Sunday, 31 January 2010

Shang-a-Lang: I was a Bay City Roller fan and here's a photo to prove it

Linda at Got Your Hands Full did a post about the Bay City Rollers the other day which prompted me to look for an old photo.  This, my bloggy friends, is me aged 14 in my Bay City Roller outfit: calf-length trousers with tartan trim, stripey socks, short denim jacket with tartan trim and a tartan scarf.  Classy or what? I was a major Bay City Roller fan - Eric was my favourite.  Check out the weird pose that makes me look like I need the loo.  And note the fantastic 70s wallpaper and ace colour scheme in my parents' living room. 

I still have all of their vinyl LPs* stashed away in a suitcase somewhere at the back of a cupboard, along with badges and other fan paraphenalia. 

In the bottom right hand corner of the photo is my then 4-year-old brother sitting cross-legged on the settee in his stripey pjs.  He is now a 6' 3" officer in the navy. 

Okay, you can stop laughing now.  Please.

*LPs - long players to all you youngsters out there.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Losing my blogging mojo

I seem to have lost my blogging mojo.  I know it happens to most people at some point, but whereas I'm usually juggling blog posts in my head just recently there's been nothing.  Nada.  Zilch.

Well, tell a lie, I did wonder about doing a proper review of the John Mayer concert I went to recently....but no, perhaps not.  In the end I just posted some photos.  And I also thought it might be an idea to tell you about our plans to (possibly) adopt another greyhound, in order to give Tess a companion.  But then I thought, maybe not.

I'm still reading all of my favourite blogs, and feeling very envious of your wit and erudtion, but scratching my own head over what to write about. 

In the meantime, I'm going to have another cup of tea and think about it.  Just talk amongst yourselves.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Haiti Disaster

There are some natural disasters that are too horrific for our imagining.  The earthquake in Haiti is one of those disasters and although our instinct is to turn away from anything too distressing, that's also the reason why we mustn't.

I'm no expert of this subject, so I'm going to let you read this news report by the BBC's Mark Doyle who is in Haiti.

"The scene an hour's drive west of Port-au-Prince is apocalyptic. Almost every single building on the road I'm driving on now has been flattened. Reinforced concrete roofs have fallen to the floors below, or have jammed into the ground at crazy angles.

The destruction here is even more dramatic than the dreadful conditions in the capital. People have fled to the surrounding sugarcane fields or into mangrove swamps - anything to get away from the nightmare of the falling buildings.

I've seen a long line of people queuing up at a single working water tap. Tens of thousands are living in the open in church compounds, school playgrounds and marketplaces.

The population here are in profound shock. Many are wearing handkerchiefs over their mouths to keep out the dust and ward of the smell of dead bodies."

Please, if you can, donate towards the aid relief.  There are several ways to do so:

Just Giving:  Bloggers for Haiti

DEC Haiti Appeal

or the Google Disaster Relief page offers several different ways to donate.

Thank you.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Whatever happened to global warming?

We are officially snowed in.  Again. 

The roads in our village are impassable, and I've been unable to get down the ungritted lanes to work this morning.  To make things worse we live at the top of a hill so you can imagine how treacherous the roads are.

Both of my daughters' schools are closed, along with most others in the area.  Ironically, the school where I work is open -  and I'm the only member of staff unable to get there, even though I live closer to the school than most of my colleagues.  Embarassing, huh?

After reading news reports that this is likely to be the coldest winter for 100 years, I'm waiting for someone - anyone - to convince me about global warming.   I want to believe, really I do, but I'm too blinkin' cold right now.

Update:  The snow is still falling heavily, and has done for the last few hours.  I had a call from my school to say it's now been closed and will stayed closed until Thursday at the earliest, which makes me feel a little less guilty about not making it in today.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

The Dark Side of Decluttering

The beginning of a new year.  A fresh start.  Time, surely, for a purge of the house and a major decluttering session?

Well, yes, that's what normally happens at the start of every January for me.  However, I have to pause and recall a past declutter session which went awry.  In fact I came very close to A Declutter Too Far.  That's a bit like A Bridge Too Far but without the guns.

Several years ago, when my girls were probably about 4 and 7  I was looking in their rooms before a decluttering day and I decided that they had Too Many Dolls. Yes, there were way too many for two children to play with, that much was very clear. I mean, c'mon, how many dolls do two girls need for goodness sake?  So, it was decreed that several of the dolls must go to the local charity shop which, I told the girls, would give them to children without any toys.  Okay, not strictly accurate but I was decluttering!  Sometimes you have to stretch the truth a little bit don't you?  Don't you?

Neither girl was very happy about giving their precious dolls away, but I was insistent.  "I'll come back in half an hour to see which ones you want to donate."  Fair enough?

So, off I went to begin the frenzied sorting, recycling and tidying.  A bit later I went upstairs to find see how they were getting on with sorting the dolls, and overheard this:

Daughter aged 7: *sobbing* "..and don't forget that I love you, but I hope another little girl will love you just as much as I do"
Daughter aged 4:  "I love you too, but Mummy says you can't live here anymore...." "weeping*

I looked in on them, sitting on the floor hugging their beloved dolls, and sobbing uncontrollably.  How cruel can one mother be? 

Oh, the shame. The absolute, unforgiveable shame.

Of course I told them that they could keep the dolls, because we didn't have as many as I'd thought (ahem). But the agony didn't stop there, because then both girls jumped up and hugged me, crying "Oh, Mummy you're so kind, you're the nicest Mummy in the whole wide world..."  I tell you, I couldn't have felt more ashamed than at that moment. 

So...all you manic declutterers out there, be careful.  Don't say you haven't been warned.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

The Sound of Music on tour

Today we spent a very enjoyable afternoon watching a performance of The Sound of Music at The Palace Theatre in Manchester.  I bought the tickets in July but only told the girls a couple of days ago that we were going to see it, so it was an extra surprise for them over the Christmas holidays.

The star of the show was Connie Fisher who won the part of Maria after winning the BBC programme How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?, and very good she was too.  She sang beautifully but strangely her speaking voice sounded exactly like Julie Andrews', the star of the original 1965 film. Her phrasing was almost identical, and I should know I've seen the film dozens of times!  The film is a favourite of mine and Tall Daughter also used to want to watch it at least once a week when she was a bit younger. Once at school, when she was about 5, she was asked to draw a picture of what she wanted to be when she grew up and drew a picture of a nun!

Captain von Trapp was played by Michael Praed - does anyone remember him as a dashing, but pretty, Robin of Sherwood on TV years ago?  Or as Prince Michael of Moldavia in Dynasty?  Well, ladies, he's scrubs up very well as the strict Captain and has a very pleasant singing voice.  And who knew he would look so good with grey hair too?  Why do men look so much better when they go grey?

The children were also very good, particularly the smallest one, Gretel. 

We really enjoyed the show and the sets were fantastic, transforming from the mountains to the convent to the Von Trapp house in seconds.  All of the famous songs were in there aswell as two new ones, and as usual I got all misty eyed when Captain von Trapp sang Edelweiss.

Apart from the show we had a lot of fun travelling to and from the theatre, and during the interval.  The girls were in a particularly giggly mood and we had a really fun afternoon. I think we'll remember today for a long time to come.

The show moves to Edinburgh later in January, then onto Belfast, Aberdeen, Llandudno, Eastbourne, Woking and finishing at Birmingham in August.  If you enjoyed the film you'll enjoy this show. Recommended.

Photos of Michael Praed as Robin Hood and Capt von Trapp

Friday, 1 January 2010

My Mood Board for 2010

I'm shamelessly pinching ThatGirl's idea for a mood board for 2010 - these are images to inspire and motivate me in the new year.

I'm looking forward to the year ahead - hope yours is a great one too!