise mixture please Dad"), crumpets, ("ooh, can I have honey please?") and a cup of strong tea for me. Finish brekkie, back upstairs to brush teeth, fill school water bottles, shoes on, safety helmets on, scooters at the ready and off we go, the entire mission accomplished in just under two hours. Now, what was I going to tell you .......?

Oh yeah, if M' is leaving early for work on any particular day, then Annabel and myself wave from one of the upstairs windows (I know, I know, so cheesy but we just can't help ourselves!). It is at this point that we see what sort of a day it's going to be weatherwise. For the children, it kind of doesn't matter - the uniform is the uniform - there's not a great deal that can be done to change it.

For me however, it's the moment when I realise that I am hopelessly under or over dressed, with no time really, to change into something more appropriate. I s'pose I could look out of the window before getting dressed, but where's the fun in that??!? "Hmm, whaddya think Annabel? Does it look warm and is going to be warm, or does it just look warm and is actually freezing out there?"

(Heh heh, this way, I get to blame someone else if I'm not dressed correctly, works every time) She got it right, bless her - it was quite cold, albeit beautifully sunny and clear. Cold or not though, it was a cracking morning and a cracking day. Spring, it seems, really is here! People were smiling at each other on the walk to school, and let's face it, Londoners only do that if it's the middle of summer so that should give you some idea of how nice a day it really was "dahn sarf".

Of course, the walk home was a slightly different matter, with everyone's sweaters, cardigans and jackets slung over (my) arm, but not even the fact that I was carrying heavy shopping stopped me from taking today's piccy.

Home, mes enfants, to the garden! It's been a long, dark winter and I have a lawn to tend to!!

Saturday, 19 March 2011

"Don't forget me, I beg, I remember you said ..."

I should be blogging, keeping you up to date, keeping you informed ..... but I can't!

When I should be typing, I just can't stop listening to
this spine tingling song!

I'm a fan, but by no means her biggest fan, but ... just ... can't ... stay ... away!

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Bee-yoo-ti-ful artwork Part I

Annabel loves, loves, as in LOVES, to draw.

It is officially her favourite thing to do.

As a result, we constantly find lovely sketches and drawings dotted around the house, sometimes on A4 sheets of paper, other times it is a little scribbly thing on a teensy scrap, all torn at the edges.

There are too many (seriously) to keep them all so I thought, what better place to exhibit them than right here, for your viewing pleasure.

You're welcome!

And, as is always the case with anything my children have written or drawn, the spelling mistakes just make the piece all the sweeter and I will let you decipher them yourselves.

You make me lafe too bubba ...... you make me lafe too.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

"Mind yer business!"

It's rude to ask a lady her age, didn't you know that??!?

Well, it is!!

On the other hand, as I'm not a lady, it isn't rude, but I'm not going to tell you anyhow!!!

As always, the lovely M makes a fuss of whoever's birthday it is and this year was no exception, my children getting very excited as I opened my pressies - almost all kitchen related.

Actually, as I wrote that, I realised that if the boot were on the other foot, as it were, I would probably be accused of being a male chauvinist pig, 'oppressing' my wife, forcing her to do all the cooking and cleaning etc.

Well, luckily for her (and any feminists that may be reading this drivel), the boot isn't on the other foot, it's on my foot and I am proud to say that I LOVE KITCHEN STUFF!!

Bring it on!!

As a little fun quiz on my birthday, here is the following question.

This year, some of my gifts were wrapped in a fab paper, depicting all my old favourite comic annual covers. I also received a funny card from a friend. I also received a typically naff card from a relative (I am grateful, it's just that I don't know where you buy these cards, and I've been receiving 'em for years!)

Anyways, back to the fun.

See if you can figure out which one is which.

"Happy birthday to me-e-e-e ......."

Friday, 4 March 2011

Brilliant TV!

Did you watch Channel 4’s truly excellent drama The Promise? It was a four part drama screened at the end of Febraury.

(I know, I know, I'm rubbish!! It's taken me until now to discuss it!)

I don’t know who to applaud first – or loudest. Should it be writer/director Peter Tomkinsky forbeing brave enough to tackle what surely must be one of the longest running political hot potatoes in modern history (not to mention one of the most controversial)?

Should he be applauded forcasting so brilliantly? Or should it be the cast themselves, many of whom were local actors, so convincing in their roles, it was difficult not to believe they weren’t merely playing themselves?

In particular, the ex-IDF soldier Paul, who could no longer ignore or accept the treatment of Palestinian Arabs, and Omar, a Hamas supporter with a dim view of Israel, all of which created genuine tension?

My viewing partner (wifey) and I, however, felt that Len (brilliantly played by Christian Cooke) deserved a special mention. His mix of emotions came across beautifully; be it the tough but fair sergeant,the gentleman falling in love with the young Clara, or the human being who became ever more sympathetic to the Palestinian’s plight in general, but particularly to Abu-Hassan, his servant, and his family.

Although the part played by Erin’s grandfather wasn’t exactly scene stealing, his single tear at the end of the final part spoke volumes, the relief of decades of self-inflicted pain, also clearly visible in his subtle hand squeeze. We had far more tears on our cheeks than he did by this point.

I hope that people who were not previously interested or knowledgeable about this important part of world history were as glued to their screens as we were. The detailed story of the suffering which took place over 60 years ago in Palestine will hopefully have answered lots of questions for many viewers, showing the ongoing sadness and humiliation experienced by thousands of families, all of whom also live with an old, metal key wrapped up in a cloth, kept in pride of place in their homes, serving as a permanent reminder, as well as an increasingly unlikely, beacon of hope.

Thank you Mr Tomkinsky.