A weekend of weirdness

What’s the weirdest birthday you’ve ever had?  I think mine was this one just gone – Friday in fact.  While I got to spend quite a bit of it with my family, that was because we were at my uncle’s cremation and wake.  You may have realised if you have been around a while that my family have a slightly alternative sense of humour and pretty much nothing stops that.  It’s probably why, when I arrived at the crematorium after a 60-something mile drive, Sister 1 ushered me into Sister 2’s car and presented me with a muffin complete with candle and a rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’.

Sister 2 and Little Wisp then serenaded me with ‘When you’re happy and you know it’.  If it’s possible to find a song less appropriate for the setting than ‘happy birthday’, I’m pretty sure that was it.  We think our Uncle probably would have approved though; he’d selected ‘Always look on the bright side of life’ as the final piece of music for the service…

I came home to beautiful blue skies:

,dinner cooked for me, more singing by three boys and another cake with candles:

And felt very lucky, even if it was a bit odd.

And then, I started a new adventure – in the snow – the next morning.  Having rather frantically completed the introduction the previous week, I took my lovely new notebook, student handbook, thermos of coffee and packed lunch (it turns out Himself makes the most amazing sandwiches)…

…and went back to university for the first day of my Diploma in Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy (Because a plan B is always a good thing, right?).

It’s the first time I’ve studied in years.

It’s the first time I’ve seen this sign:

And it’s the first time I’ve come away from something really, truly thinking ‘what the hell am I doing?!’  I’m not sure I have the brain, the confidence or the ability to do this, but I do have a Himself who thinks I can and who did all the washing, cooking, ironing and dealing with small children over the weekend, so all that was left for me to do was go to school and question my sanity.  So, I’m going to have a damn go go at it.  It’s really interesting.  It’s just…well, it’s me.

And in the way that you’d expect something weird to happen, proving the fact that it’s a small world, one of the tutors turned out to be the wife of the choir master of the choir I sang in as a child.  Weird in itself.  More weird that 30 odd years later we worked that out.

Oh, and weirder still:  I did actually hypnotise someone.  He was jet-lagged and practically in a trance already, but he didn’t snore or anything, so that counts, doesn’t it?


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Demolition at Our Towers

Yesterday, we decided it would be nice to have a relaxing Sunday, so we got out out a hammer and a crow bar and I can confirm with authority that you can get from one very rotten shed:

To a not quite flat rotten shed (including himself doing his Mothers Day phone call in the middle, so just me for part of this):

In 28 minutes.

And in another 29 minutes, you can achieve complete flatness:

However, I can also confirm that this much wood takes a long, long time to burn:

And in fact, gets so hot that the concrete base starts to explode.  Still, it gave me hours to get this huge patch of weeds almost presentable (six, if you’re interested):

Note the red bucket of water which was there ‘in case it all goes a bit wrong’.  Exploding concrete apparently doesn’t count.

And gave himself time to sit down with a beer and the paper (until it was dark and raining hard, if you’re interested):

Last night we were both more creaky than people twice our ages.  My fingernails hurt.  My hands hurt to type.  I think we might need to review our definition of a ‘relaxing Sunday’  :o)

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Correcting noo noos on IWD

Once every week or so I venture into the office. Despite a (very) early start, the fact that I have to miss my run and having to wear grown up clothes, there’s usually at least one thing that makes it worth it.  Today it was this:

I no longer have my own desk, but I usually hover on a spare desk in a large room with about 10 colleagues.  They’ve all sat together for a long time and the conversations that result are sometimes a little…random.  Today one of the ladies was telling everyone (for some reason I didn’t manage to identify) how her son had just discovered that ‘penis’ was correct term for his willy and at 7, had informed her that he would no longer be using the ‘baby’ word.  She asked her daughter (whose age I didn’t get), if she knew the correct term for her noo noo.  The daughter pointed out that was the correct term.  My colleague told us how she had explained things and then demonstrated with gusto how her daughter had repeated, at ‘shout’ volume ‘VAGINA?!  IT’S CALLED A VAGINA?’

And it was at that point we all remembered there was a colleague in the room on a teleconference with some senior leaders in Sub Saharan Africa.

But it is International Women’s Day, and I guess if there is one day you can get away with interrupting a teleconference by shouting about vaginas, today is probably the day.


rainbows 2

Because there isn’t an appropriate photo for this post…

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A weekend of many boys

The weekend was due to be the weekend of many boys….but snow, freezing rain and multiple accidents on motorways meant I couldn’t get to Little Pea on Friday.  The weather wasn’t going to completely beat us though and I left early on Saturday to get him and bring him back for 24 hours with ‘da boys’ (as he calls The Small-ish people that come and stay every other weekend).  It’s a good job – I’m not sure any of us would have lasted longer than a full day… Also, it turns out we only own 4 forks.  For some reason, I was the one who ate dinner with a knife and very tiny cake fork.  I can confirm you can’t get many peas on a cake fork.  You can’t get much of anything on it, to be honest.

Anyway, Small Boy’s ipad was snaffled almost immediately (Small Boy was incredibly patient):

Little Pea met Bob (named by Small Boy) who accompanied him around the house at all times:

Himself taught all the boys to ‘wiggle their butts at the waves’…

…before running away:

And after much throwing of rocks in the sea, wiggling of butts, filling of boots (sea water and pebbles) and soaking of trousers, we made it to the pier to play the 2p machines and have donuts with a chocolate spread dip, which (no names mentioned) some people got round their mouth, hands, neck and shoulders:

And while Auntie Pog had learned from previous visits to the beach and had gone equipped with spare socks and gloves, drinks and snacks, I hadn’t thought to take wet wipes.  Next time I’ll take a suitcase.

Then it was on with the Marvels onsie, mask and back to the ipad before a film and a very, very late night:

(Sorry Sister 1).

Sunday morning we hurtled back down the motorway in time for a swimming lesson for him and some time with Little Wisp (who apparently isn’t quite old enough for a sleepover) for me.  I also made Little Wisp a Pogimal.  Hers is called Bug:

(This photo was taken when Little Wisp finally stopped crying every time she looked at me.  It’s just as well she didn’t come for a sleepover).

She wasn’t keen on the walking think with Sister 1 and 2 either though (but my golly, isn’t she cute?!)

And meanwhile a very tired Little Pea…well, Little Pea appeared to vajazzle a gingerbread man:

While the grown ups also got a bit silly:

It was lovely to have Little Pea in Beachville and it was great to see the family in Bumpkinsville, but a three day weekend would have been most welcome! :o)

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Photoshopping things

I always thought Photoshop was cheating.  I still kind of think that, but part way through a term of Photoshop classes, I also think it’s quite fun and a lot more complicated that I imagined it would be (especially ‘colouring in’ sepia photos.  Lordy).

This weeks lesson made me laugh quite a bit.  We took this couple at a model village:

And sent them to the mountains:

To a sunset:

And because of the hand-held-camera-timer-thingy looking like blowing-up-thingy, we got them to do this too:


Then we took some empty bottles:

And some random people:

And mixed the two up:

I liked the fact that on both it’s pretty obvious that they’ve been manipulated.  I don’t like looking at photos and not knowing if they are the real thing or not.  But then the teacher talked to us about that one off photo that you took that had a bird flying across detracting a bit from the image and how you can get rid of him:

And yes….you can improve the colour a bit too.

And then on this one I started editing out the birds that annoyed me and it got a bit out of hand:

But it’s fun, and it’s not all that different to the filters people use on their phones.  But do keep an eye out on future photos if it suddenly looks like I’ve started globe trotting, because…well, it’s probably more likely to be the result of another class :o)

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Snowy bits and pieces

‘It never snows in Beachville’, Himself informed me.

This was Monday night:

‘Well, not very much at all’, He said.

And Tuesday morning the penguins started to disappear:

But Norman loved it (Really.  He bounced around like a puppy ):

And this morning it was still there and still cold (-6.6 when I checked), but much less:

It seems it had moved to London, where Himself ran into work from the station (of course he did) and took these:

You don’t often see much snow in London either.

The thing I find amusing about this – and the fact that public transport has been hit and miss, schools have closed and anyone who can has worked from home –  is the conversation I had with my manager – who live in Eagan – on Friday.  At the end of our meeting we talked about weekend plans and she said she was hoping to go to an art gallery that evening, but it depended on the snow because another 6 inches were forecast that afternoon. ‘Another?’ I asked ‘How much do you have right now?’

‘5 from last night.’

‘You are working at home today?’ I checked.  No.  No – she had driven to the office.  ‘Because it’s not that unusual!’

But that aside, it was lovely here for a day and a bit, but it’s time for it to go now as Little Pea is due to visit this weekend and we’re not as hard as those bods in Eagan – and driving to pick him up will be very tricky if we have more than a few more flakes. :o)


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Pond overhauls and rabbits of doom

For those of you interested in the things we’re doing to Our Towers, Saturday morning it was about the pond.  And Rabbits.  Rabbits of Doom….

But first the pond.  We went from this:

To this:

Via this:

(Which was very stinky and ridiculously heavy.  We left it to dry out for the week before getting it in the car to go to the tip this weekend.  Of course, it’s rained every day since so it’s just as wet, but hopefully a little less potent in enclosed spaces….)

Now, the rabbits.

The previous owner of Our Towers left a rather…eclectic set of garden ornaments.  Some I disliked, some I hated.  And then there were the rabbits.  They scare me – so much so I’ve not moved them in case they have some power over the garden; their eyes full of doom follow us around outside.  There is one part way down:

And one right at the bottom:

And I was starting to be kind of ok with them, until we noticed on Monday that another, far bigger one had appeared out of nowhere on the side of the pond.  And he really is scary:

Himself and I are 99% sure he was not there before; I mean, we’d have noticed – he is quite large.  I checked my photos, but I cut that part of the pond out in all the ‘before’ photos.  I know they say rabbits breed like…rabbits, but surely the garden ornament variety aren’t included in that?  But then, how the hell…..?

The rabbits of doom:  I’ll let you know if they breed further.


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