Saturday, 16 April 2011

Lazy days

We have done nothing very much so far in this long-awaited Easter holiday.  But a good few days of relaxation, playing at home, and being allowed to indulge in TV and DVDs was just what the boys needed to recharge their batteries.  We have had some very tetchy, and easily irritated little boys in this house over the past few weeks - strange that when their behaviour is at its worst, my patience grows.  Hmm.  Must be because it's easier to spot when they're tired, and know that they're not being naughty on purpose.  Most of the time they are very, very good, and they don't like to think that they've let me down, bless them (they never do let me down, but it doesn't hurt to pretend to be a little disappointed now and then, just to keep them on their toes ;) ).

So we've only been to Dalton Zoo (South Lakes Wild Animal Park) which was quite a bargain because kids are free for the whole of April.  Further bargainous because I told the boys before we left home that I had no spare money, so they did not ask for any souvenirs from the gift shop (I'll remember that one from now on!)

This is what we saw at Dalton:

One day we'd all like to adopt some of these protected animals.  We always feel very sad when we visit this conservation park, because they do tell you the very grave truth about the seriousness of the threat of extinction to so many species.  It's also not very nice to see these majestic animals caged.  But we still go, because it's one of our favourite places - we know this park does as much as it can to protect animals in the wild.  Personally, I feel very humbled when I'm there.

We have had a little fresh air, but not much.  This is what fresh air looked like today, on the Barton Road fields near my mum:

Although Thomas seems to have a sour face here, this is not actually the case - he is just squinting against the sun :)  He actually loves spending time on the field.

Thomas is doing some investigating here - he found a ladybird.

Matthew's looking for ladybirds too.

James would love to have a dog of his own - he will be allowed to have one, when he leaves home.

Super wholesome and refreshing afternoon, out walking me mam's dog :)  The boys don't love much more than getting out for a run around in a field, with a ball and a dog to chase after it.  I love watching them run up and down, showing us their skills, their aikido rolls and their acrobatics.  They're fabulous little boys.  Exploring copses, climbing little trees, getting squelchy in the mud, paddling in the beck, drying their feet by running on the grass.  What I wouldn't give to actually be one of my boys, because they are having the time of their lives doing nothing much - they're not having a bad childhood at all :)  

I'm having a short break tomorrow, being one of my Days Off.  I'll be doing some serious writing jobs, and getting stuck into a couple of projects that I'm hoping to get somewhere with.  After that it will be the second week of the holidays, and I am looking forward to some good weather, to some picnics perhaps, and some more fresh air, hopefully a little further afield (stocking up on travel sickness tablets!).

Life is good :)

Sunday, 10 April 2011


Now, I don't know about you, but I think that the views we saw today were pretty special.  This is Morecambe Bay, which might get a bit of a bad press sometimes, but seen from this angle hasn't got much wrong with it (if you don't look too far round to the left - err, south - and see the power station!)

To be honest, I don't think I really need to say anything - I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves.  We had a good day today.

The boys are exhausted - excellent :)  The kind of exhaustion that only a brilliant day full of exercise and good playing can bring.  A birthday party in the morning, followed by a walk at Silverdale, followed by a surprise play with a little friend who lives in the house directly behind ours (Kev lifted out a fence panel and they were all able to go back and forth between the gardens - they're so excited and want to do this every day).  I hope that we can go out to play every day in these next two weeks - if I were the praying kind, I would pray for dry and warm days every day; but since I'm not the praying kind I will just be hopeful instead :)   Kev will be back at work, but since when has that ever stopped me from taking the kids out to nice - free - places??  One of our days out will be a walk along the cycle track to Sainsburys to buy strawberries to eat at the Castle :)  Simplicity itself, but one of our favourite things to do on warm days.

I'm a little stunned that some beautiful weather has arrived - but I shouldn't really be surprised, since the Easter Holidays usually are kind to us.  (Although I hear that it might actually rain tomorrow).

Friday, 8 April 2011


I have become a limericist this evening :)  One of my fellow hubbers told me that he believed I would be able to write poetry, and I told him that I wouldn't, that my poetry is awful.  He basically told me to have more faith in myself, so I said I'd give it a go.  I decided that I would start with limericks because I thought they would suit my sense of humour, and I also like the rhythm.  I don't think limericks have to be humorous, but this is where I'm going with them just now.  It might be nice to do some more sentimental ones, or some scary ones, or some sad ones, or some cute ones later on, or whatever.

Would you like to see one?  Now, don't get too excited, because it's not hilarious!  This was my first one.  I've only done one more, but I can see already that I'm going to like them very much.

Here it is:

Miss Wordsmith she wanted to rhyme,
She saw people rhyme all the time,
She stuttered and tripped,
Some pancakes she flipped,
Then she gave up and rested, sublime!


There then ensued a little spat, between the Professor, who had challenged me to take up the poetry bait, and another well respected hubber called Sligobay.  I decided to respond to their disagreement over the praising of my first bit of poetry with another limerick, thus:

The Professor and Sligo at odds,
Thought Linda, 'they are silly sods,
To fight and inflame,
When my poetry's so lame'.
But really they're all writing Gods!

Only I made a terrible mistake and used the word 'enflame', which of course is not a real word!   I will have to apologise and repost it with the correct word, 'inflame'.

So that's what I'm trying my hand at just now.  It's fun.  It's not going to get me famous though!  Hmmm.

I think I would also like to try haiku, but I'll have to read some of those first to see what they're about.

I don't think I'll ever be
though, eh?  Not with these rhymes!

Friday, 1 April 2011


I'm not sure why so many things in this world have to be fought for, but there you are, that's how it is and we have to get on with it.

Today the bullying situation at Thomas's school seems to have come to a head, and I am now left with no choice but to follow the school's complaints procedure.  The bullying has been relentless this school year, and although Thomas is being brave and dealing with it very well, we feel it's high time the school pulled its finger out and started taking this issue seriously.  They've been aware of this particular bully's behaviour for three years - now am I being over-sensitive, or is three year's too long for a bullying problem to persist?!
The bully does not only target Thomas, he targets several other children as well.  I have been talking to other parents and we are all of the same mind: the bullying must stop now.

The kind of bullying that we are dealing with is mostly psychological, the intimidation kind of bullying, the threatening behaviour and language, the bully trying to encourage others to do his bullying for him.  It's the secretive kind of bullying, the kind that's particularly difficult for the victim to prove.  I have looked at the school's policy on bullying, and to be perfectly honest, it's rather pathetic.  This particular school favours a softly, softly approach to the bully, and prefers not to use a blame and punishment approach.  Well, this approach clearly is not working AT ALL, since my son is still being bullied.  I have a right to expect the bullying to be stopped immediately, and for the school to ensure that it is prevented from now on.

So, I have made an appointment to meet with the Head Teacher, and Kev will be with me, and at least two other parents.  I asked for the appointment in writing so that I could put down a list of points that we want to discuss.  I copied the letter to the Chair of Governors, and I have to copy it to the Local Education Authority as well.  So now it will be a case of seeing what progress we can make at each stage.  I have various options, and steps to investigate a little further - the extremest of which would be looking into moving my boys to a different school: I do not want to do this, but if in a few weeks I am banging my head against this same brick wall, it might have to be considered and threatened.  There are two other Excellent schools in the area, and my children could be thriving at either of those, instead of just getting by at this one.

Sorry, I don't usually write blog posts like this, but I just needed to get this information out of my head so that I can relax for the rest of the evening and weekend.
I'm sure there will be updates as we go along!

A picture of the contents of my head right now?