Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The Gallery ....Movies

I'm joining in with The Gallery and this week the theme is Movies... And again I saw the prompt and thought: "What? NOOOOOO!"
But despite spending the week failing to get The Man to dress up as Han Solo *sighs* I realised I DO have a picture entirely suitably in the family archive already, it's a photo I like to call "a bit of a Pirates of the Caribbean" moment ....

Though clearly it involves no actual pirates or any Caribbean at all ....

*Refuses ticket refunds* *Closes box office*

Check out all the other entries at The Gallery

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

The Gallery ... Sky

I'm joining in with The Gallery and this week the theme is Sky. And after the recent Gallery theme's Emotion and Delicate, I am in heaven that this week it is something more down to earth. Er, or not.

This is our piece of sky ...

And it does do some remarkable things...

It's almost as if there's somebody.... *looks up* ... up there ....

But that would be silly.
I've seen other skies and they're alright I suppose

But there really is nowhere like home...

This is my entry for The Gallery, please check everyone else's entries at Sticky Fingers

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

My Little Girl ....

Tomorrow my little girl is 11 years old ... ELEVEN. YEARS. OLD. *Boggles in disbelief*

Every time I look at her I wonder what happened to the time between when she was born and now, because, in my head, she was born yesterday.

And I know, on past experience, that the next five years are going to pass not only in the same twinkling of an eye but with a certain amount of shouting, stamping and sulking thrown in as well. 

For in two weeks time my little girl starts at secondary school, the fourth largest in England, where adolescence and attitude and an over-indulgence in black eyeliner come as part of the uniform that now hangs, listlessly, on the wardrobe rail. 

She's growing tall and fast too, almost by the day, so the school skirt that looked a respectable length in the school outfitters at the start of the summer will probably be little more than a mini on the first day of term. 


And now I feel like I'm running to catch her up and wish she would slow down because to me she still is the silver-eyed baby, the little girl who refused to wear knickers (don't ask) and wouldn't leave the house without a pair of wings. She's still the little girl who played "Yoho" "Ahoy!" (and I loved that game) and trains, lots of trains. The one who cried on the wedding photos and ALWAYS had to be carried through puddles. The one who laughs like Sid James and the one that asks questions, always questions.

And even though she is 11 tomorrow, she will and, tell not a soul, always be that little girl to me even when she's all grown up which, she thinks, will be the day after tomorrow .....


Sunday, 19 August 2012

A Weekend Away ...

If anyone had said to me when the TeenTwins were born that one day I would let them go away for the weekend with a group of friends, I would have been shocked, astounded and appalled. I would have cradled those helpless little bundles in my arms protectively and may even have snorted in their general direction in disbelief.

But this weekend I not only let my 16 year old twin daughters go away with six of their friends (five boys, two of them their boyfriends, and just one other girl) for the weekend, I also shoved a wad of cash in their hands and told them to have a good time........ I KNOOOOW!

I am, I know, a protective mother. Some might call it over-protective though, strangely, never to my face. I love my children more than life itself, like you do, possibly even more than gin.

I've spent 16 years devoting myself, in-between gin-drinking, to caring for them, loving them, protecting them, making sure they're happy, secure, safe and warm. That they eat the right things at the right time and sleep without nightmares. That they go to school on time and come home again and follow the rules that need to be followed. That they aren't afraid of anything at all, least of all the world, that they will always speak up and out for themselves and that they're always equal with anyone and to anything.

But you just can't teach, they have to learn and this weekend away was, really, all about learning. For me and them.

They had, of course, a great time. A weekend away with your mates at the seaside? Hell, yeah! By lucky hap, my ex and the TeenTwin's father lives close to the coast and he put the gang up on the Friday night so that they could explore the delights of exotic Bridlington for a full day on Saturday. They left early, had "THE BEST TIME EVER" in Bridlington (which is surely an oxymoron) and stayed Saturday night at their cousins before they were ferried home again in the same parental cars that had delivered them.

They learned that boys can be a bit odd when left alone in a room for a while, that one ride on a Pirate ship is NEVER enough and that I am ALWAYS right about their dad *rolls eyes*

And I learned that I can trust them, that I don't have to worry so much and that they (and their friends) are the kind of teenager I could only hope to have been *Sighs.*

Oh, apart from... Well ... *Tuts*

*Apologises to Bridlington*

*Secretly proud face*

With thanks to TeenTwin One and Two and TeenTwin One's Boyfriend for the photos :)

Silent Sunday ....

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

The Gallery... Emotion

I'm joining in with The Gallery this week and the theme is Emotion which I WAS finding quite challenging to be honest.

Expressing an emotion in a photograph is a difficult thing; capturing a moment of glory or of sadness in one shot is what great photography is made of. Mostly, at those moments, I'm scrabbling in my bag for the camera going: "Hang on, wait a minute. Can you do that again.." *Sigh*

But, by lucky hap, it is the Third Girl's birthday next week and I was looking through photos, like you do, and I thought I DO capture emotion:

 "Oh no, not again."

 "Do you really expect me to go out in public like THIS?....."

And: "OH GOD. NO. NOT AGAIN. Put the camera away, woman..."

The Third Girl is very expressive with her emotions in photos and those emotions are mostly anger, annoyance, irritation, impatience and then, just sometimes, there is a moment of pure joy ....

This is my entry to The Gallery, please check out everyone else's entries at 

Monday, 13 August 2012

The Olympic Legacy ...

It's the day after the fortnight before and the Olympics have packed their bags, left a "Thank-you-for-having-us" note on the hall table and gone home. They probably even left a big tip, because it was THAT good.

Yes, the Olympics were fantastic, genuinely inspirational. We were, as a nation, in it together and we made ourselves proud, even those of us whose entire contribution was sitting at home watching Our Team give their all in Herculean battles for gold, silver or bronze. 

We lived every pull, every push, every stroke, rotation, punch, kick, flail and thwack with our Olympian athletes.When Mo Farah crossed the finish line of the 10,000 metres I, personally, had exerted myself so much cheering him on I was more out of breath than he was. Then again I HAD already just done the 800 metres with Jessica Ennis and knocked out a medal winning long jump with Greg Rutherford, so .. you know.

But what do we do now the party's over? Do we HAVE to go back to those times BO (Before Olympics) when the news was all doom, gloom and David bloody Cameron? I haven't even had a glimpse of the Daily Mail website for the past two weeks now and, I don't mind telling you, I feel a better person for it.

And the Olympics should leave some kind of lasting legacy because for once we were cheering on real heroes. Real people doing hard, demanding and sometimes impossible things to the very best of their ability. We weren't judging them on looks or colour or weight either, but on what they had to give and how they gave it. And I like that in a country.

So I think as part of our Olympic legacy, we should give the entire country a bit of a make-over. 

Of course The Queen can stay because well, she IS the Queen AND she's best mates with James Bond too now. Who doesn't want that in a head of state?

And we'll keep Boris, because everybody loves Boris Johnson and he is, after all, a politician of sorts. He probably knows all there is to know about which handshake to use and he can talk utter bollocks at times and what else do you need in a politician? All the rest, well. Do we need them? Really?

There's going to be a whole shed-load of Olympians with time on their hands now. All of them dedicated and committed. All of them prepared to work hard and then harder still to achieve their goal. All of them have surmounted and beaten obstacles in their way, whether it be financial, emotional or physical, and not allowed themselves to give in.

There were 541 members of TeamGB 2012 and there are 650 members of the House of Commons, we could just do a straight swap to be honest and call it quits. There'd even be more room to sit down.

And we'll keep Clare Balding, because we'll need someone to keep everyone in check and to provide a shoulder to cry on when, inevitably, Bradley Wiggins and Ben Ainslie fall out about the whether to spend the ministry of defence budget on bicycles or boats when we ALL know they should just have asked Peter Wilson instead *tuts.* We won't make her wear a Head Girl uniform though, except on state occasions.

And we should just ban football altogether, but not David Beckham who can move into the newly revamped House of Lords with Posh and all the kids. There'll be granny flats too for Lord Coe and Sir Steve Redgrave.

AND, finally, utterly and conclusively we should bring back Grandstand and a World of Sport on Saturday afternoons on real, proper, everybody-can-get-it television. We should be allowed to revel in, enjoy and appreciate all the, so-called, minority sports that really, every four years, prove not to be so minority anymore.

Show us show-jumping, eventing and dressage. Show us swimming and diving, canoeing, kayaking, rowing. Show us the running and racing and cycling and biking and shooting and boxing and gymnastics and judo-ing and everything-ing. Goddamn it, SHOW US THE SYNCHRONISED SWIMMING.... and not just once every four years but every Saturday afternoon.

Make it accessible, make it seen and people will look for it and seek it out. Every four years, someone somewhere is sparked enough by what they've seen happen in an Olympic arena to start chasing their own Olympic dream. Imagine how many people might also light the spark, if these things were on every single week...


Friday, 10 August 2012

A Family Day Out

We'd been putting it off and putting it off. Blaming the weather, or work, or that the moon has wrongly aligned with the house of the penguin, or something. Anything. But finally we had to do it. We had to have a family day out.

*Reaches for gin*

But not an entire family day out. The TeenTwins are at that age when going anywhere with the family is entirely "meh" and very much "duh." So it was just Us, me and The Man, and Them, The Boy and the Third Girl.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

The Gallery .. Delicate

I'm joining in with The Gallery and this week the theme is Delicate.

Oh ... Delicate? What the...?

Anyway, this is my Delicate *sighs* ......

Flowers are always delicate, aren't they? 'Cept the ones that bloom year after year after year, despite the cold and frost and the bad winters and appalling summers. They're probably not so delicate after all to be honest. They just look that way.

So...... the gossamer wings of butterflies

And bees and teeny, tiny insecty things

They're delicate, right? Though they seem to cope remarkably well with what must be a strenuous job, all that flapping about everywhere and stuff.

Mmmmm. *Thinks*

Frost IS delicate. Ephemeral, momentary, but it can bring a city to its knees with its power (or at least in England it can *tuts*) sooooo, maybe not so delicate after all.

Bubbles, bubbles are very delicate ... one pop and they're gone 


Just like the moment my eldest daughter captured in a drawing of my son when he was a baby. It is, I think, beautifully and extraordinarily delicate..

And this IS my Delicate

*Falls over*

Check out everybody else's interpretation of the theme Delicate at The Gallery

My Olympic Dream ....

I have, after a few days of watching the BBC Olympic London 2012 coverage, a dream...

And not the one about John McEnroe, me and an inappropriately large blancmange. No, not that one
THIS dream is the one where we, the people ... the ones sat at home on the sofa with a bucket of tea, a crate of biscuits and a skipful of gin.....AND the ones on the even plusher sofa  at the BBC (their skipful of gin tastefully off screen) just agree not to care about the medal thing. At all.

At the end of day four, we'd won a not entirely whopping four medals, two silver and two bronze. We are it appears, collectively, as a nation disappointed by this. Which is weird because I'm admiring some awesome achievements and couldn't give two actual hoots about our "medal tally" to be honest.

We, by which, I mostly mean "They" (or The Media) have not been what I would consider entirely behind our Olympians. 'They" don't give a stuff how many hours of serious biscuit eating have been lost in the pursuit of  an Olympic dream. Ha, let's put the boot in, "They" think when someone's Olympic dream is shattered because "They" are ALWAYS bastards.

Zara Philips overcame the multiple handicaps of being royal, being one of the few royal offspring with passions beyond her boundaries and having the entire nation ready to shout "Off with her head" if she put a hoof wrong, to be part of a silver medal winning Equestrian team.

That her horse had a poo at the start of her round and was clearly still, metaphorically, pulling his trousers up when he faltered was not mentioned. Zara forbore to blame the horse and she was sorry that the team might have been in with the chance of a gold medal but for her ride.

Reality check, the team WON a silver medal, they didn't LOSE the gold. And I'm just guessing that they don't generally spend a lot of time sitting at home on the sofa pretending to be disappointed about it afterwards either.

Likewise Rebecca Adlington, swimmer and English. This Olympics she has won the bronze, a slightly less shiny medal than the two golds she won at the Beijing Olympics. This is seen as defeat, her medal isn't gold and is therefore forever destined to be the embarrassing one she leaves at the bottom of her jewellery box.

Cyclist Mark Cavendish was expected to win the road race. He didn't and we are stunned that he is beaten despite the fact it was *sigh* a RACE and clearly other people might just want to win it too.

Tom Daley and Pete Waterfield. Fourth in diving? Well, we're just not satisfied by that are we? We shuffle just a little more comfortably into those special sofa grooves and feel let down. Some of us (but not me) even turned downright nasty. There was a virtual kerfuffle and an arrest. What I'd LIKE to happen now is the "troll" who complained at, insulted and threatened Tom Daley be made to to dive off a 10m board until he gets a perfect score. If he thinks he can do any better, he should prove it. But I bet he can't, and he won't.

Through all this, the BBC coverage is aiding and abetting this apparently national belief that if our competitors (we each get a part share of every competitor, heart and soul, for the duration of the games or something) don't win their performances, they are worth jack and, well, shit. Silver is second best and not nearly winning. Third? You might as well give up and go home. Fourth? Shut the door on the way out, please.

The BBC presenter Gaby Logan is probably a very nice person usually. One can only assume that she is being held at BBC Olympic Centre against her will and has been induced into such a state of high Olympic frenzy, that she's become totally focused on the medal haul, constantly apologising for the British competitors who don't get into the top three.

And it's a communicable disease, BBC commentators and interviewers are at it too. A hopeful judo medalist lost. He was obviously upset, he'd spent a quarter of a century working towards that point and he'd lost. But being devastated was not enough for the interviewer whose questions eventually made the gruff Judo bloke break down in tears and apologise to everyone he knew for letting them down. I hope someone was waiting off camera to give him a big hug and tell him he'd done his best, I really do.

Today (Wednesday) and, phew, we have won some gold medals. Well, I say we. I mean the country's sports-people who have worked tirelessly, with focus and intent for four years to be at the peak of their achievement during these few days of Olympic fervour, have won themselves a gold medal. They deserve their glory, every single inch of it...

..And we don't even deserve to sit in the light reflected from those shiny medals until we start to recognise it really isn't all about the winning, it truly is about the taking part.

Hurrah for ALL The Olympians 2012.
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