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Saturday, 31 December 2011

In With The New ...

2011 started pretty badly, peaked in the summer and went straight back to crap again in about September, which was when Girlie #2 was first on crutches!

2012 will be about beating my bête noirs, basically getting organised, controlling better my finances and getting fitter.

Problem Areas

Laundry Who'd have guessed it?!

 Fly tipping Mostly in the kitchen and I'm not the only culprit


 The Post There must be about 3 or 4 months of unopened post there *sighs*  Obviously, everything that even slightly resembled a Christmas or birthday card has been opened.

 So, that's my lack of organisation revealed.  To help with this, I have signed up with Habit Hacker  Who do not require me to wear lace up shoes, or to be able to see my face in the sink.                                                                                                      
I have also invested in an Organised Mum Planner, which helps us all keep on top of important dates, birthdays etc.

Finances  I've downloaded an app to my mobile that should help me keep note of all my spends.  Look after the pennies and all that

Health I might just accidentally have clicked on to the Coolrunnings C25K website and have it in mind to give up smoking too

Obviously that's all a lot to be going on with, and won't happen overnight.  But, I would like to accomplish these things throughout 2012.

For me, I'd like to learn how to use a sewing machine properly and also get started (and finished) on a lot of the crafty projects I've got buzzing around in my head.  

So, how about you?  Resolutions or revolutions?

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Out With The Old

I've been a very busy girl today, this morning my sitting room looked like this 



And this afternoon it looks like this...

All ready to go out buy paint, painters tape, drop cloths and it's In With The New.

Just looking at these photos, has reminded me, that I need to remove the standard lamp, the lampshades and the clock.  The boy needs to help me with the big unit down the bottom, as it weighs a tonI am going to go for a lighter shade of wall this time, as this room is quite dark during the winter months.  A warm creamy colour, not too yellowy is what I'm after.  Well I think so anyway.  The ceiling will be white again and the floor will stay how it is too.

I'd quite like to have a re-arrange of the furniture, but not sure how else I can do it.  

Obviously, nothing has to stay, and I'd like to get rid of the biggest, ugliest desk in the world.  The old kitchen spotlights at the currently TV end of the sitting room are on the bin list too.

Any ideas anyone?

Art - It's only a matter of Location

pile of clothes

  Tate Modern

My Spare Room

See what I mean?

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Let Battle Comence

So, that's it, all done and dusted for another year. The fridge is still groaning under the weight of uneaten turkey, cheeses, pate and rather surprisingly a vast quantity of alcoholic beverages too. 

The girlies are off with their dad and Nanny has returned to roast on the coast territory to take her "I'm still not senile enough for you to relieve me of my driving license" test. As she probably has to drive there, it's to be hoped that she passes, otherwise I'm not entirely sure how she will get home again!

We all did surprisingly well here in the gift department and here are the girlies modeling the presents sent over from NZ Aunt.


Now life carries on and I need to get caught up with the washing, find homes for all the new gifts, stash the decs for next year, and hopefully get the sitting room painted before the girls get back.  Bit by bit though, it can start once I've finished my tin of Quality Street and caught up on some knitting.

Hope you all had a peaceful Christmas x

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Gifts I won't be giving this year....

but would love to!

I'd really like to gift one of these to all household members, along with operating instructions.

Am also thinking of getting all of the dogs one of these

And I can't imagine we'd ever lose the remote again with one of these

Source: via Ben on Pinterest

So, how about you.  Anything you'd like to gift, but won't be?

Monday, 19 December 2011

My Christmas To Do List....

So, here we are a mere six sleeps away from the big day itself and my to do list looks something like this
  • Meal Plan
  • Food Shop
  • End of term reports (x 2)
  • End of term concert (1 of)
  • Doctors appointment
  • Chase 1 Debt (must be done on the 23rd - don't ask)
  • Dance display
  • Find dancing costume - for aforementioned display
  • Go to friend's party, which starts with pre lunch drinkies and ends with after dinner liqueurs (also on the 23rd, must chase debt in the morning)
  • Start (and indeed finish) Present Shopping
  • Clean and Tidy house
  • Assorted washing and Ironing
  • Toy Room Cull
  • Deliver 3 Turkeys
  • Find someone who wants to buy the 4th Turkey (everyone here is refusing to eat "our" turkeys - rolls eyes heavenwards)
  • Music School Meeting (I am the treasurer and don't have an out)

On top of all this there are all the normal animals/humans to feed type daily jobs.  Oooh and a trip to the hairdresser would be very welcome too.  Can it all be done?

Thursday, 15 December 2011

He's nearly here...

And I'm so not ready for Christmas yet. It's been nearly three weeks since I last posted and there has been such a lot going on. 

Unfortunately we lost Coco dog, which was pretty upsetting, and surprisingly he keeps popping up in my dreams. However, he had started to become a bit aggressive, so maybe there is a bit of a silver lining in there somewhere. 

Both girls were on crutches at the same time, and we have had numerous doctors, vets and dentists trips.  Culminating in an overnight stay in A & E with girlie 2.  She had stomach pains and they kept her in over night on a drip, to make sure it wasn't appendicitis.  I turned out to be a reaction to her painkillers and they have now been changed and she is recovering well.  If only I could say the same, I have a very hurty shoulder from spending the night in that blue chair you can see in the background.

December 6th and 8th were Fiestas here and Girlie #2 had the 5th off as well, so we got into full on crafting and decorating mode.  The remit from school was to make a Christmas ornament from a loo roll roll.  So with one of her friends from school, they came up with these.

I of course had to get in on the action too and came up with this

Secretly quite pleased with it - shh!

I've managed to do all my overseas shopping, thank you Amazon.  And will hopefully start. Oh yes start my "real" Christmas shopping this weekend.

Wish me luck

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Update on Coco Dog

Sorry I didn't get back to you yesterday, but I haven't known my arse from my elbow since I got up yesterday morning!!!  What with vets, the burguled burgalled broken into house, music concerts and birthday parties.
So, I took him to the vets yesterday and they are very pleased with how he is recovering.  However, they had to operate on his right eye, otherwise he was likely to lose it.  Diminishing the Christmas fund a little bit more :-(  He is recovered from the anasthetic now and has to have 5 different eye drops at various times throughout the day!!  We now have a very complicated timetable to follow and alarms going off at all hours of day and night!!!  This is in addition to the other tablets he is taking as well.
I asked about his overall prognosis and they said he will probably make a nearly full recovery - be able to play with the other dogs and live a normal life.  But, it will take a long time.  They have also recommended castrating him once he is recovered, as this is probably why he was getting out to start with.

So all in all, pretty good really.  Think I'll be asking Santa for a steam mop and something for my eyebags this year ;-)

Thursday, 24 November 2011

So here we are..

just a month until Christmas and about a month since I last blogged.  Foiled again by things out of my control.  

Girlie #2 has been off school sick with a bad headache, that they eventually decided was sinusitis.  One course of anti-biotics later and she's as good as new.  Well, she would be if she didn't still have crutches, from the unhealing foot injury she suffered in Sept/Oct.

The house I have the keys for and whom the alarm people ring when the alarm goes off, got broken into at about 2.00 am a couple of weeks ago.  These people were desperate to get in.  They couldn't force the front gate, so they entered around the back  

Fortunately, they didn't get away with too much, but caused a lot of damage to the property. B@stards.  This then involved visits by detectives, fingerprinters, insurance bods and culminated in a trip to the police station, all accompanied by an 11 year old with sinusitis.  Can you see my eyes rolling like catherine wheels?

Next up, one of the girls' dogs - who live at their dad's house was knocked over by a car - trip to vets and a three night stay.  Is now circling around my kitchen, peeing and poohing and occasionally staring out the odd wall or cupboard door. 


We're off for a check up tomorrow and hope that his prognosis is good and his recovery will start to speed up a bit, otherwise I might join him in the circling and wall staring, with maybe a bit of rocking thrown in for good measure.

About this time, I managed to pull a muscle/tendon in my left shoulder, it took three days for the pain to go away.  The very next evening, I managed to do, the exact same thing to the thumb on my right hand - still hurts.

Add to the mix, assorted paediatrian, dentist, x-ray and school appointments, and I can quite safely say that if I never have to see another waiting room again, it will be too soon.

Over the past week, we have also had over 100 litres of water per square meter fall, thunder and lightning, overflowing swimming pool, loss of power, flooded fields and all the "outside" animals (turkeys, chickens, duck, ponies) are living in the big shed together.

My christmas preparations so far consist of taking delivery of one tin of Quality Street, which is safely stashed away.

currently switching between the smell of pee and bleach

Friday, 4 November 2011


it is the most horrible mizzely day, can't even see the bottom of the garden

i have a runny nose - bit of a cold or man flu? - it's  even making unloading the dishwasher a tricky job

two mouth ulcers on my tounge - which of course i HAVE to keep rubbing against my teeth to make them hurt more

a ZIT inside my nose, which due to runniness of said nose will probably fester and leave me with some enormous pustulant volcano

puppy footprints all over kitchen floor - plus the odd puddle here and there

there is not a room in the house that dosen't look like  it's been raided by burgulars

washing basket is overflowing 

cupboards, fridge etc are bare resulting in an enforced trip to supermarket

normal service and punctuation will resume later

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Here we go again..

So, at about 07:30 this morning as i returned after dropping Girlie #1 to the school bus, I was met with an awful crying sound.  Next doors dog was scurrying around as normal, and I knew that mine were all in their new compound.  Which reminds me I must take some pics and show you the Hotêl Chien.

Puzzled I rushed around to where the tiny fluffy footed chickens are camped out on the patio to see if one of the cats had managed to get in and was busy slaying them.  Nothing.

Returning to the front of the house I came across this, out in the street

It's tiny, a boy and I'm calling him Maximilian Bartholomew, really not sure either how old or what type he is, but, it looks like he's here to stay.  He doesn't seem to see very well, so I'm guessing at less than six weeks, eyes are open, but he's got no teeth yet.  He's currently curled up in a plastic crate with some old towels and has taken a bit of bread and milk.  I think he's just a bit too tiny to put up with the big dogs yet, so he might just have to be a house dog for a while.

I find it quite incomprehensible that some one has just dumped him out on his own like that - bastards.

And just to finish a few more gratuitous puppy shots :)

Friday, 28 October 2011

A New Look

Decided I was getting a little bored of my current layout, and fancied a change.

What do you think?

Sunday, 23 October 2011

This week's Pic

Some of the girlies that were in on Saturday night's sleepover, which was a bit "Rector's Egg" - *sighs*.

Saturday, 22 October 2011


A recent glut of lemons, found me looking for something new to make.  It didn't take me long to discover a recipe for Limoncello.  I started off with a cheap bottle of Vodka, some lemons and a preserving jar.

I very carefully peeled only the yellow from the skin of the lemons.

Popped it into the jar

And glugged the bottle of Vodka over the top

It went into a cool dark place for two weeks

And came out a lovely yellow colour.  I then removed the lemon peel, added a vanilla pod and about 250 mils of sugar syrup

This was placed back in the cupboard for a further 2 weeks, strained, bottled, refrigerated and enjoyed!

Of course, with the freshly peeled lemons, I just had to knock up a quick Lemon Meringue Pie

Would've been rude not to really wouldn't it?

Thursday, 20 October 2011

¿My Girlies or Mis Hijas?

This week I'm linking up again with Windmill Fields Expat Blog Hop

This weeks subject is Parenting: bringing up a multilingual- mulitcultural family. 
Well, we arrived here on April 16 and got the house as live able as we possibly could, the girlies were only 1 and 3  so I wasn't particularly worried about finding a school for them.  My knowledge of the Spanish language was limited to 12 hours of one on one classes - so pretty non existent.  I knew that I wanted to get my children into the normal education system and didn't want to go down the International school route.  For one the nearest school was a 45 minute drive away, and I also wanted them to have local friends.
Prior to coming here, we had embraced both Dora the Explorer and the BBC's Muzzy in a big way, so Spanish wasn't completely alien to them.  However, the thought of them starting school without any language was a bit alien to me. I endeavoured to find them a playgroup or nursery, where they could get a grounding in the language before they started school.  The first "Guardaria" I came across left me reeling in horror, accustomed as I was to British standards.  It was basically a room full of 0-3 year olds, left to their own devices.  Not for me. 
Luckily whilst shopping at one of the nearest Hypermarkets, I spotted on the other side of the road an "Escuela Infantil".  Joy of joys, they had an English teacher too, and if I could come back in an hour, she could see me!
After a tour of the baby room, the middle room and the big kids room I was ecstatic, this was more what I was used to.  They were duly enrolled and started two days a week on the first of June.  Girlie #1 (3) attended June and July - August of course they were shut! - and Girlie #2 did a whole year extra, which was increased to 3 days a week once her sister was in the "big" school.  Here, I later discovered that they could actually start "proper" school at age 3 - oh the shock.  This although not obligatory, was considered the norm, as it was both cheap child care and meant that if your child went for these 3 years, they would be at the same level as their peers.
They have both done incredibly well at school, and so far I've not had any reports from their teachers as to their lack of vocabulary or language skills.  They are now 11 and 13.

At home, we've always spoken English, and generally watch television in English.  Although the odd Spanglish word or sentence does get thrown in now and again.  Some words just sound better in the "other" language.  As their speech was competent, I didn't pressurise them with too much extra homework in English.  At 5 years old, Girlie #1 decided she would like to learn to read in English and retrieved Peter Rabbit from the bookcase.  She started

"peh - teh - rr"

"Ah, that's not exactly correct, in English, P and E together is 'pea'"

"pea - tea - rr"

"Oh dear, the word is actually Peter, let me think about this one and we'll come back to reading English another day!"

So, thinking about how I learned to read, I hurriedly "Amazoned" some ladybird, Peter and Jane books and we started again.

They are now fluent in the two languages, prefer to watch television and films in English, but read in Spanish.  However, they wouldn't miss out on a trip to the cinema with their friends.

Girlie #1, now she is in the "Instituto" doesn't like speaking to me in English in front of her friends, and prefers me to speak in Spanish too.  They come home with hilarious tales of mispronunciation by their Spanish English teachers.   Which has convinced Girlie #1 to become an English teacher - that and the long summer holidays!  She actually told me last night - Yes, I'm going to show them the light!!!

I'm also a little concerned of the portrayal of Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh as Pirates!!!  I mean they were god fearing sea captains and favourites of royalty!!!

There also seems to be a bit of debate about who actually won The Battle of Gravelines in 1588 too!

Culturally we flit between the two, adopting the customs that we like the best and fit in best with our lives.  We don't go to bullfights, but love the processions of the Moros and Christanos.  We will eat Cottage Pie one day and Paella the next.  I love taking my girlies out in the evenings - and occasionally 'til sunrise, but school days they are in bed "early".  We eat a big traditional Christmas Day lunch, but go to welcome the Three Kings too.

Basically, we try to fit right in with whatever is on offer and take each day as it comes.

I'm also pleased to say, that when they swear, it's all in Spanish too.  I'm obviously not such a potty mouth as I thought!