Throwing Cartons of Orange Juice and Florence Foster Jenkins

Washing day - not my washing day, my washing day is every day and there's mountains of it!

Washing day – not my washing day, my washing day is every day and there’s mountains of it!

Things have quietened down lately and thank goodness. For a while there, myself and the kids were dining out rather a lot, which is good for seeing friends and family, but not great for the pocket.

However, while we’ve been going out less, the house has not been peaceful thanks to my kids fighting with each other. Sigh. They bicker over everything. A lot of the time it’s the girl’s fault because she just loves winding her wee brother up. However on Sunday she was definitely not to blame for the major temper tantrum the boy took because she was blocking they way into the fridge (see, you don’t get between a nine-year-old kid and his lunch!). He battered her, she battered him and then he took a carton of orange juice from the fridge and threw it at her. It missed and bounced off the wall, spraying sticky orange juice everywhere. I – to coin a Glasgow phrase – managed to ‘keep the heid’ and made him clean it up. I took his precious tablet off him, banned him from the PlayStation and told him to go to his room, which he did stomping as loudly as he could on the way up muttering how he hated his sister, it was all her fault, she made him do it (unless she can suddenly do magic, she didn’t) and claiming he hated his life. The bedroom door was slammed shut.

I left him there to stew for an hour whilst I ate a piece of (medicinal) cheesecake and drank tea in front of the telly with the dogs (who were recovering from the shock of seeing the boy in a rage – I think they were also relieved he wasn’t throwing orange juice at them!).

Victorian celebrity chef Alexis Soyer - more on him later.

Victorian celebrity chef Alexis Soyer – more on him later.

Talking of the dogs, Casper went in to get a wee op last week. I decided, after much deliberation, to get him castrated. The vet said it would be better for him as he wouldn’t get upset if he sensed a bitch was on heat. I hated taking him – just like I hated when I got Millie done – and felt a crumb when I left him in the capable hands of our vet (who is a very nice guy and great with animals). I can still feel the dog’s accusing little eyes boring into me as I left him. Anyway, he was there for the day and myself and the boy picked him up around 4pm. As we sat in the waiting area, Casper must have heard us talking because we could certainly hear him barking and whining for us. I was relieved to see him looking well, if a little comical in his plastic collar (the ‘collar of shame’). He needed to wear it until today when he got a check up with the vet (he’s doing well), but it didn’t seem to bother him that much.

Far from missing him during that day, Millie didn’t seem at all upset that her pal wasn’t with her. She played and ran about as usual. Totally different from when she went in to get hers when Casper was bereft (we’re talking lying about, ears down, whining occasionally and looking like he was about to burst into tears) until she came back to us. She was, however, much more jumpy and barky than usual, so deep down I think she was missing him.

Nora Ephron who's 'Heartburn' is excellent.

Nora Ephron whose ‘Heartburn’ is excellent.

On Saturday, I began the onerous task of cleaning out the boy’s room. I did a good clean of it about two months ago, but decided it really needed a deep clean especially as he’d really messed it up and it was really bad again. Put it this way, you couldn’t see any carpet because of the toys, dirty clothes and rubbish he had strewn all over the floors and under the bed. I did about two hours on Saturday and then all afternoon on Sunday. We took out around 12 bin bags full of rubbish and old toys that were too young for him. I took a bin bag full of old clothes and two bin bags full of books to the charity bins. I took down a huge amount of dirty washing and it’s currently lying on the floor at the washing machine waiting to be washed…sigh. It is amazing how much clothing I took out of that room…I had no idea how much he actually had. We also found two pairs of new jeans still in the wrappers (he claimed last week he had no jeans!), numerous dirty pants (ew) and a new coat scrunched up into a ball. He is a lazy little…(insert appropriate word here). He actually had the cheek to complain that he hated the smell of his room and was astounded when I said it was all his own fault for leaving dirty clothes and mouldy bits of food lying around.

Don’t worry, I made the boy help, although it’s debatable that he actually made a lot of impact on the clear up…he spent a good bit of his time ‘seeing how the dogs were’, reading things he’d found, finding old toys and looking for parts and generally wasting time going to the toilet and for glasses of water.

He has been warned that if he ever gets his room in that mess again, he will be punished…I just need to take his tablet off him and ban him from the PlayStation to punish him. Ah technology, so bad for kids in many ways, but great for parents in others.

Currently reading: am coming to the end of ‘Relish’, the biography of Alexis Soyer, the Jamie Oliver of the Victorian era and I’ve really enjoyed it. What a character that man was. I’m surprised no one has ever made a tv series or film about his life. He was so interesting and larger than life. This book gets ten out of ten for me.

I have also just finished  ‘Heartburn’ by Nora Ephron which is a novel loosely based on her divorce from her second husband after she caught him cheating on her. I loved it. Nora has such a fab way with words, everything has a comical slant on it despite the pain this period of her life obviously caused her…she is so witty and a talented observer of people.

Meryl Streep as Florence Foster Jenkins.

Meryl Streep as Florence Foster Jenkins.

 

And the real Florence Foster Jenkins.

And the real Florence Foster Jenkins.

Films: I haven’t watched any good films lately but have Suite Francaise and Florence Foster Jenkins to watch. Can’t wait.

Telly: like many others, I waited with baited breath for the return of Sherlock and was disappointed with the first one. I watched last week’s episode and I quite liked it. I know a lot of people didn’t and thought it was pretentious, but I found it interesting.

A scene from Suite Francaise.

A scene from Suite Francaise.

Writing: I’ve not been great at keeping up with the writing lately. I don’t know why because I was going great guns in the run up to Christmas. I think having the break has put me off going back to it plus I have been feeling really tired and fed up lately. I put that down to returning to work and coming off caffeine (which gave me a tremendous headache all last week). Anyway, I feel much better this week so really don’t have a good excuse not to get back behind the keyboard. I just have to start!

Okay, I am going to finish here for just now and go off an do some writing (and not procrastinate or find an excuse for not writing like doing the washing or the dishes or shouting at the kids for trying to kill each other). Til next time!

Dawn xx

 

 

 

Jeezo! That’s some wind! And a small tribute to Nora Ephron

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I cannot believe how stormy it is again today. The poor kids were nearly blown off their feet going into school this morning. It was so bad during the night that I kept waking up thinking the world was ending. Hopefully it’ll die down by this afternoon when I go to pick them up. It’s also bitterly cold and yesterday we had snow. The snow is now away (it was that wet slushy stuff that’s no good for anything), but we have these icy winds (up to 101 mph in some places) to contend with. I am glad I’m in a warm house today, I can tell you! Poor souls that don’t have homes to go to.

Anyway, what’s your week been like? I’ve had a really busy time at work, which is good because I love writing and getting my teeth into an article, so have been writing lots of articles for newsletters for work. Outside work, we’ve been mainly staying inside because the weather has been so awful (we’ve also had really heavy rain…apparently the roads around here resembled rivers last night the rain was that hard. Of course, there was also a lot of melting snow as well!). What I’ve mainly been doing with my time outside work is: house stuff (the usual boring things like housework, making dinners etc), writing (did some this morning already!), reading (finished my latest Molly Keane novel – I really enjoyed it although I’m starting to find she seems to end her books quite abruptly) and catching up with telly (me and the girl are enjoying Castle from the beginning again and I’m loving Father Brown). I’ve also been knitting up some little projects for our knitting group to do at the school…will show you these soon.

Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron

What else has been happening? Just started Nora Ephron’s The Most Of Nora Ephron book. It’s a collection of some of her articles and essays. Really interesting and beautifully written. I first came across her as a screenwriter/director – You’ve Got Mail, Michael and Julie & Julia are three of all time favourite films!

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I think she has a lovely feel for telling a story on film. Her films always make you feel warm and cosy and just well, nice. They are great films for a stormy afternoon (as today looks like it will be!), sitting on the sofa with a cup of tea and a chocolate digestive. No-one telephones, no-one bothers you. It’s just you and the film. Before the opening credits have even finished, you find yourself relaxing into a contented blob and drinking in the warmth and loveliness of the story. A couple of hours go by in a flash and you come out of your blissful stupor feeling like you’ve just had your first kiss: dazed and happy. I’ve only just really started this book, but am enjoying it immensely. For me it’s part story (although this is a work of non fiction), part history (so far we’ve tales from the 70s) and part humour (she’s a witty wummin!). Nora died in 2012 and what a great loss that was not just for her family and friends, but for people like me…fans who think she was wonderful.

Anyway, I am getting a bit gushy and the wind is howling all the more, so I will get on with writing this blog!

I’ve been writing this blog for a number of years now and it surprises even me that I can continue to keep it going. It’s not easy trying to find something to write about every week, to keep it even remotely interesting when my life is rather mundane at times (not that I am unsatisfied…I am a home bird who likes to do homey things, but they don’t often make good copy). I suppose it’s a good thing I’m a bit of a chatterbox, I think that helps when writing. If I’m stuck, I always think ‘well what would I tell my friends if they asked me what I’d been up to?’ and that’s what I do. I also like to see what other bloggers write about as this often inspires me. If in doubt, don’t copy, but emulate!

Right, I will really have to go now. Got stuff to do: at least another 700 words to write and a phonecall to make to family members.

Til next time! Have a good week. If you are in the throws of this storm, stay safe.

Dawn xxx