Wednesday, 8 October 2008

One of those days...

well, evenings really...

Nice day at home-ed group, despite feeling rather 'oh do I have to?' about going, lol. But a bit of sunshine and good company is handy.

On getting home, I checked my emails for orders and enquiries and refreshed the online tracking for my inbound parcels, as I tend to obsessively do when I've got an order on the way. There are two boxes, with consecutive tracking numbers. One is currently in Sweden, the other in Finland. :-| A day after being despatched and they've already got separated. Last time, one package arrived as normal and the other almost a week later, in a very dishevilled state. Am I going to get a piece of cardboard with a tracking label on it this time?!

Nipped out to the supermarket for stuff for today and tomorrow with dd2. We got lamb burgers and potatoes for making into wedges/oven chips for tonight, chicken and mushroom slices for tomorrow's lunch, mince for chilli for tomorrow's tea and own-brand filled ice-cream cones for the fun of it, and loaded them into two shopping bags and took a bag each back to the car. I put my bag in the back seat and dd2 put hers in the middle front, where I dumped my handbag. Called at the petrol station, used the wrong side of the pumps again (are there really that many cars with the filler cap on the right side???) and went home. Got out of the car and took the bag from the middle seat. And not the one from the back. So I have lamb burgers and ice-creams, but no potatoes, mince or chicken and mushroom slices.


Sunday, 7 September 2008

Laying down the smack

It seems I've been a bit feisty in interwebbyland the past week or so. There's a troll at work on one forum, hopefully the cronies who she bleats to about how harsh and nasty I am (yeah I know this happens) will realise from this latest bout just what kind of damaged goods she is. I can be picked on. I can front up and deal and yeah I sometimes have a gob big enough to put my size 7s in. But when you start having a go at two of the nicest people that I know over something that is completely not your business and of so little consequence in the big scheme of things then you are showing yourself up as a twonk.

Such a shame that someone with such energy and doggedness couldn't find something more worthwhile to do with her time. Wouldn't be surprised if she watches The Jeremy Kyle Show too.

In other areas, there was a post looking for support in finding contacts who might model what I consider to be biologically appropriate parenting behaviour so that her daughter might not be quite so obsessed with putting her dolls in cots and giving them dummies. The only reply, before I read the post, was 'why are you so bothered?' and a long ramble about the lack of research proving any health benefits in co-sleeping or avoiding dummy use. I won't go into the 'she said/she said' nature of the ensuing exchange of emails but I would like to restate my point again.

Mammals cosleep. Mammal babies have their mother's milk, and sometimes that of other herd members (thinking about elephants here.) Apes carry their babies around until the babies stop wanting to be carried or until they can keep up with the family group as they move around their territory. These are the default behaviours, this is how it is, the baseline. If you want to convince me that not following any of these patterns is equivalent to or healthier than, you will have to provide me with the research. I do not think the same should be true in the opposite direction. Anyway, despite protestations to the contrary, the evidence is there already, I could outline it but that would take too long and isn't the point. And when it comes down to it, what we do as parents is down to what we believe, which really doesn't always have to be grounded in research. Sometimes it's just about what feels right.

And really both of these situations could so easily boil down to Thumper's rule: "If you cayn't say anythin' naice, don't say nuthin' at awl."

Very very belated holiday blog...

So the last saved draft of this was at the end of July. I am such a slack blogger that I've only just got round to finishing this! Oh well. I'm trying to get more of a pattern to my life so hopefully I'll be able to slot in a regular bit of blogging...

So, picking up as of 20somethingth of July...

We've been away, and back a couple of weeks now, but due to complications which I will most likely go into later, I've only just got round to blogging. We went up to Scotland, house sitting for Lucy while they went to France. So here's a bit of travelogue and pics...

I'll start with a bit of a rant (rant? moi? never...) about online train ticket booking. I'd thought about dh and I travelling separately, like we've done before to Filey, one of us driving and the other on the train with the children. SO... I looked up ticket prices on a couple of sites and discovered that there was an 'advance' ticket available. But it wasn't showing me the advance price when I selected more than 1 traveller at a time. Being Yorkshire born and bred ;-) I didn't want to have to pay 4 booking fees, also I didn't want to have to faff around with getting the seat reservations and being the proud owner of the Family Railcard from the special offer in the Daily Mail (must get the follow-up offer sorted out actually) I looked up the conditions on Advance tickets and Family and Friends Railcard discounts are applied. So I think 'right, I'll ring up and see what I can do' and of course by the time I ring up the advance tickets are all gone.

All because the online systems don't work in accordance with the ticketing rules. Twonks.

Anyway... so we drove up together on the Saturday (because £90 was too much extra) and actually it was really nice, even though we were late setting off due to the usual faffery with laundry and packing. Stopped at the services outside Durham as we'd checked it out and there was a Costa, lol. Ooo'd at the Angel of the North, waved at Ikea, drove into Alnwick seeking somewhere reasonable and family-friendly-looking to have tea and drove out again. Wandered off the A1 into Belford where we found The Belford which despite being a golf club (sorry, dh's prejudice is seeping through) was family-friendly without being patronising and reasonably priced. We were forewarned that they were busy and we might be waiting a while, and we were, but when the food came it was top quality and very well cooked (as in they'd done a good job, not a euphemism for burnt, lol.) Definitely recommended.

Got to Lucy's to find out that her 3 bedroom house woud fit at least 1 and a half of my 3-bed house in it. It's just as full of stuff though, lol.

So on to the pics :-) They're all taken on dh's or my phone because I hadn't, and still haven't, got round to getting my camera sorted out.

Taken at some point by someone who had been given my phone to take pictures with to keep them occupied in the car. It worked, for the most part. That and playing Worms on it...

The Forth Bridges. Thanks so much to Jayne (mummybuttons) for hunting online for a postcode for a Pizza Hut so that we could find a relatively child-friendly and reliable place for a very late tea after our trip into Edinburgh. We didn't take many photos as really we were there shopping. And bizarre (and saddening really) as it is that there are so many mobile phone shops, and 3 branches of Boots, on the same road, we didn't really feel the need to record it.

Hermit crabs at North Berwick
Hermit crabs
more hermit crabs

North Berwick is a lovely place and would be fab for a seaside holiday, nice little town centre, nice sandy beach...


with fab rockpools...

Oh phooey I thought I'd taken more photos of the rockpools. Oh well, this one gives you an idea...


and this nifty man-made lagoon thingummy...


The rockpools were well populated with hermit crabs, fish and shrimps, which was cool. We picked a really nice day to go and the two ice-cream vans by the beach were doing well, the bigger, flasher 'whippy' van got more trade than the small, old, less ornate local icecream van (M Luca of Musselbrough) so I figured I'd give the local dairy some trade, it was really nice. Not quite a Dixon's Milk Ice but still good. The one thing I was surprised I didn't find was the kind of beach tat shop that Filey has several of, with flipflops and buckets and spades and hats and kites and cheap, naff sunglasses and bats and balls and all that, I ended up buying buckets and spades from the RNLI shop, which is fine of course, it's a very good cause and I'm happy to support them, but there wasn't much choice and it's not the same. But then we were there on a beautiful day in the middle of the first week of Scottish schools' Summer holidays and it was surprisingly not-busy so maybe there just isn't the trade to sustain it. But then where do people go? Were they all abroad? Or just not gone to the beach that day?

East Link Family Park was fun (and sunny, am glad all mine are old enough now to say 'you stay here' to one and 'you watch these' to another, lol, while I dash back to the car for hats and suncream...) Lots and lots of photos on flickr of this so I'll just post a couple here:


What else did we do while we were away? We mooched round the local shops in Dunbar, which apparently has the most sunshine hours in the UK. It lived up to it that week, we did get rained on but not as much as the rest of the country I think! There's a PYO strawberries place (with the strawbs in growbags on stilts, very odd but much easier on the back!) and a smokehouse just off the A1 outside Dunbar so we went there, oh and we had locally-caught langoustines bought in Dunbar for tea one day. When Lucy's cooker decided to cook them for us. On the Saturday, before coming home on Sunday, we drove to Bamburgh to look at the castle (and found a nice little deli, impressive range for such a tiny shop!) then to Lindisfarne for the fun of driving over the causeway and back, though it was too early to watch the tide rise over it. And then to Berwick-upon-Tweed where we got totally soaked and didn't find a replacement for dd2's worn-out-at-the-sleeve-cuffs zip-up hoodie but still felt like we'd had a good day.

Home the next day via Alnwick to look at the castle, where, in case there was anyone who wasn't aware, some scenes in the early Harry Potter films were filmed.


From there we went straight home apart from calling at Durham services again, for Costa and a 'win every time' £1 teddypicker machine that dd3 had been promised a go on if we didn't find another while we were away. Which we didn't.

Never did get round to sorting out that half price railcard offer.

"someone will die!"

dd4 getting one of the buns she made yesterday while at my mum's...

K: "I want that one and that one and that one and that one and that one!" [there's pink icing and sugar sprinkles on them all, no chocolate, but they are choc. buns]
Me: "Oh. Are you going to choose one, then we can take the wrapper off and put it in a dish and you can go and sit down and eat it?"
K: "Well it's that one, but there are too many chocolates on it. Someone will die!"

She took a different bun and has gone back to the tv...

Saturday, 6 September 2008

couple of bits of video...

One's just plain silly...

One is very very funny (if you have a passing interest in US politics...)

And one is heartwrenching

Friday, 1 August 2008

Plastic free for a month?

Christine Jeavans of Auntie Beeb is attempting to not accept or buy any plastic for a month. Interesting challenge! We already recycle most of our plastic waste, but not because our council accepts it. The neighbouring one has roadside refuse collection points with bins for nearly everything, so when dh is driving past that way he takes our stuff, which has usually been loitering in the kitchen for weeks, and bins it there. Our in-laws put everything with a recycle symbol on in their green bin, even though the council has a list of what not to put in, which is what we did too until dh found the layby with the bins.

But it would still be nicer to not have any to recycle, after all the mantra is "reduce, re-use, recycle" and there is a reason why recycle is last on the list!

And that's reminded me to look for a digester-cone type thing to go in the garden...

Sunday, 15 June 2008

New blog link...

I just added a link to my blog-roll. It's absolutely vital information for anyone considering buying slings, and I'm going to add it here too: Baby Sling Safety Please spread the link as far and wide as you can.

Happy, and safe! babywearing...

Friday, 2 May 2008

adverts like that really p*** me off!!

I just uttered these words, at the end of a short rant. Dh said 'noooooo really?' :-|

The advert in question was the MiracleGro Organic ad, nauseating enough with its 'now we're starting a family...' schtick, I mean for goodness sake why wait?? If you've any inclination to go organic, just bloody do it! And you don't need something in a cardboard box, do you? Get yourself a composter or digester or wormery or do the no-dig thing and chuck your veg waste straight on the garden. What really got my goat, or gripped my sh*t as someone on a yahoogroup once said, was the 'it's 100% chemical free' line. Look honey, everything is made up of chemicals. Atoms, elements, compounds, molecules, suspensions, gas, liquid, solid... it's all chemicals dude. That's the whole big-thing point. Some chemicals are more useful to us than others, some more harmful. Chemistry is knowledge, understanding is obviously somewhat more difficult.

Oh and while we're on the subject of adverts, the one for Hofmann automatic garage doors, one might hope the automation includes switching the light on!!

Monday, 21 April 2008

It's only a game...

Huge apologies to Deb for giving her the impression I was really really pissed off with her when it was more like mild pique and annoyance, coupled with amusement for 'n00b'-ness.

Also apologies to anyone who is fed up of the repeated invitations to play Packrat, I get bonuses for inviting friends and more when they accept.

And now the back-story. There's this game, on facebook, that Becky of bigmamaslings was kind enough to suck me into :-| Someone on a forum described it as being like collecting Panini stickers, lol. Now the outward premise of the game is to make your collection *at any cost* by stealing the cards from your friends. Everyone has 10 rats in their game friend list, along with any of their facebook friends that have the game installed, and one steals cards by swapping them with something from one's own pack. You can also buy cards, and get them as pop-up bonuses. Certain cards can only be found by making them with combinations of other cards, these tend to be the higher value, harder to find or make ones. Oh and the pack size is limited so you can't just collect credits and buy stuff up, you have to trade and make and vault to get what you need.

Generally speaking, whenever someone new to the game starts playing, they go round the packs in their friend list and steal what looks interesting or high value, it bumps up the player's level which gives access to other things. It's fine, totally understood etc. But most people, IME, play co-operatively, finding or buying things that their friends are collecting, not stealing things their friends need for their collections, and it's actually good fun finding random things for other people's collections in the rat pack or the markets, and dropping them in their packs as a surprise or a trade. It's addictive and absorbing and is eating up far too much of my time at the moment, lol.

So anyway. Yes it's a game, yes there are bigger problems in the world and in individuals' lives right now, and no I didn't mean to come over as distraught as perhaps I did. Just... don't mess with my pack, alright? ;-)

Friday, 18 April 2008


Originally uploaded by trogette
kitty no3 arrived today. Will try to get better pics in daylight...

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Pip and Halo3

Pip and Halo3
Originally uploaded by trogette
Furbaby no.2

Phoebe, 5mo

Phoebe, nearly 5mo
Originally uploaded by trogette
One of our new fur-babies :-)

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

april numpty

april numpty
Originally uploaded by trogette
Got a few people with this April Fool pic on flickr, and now I need that 'hehe' smiley from CosyNostra...

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

adventures in motoring...

What is it with cars? Getting to a certain age and then loads of stuff conking out at once. Ours has cost us a good bit of money this year already, but Lucy the Multipla really took the biscuit coming home from the Harrogate Nursery Fair that I've blogged on my business blog already. She'd been doing odd things for a few days but nothing that our local mechanic could suss out, so we set off as usual. The draggy-whooshy noise was there on the way but wasn't really giving me any problems as such. We got there, we trawled round, we chatted... I missed my Costa coffee! Was going to get one to drive home with but we stayed so long they closed the catering stands!

Got out, went 'oh crap look at the time!' Kirsty (of FrontBackandSides) rang up to say that we were just setting off and got a 'what??!!' type response... think we all thought we wouldn't be still there at 6.15! Paid for parking, ugh, set off home. Got to Pool and the dratted car wouldn't go into gear. On a mini-roundabout. Hmmm....

Cue more phonecalling, what's the number for the breakdown co, not sure how long we'll be, all that. But the clutch pedal released, and it seemed to be working fine, so we set off again. And all was well. Until we got to a traffic lights halfway up a long long hill... And then we had smoke! I have never seen Kirsty move as fast, grabbing her bags, my bag and her blagged DreamGenii pillow (seriously, jammy bugger!) and jumping out of the car. I was less worried as it smelled of something stuck rather than actual fire, iykwim. But I did put the hazard lights on, grab my phone and jump out. Much to the disgust of my fellow drivers! As if I'd chosen to break down! Am I not deserving more of sympathy than revulsion?? Whatever...

So after getting the location of the car through to the breakdown service operator (I'm at the junction of 2 A roads, I gave the numbers, how much more flaming specific do they want?? And no, the A660 doesn't run through Staffordshire as far as I know!) I said 'we're going to push the car into the pub carpark and wait inside.' And so, we went in the pub, found some helpful men, got the car smoothly into the car park and went and bought ourselves drinks. Offered drinks to said men but they demurred, bless them. And then talked about us as if we couldn't hear them. The Dyneley Arms does a very nice Sam Smiths Old Brewery Bitter though, and the two half-pints I had were well pulled too. But they stop serving food at 5pm on Sundays so Kirsty couldn't get herself a pudding.

The breakdown bloke turned up, eventually. We couldn't see the car park from where we were in the pub, and I didn't have any signal on my phone. So he was there for 10 minutes before actually coming in the pub to find us, apparently they're not allowed to go in pubs to find people! How ridiculous is that? And how come the control centre bloke didn't tell us? Grr!

So after a bumpy trip home, with a pregnant K and a me who forgot to go to the loo before setting off from the pub, we got back home. K had to get a taxi home from here because Jobsworth couldn't do the extra drop-off. A good day, with a lump at the end, I think!

So what's up with the car?? Well the local garage that we take it to for tyres and exhausts and stuff don't do gearbox-y stuff so it's gone to the people they take MOTs to, who think it was the clutch release bearing. £250 worth of parts and labour. Oh joy. Could have been much much worse I guess!

Friday, 28 March 2008


I'm a huge fan of web acronyms and abbreviations but I'm not so big on the bastardised English some people use, there are a lot of examples of it on ICanHasCheezburger. But there are also some darn funny captions and some v cute pictures...

Humorous Pictures
see more crazy cat pics

Friday, 7 March 2008

oo summat I forgot...

in my last blog. I've joined a gym. Not just any old gym, mind you. When have you known me to do things by halves? No... 'dillo is paying me wages by funding this: Club Titanic And I have my first spa treatment next week. Yum!

Friday, 22 February 2008

more from the hopeless blogger...

I just posted over on BabyArmadillo News that I got reminded last night what a hopeless blogger I am. Well, yeah, hands up, fair cop, I'll go quietly... (yeah right!!)

So what's going on in the land of Trog? Hmmm... same ol' same ol' mostly. House is the same crap'ole that hasn't had owt done at it for ages, the neighbours are trying to sell and one of their viewers has said something about our garden being too scruffy *rolls eyes* Dh restrained himself from pointing out that we didn't want anyone that up-themselves for neighbours...

The kids are still growing like weeds (dd1 is a good 3in taller than me now I'm sure and dd4 is shaping up nicely as a prop...)

Am just grr-ing at a garage for being numpties. Car has a recall, we book in for recall (for Monday) rang today to ask how long it would take and it turns out they need to look at it to order the part in. Fine, no problem... except that the nearest Fiat dealerships to us aren't in our nearest town any more, oh no, one's in a village a couple of miles outside Wakefield and the other is in Cleckheaton. So it's not a case of popping down, it's a good 1&1/2hr round trip. For them to decide on the parts for something that's a standard recall. And if the woman on the phone said 'I'm not a technician' one more time...

Maybe Lucy can prod me to blog more regularly and you might get me commenting on other blogs too. I still prefer the flow of forums better though. And of course I can often (though, slacky! not atm) on one of the various IM networks that Trillian lets me connect to ;-)