Saturday, October 27, 2007

Earth-shattering News!

To my amazement, the boys have just polished off a bowl of home-made Scotch broth (that's a handful of dried pulses, soaked, then cooked in chicken stock with carrot, onion, celery, garlic and herbs), and declared it delicious. They've decided they must have consumed at least three helpings of their "five a day" fruit and veg by now.

I was dumbfounded. I haven't seen a child eat vegetable soup for at least thirteen years! That's when I last put it in front of Cello-Kid before I admitted defeat.

SuperSpouse's old Aunt May would have been so happy to see the day. For years, she'd demand, "Isn't that boy eating vegetable soup yet? Why, he used to eat my vegetable soup when he was still a baby!" And indeed he did. It was just as he moved towards toddlerdom that Cello-Kid clamped his lips firmly shut and refused anything other than dairy or carbohydrates. We consulted the health visitors and doctors, but no-one seemed particularly bothered, so eventually we relaxed, and exclaimed with amazement as the childminder patiently introduced fishfingers, burgers and sausages into his diet. Admittedly, things have got a lot better since his pre-school days. He's now a big fourteen-year old, and - as you see - eats just about anything put in front of him.

If anyone reading this blog has a fussy eater in their family, then please - be reassured. I'm sure there's a Biblical saying about "everything cometh to him who waits." And in time, kids learn to eat normal food. See?!

Image from, with thanks. (There's a recipe there, if you're interested.)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Knowing I was cooking for a dinner party last night, I bought a new chopping knife. (Okay, I'm the last of the big spenders, but I haven't bought a new one for years and years ...)

It's very sharp. I sliced the top of my right thumb. Got through several Elastoplasts by the time I'd finished cooking. With a sigh, I drained the vegetables for our main course, and ...

OWCH!!! I was holding a plastic sieve in my right hand, and somehow must have lost my grip because I wasn't using my thumb normally. I poured a pan of boiling water over three more fingers on that hand. I held it under cold running water. Wrapped it in a cloth-covered ice-pack. One of our guests carved the lamb for me. And when we finished the meal, I sat with my hand in cold water for the rest of the evening.

Maybe I should insure my hands? I was bothered how I'd play the organ this morning, but my emergency measures must have done the trick - I can barely tell that anything happened to the scalded fingers. The sixth plaster on my thumb was a blooming nusiance, though ...
Hot water image from

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I sat my exam for the IOSH Certificate in Managing Safely, today. I'm told I passed. I don't yet know if I passed the project which forms the other part of the assessment.

So now, Pseudosupermum is shattered. I got up at 6.10 this morning so I could take a coffee back to bed and revise. Took the two younger boys to the childminder before going to work myself - it's their mid-term break.

After tea, I took the younger boys to the swimming baths. Remember last Wednesday and the fire-engine outside? Tonight, it was different baths and a different emergency. We got there, got changed, and went to the pool only to find everyone standing beside the water in semi-darkness. They'd had the second lighting failure of the day, only this one was at night so there was only the emergency lighting to go on. I'd have found that quite restful to swim by, but I can appreciate that you can't let kids swim in semi-darkness in case there's an emergency that you don't notice. We waited until the lights came back on again and swam for half an hour.

Half an hour doesn't make much difference to your Weight Watchers activity points, I can tell you. Why, even 45 minutes only amounts to one Danone Activa yogurt! Measly, isn't it?!

SuperSpouse and Cello-Kid are back from their trip to Hitchin to collect a Benslow Music Trust cello. They're twice as tired as me!

Once the boys are in bed I can have a bath and get to bed myself - I can hardly wait!

Images thanks to :// and - NOT a picture of me!

Monday, October 15, 2007

I'm in disgrace. I gained half a pound. And I'm not having a good night! To add to the ignominy of having put weight back on, I have the challenge of revising for a Health and Safety Exam. It is 10.46 pm and I am DETERMINED to get to bed by 11.30 pm. Better get back to my books ...

... a "safe system of work" for me would definitely be away from computers, because it's all too easy to be distracted by them ...

Image thanks to

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Words fail me

I've rushed around all weekend. Parental taxi-driver, delivery service, Cook, Laundry-woman (remember Toad of Toad Hall?) ...

However, we also went swimming yesterday, and had a wonderful and appreciative guest to lunch today - an inspirational student with such a positive attitude that she simply can't fail to do well.

All that remains is for me to revise all this Health and Safety stuff for my course tomorrow. I've downloaded loads of leaflets. Now to finish my own handy notes.

Tomorrow, all hell lets loose. SuperSpouse and Cello-Kid are off to England. I have to take the younger two boys to the childminder (in one direction) before I go to work (in the opposite direction). And I absolutely must not be late, so we'll have to go out very early indeed. It's a shame, but there you go. If I'm on a course, I can't take annual leave, so there's no choice this time. I hope it'll be fine enough for the boys to be able to play out in the childminder's garden...

Friday, October 12, 2007

Pseudo Supermum turns Pseudo Single Mum for the weekend!

I seem to have been abandoned. SuperSpouse is out for his monthly enthusiasts' meeting this evening. He's working tomorrow morning, out with the guys tomorrow afternoon, and out to an enthusiasts' fayre on Sunday afternoon.

So much for me being slim (well, slimmer) and gorgeous at home!

Ah well - since getting home from work, I've been to Toys 'R' Us, ferried two boys to Boys' Brigade, been to buy boots (for me) and trainers (for Saxophone Kid), been back to collect the other two, home again, AND done most of SuperSpouse's ironing. My halo is growing heavy.

Saturday? Only a guitar lesson and a birthday party to fit in. I might manage a trip to the baths, but I also have to revise for my Health and Safety exam next week. Who mentioned my own research? Can't see when I'll have time for it!

Say a prayer for my Dad. He fell/ fainted early this morning and has been under the weather all day. There are times when being 450 miles away is not good. I can't be as supportive as I'd like to my mother, whose birthday it is tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Rejoice! I've lost a stone in five weeks. So, after Weigh-In at Weight Watchers on Monday, I skipped the meeting and went swimming.

I tried to go swimming again with Viola Kid this evening. We took Ocarina-Kid (aka Saxophone Kid, as from tomorrow) to Boys' Brigade, then headed for the pool. It seemed a good idea at the time.

There was a fire-engine there, lights a-flashing, and everyone was standing outside on the forecourt. We didn't think we'd be welcomed with open arms, so turned round and came home instead. Evidently, I wasn't meant to exercise this evening!

Tomorrow evening there will be loud sounds in Bearsden - it's time for the first saxophone lesson! There's great excitement in our house, I can tell you. Listen carefully - you might yet hear him!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Weight Watchers urges more exercise ... so I start walking more. Then the physio tells me that whilst more walking won't actually hurt my heel, it will certainly slow down its recovery. Huh!

I did swim 33 lengths on Tuesday evening. Impressive, huh? Well, I did 20 lengths, had a little rest, did another ten, and then another three. I surprised myself. The trouble is, it is more difficult fitting in a trip to the baths, than it is to walk an extra fifteen minutes before work!

What a weekend we've had. We had a major crime incident at the end of our street on Friday night. Mob violence. Not a douce suburb!

Things looked up on Saturday - Ocarina Kid went off on a sponsored walk and came back to find I had bought him a saxophone and fixed up his first lesson! He was so excited. He's waited two years for this moment.

Then came SuperSpouse's choral concert last night. I was accompanist - I didn't get much time to look at the music that the choir was singing, but I only got the music from the second soloist, HALF AN HOUR before the concert. I sightread it. Or should we say, it was a combination of sightreading and busking. I still don't know how one of the songs goes.

Today, we had the 50th Centenary Service of the church where I am organist and choir trainer. A good time was had by all. Not many organists play "Raiders of the Lost Ark" as an outgoing voluntary ...

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Weight Watchers urges us to take more exercise.

I started walking the extra subway stop to work last week. (I now get off at St George's Cross, not Cowcaddens.)

This evening, I excelled myself - I took the boys swimming. Unbelievably, I did 33 lengths. (That's 20 without stopping, then 10, then another 3.) Hope I'm not too tired in the morning.

Despite all that water, I'm about to go and have a bath - I deserve bubbles after all that chlorinated exercise!

I finished reading someone else's thesis last night. Tomorrow - with any luck - I'll start back in on my chapter again. No excuses now - I know as much about George Thomson's Scottish folk songs as anyone not specialising in George Thomson needs to know - and that means I can write a few paragraphs about him without making any idiotic mistakes!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Shrinking violet

In total, I've lost 10.5 lb in a month! When I realised this is ALMOST two bags of potatoes (2.5 kg or 5.5 lb a bag), I was quite impressed with myself. That's a lot of extra weight to have been carrying. But I'm not done yet!

Now then, although this is a great achievement, I have yet to achieve something even bigger tonight. I need a room for the night in Strathpeffer (preferably) or Dingwall (at a pinch) in a couple of weeks' time - but there was "no room at the inn" at the first place I emailed last night...

Here goes ...