Auntie, Auntie Pog

It’s not a typo.  After another Beachville visit from Little Pea which included us experiencing temperature very differently:

Doing some Auntie Pog / Little Pea swinging:

Getting a little closer to Norman:

And generally getting worn out:

I took Little Pea home, got on the train and went up to London, to meet….my GORGEOUS new niece.  I am an Auntie again.  An Auntie, Auntie Pog.  We will call her Little Wisp:

Little Wisp likes having her head stroked:

And likes looking at her Mummy:

She is absolutely beautiful and I’m so proud to be her Auntie.  I think she is already pretty perfect, but she has a poorly tummy and will have an operation soon.  Right now, she seems to be giving the doctors and her Mum and Dad a bit of a hard time and has decided to try out the ventilator machine.  Weirdly, Little Pea’s Dad is also poorly in the same hospital.  The poorly ones and my amazing, strong Sisters could do with all the positive thoughts and energy available out there at the moment, so if you have any spare, please could you send them over? :o)

To Sister 1 and Sister 2:  You know I’ve always thought you were the best thing since sliced bread, but I underestimated you both.  You’re both SO much stronger than bread (even stronger than a French stick when it starts going stale and your can’t break it up at all, at all, at all), and as proud as I am to be an Auntie to your gorgeous children, I am as proud to have you both as Sisters. xxx

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Saturday smiles

Smile 1:  Walking up to find rainbows in your house:

Smile 2:  Being shown a local park with lots of outdoor gym equipment – basically a grown ups playgroups – and spending an hour playing.  (Note:  Don’t take a photo while using a thingy like this one.  You end up falling off and bruising both your pride and your shin)

Smile 3:  Getting back to your car just as a huge, unexpected hail storm hits (Note:  Don’t count your chickens as that five minute drive home may turn into 22 minutes when you get really lost…)

Smile 4:  Finally getting to see the seat that Himself told you about months ago:

Smile 5:  Reading this and thinking what an amazing person he must have been for his friends to do something so incredibly thoughtful in his memory:

Smile 6:  Enjoying the view from the seat:

Smile 7: Even though it was so windy you end up with matching hair:

Smile 8:  Going out in the dark, being taken to a secret location to see ‘For the birds’ which was absolutely amazing (and photos don’t do it justice):

Neither do videos, but here are two I tried.  This one is bird houses lighting up to the sound of birds on the side of the Downs, with houses and the sea in the background:

And this was a lady recreating the fact that in the 1920s a lady had played the cello on the radio in her garden, with nightingales singing in the background.  In this modern day version the birds were on a record, with the aim of highlighting their declining numbers:


We certainly fit a bit in at the weekends at the moment.  And lots of smiles too :o)

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A different view on running

Going for a run in Bumpkinsville was mainly about the greeness and the wildlife.  I’ve been mostly running around a lovely park since I got here, but thought I should explore a bit more.  Today’s run couldn’t have been further from Bumpkinsville if I tried.  But I rather enjoyed it.  Where else, in under an hour,  would you see:

A Banksy:

Bangkok Lady Boys (well, their tents, rather than a performance):

A Royal Pavilion:

A Big Beach Bird:

A very clever piece of art (that works a lot better in person than on a photo):

And a dragon to tell you you’re almost home:


It’s quite cool in a different sort of way :o)

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Braving Beachville yoga

I’m not very good at meeting new people.  I’d rather Norman gouged my eyes out than have to walk into a room of people that I don’t know on my own.  If I don’t stutter when I try talking, I say something inappropriate, or I get the giggles when I really shouldn’t.

So I was really quite proud of myself for going to a Beachville yoga class all on my own this week.  Not only that, but I had to drive there (and it’s not a straight line) and park (which is the most complicated thing to do in Beachville as it involves an app – if you can actually find a spot that you can parallel park in.  Which I can’t do at the best of times).

I cheated a little in that my Bumpkinsville teacher knows the Beachville teacher and promised me she was a proper human being and everything.  And she did seem to be.  And apart from a couple of ‘breathers’ (Why do some people feel the need to sigh the entire way through a class rather than breathe normally, or use their nose like the rest of us?) and a couple who seemed to be of the opinion that the entire class needed to know every time they couldn’t do a full position because something hurt and why it hurt and how much it hurt and how much it hurt yesterday and…you get the picture, it was a really lovely class.

I tried not to talk.  Even when I realised that the studio was rather toasty and I only had a long sleeved thermal vest under my jumper and might melt before the 90 minutes was up.  And I didn’t laugh when someone farted.  I was so proud of my grown up self (see Bumpkinsville yoga people?  It wasn’t me that was the naughty one).  But then we had to do happy baby pose, roll onto one side and then use the weight of the leg we weren’t lying on to roll back up.  Despite the hefty weight of my substantial calves, that was never going to happen and I got stuck, like a geriatric Humpty Dumpty.  And I got the giggles.  A lot.  The teacher had to leaver me back.  Well, it was going too well really, wasn’t it?

I wasn’t told not to go back though (I was once when I did a class at uni, so it wouldn’t have been the first time).  And it’s not the same as my Bumpkinsville class with my lovely, patient Bumpkinsville teacher and lovely yoga friends, but it’s a start at building something different.  I just have to try not to giggle quite so much next week :o)

As cool as a cow in sunglasses. (The bell is on our kitchen wall for some reason. Himself uses it to store his sunglasses…)

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Little Pea and me in Beachville

I had my first visitor to Beachville this weekend – Little Pea came to stay :o)  I’ve only had him to stay overnight once before, and this time he stayed for two.  I’ve come to the conclusion that there are definite differences between being a Mummy and an Auntie.

Generally speaking, I imagine a Mummy wouldn’t share their bed with a four year old.  This auntie doesn’t have a spare bed, but did have a spare side of the bed as Himself was away and she thought it would be ‘quite nice’.  Little Pea snores, sleep talks and has an amazing ability to almost get his bottom on his Auntie Pog’s pillow throughout the night.  He also woke at 5am wondering every five minutes ‘Is it morning time yet, Auntie Pog?’

This is Little Pea reading Mr Impossible to Norman Cat at about 5.10am, just before Norman headed under the bed for the weekend:

A Mummy would probably know that one activity is enough for a day if eating and dressing are also required…

Auntie Pogs, however, think the following will be do-able:

  • Breakfast (over an hour.  For half a bowl of cornflakes)
  • Getting dressed
  • Cookie making
  • Cupcake making
  • Watching of Scooby -doo
  • Eating not quite an entire ham sandwich (this took ONE AND A HALF HOURS.  There were tears.  The last mouthful took TWENTY minutes.)
  • A bus trip (Much squealing as the top deck was a first and very exciting).  Please note that the ham sandwich is STILL being eaten.  It wasn’t going to win:

  • Meeting of Himself and his children.
  • Performance of pirate acrobats at local festival (All the boys loved it):

A mummy would probably have known that a balloon sword purchased after the performance wouldn’t last long….

  • Purchase of balloon sword
  • 45 seconds later: balloon sword pops
  • Purchase of second balloon sword
  • Much chasing of new friends with balloon sword
  • Trip to the pier for various rides:

A Mummy would have known that there would be restrictions on some rides for Little Peas.  And probably would have been clever enough convince their Himself to be the ‘accompanying adult’…

  • Helter Skelter ride resulting is a very screamy, shaky Aunite Pog .

A Mummy would have known that ‘yes, of course you can go in the sea’ was far too vague…

  • Paddling to knees in sea while wearing trousers, trainers and socks
  • Stripping of trousers, trainers and socks in the hope they might dry before home time:

  • Stripping of ALL remaining clothes after an incident involving crouching down for a big wave to be left in the only remaining dry item:  An anorak.
  • A short time of absolute bliss with nobody crying, getting wet or eating a ham sandwich:

A Mummy probably would have got a Little Pea home by tea time rather than bed time…

  • Falling asleep part way through dinner wearing just an anorak:

We were both exhausted.  But just before he fell asleep, Little Pea told me ‘that was the perfect day’.  And that made it for me.  :o)

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Week 1 in Beachville

It’s been a week.  The good news is that Norman, Himself and I seem to be managing pretty well  with our change in living arrangements.  There isn’t really any bad news, now that Norman has stopped crying.  Despite the drugs he cried from when I left at 8am last Wednesday until 4.50am on the Thursday morning.  He didn’t sleep, not even for a few minutes.  Neither did we.

The crying has now reduced to just whenever Himself leaves the house.  Yesterday he cried so much he threw up a furball.  But he’s getting there.  And so are we.  And we’ve got quite a bit done:

I spotted God on my first run down here.  I assume he was having a nap inside the van, as it was still rather early:

I’ve found a house up the road that has a happy sort of face:

I watched a procession of everything from brass bands:

To giant ducks:

I was brave enough to run with Himself.  We went to the sea front:

And had a quick stop to see the Beachville version of horses:

We’ve had blue skies and sun:

And giant slush puppy dogs:

Now he’s calmed down, Norman enjoys watching life out of the upstairs window while I work (he’s never had an upstairs one before):

And we’ve all got used to catching up in our slippers at the end of the day :o)

(It’s not all been smooth – there is a current freezer / door issue, we’ve discovered no delivery person can find the house, I still cant get the car through the gate without Himself helping, I’m terrified of taking the car out as Beachville is full of bus lanes, speed cameras, weird speed limits and one way parts, and Norman is becoming obsessed about seeing out of windows, even if that means destroying blinds to do so.  But you know, I’m being positive because mostly, it’s good :o) )

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Goodbye, Bumpkinsville.

Today is final packing day.  Tomorrow morning I leave the Bumpkinsville area for the next volume in my life (‘chapter’ didn’t seem long enough.  I’m hoping for more than just one chapter).

I’m going to miss quite a bit.  Obviously the beautiful countryside:

The donkeys I’ve made friends with on my runs in Mum and Dad’s Bumpinsville (That horse by the way – you know – Kylie.  It turns out she’s not Kylie – she’s a he, and he’s called Bobby.  I’d like to publicly apologise for that non story.  Bobby’s human was very entertained when I told her about my assumptions though; I think it’s just Bobby who might have been slightly offended…):

The ability to add extra features to my running ‘head’ (nose bottom right, chin bottom center):

My friends.  I’ve had cards, hugs and – from a group of running friends – a set of cake forks.  On our 8am long Saturday runs we always finish at a coffee shop.  And sometimes have a piece of cake and a fork each.  These thoughtful friends have equipped me with forks so I just need to find the cake, and the running friends (preferably ones that don’t think it’s slightly scary that someone is running with four forks… :o/. ):

My Mum’s cooking and my Dad’s labeling of leftovers:

The mystery here is how they ever know what they are actually getting out the freezer for dinner (I think this was Mary Berry’s Saturday night chicken….)

And one more mystery:  the bacon:

Over the last 12 weeks there has always been bacon in the fridge.  The amount varies on a weekly basis, yet I have never seen either parent ever eat any.  I’ve never eaten any.  Norman – even thought he would love to – has never eaten any.  I can only assume that when I go out running, my parents tuck into speedy bacon sarnies.

But turn all this on it’s head, and this is my chance to find more of all these great things.  More and different.  And I hope you’ll come along for the ride with me.

And to Mum and Dad:  Thank you for putting up with me, Norman and his stinky poo. For all the cooking, the cooking lessons, the best cheese on toast in the world and for only getting a little bit cross about how much washing I do.  It’s meant lots. Now you finally get the peace and quiet – and your washing machine – back. :o)

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