Thursday, 31 December 2009

On the Plus side....

The nights are drawing out again...yes they are, and we'll have lots of lovely snow in the next two months and then Spring will be here.
Dust off the sledges and buy a warm hat!

Both Christmas Cake attempts were unmitigated failures.
On the plus side, the birds had some very nice nosh while the heavy snow covered up the worms.

The extending handle with attachments received for Christmas was a tad disappointing. One attachment is for darling husband to clean his tractor windows without having to climb onto it and the other looks like a rather large toilet brush.
On the plus side, if the house across the valley need their toilet cleaning, I can do it for them without leaving my kitchen.

Shirl has now arrived at her country residence with 'wotcha mate!'
On the plus side, it will give me new Blog fodder (watch this space).

Pictionary proved to be quite a volatile game yesterday with nieces. Tears and tantrums and scribbling out were all par for the course.
On the plus side, it did distract them from noticing ants crawling across the ceiling above their heads.

The Antworld space habitat for ants hasn't proved to be the best present this year.
An aunt took middle child to get ants from the greenhouse but it seems the ants the aunt found were the wrong size ants because they all escaped out of the air holes.
On the plus side, they did leave their eggs behind.

Happy New Year everyone
May all your dreams come true (slushier than the mushy stuff outside in my garden)

Monday, 28 December 2009

The Frog Christmas

Well, it was certainly a different Christmas.
It was our first one without MIL, so the whole family wished to be together. Now, with the amount of people that involved, careful thought was required.
One BIL was taken very ill just before Christmas and we had to knock the altogether plan on the head, he needed peace and quiet. He stayed home with wife and family.
One BIL is huffy so we all ignore him.
One BIL was to eat with his sister and family.
My sister and BIL stayed at their house avoiding all relations (and very wise too).
Shirl and 'Whotcha! mate!' were snowed in, in their tiny Kent residence.
So I was to cook lunch just for the Frog family, one sister in law, two Aunts and two Uncles and one brother in law.
Although there were 11 of us, we had to consider that BIL eats more than most families put together so I catered for 15.
Christmas morning was bright and sunny, snow covered the garden and fields, it was lovely!
SIL brought all the family china and silver for us to use, just for the day and she came armed with home-made Plum wine, a bottle of fizz and a Christmas Pudding she made with my children a few weeks ago.

Our biggest crisis was terribly serious.
We heard a scream.
Howls followed.
The teenager burst into the kitchen saying the youngest Frog needed me.
I rushed to her yelling to the teenager(in a delicate and ladylike manner)...'What's happened?'
The teenager didn't answer.
She couldn't speak.
There were tears in her eyes.
My goodness...what was I going to find?
Youngest scrumplet had used the loo and wriggled forward to get off, when her paper hat from her cracker slipped from her little head and landed in the water!
Middle daughter was crying laughing.
Little scrumplet was howling, tears streaming down her cheeks, and between sobs screamed..'IT'S NOT FUNNY!!!'
The teenager hid outside the bathroom trying to compose herself.
I managed to placate the poor little thing with magic kisses and my paper hat from my cracker and escaped from the bathroom before I burst into laughter as well.

Youngest daughter was given a present to open to placate her.
It was Astronaut Ice- Cream.
She was quite puzzled and then pointedly said:
"Mummy this present isn't a very good one for me because I don't want to be an Astronaut when I grow up!"

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Worst Christmas Gift Ever

I know it's almost Christmas, the girls have eaten most of their advent calender (chocolate of course) and we have had our office party today. Not as good as last year perhaps, but very nice all the same. We had 5 of us at the party and only three jokes were the same in the crackers this year.
Here are the best Christmas stories I've ever told and I encourage you to read them. The first is about having the school pet for Christmas, the second about saving the day.

I've never written a Blog about my worst Christmas presents, but my dear friend Dulwich Mum is writing about such things and so I thought I'd give it a little mention too. Take a look at her fabulous post.
Shirl is not one for knowing what my taste is, she's a little more frugal than I am.
She did once give me a state of the art vacuum cleaner, small, but beautiful.
I was so chuffed!
I rang my sister in excitement and told her what I'd had.
Sister: "Is it the one Mum won in that competition?"
Me: "....gasp, um, (splutter) she what?
Sister: "Oh, sorry"

Furthering the theme, another year she gave me a pair of Marigolds and a bottle of Clean-o-pine.
Was my house dirty I asked?
Shirl: "No, not at all, I didn't know what to buy and I just thought it would be useful"
I was so not chuffed!

But the best worst present ever, was when I was expecting our second child.
I hadn't been able to eat much all through my pregnancy.
I had a few weeks to go and fancied some chocolate.
Darling Husband was really pleased to hear I wanted something, so ran to get the present Shirl sent me.
I opened the Terrys Chocolate Orange and was disappointed to see it was white frosted on the outside and looked a little stale.
Darling Husband grabbed the box and looked closely at it.
The sell-by date was 4 years previous...!!
4 Years!!
My sister almost died laughing..thank goodness for inhalers.
I kid you not
I think Money is the best gift, hmm......

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Twitter and witter

I guess I am just wittering away, but I've noticed a few things lately while I've been moving around my life in a slow and slightly stooped manner (still sore inside). Yes, the life of the Frog is still a delicate and sensitive one (sniff).

We've seen some vandalism in our nearest town, Monmouth recently. Boots the Chemist and Purveyor of strange mugs that no-one will ever fit into the dishwasher, was left with it's huge glass window smashed. They repaired it within around 24 hours.
The local Handyman shop was also damaged, again a very large glass window was smashed and consequently boarded up.
Now my point is, it's still boarded up after a few weeks.....and it's called Handyman House! I guess they're just not very handy.

I've had two Christmas Greetings from companies that I will now never, ever buy from. For goodness sake, it's still only November. I know shops want to advertise their Christmas wares as soon as the children go back to school in September, but surely it should be made illegal to send a Christmas Greeting before December the first.

I have, I admit, attended a few Christmas Fairs at Schools in the area because friends asked me to take my stock, but I'm a bit of a scardy cat at these things. I people watch and I'm scared something whizzing round my little brain will pop out my mouth so others can hear. At the last Fair I set up my stall and sat with a nice cool glass of water waiting for it to open...all was calm....
My mind wandered back to the last time I was there and I'd spent the whole evening laughing at a child's drawing of a woman with strangely large breasts; a child had drawn their mother, whom I imagine either had no idea the picture was on display or had a sight impairment.
Then I remembered the child from hell who stood in front of my stall the entire evening with a maniacal look on her face demanding the price of everything and scaring the hell out of me.

So, this year the first customer was, of course, that same child, bigger and rounder and yes even more frightening. I groaned out loud by accident, my heart sank. She bought a weirdly large number of stretch frogs, mostly the same colour and talked at me whenever I wasn't speaking with a customer.
Her mother was even more scary, she had the air of a baroness and the hairstyle of a sumo wrestler. As she swaggered gracefully around the school hall she tossed her smart wrap around her bottle green fleece, a strange combination tis true. I felt as though I was in a scene from Matilda with Miss Trunchbull the resemblance was uncanny.

And a story from my holiday.
We travelled with our lovely friends and their two children.
Coming home we journeyed by Train from the airport.
Trains don't stop too long at stations and so getting 9 of us on and off with 9 suitcases and 9 lots of hand luggage was quite interesting.
One train we wedged ourselves into was so crowded once we got on that the guard couldn't get out of his door to check tickets, our cases were piled high against it..I don't think we were too popular on that train.
But it got worse...our travelling companion is highly skilled in train maintenance and holds a position of high authority in a Welsh train company.
We managed to settle in First Class, got ourselves warm drinks and discovered it was almost impossible to drink them, such was the bumpiness of the train.
Darling Husband listened to the authoritative speculations of our friend as to the problem.
His wife and I rolled our eyes.
The Ticket Chappie/Train Manager arrived to throw us out of First Class and our friend deftly preoccupied him with chatter that he thought there was a problem with the train because he, himself was an engineer.
The manager hardly glanced at our tickets, left us in First Class and went away.
A few minutes later he came back, pointed at our friend and said loudly
"I want a word with you".

We all froze prepared to go to the chicken carriage at the back, Mr G (our friend) followed the Train manager to a table further down the carriage and a big discussion went on for some time.

Mr G swaggered back to us and sat down.
"I told him what's wrong with this train" he said, looking rather pleased with himself.
His wife and I rolled our eyes.
The journey continued with lengthy explanations about the technical fault, and we pulled into Swindon hoping no-one else would get in 'our' carriage and our journey into Wales would soon pass.
Next there was an announcement:
"This train will be terminated from service at Swindon. Would all passengers now leave the train taking all their belongings with them. Blah Blah...something about the next train to Wales will be in an hour"
Now I suspect in all the other carriages there was a groan.
In our carriage all eyes turned to Mr G and I suspected he might very soon become the victim of domestic violence.
There were comments like:
"Oh good one Dad!"
"That's you're bloody fault"
"Uncle G! What did you say?"
and "Why can't you just keep your mouth shut and be normal like everybody else?"
it doesn't always pay to know everything...but it was very, very funny.

Monday, 2 November 2009

'Tis healthy to be sick sometimes - Henry David Thoreau

I've been a poorly Frog.
The toothache steadily rose to a crescendo like I've never known (and I've given Birth 3 times).
I couldn't eat, sleep or think straight.
At night I could only pace around downstairs hoping to wear myself out so much that I might eventually sleep.
I begged my dentist to do something.
Dentist: ' Why didn't you come to me sooner?'
Frog: 'I x-rayed my teeth and said there was nothing wrong'.
Dentist ' Oh, hmm, well let's have another look shall we?'

He put me on anti-biotics, then more anti-biotics, and said he couldn't pull the tooth out because it was such a deep rooted infection ('you really should have come in sooner').
We had a holiday booked the following week to take the children to Florida, Darling Husband has been very unwell for months and he's made a very recent recovery and we were all so looking forward to getting away; it now looked as though I would wreck all the plans because I wasn't fit to drive let alone travel long haul.

The dentist had another peep to see if he could do an extraction...still too infected.
He gave me yet another prescription for anti-biotics, I was wishing for a miracle..or to be run over on the way out, I just couldn't take any more.
The dentists wife saw me on the way out and said I could pay a private clinic an extortionate amount and have a general anaesthetic to have my tooth out the next day, would I like her to enquire how many houses I would have to sell to pay for it?
Well, I think I would have paid anything.
On Tuesday I went to the private clinic and handed over the gross national product.
The surgeon dentist told me I looked as though I was walking to the guillotine.
I replied through clenched teeth..just-take-the-tooth-out.

I woke up 15 minutes later looking very unglamorous with bad hair (so my affectionate sister tells me), a plaster on the back of my hand from the IV and blood drooling down my chops.

I had no pain.
I can't tell you how much better I felt.
I came home and slept for the first time in at least two weeks.

The next day (Wednesday)I ate sweet potatoes and savoured every mouthful...the pain was gone, I was sore from the surgery, but I could think straight, it was wonderful.

On Thursday I had a check up with the dentist and he declared me fit to travel the following Monday. I had my miracle, the children started to pack. The milkman arrived and stayed an hour or so for a chat.

I woke during Thursday night feeling strange, I had a pain in my stomach and thought I must have one of those 24 hour stomach bugs coming. I walked into the bathroom and prepared to vomit (in a delicate and ladylike fashion). All of a sudden I realised everything was the wrong way up...why was the loo sideways and why was I looking at the bottom of the bathtub? I called Darling Husband from his slumber and we deduced I'd passed out.
Pain suddenly gripped me and Darling Husband has since said he thought I was 'a gonner'. I did come round long enough to say 'get me to a hospital'.
999 was dialled and quickly rejected because they said it'd be a while, so Daughter no1 and Darling Husband carried me to the car and I continued to slip in and out of consciousness all the way to hospital in Abergavenny.
I remember being dragged out the back seat and dumped into a wheelchair and hearing DH shout that I'd fall out if they didn't bother to hold on to me.

I was wheeled into a cubicle and asked to climb on the bed and change into a gown.
When I failed to respond the staff started getting really annoyed with me, but I couldn't move my mouth, hands or make any sounds, it was awful. We have since wondered if they thought I was drunk or on drugs, their unkindness was unbelievable.

Darling Husband wasn't allowed near me for quite some time and when they eventually let him in they demanded to know who on earth he was, poor DH was incredulous! Then he discovered I'd still had nothing for my pain...I can see why casualty staff get attacked sometimes, sorry, but the worry and anguish they caused was terrible.

I had to have a heart monitor attached, my temperature taken, answer questions and explain why I had a bruise and needle mark in the back of my hand, over and over again.
Well, after a drip and pain relief things calmed a little and the general consensus of opinion was that the anti-biotics I'd taken for toothache had eliminated all the good bacteria in my gut and bowel. My insides were literally in spasm and the pain was making me pass out.

The casualty staff started being very kind and gentle indeed once they realised I really was ill and not exaggerating.
I started to feel a little better and after blood test results I was allowed home, feeling like I'd been kicked by a carthorse.

On Saturday I was still in bed, very upset and unable to eat. I got my laptop and tried to find out what I should try to eat to recover and discovered lots of people have had the same problem!!
I discovered I needed acidopholus, lactobacillus and bifidobacterium to recover.

By Monday I could shuffle around and decided to try and travel to Gatwick and stay overnight before our flight, if I could cope with that I'd seriously consider getting on the children were upset and worried and I felt so responsible for ruining the holiday. Not only for them, but we were going with our best friends and their two children too.

We managed the journey, me with the smallest bag shuffling along behind the others.
I managed to eat a small amount of chicken, gravy and veg and felt a little stronger.
So, I braved the flight and we all set off....9 of us, like a school outing.
The 1st flight was fine, I slept, ate a little and felt even better.
While we were waiting for the next flight I had a fruit smoothie..lots of goodness, what a stupid mistake that was!
The next flight ended with Darling Husband telling me he was calling for a doctor and paramedics came onboard to help me off the plane (a hell of a way to queue-jump) and I was quickly wheeled to a quiet area and again had all my vital signs checked, more blood tests. This time they were kind, caring and just lovely. An ambulance crew arrived as well but after some time and consideration we decided I needed to go and rest up and be more careful what I drank and ate.
I felt rather stupid I must say.

We stayed at a friends house which was lovely, spacious and quiet. I stayed in bed a day or two while the others had a scout about.
I improved steadily and lived off water, porridge, chicken and salad.
We had a great holiday, sitting round the pool reading in lovely sunny weather, lots of laughter and the last night I risked a steak..not a good plan, I was ill again, but not so violently this time, no loss of consciousness this time.

And now we're home, and although I still feel like I've been kicked by a carthorse and can't carry anything, I feel much more relaxed for the holiday even though I scared everyone else half to death!
I intend to live on sweet potatoes and chicken and never take anti-biotics again (unless I'm really dying) and hope I am fully recovered soon. Oh....and always to nag my children to look after their teeth so they never have to go through agony like that!

Saturday, 10 October 2009


I'm in quite a grumble this week (mutter), I've had raging toothache, can't sleep, can't eat...whinge moan.
I've been spending the small hours looking through my computer files and deleting anything no longer needed, my busiest time of year begins in two weeks and I feel the need for a clear out.
Amazon is a big outlet for me at Christmas and you may know how it works, you buy something and then leave feedback for the merchant. While clearing out I've looked through my feedback and while most customers are very nice I just wonder what on earth is wrong with people!
This is typical example:
It was hard to judge the size of the telescopes from the picture. A scale would have been helpful.
Look here

Another one:
There not proper microphones
that's right, they are not proper microphones, proper ones costs lots of money and these are pink plastic toy ones costing £1.50!

Here's one I responded to:
wasnt what i expected
Frog reply: So sorry you were not happy with the Tube of Body Glitter, but not sure quite what else you were expecting :D

And this one still puzzles me to this day:
Ok I contacted this seller as I made an incorrect order on one item, and when my order did arrive the part that was incorrect in the 1st place was ok, but the second part of the order which was originally fine was wrong. So I give up.

This is a great one regarding a pull along item:
Delivery was on time and the product was the one ordered. However, I am a bit disappointed with the product as it is not very pratical to carry.

And I think I must have been having a bad day when I read this one, it's not my finest hour in customer courtesy but I did try everything I could and surely they can at least try and get their own address right:
was not delivered - never recieved
Frog reply: We contacted you on 22/12/08 to say the item was returned, Addressee unknown.
You asked for the address we had, we explained that we cut and paste address information to avoid mistakes and asked if you would like a refund or another item, you have not responded since.
You have spelled received wrong too.

You know, the best one I've heard is about an Ebay seller who includes postal charges in the item cost and still got 1 out of 5 for P&P!

*All smelling mistakes are the complainers's all cut and pasted!

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Cousin Conversation

Gorgeous Nephew: Hey cousin no 1

Swot daughter: Hey cousin no 3

Gorgeous Nephew: Washing the tractor?

Swot daughter: Yep

Gorgeous Nephew: Tractors are cool aren't they?

Swot daughter: Yep

Gorgeous Nephew: Have you got my shirt on?

Swot daughter: Yep

Gorgeous Nephew: Can I have it back?

Swot daughter: No

Gorgeous Nephew: Oh, OK.

Nephew = 23 years old
Daughter = 14 years old
Both daft as brushes!
(by the way, the photo is of my nephew and my youngest daughter not the swot...he is tall but not a giant)

Friday, 25 September 2009

Just feeling so betrayed

I'm passionate about my children being safe and happy.
We've come too close in the past to stop fighting for our children now and this latest event has really blown my sense of humour away.
I read my daughter's books, we both love reading.
I rummaged in her room for the latest book and started reading it.
Yep I was horrified, devastated and felt sick.
This is a book sent home from school by the Librarian, she wanted my daughter's opinion of the book and maybe they'll get the author in to talk to the students.
She wasn't going to be in trouble because she'd been asked to read it, why would she have any hesitation whatsoever?
Why would a parent have any hesitation if the school sent a book home, you wouldn't!
I feel my trust has been betrayed, but am so thankful my daughter hadn't read much at all, so didn't read what I did.
What was in it?
Well it was not particularly well written, but I pressed on, wanting to know what she was going to read, always good to know what a teenager reads, I think.
There was a description in there of sexual abuse, detailed, of a 14 year old boy by his carer.
It details non-consensual homosexual activity with a minor.
Is it me or it it wrong?

This book should not be in a school Libary.
Our children don't need to read this.
Needless to say I have spoken to school.
Tell me, would you be happy for your teenager to read one of these books?

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Talk like a Pirate Day

Today is talk like a pirate day, I feel like a that has scurvy and has been keel-hauled.
This week the youngest scrumplet was 6...^!!!!
Where does the time go?
On Tuesday she had some school friends home for tea and a bounce on the bouncy castle. It was lovely and they were all very good. We got the teenager boy from along the road to come over and read them all Charlie and Lola and The Tiger Who Came to Tea, they loved it. He tried to pretend he hated doing it but he kept smiling at them all and ended up with most of them snuggled up next to him while he read.
Then last night we had 'the family' tea party.
29 including three gatecrashers (very nice ones).
I cooked a huge pot of chilli, a large saucepan of curry, tons of baked potatoes and rice and made up copious amounts of Pimms, it was all very fab!
There's a bit of bread & cheese left and lots of empties and crumbs, but that's about it.
We played pass-the-parcel...always a favourite.
My sister repeatedly complained about the crunchiness of the baked potatoes, I complained about the children using clean glasses every time they had another drink; ten children, around five drinks each, that's a lot of glasses to wash. My brother in law complained when he fell head first, upside down from darling husbands' inverter/back stretcher thingy. Quite a thumping noise he made too! We all rushed to laugh at him and then continued with the revelry. Later on another brother in law snuck into our sitting room and had a go on the back inverter. He too, went completely upside down and then crashed to the floor loudly head first. Not to be outdone, my eldest sister in law (who is a nurse and really should know better)had a go, Thankfully without mishap.
I got the cake ready with candles, 6 on one side and a pile on the other (it was a joint party between my youngest and yet another sister in law).
I was flagging, exhausted from a long day watching our lady that does clean the house, but even that's no excuse for putting one of the candles in upside down with the plastic holder sticking up. It was noticed by all except me and put right before the match got too close, and so a major catastrophe was avoided.
Pudding followed, chocolate slices, lemon sauce pudding and jelly bunnies.
Hmm, the jelly bunnies made by the teenager were a little sloppy...the bunnies did in fact looked more like roadkill than cute bunnies, but the little people didn't seem to mind (Thankfully).

And so today I'm particularly tired, a slightly jaded little frog in fact.
Saddened because my truly lovely friend has just reversed her car into my executive office facility (sob!) but delighted and proud because darling daughter has won another competition netting £400 for her Primary School, how fab is that? How handy having a sausage expert when I have a number of rare breed piggies just looking the right size for eating! (Apologies if you're vegetarian)
If we ever manage to catch the damn things, that've not had free range meat until you've had it from us lawn has been snuffled for truffles, my office has snout prints on it, one of them even pulled a pink dressing gown off the washing line onto it's back the other day and then led down and went to sleep still 'wearing' it!

Saturday, 5 September 2009

New Premises

Oh how I could ribbit loudly!!
I am sitting here in my new office and it's just divine!
There's not a cat/dog/wellington boot/chainsaw to be seen, and I shall hide the key so it stays this way.

I have purchased executive furniture and built it all myself (swagger), it's lovely.
But it's been difficult getting permission for such spaces, the bureaucracy involved to get it passed by Darling Husband has been quite a challenge.

Darling Husband: What exactly is the point of you moving out of the house into an office? I mean what can you do out there that you can't do in here?

Frog: I would like my own space

Darling Husband: You've got loads of space

Frog: I have to share it with everyone!...I can't even wee on my own!

Darling Husband: Give me one good reason why you need a proper office

Frog: You know last night when that posh lady from London phoned to enquire about party bags and I was talking to here from in here?

Darling Husband: Yes (teeth beginning to gnash at the thought of a spending spree)

Frog: You recall you have a bit of 'cat trouble' while I was on the phone?

Darling Husband: grunt (frowning) the 'kin cat was in the kitchen and it should be outside!

Frog: Well, while I was talking to her you yelled audible expletives at the feline and slammed the door in a somewhat aggressive manner.

Darling Husband: Well

Frog: Well she didn't phone back..

Darling Husband : Oh.

I wish I'd thought of it months ago, I could have got Potty Mummy to call me (she's very posh).

Sunday, 23 August 2009

My wonderful daughter won First Prize at the village flower show with this vegetable person, and I can say with all honesty that her father's official position as Chairman had nothing to do with the result!

She's very creative and rather mad, I'm sure I don't know where she gets it from (innocent smile). She has the most incredible imagination and I'm sure she'll invent something completely amazing one day. My buckets, kept by the outside taps for watering my piglets, is often found containing a 'potion' that she and her friend Doodle have concocted. They spend hours outside with sticks and broken fence posts completely in their element and if I get a delivery while he's here they beg for the cardboard cases because it's just what they need to finish off their latest den.
Last week they tried to make a skateboard out of two long planks of wood. I think it finally failed on the aerodynamics assessment.

My youngest is following her sister in the mad stakes, last night she announced she would get her pyjamas on 'as quick as a bumble bee'!!

My eldest genius teenager was looking through the Thesaurus, perfecting her latest creative text when middle daughter said she thought big sister 'as descriptive as a pancake'! ...we're not sure if it was a compliment or not.

And it's got me wondering in general, surely it can't be my fault they are like this? But then everywhere I go people start laughing after a few minutes and it's not just because I may have my skirt tucked into my underwear. I have strange conversations with people usually ending with them choking with laughter..why is that?

Why do very large ladies always drive Smart Cars or old Fiat 500's?
Why do little men drive big cars like old Ford Cortina's?
Let's hope that Emma Chawner, who now lives in her car has something larger. She does looks like she's chawed through quite a few things!

Recent phone call:
Ms S: Hello I'm very posh!
Frog: Yes Hello I, also am very posh!
Ms S: I've had a pedicure, I didn't know what it was
Frog: Didn't you wonder what they were doing down there?
Ms S: choked laughing
Frog: That's very posh...I've had a spa treatment, that's posh
Ms S: Ooh I could do that now I've got 2 swimsuits that fit me. I used to have to wear one that was too small and one over the top that was too big and it looked a bit odd. Mind you, once I've got my black hat and goggles on it doesn't seem to matter....I'm a bit of a man-magnet when I go swimming!
Frog: choking, splutter crying laughing
Ms S: Yes, my husband has never minded me going swimming, but the children don't like my black hat.
Frog: I'm not going swimming with you if you're going to wear a black hat!
Ms S: I always wear a black hat
Frog : Oh (thinks OHMYGOD!!! surely she's joking)
Ms S: I do , I always wear it (sounding a tad hurt)
Frog: But you must look like a safety match!

Now I'm just wondering on a scale of 1 to 10 how much damage I've just done to my friendship?

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Butlins a summer family experience for the Frog Family!!

I've had a complaint about my lack of posts from my friend Mrs B.. I've not been too inspired to write because Darling Husband is seriously suffering at the moment and it's stressful to watch him in obvious pain.
But..we, myself, three girls and 'Shirl' went on a trip together( I know, I know) and it was brilliant, lovely and relaxing. To be perfectly honest it was the perfect break for me at this time, I felt shocking before we left and healthier and more relaxed when I arrived home (which is saying something with Shirl map reading, I can tell you).
We went to stay at the brand spanking new hotel Butlins have just opened in Bognor Regis.The pic above shows the fantastic mirror floor below a huge glass piece of art.

Last time I went to Butlins, I was eleven, my Dad had just bought a new XJ6 Jaguar and it seemed to rather stand out a little in the Butlins carpark at Pwllheli. I remember the cheque stub for the car was for £16,000 and was a tad disappointed with the grand spend on our all inclusive holiday was a mere £120.
Accommodation was a little dark and dreary, rather akin to an allotment potting shed as I remember, so I was a little apprehensive about going now with my children.
But I needn't have worried, my goodness, it is fantastic, amazing and a complete hit with all 5 of us, and almost all cars were tip top too (a few Skodas I noticed)

Our room was a family room....well OHMYGOD!! it was awesome! I wanted to sleep in the children's den but they wouldn't let me.
I had to suffer and sleep in here with the comfy beds and colour changing lights, large double glazed patio doors and a fabulous view of the Ocean from our private balcony.

My children had to sleep in a den with flat screen TV, funky wall art, big storage boxes for 'stuff' and the best finishing touch....Butlins now have a guarantee of no monsters under the bed...they even illuminate the underside of the bed to show there's nothing there to worry cool is that?
The rooms are totally awesome.
Youngest scrumplet had a bubbly bath with colour changing lights playing on the water. She loved it and after wrapping herself in huge soft towels declared herself as clean as a pineapple!
Our first day was not spent doing a knobbly knees competition or glamorous granny contest (though I'm sure Shirl would have won), no, we had glasses of Pimms made to perfection served to us while we watched enormous flying fish wander around. Tyson the Robot came over and sang us a few songs and broke wind at the children (very rude if you ask me), oh and we had to listen to stunning performances by a trio of classical musicians, it was wonderful. There were also two giant seagulls wandering around sticking their beaks into here and there, very amusing for my youngest she adored them.
Lunch is a buffet to end all others. It served a huge range and yet the chef still offered to cook something especially for a fussy child, at which I was very impressed. Not only was the food inviting, it tasted fantastic and yet was so reasonably priced, brilliant indeed.
The service both at the bar and in the restaurant was faultless, polite and enthusiastic...what was going on? I felt it was all too good to be true but the next day...great food, great service, lovely manners, all just how it should be.
And the Decor, well they've thought of all the really cool finishing touches that teenagers want to lights, funky chairs, wicked shaped mirrors, iridescent perspex room dividers and a glittery pink!

I decided to go into the Spa and be able to report how rubbish and what a waste of time it is...well it isn't, it awesome, so awesome I went twice in just one day. My children reported that I not only looked great when I cam e out but I wasn't even wrinkly (how terribly sweet).
Shirl however found a few points to complain lock on the bathroom door (same as at home then..), no enough soap and shampoo in the bathroom...(yes well, if she wanted to nick some they would have to bring more!), the rain got onto our balcony (no! really!!), erm but I think that was about it.
I was sad to leave, which is a good sign and shall be rebooking our next trip very soon.
On the long drive home we passed a wind sock.
Middle daughter: What's that Mummy?
Me 'a wind sock'
Middle daughter: I wonder why we don't get wind pants!'

It was a long drive home .. sigh!

Saturday, 18 July 2009


Our household cavalry cannot get into the small peeps bedroom for 'important things' placed carefully at the lowest level (chucked all over the floor).
I have threatened but obviously never hit the mark.
Yesterday I was a fearless frog - I took the black bags in.

And here's the epiphany...
One should never lift the rug in your child's bedroom.
Never should one move that enormous soft toy receptacle in the corner.

If a child doesn't have enough pencil crayons to last them and all their friends their entire lives by the time they are ten years old, they have sadly been the victim of a serious house fire or other similar serious calamity.

Those jigsaw puzzles given by loving relatives are all mixed up into a haze that can never be cleared.

Have you lost your daughters hair band?
I have it here...wedged between the bedroom floorboards, along with every bead you've ever bought a child,ever.

Oh and never let your teenager move their own wardrobes while painting their room lime green, purple and silver (I kid you not). the vacuum a hairband box (until school starts)
wardrobes..outside in bits (twitch!)

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Always Use the Green Cross Code

I know, I know, I haven't done my taggy things yet, I will, I promise...
It's just I've read some news that I feel rather passionately about.
Now, I've started to Twitter (in more ways than one I'm sure) and have noticed one or two rather raunchy types following me.
I couldn't understand why and then I clicked (no pun intended), I have the word 'party' in my profile.... besides wondering whether I'll be getting interesting party bag orders in the near future, it just shows how easily a few innocent phrases online can be misconstrued and potentially get you involved with people you'd really rather not.
May I say here and now ...I do not 'party'!! No more of the 3> messages please!

But, getting back to my point, teenagers follow trends and want to be liked and accepted and have tons of friends. Fitting in is what it's all about because if you don't, life can be hell. I have recently heard of a few cases of vile and persistant bullying and it can go beyond the playground. These teenagers are then going to seek some solace in finding friends elsewhere, ones they can talk to, be heard and understood..the internet.
Now I guess I'm breaking all my rules because I Blog, and this was mentioned when my teenager wanted to use social networking sites.
'Mum, you write to people you don't go and meet them!! What's the difference?'
The difference is I have 27 years more experience, I have that gut feeling that wasn't there when I was younger, I'm a Mother and I see things in the world that frighten me and have to do what I think is right to keep my children safe (and hopefully get it right).
Thankfully her school has banned Bebo, and for my daughter real friends and writing a novel is her priority, but sadly I have seen some of her school mates Facebook pics and they just give the wrong impression. At 15 they want to have friends, look attractive and get their first boyfriend, they don't believe there are paedophiles on these sites.
Lets face it, when you were a teenager did you think you were so much more streetwise than your parents?

Contact lists on sites talk about ’friends’, but social networking sites stretch the traditional meaning of ‘friends’ to mean anyone with whom a user has an online connection. Therefore the term can include people who the user has never actually met or spoken to...and these are the exciting ones, and potentially the most dangerous.

I think teaching interent safety is as important as teaching your children to cross the road, have good manners and not speak to strangers.....

Here's some new research from McAfee, the internet security company, which surveyed 1,000 mums and dads across the UK about their approach to online safety for their kids.

The findings also highlight a clear call to action for parents to open up communications with their children about online safety and use:

· Only a fifth (19%) of parents regularly talk to their children about online safety and one parent in 10 has never raised the subject of security

· Almost half (46%) of parents aren’t aware that their children have any online profiles, and a third don’t think they use any form of online communication

· Yet reports show that this is not the case


· Switch on security controls – Get to know what protection your anti-virus software or security suite provides. Activating parental controls and setting the right level of security is the first step you should take to create a safer surfing environment for your children.

· Careful PC placement – Put the family PC in a communal area (such as the living room or kitchen) with the screen facing the room as this will allow you to more easily see how your children use the Internet.

· Open up discussions and hold regular joint Internet sessions with your children - Being online is no different than being outside; you always want to know where your children are and become familiar with the places they visit. Ask your child about their online friends, in the same way as you would about their school and neighbourhood friends. Encourage your children to surf with you so that they can talk you through the different tools they use and their favourite websites. This will encourage a joint learning experience with the child teaching parents more about Internet tools and the parent offering the adult point of view.

· Actively educate yourself – Use the Internet to see what’s out there; join some social networks yourself (and perhaps add your children as friends) to see how the new tools work to better understand what the potential risks could be.

· Work as a team to set boundaries – Discuss with your child exactly what is safe and unsafe online behaviour regarding the kind of websites they visit, the social networks they use and the chat rooms they visit. Make sure you talk with children specifically about what is and is not appropriate behaviour online.

· Make sure your children understand basic rules for using social networks – They should guard their passwords and never post personally identifying information or inappropriate photos. Blogs and social networking sites offer privacy tools that can be turned on to restrict potentially dangerous users. The sites often automatically provide these protective tools to children under 15 years old. Children should share information only with people they know from the real world.

· Stanger Danger – Stress to your child that they need to tell you if they receive any odd or upsetting messages while chatting and that you will not be angry with them or ban the Internet as a result. Make it clear to the child that you understand that they cannot control what other people say to them.

· Recognise that cybercriminals don’t target a specific type of person – they are opportunists looking to take advantage and make money from all online users, regardless of age.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Another Day another caterpillar

It's been a very long day..sigh.
I was woken by the teenager asking me to wash her socks, oh joy!
Darling Husband pulled the quilt off me, because I was annoying him looking so snuggled up and cosy...sigh.

I gave sock washing instructions which I discovered were followed to the letter...apart from the actual sock bit, they were no-where to be seen. You know sometimes I think I'm wasting my money on her education!

I dried the socks with the hairdryer, cooked scrambled eggs and baked beans, persuaded the younger two to get their uniforms on and took them up to the bus stop.
"Why do boys have willies, Mummy?" ...sigh...

Me: 'OOh, look, there's bus!'

I came in to the kitchen and made a cup of tea.
Read a ton of emails
Emptied the dishwasher and re-stacked it
Made a loaf of Bread
Fed 28 pigs and carried 10 buckets of water
Put the washing out
Filled the washing machine
Cooked sausages and peeled potatoes
Answered emails
Made Chelsea Buns and Danish Pastries
Put the washing out
Filled the washing machine
Found something for tea out the freezer
Answered emails
Put the washing out
Filled the washing machine (Isn't life terribly exciting some days?)

'Yes of course I can dispatch that today!' (heck I'm starting the school run in ten minutes!
I was terribly brave and followed instructions to go into Somerfield (OHMYGOD!!)and buy their bargain of the day Daz soap powder (we use a ton a day, I'm sure).
I paid a bill
Sent the enormous parcel
Collected teenager from posh school
Came home to find Darling Husband asleep on the sofa..grrr!
Put tea on to cook
worked on my NVQ
Put tea out
Uttered the immortal words..."Darling sit down and take your snorkel off at the table" (No, I'm not kidding)
Worked on my NVQ
Bathed the girls
Fed 28 Pigs and carried 10 buckets of water
Oh..I forgot to mention,
my new boots, did you know I have new Berghaus boots ?
Hmm, well, my lovely new boots were outside the back door where all boots should be.
I picked them up, shook them and bashed them delicately against the wall to loosen any dust or foreign objects that might have found their way in.
All dust out...
Foot in!
Gosh what's that green sticky stuff on my sock and more importantly in my new boot???
A very squished caterpillar...euck!!
yuck...a very long day indeed.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Evolution of the Frog

So here at Frog Towers there have been some equipment updates and changes made in an attempt to cope with an increase in business, piglet population and hot weather.

So it's time to say goodbye to my purple wellies, it's just too hot for them so I have scrubbed them clean of 'organic matter' and put them neatly away until the Autumn.
My old purple walking boots have fallen to bits and so I thought I'd better have a good look for hiking shoes to take their place, not an easy task when you really do have feet like a frog (wider than they are long).
I must have the most awkward feet, really, I do....and... I suffer with all sorts of yuck foot-type ailments, so good shoes are very high on my list of priorities.
As usual, hurrah!! for the internet. three or four clicks and tada!! the postie Dude (as he affectionately called by the younger people in our house) delivers the very next day.

I am donning my few day old Berghaus Explorers perfectly suited to our rough terrain and occasional inclement weather (the only trouble is they're so comfortable I can't take them off). Darling Husband is asking if I shall be wearing them when I go to bed...he's just jealous!

I must say I was a tad concerned when Darling Husband read the info: " Berghaus boots
engineered from the inside out!...Ha! You'll never get the laces done up!"
But the laces are indeed on the outside and I managed them just fine!
They are not only perfectly grippy and comfortable walking across the 100 acres that is camp Frog, they are just lovely for wearing all day long, really light but really strong all at once..very clever.
.... useful for the speedy way I gracefully run to my executive storage facility and back to my desk. in all the right places and no diggy-inny bits anywhere around my ankles.
Gosh I shall be the talk of the pig pen!
Oh how I shall walk to the school bus now... I there yet?

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

It' been chaotic here, I know, I always say that, but so much has happened and time is whizzing by like a whizzy thing. We've had the Ball (more about that another time), I had lunch with Potty Mummy and Dulwich why are people becoming obsessed with my footwear, Potty Mummy looked straight at my feet and said "Crikey I thought you had your wellies on there for a minute!"
Yes, hmm, Thanks for that. People, for the record, I do like colourful shoes.

Firstly, belatedly:
Thanks so much to Rebel Mother and Katherine for the lovely award, it's always a real boost to ones' ego and jolly nice to have some new artwork to display around the Blog!

Now just a few things today really, things that can only be heard or seen at camp frog (surely?).
Me: "Do you think the pigs would like this garlic?"
Teenager: "OHMYGOD!! Mum! You're so embarrassing!"

Me: "Darling Husband, have you ever seen your cowy-things licking a pig?"
Darling Husband (eyes rolling): "pfft...tut......OHMYGOD!!"
His eyes roamed to where I pointed, there next to the fence, on the lawn, was a very free range saddleback pig lying on it's side. Three or four bullocks had their heads shoved through the fence licking the pig all over his head, ears, nose and big fat tummy, and the pig was just loving it!

Neighbour on the phone: "Hello Mrs Frog, would you please tell Darling Husband that I have visitors in the field below the house (cattle), they arrived at 6.30 this morning. They roared down the lane, charged round and round the garden and cleared two fences before settling down to eat grass."

Me: " I'm so sorry, I'll send him over as soon as he's finished playing on his John Deere"

Neighbour on the phone: "Hello Mrs Frog, would you please tell Darling Husband that I have five more visitors in the field below the house (cattle).

Me: " I'm so sorry, he'll be over just as soon as he's finished playing on his John Deere"

Neighbour on the phone: "Hello Mrs Frog, would you please tell Darling Husband that actually the five extra visitors in the field below the house (cattle) are in fact mine, I didn't recognise them."

Me: "snigger"

Thursday, 14 May 2009


I'm just trying to catch up on paperwork, missed emails and bills, having purely concentrated on orders being shipped. It's been an emotional time and we're still not functioning efficiently, so today when I opened an email I was mortified that I'd not kept a better eye on things.
The email was from a Senior Search Consultant and said:
"I took the liberty to do some research on your website, and uncovered some interesting points. This may interest you, since it appears that you are trying to gain new business through your website.

From my initial observations, your site is probably underperforming in the major search engines - Google, Yahoo, and MSN LiveSearch. When searching on a topic, most people don’t look past the first page of search results. I struggled to find you in the first couple of pages, meaning that you could be losing a significant amount of business."

Blimey! I've worked incredibly hard in the past optimising my website myself, using keywords, forging links and had got to page 1 of Google, and here I was taking my eye off the ball and losing my place - bugger!

Senior Search Consultant continued:
"...backlinks are low, Google Page rank..blah, blah.. right now your site has a Google Pagerank score of 2/10, which is probably one of the main reasons why your site isn’t showing up in the first page of the search results."


Senior Search Consultant continued:
"The final aspect I noticed about your site was page indexing. The more pages your site has indexed with unique keywords, the higher you will rank. Right now, your site has only 140 pages indexed by Google, which is quite low.
So to recap...blah, blah....."

and then he said:

"I’m going somewhere with all this... I wanted to do my homework and research your website because it’s my business. We are in the business of doing three things for your website:

1) Fixing all issues with your website

2) Ranking your site to the top of the search results, and

2) Blowing your online revenue off the charts.

What we do is simple: we correct every single issue with your website that effects how the search engines perceive you, then put you on the first page of search results in all the major search engines by working on your site month on month. It’s a no-nonsense approach that cuts through marketing fluff to the core of what gets a site to the top. We know what that is. We know how to do it. "

Well, I checked it out on Google, I know what that is, I know how to do it.
The I sent an email in reply, one that I think cut through the fluff and got to the core of the subject:

"Dear Senior Search Consultant,
Having just Googled:
Luxury Party Bags
Luxury Pre filled party bags
Cotton Party Bags
filled party bags,

I find I am still on page 1 of Google.
Kind regards

I did get a read receipt but no congratulatory reply, ho hum!

Monday, 27 April 2009

The chap in the cape has visited again

We have lost Darling Husband's Mother.
She passed away in her sleep on Thursday night/Friday morning having gone out the evening before with friends to Bible study.
A friend sent a message...'it was a good death'.
We shall miss her in every way, a huge part of our lives, a big family in sorrow, shown by the fact we will need three funeral cars just to get our family to the church.
My children will miss their Grandma, miss making cakes and bread with her, miss raiding her tin of home-made shortbread when they came home from school.
Will shall miss many things and our lives will be very different from now on.

Monday, 20 April 2009

The Marvels of Gastronomy

The average Brit can cook ten dishes without resorting to the aid of a cookbook or online recipe - that’s the verdict of a new study into the nation’s culinary habits which suggests that many of us are more comfortable cooking foreign dishes than standard British classics when it comes to dining at home.

The “Great British Home-Cooked Menu Survey’ commissioned by UKTV Food, asked 3,000 respondents to reveal the staple dishes which they can prepare without the aid of a cookbook or online recipe.

The top ten dishes that Brits can make unaided:

1. Spaghetti Bolognese (65%)

2. Roast Dinner (54%)

3. Chilli Con Carne (42%)

4. Lasagne (41%)

5. Cottage or Shepherd’s Pie (38%)

6. Meat or Fish stir fry (38%)

7. Beef casserole (34%)

8. Macaroni Cheese (32%)

9. Toad in the hole (30%)

10. Meat, Fish or Vegetable curry (26%)

Well that's it then, I'm most certainly above average, I can make all those!
Jeepers, I must be a rocket scientist!
Can people really not cook these days?
Should I boast I can also make the following without the aid of a safety net or recipe?

Ice-Cubes - Darling Husband once berated me severely for buying such an item during Pimms weather and so I took it upon myself to become an expert in their preparation.

Toast - I even slice the bread myself!

Bread - ah, yes, all home-made in this house.

Tea - Glengettie, boiling water, a smattering of milk and sugar, et voila!

Scrambled egg - drop one box of eggs, sieve then whisk with a spot of milk, yum! (Serve on home-made bread made into toast)

Baked Beans - Get Darling Husband to open the can (it ruins one's nails!) and instruct daughter to stir slowly over a medium heat.

Cheese and Crackers - perfection with a nice Shiraz.

Pimms! How could I forget the Pimms! - slice the cucumber, strawberries, forage for fresh mint, pour in tall glass and top up with cold lemonade - scrumptious!

Boiled Eggs - oh I do a perfect boiled egg, with the aid of a timer even, gosh how clever!

Cupcakes - weight the eggs, add the same weight of flour and sugar and butter...instruct 5 year old to stand with the electric mixer for some time while I file my nails then whack in the oven in gorgeous paper cases, easy peasy!

So that's another ten and I haven't even begun to tell you the culinary classics I can conjour up!
Cheese on toast..
fresh fruit salad....

The increased culinary confidence is also reflected in the fact that men and women would now appear to be on almost equal terms when it comes to home cooking – women can make 11 dishes unaided, compared with men who can make nine, representing a seismic shift in the traditional male/female roles over the course of a generation.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Google - Frugal

I've just been sent some very depressing facts.
The average child costs more than £18,000 before their first birthday and over £27,500 by the age of three....
No wonder I feel a little un-wealthy from time to three girls have cost me, erm, (rubbish at maths) quite a bit already!
But surely that can't be right?
Perhaps my children aren't average..have I been too frugal...
Am I as mean as Shirl?
My eldest can't possibly have cost us that much..we couldn't afford a fridge for six months and nor a telephone until she was four years old.

Apparently Parents-to-be spend an average of £311 on trying to conceive!!!
How can it cost money to, well, you know..I mean one could always pretend there's a power cut and save a bit while, you know...

According to the Baby Budget the costs continue to mount during pregnancy, with parents spending in excess of £4,000, yet Mums-to-be spend an average of £91.11 on maternity wear, including underwear...what else are they buying?
Crikey, second time round Mums will spend more than that on a good strong bra, six sizes bigger than they bought first time round!

Before their baby is born or in the first year, parents spend £3,383 on decorating and furnishing the nursery...
Now look..don't all children sleep with their parents for the first five years whether we like it or not? The only reason you have other bedrooms is so there's somewhere else to go when they wee in your bed or push you out!

Half of the parents surveyed by Gurgle (50%) said that because of the recession they are actively trying to cut costs where they can by implementing a host of cost saving measures such as accepting hand-me-downs from friends and family (48%)
Oh my gosh..imagine the shame! (I thought everyone did that?)

40% are making homemade baby food instead of buying packaged food...
I have to admit buying maybe a dozen boxes of baby rice and four cans of baby pudding in the last 14 years..surely mashing up your dinner is obviously better than tinned food anyway?

A smaller number of respondents are even trying to potty train their children earlier in order to save money on nappies...yes well, speak to my friend Potty Mummy about that one!

Somewhere, there must be thousands of pounds floating about...I must look down the back of the sofa.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Bob's Your Uncle

Sadly Uncle Bob (on Darling Husband's side) has passed away.
He was well known for his lifetime of farming, wit and intelligence.
Also for hiding when relatives visited.

We gathered with family and friends at this beautiful Church in Herefordshire to say farewell. The farmland stretched out below us in the valley.

The Reverend King welcomed us to his Church and spoke with passion about Life and Death and the Good Lord. My sister in law and her cousin had written some memories and tributes to Uncle Bob mostly regarding their childhood spent at the Farm with him.

SIL: I can remember going thistle pulling with him, thinking it would be a good opportunity to get to know him better...but when I turned round he'd gone home and left me to it.

Mad Cousin Pat wrote about how he'd taught her to drive when she was really young (and certainly not legally allowed).

We were asked to view the statue of a sheep dog on our way out of the Church (Uncle Bob always loved his Sheep dogs) and to make sure some-one took it home otherwise the Reverend said he'd 'nick it'....(you really can't trust anyone these days!)

The reverend referred to Uncle Bob pulling marigolds...
(a murmur rumbled around the church)
"Ah, should I have said mangles?"

Congregation: "Yes!"

"Sorry I thought that looked funny and I couldn't understand for the life of me why he would top and tail them, I can't read my own writing!"

Darling Husband: "You should have gone to SpecSavers!"

We walked out into Bright Sunshine and gale force winds down to the graveside.
My beautiful pashmina whipped round in the wind and attached itself to a headstone making me jerk back somewhat in-elegantly as I tried to walk.
My nephew burst out laughing, Darling Husband rolled his eyes.
I struggled to get the silk away from the lichen while holding up the mourning procession.

My Brother-in-law threw a handful of dust into the grave and the wind caught it and threw it straight back out again, we all clung on to each other for fear of being blown over.

We all gathered later in the village hall for cups of tea and a good thaw, followed by scrumptious cakes and sandwiches.
Uncle Owen paraded with SIL's handbag over his shoulder for some time and we all had a very pleasant time.

Later the family gathered back at the family farm for sherry, tea and more cakes and we were shown Uncle Bob's school books.
They were beautifully written, so neat!
Fantastic illustrations and many a story about finding some sort of stick, must have been a boy thing.
So there we are, another true story about some tea and cakes, a blustery day and Bob's your uncle!

Friday, 13 March 2009

Friday 13th

What's going on today?
The Headmistress was wearing her PJ's and dressing gown in school this morning; smallest daughters' teacher was still wearing hers at 3.30!!
The boys were wearing Welsh Rugby shirts back to front.

Eldest daughter (previously known as the Vampire) persuaded Darling Husband to drive her to school on his tractor.

Davina McCall appears to be a little 'squiffy' presenting Comic relief, I didn't think it was possible to embarrass David Tenant, but it she appears to have managed it. She's an embaressment...

Smiffy was driving my Volvo on TV..I could tell by the bottle that fell out the door.

I found a M&S bouquet of flowers on the side of the road, in the middle of nowhere.
The nearest M&S was 7 miles from where I found them. A beautiful bouquet of white lilies, roses and nice green stuff (I'm so horticultural).
How did they get there...was there a domestic in a car and they got flung from through a window?
I did consider taking them back and asking for a replacement, half of them had been run over after all. Darling Husband said he'd seen them on the road and considered picking them up for me, but he didn't want to go to too much trouble.


Sunday, 8 March 2009

Footwear for Frogs

I'm so excited, I have a new pair of Wellies... ta-da!!
No, they're not purple, they're 'Iris'.
Why is this worthy of a post? Well, I spoke to a fellow blogger on the telephone once, discussing a commercial transaction of the party bag kind. She mentioned her husband referred to me as 'the one in pink wellies', so I need to let you all know I'm a Frog who follows the latest fashion, and I've changed my image - to purple (that's as exciting as life gets these days!)

My Fuchsia Hunter Wellies had been treated to a large amount of biting from my Saddleback Piglets and have sadly passed their best some time ago, but being a frugal frog I have made them last. I scrubbed them in readiness for the Ball, but really felt they weren't going to be good enough and so hunted down a new pair of Hunters (without the aid of horses, hounds or fox fatalities).

I went to a local supplier where the staff were only able to grunt one syllable at a time and gave up pretty quickly valuing the tad of sanity I had left. I came home and once again thanked the Lord for Google. A few clicks and emails et voila! a new pair of Wellies in the desired colour and size arrived the next day! That's what I call service, something rarely seen these days.
I'm a huge stickler for good customer service, I get rather mad with companies whose attitude is bad and I would be bloody furious with myself if my company ever (spare the thought) let a customer down.
This post recalls a particularly humorous episode on the Frog world:Never Work With Animals

Thank you Fitness Footwear!
outdoor shoes

Hunter wellies

Fitness Footwear

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Global Warming

Last night,in my official capacity as Chairperson of Friends, I welcomed a Professor of Glaciology to the school and introduced her to a group of attentive parents and students. Also among the audience were a group of boys from the boys school, privately invited for the Lecture entitled "The Effects of global Warming on the Arctic".
The Lecture was to be held in the Bar.
I think I may have to report them to Trading Standards.
The term Bar refers to the ballet bar all along the wall rather than the type of room I imagined would serve an excellent Claret. A number of us were very disappointed.

The Lecture was actually really good. The students helped make an 'ice flow' experiment which worked perfectly.

We were shown a photograph of the tent the Professor lived in for three months when in the Arctic. Now either she was really clever and had discovered the true theory of time and relative dimension in space, or that tent didn't have an en-suite.(OHMYGOD!)

Around halfway through, thankfully after I had extinguished the lights, a slide appeared on the screen highlighting an illustrative map of the contours formed by heat on an iceberg. It was the exact same shape as the male genitalia. I looked at the floor, frowning and trying not to laugh, but the boys in front of me obviously thought exactly the same thing. They struggled to stifle their giggles and their shoulders shook for some time as they laughed. I hoped the lights wouldn't be required to go back on for some time.

After the Lecture some intriguing questions were put forward by the girls.
Then a parent asked a few questions.
He hogged the floor for some time even ignoring the obvious hand waving from the Head that she'd like to ask a question. He was obviously prepared to heckle for some hours that Global warming is total nonsense and the audible groans from the students each time he put another argument forward were becoming cringingly obvious.
The students started to laugh and everyone was getting twitchy, I got signal across the room from a Head of Year in the form of fingers across the throat and a look of panic, from the Bursar.
Totally out of my depth I leaped up and Thanked the Professor very loudly, thrusting a beautiful bouquet of (eco-friendly and environmentally sourced) flowers at her.
The Professor looked a little stunned and the man glared at me.
The audience heaved a sigh of relief.

As I left the school I realised I was following the Professor in her small and low-emission car. She was lost and had pulled over to look at her map, so, being the people person I am, I went to her rescue, and show her how to get back to Swansea.

Me: "Shall I tell you how to get onto the dual carriageway?"
Professor of Glaciology: "Yes please"
Me: "Go up to the traffic lights, turn right and when you get to the roundabout, turn right towards Newport"
Professor " Brilliant, Thanks"
Me " No problem..right at the lights, right at the roundabout"
Professor of Glaciology: "Thanks"

She drove off.
Straight through the traffic lights and up towards school again.... (sigh!)

Saturday, 28 February 2009


Unless this is the first time you've read my Blog you will be quite used to my heights of stupidity and the daft things that go on in our lives at Camp Frog.
I am currently the Chairperson of the Friends association at my eldest daughters' lovely school. When I took the post on I tried to dissuade the committee because I felt I wasn't sensible enough, but here I am, voted in.
The first meeting I Chaired was very scary, I had no Agenda to refer to, just some previous minutes. I was glad to be able to draw on my improvisation techniques learnt in Drama at college.
I was asked to contact a Professor of Glaciology (is there such a thing?)to confirm the Lecture she will be giving at school. I felt a little concerned that no-one seemed to have actually ever spoken to her. Thank goodness for Google, I say. I found her, she's coming, I've even spoken to her, now comes the problem of what do you give a Professor of Glaciology as a Thank you gift? A scarf? Heck it's a tricky one.
Then there's the matter of our Ball. Our new Head desired a Ball in the marquee after Speech Day.
Hurrah! thought I.
Oh no! As Chairperson I have to organise it.(OHMYGOD!)
Not only that but I have to attend it!!
Darling Husband will have to come with me (no you can't wear your John Deere waistcoat)
Now I am a Frog with very little brain, and had no idea where on earth to start.
Cue the help of four fab ladies in the know, proper private school parents, ones who no doubt already own a number a ballgowns. I doubt my fuschia Hunter Wellies will cut it...even if I do scrub them clean!

We've had very civilised meetings in the Bursars office, and kept in touch via email.
I managed to email a fashion agent in BlackHeath instead of one of the lovely ladies to confirm a table booking, phew, could have been embaressing on the night.

The Head Chef has presented us with sample dishes for the Ball, all yummy, but one served in a peculiar way and I was not sure how to explain I wasn't happy with it.
Bursar "You think it looks like dog poo don't you?"
Me " Erm, yes, can't we have it served in ramekins?"

Next meeting we have a wine company coming in to let us taste their wares.
As Dulwich Mum would say, 'What a hoot!'.
My one relief is that I don't have to stand up and say anything at the Ball, I just can't let people know how daft I really am!
So, can anyone lend me a posh frock?

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Ive been given two awards!! How marvellous!!
This one from my friend Potty Mummy

'This award focuses not on the glory and fanfare of blogging, but in the PROXIMITY to one another through this online-world. This blog invests and believes in the PROXIMITY--nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement! '

And this one from Off the Wall.

What lovely ladies (what super taste!), and what bad manners I have not thanking them before, sorry, but Thank you.
I've hardly blogged for ages, guess what/ partying? Oh yes..big time, but that's for another post.
Today I want to tell you about taking my children and nieces (6 girls) to a famous film location in order that they soak up the atmosphere and culture, hoping it might benefit their future awareness and understanding of this modern world we live in.
Yes, yesterday I took them to the very spot where Dave coaches picked up Stacey and Nessa, yep we went to Barry Island (OHMYGOD!!)

My intention was just to go to the new Playcentre there (Coconuts) but the only way we could get six girls to stop playing and finally leave was to say we'd take them to the beach on the way home. So I shall be putting in a complaint with the management of the said Playcentre for making it interesting enough to keep six fussy madams happy for at least three hours, what's that all about? Usually 5 minutes of playing, a bit of eating, drinking and moaning and then they want to go!!

I was so grateful our playcentre lunch was good, the smell of chips mixed with sweet Candy Rock at Barry Island was definitely iffy. The beach looked like a nasty dog show, specimens of Staffordshire Bull terriers tugged at their leads, foaming at the mouth and urinating everywhere.
One or two people were immaculately dressed and enjoying the scene, one or two donned hooped golden earrings thicker than their thighs and had visible signs of straightener abuse about their bleached locks. It was scary and I had to suppress my growing urge to shout 'O'.

The air was full of the sound of slot machines and arcade games, we didn't stay long.
The girls each had a ice-cream to warm themselves up before we left.
My middle niece spent half an hour extracting every grain of sand from between her toes, with precision to be admired (...ahem!).

We drove home eating a healthy choice of snacks: candy floss and last years' rock (it was soft), having had a great day out.

And I will try to keep up from now on, sorry, I'm such a busy bee - I mean Frog!

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Permanent Party

OK we're still recovering from all the Parties (I'm with you Grit).
The first gathering pre-Christmas was with a namesake family (Frog is such a popular name in Wales). They came with only three of their children, The two eldest ate and then disappeared to a bedroom to gossip, the middle two made dens and played hide and seek (mainly in my airing cupcoard, and the two small ones dismantled the bottom bunk and were sliding down the mattress like a ramp.
Oh the joy I felt, knowing my lady that does had only been in that very day to transform our home into civilisation - how quickly it was demolished.
The taller people stayed downstairs and played hilarious games.

Shirl came the next day for Sunday Lunch..I'd rather not talk about it.

Then we had friends over for a whole day, in fact they stayed until the next morning. We played hilarious games and spent much of the day speaking in Gavin and Stacey language and ordering Gnocchi...I think you probably had to be there.

Ah, then my wonderful friend, beautiful wife, and Godsons arrived.
We served leftovers..a rib of Aberdeen Angus (home produced), a joint of free range rare breed pork (home produced), free range turkey (from friends along the road), bread (home made) cheese, salad and was terrific!
We played hilarious games and laughed till we cried, it was brill.

Our lovely friends phoned and said their student daughter was having a wild party so we could cook them dinner at our house and have the pleasure of their company. We were very excited, we have so many nice friends and always have brilliant fun, but these two make us laugh so much.
He went to a girls school (no, really) and was a house husband when the children were younger. His voice is very deep and manly so it's quite hard to imagine.
She gives presentations to very important people on Alternative Energy, and has 40 staff, she's very focused and quite high powered.
But...when they come to our house she turns into a giggle monster (a lovely one, I have to say) and he just smiles and talks and laughs and is quite frankly the perfect dinner guest.
And so, we ate lots and drank wine and talked about 'stuff'.
Our lady friend confessed once how, when she feels down and stressed at work, she reads the accident book to cheer herself up. There's some great ones in there.."Walked into a filing cabinet" for instance.
We laughed and laughed and with the aid of paper and pencils and played funny games until we told them they had to go because my stomach and sides hurt so badly. I had tears rolling down my cheeks and was coughing and spluttering with laughter.
They made like Elvis (and left the building) was exceptionally cold, ice everywhere. Darling Husband could be heard howling with laughter and staggering around holding his stomach.
Our friends had walked outside and on seeing the ice 'she' (lovely person) proceeded to scrape the ice off our car instead of theirs by mistake!!
I just can't tell you how funny it was.
I want you all to know I hurt all the next day too.

And finally, our eldest daughter celebrated her 14th Birthday (OHMYGOD!!).
We had a few friends and relations round for a tea party (it's beginning to feel like Bloody Winnie the Pooh stories..I need a Hundred Acre kitchen).
All the children aged between 5 and 56 played pass the parcel, with much cheating and pouting.
The children aged between 5 and 23 played musical statues and musical bumps.
I cooked tons of food, which soon disappeared and put the dishwasher on three times during the evening!!
Then we got the paper and pencils out for more nonsense games.

We are well and truly partied out at Camp Frog, and by golly we've had such a good time!