Firstly I really do want to thank ALL of you wonderful people that left comments and sent e-mails about my last post. I know I'm not the only one that feels out of kilter at the moment and that you all agree that being a Mum is hard. Juggling all those things, trying to maintain some sort of sanity, getting time to yourself and with your partner is hard. I'm sure we could each write an essay on the subject - something like 'Being a stay-at-home Mum can lead to losing self confidence - Discuss'. The very mention of that word discuss propells me straight back to the classroom but don't worry I'm not going to write an essay. I don't think I ever could these days.
Anyway, I've been doing a lot of thinking as you know and I've decided that I'm not going to stop blogging because I do love it. I think that I'm just going to slow down a bit at the moment because it's not a major thing in my life right now. I still have builders around - can you believe it's been eleven weeks! They have achieved quite a lot:
but there is still a lot more to do. (Tom called one to express his concern over the length of time everything was taking and it seems that the job has been going on for that long but all told they've only really done five weeks of work due to the weather etc). The porch is looking nice from the outside though but the inside will be revealing itself slowly over the coming week - I hope. This is what it looks like at the moment:
and the garden in case you were wondering:
and the other side:
So what with builders, the time of year AND time of the month which seems to be affecting me more of late (must be my age) I'm not surprised I've been feeling as I have. You've all been marvelously supportive though and I really do appreciate it. It was great reading all your comments and suggestions and many I have taken on board. I also got a lovely cross stitched card from Simone and a gorgeous package from Val, and lovely parcels from Sarah and Wylie too - you're all such nice friends.
So, what have we been up to in the last week? Well, Friday was Michaelmas and celebrated at school with assembly and kite flying on the common. As luck would have it Tom was in London so the morning saw me shopping for food for the weekend, madly looking for a kite and packing a picnic. Not a great way to start the weekend. Luckily, I had found a recipe for Moroccan Baked Potato Skins on Marie's blog so I made those instead of sandwiches but I left the cake on the kitchen table! By the way Sarah has written a really interesting piece about this festival so do go and have a look - it's here and here is a pic of the nature table at the moment (finally got around to doing it):
On Sunday morning I went into rant mode for some reason after discovering that my children didn't know the hymn 'To Plough the Fields and Scatter'. I asked them if they had sung it on Friday (it is harvest time as well as Michaelmas). Never heard of it they said. What? You don't know this beautiful hymn? So I printed it off the computer as I can only ever remember the first verse of most hymns and sang it to them over breakfast and then at lunch and finally, to shut me up I suppose Rohan joined in as he'd memorised the words by then. What a bore I am. Do you think my children are very confused? On the one hand I've been brought up in a VERY traditional Indian way and then I love hymns and carols. I have no family tradition of singing them and of course we didn't go to church either (my parents are Sikhs if you remember) but I always loved singing hymns in assembly. Rohan said he could imagine me singing earnestly with two black, shiny plaits dangling on either side of my head. Yep, that was me. There was a piece in the Telegraph about hymns coincidentally. I can't find the actual article that I read but a search led me to this, this, this and this. Do you like singing hymns? Do you have a favourite? I have many but I think 'When A Knight Won His Spurs' has to be up there for me. Oh my gosh I just googled the title and it led me to this YouTube video and goose pimples when I listened to it.
OK, now that you're in a nice relaxed, contemplative mood let me shatter it by showing you my latest purchase and showing you some different YouTube clips. I bought an i-pod off eBay:
and last night I sewed up this little case for it (hardly taxing) - it's made from (Dylon) dyed blanket:
and then quite a few hours choosing music to put on it. I had such fun. I copied some stuff off Cd's we already had and then I downloaded a bit more off i-tunes. Just to make sure I really wanted to pay 79 pence for any song I checked it out on YouTube first. So I looked up things like Happy Hour by the Housemartins, Something About You by Level 42, Buffalo Stance by Neneh Cherry, They Don't Know About Love by Tracey Ullman - do click on that link - great song and great video, Heart of Gold by Neal Young and so many more that I didn't buy (yet). Like Squeeze, Belinda Carlisle, Haircut 100 (remember them?), Tears for Fears, Bananarama, Kirsty MaColl, Simple Minds, the Mammas and Pappas - the list goes on. Can't you tell that I was in my teens in the late 70's/early 80's?
Well, the ipod was a great purchase as it made me walk yesterday morning and I downloaded a couple of podcasts to listen to on this morning's walk too. So at least it'll get me taking exercise. By the way if you have any podcasts that you recommend I'd love to hear about them?
So now you can see what a zany woman I am - singing hymns one minute, having a crisis another and listening to Neneh Cherry the next minute. As one lady said in my comments ' so glad to see you're normal just like the rest of us' - did you ever think I wasn't?