Friday, 30 May 2014

A Tweenage Crush ...

I am the mother of a 12 year old girl. I have been, in the dim and distant past, a 12 year old girl and steered another two girls through that phase. I know 12 year old girls have pop star crushes. I expect them to have pop star crushes.

I should, by rights, be flapping around like a headless chicken because One Direction are going around showing us all up by (allegedly) smoking drugs, swearing and hanging around with women (just like 99.9 per cent of the boys their age *tuts*). But I'm not.

My Tween, you see. has no time for One Direction. My Tween rolls her eyes when One Direction appear on TV. She has no One Direction records; no posters, badges, stickers or t-shirts. She does not follow *apologises* One Direction.

Then again, neither is she a Belieber and though my ability to gratuitously ogle Harry Styles has been impaired by not having The Tween to blame it on; I am forever grateful she has no truck with Justin and his below par trouserings.

Steady on, girls ... it's Woody
My first Tweenage crush was Stuart "Woody" Wood from the Bay City Rollers (Yes, I am that old). It might have been his out-of-the-crypt Scottish pallor, his bogbrush hair or the lure of a pair of tartan trews, but I did have the records, posters, badges, stickers and t-shirts. And scarves, tartan and tied around the wrist, despite being from Yorkshire and as Scottish as a baguette. Mind you, I was regularly unfaithful with LesMcKeown* sooooo.....

TeenTwin's first Tweenage crush was Paramore's Hayley Williams, TeenTwin2's John from Jedward. And frankly I don't know which was more worrying. That TeenTwin2 fancied someone from Jedward or that she actually knew which one of Jedward were which.

So you could say that I've been there and done that Tween crushes-wise, but even I'm surprised by the new object of The Tween's affection. Not that she has a crush at all, oh no. She would kill me if I even thought of suggesting that she has** but she does have all the recognisable symptoms.

You can't walk by her bedroom door without hearing the same dulcet tones echoing forth time after time, but it's not a singer that she idolises. Not even an actor. Mention his name and she blushes, tosses her hair, blushes some more and giggles. But then, his name makes me laugh out loud too.

Stampy Longnose is someone who plays Minecraft (a game), a lot. He plays Minecraft such a lot (even, unbelievably, more than The Tween) that he posts videos of him playing the game, a lot, on YouTube, a lot. He has, to be fair, more YouTube views than One Direction but, still. Stampy. Longnose; a fully grown bloke who spends all his time playing Minecraft and talking about it outloud. Er....

When Mr Longnose was on TV this week, with his equally Minecraft enthralled friend iBallistic Squid (don't ask), The Tween dragged herself away from Minecraft just long enough to watch and record it. Then she watched it again and again. Then she made me watch it, twice. She made her dad watch it, couldn't convince her sisters to watch it but showed it to them anyway, and has already showed it umpteen times to her brother, who is eight and will watch anything she tells him to. Or else.

Then she went back to playing Minecraft and listening to Stampy Longnose talking about playing Minecraft.


So, yes, she does (You do) have a crush on StampyLongnose, though obviously she doesn't (She does).***

*Waits for it to pass*

* And David Essex

** She does

*** I think I got away with that *wipes brow* 

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Brotherly Love ....

It can be hard work being the youngest of four and even harder being the only boy, but from the moment he was born The Boy established a special place in the heart of TeenTwin2 and she, in his.

She was ten-years-old when he was born and immediately became his spare mummy; always happy to nurse him, feed him, play games or, even (in front of the appalled faces of his other sisters) change his nappy. 

The Boy is eight now and has found his place in the family as the only boy and the youngest of four. He keeps one sister for fighting with and one for playing games with, but TeenTwin2 he keeps for cuddles and for kisses.

This is my entry into the Scottish Mum Blog/ Specsavers competition.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

A Walk in the Park

It's time for the Tots100 Center Parc's May Blogger Challenge and Rich Heath, Center Parc's own resident photographer, has been sharing his top tips to capture family fun in the great outdoors. Why not, says Rich, get out and see what nature is living on your doorstep. So we did.

In Wakefield there is a large park just five minutes away from the city centre. Thornes Park boasts a rose garden, conservatory, lake, sports tracks and fields, playgrounds, a much loved (by The Boy) miniature steam railway and, of course, the bandstand where I honed my festival throwing skills.

It also has an abundant amount of wildlife lurking in the undergrowth too (not all of it befuddled music fans left over from last year's festival, either) as we discovered when we set out to explore.

Obviously exploring always involves climbing a tree or two ....

..before getting stuck into the job in hand and seeking out some of the local wildlife.

We looked ...

and we looked.

Then, up in a tree, we spotted one of the resident squirrels eyeing our progress with interest....

...until she realised we weren't going to join in with her tree climbing games and went off to have lunch instead.

More tree climbing practice needed I think.

This is my entry to the Center Parcs and Tots 100 May challenge, if I'm chosen I would like to visit Whinfell Forest in the Lake District. 
(They have red squirrels!)

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

The Gallery .... One Word

I'm joining in with The Gallery this week and Tara's theme is describing your photo in just One Word.

This is my One Word photo and the one word I would use to describe it is ...


You can read all about my One Word photo here

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery

Visit The Gallery to check out everyone else's One Word photos

Sunday, 18 May 2014

50 Things NOT To Do Before 50. An Alternative Bucket List.

Counting down the last six months of being in my forties, I put together a slightly* unrealistic bucket list of things that I would like to do before hitting the Big Five-Oh but while I was doing it I thought of yet another 50 Things that I don't want to do at all. So I made a list. Obviously...

An Alternative Bucket List: 50 Things NOT To Do Before 50

1: Become a grandma.

2: Find out I'm becoming a grandma.

3: Speculate about the merest possibility of becoming a grandma.

4: Wear American Tan Tights.

5: Buy a Barry Manilow album

6: Vote UKIP

7: Read a Mills and Boon..

8: ..or Fifty Shades of Grey.

9: Think Michael Gove might have a point.

10: Worry about my weight

11: Own bathroom scales (see 10)

12: Gibber

13: Grow a beard.

14: Join a cult.

15: Wear polyester.

16: Give up.

17: Listen to The Archers.

18: Lust after Simon Cowell.

19: Know everything.

20: Class A drugs.

21: Wear a thong.

22: Count units.

23: Have a Hobby.

24: Master calculus.

25: Not see the funny side.

26: Put the doctor, dentist and optician on speed dial.

27: Think jeans are only for young people.

28: Say 'There's plenty more fish in the sea' to jilted lovers.

29: Have a favourite daytime TV programme

30: Pyramid selling

31: Think the supermarket cafe serves good food.

32: Speak loudly to foreigners.

33: Shoplift.

34: Grow up.

35: Share a "Share if you...." post on Facebook.

37: Join the circus

38: Have a crush on Harry Styles

39: Wear a Ra ra skirt.

40: Ponder the mortality of man.

41: Have a sensible haircut..

42: ..or buy sensible shoes.

43: Eat tripe**

44: Drown in a vat of gin***

45: Worry.

46: Reinstall iTunes.

47: Start my own faith system

48: The 'Single Ladies' dance, in public.

49: Forget.

50: Use the phrase "When I was young.." more than six times a day.

I might be lying about the last one.

* totally

** This applies to every list of things NOT To Do whatever age you are #justsowe'reclear

*** Because that would be embarrassing *Practises inhaling gin. Again* #justincase

Silent Sunday ...

Thursday, 15 May 2014

50 Things Before 50, A Bucket List.

I am approaching one of THOSE milestone birthdays. The ones you can seem looming ahead for five years, pointing and laughing as you edge ever nearer. I am, I'm sad* to say, teetering on the very precipice of fifty with just six months lying between me and tumbling into the abyss.

Not that I feel 50 on the inside. On the outside? Well, that's an entire other blog post ....

But I have, because I can, put together a bucket list of things I would like to do before I reach the dizzying heights of the Big Five Oh

I thought, obviously, as I've only got until November, a limited budget and the rest of the family's, frankly quite selfish, needs to get on with their own lives, my bucket list should be realistically scaled.

And then I thought: Bugger that...

A Bucket List; 50 Things Before 50 

Disclaimer: May contain things that might never happen

1: See the bottom of the washing basket.

2: Spend a whole day in pyjamas.

3: Actually own a pair of pyjamas.

4: Learn to belly-dance.

5: Go camping.

6: Stop sniggering at juvenile innuendos.

7: See England win the World Cup (see Disclaimer above)

8: Tom Jones.

9: Discover the secret of eternal youth.

10: Collect Penguin's Observer Books.

11: Become more tattooed.

12: Ride a horse again.

13: Remember birthdays............Oh.

14: Watch an entire James Bond movie without taking the p*ss

15: Find out who Kim Kardashian is...

16: ...And why.

17:  Learn Greek.

18: Go on a pub crawl.

19: Embrace my inner hippy.

20: Understand Google+

21: Not care what anybody thinks.

22: Learn to crochet.

23: Drink ALL the wine...

24: And the gin

25: And the vodka.

26: Don't die.

27: Dance naked in the rain (Again).

28: Visit the penguins.

29: Stop squealing anytime anybody remotely attractive appears on TV.

30: Wear comfy shoes.

31: Be Beyonce for a week.

32: Plant Delphiniums

33: Some yoga.

34: Defrost the freezer.

35: Finish this blogpost.

36: Win the lottery

37: Remember to buy a lottery ticket.

38: Stop judging people on the thickness of their leggings.

39: Be able to resist a bargain I don't need.

40:  Understand.

41: Dave Grohl.

42: Twerk.

43: Wear a pinny.

44: Re-read The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, give up on The Silmarillion after the first chapter. Again.

45: Learn to sing.

46: Swim a mile..... not necessarily all at once.

47: Always know where whatever it is, is.

48: Don't panic.

49: Go to the zoo.

50: Remember not being 50.

So there you have it.

*Stares 50 in the face*

*Gets on with it*

*sorry/ abysmally depressed/ fucking devastated/ too p*ssed

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

The Return of The Prom Diaries..

Two years ago I suffered the highs, the lows, the ups, the downs and the ever occurring traumas of the TeenTwins' Year 11 Prom, you can read all the gory details of that experience here.

I thought I survived the Year 11 Prom bravely, apart from a slight twitch and a tendency to cry if shown a sequin. I thought I wouldn't have to go through the experience again until The Tween reaches Year 11, which isn't for a few years yet. I was wrong.

Because it turns out there's a Year 13 Prom too.



Saturday, 10 May 2014

Being a #MorrisonsMum

Celebrating the introduction of new lower prices that promise to stay low, Morrisons got together with Britmums and threw down a Bank Holiday shopping challenge for the #MorrisonsMum....

I was lucky enough to be picked to be a #MorrisonsMum for the Britmums' challenge, but I'm a Mum who regularly shops in Morrisons anyway. Not only do I like Morrison's market stall approach to fresh foods with butchers that butcher, bakers that bake and fishmongers, but Morrisons started as a market stall on Bradford Market and it's head offices are still based there which, on a supermarket scale, makes it practically my local shop. And I do like to shop local.

For the purposes of the Bank Holiday challenge, I changed from shopping in my usual Morrisons in the city centre to the bigger version a little further out of town. To make it even more of a challenge I went on a Bank Holiday Saturday afternoon, the ONE time in the week when I wouldn't usually be seen dead in a supermarket for fear of incipient trolley rage and never-diminishing queues. But I was pleasantly surprised (or all the psychotic trolley wielding old ladies had gone away for the weekend), it was busy but there were enough checkouts open to ensure that I didn't have to queue when it was time for the reckoning.

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