Shoe crazy

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So the boy has a thing for shoes…I can’t imagine where he gets it from…

We first discovered this as an obsession with my trainers became dangerous.   You see whereas most people wear shoes on their feet, Jem likes to wear them on his hands. It’s not so bad but his ragged determination to wear shoes on his hands at all times does cause issues when on stairs.  He has a fair few bad falls so I decided it was time to invest in some big boy shoes (*sob* how did it come to this, my tiny  baby?!)

Naturally we headed to Clarks, 3 times to be precise.   After being told 2 to 3 different sizes and not finding any nice soft crawling shoes I took the plunge and invested in a lovely pair of half price loafers.

£20 might not seem like a lot to you but it’s 2 pairs of shoes to me and the prospect of having to pay the same for a new pair every month or so filled me with dread!  We headed straight to Sports World and bought a £3 pair of sandles next, they’ve already been a great investment and he loves tl bring them to us to put on!

Next we were lucky enough to get a generous giftcard for Mothercare from some wonderful friends so when I went to the Mothercare Outlet to buy vests I checked out the massive shoe range.  Now we have a Mothercare at the end of our road but I honestly have never really seen shoes in there so didn’t think about it as a place to look for first proper shoes.  The range at the outlet was huge and the prices even better, all £3.50 to £4!  So I admit I went a bit crazy!   Jem is a size 5 at the moment and I found this comfy pair that he loves, they’re much more flexible than his leather pair:

So I got a couple of size 6 shoes as well:

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…and sevens:

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Oh and an 8:

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Then I found these in the tragedy that has been the Kiddiecare closing down sale:

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Darn you Paul Hollywood

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Now there’s only one thing I like more than The Apprentice, and that’s The Great British Bake Off, I like to think that it’s the type of programme that I could actually be in…I’m not sure why I think this,  because the boy’s first birthday cake was a bit of a disaster…

The cake itself was just fine (carrot…counts towards your 5 a day…FACT) but my icing pens just dissolved into the moist cake…as did the later attempt to sprinkle it with icing sugar…

I have all the tools, but none of the skill…

After vowing never to attempt it again a couple of years ago I foolishly decided to make my own bread rolls again.   Mistake…big mistake…well actually not so bad, they did taste good even if they bore no physical resemblance to bread rolls.

A few weeks ago I broke out my new bundt pan and managed to create something that was burned on the top and raw at the bottom…that’s a special kind of skill 😉

Dealing with a SAHD

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It’s been strange adapting to life with a stay at home dad.

Whilst I am generally happier at work, I do feel like things are slightly the wrong way round, and it’s hard not to be a control freak about things.  You know things like:

  • Yeah I got locked out today when the baby was inside;
  • I just left him with the neighbours for a few hours, he likes it;
  • He was asleep so I left him in the car and powerwashed the pavement;
  • I can’t watch him all the time, sometimes he’s in a different room

*sigh*

I have to let things be sometimes, but it is a challenge.

I also know how difficult it is to be at home by yourself, so I don’t go out much and struggle to leave work on time so that I can give the Turk some relief at tea time and beyond.

I definitely think that he finds it harder than me in some ways, multitasking isn’t a skill he has so he is really struggling to get anything done, which means that his default position tends to be making sure that the task is done at the expense of supervising Jem.

The upside to this is that the boy is definitely more independent than he used to be, his tolerance for entertaining himself has increased massively, as has his love of CBeebies.

There are some things he finds easier, he is much more patient than me, he takes the time to enjoy play when there isn’t housework to be done, I always feel that there’s something ‘better’ I should be doing.

There is no right answer, there are just words.

Chugging puzzle

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I am a big fan of charity.  I used to chair a board of Trustees and have done several posts about charity jewellery on my ‘proper’ blog…but….there is one thing I really detest about charities.

The Chugger

For those of you who aren’t familiar these are the cold defying people who stand on the street encouraging us to sign up our direct debit details to support whatever worthy charity is paying them to be there.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything other than leading and worthy charities stood up there vying for our cash.  It’s not that I dislike what they stand for, or how they’re going about it.  Ok, so I would never stand in the street and chat with them, but I realise that in the difficult financial situation that charities currently find themselves in it is important to try and capture all areas of the market to raise awareness, and they clearly have success with this method.

Indeed several of my friends have had employment in this field and I even contemplated it myself at one time.

My issue is this.

Why must they congregate in groups?

I am quite happy to smile and say no thank you to one chugger on the 5 minute walk to the tube.  I am less happy to do the same with three of four during the same distance.  I appreciate that sometimes one person may be taken up with a potential funder, but I must admit I’ve never seen more than one occupied at a time, and I kid you not nearly every day in my walk to lunch or the tube, whichever side of the road I walk on, I pass a group of them, and they’re almost always all available.

What frustrates me even more is that some days I will walk past a group huddled together or basically just stood around chatting.

I don’t understand why they are so close together.  Is it for moral support? Safety? So they can monitor each other?

I think that’s what I so resent about this group of fundraisers, turning one down nicely is one thing, but I admit by the time I have passed a few of them I have rather lost patience…

 

A handbag…?

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I don’t have many bags, I keep those I have in a basket (honestly it’s a reasonable amount!)

I may have too many…despite many donations to charity shops and some success on eBay…

The reason I think this is I thought I’d take out a bag I haven’t used for a while…

And I found an old parking ticket in it…

 

It’s from 20 January…no year.

I thought it was odd as I haven’t lived in Horsham since 2000, but when I turned it over I realised that the attached voucher I’d clearly been saving expired in 2001.

Oh dear…

It’s possible I have too many bags…

There’s a mouse in this house…

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We once had a mouse in our first flat, we realised because when I pulled out my bag of flour it was empty…

The next night we could hear the little blighter scrabbling around behind the kitchen cupboards, we sorted it out pretty easily by blocking up the air vent and ensuring that all edible food was in mouse proof containers, we didn’t have any problems after that.

When we moved to the money pit we were convinced there would be mice, on occasions we have suspected that it is their scuttling sending bits careering down the chimney, but this time we were not afraid…we have cats!

Now one of our cats are hunters!  I know this because the little one has a tendency for bringing in spiders, moths and daddy-long-legs in for us (he used to leave them at the top of the stairs and miaow until we came to admire…)  They loved the new house, so many rooms and nooks to scratch and sniff…so many mouse holes!  Paws were thrust down them, floorboards were pulled up and explored behind, we knew there had been mice as one of our first tasks before the kits arrived was to remove the numerous traps lying around (we don’t want paws to get caught in them), but we saw no sign of mice.

For a while…

Then one day I looked at my two cats sat in the hall, nose to nose, looking at a leaf….

…looking at me…

…looking back at the leaf…

…looking imploringly at me….

….back to leaf…

…I came closer.

It was not a leaf.

It was a mouse.

A tiny little triangular thing.

I hadn’t seen them touch it, to be fair they were both effectively asking me in cat to take the scary thing away.

I went back to the kitchen to try and find something to pick it up with, I was newly pregnant so didn’t fancy using my fingers.

The mouse didn’t move.

A journey down the road to the high street in my dustpan and brush still didn’t disturb it and I released it into the wild.

That was two years ago, and this weekend I found my cats playing with a teeny tiny mouse in the garden.  They were much braver this time, little mouse moved so slowly and they would occasionally paw at it trying to tempt him into moving.

Part of me thinks I should have left them to it, it’s good for them to play and catch fresh food.  But I couldn’t do it, I have a fondness for small furry things and yet again trusty dustpan and brush came out and mouse went far away.  The cats were fairly miffed, but wet food helped them get over it!

Turklish travels: Seatbelts & other unsafe methods of travel

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I sometimes look at cyclists on London’s roads and think “really that’s the most dangerous way of travelling ever”

But I am wrong…

On Turkish roads you rarely see cyclists, I can see why, it would be beyond foolish.

Aside from the lax attitude towards seatbelts (the first Turkish taxi I got in laughed at me when I asked why the seatbelts were fastened back to the seats and therefore just “for show”) and car seats, the roads are really crazy.  I will forever have one car journey scored into my mind, luckily it was pre-baby but none the less there were 8 squeezed into a car (2 in the front passenger seat) and I suddenly realised we were in the middle lane.  That might not seem like a big deal but it was a 2 lane road, it’s just sometimes the Turkish approach is to try and squeeze in between the 2 cars actually in the lane…

It was one of many seemingly terrifying journeys in the 12 years I have been travelling with the Turk, winding roads, minimum speed limits, shoddy and poorly maintained elderly vehicles, I’ve seen them all.  It’s one of the things that really panics me about the Turk taking our son to Turkey by himself, usually when I’m there I am the one voice trying to instill some idea of self preservation back into the driver.

I’m no wuss, I’ve tuk tuk’d around Bangkok, I’ve seen cars with dents in their roofs in Cairo, I’ve countered giant rats in Kuala Lumpur, but there’s something about the danger in a country I am intrinsically connected with that makes it more worrying.

The car accident deaths are pretty high, I have always been paranoid about it as there were specific warnings about car travel in Turkey on the FCO website for years until recently.  There were 8,758 road fatalities last year, and that’s around 12 fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants, in comparison with the 3.5 in the UK it seems high, but it’s actually only slightly higher than that in the US, a place where I always feel road safe!