Thursday, 16 April 2015

Children - the things they say!

In the car with N when we move over for an ambulance to pass.
N: "Ambulances help people who are hurt. Fire engines put out fires."
Me: "Who stops naughty people then?"
N: "Santa"
I have no words....

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Scholl Express Pedi - my Amazon review

I have suffered hard skin on my heels and round my big toes for years. My husband simply can't afford the number of beach holidays we would require for me to keep my feet nice and soft from walking on all that lovely, white sand. So, with heavy heart, I looked for another cure for my rotten old hard skin.

I read a lot of reviews on this Scholl Pedi Express but was a little concerned about people saying if they pressed hard with it, it stopped rotating. Would it be enough to cure my beach-free feet? It arrived yesterday and I got straight to it whilst looking at a brochure of the Maldives to get me feeling a little less sad. It's fantastic. For the first time I can have my fitflops on without heels that look like crazy paving! I could put some pressure on around my big toe and nothing stopped working. Heavens - how fippin' hard were these people pushing? Simple on/off switch and two AA batteries so no problems there. Neat little cover over the top. I hear the rollers wear out and need replacing which is quite pricey but this as this is the best solution for my feet in years (tried files, egg things and pumice to no avail), I'm happy to buy new rollers as and when.

I even ended up covered in fine white sand..oh, wait, no...that's my skin...argh! I really would recommend this product to anyone who cannot afford 30 beach holidays a year ;-)

Monday, 13 April 2015

End of Easter break

It's been a lovely Easter break for us. First a holiday to enjoy abroad (of course the Easter bunny made it to Tunisia to deliver the girls an egg each) and then to come back to relatively nice weather in the UK.  Nice enough for the girls to take advantage of the garden.

The day after our holiday mainly consisted of me putting things into the washing machine, taking them out and putting them into the tumble dryer, taking them out and popping them into the airing cupboard. Interspersed with planting all my pots outside with geraniums. This spree was motivated by the fact that we have joined 'adopt a pot' at her school whereby parents get a plant pot (in our case she chose a bright pink one) and plant it with whatever we want, then tend it at school and bring it home in the summer months to take care of too.  This is a nice way for the school to have lots of flowers around to brighten up the play areas more. I like the idea but, of course, I had done nothing about it before we went away so it was a quick dash to Squires to get some earth and plants and away I went.  Not a bad distraction for a day.

The next day, Friday, the girls went round a friends for a play date and then we went to TGI Fridays for lunch to kind of finish off the week nicely.  J and I managed a whole rack of Jack Daniels ribs each and the girls had crispy chicken strips.  Very nice it was too.  All washed down with the most fabulous milkshakes.  I just needed a lay down (and to undo the button on my jeans!) when we finished.  

Saturday was a party for N - although I'm not sure why I bothered as she didn't really want to join in the play, with the exception of 5 minutes on the bouncy castle, and didn't want the party food so we even left before they sang happy birthday and not even a party bag to show for it - and then over to see the outlaws for a few hours.  Very pleasant.

Sunday mainly consisted of ironing all the things in my very full airing cupboard, while the girls played outside in the garden.  I also did a bit more DJing (ok, putting together a playlist) for our big party at the end of the year.  It was a lovely day just relaxing and fiddling about.

Today, I should officially be back at study/work but it's S's inset day so we've got some friends coming over at 11 and will be baking a few cakes before they do in a minute.  Tomorrow will be all systems go again and I'm glad that the Dadinator is off tomorrow as N is not back to school until next week but I have so much to do I'll need him to be the distractor *grin*

I hope you had a lovely break too.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Tunisian Geocache

Got my first (and probably last) geocache in Tunisia when we were on holiday there last week.  Before going on holiday, naturally I had a quick peep to see if any geocaches were local.  Hooray, quite a few were. On investigating further, it seems some are being logged even after reviewers were putting them as disabled. I didn't want to do that as it just doesn't seem right so I wanted to find a 'proper' one not too far away.

Villa Sebastian at Hammamet seemed ideal. The cache had been muggled a few times so now it was sending the answer to the cache owner relating to a statue in the grounds.  A good excuse for a few hours out of the hotel too.

We arrived by taxi and arranged for them to pick us up about an hour later.  Paid our 5DT to get in plus an additional 1DT for a drink at the villa itself and walked on up the path.  The villa was quite quirky.  It seems a little run down now and dated but then I had to remind myself it was built in the 1920s and was the height of luxury at that time.  It had been used by many artists to paint and design in peace and quiet.  It was also used by Churchill when he was writing his memoirs and by Rommel too (although clearly not at the same time!) so the curator told us.  Yes, there was a curator who showed us around and also took us to Sebastian's private quarters upstairs and then said we needed to pay him for his services.  Not sure that would catch on at our museums and places of interest. Fortunately I had 2DT (about 70p) on me so I gave him that!

We walked round the path and found the geocache, noting down the details to send to the CO.  Yay! A Tunisian geocache for me and a nice visit for my personal TB.

We had a walk around the gardens and through the citrus trees and then back to the house for a quick lemonade made with real lemons from the garden before heading back to the taxis.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Tunisian Holiday

We have just come back from our first holiday in 3 years. We decided to try Tunisia as we had never been there. Of course we were a little worried after the recent events (see this post) but we went ahead anyway and glad we did.

The people are very friendly.  Odd to see armed police on the streets but strangely comforting too.  I enjoyed bartering at the medina and shops, and walking around the resort. I call it a 'resort' but it is a little more limited than perhaps we are used to in Europe. Great to see that cultural difference though.

I did a review on TripAdvisor about the hotel and you can read all about it here.  Here are a few pictures from our time there.

View from our room to the Marina

The pool area

Pirate ships...arrrr

Belly dancer

The Pool

Moon in the afternoon

J and I

Walls of the Medina at Hammamet

Blue mermaids at Hammamet


The beach

Fun at the edge of the pool (it was freezing!)

Palm and blue sky

Hannabal at the entrance to the local medina

Girls at Villa Sebastian

Villa Sebastian architecture

Wild tortoise walking down the pavement

Lobby of the hotel

J doing well at archery

Bird of Paradise flower

One of the animation team with S's hedgehog toy


S, J and N - 3 sisters and lights of my life!

Saturday, 21 March 2015

The Tooth Fairy is coming

S lost her first tooth today.  It's been wobbly for near on 4 weeks.  She wouldn't wobble it.  Unbelievable I know!  I remember when I was a child I almost pulled my teeth out so not even wanting to wobble one seems bizarre to me - and she's my daughter.

Anyway, it was at such an odd angle this morning and making her feel a bit sick that I told her to give it a good wobble, which, amazingly, she did.  She got dressed and brushed her teeth. That's when we heard the shout.  Her tooth had gone down the plughole of the bathroom sink!  I said not to worry as the tooth fairy knows she's lost her first tooth but hubby was not going to be deterred by this and got on with some instant plumbing.  She wanted to keep her first tooth you see and has written a lovely letter to the Tooth Fairy to ask if she can and she did her a little picture too.

She is the 2nd to last child in her class to lose a tooth and the same in her year.  The only one left is her little friend who is almost a year younger.  I said well done to her. Must mean she's a super tooth cleaner *grin*

I understand the going rate is £1 per tooth, but £2 for a first one. I only have £1 in change I've just realised so she may end up getting £5 for her first tooth...

Friday, 20 March 2015

Tunisian Holiday

We are all due to go on our first holiday abroad in 3 years in the next Tunisia.  Yeah, I know.

I feel for the country with what has happened in Tunis on Wednesday (see here).  There is a natural panic. I had that sense of dread about the holiday and for a while I said to hubby that we should just not go and sod the money we've spent, but then I began to think about it more logically.

Tunisia is heavily reliant on tourism for the economy.  Cruise ships have already decided not to dock there at present and some countries have removed their citizens. The Foreign Office in the UK says it is safe to travel to coastal resorts but to be aware of what is going on and only use recognised tour companies internally.  Many holiday firms have therefore suspended their tours to Tunis and surrounding areas.  Sensible.  We, ourselves, have decided not to risk going on excursions that we had considered as heading off to tourist 'hot spots' may not be the wisest idea.

However, we don't want to end up confined to our hotel either.  It seems an awful shame to visit such a different country and not see any of it so we will probably look around the Medinas and visit some local markets although we may not venture as far out as we would normally have done.  Security will be heightened.  Probably the safest time to go.  A bit like flights becoming far safer after 9/11 - no more cock-pit chats with the flight crew while sitting in the jump seat - yes, I did that quite a few times as a passenger before that fateful day.

My worry, beyond anything, was for our children.  As adults, we can put ourselves at risk but should we do this to our children?  How big a risk is it?  Is it any worse than going into central London for a day out?  Nobody knows the answer but ultimately, we decided that unless anything else happens and something changes, we will be heading off to Tunisia to have a lovely, relaxing holiday enjoying the pool, food and sunshine that the resort offers.

I hope that the country settles as they have done so well since Arab Spring.  I'm sure the Tunisians also hope that we support them as the world did France recently after the attacks there.