Episode 489: Home

Today for writing 101,  our prompt was to choose one word from a selection of six prompt words and write about the one that ‘spoke’ to us the most. I chose ‘home’ as this word has the most meaning for me in so many ways…

When I was six years old my parents divorced and I moved from one end of the country to the other. Then, due to my Mum’s job we moved around some more until finally coming to the county where I have lived for most of the time since.

When I married my first husband, I moved around yet again as he changed jobs, and we always lived with other people. I used to spend at least 18 hours a day in one room due to his long hours, and other issues (I will write about them one day)! This went on for about 8 years until our eventual divorce. Although for the last 2 years I did at least see people as I worked with him for 18 hours per day!

My second marriage, sadly didn’t last long but for the first time we had our own place, albeit only for 6 months before I ended up moving back in with my parents and stayed there throughout my pregnancy, and for the first 10 weeks of Miss Hap’s life.

Then I got this house, which is finally my home. Myself and my baby daughter (at the time) moved in with no carpets, very little furniture (most of it donated to us), mismatched curtains and a small tv. It didn’t matter though as it was home. Our home. Over the 12 years I have been here, I have added carpets, matching curtains and a nice settee as well as some new furniture. More importantly I have planted the garden with the beautiful, fragrant roses that I love so much,

For once in my entire life, I was able to put down some roots, and settle down. I could decorate how I wanted and put up whichever pictures I liked. We have made so many memories here, which it why it is our home.

Episode 189: Smooth(ie) Operator!

Miss Hap has discovered a new drink which she loves, Oreo Smoothie! Now forgive me if I am wrong, but aren’t smoothies supposed to be healthy? You know, made with fruit and veg and skimmed milk….that kind of thing, not ice cream and Oreos (I can’t bear them myself)!

Anyway, she has been nagging me for ages to buy the ingredients in order to make this delightful drink. I have so far not obliged her,  as her once a week indulgence is plenty enough for such a sugar-fest. I did however, promise to make her a ‘normal’ smoothie.

I have actually got a smoothie maker that I have had for ages, but now never really gets used. I dragged in out of the corner it was hiding in, gave it a bit of a clean up and gathered some ingredients together.

Now I have to mention that I was not really in a very good mood. We were going to have our usual Sunday roast, but whilst Mr Grump was cooking the meat, it gave off rather an unpleasant smell. Once cooked. although it looked gorgeous, none of us fancied it anymore due to the weird smell, so that put paid to that! Hence the reason why I was crabby. (I had a healthy dinner instead)!

Anyway, I poured the milk into the smoothie maker, and asked Miss Hap to get the ice out of the freezer whilst I got the bananas. She had decided that she didn’t want anything else with it as she ‘doesn’t really like that much fruit’ (a fact I know all too well)!

When I turned back to the smoothie maker I saw that all of the milk had ended up on the worktop. There must have been a bit missing from the machine which I hadn’t noticed, despite the fact that it was an essential component!

I got more milk and we used the food processor to mix everything up in, I poured out some of the drink and gave it to my daughter. She took the smallest of sips and her face said it all. I went to give some to Mr Grump and when I came back all of Miss Hap’s drink had suspiciously gone. She said that she had enjoyed it and sloped off upstairs.

I, meanwhile, was left with one hell of a mess to clean up. As I went to start the washing up, I noticed that the washing up bowl was filled with what looked uncannily like banana smoothie! Great! She had thrown it away as I thought. I chucked out the bloody useless smoothie maker as well. Oh well, at least my kitchen is slightly less cluttered now!

Episode 187: Shedding Some Light on the Subject!

I know this is a bit controversial but hate those bloody energy lightbulbs! Yes, I know,shocking isn’t it?! (Well they might be if they produced any sort of power).  I am aware about carbon footprints and all that sort of thing, but I do still like the good old-fashioned 60 watt bulb.

I have lived in my house for 11 years now; It was a brand new property which had special fittings in the upstairs landing and hall downstairs for the energy lightbulb. That was all very lovely except for a couple of years later when I had to get a replacement, none of the shops sold them!II had to send off for them and they were pretty expensive at £10 apiece! Compare that to the £1 or so cost for a normal light bulb and you can see one reason I hatred them.

Having a brother who is good with electrics helped as he took out those fittings and put the general ones in, so I could use either standard light bulbs or energy bulbs as the mood took me.

Surprisingly, I do quite often use the energy ones in the hall as have got a little better over the years. It no longer takes about 5 seconds for the light to realise that it has been switched on, and kick into action, It is almost instantaneous nowadays.

A couple of nights ago Miss Hap informed us that we had a power cut, well, kind of anyway. She had turned the light on in the bathroom upstairs (it has a normal light bulb) and it blew causing the lights to all go off. Mr Grump had to climb up to the fuse box and flick the switch back on to restore light.

Anyway Mr Grump fitted a new bulb and all was sweetness (and light) in our household. Well, until I went to have my bath the next morning, I turned on the light to be greeted by this eerie kind of greenish glow. It was pretty horrid and I literally had a quick dip before getting out of there.

Miss Hap also moaned about the light when she went to the bathroom, It was a really ugly low energy lightbulb, with the emphasis on ‘low energy’. We nagged at Mr Grump to change it as it was giving us a headache.

When I came home from work later on, I saw that indeed the bulb was changed, Great, he managed to do one of the chores I had left him before I went to work. During the evening I needed to nip to the loo so I went to the downstairs one,

The eerie greenish glow appeared casting its gloom in the room. It seemed to make everything appear grubby. I was not impressed with this at all. It’s bad enough that it had the audacity to be called a ‘light’ bulb, but to have this almost CSI quality of showing up every speck making everything appear grimy was annoying.

Mr Grump managed to persuade my niece’s fiance to take him shopping today as the weather was appalling and we needed some bits. I decided to leave them to it and didn’t go with them. Big mistake, Not only did they forget to buy some normal light bulbs but they decided to stop off at the pub on the way home for a ‘quick pint’!

It seems that he was running a bit low on energy and needed a bit of perking up himself!

Episode 131: Blowing Away The Cobwebs.

Today my mind was too full of worries and niggles and I was feeling a bit het-up. The weather was dreary and grey, although dry, and I was moping about totally unmotivated…

As food is never far from my mind, I asked Mr Grump what we were going to have for dinner tonight. I was not impressed with his suggestions, and tried to persuade him to do our grocery shopping today instead of tomorrow whilst I stayed at home.

Well he wasn’t having that. He insisted that we all go shopping and that we walk the  3 mile round trip, as it would do us all good to get some exercise. Surprisingly Miss Hap was up for it, but I tried to get out of it, However, I realised that if I wanted something nice for dinner then I would have to go with them.

So off we trotted. Actually it was quite nice, as we kept off the main roads and used the little footpaths that cut through a large wooded area. We kept up a brisk pace and chatted throughout the journey, so it was rather pleasant.

In no time at all we were wondering around the supermarket. Miss Hap and I browsed through some craft magazines, and a knitting one caught her eye. Funnily enough, I was thinking today how I would like to take up knitting again, as I hadn’t done anything for ages. Also I can actually knit (unlike my dressmaking attempts, where I try  – but fail). I bought the magazine which included a pattern for some knitted monkeys plus the wool to make it with.

Once we had bought everything we needed, we headed back home. This time the walk was not quite as pleasant. For a start, the wind had kicked up, and about 10 minutes in, the rain started falling. This coupled with the heavy bags (stupidly, we hadn’t considered carrying the shopping all the way back) made the trip a little more challenging!

Everyone was pleased to get back home in the warm, and once we had dried off and sorted ourselves out, I started to knit one of the little monkeys…I could feel the stress melting away.

Episode 106: A Calculated Move….

Miss Hap was a little late home from school yesterday as her friend was rehearsing for her role in the school’s production of ‘Jungle Book’ (My daughter did audition for Mowgli but didn’t get it, and didn’t fancy any of the other roles). She didn’t want to get the bus home on her own, so decided to wait for her friend, which meant that she arrived home cold, tired,hungry, crabby AND with a sore throat.

Luckily, I had already prepared dinner (contrary to my moan about housework, I did end up doing it, of course) and it was ready and waiting for her on the table. Mr Grump was unusually late home so his would have to be re-heated later on. Miss Hap and I are much the same when it comes to our food, and we didn’t see the point in waiting any longer for ours, so we tucked in.

Although my daughter felt grotty, she apparently had some maths homework given to her that had to be in the next day. This is unusual as normally, although they do get loads of homework, they get a week to do it in. Anyway, she is always a bit vague on what homework she has, so I told her to get on with it, whilst I did the washing up.

As soon as I came back in the room, she was moaning, I asked what was the matter and she complained that she didn’t have the ‘right calculator’. Ii was mad as we had brought her one in September,

“Oh that one is no good, I need to have a Casio scientific one”.  Well I was not happy. I asked her what she was trying to work out, then got completely lost as she tried to explain it to me! I am not totally stupid, but neither am I great at maths! I advised her to see if there was an online scientific calculator she could use, but she was one step ahead and had already tried it.

Before I could stop her, she was e mailing her maths teacher (can you believe it)? telling him of her plight. At that point Mr Grump stomped in muttering and moaning; also cold, tired, crabby and hungry. Miss Hap regaled him with her tale of woe, and Bless him, he put his boots back on, and set off to get her this bloody calculator!

My God, how school has changed since I went there, as you can read here. I don’t remember being allowed to use calculators (they were quite a novelty and pretty basic when I was her age). It amazes me now all the different functions that they are now capable of doing. My maths teacher was terrifying. I would have loved to have seen her face if e-mail had been around then and I had dared to send her one regarding not doing my homework!

Apart from the eardrum-bursting bellowing that would have ensued, berating my audacity and stupidity,I would probably still be in detention to this day!  Thank God teachers are a little more ‘approachable’ today. (Mind you, some teachers are a little too drippy for my liking at her school, but I digress).

Anyway, the homework was completed, and  my daughter was duly sent to bed with paracetamol to reduce her fever. I gave Mr Grump his re-heated dinner, but he told me that he had gone past it now, and he left quite a bit of the chop. Never mind, I swooped it up and it was gone before he could change his mind. Very nice it was too! Well, I had to feed my poor brain as it had been overstretched trying to understand that maths homework!!