Friday, 27 September 2013

Knitting Fridays

The jumper is finished, well nearly finished - all the loose ends to sort out but more importantly - IT FITS!!!

Bonfire Jumper
Now its time for the leg warmers!  I've never made any before, I had a play last winter with some circular needles, and knitting 'in the round' (is that even a thing?), but without a pattern I didn't have much success.  Luckily my mother has dug out a pattern from 1983 and with a week to go I have decided to knit both at the same time!
Leg warmers

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Little Owl @ 17 Months

10 - and didn't we know about that last tooth!  There is now 3 on the bottom, not looking forward to its partner making an appearance!

28 - new signs this month are Horse, Cat, Thank you, Share (although doubt she understands what this means), Book, Where, Pick up, Duck, Bird and Sock.
No new words this month as such but Little Owl often says "where mumma is?" to anyone who will listen if I go out of sight!  However, she isn't fussy as I have heard her say the same about Papa Owl!

New things this month
  •  Shoes have really made this baby a toddler!  Its lovely to walk with Little Owl when we are out and about, watching her explore the world anew!  Although, stopping her picking up everything she sees is becoming a challenge!
  • Drawing - I'm having to hide all the pens in the house!  Luckily most of the ones lurking around have retractable tips!  But one thing is becoming more apparent - we're pretty sure Little Owl is going to take after her mum and be a lefty!

Monday, 23 September 2013

Save the Boy

Let me set the scene.  I'm sat cuddled on the sofa with Clyde cat watching the telly and doing some knitting.  Papa Owl is out and Little Owl is tucked up in bed. 
To be honest, I'm only half watching the telly but something catches my eye, a boy is climbing a tree whilst his dad is on his mobile.  Something happens, the boy, wearing a bright yellow t-shirt falls from the tree.  He is hurt, really hurt.  The Dad doesn't know what to do.  All of this is intercut with scenes of a lady doing the washing up, the narrator tells us she has first aid training with St John's Ambulance and it looks like she is going out to save the boy... she doesn't, she is somewhere else.  The advert finishes with the Dad helplessly holding the apparently lifeless body of his son.
You can see the advert for yourself here.
I hate it.
I could cry.
They had gone to town with the makeup on the little boy, dark dark eyes and dark blood coming from his mouth.
I hate it.
Why couldn't the boy be rescued? 
I can't shake the image of him lying there.
It makes me want to never let Little Owl climb trees, to wrap her in cotton wool and protect her for ever.  Papa Owl wouldn't be happy about that.
It doesn't make me want to do first aid.
I'm going to put that into context.  I first learnt First Aid as a Guide aged 11.  My Guide Leader took it very seriously, with Red Cross volunteers coming in to teach us the syllabus over several weeks and then back to test us afterwards.  Not everyone passed first time, but we got the chance to re-take.  This was repeated every two years to keep us fresh. 
I have kept up my First Aid knowledge since then, either with basic one day courses or with fuller Mountain First Aid courses where you work on the basis that you are in an isolated location, the ambulance will not be turning up within 7 minutes and the casualty is therefore your responsibility. 
So its not that I'm squeamish and want to avoid facing up to first aid.
Papa Owl and I are the kind of people to stop at road accidents (or road traffic incidents to use the  correct term) and get our hands dirty (cos you never have gloves on you when you need them) until the ambulance arrives.  We know what to do, we know what information to pass to the ambulance.
I'm passionate about First Aid being taught in schools.  I've invited St John's volunteers into schools to deliver sessions to the kids, and whenever I can, I have taught it to school children using both St John's and Red Cross resources. 
Kids are the best at first aid, especially little ones.   They don't panic.  They are used to being taught rules and follow them without question.  There are numerous stories of kids saving lives whilst adults have looked on helplessly.
But that advert was horrid.
The boy was left to die.
I hate it.
I went onto Twitter to share my feelings (its apparently what you do on there) and found myself on the St John's Ambulance profile.  I followed the link through to their website but couldn't bring myself to watch the advert again. 
They do however have a follow up to the advert.  The narrator talks the Dad through DR ABC (if you don't know what that is then read this) and you follow him through the process until the boy is loaded into the ambulance.  Apart from one breath you see him take, he might be dead.
I feel awful. 
I know the point of the advert is to shock people and it does.  It makes people talk about it - I am now and you are reading, but does it make people learn first aid? 
I don't see how.
I don't see that the boy needed to be so injured (but if you go to the website you will find that he is still breathing when the Dad checks).
There is some good information on the website - but how many will check?
Could that information not be part of the advert?
Could they not run a series of adverts teaching first aid rather that giving people nightmares?
Start slowly with burns, small cuts and nose bleeds.  Make people feel comfortable with first aid.  Empower them.  Build slowly and give them confidence.  Get them on side, and entice them to want to learn more.
Don't horrify them.
Don't make parents even more paranoid about letting their children explore.
The advert is the stuff of nightmares.  People will talk about it, its sure to get press coverage, but will it help?

I hope so but I doubt it will.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Knitting Fridays

With two weeks to go until this jumper needs to be worn, the front and back are finished and I am on the first sleeve, will I get it done in time and make a pair of leg warmers to go with it?
Bonfire jumper, week 3
Still haven't found a stitch holder so everything is on the needles, had a great suggestion last week in my comments that I should put it all on one thread, but I just haven't had the confidence to do so!  Luckily its only a small jumper... hope it fits Little Owl through to Christmas!

Thursday, 19 September 2013

FoS Gathering 2013

The Friends of Sangam gatherings are designed to remind you of why you love Sangam.  They do so in many ways...

After a 6 hour journey (which should have been 4), in the pouring rain with a tired, hungry and screaming toddler in the back for the last hour, the sat nav directing me down a 'road' (or bridleway) which had a sign saying no cars, I'm beginning to loose my nerve on whether I had entered the right post code for the venue I am heading for...

When the sat nav tells me I am near my location and I spot the Friends of Sangam banner I briefly think to myself that never before have I been so relieved to see the Sangam sign... but this isn't true...

Eleven years ago, near enough to the day, I arrived in India.  This wasn't a trip that had been planned for months, in fact it wasn't even a month from being told I was heading to India and getting on that plane, and I was in Mexico at the time.  Ten days back in the UK was long enough to book a flight, get a visa and any jabs I needed, but not to look into finer details of the trip. Anyway, I digress...

I arrived in India having taken full advantage of the drinks on my flight and was beginning to feel a little hungover... I clocked a man with a sign containing my name and said "Sangam". He wobbled his head, turn around and walked off.  I tried to keep up with him and he led me to his car.  Mumbai by night is pretty full on at the best of times, but during Ganapati the darkness is sometimes replaced by a shrine to the pink elephant god - I began to wonder how much I had had to drink...

Actually, I was no longer sure that the driver of my taxi was the same man who had held the sign with my name... figuring there was nothing I could do, I wrapped my arms through the straps of my rucksack and fell asleep.

It was daylight when I woke, and I noticed that we were no longer moving. I opened my eyes to see where I was and I saw a man with a GUN! Before I had time to think, the door opened and the driver got back in the car (where had he been?) and we continued on our way.

Looking back, I think we must have been at a toll booth on the Mumbai-Pune highway.  I sat in the back on the taxi, eyes wide open taking in all the sights (I can remember seeing girls walking to school in their blue dresses and red ribbons at the end of their plaits, and women in saris carrying pots on their heads). The longer we drove, the more I worried that I hadn't got in the right taxi.  I hadn't taken my mobile with me so there really was nothing I could do.

Eventually, driving along quite a busy road, the driver pulled over and stopped to open a gate, and there on the gate was the Sangam logo and the World Trefoil, truly the relief was overwhelming!

Back to 2013, the UK and my arrival at the Elim Centre near Worcester.  Although it felt like the middle of the night it was in fact not yet 7 o'clock and that meant we were in time for dinner. We were rushed upstairs to the restaurant where we were greeted by a sea of faces, all women, dressed in a mixture of western and Indian dress (although the western had a slight tendency to blue t-shirts and fleeces).  Many of the faces were familiar, some from that first trip to India 11 years ago, others from subsequent trips and more still from these annual gatherings in the UK. Finally I could relax, I was surrounded by friends, and Little Owl couldn't be happier, she had a plate full of food and a room full of people to entertain!

The gatherings are held in a different place every year, September has seen me travel to Northumberland, Isle of Wight, Peak District, Edinburgh, Lancaster and York. Always a bit of a challenge on a Friday evening after work! I have been lucky since having Little Owl that I have been able to make the journeys during the day.

Despite the different locations, the programme for the weekend follows a familiar pattern.  There are meetings for the trustees, the AGM with a letter (email) from the World Centre Manager (we had hoped for a live Skype message this year but it wasn't to be), a vast amount of children turning up expecting to be entertained and the Indian meal for which we all put on our finest Indian clothing. This year we even had entertainment from the local guides!

The arrival of 100 Brownies and Guides used to take me by surprise but I now expect it.  The same would happen at Sangam, you would be quietly sat working at your desk when 100 Bharat Scouts and Guides from Mumbai would turn up for a tour round Sangam.  You would think with a 5 hour drive that they would call ahead!

The Brownies and Guides at the Elim Centre got more then just an Indian Experience.  Long before the Elim Church took over the building, it had been a girls boarding school where the two Baden-Powell daughters had attended.  Lord Baden-Powell once went to visit his daughters and stayed overnight.  
He chose this 'shelter' in the grounds which seems rather odd but then you must remember he was terribly famous and staying in a building full of girls might not have been such a good idea.  Besides, he loved to sleep outdoors.  He always chose to sleep on the veranda at their Hampshire home Pax Hill (its a wonder they had any children) and whenever he was at Foxlease in the New Forrest he would sleep on the balcony.

Little Owl, exhausted by the journey and all the excitement of the morning had a two hour nap after lunch (why does she not do this at home?) and so we missed most of the fun with the Brownies and Guides but this is what we saw:
The Indian meal is always a highlight of the weekend.  Its a chance if you haven't  done so already to wear your Indian clothes.  I decided that a Sari wasn't practical with Little Owl tugging at me so borrowed a pretty blue Punjabi Suit from my mother.  Little Owl was lucky to have been given a beautiful outfit as a gift earlier this year so we were all set.

At Sangam, the Maharashtrian dinner is also the highlight of the event.  By then the tailor would have returned all the saris and blouses, and the afternoon is spent in preparation, getting mehendi and learning how to tie the sari.

Once dressed, photos are taken before entering the dining room where all tables and chairs have been removed and you take your place on a mat on the floor.  Dinner is served on a plate made from banana leaves and the food is wonderful.  
After dinner there is some entertainment, which could be a professional dancer performing a traditional dance with amazing skill, or the local guides showing you their best moves to the latest Bollywood hits. Each is equally good.

Sundays at the gathering, are a mixed day.  In the morning there is another trustees meeting to welcome the new trustees elected at the AGM, and plans are made for the year ahead.  Other guests head out to explore the local area.  We all come together for lunch before heading off home.

Another year, another gathering.  See you all next year at Waddow!

***Friends of Sangam UK is a UK charity which raises funds and supports Sangam World Centre, one of the four world centres belonging to WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts) ***

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

We went to the Zoo Zoo Zoo...

As a final treat for the summer holidays we took Little Owl to London Zoo.  Neither Papa Owl or I had been before and were quite excited!
The first challenge was to get there - the website suggested we caught the tube to Camden Town so that's just what we did.  I knew it was a 15 minute walk from the station but realised when I got there that I hadn't printed off the map!  Whoops! Not to worry, there was signs from inside the tube station all the way to the zoo!
We bought our tickets online the night before and took advantage of the Fast Track deal allowing us to skip the cues for an extra £2 per person.  With these tickets we walked straight in - perfect!
We arrived at lunchtime so headed straight for The Terrace Restaurant. There was a great choice of food available for both adults and children.  Little Owl opted for Chicken and Sweetcorn, Papa Owl had Burger and Chips (although it was a posh burger) and I had Thai Salmon and vegetables!  The food tasted delicious although it was a little on the cold side.  One nice touch that I really liked was that the condiments were readily available, you did not need to buy them extra and in doing their bit for the environment, they were in large containers rather than small throw away packets.  This was the same all over the zoo.


Finally it was time to see some animals!
We started off with the tigers at Papa Owls request, but Little Owl didn't really know what she was meant to be looking at until the tiger sat up and stretched just like Clyde cat!

The thing about going to a zoo with a toddler is that you spend rather more time looking at birds, butterflies and fish than I would usually chose to do!  I guess the big animals were just too sedate and far away for her to notice.

OK - so not all the birds were little!

The signs all over the park were good, letting you know all about the animals you are looking at.  I particularly liked knowing how 'at risk' each species is.
The signs for the nearest toilets were also useful!

The monkeys were very popular with Little Owl too!  The gibbons were playing a game of tag, taking turns on who was it!

Little Owl also took particular interest in London Zoo's Royal Baby!

  It was also exciting to get up close to the Black Capped Squirrel monkeys without having a barrier in between.

There were lots of places around the zoo where you could stop for a break, buy refreshments or where you could enjoy a picnic.

There was also plenty of places for children to play.

 There was lots of entertainment around the zoo apart from the animals.  Street performers entertained the crowds near the main entrance.
The flamingo ladies on stilts were lovely, taking lots of time to talk to Little Owl who was mesmerised by them!
I felt for the staff in the aquarium who were making shadow puppets with children as I thought they had a tough job in the semi-darkness, but the results were amazing!
But the thing I was most grateful for was the entertainers that were playing games with children on the grass.  It gave me the chance to sit down in the shade and Little Owl the chance to stretch her legs and wander freely.  Although Little Owl was a bit too small to join in, she was more then happy to watch, and to be honest - so was I.  I particularly liked the game of "pass the parent" where two volunteer adults were being wrapped up in newspaper... we left before they got to the point where they pass the parents round and unwrapped them when the music stopped!
As a big Harry Potter fan I was really excited to go to the reptile house where Harry released the snake in the Philosophers Stone.

In fact, a lot of the zoo looked familiar, not surprising when it is used so often as a back drop for film and TV.

All in all, we had a brilliant if exhausting day at London Zoo.  Little Owl was so interested in EVERYTHING that was happening that she refused to sleep while there... by the time we waved goodbye to the animals she was ready for bed! 

Monday, 16 September 2013

First Shoes

The final step from babyhood to toddlerhood has been taken with the arrival of Little Owl's first pair of proper shoes!

When little owl took her first steps way back in June we rushed down to the local shoe shops all excited, but with a small range in one shop and terrible customer service in the other, we walked away empty handed.

In hindsight this was quite fortunate as it was another 12 weeks before Little Owl really got the hang of this walking business and its best for little feet to be bare for as long as possible.

The hunt for shoes began again.  I started hunting the internet for local independent shoe shops but my searches kept leading back to Livie and Luca. I had come across Livie and Luca shoes right back at the beginning of the year from a review on another parenting blog.  Once you have seen their shoes you won't forget them!

Papa Owl was nervous about buying shoes over the internet but the lovely Natalie at Livie and Luca helped us measure Little Owls feet at home. The task sounded simple. Ask your toddler to stand on a sheet of paper and draw round their feet.

Hmmm... So easy when your toddler is new to this standing business and is immensely interested in what you are doing with a pen by her feet!
This was our attempt, I can assure you Little Owls feet are perfectly formed and its our drawing skills that are lacking!  Little Owl's feet measured 12cm in length.

Livie and Luca shoes are hand made  and come in American sizes. 12cm was equivalent to a US4 but only just. However Little Owl's feet would swim in a US5.  This is when Natalie made a very kind and generous offer - she would send us a pair of size 4s free so we could test them out for size.

The shoes arrived on Wednesday and I was so excited that I didn't even mind that the postman prematurely woke little Owl from her post swimming nap!

The shoes are beautiful! I can't explain how lovely they are to hold, how soft they feel and how flexible they appear.
But most importantly - they fit! Cinderella shall go to the ball!
There isn't much if any growing room length wise so I will have to keep an eye on that. I was worried the width would be too wide as I had read many reviews about how great these shoes are for wide fitting feet but the width is fine, especially with socks or tights now the weather has turned chilly. The Velcro adjustment on the shoe also helps with the width fitting helping to secure them in place.
But most importantly of all - what does Little Owl think?
She LOVES them!!! Its been a hard job convincing her to take them off before a bath or bedtime!

It really has been the last step in her transformation into toddlerhood.  Last night she walked from the car to our house, not needing to be picked up or even to hold my hand.  I felt a little sad for me at this transformation but also so proud and excited for her as her world now opens up!
These shoes were made for walking, and running, and dancing!

Friday, 13 September 2013

Knitting Fridays

So it looks like last weeks right?  Well this is the front and that was the back which you can see on the left as I haven't found a stitch holder yet!

I love knitting clothes for small people - they are so quick!  A bit of a whoops when I realised that I hadn't changed needles after finishing the rib, so its going to be a bit tighter than it should be but as long as it fits that doesn't matter!

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Oh boy!

Oh boy oh boy oh boy - I've got to teach boys!!!! Haven't done that since my trainee teacher days when there was always a 'proper' teacher in the room as backup!

What do I know about boys?

 Slugs and snails and puppy dogs tails!

That don't sound too good, I mean puppies are ok but the tails on their own? Bit goreish. Nothing nice about slugs, just nothing, especially when you are bare foot. Snails are ok I guess but still...

I'm used to girls...

 Sugar and spice and all things nice!

Actually - that doesn't sound like any girl I ever taught. Oh they were spicy alright! And most of them were quite nice. But sugar? Hmmmm.

So teachers and parents alike - what are your top tips for working with teenage boys?

Saturday, 7 September 2013

New beginings, one week on...

It was a huge decision to leave my old job after seven years, stepping out into the unknown, looking for a better work life balance.  I officially finished my old job on 31st August, over three months after I had handed in my notice.  Three months to plan, three months to worry, both a blessing and a curse.
Here I am now, 7th September, one week into my new life.
I've worked more this week then any week since I started my maternity leave!  Not exactly the work life balance I have been looking for.  A new job and INSET days have meant I have been in school four days this week.  The nerves and pressure that go with the beginning of term have meant this has been an exhausting week.  By the time I limped home on Friday, I had a banging headache, couldn't stand up straight and could barely open my eyes.  No such thing as a gentle start in teaching!
Little Owl has enjoyed spending time with her Grandparents, and has come home each day ready for bed, yawning her way through dinner and her bath - we even skipped the bath one night!  I have missed Little Owl so much this week, it really was hard leaving her on the first morning.  I could tell she was unsure of what was happening and while I know that she will be loved and looked after by Grandma Owl, I couldn't help feeling that I was abandoning her.  She's too young to understand that term has started and that I'll be back at the end of the day.  Six weeks is a long time when you are 16 months old to remember that its ok not to be with Mummy all day.  By Friday she was fine, quite happy to see her Grandma, and even more excited to see her Granddad!  Little Owl became Granddad's shadow, not leaving him alone, even sitting on his lap while he typed an email!
During the three months in the run up to this 'new start', I was also hunting for some work I could do at home.  After a slow start, I finally have some.  Of course this has happened at the same time I have got a 'proper' job, so today Papa Owl took Little Owl off for the day so I could do some of that work too.
So that's 5 days worked this week!
I'm tired but its an OK kind of tired. 
Think this term is going to be a long one...

Friday, 6 September 2013

Knitting Fridays

September marks the beginning of so many things and while the first two weeks are always glorious just as the kids and teachers go back to school, we all know that autumn isn't too far away.
Amongst other things, autumn is the start of the knitting season, and so I plan to post each Friday a picture of my latest knitting project. 
I have a few projects planned which I am quite excited about but the first project which is on a tight timescale is a Bonfire Jumper, which needs to be completed by 5th October!  Luckily this Bonfire Jumper is only for Little Owl so I stand a reasonable chance.
What's a Bonfire Jumper I hear you ask?  Well that's a story for another post!

Back of the Bonfire Jumper

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Where in the world...?

I love maps, and stats so to find that Blogger can tell me how many people are reading my blog and in which countries - I'm addicted!
So you can share in my excitement, I have listed all the countries my readers have been from:

Hong Kong
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
United States of America
I love to travel and have visited over half of these countries and have friends in many of them.  I like to try and figure out if I know who my readers are, or how they came to find my blog if I don't know them. 
I thought to celebrate The Laughing Owls being a whole month old, I would ask all you lovely readers to comment below, say hello and where you are from!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

No More Page 3

I hadn't intended this blog to be a political soap box but I guess it is inevitable to happen every now and then...

I've been vaguely aware that Girlguiding have been backing a campaign to put an end to the pictures of young women naked from the waist up appearing in national newspapers.  It is just the sort of thing I think Girlguiding should be involved in as representatives of the largest youth organisation for girls in the UK, but it wasn't something I felt overly passionate about.

Growing up I was only vaguely aware of these newspapers, they weren't the 'sort of newspaper we had in our house' and I'd always assumed it was 'other types' of people who read them.  I was shocked at aged 10 that my friend's dad did read 'those' papers - he was a Christian, went to church every week and yet he would buy newspapers with topless young girls in it.  It didn't make sense to me then, and it still doesn't now.

As a uni student on a male dominated course, lads mags were more common place than ladies, although I remember coming across a couple of copies of Marie Clare and Cosmopolitan at a Youth Hostel and being surprised how skinny the girls were compared to those in Loaded. Personally I thought the lads mags were giving us a better deal. I never felt I was being compared, why would I when those girls were all in their bikinis and I was in the virtually compulsory uniform of a geology student most recognised by fleeces and hiking books. However, I did received a great amount of attention one field trip when I announced that I had gone to school with Miss July!

A few weeks ago I found myself standing alone in a Chinese takeaway waiting for my dinner to be cooked.  On the counter there was a few newspapers and I started to read the front pages.  Wills and Kate had just named baby George, I knew this from Facebook but hadn't seen any actual news about it so continue to read, turned over the first page and couldn't avoid seeing Nicole, aged 20 from Bournemouth wearing a yellow thong and stood in such a way that her right breast was on full display.  I didn't want to see Nicole's bum or breast, I wanted to know about baby George.

I don't know why but I felt moved by this image of Nicole.  Possibly as I'm now a mother to a daughter of my own, this image would not be one I would like to see of her.  I think more than that though, I have taught girls who are now Nicole's age.  I have busted a gut to get them through their GCSEs with the hope of a bright future. I see many of them now, they work in the hospital, at children's centres, in shops and soft play centres, many are mothers themselves. I don't want to see these children naked even if they are technically adults now, 20 is still so young.
For this reason, and so many others, I have signed the petition.  Will you?

Dominic Mohan: Take The Bare Boobs Out Of The Sun

Monday, 2 September 2013

September, New Year, New Beginnings

In a household where both adults are teachers, September really is the start of the year.  Papa Owl will return to his job, but with new kids and new colleagues he isn't sure what the new year will bring.  And me, well I don't have a job to go back to, not yet, well not for sure.

This summer has been odd.  I left my job at the begging of the holidays without a job to go to. Initially I was reasonably hopefully about finding another job, but as time went on, nothing firm had been confirmed I realised this might not be quite as easy as I had thought...  August is dead as far as teaching jobs are concerned.

So this summer has been all about Papa Owl.  I am a lady of leisure (who does need work but we'll worry about that in September).  Little Owl has loved having both parents around, she has been totally spoilt!  It didn't take long until I could be heard saying things like "she's going to really miss her Daddy when he goes back to work".

And she is.  I'm looking at them now, all cuddled up in bed, almost mirroring each other.  They've had adventures a plenty, leaving Mummy at home they go off to the swings or down to the library (I've never taken Little Owl to the Library).  Papa Owl has gone to singing groups as well as to swimming, taking Little Owl of course.

He is the one to go to her first thing in the morning, usually changing her nappy before bringing her to see me (I will still be in the land of nod).  Little Owl has responded by perfecting her pronunciation of "Dada" even calling to him from the cot when she wakes.

Yes, Little Owl is going to miss her Dada.

I've spoken before about how I'm a little nervous about Papa Owl going back to work, getting used to doing everything myself again.  Part of the challenge is to organise the house.  We have been using the nappies straight from the line, although we rarely change Little Owl on the top floor, which has meant all summer one person would take Little Owl to the loo while the other got a nappy.  Not the most sensible but with all the changes that have been happening in the house, rooms having different purposes, it somehow has just drifted.

But that is not all. I have been secretly looking forward to having Little Owl all to myself again. Going on our little adventures, seeing friends or just having a lazy morning at home, whatever we get up to, sometimes knowing its just the two of us is great!

As September draws nearer, however, my mind has also begun to think about work.  Quietly working out how long I can live on the money I've got put by, 6 weeks perhaps if I'm careful with my spending, which gives me 6 weeks to try and earn some more money to stretch that a further.  Trying to work out in my head how much I could get from the working at home jobs I might have secured, could I hobble on to Christmas without a proper job?  Perhaps, but things would be tight, really tight.

These are the thoughts that are going through my head as September creeps closer.  Making contacts with various agencies as staff return from their holidays, making sure they remember me, are thinking of me when work comes in.  Its all pleasant chatter and lots of agreement, but nothing concrete is said.

There are bits of work that I can do from home, not long term, not for now, but I like the idea of these different projects that might build over time. A new career perhaps? But for now they won't pay the mortgage...

I start to console myself, there is still one pay cheque to come, I will probably be alright for another month, Little Owl and I will go walking, that's cheap and its exercise, we will plan each day, our own little adventures, it'll be alright.

Then BANG!

I get a phone call from an agency, wanting to confirm what I was after, yes only 3 days, yes they can be any days, no - not a long term job - not yet (although I'm beginning to loose my nerve on that one). She hangs up so she can ring the school back.

15 minutes go by.

Another call, yes they are interested, the head would like to speak to me, when? Now! I am transferred.  I'm talking to the head teacher at a school.  They need a maths teacher.  What age did I prefer? How about the disinterested I'm asked? Oh they're my favourite I reply!  They would like to see me. When? They start back Tuesday. Tuesday? No, its INSET they want me there for that! Monday? Yes Monday, for a chat. And Tuesday for INSET then we shall see after that.


I have a job? Possibly. Probably.

3 days a week, starting next week if all goes to plan.

My time with Little Owl is gone, snatched away from me before it even began.

Interview on Monday, work on Tuesday, possibly two more days next week too.  And the other work, the work I had organised to do from home, that needs fitting in too.

Little Owl has only just started walking, by the next holiday, 8 long weeks away, she will have changed so much.

Where has my special time with her gone?
These have been my holidays too, and I took them for granted.

I start to stare at her, drinking in every moment, the rise and fall of her breath, her mannerisms, her understanding, her 'speech' as she chatters away.  Even more now I am looking forward to our road trip, some time together.

I love this little girl with all my heart.  I have been sharing her for the last 6 weeks, and now I must share her again.

Monday.  Who knows what Monday will bring? Maybe it doesn't all work out... Only time will tell.

This morning.  This morning is all about teaching Little Owl how to blow raspberries on Papa Owl's belly!

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Banana Flapjacks

If you love bananas and you love soft flapjacks then you will love this recipe!

You will need...
4oz butter
2oz sugar
1-2 bananas
2tbsp golden syrup
5oz oats
sultanas to taste

pre-heat the over to gas mark 3 (160°C)
Melt the butter

Add the sugar and golden syrup

Add the banana and mix until smooth

Stir in the oats

add sultanas, raisins or chocolate chips
Put the mixture in a tin
Cook in the oven for 35 minutes.
Meanwhile you can have some fun with some homemade play dough!

Little Owl making play dough cakes
Leave to cool on a rack

Enjoy with a cup of tea

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