Jan. 6th, 2010 10:50 am
cybermule: (Default)
I will do plans rather than resolutions once I've got over the next few weeks of psychotropic abstinence :)

I'm not doing the meme as I don't want to analyse last year any more or caricaturise myself by the events that happened. In short:

I'm thinner (because I enjoyed exercise and got to grips with running)
I'm richer (because my gardening business took off and I got a new job)
I'm happier (because I have ace friends (notably K,J,C,M and Dai!) and because I got to grips with motherhood)

I got married twice. I lost two people very close to me, one of which is going to reverberate and ramify for quite a while, I think.

Related to that last one, in the past week or two I've come to the stunning, well crystallised and very liberating conclusion that I would not have swapped my parents for any other ones in the entire 4-dimensional existence of the planet. So whatever faults they had, and whatever I would have changed about their lives, are both utterly irrelevant.
cybermule: (Default)
One of those long random updates that would have been better split up lengthwise, I fear, but didn't lend itself to sensible splitting.

I feel mostly ok, in that I don't feel ok but know that not feeling ok is ok. In some ways I feel I do the second dead parent an injustice as I've been here and done this before and kind of know how it goes. On the other hand, the feeling of painful entire supra-generational wipeout is so profound it occasionally makes me want to vomit. Or do something momentously wild and crazy to just show that THIS IS NOT OK.

I think one thing that definitely does not feel good is not having any reason for my mum's death. If you weren't on the filter for the last post, the coroner formed an indefinite conclusion verdict. And I thought I was good with that. After all, I'd been prepared rationally for that to be the case, and when it indeed turned out to be so, the rationality continued and I thought I was fine with that. But then I watched an episode of House MD that ruined my calm - in short (and hopefully non-spoilery) some people found someone dead on the house floor and no reason was ever found. And the huge investment I made in that episode coming to a satisfactory conclusion made me realise that all was not well in that part of my brain.

Fact is, those are the facts of the matter, and I have to be ok with them, so there will be some work to be done there, I guess.

In other news, I've been reading more books recently. I've finally found the time to at least grab a few pages every now and then, and just finished an ace book on prime number theory. I'm working on revising for my RHS exams in February at the moment, but after that, I am so dusting off my calculus hat and going out to play. I forgot how much fun that sort of hard maths was. And I so have no antidote to that vast geeky overload there :)

I was actually wondering if there was some sort of religion I could follow that meant I could be reincarnated with Angelina Jolie's looks, Liam Howlett's musical skills, and Riemann's mathematical brain. Probably not...

Work is going well on all fronts. I like my new boss - she's a good role model in that she's both likeable and impressively assertive. I continue to receive good feedback from both bosses and continue to enjoy the job. The gardening is likewise going well and continues to grow slightly. Related to that (and something I'm very excited about) is the opportunity to possibly grab a local allotment that will let me have bees and chickens.

This would rock most fully.

I continue to build on my running. I've started a (probably) healthy minor Fallout 3 addiction, and I wish I had more time for yoga. I even enjoyed socialising recently, and thought I might like to do more of it. So yeah, despite the not being ok, I am essentially ok and will continue to be so, I expect :)

An update before Christmas is unlikely now, so Happy Christmas to y'all and may the days lengthening hours warm your hearts x

Sad news.

Oct. 28th, 2009 10:51 pm
cybermule: (Default)
My mumma passed away at some point last night. It was sudden, and we won't know why until the post mortem reports. Comments aren't really necessary - I know you care :) - but will be away from various online places for a time while I regroup and deal with all sorts of stuff, practical and emotional. With love to all of you, and hold those you love a little closer for me and for the memory of Claire Wood, 1952-2009 x
cybermule: (Default)
I started the new job last week. It seems fine - work is the right balance of interesting and undemanding, boss seems plain speaking and pleasant, and the rest of the people are also nice. Only downside is waking in the middle of the night every couple of days wracked with guilt at leaving the sprog with a childminder. Which I know is daft but I still feel it and it has been compounded with losing the child's favourite hat to give a slight feeling of #mummafail.

The bathroom still isn't finished, but is looking good. It has been a challenged to my control-freakery and need for neatness.

Had an awful weekend with my brother staying. All he did was whine, pick on me, grumble about the quality of the hospitality we had to offer, and turn on a passive-aggressive "what's that? can't hear anything!" whenever I told him to stop being a dickwit. Seriously, I could have punched him while he was here, and am left feeling pretty drained and depressed. Even 0ct0pus* got pissed off at him trying to get him to bitch about how long I was taking to have a pee before I went out to fix his car.

Cos yeah - everyone knows I take hours to get ready *eyeroll* Really and truly I could right now deal with never seeing him again. Meh.

* the same 0ct0pus who is now a qualified climber :)


Aug. 17th, 2009 08:06 pm
cybermule: (Default)
Been on a break from running, in that I haven't run since Thursday, and I won't be running until tomorrow. I've been really enjoying it recently; sort of achieved a new plateau in fitness (well, a mini plateau for the rest of the world, but a definite improvement for me) and happily starting to embrace some of the ideas around meditational running and Chi Running. I actually think I was mostly there anyway, but validation is aways nice.

In short, there was nothing wrong and everything right about running. Which in my philosophy book is the perfect time to take a break, do some yoga and let my knees and ankles take a well-earned break. Even though I miss the endorphins :(

Anyway, while not-running, I realised how much I missed yoga. I also took several warm baths and went to Minehead for the first time ever, which was really a far better experience than I would ever have predicted. The child was, however, a bit of a pest, so the mission to take him away on my own has been aborted. Sometimes you just need to be gentle with yourself :)
cybermule: (Default)
Well, the sprog and I have managed about 30 hours together without injury, although it has been a close call at times. Most notably when he grabbed my favourite DVD, broke the cover across his knee and threw it across the room laughing. Potty training is difficult. I'm not sure whether I just need to have faith that it'll come together, or that he's too young to bother trying with right now. And my MIL phoned basically to tell me how this week should be easy because I only have one, not two like she had. So that took the wind out of my "managed a normal day with a two year old and a foul stomach bug" sails.

Did Judder on Friday night, which has been one of my goals for years. It was ace - mostly hogged the dance floor upstairs jiggling to the guest DJ with some wicked drum'n'bass. Got me into the mood for global gathering, and I'm pretty sure I'll be going again. Hopefully with [livejournal.com profile] ninneviane:)

I'm pretty much considering taking the web job I was re-offered, providing they bow to my childcare needs. Otherwise they can go piss up a rope and I'll carry on with the plan A. I've been guessing and second guessing what I want with it so I'll just tel the what I need and see what happens. Worst case scenario is putting the sprog into a creche one morning a week, and the conclusion I came to was that in all honesty it would be worse for me than for him.
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Seriously, I am feeling knackered at the moment. Nausea, exhaustion, and now bleeding nose. Bah. Not actually sure what to d about it, except just wait it out.

This week has been a lot about gardening.I set up the blog on my business site and actually have some plans to use it. Probably next week, when the husband is away - right now I mostly want to make the most of this week. Plus, did I mention being knackered already? I'll use it to blog on my own gardening, gardening employment, garden visits and so on. I'll probably do a feed to my journal.

Everything is up in the air timing wise right now, which is adding to my fuzzly head feeling. One important plus is that Ticketmaster managed to process the upgrade for my Global Gathering tickets without cocking up, which I felt would never happen. I treated myself and my bro to VIP upgrades, partly for the better camping, partly to cheer the fucker up as he seems to be long term unemployed now. Apparently he isn't tough enough to be a builder, which is a bit of a kick in the teeth for him really.

We also went up Pen Y Fan to cheer him up. We got soaked, but much fun was had by all.

Employment wise, all is well. More than well, really. I did a day picking bindweed out of QCL's hedges, an afternoon at the stroke rehab greenhouse (really enjoying that) and I'm actually making plenty of money and doing well at it. The strange thing is, the local council phoned me up to offer me the job they didn't give me back at the start of the year. Bent over backwards to make it appealing.

Utterly torn 50:50 on that one. Strangeness galore.

Oh dear..

May. 28th, 2009 02:53 pm
cybermule: (Default)
The mother-in-law is unhappy. Going via our lack of wardrobes and superabundance of matrimonial druids, she re-visited on the subject of the sprog's surname. Which is not 0ct0pus' surname, but mine. Like my surname is mine. He started that way, and he might as well stay that way as far as we're concerned, especially as (a) 0ct0pus isn't bothered and (b) 0ct0pus' surname is hard to spell.

She phoned 0ct0pus up last night to have aa big long shout about it. And how it keeps her awake at night, causes everyone to laugh at her, and will be a barrier between us all for the rest of our lives. In a lot of ways I just don't care one way or the other. But I do not like paying Danes gold. And more importantly at this point, I think lying awake at night thinking people are laughing at you because of something like this is actually a textbook sign of mental illness.

Put aside the fact that I think she's just looking for a reason to marginalise my son, and I think she just needs help. Or is manipulative to the point of needing help. And either way, I don't really want to give in.

cybermule: (Default)
Well, lots has happened, and it should be updated about.

First of all, our wedding was fab. It was surrounded by stress and woe, but once we got down to Huntstile Farm on the Friday, I felt I could put that stuff aside and get on with it for 24 hours. I decorated the marquee myself - lots of spring flowers, a general butterfly theme, and tables named after GFs from Final Fantasy 8. Absolutely perfect. Making a table plan is harder than you think, especially when you want to keep your inlaws away from your bitchy family members, but it worked ok. And I even managed to get some sleep Friday night :)

Saturday morning was more of the busy, then around lunchtime I went to get ready, with help from the able Ninneviane. Although, to be fair to my own abilities, I have got the hang of make-up now. The photos actually do a reasonable job of making me look somewhere between presentable and reasonably attractive (:P) which is really where a gaming-girl-geek should aim for her wedding day.

The ceremony was fab and everything we could have wished for - the druids did a great job of making something meaningful, an having the whle of the Somerset Levels spread in front of you as you make your vows has to be inspiring. Lots of wonderful people came, I made a speech, we ate and drank to our hearts' content and partied late courtesy of the Jellied Reels. T be honest, I could say so much more, but it's a strangely personal event that I'd have to dwell on a long while before I regurgitated in any meaningful fashion, so that it the that about it, really.

The honeymoon was also good, despite having to break for 0ct0pus' grandma's funeral. It was a wedding sandwiched in death, which made it kind of bizarre. Although wonderful, I still feel a layer of detachment from it and a certain residual stress at the huge conflict of emotions around the whole thing. It was great to meet some more in-laws. Glen Coe moved me deeply. And then we spent a week parked up in a beautiful campsite near Arisaig. Ten steps from the beach of silvery sands cupping shallow blue lagoons. Cuckoos and boat trips to Muck (with an orca) and lovely walks. Gazing at the gentle breathing of the water in and out of the estuary next to the van. We will most definitely go back.

Two down points. A first mild one in the most boring hitcher known to man. Either don't say anything, or earn your keep with interesting tales, will ya? And the second much more serious in that the brakes locked (or something - I'm still unclear) on the M6 on the way back and someone rear-ended us. Which could have been a lot worse (we were in a roadworks zone doing 50) but still has shaken me and put me right off camper vans for life.

Time since we got back has been spent going to my own grandparent funeral, and trying to integrate back into real life. Like I said, the strain of so much going on in such a short space of time has left me uncharacteristically knackered, but given that I've not stopped in four or five years, this is probably a god thing and only to be expected. I've been working on my garden a lot, and slowly getting back to my gardening jobs. I've volunteered for an artistic collaboration with a total stranger just to push the boundaries, but other than that I will be taking it rather easy for the summer.
cybermule: (Default)
I'm too busy right now. Whirling through things. Seems even a low-key wedding takes some input...

The Prodigy Gig was absolutely spiffing. Ironically, my brother and his ex seemed to be getting on the best they ever had. Which made life easier for me and 0ct0pus, but will probably only last until the ex finds out he was dinking someone else for a month before he dumped her for being boring. Mind you, saying that, he's dumped the new one because it was all a bit intense. I think I can hear the squealing of train brakes being applied just a little too late to avoid a crash.

Oh well. prodigy were good and I did much dancing. Lots of stuff from their new album, which I really like, and a good mix from their back catalogue. Even the DJ before them was pretty fine, getting some Baba o'Reilly into the mix and managing to whip the crowd into a threshold before fever pitch which made for a pretty explosive gig.

That gave me plenty o'energy for a week or so, during which I invented the nouveau concept sport, RAGING. Like a combination of raving and jogging which means you plug in your IPod and combine stylish dance moves with running in a parkour-esque new urban exercise concept. Or alternatively (and this is also covered in the name) you look like a 28 Days Later zombie. And I also have Global Gathering tickets to keep the party running.

The energy has been eroded. Grandad is still ill (improving physically, but not really eating) and one of my aunt's goes round expeting him to die pretty much at any minute. Which rubs off on me a bit and has been quite depressing. He's not well, and it's risky, but he's not actually that ill. Ironically, she's the born again aunt. I don't get her - in my opinion, the only bloody advantage in believing in god is to have some purpose, positivity and serenity in life. Otherwise, what's the point?

Also, the bairn is having a whiny week. Meh. And did I mention the wedding planning?

Anyway, had a great and groovy birthday (visited Batsford Aboretum and was given Beowulf and a lovely new camera case).And went to see The Boat That Rocked, which was far far better than I expected. The garden is all but re-landscaped (pictures soon, really), running is going well, and I really so need to get back into my yoga thing.

Who knows if I'll post again before wedding and camper van trip to Scotland? Hope so, but if not see y'all in May!

Busy head

Apr. 1st, 2009 08:44 pm
cybermule: (Default)
so many things going on, it's hard to know what I'm thinking right now, especially factoring in some sleep deprivation.

The sleep deprivation is from two bits of stress. The first is my grandad. He's recovering well from his stroke as far as mobility goes with sensation and movement returning to his leg and particularly to his left hand fingers. This is great. What's not great is that he has a chest infection and is rapidly losing weight due to oral thrush, general anorexia and lack of help. I'm not NHS-bashing - the NHS is great - but with one staff nurse on a ward of about 30 high-need patients, things aren't getting done. Like eating. Or people noticing lack of eating. It sucks. I don't want to see my grandad waste away because nobody considered the fact that it's quite hard to eat a normal meal with only one hand.

And then I think that maybe he just doesn't want to eat. Sure, he seems happy, but he's 92 and his chances of walking or even returning to his own beloved flat any time soon are small. He's lost a son and a wife in the past 7 years, and even though he loves the rest of us, he is pragmatic to the point of gloomy about the point of life. He has a chance of being moved to a smaller cheerier ward back in Stroud, but the catch-22 is that his eating and mobility problems have to have stablised first.

We'll see what happens.

The second low-level stress is my brother deciding that now is a good time to split with his girlfriend. His stated reason is that it's because everyone has told him the relationship is a bad idea. I doubt that, really - extrapolating from my own experiences, he moans a lot about how he doesn't like her, they both argue openly about how bored and incompatible they are, and people generally mildly agree that they don't seem to have a lot in common but each to their own etc. Reading between the lines (and I'm aware I'm giving him no credit at all) he's met someone else and fancies testing the water while GF has been banished for a couple of weeks "thinking time".

Again, we'll see what happens.

Things are moving more positively in my head and in my legs. I've been documenting my reluctance to let go of the idea of a "proper job". I'm now welcoming the gifted opportunity to attempt self-employment, appreciating the fact that it's taking off while simultaneously fitting around my need to provide a good level of mummy-ness for my child. This is actually perfect, and I have to give myself permission to enjoy it. If all else fails, I'll go back to my old job without losing pay and having gained a lovely son :) What's the problem there, except in my head? In a couple of years I can work for the NT or for some private estate, maybe go back to college. Whatever I want, really. I'm also doing an afternoon a week voluntary work - half teaching gardening to inner city kids (whice may eventually become paid work) and half doing horticultural therapy with stroke victims. I enjoy them both and they're moving me out of my comfort zone too.

My own garden is leaping forward.I have a new lawn, which I'm avidly watering, and 200 freebie plants to fill the gaps left by the old greenhouse. Maybe after the weekend I'll post pics. It's going to be lovely, and I'm super proud of myself.

I'm also pleased with my running. Giving up my increasing number of "occasional" cigarettes has cleared my lungs and I'm rapidly banking the benefits. One of the trainers at the gym has given me a new treadmill program for indoor days which is stretching but achievable, and I'll feel good when I can do it and move it up again.
cybermule: (Default)
And it was rather ace. The sprog ate way too many sweets and has existed in a twilight fugue of noisy electronic toys and snot ever since. My presents were rather ace, including a new mixer and some lush clothes that actually fit :) Ate a lot and had fun without feeling excessive in either calories or consumerism. Success!

Still feeling a bit ramped by my aunt's visit yesterday. My grandad had cut his hand open, so she was in a manic tizzy of concern - wouldn't eat, barely drank, didn't really enjoy the time she spent with the sprog... just a haze of suffocating over-concern. I sound a bit mean there. It's partly down to just being exhausted to the point of tears with fighting this with rational behaviour, but partly down to the fact that while running today, I realised that I really quite detest over-helpful people. And that's not a nice thing to realise about yourself,

I mostly fall into the realm of pragmatic assistance - you do what you can do, and try not to feel guilty about the rest. Years of alcoholic parents have made me both quite good and quite bad at this, so I can appreciate both sides of the story. So over-helpful people firstly get up my nose because they upset my fragile balance and tip me into feeling guilty. But secondly, I get annoyed because they just absorb any rational suggestions or behaviour into their own black hole of martyred panic. Nobody else can be effective around them because all sense and effectiveness is drained into supporting the panicker. Which is great for them as they are yet more shiny in their beacon of saintliness, but is pretty fucking demoralising and annoying for those around them.

seriously, by the end of their visit, I could have either screamed at them or cried with frustration.

Oh well - guess I better phone and check how things are. Happy New Year if I don't make it back to LJ before the 31st :)
cybermule: (Default)
This has been a week of physical work - Wyevale Monday, gardening job Tuesday, breaking and moving about a ton of concrete these last two days. Moving about half a ton of earth into the space. This is all a good thing - I've space to plant climbers to train along the fence and lay a lawn. But I am all of fucking knackered right now.

Weird evening. Lots of driving in the fog, then took bambino to the ChristKindl evening in Nailsworth. Moving a ton of garden materials this week was possibly foolish, but going back to my old house and parents' shop was definitely a risky gamble. It felt a bit like having a large steel toed boot ground into my stomach cavity. But I'm glad I did it. I feel a horrible sense of loss regarding my childhood - everything is gone now. Ripped, torn, burned and gone. But visiting the site of the carnage was kind of therapeutic. It was smaller than I remembered.

I am looking forward to next year in the garden.


Nov. 1st, 2008 07:56 am
cybermule: (Default)
OK - quick informal poll:

1. Who here orders specific Christmas gifts from at least one person? (e.g. "Honey, could I have a puppy for christmas")
2. Who is that from? Kids, parents, spouse, everyone?
3. Is this a good way of doing things in your opinion, or just a necessity?
4. Have you ever not bought someone a present rather than bought something for the sake of it?

Just interested - I seem out of step on this one. Will post something to make sense of it!
cybermule: (Default)
Thank god, really. My last day in the office for my "old job contract". Actually, it's not all been bad. It's made me remember what I didn't like about the place, and how glad I am not to be returning. But it also gave me a twinge of nostalgia, and a reminder that this is somewhere where, although I might not have excelled, I certainly succeeded (both socially and workwise), often against all the odds.

The worst thing about it has been missing the sprog. I've been pounding 3-day weeks for a while (oh, the pain!) and I feel like the world's worst mother. God knows how people deal with a full working week, and thank the deities that I never got myself into that financial position. The sprog is making more and more forays into the world of walking, and I will be glad to get back to spending more time with him. I have Monday and Tuesday with some (nicer) commitments, then back to just one day a week for November.

The pain was made worse by scheduling a load of stuff over this fortnight to just try and cram the pain into one short stretch. I went on a drystone walling course with my brother, which rocked. I even enjoyed his company for a bit, when he wasn't bossing me about. He's learning to drive at the moment, which obviously qualifies him to give a running critique on my driving abilities from the point of view of what he doesn't realise is the callow learner.

In other work news, I was super-brave and screwed up my courage to go and talk to the local garden centre about jobs. Which paid dividends, as they seemed quite keen. I think I need to move fast on my gardening career, so that I can screw it up and bin it if it's not worked out in a couple of years.

The upside of this job is I'm nearly caught up on LJ. I'm aware I still have to do a meme-post on my childhood, but it would be a big document. Maybe I'll get time to do it on my NEW EEE-PC! Ahem ;)

Oh, arse!

Sep. 11th, 2008 09:10 pm
cybermule: (Default)
Gads. I was supposed to be going out with my brother to see the new Guy Ritchie film tomorrow, and he's just dropped the bombshell that instead of being a bro'n'sis night, he's invited his GF along too. Firstly, it was a bro'n'sis night. Secondly, she'll hate it even more than she normally hates everything that isn't vapid and/or pink. Thirdly, they're the most tedious couple on the planet to hang out with because, as I think I mentioned before, they alternately snog to the exclusion of everyone else, then have nasty vicious rows.

And he's already bought tickets.

Is it wrong to pull a sicky? It's worth 7 quid not to have to waste an evening I'd rather spend at home with [livejournal.com profile] 0ct0pus and the midget.
cybermule: (Default)
Two hours of tedious christening do with my mum's family. Gads. Sometimes I can see why my mum started drinking.

In other news, I can recycle my tetrapaks and dead toaster at the local tip.
cybermule: (Default)
I was strangely touched today to receive presents from one of the ladies I deliver Avon to. Note the plural there - a bottle of wine, and multiple heavy gifts. Blimey. I got all teary, and was eternally grateful that I'd at least written her a card.

I was also strangely touched by watching The Snowman with Ben. I guess I just remember watching it with my dad. He loved Christmas, and at this time of year I miss him a lot. And New Year, when he always used to get quite maudlin. I'm feeling guilty at the moment for not making more effort to stop him re-start drinking. I know it's not my bag to carry, but you probably see why I feel bad.

I'm feeling wobbly in general. I'm tired to the bone, Christmas is a stress (*) and makes me teary and over-sentimental. I feel a bit undervalued by my brother these days, for reasons too numerous and ephemeral to list here. I'll get over that, I reckon. Just listing the things that I morosely ponder in the wee small hours.

I took a trip to Exeter with Ben this week. Exeter is where I went to University, and I took the old frequented scenic route down from Tiverton along the flooded fearful Exe into the north end of the city, where I met my ex for lunch. Weird - him witha wedding ring, and me with a baby - but quite pleasant to catch up. I then went to see my godson. He's two and a half, and doesn't talk yet. Just squeals and kicks and bites. He's getting better, marginally, but there's another thing to worry about. And then I met my ex's mother for lunch on the way back. Which is always nice. I'm glad we still get along, as I have few enough mother-figures in my life.

Continuing on that theme, and back to the * above, I do have some issues with mother figures, I guess. My common-law mother-in-law, for example, winds me up. Her level of pointless perfection at Christmas is a killer for me - the presents are pre-ordered, regardless of whether anyone wants anything in particular, then they have to be meticulously wrapped, correctly labelled and delivered in time for Christmas.

Guess what I was doing today, then?

I'm just from a family that does minimal gifting, and sees each other around CHristmas to drop off any cards and pressies, I guess. And if we can't think of a gift, we don't really bother. My mother-in-law frequently winds me up on all sorts of issues, though, and I'm prepared to admit I do have problems dealing with maternal authority figures.

Anyway, I'm tired and I want to play FF12. See y'all post-festivities...
cybermule: (Default)
Really I'm just going to have to give up on making sensible coherent posts. Or anything orderly at all. I'll probably make a habit of just posting a stream of bibble a day - that way, it'll all get down on v-paper eventually. I could use the idea to keep track of my little goal/reward system. Having decided to stay at home for another 4 months, I'm horribly skint. I also have lots of bad habits and spend an unholy sum on plants and seeds. Therefore I'll save my Avon money, together with small cash bribes for each "good" day, and justify my green addiction like that.


We went to see Bill Bailey, which was brilliant.

[profile] malcygoff came to tea last night, which was also brilliant. We've missed him, and it was lovely to catch up.

Talking of catching up, we're having an open-house afternoon on New Year's Eve. I like to hide for the event itself, but you're all cordially invited to come over some time before 5 and have some drinks and nibbles. Maybe play Wii. We got Mario Galaxy, which is a lovely game, plus I traded in all my ex's old PS2 tat for Zelda in the Wii version.

Ben's had a stinky cold. Having a baby with a cold is a fresh hell, but he's better now.

I've noticed I have no sensible gauge of what is a reasonable favour to ask people. This leads to stress and worry. I blame my parents.

Squeak if you fancy coming over for the aforementioned munchies.


Big wibble

Oct. 14th, 2007 03:50 pm
cybermule: (Default)
I haven't posted for a bit. Lots of ideas for posts, but not enough time I guess.

Trip to Stockton to see the in-laws went fine. Ben is turning into a charming baby - easy-going and with a sense of humour. He has a dirty little chuckle, which became very apparent when we were playing on the swings the other day. The only downside to him is he won't really sleep during the day. But he's enjoying occasionally being babysat by my aunts, and we're enjoying that too, and the whole baby thing is going swimmingly.

My mum left a message on my answerphone. Not really a very compelling one. I need to think what to do with that really, but I'm not backing down and taking Ben to see her without some firm boundaries in place. She's leaning heavily on my brother now, which isn't fair at all. Ho hum.

My brother invited his girlfriend over to mine for Christmas. I would say without asking, but to be fair, he did ask her in front of me. Doesn't really count though, does it?

Garden and allotment are doing fine. I'm keeping the allotment mostly together, and have a lot of winter veg in. Much as I hate to do it, I need to put some slug pellets around my brassica before they disappear completely. Hmph. My brother did some cement work in my front garden which has made it look fantastic. Tomorrow we have new lino in the kitchen, and later in the week the plumber is ocming to fix some small issues. I've learned that doing things comes in waves when you have a small child - a few weeks of chaos, then a fortnight of getting things together.

Not much else to add. Don't watch Tideland, though - it's depressing!

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