Tuesday, November 29, 2011

DIY haircuts - probably best not to...

I think the title is fairly self-explanatory, but to give you all a bit of a laugh I'll add a little detail.

As I have previously mentioned, I'm a bit scruffy and don't remember to get my haircut very often.  I last had it cut in April by one of the lovely mums at school who is pretty handy with a pair of scissors.  Recently Miss Meg's hair was looking rather scraggy so I tipped her head upside down, twisted her hair into a rough pony tail and chopped.  It looks great since she has such curly hair!  I figured the same would work for me so cut off an inch or 2 and hey presto! some lovely chunky layers!  This was fine until this weekend when the heat and humidity were getting to me.  I decided to do the same again but this time I got John to do it as he could see the back of my head better.  He cut off about 8 inches of hair and I felt a whole lot lighter and cooler!


After - front...

After - back...

admittedly a wee bit wonky and clunky.

 It actually looked ok but I thought I had probably get it tidied up a bit and grabbed Mrs L at school.  Here are the After After pics...

So now I look like a proper grown up, and it's so much lighter in the heat.  Next to decide what to do with the crazy white hairs that seem to keep appearing...  Maybe not a DIY job?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

5 Noticeable Things...

Well I have been tagged by the lovely Jules at Mama of 2 Boys in the Versatile Bloggers Award, this time I have to suggest 5 things you would notice if you were to bump into me in Real Life.

1.  The first thing most people do when they see me in Real Life is do a double take, then a triple take as more and more children keep appearing!  We often laugh when we see people counting and then nudging their partners - yes, we are crazy people, just call me, as a man at the tip in Dalgety Bay once did, The Old Woman Who Lives in a Shoe!

2.  If I am out walking you are likely to notice my Dog before me as he is ridiculously red.  If you have ever seen Clifford the Big Red Dog , you will have a good idea of what I am accompanied by on my beach walks.

3.  I'm a bit scruffy!  Too many years as a SAHM have left me unable to dress like a grown up and I only get my hair cut every 6 months as I never remember to book appointments.

4.  More often than not you will notice my camera.  I got my camera, a Canon EOS 550D, a year ago and am rarely separated from it.  I am no professional but love snapping away at the kids, beaches, waves, shells, trees, my coffee etc.

5.  I embarrass my children by chatting to everyone,  at Woolies, at the beach, at school.  It takes us ages to get anywhere as I can always find people to chat with about the price of eggs, education, politics, Theology, just don't ask me about fashion or shops as I'm clueless!

And now to pass on to 5 more:

Karen at Gooseberry Jam
Jules at Little Woolie
Fiona at Brave New Me
Sarah at Annaboo's House
Emma at Emma Varnam's Blog   Emma is currently is currently a nominee in Inside Crochet's Favourite Crafty Blog.  Obviously Lucy from Attic24 is waaay out in the lead, but my vote has gone to Em.  Not only is she very clever and creative, she is also one of my best friends from university days and read at our wedding!  Have a look and VOTE FOR EMMA!

Please feel free to join in or just go on a wee blog hop to visit these other lovely ladies.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


If you have a sensitive stomach or are prone to being a little squeamish, then may I suggest that you read no further.

Having 4 boys in the house (not including their injury-prone Father) we fully expect to spend hours at hospitals and doctors surgeries.  I'm constantly surprised and amazed that we haven't spent more time in actual fact.  I am also aware that that last sentence was probably tempting fate...  In the past we have had 3 broken collar bones (2 for the same boy), 2 broken wrists, one super-glued finger (from cycling no-handedly into the back of a parked vehicle - doh), one super-glued head (the result of a game involving bunk-beds and a door) not to mention Daddy's various fractured wrists, thumbs and ankles and torn ligaments and muscles.  Recently we've had a couple of beauties that I thought I would share with you!

The first one occurred the day after Archie's birthday.  I had gone to the movies with a couple of friends and John had taken Archie, sans freres, to the football.  All younger sibs had been duly deposited at our lovely neighbours' house for the hour or so that our activities overlapped.  Within half an hour, I had a phone call to say that Robert had had a fall and had a nasty cut on his eye.  There had been debate about stitches but the consensus was that it would probably be ok.  I tried to get hold of John as I was car less but took the decision to trust that everyone else could manage without me!  Long story short, when I got home, John had spent most of the evening with 5 kids at A&E and had eventually been sent home with an appointment for the Out of Hours GP Access for about 10.45pm.  So I trotted up with a sleepy wee boy and was told that thankfully there were no stitches or super glue required and that butterfly stitches would do the job.  As the swelling went down it looked a lot less scary and while he will have a scar, it's nowhere near as awful as it could have been if it had been an inch higher.

Looking great at the weekend.

The next one involved the trampoline, again it's no small miracle that there haven't been more trampoline-related dramas!   They had been practising their back-flips and somehow Archie's head connected with one of the poles that used to hold the net.  Some of you may remember the cartoon-style lump on Joseph's head at our leaving do, well this was very similar!  He has long hair which covers the area, but it actually stuck out through! To be honest I think the trampoline came off worst as the little clip that connects the pole has been comprehensively wrecked due to the force of his skull!

And last but not least, I had a phone call from the boys' school on Tuesday to say that Jonathan had had a fall and had gashed his knee on a nail, could I come and have a look?  I asked if they couldn't just put a plaster on it and send him back to class?!   Apparently the office staff are allowed to do nothing at all to cuts and needed me to check and deal with.  When I got there, he and 2 of his "witnesses" (ie class-mates having a wee skive)  were keeping the ladies amused with their ever more dramatic recounts of the incident!  The word "Tetanus" was bandied about a bit so we duly went off in search of a GP that could fit him in.  2 hours, and a lovely tetanus jab later, he got back to school with a rather disappointing looking graze.  I wish I had taken a 'before' pic as it did look gruesome before all the gouged skin was cut off!

This was the knee at the doctors again this afternoon after 2 days under wraps and heavy duty potions.  I'm hoping that the offending nails on the verandah have now been hammered back in...

Well, I guess it's now a case of placing bets as to who/what will be next!

Have a safe evening!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Honesty - hahaha!

I'm sure I've had this conversation with you before but I was told yesterday by a lovely friend how much she loves my blog because of it's honesty!  Well I nearly fell over.  Obviously I don't lie - what would be the point?  But I do leave a lot out and choose carefully what to put in!  No one else needs to know what appallingly badly behaved children I have, or that my house is a bomb site or that I had a huge argument with my husband for example.

My friend is a Superstar.  She has a Very Important Job where she has to dress like a Grown Up, she organises hugely successful events in her spare time, has 2 beautiful girls and now to add to her list, also does 10km runs and charity swims.   When she throws a party (or even a Birthday Soiree just for the 2 of us on my last birthday) every detail is perfect so I was not at all surprised when she told me her plans for her Christmas Phoenix Trading Card party for another of our friends.   Rather than just decorate a few cupcakes (or open a packet of biscuits) she set herself the task of making a Gingerbread house based on the design of Phoenix's Townhouse Advent calendar.  She rang to ask if I had any gel colours to assist with getting the right shades for the roof and window dressings and I was very glad to help.  Unfortunately I didn't get to the party as we had a house and gardenful of John's research students with their partners and kids for a bbq.  All went to plan, her gingerbread house was fantastic.

Yesterday she popped in to give back my colours.  As she opened the drawer to put them away she laughed and said "See?  Honesty!"  I was mortified!  We agreed that it would make a great Before and After post so here it is!

So this is what she found when she opened the drawer...

I have been meaning to clear it out for a while, especially when she rang last week I and couldn't find anything that she was after!  Empty flour containers, upside-down packets, out-of-date stuff, and old, rock solid balls of icing.  

So this afternoon while one was at tennis and another had gone comic-shopping with his Dad, I turned on the hose for the 3 wee ones in the garden and emptied the drawer.  A whole lot went straight in the bin and everything else got a wipe, re-packaged and returned.  One of the things I was most looking forward to when we came to Australia, other than a laundry and an en-suite, was a pantry.  Sadly I have none of these still and this drawer and another cupboard have to do.

A wee while later and I had this...

My flour containers are now full, the 3 opened packets of almond meal have now been put into one nice container, all the decorating bits have been clubbed together and I found a use for some left-over jam jars as homes for all my seeds and nuts for Granola making.  The kids were quite pleased to see a few packets of Space Dust left after Dad's birthday cake - that was a fun cake!

Anyway, let's see how long it lasts...

Hope you're having a lovely weekend!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Do you Scoubidou?

Before we left Scotland, I remember the kids briefly got into 'making scoubis' thanks to one of the boys' friends' sisters.  Every where we went, there were kids with multi-coloured plastic strings and now it appears that they are back.

A couple of weeks ago I took Archie and Meg out for breakfast and to spend some birthday money that they both had, this weekend I took Jonathan and Joseph.  We went to the same place (the fabulously quirky Frankie's Place on Darby Street) and, apart from trying to order a Peroni and Corona respectively - *sigh*, ordered all the same food.

Jonathan decided to teach me how to scoubi, so while we waited, I managed to whip one up.

It occured to me that they could be used for key rings if they were a little more substantial which got me thinking.  When we finished, we jumped in the car and headed for the nearest camping shop where I found some guy ropes which proved to be very easy to scoubi and rather more masculine than pink and yellow plastic string!

I then got a bit more inspired and remembered having found this link a while back and very quickly had made a very chunky key ring, suitable for your very own mountaineer, as they'll have a very handy 2ms of cord in case of emergency!

While I was whipping these up, Jonathan had a friend to sleep over in the tent in the garden.  They stayed up very late and proudly showed us how many scoubis they had made in the morning!   He's now making little wreaths for the Christmas tree!

And just in case anyone was wondering what Meg spent her birthday money on...

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Hello there, I've not been feeling much like blogging recently, life is still busy, and mostly fun, but there have been a couple of 'blah' incidents recently that made me feel like taking a wee break.  This is meant to be a light and fluffy place, not a place for my moans and groans.

So without further ado, a couple of fun pics to let Grandma, and you all, see what we've been up to!

We celebrated the 60th Anniversary of Meg's Infant's School with an evening fete and a visit from the Mayor of Newcastle.  The kids had great fun, especially Joseph who got to see friends from the Infant's school that went on to other places for Year 3.  They were all delighted to be able to ring the new school bell and play in the field until it got dark.  We had a few crafty stalls along with the usual Trash and Treasure, plant stalls and home baking.  I took along some of my crocheted Christmas decorations and some bags of granola.  I figured that this was easier than baking and decorating heaps of cupcakes.  Amazingly, all the bags sold very quickly!  Smallest Boy was delighted to have his first ever pony ride - can you tell?

The weather has certainly been heating up and we've had a couple of cracking storms this week due to the humidity.  

I'm very close to a ta-dah of my latest Granny Blanket, which will be heading to Scotland as soon as it is done, to welcome my wonderful  friend Claire's new baby.  Hoping to meet him via Skype soon!