The early bird catches the worm…or in my case, the early bird writes a list, and then a plan of how to catch the worm, by which time, the worm has vacated the premises!

It’s the world’s longest title of a blog post! A shorter one would have been ‘Seize the day!’ and would have rung just as true.
Mornings are my favourite time, and the time at which I am at my best and most productive. Fortunately, this fits in very well with Master Hunter, who, it appears, has inherited his mother’s early bird genes, and likes nothing better than getting up at the crack of dawn. (I would just like to add, at this point, that this doesn’t always mean that I leap out of bed ready to embrace the day in a ‘goget’em’ state of mental and physical alertness.)
This morning wasn’t too early really, and the familiar cries of ‘Hey’ rang out through the house from MH’s bedroom at about 6am. As we came downstairs, the sun was blazing through the window (it has since gone back to bed, it would appear) and both Master Hunter and myself were in good moods as we got our breakfast ready and enjoyed each other’s company.
As he played with some of his toys, it struck me how much I would normally try to ‘get done’ at this time of day, be it sorting bills and stuff, tidying up, cleaning, planning out our day etc, because it is the one time of day that I can guarantee that Junior is quite content to sit and play (the one and only time of day, believe me). In doing this, although helpful and necessary, how much time and how many precious moments do I waste and miss in an attempt to be productive? So this morning, in the sunny living room, I just enjoyed being. Just for an hour. The breakfast pots are still in the kitchen. There are still some bills that need sorting. But the world has not ended. And I have managed to write because I know that I have already had quality time with my little boy, and so do not feel any guilt at all at quickly blogging while he sits, still contentedly, and plays next to me.
And though the sun has now gone in, we made the most of it while it was here.
I think it’s going to rain later by the look of the weather. And that is the perfect weather in which to wash pots and pay bills.

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Not quite as special as we once were

So, it’s been a while!  How are you all? Well, I trust?  I can’t believe that, yet again, I find myself wanting to begin with an apology for the amount of time that has passed since I last blogged.   I notice, however, that all my other pals with blogs, both Blogengers and those who blog well (hehehe!) have also been quiet of late, and so consequently, I don’t feel as riddled with guilt as I did when I first sat down.

The holidays are here then (for some of us), and more than ever, I thank Crunchie for that!  This term has been one of true madness, but although my entire team is now near to death-by-tiredness, we are also one happy bunch of people, as we are no longer in Special Measures!  Woo hoo!  The hard work from everyone has been well worth it, and we will start the new academic year as a ‘normal’ school (no comments, thankyou).  Hurray!  Huge congrats and thanks to all concerned!  To quote Yazz, ‘The only way is up!’

So, anyone got any good ideas for what I can do during the holidays?  The gym regime has begun in earnest, and I have been a very good girl and gone every day so far!  Obviously, my priority is spending lots and lots of time  having fun with my lovely family, and I look forward to having time to blog, craft and do all my other geeky habits.   I want to get some bits in the house sorted, and I think I’m going to have one ‘pampery’ thing a week.  Decadent, I know, but I think I’m going to make some me time this holiday.  I’ll keep you posted!

Enjoy your hols, those of you who are lucky enough to have them, and a special order to the TPS gang – have the best summer ever! xxx

Celebrity Dinner Party

What makes a good dinner party?  Well for me, it is a mix of delicious food, good wine, great music,  interesting conversation and lots and lots of laughter.  If I’m being honest, though, the quality of the food and wine are not that important: if the company is spot on, then that can turn quite an ordinary meal into something really special.

This week’s Blogenge is ‘If you hosted a celebrity dinner party, who would you invite?’ and I’ve tried to come up with a mix of people that would provide the perfect ingredients for a memorable dining experience.

First  on my list would be Lady Marie Stubbs, who is an educationalist, and someone I admire tremendously.  She is quite a maverick, and is best known for transforming a school once subject to special measures (spot any similarities?).  They made a tv drama out of her story, which starred Julie Walters, and I really hope that I can be half as successful at transforming the lives of and chances for children.    So a touch of serious conversation might be the starter.

Coincidentally, Julie Walters would also receive an invitation to the dinner party, as in my opinion, she is one of the most naturally funny people in the world, and I am a huge fan.  She would provide the laughs (and also might bring Mrs Overall’s coconut macaroons as a contribution to the meal!)  The comedy element would be further strengthened by Eddie Izzard, who is a genius,  but  would also have lots of tales from his marathons to tell.  I thought he was amazing doing that, and I would love to hear all about it. 

Billie Holiday would provide the music, but would also be able to share tales of the struggle of her life, and I think both would prove inspirational.

So the starters of interesting tales and main course of comedy are in place. We have the music and the wine, and most of the meal is planned.

And for dessert?  Matthew Morrison.  Simple as.

Walk before you can run…or cycle… or swim…

So, somewhere in my fitness quest, during my gentle reintroduction to running (which began on Sunday, and in terms of time and distance, was very short), a random thought entered my head.  A voice in my head said ‘Why don’t you do have a bash at a triathlon?’  It was a very stupid voice, with no common sense, and it sounded like it came from person with a non-sensical, inexplicable need to do projects and new things.  Yep, me.

And whilst the initial thought of it made me splutter and laugh and cough, I haven’t been able to shake it.  It has lingered.  And lingered.  I have found myself researching it when I should have been asleep.  I have sent off for a book from Amazon (you know me, there’s a book from Amazon about EVERYTHING – no book from Amazon, then no new project!)

So that’s it.  It’s stuck.  And it won’t go away. 

And I’m quite excited. 

Who knows what will happen?  As soon as the book arrives, and I have read it, I will let you know, but as it stands, I’m going to do it!   It would be the most amazing challenge, but you know me and challenges.

I feel a new list and chance to write a pretty training regime and diet plan coming on as we speak…

Blogenge 2.2: Blog to the power of…

So, Blogenge 2.2:  ‘Which Super Power would you most like to have?’

Flying makes me nervous and sick, so the ability to fly is something I would rather not have, thank you very much, and neither would I like to be able to stop time: I’ve got too much to do!

Now the ability to read minds and possession of the power of invisibility both interest me greatly, but they also conjure up a real fear of hearing someone say something really nasty about me or finding out what they really think of things.  This, perhaps, says more about my own paranoia and over reliance on what other people think of me than it does about my potential as a superhero.

The two that I am torn between, in terms of wanting to possess them, are telekinesis (which is a fabulously cool word before you even get to the power itself!) and shape shifting.   The telekinesis is not born out of laziness in wanting the remote control to come to me or create comedy situations in the staffroom, though admittedly these both have their advantages.  I think it is born of my love of Matilda, and the idea of small conquering big, and good triumphing over evil.  I would love to have the powers of Matilda.  She rocks (no comments about Miss Trunchbull are necessary, thankyou).

And shape shifting?  I just love the idea of being able to be someone else; to see what their lives are like, and how their minds really work.  This could be on a scale of experiencing poverty, or hunger, or famine, making me realise how lucky I am and using the power to bring about real change through action as a result of experience.  It could enable me to take over and add the Wiggle sparkle to villains and baddies, thus preventing crime and reducing evil in the world.  I could pass on my listmaking skills so that Martin could write down everyone’s birthdays and remember them, or James could write down the jobs I need doing so he doesn’t forget them.  Or I could become my dad, and finally be allowed to sit in his chair, or my sister and know what it’s like to be THAT funny!  I could learn from others, and find out what it’s really like to have common sense or a sense of direction.

Or it could mean I could finally become Cheryl Cole.  Or Holly Willoughby.  Or Annie!!! Result.  Shape Shifting it is!

And the nominees for ‘Best of the Mr Men’ are…

Ta dah! In case you didn’t realise, that was the sound of a triumphant fanfare to signify the return of The Blogenge – yay! I know you have all missed the weekly wonderings and wafflings of the Blogengers. Admit it: you have really  felt that life has been missing a little of its usual sparkle!
Right then, let’s get cracking. Blogenge Part Two, Topic One: The Best of the Mr Men.

I loved the Mr Men.  All of them.  They made me laugh, cry, feel happy, be silly, sometimes feel sad: a whole range of emotions from such little books, all of which contained full stories, and made me feel incredibly clever for being able to read a whole book in a night before bed.   I loved the way in which the characters didn’t always get on – the realist in me appreciated the way that the Mr Men didn’t all live in a permanent state of bliss; nor did good always triumph over evil.  They rowed, they fought, they had problems.  And I liked that as a welcome addition to the world of fairy tales and other stories, which I also loved (I mean, come on, they were all books, so what was there to not like!) but to me the Mr Men meant a bit of gritty edge with some daft, slapstick type humour.

I also liked the Little Misses, but not nearly as much as the Mr Men for some reason.  I guess my inability to relate to other girls when I was younger transferred from the classroom into books!

I wondered when I sat down to think about the subject of my favourite of the Mr Men who my final choice for this accolade would be (I’m trying to avoid saying ‘my favourite Mr Man’ but it is proving very awkward!)  Should it be someone with whom I can personally identify, like Mr Small or Mr Nosey (obvious choices in the absence of Mr Listmaker, Mr Grammar or Mr OCD)?  Or, would it be more appropriate to think aspirationally, and make my choice based on the Mr Men who possess traits that I most admire and would like to nurture in myself, like Mr Calm, Mr Happy or Mr Perfect (though Mr Nonsense, Mr Messy and Mr Funny also look quite appealing)?

After considering this weighty issue for some time, and pontificating on the pros and cons of each of the Mr Men in turn, I decided to have a look on The Internet to check that I had not missed any of the Misters.  And it was during my research that I arrived at my answer. 

Mr Tickle.  Mr Tickle is the best of the Mr Men.  My reason?  No, it’s not because tickling makes me giggle (though it does, and I won’t apologise for that!)  And it’s not because I aspire to have long arms and an ability to cause hilarity through the medium of tickling (though that would be pretty cool on both counts).  It’s because of how Mr Tickle came to be. 

Mr Tickle was Roger Hargreaves’s response to his son’s question, ‘What does a tickle look like, daddy?’  How cool is that! What a brilliant way in which to answer a child so creatively.  And that is why Mr Tickle is the best of the Mr Men.  I can personally relate to the desire to stimulate a child’s curiosity and provide answers to the questions which preoccupy them (and are often far more interesting that those which are asked by adults!)  And aspirationally, I can only hope that the answers I give will be as thought provoking and creative as that given to Adam Hargreaves in the form of Mr Tickle. (And if they made as much money as the Mr Men did, that would be a lovely bonus, obviously…!)

Return of The Blogenge!

May I propose the return of The Blogenge?  For those of you who don’t know, The Blogenge was our regular slot of all writing on Wednesdays in response to a title or question posed by a member of the Blogenge Community.  Now, as we have had various more pressing things in recent months between us (new jobs, new babies, countless gigs and concerts, and a general need to sleep sometimes) the routine, or indeed, the Blogging Spell, appears to have been broken.

I would like to get the Blogenge wheel turning once again, and would like to challenge all Blogenge competitors…oops, I mean contributors… (Freudian slip there) to seek out new members of our happy little band. 

May I propose a first topic of ‘The Best of the Mr Men is…’ as our starter for ten, and let’s see how we do, with a posting deadline of Wednesday 14th April?

Comments please from Blogengers old and new (and from anyone else  for that matter!)

Let me know what you think.