Tuesday, 13 July 2010

The Farewell bit.......


I'm leaving Blogger after many happy years here.
Please follow me to my new Lilypad and continue to laugh at my stupidity and ridiculous stories. Do I make them up?
No!
I couldn't possibly.
True life is funnier than fiction
Please come and visit me over at Wordpress
Frog
x

Old friends and farewells



Last week I got a train to London to meet up with John Lewis for their Christmas Showcase, it was fantastic.
The journey started off well, I jumped into my nice car and glided along the roads...lovely sunny morning I thought,land of 'All Things Bright & Beautiful' I'll not go down the dual carriageway to the train station, I'll take the scenic route.
I drove past the 'Purple Headed Mountain'.
Big Mistake.
Of course the scenic route out here is free of any other vehicles but once I got closer to Newport (shudder) I remembered why I like working from home.
The queues were enormous and I started to panic I'd miss my train.
Luck was on my side (along with the advantages of driving a V6 and having done a spot of motor racing in my youth) and I caught the train, found a quiet seat and snoozed and dribbled most of the way to London.
I was woken by occasional text messages from the teenager and phone calls from Darling Husband asking me where the girls pants were and if it's really necessary for socks to match these days.

John Lewis were fabulous hosts and their Christmas range is something to behold.
We had a fabulous lunch and I saw my lovely friend Potty Mummy (she's moved to Russia to avoid me - she says I can't take a hint).
If you look carefully at her photo above you'll see the white flecks are not dandruff but in fact fake snow being blown across the doorway to try and make it feel Christmassy even though it was hotter than the Gobi desert on the streets of London that day.

I got on the train to come back to Wales, my whole Christmas Shopping planned (well my list anyway)in my mind.
I suddenly was aware someone was snoring really loudly and as I listened more intently it dawned on me that it was me making that racket, and the poor young lady next to me was probably a bit fed up with it.
We went through a tunnel, which I assumed was the Severn Tunnel, so I straightened up, put my suit jacket on and made to leave.
'Are you getting off here?' asked the polite young lady (who was either deaf or v.patient)
'Yes, this is Newport isn't it?'
'Er no....we're just coming in to Bristol, Newport would be the other side of the water'
Blush
'Oh, yes..thanks for pointing that out'
So another day managing to make a fool of myself.
As I stepped from the train I discreetly checked my skirt wasn't tucked into my knickers (just in case).

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Gently Does it...



Why I've woken up so early this morning beats me!
I feel so tired I don't know if my head is on the right way round!
I'm venturing out of the field this morning to go to London and I was looking forward to it, but this morning I have trouble looking at anything at all!
Even the dog (why is it in the house??) is unimpressed at my early rising.
I don't leave the field too often, Darling Husband misses me terribly when I do (nods to self convincingly) and I worry that he'll have a proper lunch (checks fridge for steak and sausages).
I've put the bread maker on, he'll be delighted at the noise this early...having nice floorboards throughout the house means it looks lovely, but every sound leaps forth into sleeping ears. Every tiny movement has an exagerated sound this early, no matter how gently I do it.
There was no bread flour in the cupboard so I had to go into the utility room to get some.... which means I had to open the creaky door with slightly broken latch that also sticks and clonks when opened.
I paused.. nah! no-one heard that... the dog frowned at me.
I frowned back... why is it in the house??
(My dog, Fruitcake is outside where dogs should be).
I stepped over the tent, dog, camping chairs and some unidentifiable objects that my lady-that-does has obviously given up on and got the bread flour (Waitrose you know, sniff) and brought it back into the kitchen.
Blimey! The teenager was 'cooking' last night while I was in my office, 'clearing' is not an ability she yet has I notice.
I have to get the scales out of the cupboard to weigh the flour...the cupboard that has a very strong magnet on, the cupbaord that makes a thunk noise when you open the door..bugger!
The kitchen scales were too far to the right and caught on the one closed cupboard door, the door caught the stainless steel slidey thing (that I use to adjust the weight) and made the sound of a Gatling Gun against the grooves marking each weight, while the metal dish on the top clanged to the floor!
I froze.
Did anyone hear that?
No sound from upstairs, except for perhaps the bristling with annoyance I sensed.
Hmm..perhaps a train before I get lynched would a good plan, where are my Jaguar keys?

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Win some great prizes from Andrex



Those cute puppies have got my attention again with a fantastic new competition!
Win over £20,000 of prizes with Andrex®

Andrex, the nation’s favourite toilet tissue, this week launches a fantastic new Puppy promotion exclusively on Facebook.

Each of the 6,500 fans of the Andrex Puppy’s Facebook fanpage will have the chance to win one of thirty top prizes every day with a total value of over £20,000, simply by entering a fun competition.

Top prizes include Nintendo Wii Consoles, X-Box 360s, Sony Cybershot Digital Cameras, Nintendo DSi consoles, Sony Playstation 3s, gift vouchers up to the value of £150 from a number of retailers including Next, M&S and Tesco and much much more.

Smaller prizes also include money off coupons and Andrex Puppy goodies including pyjamas cases, hot water bottles, cuddly toys and slippers.

To enter, all fans have to do is play the new ‘Pup-o-matic’ game. Similar to a slot machine, the fruit symbols have been replaced with the Andrex Puppy and his ‘Soft’, ‘Strong’ and ‘Long’ friends that feature in the new Andrex advertising campaign – a chihuahua, a bulldog and a sausage dog. Matching dogs means prizes.

For a chance of winning, visit www.facebook.com/theandrexpuppy and enter. The competition runs until 5th July 2010.



Some interesting Facts, perfect for the next Pub Quiz:

Since the first puppy advert in 1972, there have been over 120 ads starring the Andrex® Puppy
24 rolls of Andrex® are being sold every second, making Andrex a £335 million brand

So go on and have a go, and if you win a super dooper prize, do share with the lovely Frog who told you about it!

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

How much is too much?


A WOMAN'S WEEK AT THE GYM

If you read this without laughing out loud, there is something wrong with you. This is dedicated to everyone who ever attempted to get into a regular workout routine

Dear Diary,
For my birthday this year, I purchased a week of personal training at the local health club. Although I am still in great shape since being a high school football cheerleader 43 years ago, I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and give it a try.

I called the club and made my reservations with a personal trainer named Christo, who identified himself as a 26-year-old aerobics instructor and model for athletic clothing and swim wear.

Friends seemed pleased with my enthusiasm to get started! The club encouraged me to keep a diary to chart my progress.

MONDAY:
Started my day at 6:00 am. Tough to get out of bed, but found it was well worth it when I arrived at the health club to find Christo waiting for me. He is something of a Greek god-- with blond hair, dancing eyes, and a dazzling white smile. Woo Hoo!!

Christo gave me a tour and showed me the machines.. I enjoyed watching the skillful way in which he conducted his aerobics class after my workout today. Very inspiring!

Christo was encouraging as I did my sit-ups, although my gut was already aching from holding it in the whole time he was around.

This is going to be a FANTASTIC week!!
________________________________
TUESDAY:
I drank a whole pot of coffee, but I finally made it out the door.. Christo made me lie on my back and push a heavy iron bar into the air then he put weights on it! My legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made the full mile. His rewarding smile made it all worthwhile. I feel GREAT! It's a whole new life for me.
_______________________________
WEDNESDAY:
The only way I can brush my teeth is by laying the toothbrush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I believe I have a hernia in both pectorals. Driving was OK as long as I didn't try to steer or stop. I parked on top of a GEO in the club parking lot.
Christo was impatient with me, insisting that my screams bothered other club members. His voice is a little too perky for that early in the morning and when he scolds, he gets this nasally whine that is VERY annoying.
My chest hurt when I got on the treadmill, so Christo put me on the stair monster. Why the hell would anyone invent a machine to simulate an activity rendered obsolete by elevators? Christo told me it would help me get in shape and enjoy life. He said some other shit too.
_______________________________
THURSDAY:
Asshole was waiting for me with his vampire-like teeth exposed as his thin, cruel lips were pulled back in a full snarl. I couldn't help being a half an hour late-- it took me that long to tie my shoes.
He took me to work out with dumbbells. When he was not looking, I ran and hid in the restroom. He sent some skinny bitch to find me.
Then, as punishment, he put me on the rowing machine-- which I sank.
_________________________________
FRIDAY:
I hate that bastard Christo more than any human being has ever hated any other human being in the history of the world. Stupid, skinny, anemic, anorexic, little aerobic instructor. If there was a part of my body I could move without unbearable pain, I would beat him with it.
Christo wanted me to work on my triceps. I don't have any triceps! And if you don't want dents in the floor, don't hand me the damn barbells or anything that weighs more than a sandwich.
The treadmill flung me off and I landed on a health and nutrition teacher. Why couldn't it have been someone softer, like the drama coach or the choir director?
________________________________
SATURDAY:
Satan left a message on my answering machine in his grating, shrilly voice wondering why I did not show up today. Just hearing his voice made me want to smash the machine with my planner; however, I lacked the strength to even use the TV remote and ended up catching eleven straight hours of the Weather Channel..
________________________________
SUNDAY:
I'm having the Church van pick me up for services today so I can go and thank GOD that this week is over. I will also pray that next year my husband will choose a gift for me that is fun-- like a root canal or a hysterectomy. I still say if God had wanted me to bend over, he would have sprinkled the floor with diamonds!!!

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Only in Wales!





The English is clear enough to lorry drivers - but the Welsh reads "I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated."

When officials asked for the Welsh translation of a road sign, they thought the reply was what they needed.
Unfortunately, the e-mail response to Swansea council said in Welsh: "I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated".
So that was what went up under the English version which barred lorries from a road near a supermarket.

Swansea council got lost in translation when it was looking to halt heavy goods vehicles using a road near an Asda store in the Morriston area.
All official road signs in Wales are bilingual, so the local authority e-mailed its in-house translation service for the Welsh version of: "No entry for heavy goods vehicles. Residential site only".
The reply duly came back and officials set the wheels in motion to create the large sign in both languages.
The notice went up and all seemed well - until Welsh speakers began pointing out the embarrassing error.
Welsh-language magazine Golwg was promptly sent photographs of the offending sign by a number of its readers.

The sign was lost in translation - and is now missing from the roadside

Other confusing signs
"We took it down as soon as we were made aware of it and a correct sign will be re-instated as soon as possible."
The blunder is not the only time Welsh has been translated incorrectly or put in the wrong place:
• Cyclists between Cardiff and Penarth in 2006 were left confused by a bilingual road sign telling them they had problems with an "inflamed bladder".
• In the same year, a sign for pedestrians in Cardiff reading 'Look Right' in English read 'Look Left' in Welsh.
• In 2006, a shared-faith school in Wrexham removed a sign which translated the Welsh for staff as "wooden stave".
• Football fans at a FA Cup tie between Oldham and Chasetown - two English teams - in 2005 were left scratching their heads after a Welsh-language hoarding was put up along the pitch. It should have gone to a match in Merthyr Tydfil.
• People living near an Aberdeenshire building site in 2006 were mystified when a sign apologising for the inconvenience was written in Welsh as well as English.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Possible new government strategies


Two funny things I've read today:

The House of Lords is a mad place. Men in frocks, men in tights, men in silly hats and wigs. Click here to visit the author Place Farm

I assume full responsibility for our actions, except the ones that are someone else's fault.
My intuition nearly makes up for my lack of wisdom and judgment.
I have the power to channel my imagination into ever-soaring levels of suspicion and paranoia.
Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there are no sweeter words than "I told you so!"
A scapegoat is almost as good as a solution.
Blessed are the flexible, for they can tie themselves in knots.
Before I criticise a man, I walk a mile in his shoes. That way, if he gets angry, he's a mile away and barefoot.
As I let go of my feelings of guilt, I am in touch with my inner sociopath.
I need not suffer in silence while I can still moan, whimper, and complain.
To err on the side of safety is to be human, to blame somebody else shows true management potential.
I will no longer waste my time reliving the past; I will spend it worrying about the future.
Thanks to Martin Ford from UK Business Connections for this one.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Grumpy


I've been tagged by Singlemummy to write a few things I get grumpy about.
Now I could go on for ever, I suspect so I'll reign in my moans a little and just write the required 7.

1.Shirl - my mother annoys me like no-one else.
Just for once I'd like a present on my Birthday...one that's been bought for the occasion, not won in a raffle or from a car boot sale, one I actually like and that's in date (if supposed to be edible.
I'd like her to phone when she says she will and bother with her Grandchildren who I don't think she knows very well anymore.
2. 'Wotcha!' - Shirl's boyfriend. He's racist, gets things stolen to order from his old workplace (like wheelbarrows, printer paper, bags of cement) and is generally a rude self-centred man.
3. And of course, I agree with Singlemummy: people who cant be bothered to man up and show who they are when being rude and bitchy. It's deplorable, if you don't like what you read, move on somewhere else. I don't like Eastenders so I don't watch it..simples!
4. I'm annoyed my last Blog post didn't show the headline:
"Deceased Father's Ukranian Ex-Wife forces sale" no wonder no-one found it funny!
5. No hot water when you want a nice long soak in the bath..grrr.
6. The Librarian at the Teenagers school - I don't like her book recommendations and I don't like the fact she hasn't spoken to my daughter since I complained about her asking my daughter to read a book with sexual abuse in it..vile, vile, vile.
7. Me...I sometimes say things without thinking first sometimes and cause offence to people. (grimace)
I eat too many biscuits.
I don't tidy my bedroom enough.
I don't Blog enough with some of my lovely friends.
I'm always very tired because I don't sleep well.

Grumpy nominations:
Potty Mummy (lots to grumble about in Moscow I'm sure)
Millenium Mum (she does a fantastic list)
Belgravia Wife
Mel Trevelyan
Sparx
Muddling ALong Mummy
London City Mum

Please visit their fab Blogs, so many very talented ladies!

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Friends and Weddings


This weekend was lovely.
Our very lovely friends got married after 20 something years together, with their son and daughter as witnesses.
The Groom is God-Father to the youngest Frog.
There was nothing traditional about this wedding.

The phone rang:
Groom: Hiya Frog, um, it's getting close to the Wedding Day, um, apparently it takes 15 minutes to do it and we're doing it at 4.30, so I think we'll be home by 5.15. If you and the other Frogs want to come over at 5.30 with some sausages, H says he'll do a barbecue.

We arrived at 5.30.
Our girls had made the happy couple cards, a poem and some lovely cushions.
Darling Husband & I took a bottle of fizz, chocolate, a gorgeous fat pot I've just made and of course the sausages.

The Happy couple were just arriving home after buying some local cider from their neighbour and enlightened us to their movements since being married.

On the way home they stopped at a local Agricultural supplies store. They browsed a little and bought courgette plants plus another essential item.
Someone they knew spotted them and commented they were dressed very smartly.
Groom: Yes, well we've just got married.
Spotter: What are you doing in here then (splutter)?
Groom: Buying Dog food of course!
Spotter staggered away in shock.

We laughed about that many times during our evening sat outside their gorgeous cottage.
There were 6 adults and 5 offspring.
We had a lovely evening, in lovely company, and of course, great sausages.

The couple are the most wonderful people you could ever meet, kind, clever, funny, thoughtful, happy and contented...a truly beautiful family.
It's a pleasure to be their friends.

Thursday, 22 April 2010



Please give me some feedback on these new designs for Shopping Bags with Slogans.
With Thanks
Caroline
Frog in the Field

Monday, 12 April 2010

My Pottery Hobby



I've been amazed at the great comments I've had about my return to pottery.
And you know, the class isn't full, so I've taken some step by step pics of a few pots being made in the hope I'll inspire someone else to come and join in the fantastic experience of making something useful and beautiful out of mud!
Just remember it's easy to lose your identity once you've had children, do something for yourself, have three hours of 'me-time' a week and do something you've always wanted to try. I feel inspired and refreshed every time I make the trip to Pottery, it's relaxing and fulfilling and sociable too.
Incidentally, the picture is not of me or a pot I've done. It's a pic of a lovely man called Keith Baugh who is an incredible artist, and I'm sure you'll agree the Amy Winehouse painting on this pot is really something.
Here's the process I went through to make a coil pot





I really enjoyed making this pot, it took on a life of it's own almost, while I made it. It took me about an hour and a half, I had to stiffen it now and again with a blow torch so it wouldn't collapse.
Next is a group of pics I took of a lovely lady who is extremely skilled at throwing.






Once the pot has completely dried out, it's fired in the kiln.
The next step is to glaze the pot and fire again, then it's finished.

To find out more about joining our group of Potters and beginners go to Clay Hill Potters and contact our Tutor, Joan Doherty, for more information.
The pottery is high above a fantastic loop in the river Severn, it's a wonderful location.
And finally here's a pot I hope to glaze tomorrow, you can work out it's size when you look at my Blackberry at it's base.

Friday, 26 March 2010

I've gone potty again



Here's one I made earlier.
After learning so much from my retreat with Nina Grunfeld I realised I needed to get back to my creative roots.
I discovered I could make a pot when the teenager was a baby and went to classes for 8 years. When I started my Party Bag business I gave up Pottery to build up the business and felt guilty for taking any time off. Nina Grunfeld gave me the Lightbulb moment that it was ok to to take time out for me and I'm delighted to show you the first pot I've made in 6 years!!!
Gosh, I'm not just a Mum, Wife and Frog after all!!

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Stupidity occurs more than we care to admit

BRAINS OF BRITAIN

UNIVERSITY CHALLENGE (BBC2)

Jeremy Paxman:
What is another name for 'cherrypickers' and 'cheesemongers'?

Contestant:
Homosexuals..

Jeremy Paxman:
No. They're regiments in the British Army who will be very upset with you





BEG, BORROW OR STEAL (BBC2)

Jamie Theakston:
Where do you think Cambridge University is?

Contestant:
Geography isn't my strong point.

Jamie Theakston:
There's a clue in the title.

Contestant:
Leicester





BBC NORFOLK

Stewart White:
Who had a worldwide hit with What A Wonderful World?

Contestant:
I don't know.

Stewart White:
I'll give you some clues: what do you call the part between your hand and your elbow?

Contestant:
Arm

Stewart White:
Correct. And if you're not weak, you're...?

Contestant:
Strong.

Stewart White:
Correct - and what was Lord Mountbatten's first name?

Contestant:
Louis

Stewart White:
Well, there we are then. So who had a worldwide hit with the song What A Wonderful World?

Contestant:
Frank Sinatra?




LATE SHOW (BBC MIDLANDS )

Alex Trelinski:
What is the capital of Italy ?

Contestant:
France .

Trelinski:
France is another country. Try again.

Contestant:
Oh, um, Benidorm.

Trelinski:
Wrong, sorry, let's try another question. In which country is the Parthenon?

Contestant:
Sorry, I don't know.

Trelinski:
Just guess a country then.

Contestant:
Paris .




THE WEAKEST LINK (BBC2)

Anne Robinson:
Oscar Wilde, Adolf Hitler and Jeffrey Archer have all written books about their experiences in what: - Prison, or the Conservative Party?

Contestant:
The Conservative Party.




BEACON RADIO ( WOLVERHAMPTON )

DJ Mark:
For 10, what is the nationality of the Pope?

Ruth from Rowley Regis:
I think I know that one. Is it Jewish?




UNIVERSITY CHALLENGE

Bamber Gascoyne:
What was Gandhi's first name?

Contestant:
Goosey?




GWR FM ( Bristol )

Presenter:
What happened in Dallas on November 22, 1963?

Contestant:
I don't know, I wasn't watching it then.




PHIL WOOD SHOW (BBC RADIO? MANCHESTER )

Phil:
What's 11 squared?

Contestant:
I don't know.

Phil:
I'll give you a clue. It's two ones with a two in the middle.

Contestant:
Is it five?




RICHARD AND JUDY

Richard:
Which American actor is married to Nicole Kidman?

Contestant:
Forrest Gump.




RICHARD AND JUDY

Richard:
On which street did Sherlock Holmes live?

Contestant:
Er. ... ...

Richard:
He makes bread . . .

Contestant:
Er .. .......

Richard:
He makes cakes . . .

Contestant:
Kipling Street ?




LINCS FM PHONE-IN

Presenter:
Which is the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world?

Contestant:
Barcelona .

Presenter:
I was really after the name of a country.

Contestant:
I'm sorry, I don't know the names of any countries in Spain ..




NATIONAL LOTTERY (BBC1)

Question:
What is the world's largest continent?

Contestant:
The Pacific..




ROCK FM ( PRESTON )

Presenter:
Name a film starring Bob Hoskins that is also the name of a famous painting by Leonardo da Vinci.

Contestant:
Who Framed Roger Rabbit?




THE BIGGEST GAME IN TOWN (ITV)

Steve Le Fevre:
What was signed, to bring World War I to an end in 1918?

Contestant:
Magna Carta?




JAMES O'BRIEN SHOW (LBC)

James O'Brien:
How many kings of England have been called Henry?

Contestant:
Er, well, I know there was a Henry the Eighth .. ER. ER ... Three?





CHRIS SEARLE SHOW (BBC RADIO BRISTOL )

Chris Searle:
In which European country is Mount Etna ?

Caller:
Japan .

Chris Searle:
I did say which European country, so in case you didn't hear that, I can let you try again.

Caller:
Er ........... Mexico ?




PAUL WAPPAT (BBC RADIO NEWCASTLE )

Paul Wappat:
How long did the Six-Day War between Egypt and Israel last?

Contestant (long pause):
Fourteen days.




DARYL DENHAM'S DRIVETIME (VIRGIN RADIO)

Daryl Denham:
In which country would you spend shekels?

Contestant:
Holland ?

Daryl Denham:
Try the next letter of the alphabet..

Contestant:
Iceland ? Ireland ?

Daryl Denham: (helpfully)
It's a bad line. Did you say Israel ?

Contestant:
No.




PHIL WOOD SHOW (BBC GMR)

Phil Wood:
What 'K' could be described as the Islamic Bible?

Contestant:
Er... ..... ..

Phil Wood:
It's got two syllables . . . Kor .

Contestant:
Blimey?

Phil Wood:
Ha ha ha ha, no. The past participle of run . .

Contestant:
(Silence)

Phil Wood:
OK, try it another way. Today I run, yesterday I . . ..

Contestant:
Walked?




THE VAULT

Melanie Sykes:
What is the name given to the condition where the sufferer can fall asleep at any time?

Contestant:
Nostalgia.




LUNCHTIME SHOW (BRMB)

Presenter:
What religion was Guy Fawkes?

Contestant:
Jewish.

Presenter:
That's close enough.




STEVE WRIGHT IN THE AFTERNOON (BBC RADIO 2)

Wright:
Johnny Weissmuller died on this day.. Which jungle-swinging character clad only in a loin cloth did he play?

Contestant:
Jesus.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Wipeout!!!




Now you know I'm not an Asda girl generally but one must always make exceptions and I shall travel the 20 miles to my nearest store next week.
I hear one can get their mortgage paid off for a year...yep, definitely worth the exception.
The big softies from Andrex say they want to alleviate some of the financial woes people are facing and give families some extra money allowing them to spend more time together. Andrex is giving people the chance to win rent or mortgage payments for a year up to the value of £12,000!!
(Also there is the advantage of clean bottoms)

Step1 - Buy your special promotional pack of Andrex from ASDA stores from the 15th of March (for one week only).

Step.2 - Go to www.andrexpuppypoints.co.uk/asda and sign up

Step 3 - Enter the code on the inside of pack and you will qualify for one free entry into the competition

I shall have to work on my tessellation skills and see how many rolls I can fit in the spare room, I am determined to win!

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Meme


My lovely friend Dulwich Mum has commanded me to do this (one musn't argue with the Queen Bea).
THE RULES:
1. Open the first photo folder you find
2. Scroll to the 10th photo
3. Post the photo and tell the story behind it
4. Tag 5 or more people
So here it is, my pic is of our youngest daughter on her 6th Birthday.
She's taking a call from Shirl (she's busy, no time to be at your grand-daughters' Birthday when there's better things to do!).
She has a mouthful of food, laughing like anything and is sat between the grand-daughter of Teddy Goldsmith and the son of Eddie Butler.
She had the most wonderful tea with her friends, then had a story read to them all on the lawn, by her God-fathers' teenage son.
A lovely Birthday indeed.

I nominate:
Potty Mummy
Adventure Togs
Little Sunflowers
Nappy Valley Housewife
Talking Tots

Monday, 8 February 2010

Part 2..The Grove with Dulwich Mum & her lightbulb moments



I woke at 4.15am with a streaming cold and also by the giggling next door, Dulwichmum seemed to have hooked up with her 'Barrister', though she tells me she was having her daily pedicure from her personal masseuse (she brought a whole entourage of staff with her).
I felt rotten and wandered across my enormous room to find a Dualit Kettle and a whole array of choice hot drinks, even a cafetiere, brilliant. A few hot cups of tea later and I felt ready to sample the shower.
The bathroom adjoining my room was palatial, well designed and so relaxing. I also didn't have any visitors while I was in there which I'm sure any Mum will agree is quite a novelty.
The shower was fabulous, I loved the sink, the bath, I loved the taps (some guests had trouble with the plug functionality, though I won't mention anyone in particular from the Evening Standard).

I emerged from the bathroom and had more tea from the delightfully posh kettle and then climbed back into my enormous bed with crisp sheets and went back to sleep.
Quite frankly I felt like I'd had a fantastic break already and I hadn't even done anything yet!
I woke later, rang Bea and then it dawned on me how well insulated the rooms were(I lied abut the giggling), I couldn't hear the phone ring next door and she couldn't hear me wandering around and making a racket at a ridiculous time in the morning...thank goodness we had separate rooms!

Well the new day brought new challenges and little did I know when DM and I planned the weekend away, that author and life coach Nina Grunfeld would be helping us reconsider our life direction.
I ate my delicate breakfast of banana smoothie, fresh yogurt and muesli and then the most perfectly cooked pancakes


while Bea scoffed down an 16oz Rump topped with bacon, sausages and organic free range eggs (in a delicate and ladylike manner of course!). I pondered our day wanting to clonk Bea over the head for getting me into this 'life course' with people who were bound to be needy cranks and weirdos...oh how wrong I was!

DM fluttered her eyelashes at the concierge and demanded he take us across the grounds in the hotel limousine to meet with the Life Coach...and we met our group.
My old age prevents me from remembering everybody's name but there was Eugene, a fashion designer for some very cool labels, a lovely exciting lady who owns a swanky art gallery in Notting Hill, Liz, a tremendously fun lady who allows the London Evening Standard to publish her articles, Barry a song-writer and Becky a qualified NLP coach. I was really pleased to meet Lee-Anne, another Mum (though she was annoying because she has a career and good figure too). All these fabulous people together, no cranks, I shouldn't pre-judge.

Nina Grunfeld is a super nice lady, intelligent and fun.
She gave us a short introduction explaining that Life Clubs is about people helping people because it feels good to do so (a little like Blogging I thought).
We started by drawing circles to represent different parts of our lives, which I thought was weird, but yet again I need to be slapped about the head terribly nicely for being silly. We were put into pairs and once we looked at eachothers' circles questions were asked;
why is your mother at the centre? (not me obviously)
Why is there so much space around your circles?
Which circles would you like to make smaller?
What would happen if that one grew bigger?
It was fascinating.
We were fresh eyes to eachother's lives and how we perceive them. No-one was judgemental, we were all interested and surprised at what we'd drawn ourselves.
We moved on through the morning, writing down things we enjoyed, treats we'd like if we weren't restricted by money or commitments, a list of things we loved to do when we were little.
Dulwich Mum wrote an incredible list but I can't possibly repeat any of it (whisper.....you should have seen what she plans to buy with James' bonus!)
Over Saturday morning and the next morning every one of us in the room had 'lightbulb moments' from writing down thoughts and passions and through discussion. Relationships and friendships blossomed.
I saw one lady gain strength, determination and confidence to do what she'd always wanted to but was not confident enough to actually start. I know she now has.

I realised my passion in life is creativity. It doesn't mean I have to sell my business, wear a smock and be an artist, it means I need to bring something creative back into my life to make me feel balanced and give me pleasure.
I came home and booked myself into a Pottery Class with my old teacher and had the most fantastic time throwing pots last week!
The best thing Nina said was..'Don't feel guilty..if you don't want to do something, don't do it (she has some sort of explaining to do to Darling Husband about the laundry), pay someone else to do it and don't feel guilty about it.

I loved the Life Club and of course there's so much more to it than I've told you. But I have to say, I went to The Grove wanting to pamper myself in the Spa, drink cocktails and eat and sleep, and as much as I did all those things and loved it, the Life Club with Nina Grunfeld was without question the icing on the exquisite cake.
I was totally sceptical and thought I'd hate it.
I only went because Dulwich Mum is so dominating and threatened me with her Mulberry handbag while it contained the entire Estee Lauder range (very scary).
And I'm so, so delighted I went, I loved it and would love to go again.
I feel so much more satisfied with my life and I know my direction my clearly.
So I have decided that one of the things I must do in life is let the world see the real Dulwich Mum.
See her in the flesh, no more hiding behind a champagne glass on her capacious balcony. I'm sorry Bea, I love you dearly but it's time for the world to see you.




“Best Life” Retreats will take place on the following dates:
Friday 5 – Sunday 7 March
Friday 19 – Sunday 21 March
Friday 26 – Sunday 28 March

For £480 per person (based on two people sharing) the package includes:
•Two nights accommodation in the West Wing
•All meals
•One hour treatment in Sequoia Spa
•Unlimited use of all the facilities with Sequoia Spa
•Two "Best Life" workshops and a copy of The Life Book

Try it and you too will walk out sighing with contentment, Bea and I were, it's fantastic!

Thursday, 28 January 2010

The Grove, a fabulous Retreat (Part 1)


I cannot deny the total smugness on the face of both Dulwich Mum and myself last weekend when we stepped from our London Cab onto the gravel drive outside The Grove...we had arrived!
Bea and I have been thinking about a luxury Spa break in January for some time. I felt like a wound up clock ready to burst open, springs flying in all directions, last year was one tragedy after another and I just felt desperate for the world to stop and let me get off for a day or two and this was just perfect.

The setting is beautiful, one is driven down a long drive over a private bridge. Oak Trees and manicured gardens are either side and surround the beautiful buildings and walled garden (with private beach...how cool is that!)

Our arrival was met with a flurry of excitement, as one would expect with a celebrity such as Dulwich Mum in their midst. Our cases were whisked away and once we were checked in, the receptionist personally took us to our adjoining rooms.
I was so delighted (until Dulwich Mum insisted I give a £20 tip to the Bell Boy).."Well surely you don't expect me to tip the serfs! James always takes care of that sort of thing".

The Reception and hallways are graced with contemporary pieces of art in many forms. Each space within the building gives way to new images to feast upon, each piece in a minimal and well lit setting. The most recent addition to the collection can be seen in the oldest part of the building in one of the Halls leading through to the Lounges and Library. It is a short film in which Dulwich Mum was captured during the summer wandering around the Grove gardens in her birthday suit, donning just a straw hat and basket of flowers, I found it all rather shocking, but DM simply smirked and marched on towards awaiting Champagne.

We had a very civilised chilled glass of fizz, served with good grace and humour by a waiter in one of the lounges. They are perfect...open fireplaces, antiques, low lighting for complete relaxation, it was super splendid in every respect.

Two bottles of Champagne later we walked gracefully and in a ladylike manner to The GlassHouse Restaurant, for a buffet dinner. I have to admit I was a tad disappointed to be told it was a buffet, but, OHMYGOD!! it was amazing!
There was a huge Chocolate Fountain in the middle just waiting for me to leap in! There was food for almost every palate and we were assured that if there was something in particular we would like to eat, just speak to the chef, he's there to please. At this point DM cast her eye over the kitchen staff in such a way I thought she'd order one of them as her starter! The staff were super efficient, polite beyond words, but warm and formal at the same time.
I asked what breed the beef was..'Aberdeen Angus, Madam'..gosh I felt at home.
It was delicious.
Well our first night ended at a very civilised 9.30pm.
Dulwich Mum continued to receive calls from both James and the mystery man, 'her barrister' all through the night. Thankfully the walls are so well built I was blissfully unaware of such things and slept like a baby...Oh, and did I mention the pillows? I must mention the pillows...there is choice of pillow...feather, memory foam, hard, soft, support...I was so happy! I had left my super expensive pillow at home under duress (Darling Husband told me not to be so bloody stupid!) and was worried about neck ache the following day, but ha! I found the perfect pillow, snuggled up and slept warmly and comfortably while DM juggled her love-life next door!

To be continued....

“Best Life” Retreats will take place on the following dates:

Friday 19 – Sunday 21 February
Friday 5 – Sunday 7 March
Sunday 21– Tuesday 23 March

For £480 per person (based on two people sharing) the package includes:

•Two nights accommodation in the West Wing
•All meals
•One hour treatment in Sequoia Spa
•Unlimited use of all the facilities with Sequoia Spa
•Two "Best Life" workshops and a copy of The Life Book by Nina Grunfeld

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Win a Stunning Piece of Jewellery


Here's a fabulous opportunity to win some beautiful jewellery.
Have a look at Chambers & Beau
Link to their post and get entered into the competition, so easy and you won't even break a nail!
*Please note the image is one I have found and used, and is not the prize on offer*

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Retreat


The Frog is calm and chilled beyond belief.
I feel fantastic!
I will write my report about my Retreat at The Grove including ALL the bad habits of socialite Dulwich Mum (so scandalous!)
Please call back on Thursday............
Frog
x

Friday, 22 January 2010

Innocent remark!


Oh this is priceless!!

Submitted by a Primary school girl for a homework assignment!

After it was marked and the child brought it home, she returned to school the next day with the following note:
Dear Ms. Davis,
I want to be very clear on my child's illustration. It is NOT of me on a dance pole on a stage in a strip joint. I work at B&Q and had commented to my daughter how much money we made in the recent snowstorm. This picture is of me selling a shovel.

Mrs. Harrington

Monday, 11 January 2010

Whot's bin goin' on 'ere den?


I went out for an hour to visit a beautiful New Born scrumplet called Lara Jade (sigh!)
Before I left, I put the yorkshire puddings in the oven with strict instructions for them to be served with the roast Beef, cauliflower cheese, roast potatoes, swede and roast parsnips 20 minutes later.
The table was laid, dishwasher on, worktops clear and spotless.
When I came home all the dinner was gone, no-one had left a plate of food for me (huff!).
The table was a mess of plates and saucepans, as were the worktops.
Smallest daughter was running round in her pyjamas with suspiciously greasy hair, grinning insanely.
"Why has the scrumplet got greasy hair?" I demanded of my husband, two other children and my brother-in-law.
"Um......"
Smallest daughter yelled goodnight and went peeyawng!upstairs.
"Well?"
"Um, well she was happily running round with the colander on her head, none of us remembered the roast potatoes had been in it" said Darling Husband
(huff)
I walked into our sitting room... OHMYGOD!!
Den monsters had landed and been very busy.
The room had been transformed into blanket city.
Our lady that does was coming in the morning and she would have a fit..also how was she supposed to clean anything?

Once the children had been beaten and sent to bed, I dismantled the rather large den, which measured approx 6 meters x 4 meters, so, fairly impressive as far as dens go.
It was built using the following:
2 x 70cm high Christmas Wicker Cones
2 x Antique Dining Chairs
1 x Kitchen Dining Chair
2 x Bar Stools
6 x Large feather cushions
2 x small feather cushions
10 x blankets
1 x large cardboard box
2 x trunki's
1 x Laundry Basket
1 x Antique Cupboard (cleverly incorporated by opening it's doors)
1 x Adult Dressing Gown
1 x Claret Chenille scarf (used as a luxury hammock for a toy cow)
1 x miniature sleeping bag (for the Gruffalo- what do you mean what's a Gruffalo?)
1 x Didgeridoo
oh, and a riding hat!

Picture Perfect


I've been tagged by Mamma Po to put up my fav pics.
I'm not one to put pics of my children on here very often, though I'd love to, because of course they are the most beautiful children in the world, so here's some that are lovely but not giving too much away.
I should say Thanks to Mamma Po but I've just wasted an hour looking through tons of photos (and enjoying every minute).
The one above is the 1st Prize winner in the vegetable model competition at our village show, my daughter is a genius!!

The pic below is of my youngest daughter and my very tall nephew..the biggest and smallest cousins together at a Ploughing match (we know how to have a good time!)


This is one I took while we were having a Birthday picnic in one of our fields last August. It's an awesome picture..(no-one steal it or use it, it's mine). We live in a magical place!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Snow Hope for drivers



My next door neighbour just phoned.
She lives about half a mile away across the fields, their enormous beautiful house is at the bottom of a long fabulous smooth tarmac drive.
She went outside into the farmyard yesterday to get in the Landrover and collect the children from school, which was closing early.

She discovered the stock box was attached and so requested her husband remove it.
"Why don't you take your car?" he said
"Because it won't get up the drive in the snow" she said
"Of course it will" he said
"Fine, if you think it'll get up there, you drive it" she said

Her husband got in the car.
She went back into her house.

Minutes later she heard sounds she could only liken to a hedge trimmer and could smell clutch burning.
On closer inspection she could see from the tyre marks that her husband had zig-zagged most of the way up the drive but couldn't quite get to the top.
He was stuck and not happy.
He offered to push her in the car if she got in to steer.

He got out.
She got in.
He pushed and got the car nowhere.
He admitted defeat, walked down the drive, unhooked the stock box and drove the Landrover straight up the drive and went to get the children.
She went back into the house.

When husband returned he asked:
"Have you tried to move your car"
She replied "No"
"Did you leave it in gear?"
"No"
Him..."ah, well it's now down the bottom of the field resting against the fence"
OHMYGOD!!

But the weird thing is...

Half way down the field is a telegraph pole.
The tyre marks of the getaway car show the car careered towards the telegraph pole and circumnavigated round it before continuing on it's crash course against the fence!!
I bet she couldn't have done that if she'd been steering!
What are the chances of that?

And the car?
broken bumper, nothing more!