Saturday, 19 January 2013

Update - it's been a while

Oh's been a very long time. I kinda got sidetracked in to blogging for work. Anyway, I'm back....if anyone is listening.

Brief update: Ballerina got a contract and is now a professional ballerina in Estonia. One ewe retired to a different abode one of this year's lambs kept to replace her. Other ewe has produced very early twins this year, one of which is being bottle fed and will be saved the abbatoir. Various ducks and chickens have come and gone. Bees still alive (we hope). Children still alive (we hope).

More to follow....

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Travels with a ballerina - ongoing

This blog has been posted elsewhere as a private one. Understandably my daughter does not want the ins and outs of her audition process published for the world to see, so if you would like an invite to the private one please ask

Sunday, 15 January 2012

TRAVELS WITH A BALLERINA - Day One: Amsterdam to Munich

Are you thinking of taking your daughter to ballet lessons? Beware! I did exactly that, sixteen years ago, because isn't that what little girls like to do? Or should I say, isn't that what little girls' middle class mummies like them to do? Those ballet lessons in the local community centre were the beginning of a long and sometimes tortuous, extremely expensive journey to where we are sitting now, aboard a train from Amsterdam to Munich for an audition with the Bavarian State Ballet. Who knew?

It is ballet company audition season and we have decided to save money and the planet and do it by boat and train. Rather than do it the way most of my daughter's contemporaries are (flying out and back over numerous weekends for selected auditions) we have decided to buy inter rail tickets and try and fit as many auditions and company classes as we can in to one trip. My husband called it the carpet bombing approach, an unfortunate use of phraseology when we are talking about Germany. It has been, and continues to be a logistical planning nightmare but fortunately she and I love a spreadsheet, especially if we can colour co- ordinate it and link it with a Google map with coloured pins. I last inter railed as a student with my then boyfriend but I was young and stupid then. No sleeping on beaches or train platforms for me this time. Sadly with age comes experience of the world and possibly a liitle more anxiety too. Oh for that naive belief in my own indestructibility again!

In those student days I did write a journal which I still have in a box somewhere, it makes fascinating reading now....well for me anyway. Now we are in a different millennium I have decided to journal our travels as a series of blogs, of which this is the first. I promise though, not to regale you with details of our every meal and cup of coffee.

We took the boat from Newcastle to Amsterdam last night and are taking the train to Munich today. Not much else to say really, other than the irritations of only 25 MB per day mobile Internet and isn't Holland flat?!

Photo to come when I can work out how to upload from iPad or get a hotel with free wifi to use

Sunday, 8 January 2012

No Clothes for a Year

No, I'm not doing a Lady Godiva or becoming a naturist - I live in the North East after all. Just thought that title might grab your attention more than "No New Clothes for a Year"

I have made a pledge to buy no new clothes for a year. This year will actually run until January 5th 2013 as I bought a new pair of boots on Thursday. The self imposed rules are: no new clothes except underwear - nobody wants to see my boobs sagging as the year goes on, I can assure you. Anything I haven't worn in the year will be going to a charity shop.

My inspiration was this article 

However I am nothing like this woman. I didn't spend my teenage years being fashion obsessed, I don't drool over designer clothes or clothing magazines and I most certainly don't have spare clothes in the attic. It may be easier for me than her as I will probably not be as tempted as her but on the other hand it could be a lot harder as I am starting from a much smaller wardrobe. Now if someone said I couldn't buy stationary for a year that would be a very different matter. OK so I do Paperchase now and then......

I will intermittently blog about my challenge over the course of the year so that you can check up on me and nag me about it too.

This is what I am starting with.......bring on the clothes dye!

Friday, 30 December 2011

What to do on New Years Eve?

So tomorrow is the dreaded day. Weary after the Christmas rush followed by the Chrimbo Limbo days, which never seem to mean limbo for me, just everyone else in The Furrows I am now gearing up to providing an exciting NYE for the turnagers (that is not a typo). EVERYONE else they know has such a rave and we are SOOOO boring. Oh how I dream of those halcyon days when there was no pressure to do anything on NYE as we had no chance of getting a babysitter. Or the following years when just the very fact of staying up until midnight was excitement enough. Now that their sleeping patterns seem to be, go to sleep at 1am get up at 1pm the novelty has well and truly worn off. Fortunately the eldest has reached the age where she can go out and find her own entertainment.

So that leaves us with the 16 and 13 year old, living in the middle of the countryside (which I might add is also SOOOOO boring) where the nearest entertainment that will allow under 18s in, is a good £50 round trip taxi ride away and neither of us is willing to drive anywhere, We have settled for the same as last year as we grown ups really enjoyed it. The neighbours will be coming round for a meal, each household providing a course which sounds lovely to me. But how to make it "exciting" for the turnagers.

When I was growing up my parents always had a party for the neighbours (but they lived in a village so there were more of them) which involved food and party games and quizzes. However I suspect games and quizzes will be SOOOO embarrassing to my turnagers. So what do I do? All suggestions gratefully received......

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

What to get for Christmas for teenagers?

I find so much about having teenagers is easier than small children  but what to get them for Christmas is not one of these things. I can no longer throw an Argos catalogue in their direction and get them to choose loads of plastic crap that will fill up my house and be chucked out by next year. Actually, come to think of it that's a GOOD thing!

But this year we are really struggling for ideas. After much nagging eldest dd (18) has come up with a list for Santa: a job, a boyfriend and someone to sit her Maths A Level please. Well that should be easy.....
Middle ds (16) has at least provided me with an Amazon wishlist so at least he is easy - it is not for nothing he has the self appointed title of "Golden Child" in the family
Youngest dd (13) has come up with three items and "just hasn't got time to think about it, Mum"

So any clever ideas anyone? Other than telling them that instead of giving them presents we have donated all the money to a local children's charity!

Meanwhile I am starting a campaign to have Christmas pushed back by a month and really need to stop wasting time blogging......