Saturday, 27 August 2011

Cat love...

Not sure who is happier here...

Phoebe is in cat heaven here... and to our surprise most of the cats are either putting up with her or, in Nile's case, actively seeking her out. The little dog Nancy is also being uncharacteristically sociable when it comes to the girls!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Holibobs, week one!

As I mentioned in my last entry we are currently staying with my Dad and Stepmum (AKA Papou and Yia Yia (prounounced Yah yah) to the girls) in Greece. This is a total hardship as we are having to put up with such things as 30 degree heat, a (borrowed) private pool, glorious beaches and nightly sunsets like this:

I am sure you all appreciate and, indeed, share my pain.

I jest of course. We are having a wonderful time! As Paul could only really take a week off the girls and I came out without him for a week which was a challenge for me. This meant getting a taxi, train, negotiating through the airport and then, of course, a 3hr flight on my own with them. They were, for the most part, fabulous in the airport. Not least because we discovered that the South Terminal of Gatwick has set up an area for children which shows Cbeebies at one end and CBBC at the other! I have never been so grateful for Captain Barnacles and his crew in my life! The plane was long but thanks to firm rules and a new battery in my laptop they stayed pretty well entertained and well behaved for the ride. In fact the only disaster of the journey was the fact that Phoebe's beloved Moose managed to go missing somewhere between the departure lounge and the plane. We didn't discover this until take off so we had to wait until we were on the island before I could alert anyone (except the airline hostesses of course)! Anyway, Dad was waiting for us when we got off the plane and due to the airport set up I was able to send the girls through to him whilst I waited for the bags. There was a momentary moment of panic when I thought my second bag, containing all Clara's birthday presents and a large box of smelly cheese from my youngest sister to my Dad, wasn't going to come through but it did eventually! Phew! We just had time for a quick ice cream at the port and then we were on the Flying Dolphin to get to the island.

YiaYia was waiting for us at the port on Alonissos and whisked us up to the house where the girls proceeded to get reacquainted with the menagerie here (2 dogs, 15 cats, loads of chickens, a goose, a duck and a turtle)! We put luggage away and then decided it was time for a quick dip so headed up to the pool they have use of in exchange for feeding the owners cats! Oh it was bliss to cool off in the pool... much needed!

Anyway since we have been here there has been a lot of swimming, both Phoebe and Clara have been keen to show of their watery skills:

We also had a birthday party on the beach for Clara who turned 4 on the 20th! She was SO excited to have a birthday in Greece and picked herself out a big strawberry heart cake. Yia Yia also made fairy cakes and we had a lovely day.

Because they aren't very into wrapping things on the island we sent Clara on a treasure hunt with Papou whilst we set everything out on the table. When she got back she was in ecstasies over her presents. Which included Playmobil swimming pool and a princess set, a swimming dolly and a swimming ariel as well as a multitude of other pink and glittery things that set a young princesses heart alight!

Paul arrives today in a couple of hours ready for our second week which, I am sure, will be as wonderful as our first! The girls are downstairs with their Yiayia painting rocks they found on the beach and can't wait to see him!

Sunday, 21 August 2011


Boy we have had an "interesting" time of it recently!

It started last friday when I was driving the girls from swimming to soft play to celebrate Phoebe achieving her 10m swimming badge. The girls distracted me and I took my eye of the road for a few seconds and managed to rear end someone. Of course as we were in stop start traffic it meant that 4 cars in total got bumped. Thankfully every one walked away from the accident despite all being, obviously, quite shaken! Thank goodness we have bells and whistles insurance so all was covered and, I believe, sorted quickly. The downside is our car was so damaged it has been written off. SOB! When I get back to the UK we start the unpleasant task of car shopping... uff! This means negotiating a balance between needs and wants. I want a car that is functional and Paul wants one that is a bit peppier than functional!

As if that wasn't enough I went to finish the laundry this Monday and our washing machine has totally given up the ghost. As it is 10 yrs old and has been very reliable it isn't a big surprise but honestly the timing could have been better. Paul and I had a conversation in which I pointed out that if it came to a choice of car vs washing machine then the washing machine wins hands down. It has duly been ordered and hopefully Paul will take delivery of it today.

Of course these things happen in threes. So approximately 2 hrs after discovering the washing machine had met it's maker the builders arrived to re render and fix a long standing leak in Phoebe's room. Only to remove the render and discover this:

Yup, the window arch has collapsed meaning the work they need to do is going to cost approximately 5 times the amount it was. Not Good. It had to be done thought so the wall now looks like this:

Hopefully though that means the leak in Phoebe's room is no more and that we (read I) can redecorate it for her in the near future to make it look much prettier and neater! She doesn't "do" pink so I am currently thinking about maybe a pale blue / lilac colour in there to set off the fab Laura Ashley Butterfly wallpaper we bought for the back wall.

Maybe with some Hello Kitty Vinyl stickarounds on the painted wall... not sure yet.

Anyway, I was very grateful when Wednesday came and myself and the girls got on the train, plane and boat to get to my Dad's house in Greece! Hopefully when we return all will be well and life will return to a blissful normal... well as normal as it gets Chez Moi anyhow...!

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Houston The Tooth Fairy Has Landed...

Or will later tonight anyway!

After much wobbling, last nights incident with the ketchup bottle Phoebe first wobbly tooth fell out tonight! The excitement it caused in the house was second to none and, in true Phoebe style, she waited until Paul was home before it came out so she had a full house for an audience!

She has put the tooth in a special pot next to her bed (she was given the option of under her pillow) and is making herself go to sleep as fast as she can so the tooth fairy has lots of time in which to come and visit her!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Thank all I hold Holy for You Tube and Charlie and Lola!

Phoebe attempted to open a ketchup bottle with a flip lid with her teeth. All fine (well not really but y'know..!) except she forgot that her 2 bottom incisors are wobbly. Blood Bath ensues! Proper vampire dribbling down chin and accompanied screaming! Then follows 30 minutes of 

"Mummy I never want my teeth to fall out because they [sob] Huuuuuuuuuuuuuurt [heaving sob][bit more wailing for good measure]. I can never eat again... [though process of a 5 yr old soap dodger] or have a bath because my teeth HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUURRRRRRRRRRRT [air raid type crying]"

Gah! Until I had a, frankly inspired if I do say so myself, idea to look up wobbly teeth on you tube to show her it is normal. Et voila... C & L's episode about wobbly teeth comes up and peace is restored, tea eaten and there is a lot of wobble action going on up there to get it out so she can get some money from the tooth fairy! I might have also told her I need to alert the tooth fairy to a tooth as her Tooth Sat Nav is broken so if it falls out after bedtime then she either has to tell me so I can send her a "T-mail" or wait until the next day. 

I do love it when parenting gets, ahem, creative!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Why. Just Why.

All this violence, all this destruction. It is all so senseless.

Today I drove past Reeves Corner and had to explain to my two curious little girls why the building was a wreck. I told them some very naughty people got together to cause as much trouble as they could like starting fires and stealing. Clara said they should be put on a step, Phoebe suggested a Dungeon.

The horror last night of looking out of my living room window and seeing an enormous black cloud of smoke rise into the sky, realising that the footage we were watching on the television was being filmed by the helicopter we could see circling and seeing the coverage of all those people loosing  their homes and businesses will stay with me a long long time. I feel sickened by it all, angry with those involved in such mindless thuggery and so much pity for those who have lost through it all.

Tonight my town is quiet but I still feel on edge. My children begged me to stay with them tonight as they are unsettled by the "naughty people". How dare these idiots make us feel like this, how fucking dare they do this to anyone.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

My daughter the adventurer!

The 4 brats were given the chance to choose what they wanted to do today. As it turns out French France in the Alps DOES do hot... 30+ degrees of hot if the car thermometer is to be believed! Clara, Rowan and Lexi chose a ride in the bubble car, which I am reliably informed made the ticket seller laugh a lot as they literally went up to L'etape, walked out of the exit, round to the entrance and came back down again! Then they had a ride on the horse bikes which has been long anticipated:

I am assured by both small girls that they had marvellous fun. Rowan liking the fake horses decidedly more than the real ones she tried the day before.

Phoebe, however, chose the Tree Top Trail. We were dubious as to whether she would go through with it or understand all the rules but she surprised us by not only paying close attention to the instructions she was given and, for the most part, obeyed them! She then went around the course twice loving every minute of it!

As we headed home later we saw some one landing from Paraponting (aka jumping off a mountain with a parachute attached) and asked if she could try that next time! Oh boy!

These activities were followed by some serious play in the lake. Which may or may not have been warmer than the previous visit but as it was a darn sight warmer weather-wise all 4 children after getting past the "bits and tits" were in the water mostly merrily with large ring inflatables!

Once we headed home they were given an al fresco bath in the paddling pool, tea, tech and then bed before the grown ups enjoyed a couple of slabs of black and blue meat!

A fine fine day!

Monday, 1 August 2011

Snape snape severus snape...

This has been the feem toon for the holiday... I showed the children earlier in the week and it has been going on in an earworm loop ever since! If you don't know what I am talking about then I apologise in advance...

Anyway to cheer the three small moany ones out of a grump I put it on to amuse and video'd them singing along:

Oh the hilarity! Particularly the excitement over a naked Dumbledore!