Friday, 30 September 2011

Mammy's Mountainous Recipe Book.

I'm giving my blog a revamp over the weekend to make it into accessible sections. I feel like if I organise it more, then I'll post more often. I want to share lots more recipes and invite some guest bloggers to come and post here too. One of the great things about blogging is the networking aspect but there are only so many hours in the day and it's not always possible to read as much as you would like or to have the energy in the wee hours to think of incredibly witty comments.


Also because I have a terrible memory, I think I visit my past recipes more than anyone!


Here in Edinburgh, the weather has been mental. The sundresses and sunhats have been dug out again and there has been much Meadows frolicking. Just as the autumnal vegetables have been appearing, everyone has been eating salads because it's too hot! I took Miss B to visit a friends the other day and we stopped of at a fantastic Moroccan cafe in the city where we were served the most gorgeous mint tea in beautiful bejewelled tea glasses and so when I got home, I decided to experiment with some recipes...






Huh?...Mint tea?! Well, to me this is a big deal as Moroccan mint tea has a fascinating history. Atai as it is known is complex to prepare properly and it somewhat ritualistic dependant on the region where it is served.


The basic preparation is:



The typical green tea used is a gunpowder tea variety imported from China. A simple and practical method runs as follows:
  • In a teapot, combine two teaspoons of tea-leaf with half a litre of boiling water. Allow it to steep for at least fifteen minutes.
  • Without stirring, filter the mixture into a different stainless steel pot, so that the tea leaves and coarse powder are removed.
  • Add sugar to taste.
  • Bring to boil over a medium heat. This important step in the preparation process allows the sugar to undergo hydrolysis, giving the tea its distinctive taste.
  • If desired, add fresh mint leaves to the teapot or directly to the cup. Remember to remove the mint within two minutes, as it can give some people acid reflux.


Traditionally the tea is served three times, and the amount of time the tea has been steeping gives each of the three glasses of tea a unique flavor, described in this famous proverb:
Le premier verre est aussi amer que la vie,
le deuxième est aussi fort que l'amour,
le troisième est aussi doux que la mort.

The first glass is as bitter as life,
the second glass is as strong as love,
the third glass is as gentle as death.
Bored? Try it and see. You'll eat your words!


Thursday, 29 September 2011

Oh, how the tables have turned...

Once upon a time, I lived in fear of my eldest child embarrassing me. Clearly too old to be committing the social faux pas that he would often commit due to his ASD, I would cringe in shops when he would ask why particular people were so fat, or really black or funny looking, with the object of his inquiry scowling at me and my badly manner child. Now that he's growing up, however, the tables have turned somewhat...


I appear to have committed several parenting crimes over the last few days which have culminated in me being told off repeatedly by my eldest for being an embarrassment to him.






Crime #1: I texted him after school to enquire whether he had gotten from the school to drama safely. This in itself is a fairly regular occurrence and the trip poses no major hazards to him. I do like to check and expect some kind of response. If I get no response, I usually phone him so he knows his life is easier of he just texts me back. On this occasion he was on the bus with several of his new high school friends who happened to read my text over his shoulder. The text read: 'Hello love, did you make it to Drama safely? Love you xxx'. This message sparked fits of hysterics from his mates, who ribbed him mercilessly for being a mummy's boy! Red faced, he texted back 'yes' and I got an earful when he got home. Now we have a no-kisses-at-the-end-of-a-text-message policy. 


Crime #2: He had a few friends over after school this week so they could bum about and play video games. I dutifully supplied snacks and left the smelly brigade to it. I had been having a bit of a dicky stomach all week and when Miss B had gone down for her nap I nipped to the loo. I think we can guess given the context, what I was up to in there. I took a book and when finished I reached over to the toilet roll holder to grab some tissue. There was NO tissue. I always keep up to date with toilet roll replenishment during the day and only get caught short when OD is in the house, as being a man, he never remembers to stick a new roll on. On this day Miss B had discovered her talent for acting like the Andrex puppy and unraveled the remainder of the roll earlier. I started to panic and riffled through my pockets in the hope that I had a hankie but alas, no hankie! What was I going to do? I shouted on him and I could hear him walking towards the toilet door. After his sullen "what?!" I asked him if he was alone to which he replied "no...?". The silly arse had brought his friends with him! So I said never mind and they trampled back into his room. I remembered I had my phone on me (I often FB whilst on the loo) and so I sent him a secret text to 'come to the toilet door and come alone this time'. I got a reply. He said 'no.' I texted back that I would ground him for a week and he arrived at the door pretty sharpish muttering something I couldn't hear. I whispered that I needed him to go to the airing cupboard to get a loo roll and I needed him to pass me in the roll. I could hear rummaging and then he shouts "Muuuuum, I can't find it!" At this point I want to cry but then he opens the door and flings a loo roll at my head before running off, slamming the door and muttering something about the smell. I made him Rocky Road brownies that night and apologised more than once... I now keep spare loo rolls in the bathroom. 


Crime #3: I was out with Miss B in the park nearest A's school and as it was getting near home time and he had no after school activities on that day I thought I would rock up to the school and surprise him with my presence and take the two peeps for ice cream. I waited outside the school, playing with B and the kids started flooding out of the doors. There were bodies flying everywhere, high fiving each other and flicking their Bieber-esque fringes about and in the throng I spotted A walking quickly down the road away from the school with a bunch of kids I've never met. I signalled to him and shouted on him thinking that he hadn't seen me. Just for the record I didn't jump up and down shouting "coo-ee!, yoo-hoo!" I thought I played it cool but no, he turned around and signalled for me to back off. I was mortified! My phone rings and he mutters "what are you doing here?" to which I tell him my ice-cream plans and he whines "buuuuuuut, I'm walking with my friiiiieeeeennndds, Mum!" So I say, okay then I'll meet you at home then and he hangs up. I try not to walk through the Meadows like a dejected puppy and take B for ice-cream to dull my pain. Yeah, I won't try that again. 




We all do it, we all embarrass our kids at some point and in various ways, big (see above) and small (he hates me singing in public, I do it to wind him up especially with my rendition of Minnie Ripperton's Loving You.) My parents did it to me pretty much constantly. My father thought it was hilarious to drive past in the car when I was walking down the road with a crowd of my mates and shout out "oh look out....it's a GANG! Help! Help!" and drive off laughing. Or he would pick me up from the school disco and demand to know who I had been kissing that night and would interrogate boys on their way past. 


Oh and that car, that bloody car they used to drive when I started high school. My great uncle gifted us a 1970's bogey green mini that smelled of wet dog and cigars and my parents accepted this oh so generous gift and drove it all over the village with pride. It wouldn't start on a cold day and had to be pushed up the hill every morning until it sprang into life. I used to make my mother drop me off two streets away from school in all weathers because the thing was hideous. The car was so hideous that one day my dad was stopped by the local police on the way back from the refuse dump. He asked the officers why they had stopped him as he was fairly certain he was under the speed limit (in truth he had no idea as the speedometer had broken several decades earlier). The two policemen rounded in on the car and demanded that my father return the car to the dump where he had quite clearly just stolen it from! (It turned out that he went to school with the two officers). 


My mother had a thing for Erasure at one point and her dancing was just awful! I had a disco for my tenth birthday and her and my aunt got up and did a routine when the DJ played Erasure! I found out years later that while the party had been going on, the pair had been in the kitchen experimenting with Pina Colada recipes. Groan...


I suspect it will get worse before it gets better and I'll just embarrass him by existing or breathing or possibly both. You could argue (many a teenager would) that parents were put on this earth to embarrass their children. After all, it’s consistent with the job description. Mortify your kids enough, and you’ll help fuel them to do what they were put here for — to make their way in the world without us.



Sunday, 25 September 2011

Mammy's Monday Music Meme!

Hopefully, things are back on track and you lot are full ideas for this weeks Mammy's Music Meme.

There is no time limit. I'll start making proper grown up rules when it takes off.


So all you have to do is:

Write a blog post as short or as long as you like on the theme of music. It can be as simple as you've found a new song that you like and want to share it because it makes you happy, sad etc etc. Or it could be a post on how a particular song has a specific meaning or memory attached to it (wedding, funeral, births etc etc).


I have written a few so far and my inspiration came from a whole host of reasons. I posted a song after an impromptu afternoon out with friends. I posted a song on the day that my eldest son started High School. I posted a song because it moved me and I posted a song because I heard that the band who had written the song had split up




So come on and have a go. Even if you are a reader but don't have a blog yourself please leave a comment below with your song of the day and a reason why you find that song interesting. If you do have a blog please use the Mister Linky Widget below and I'm so looking forward to listening!


Have fun! xx 

The links are found when you press this button below. Please check out the other participants posts! And leave a comment so I know you've linked. You can check out last weeks offerings here if you need some inspiration. 





PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT AFTER LINKING SO I KNOW THAT YOU HAVE LINKED UP. 


Thursday, 22 September 2011

The pursuit of truth does not permit violence on one's opponent - Ghandi

The world, of late, has gone a bit topsy-turvy.

Although it has been in this state for quite some time, the recent riots have brought this to the attention of the world's press who are at a loss for someone to blame and so they are busying themselves blaming everyone. The sad thing is that nothing will change, we'll soon go back to the previous state of ignoring the problems that caused the building tensions to come to a head in the first place and we'll start talking about some celebrities misfortune or terrible tan. (NB: I started writing this a few weeks ago but time ran away from me and in that time the Guardian published this incredibly dismissive yet frighteningly apt article on Big Brother's function as an opiate for the masses in the wake of the riots.)

The state of our society hasn't escaped our autistic 12 year old son, who is confused and frightened by what goes on in the world. His father always listens to the news while we eat our dinner and this simple part of our routine, now induces panic in our boy. Even last night when we travelled home from his grandparents, reports of an attack in the local area sent him pure white and saw him begging us to turn off the radio.

So how do we explain to this our boy? How do we explain that the world as beautiful as it is can also be a frightening, evil place?

So this week I will mostly be pondering that age old conundrum: why do bad things happen to good people?





Now this question is usually posed within the context of wondering whether God exists for kids (and adults possibly). My son doesn't believe in God, so that rules out an explanation bringing divine powers into the equation. I guess it would be easier if he did then I could answer his questions just like they did at my Catholic school with either "Just because" and "It is God's will". Oh gee, thanks that's answered all of my questions! In the context of this question I remember my old (mental) Spanish RE teacher quoting Romans 3:12 and Luke 18:19 that there is no such thing as good people or a good person because only God is good. I remember him banging on about we're all sinners or some crap where no one is guilt free and so if you've as much as stepped on a slug, you're doomed. Huh? Okay...

Philosophers have pondered this question too since time immemorial but it is a giant big fat grey area so not the best for explaining things to someone with as ASD. I could bang on about assigning meaning to things and ask him how do we decide what is good and bad. I could ask him why shouldn't bad things happen to good people and what is evil? I could bang on about free will but all of these would just pickle his brain.

My saving grace (Google!) failed to give me any fodder at all given that the first few pages of results were filled with things like www.askmoses.com  and www.RUaJew.com.

While pondering this conundrum an incident occurred. A and his school friends were followed and attacked when walking home one day. A group of older lads from another nearby school thought it would be funny to follow the guys home, swearing, shouting, kicking and punching them repeatedly during the 1.27mile walk home. Nobody intervened on the street. No adults stopped to challenge the youths and the kids were too frightened to get their phones from their bags and call for help.

A is devastated. He was so frightened during that time that he cried for hours after coming home. Now he is really angry with himself for not having done anything during the attack and for not defending his friends. We're trying to help him understand that there was nothing he could have done and that they did the right thing by ignoring them and carrying on walking. We spend time telling our kids not to react to physical threats, that ignoring bullies will make them go away. What do I say to him when he asked me "Mum, we ignored them but it didn't make them stop, why didn't they go away when we ignored them?"?

I have no answer for why this happened to him and he has begged me to walk him to school. He says he doesn't care if people laugh at him, he just wants to be safe. I just want him to be safe.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

My Bucket List

I've been going through a reflective phase again, reassessing where we are as a family and looking at where we want to be, what we want to achieve and what we want for the kids.



I'm working on new plans for myself and I have resolved to try to sleep less and fit more things into my day. I was once an avid readers, now I scan blogs and newspapers for intellectual stimulus. I can't remember the last time I read something challenging like poetry or revisited some great classics that I haven't had time to get my teeth into. My house is full of half finished projects and craft supplies for unfinished clothes and jewellery. My to do lists are getting longer these days until there comes a point where things like laundering the curtains, cleaning the windows and ironing the bedlinen get struck off completely.  So inspired by the Jack Nicholson film, I decided to write my Bucket List.



It is an odd list and more of a wish list that I hope to do someday rather than because my time is running out. Most of these will be in the spirit of "if money and time were no object" flights of fantasy and I certainly don't have the Grim Reaper chasing my tail. This is also MY list for a change. Not what I want for my kids, my partner or our family but me. Someday, somehow...


1) Learn a language fluently. Not just picking at several at once. I need to learn a language properly and fully. I could start with English...

2) Learn to sing. This is so self indulgent but something I've always desired. I'm really quite musical and have in my time played the sax, the flute, the clarinet, the drums, the piano and both Classical and electric guitar, all of which I was particularly good at. The ability to sing, however, has always eluded me. My voice coach during high school had the most horrendous obsession with Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals and I loathe them. To pass my standard grade, I had to do a voice element to the exam and she made me sing the biggest pile of shite I have ever heard. It put me off singing for quite a long time and wish that she had nurtured the voice I had rather than attempting to make me into an Elaine Page clone.

Just to properly re-open that old wound, here is the pile of rotting poo I had to sing:


GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

3) Learn how to dress myself. I have a deep dark secret desire to be Gok'd. I have absolutely no idea what suits me or how to dress myself. I coast along day to day believing that I am the bastard lovechild of Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain and that after 20-odd years, the Grunge look is still in. This state is fine on a daily basis but when a day comes that I have to put thought into what I wear then this happens:


4) Visit places I'd like to travel to. On my list so far are Barcelona, Istanbul, Santorini, Sicily, Mexico, Marrakesh  Moscow, Tuscany.



5) Foster kids. Although OD and I are having no more kids, preferring to concentrate our efforts, attention and money on the ones we have, when I'm much older, I'd like to do this. I'm sure OD has other plans and thinks that we'll be turning the kids rooms into Man rooms and movie theaters. OD dreams of the day where he can sit about in his underpants watching movies and A actually took him at his word,
that when he has his mid-life crisis, he'll be a naked motorcyclist.  When I'm in my 50's or whatever and we have a big empty house because our kids are away enjoying themselves travelling, studying, breakdancing or whatever it is that they desire, I'd like to open our doors to kids who really need it. Kids who need some stability, a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen. As multi-talented as I am, the thing that gives me the biggest sense of satisfaction is being a mother. I like to look after people. The poor dears might have to put up with OD sitting in his pants though...



6) Open a cafe. While my cooking is much more suited to restaurant menus, the stress involved in that really is immense and so I'd like to have a cafe. All of my family know that this is my perfect profession but the money it would take is not possible for the foreseeable. I saw the perfect premises last week. Sigh...


7) Be a teacher. While I have no idea how I would fit this in between all the foster kids and cafe work but I have always wanted to be a teacher. At the precise moment I was going to apply to do teacher training, the arse fell out of the teaching profession in Scotland. There are hundreds of people applying for the same job all over Edinburgh and the Lothians. A good friend applied for a position which had 90 other people applying for!


8) Fully explore my creative side. I want to discover my potential for crafty things.


9) Be a DJ. Only because I think the majority of people have shit taste in music. I'd have a Northern Soul night club night. There would be plenty of Funk and Ska too. It would be awesome!


10) Pick up the guitar again. I used to collect guitars like some women collect shoes. I miss my axe sometimes and love a good face-melting solo. I need to do this before I become all Folky and lose my Death Metal mojo.



I'm sure there are plenty other things that will crop up so I'll revise this in years to come.

Oh and in the course of writing this Ellen has turned this into a meme over at In A Bun Dance so go check her out. She's every so funny!

International Peace Day 2011

Today (September 21st) is the International Day of Peace around the world. 



The International Day of Peace ("Peace Day") provides an opportunity for individuals, organizations and nations to create practical acts of peace on a shared date. It was established by a United Nations resolution in 1981 to coincide with the opening of the General Assembly. The first Peace Day was celebrated in September 1982.

In 2002 the General Assembly officially declared September 21 as the permanent date for the International Day of Peace.

By creating the International Day of Peace, the UN devoted itself to worldwide peace and encouraged all of mankind to work in cooperation for this goal. During the discussion of the U.N. Resolution that established the International Day of Peace, it was suggested that:
"Peace Day should be devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples…This day will serve as a reminder to all peoples that our organization, with all its limitations, is a living instrument in the service of peace and should serve all of us here within the organization as a constantly pealing bell reminding us that our permanent commitment, above all interests or differences of any kind, is to peace."
Since its inception, Peace Day has marked our personal and planetary progress toward peace. It has grown to include millions of people in all parts of the world, and each year events are organized to commemorate and celebrate this day. Events range in scale from private gatherings to public concerts and forums where hundreds of thousands of people participate.

Anyone, anywhere can celebrate Peace Day. It can be as simple as lighting a candle at noon, or just sitting in silent meditation. Or it can involve getting your co-workers, organization, community or government engaged in a large event. The impact if millions of people in all parts of the world, coming together for one day of peace, is immense.
International Day of Peace is also a Day of Ceasefire – personal or political. Take this opportunity to make peace in your own relationships as well as impact the larger conflicts of our time. Imagine what a whole Day of Ceasefire would mean to humankind.


"On this International Day, let us promise to make peace not just a priority, but a passion. Let us pledge to do more, wherever we are in whatever way we can, to make every day a day of peace." — U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

"Simply the absence of war is not peace" — Anam Prem, India

"Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal." — Martin Luther King Jr.

"Peace is not a thing to be achieved or a commodity to be stored." — Anam Prem, India

"Peace is not the absence of war; it is respecting and accepting each other and promoting human rights." — Miss Nida Ashfaq, International Young Catholic Students (IYCS), Pakistan

"I feel peaceful when I'm on the rollercoaster." — Anonymous child, Marin Peace Projects, USA

"…all religions of the world teach us to respect man, regardless of color, race, gender and faith." — Jahangir Piara, Organization for Peace and Development, Pakistan

"Peace is possible; when there is Peace is each of us." — Mr. Kamran, MARS Organization, Pakistan

"Peace is one of humanity's most precious needs. It is also the United Nation's highest calling." — U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

"Peace begins with a smile." — Mother Teresa

"There is no such thing as a good war and there is no such thing as a bad peace." — Benjamin Franklin

"Nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man." — Mahatma Gandhi

"Peace is its own reward." — Mahatma Gandhi

"Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace." — Buddha

"There are only two forces in the world, the sword and the spirit. In the long run the sword will always be conquered by the spirit." — Napoleon Bonaparte

Monday, 19 September 2011

Better Late than Never: it's Mammy's Monday Music Meme!

Apologies for the delay folks. Last week was incredibly busy and we're on holiday today here in Scotland.



I really enjoyed reading everyone's different choices and we even had a contribution from a non-Blogger which was ace!

So all you have to do is:

Write a blog post as short or as long as you like on the theme of music. It can be as simple as you've found a new song that you like and want to share it because it makes you happy, sad etc etc. Or it could be a post on how a particular song has a specific meaning or memory attached to it (wedding, funeral, births etc etc).


I have written a few so far and my inspiration came from a whole host of reasons. I posted a song after an impromptu afternoon out with friends. I posted a song on the day that my eldest son started High School. I posted a song because it moved me and I posted a song because I heard that the band who had written the song had split up




So come on and have a go. Even if you are a reader but don't have a blog yourself please leave a comment below with your song of the day and a reason why you find that song interesting. If you do have a blog please use the Mister Linky Widget below and I'm so looking forward to listening!


Have fun! xx 

The links are found when you press this button below. Please check out the other participants posts! And leave a comment so I know you've linked. You can check out last weeks offerings here if you need some inspiration. 





PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT AFTER LINKING SO I KNOW THAT YOU HAVE LINKED UP. 


Friday, 16 September 2011

How the hell does anyone afford childcare these days?

The latest results from an investigation conducted by the charity Save the Children has revealed that Britain's poorest families can no longer afford childcare and are leaving jobs because of soaring costs. Here in Scotland we actually pay a higher amount than the rest of the UK. We are by no means that near the breadline but the fees for even the cheapest childcare in the city to allow me to work full time would cost around £200 a week minimum just for B. Given that I would be entering something at an entry level wage that is over a third of a monthly wage. This sad reality means that I will have to come up with another plan or live as we are until B goes to school. It has also impacted on our major decisions in life and we have decided to have no more children as that would just double the amount we would pay. Living hand to mouth is not the reality we want for our kids.The government needs to do something about this. There needs to be more assistance for families who work if they ever expect people to stop relying on benefits. 




Parents in Britain spend almost a third of their incomes on childcare – more than anywhere else in the world - and such high costs have the greatest consequences for the poorest families.
Of those families in severe poverty, nearly half have cut back on food to afford childcare and 58% said they were or would be no better off working once childcare is paid for.
The cut to the working tax credit has also dealt a massive blow to hard working families struggling in severe poverty with four in ten of those affected considering giving up work because they will no longer earn enough to cover the childcare bill.
The cut has added on average £500 per year onto the childcare bill for half a million families.
Other key findings in the survey, which we commissioned along with the Daycare Trust were:
  • A quarter of parents in severe poverty have given up work and a third have turned down a job mainly because of high childcare costs – more than twice as likely as better off parents.   
  • Of those parents in severe poverty and currently in paid employment the majority (80%) agreed with the statement “Once I have paid for childcare, I am in a similar position to as if I was not working”.
  • The majority of parents living in severe poverty (61%) said they were struggling to pay for childcare compared to around a third of parents on higher incomes (37%).  
  • Families in severe poverty were twice as likely as better off families to move home because of the high costs of childcare.
  • 26% of parents in severe poverty have been unable to take up education or training because of high childcare costs.
  • 63% of parents, regardless of income, say they can’t afford not to work but struggle to pay for childcare.
  • The costs of childcare are on a par with 41% of families mortgage or rent payments.
  •  A quarter of parents, regardless of incomes, said the cost of childcare has caused them to get into debt.
We and the Daycare Trust are calling on the government to increase the amount they plan to spend on childcare support under the new universal credit - to pay up to 80% of childcare costs for low income families - in a bid to prevent low income families from being priced out of work and into poverty. 
Sally Copley, Save the Children’s Head of Poverty, said: “The government is undermining its own ‘make work pay’ policy by not funding the costs of childcare for the poorest families.

Priced out of work

"Childcare in the UK is amongst the most expensive in the world and families on low incomes simply don’t earn enough to cover the costs and are being priced out of work as a result.
"The recent cut to the working tax credit has only made this worse with many parents realising they are no better off working and they and their children remain trapped in poverty.
"The government must give the poorest parents a chance to work their way above the poverty line. We know that the best way out of child poverty is to help parents into work.”

Friday, 9 September 2011

Five things I want you to know about your father.

This is my first attempt at the wonderful Notes from Home's Friday Club Bloggers Carnival. It is a great idea and the rules can be found on Ella's site.




Friday Club




So here is mine. It is a post dedicated to OD and for his kids to read when they are grown. 


Five things I want you to know about your father


Your father is a clever man.
Not as clever as your mother but no-one is perfect ;) I will always get into a debate and while the hours away with philosophy and mad tangents. You father is the man to go to if you need information. I have no idea where he stores this but he is very logical and rational and will sit down with you until you understand something.  He is a very handy person to have at a pub quiz bu don't ask him to read a map! 


Your father is so very proud of you.
Your father not a very demonstrative man and is a quiet man of few words at times but he watches the pair of you like a hawk. He admires your individualism and your achievements. He will always be there to give you the gentle nudge that you need. 


Your father loves you unconditionally.
To A: although you guys clash at times, your father loves you deeply as his own. You father also has some issues with public displays of affection among men and doesn't do man hugs but know that his fist bumps are from the heart. As are his occasional awkward man hugs. 
To B: Your father really could squeeze you until one of you passes out. You are his princess and it will be his fault if you turn into a complete diva when you're two!


I love, admire, appreciate and respect him.
He is my best friend and always has been since we met. He gets on my nerves sometimes and his jokes are awful at times but we connect in a way that is impossible with other people.  He is a good man and I get angry if people slag him off.  And when you guys become teenagers, hell mend you if you disrespect your father!


Your father is a strong man and will always be there for us. 
Although it seems like I boss him about endlessly, you father will always step in when needed. He is the firm hand that guides us. 


Your father likes to clean.
He has a bit of a thing about germs although he would never admit to this. So when you guys have flown the nest, take advantage of the fact that your father may visit you and clean your abodes. I will take you for coffee...


















Monday, 5 September 2011

Mammy's Monday Music Meme! Week 3

Hello all,

I hope you all had a lovely weekend. Last week's meme wasn't as popular as the week before but as in England I know that everyone is preparing for the first day back at school today, I'll let it go ;)

A few of you have messaged me and said that you love the concept so I'll keep running it but I'll refine it further when I get more time.








I really enjoyed reading everyone's different choices and we even had a contribution from a non-Blogger which was ace!

So all you have to do is:

Write a blog post as short or as long as you like on the theme of music. It can be as simple as you've found a new song that you like and want to share it because it makes you happy, sad etc etc. Or it could be a post on how a particular song has a specific meaning or memory attached to it (wedding, funeral, births etc etc).


I have written a few so far and my inspiration came from a whole host of reasons. I posted a song after an impromptu afternoon out with friends. I posted a song on the day that my eldest son started High School. I posted a song because it moved me and I posted a song because I heard that the band who had written the song had split up




So come on and have a go. Even if you are a reader but don't have a blog yourself please leave a comment below with your song of the day and a reason why you find that song interesting. If you do have a blog please use the Mister Linky Widget below and I'm so looking forward to listening!


Have fun! xx 

The links are found when you press this button below. Please check out the other participants posts! And leave a comment so I know you've linked. You can check out last weeks offerings here if you need some inspiration. 





PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT AFTER LINKING SO I KNOW THAT YOU HAVE LINKED UP. 









Friday, 2 September 2011

Mammy's Monday Music Meme! Week 2 - My Contribution

I am gearing up for a weekend without the kids.

Not a weekend of freedom as such, I feel free and not bogged down when the kids are around, but a weekend featuring a bit more drink and junk food than I would usually consume in front of the kids.

While I mentally prepare myself for this my thoughts turn to music. If we had the kids this weekend, it would be, as always, filled with opportunities and adventures. My eldest, A is off to two Royal Academy of Dance workshops this weekend to experience other types of dance. Aside from this we would have been visiting the Edinburgh MELA Festival that is held every year in Leith Links.


We absolutely love this multicultural family festival and the kids and us had a great time last year.  Even our OD, who usually likes to keep emotions under the surface, was moved by watching the Pakistani Sufi band Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali  last year. The performance was intense and Miss B loved it. 


Our favourite song by far was Allah Hoo (Allah Hu). This is a traditional Sufi Dhikr or chant in where the Arabic for God, Allah is repeated three times followed by the word Truth.  It is said to have started with Abu Bakr, a 6th Century Caliph.

I didn't manage to get a decent video last year but have found another performance of it elsewhere. The sound quality is a bit rubbish and so doesn't really capture the atmosphere. OD had chills!



Have a great weekend everyone. 


I've been tagged! Ten things you don't know about me.

Or ten things you wished you didn't know about me!

The wonderfully, lovely and splendorous (there really aren't enough adjectives to describe how wonderful she is) Anna over at DummyMummy has tagged me in a meme entitled: Ten things you don't know about me.

I'm sitting here wracking my brains as I'm a pretty forthcoming kind of person and so you lot probably know all my quirks. Plus, I think I have completed one of these before so I may have to delve deeper into my box of Crazy for this one. So here goes:

1) I've had a book dedicated to me or at least have been acknowledged in a book (whatever you might call it). I have only just discovered this. Go to page eight.

2) I'm really short sighted. I'm so short sighted that the actually chuckle in my opticians! I can't bear the pity in their eyes, when they're telling me that my eyes have worsened again, that I would be needing new glasses and stronger contact lenses. The other day I was forced to wear my glasses out in public (the last time I had to do this was in the deserts of Iran when I hadn't slept for 38 hours straight) to collect my new batch of contact lenses and it HAD to be the day I bumped into a whole bunch of people I knew on the way there!


3) I hate escalators! I get freaked out going down a down escalator and so try to avoid them at all costs. This is proving hard seeing as thinks that they are great and my nerves are shot to pieces helping her get on them. 






4) I like to hide. I have a tendency to hide. When I was small(er) this manifested itself as hiding in wardrobes (Yes, I was a huge fan of C. S. Lewis) and cupboards with a torch and a book. When I was older we lived near some woods and I used to hide in there in a gang-hut that I had built.  Nowadays I just don't bother answering my phone...

Okay...things are getting odd.



5) I used to be a Mod. No, I not that old but in my teen years I developed a love of 1950/60's Mod culture.  I've always loved the music but started to dress in shift dresses and wear parka's and ride on the back of scooters. I used to go to a nightclub in an art school that had a Mod night every Saturday and guys would line up outside with their scooters, comparing the amount of mirrors they had. There was a huge group of us who used to travel around looking for Northern Soul clubs, even visiting Wigan a few times when they had revival nights. I used to hang about cafe's listening to beat poets, smoking French cigarettes and wearing turtlenecks!


Yes, we've opened that can of crazy now...

 6) I used to be a single parent. I don't know how many people know that much about me on here. This blog came into being recently and I did have a wilder, weird and varied existence before I started writing this. A proper single parent with very little support, nobody to take my kid off me when I was bored, frustrated or tired. I had two nights out a year and I loved it. I was on my own when I was pregnant with A and met OD when A was 4 years old. This has left me with a terrible independent streak and a better parent, I think. I do sometimes forget that OD has a say in things and should be consulted when making wild plans and I do forget sometimes that I don't have to do it all myself. Both of my parents worked long hours and so couldn't babysit often and nowadays things are still the same. I also hate to ask and don't take babysitters unless they are offered (which they seldom are) and don't live with the assumption that I deserve to go out and get wrecked at every turn. I chose to have my kids and I love every minute of my time with my family, the good and the bad. Call me an old saddo but our lives are what we make them and we have freedom of choice in nearly everything we do. People that moan incessantly about their lives, the partners, their kids, their houses and generally their lot in life, work my last nerve. We have some child free time coming up and I honestly have no idea what to do with it! My story is here.


7) I don't like domesticated animals. I am severely allergic to all things that have hair/fur/slobber. I have asthma and I hate the feeling of having my throat close and struggling for breath. I've been using steroid creams for weeks because a dog licked me a few weeks back, flared up my eczema and my hands look like this:



This means that since childhood I have developed a fear/dislike/apathy towards all forms of domesticated animals.


8) Erm...

9) I can't think of anymore! I've been sitting on this for days and I honestly can't think of anything else to write but here are another seven things that I shared previously.

So I'm tagging Six other bloggers and charging them with the same task.

1) Mrs Teepot
2) Travellers Craft
3) Not Even a Bag of Sugar
4) Tilly Tatas (I'm hoping she'll come out of hiding for it!)
5) Mum's the Word
6) JoJo's So Called Life. 

Because that's just about enough crazy from me...