Monday, 6 July 2015

The end of nursery

N has been going to nursery for 3 days per week for the past two years. She goes to a Prep School nursery which I have been very pleased with.  I like the fact that she has got used to a school type curriculum with changing for PE, playing games, dance and having lunch in a big school hall with all the other girls.  

It's all about to come to an end though.  She finishes at her current school on Wednesday and today, in her little bookbag, was a lovely CD from the teachers in the nursery part of the school full of pictures of her during her time there.  It has made me feel quite emotional.

It is such a wonderful memento of her time there and I know she's had a fabulous start and is very excited about joining S in primary school.  I also am looking forward to being able to walk both girls to school and not having to do a separate school run in the car for N anymore.  But...I'm going to miss the school, the uniform, the nice little ways they have with the girls and the gentle environment.

She is growing up too quickly.  I know she will do well and settle in fine at her new school as she's already had some introduction days and she knows it well from S, but it's with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to her current one.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Wisley Wonderland

It's not quite as bizarre as heading down the rabbit hole, but we saw signs of Wonderland all over RHS Wisley today during our walk.  There are some wonderful sculptures on loan to the garden (so say the plaques) for the whole of summer and so we headed off to see who we could find.
Strange mushrooms were growing and a white rabbit was worried he was late.
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The garden suddenly seemed all calm and normal again so we carried on our walk, wondering if we'd find anyone else.
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Look!  A dodo!  You don't see many of those and then who else did we spot but Alice. But what was she looking at?

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The Cheshire Cat up a tree. It took us a moment to notice him just as some other garden visitors pointed him out.

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The Hare, Doormouse and Mad Hatter were still enjoying their tea party although my girls pointed out they seemed to have holes in their cups as their drinks were spilling everywhere.

Another white rabbit said goodbye to us as we headed off.  No Queen of Hearts or Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-Dee?  I'm sure they must be around somewhere. We'll find them next time.

Anyone for tennis on the way out?  A good sized court for the girls.  Shall we bring rackets next visit?

Of course, no visit to Wisley is complete without a gorgeous ice cream to finish off the day (with a flake naturally).  
There is a lot going on at RHS Wisley this summer so see the flyer for details. You can follow Wonderland trail and try out flamingo croquet on the lawn in the school summer holidays.  We are looking forward to our next Wonderland day.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Speech Day

N's school hold a Speech Day at the end of the summer term.  This is the day to say goodbye to Year 6 and to hand out cups, awards, trophies and certificates to girls from every year of the school.  Sounds fun doesn't it.  It's not.  Sadly, as these things go, it is a long time sitting on rather uncomfortable seats waiting for your daughter to be presented with whatever it may be and then just endless clapping other girls you don't know or, quite frankly, give much of a fig about.

I'm sure it's very exciting for Year 6 parents as their daughters traipse up and down repeatedly picking up this award and that cup, but for the rest of us, it's about as exciting as watching paint dry.

Being presented with her bear
Of course, the most exciting bit today was seeing N pick up her school teddy bear.  Poor S and I had to sit in a marquee for 2 1/2 hours to see this little moment.

Proud little lady
S was brilliant and so patient, only asking for the last hour how much longer it would be. I, however, was contemplating pretending to faint/be pregnant/have a panic attack...pretty much anything to get out of that marquee and the heat.  Fortunately I braved it out so as not to be outdone by my 6 year old who was being so good, quiet and still. My bum was numb at the end of it.  Who designs these chairs?

Once it was all over, there are nice nibbles, tea, drinks, etc afterwards for another hour.  We did think about stopping but then by the time I'd picked up N from her classroom and given the hall a passing glance and seen the queues for things, I decided quickly that home was the best option now.  Away we went (as did many other parents immediately the speech part ended) and enjoyed the rest of the day in the garden, with the girls splashing about in their paddling pool.  Both very happy with their teddies.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Just a little bit more

Because I decided I'm not busy enough....clearly.  I recently applied for, and I'm delighted to say got, a part-time job at university.  This is really exciting for me as it's great to be in a 'workplace' again mixing with other people (heaven knows a PhD can be a lonely business) but also because I am now *officially* a member of university staff.  I love having a staff email account and, naturally, have also applied for a staff parking permit (well, it would be rude not to wouldn't it).

Just to recap in case anyone ever asks "What did you get up to today?", this will be my response:

I am mum to 3 beautiful girls (which also makes me a qualified referee)
I am a full-time PhD student
I am a part-time member of the university staff
I am an independent recruitment consultant
I am a tutor in schools within low participation areas

So don't knock it if you see me with my feet up, relaxing in the garden. It won't happen too much.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Dear Courier Company...You have annoyed me

When you are delivering a package to me, please ensure that you ring my doorbell once.  Just the once will do you see. I am not deaf.  Your delivery is not a matter of life and death.

This is an increasing irritation to me and is something that seems to be happening now every time I get a bloody delivery.

It goes something like this:


All in the space of less than 10 seconds.  You see, I think that someone has collapsed in the street and you are racing for my attention to see if I can help with CPR as it's an emergency.

Instead I am greeted - today - by a UPS delivery driver asking me to sign for a neighbours parcel.  I raced downstairs wondering what the hell had happened and what the emergency was at my front door from all the banging and doorbell ringing, and it was just some knob of a courier who wanted me to sign for some shit for someone else.  It wasn't even my fucking parcel!

So, the next time you do this, I will shout out of my bedroom window to see what you want and tell you to ring the doorbell once only.  If the package isn't for me - fuck off!

Monday, 22 June 2015

No feedback on eBay?

What is going on?  Ebay is built on buyer and seller feedback but I'm seeing a new trend.  It seems that many sellers just aren't bothering to leave feedback for their buyers.  Some it seems have been regularly selling for years and yet the last feedback they've left their buyers was from over a year ago but still buyers are leaving feedback for these people. This irks me.

When I sell an item, I leave my buyers feedback immediately.  After all, they have made a purchase from me and paid promptly. Why should I withhold feedback from these people?  So, to me it is simple. You have bought. You have paid. You shall receive feedback (a bit Knight's Tale there huh?).

However, as a buyer it's a different story completely.  It seems I need to (a) leave feedback before I receive it or (b) not get any feedback from a lazy-arse seller even if I have left them some.

I have therefore made a decision.  If feedback is so bloody important to sellers, then leave me, your buyer, feedback as soon as you can after I've paid.  That way I will happily give you feedback. No feedback from you, no feedback from me - unless it's negative as I'll happily give you that if you've tried to rip me off or sent me shoddy goods!

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Pirbright Scarecrow Festival

Today we headed up to the Pirbright Scarecrow Festival.  We'd seen Humpty Dumpty a few weeks before so the girls were looking forward to it. We decided to get there at 10.30am even though it didn't open until 11 officially and I'm glad we did.  It was already getting busy.  Well organised and plenty of free parking available.  We were going to pick up a geocache at the church as we went past but then realised that the location was where the Cadets had left their rucksacks - probably not ideal to start rummaging around their equipment!
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The scarecrows were lovely and the girls really enjoyed seeing them. They spotted that Bo Peep's sheep were scattered around but I suggested we left them like that and they were having fun spotting them all hiding.
We then headed to the pony rides and the girls had their first ever ride on a horse.  They were both a little bit nervous beforehand and each wanted the tiniest ponies there were. When it came to it though, they picked quite big ones.  Did they enjoy it? Yes, it was brilliant and the people doing it were excellent with them. N had 3 girls with her as she was a bit tiny on the horse and one was holding on gently to her top (the girl very sweetly asked if it was ok to do this before they set off).  S was looking a bit anxious as she sat on her horse but was soon all smiles.
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We then headed over to the bouncy slide where we paid for 3 slides for £2.  However, it was quiet and the chap running it said they could just carry on having goes.  They must have had about 30 goes in the end!  Chips followed along with poor old hubby getting a burger then having to go back to the stand to ask for two buns with no burger for the girls.  An odd request but kindly granted (he gave them £1 for them anyway).
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Having eaten, we looked around the stands where hubby spotted a Jam CD that he was after. A quick check on Amazon revealed it was very well priced so we grabbed it and headed off for the usual tombola and lucky dips.  The 'hook-a-frog' was so sweet for little ones with a guaranteed win for your 50p which delighted N and S too.  Now everyone had a prize as hubby had won a couple of bottles of drink too, although I'm not sure that he really will drink chocolate liqueur no matter how many times he tells me he drank it before in his youth.
Finally an ice cream to round off the day and we headed back.  
But first the girls picked up some of Bo Peep's sheep as other people were now doing this too.  Bo seemed to have all her sheep back by the time we left.
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On leaving the car park we were told to turn left and keep going. At the junction I turned left again.  15 minutes later we arrived back to almost where we had started having visited Mychett, Ash and Worplesdon on our way!  A great few hours out despite the odd few minor showers of rain.