Sunday, August 28, 2011


Mr Babs wants to watch the new Planet of the Apes film. I can't think of anything more scary than a film full of angry monkeys! Don't get me wrong, I love monkeys, I used to collect toy monkeys when I was little, and forced my whole family to visit a monkey sanctuary. But nice cute ones that eat nuts out of your hand are a bit different to full size apes chasing you round a shopping mall. Does someone else want to go with him? Please?!

Ring shopping

So we went back to the pushy salesperson shop yesterday to have another look at the rings. Went for one, came out with two! Result!! The pushy lady actually did us quite a good deal, couldn't decide between the two rings, one was much cheaper than the other so she said she'd resize them for free if we got the two, which worked out cheaper than just buying one and paying to resize it. Well, not so much for Mr Babs. But I have two lovely new rings now, I'll have to wear them on alternate days!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Pushy salespeople

It's my, ahem, 21st birthday next week. I decided I want a new ring, we have been watching a lot of Gems TV recently and I like the pretty stones. So I went to our local jewellers where I got a lovely moonstone pendant last year and looked at the rings. I forgot about the odd lady who works there. She did exactly the same thing she did last year. While I was trying on rings, she got one out that was "perfect" for me, and while it was nice, I wasn't that excited about it. But her tone of voice was like "you have to get this one, there is no option". I felt pressured, every other ring I tried on after that caused her to frown and even walk away at one point in disgust! So I made my excuses and legged it. It's like she thought she knew the perfect piece of jewellery for every customer, and she really didn't. To give her credit, it wasn't the most expensive piece they had, so she wasn't doing it for the money, but her sales technique needed a lot of work bless her! I might go back with Mr Babs as back up and get the one I actually liked, even if she tuts at me!

When does summer get here?

I realised the other day that I was mentally making a list of things to do when summer gets here. This includes weeding the garden (again), sorting out the shed, washing the sofa covers so I can get them dry the same day, painting the outside tiles. Then it hit me. It is September next week. I think I missed summer somewhere. I just hope that we get an indian summer in September then we can pretend we had one after all...

You know you are a bad mother...

...when your child thinks the local charity shop is a toy shop.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tattoos, landfills and falling trees

This week Littl'un #1 has discovered an interest in EVERYTHING. This has resulted in very complicated conversations, you know, the ones you wish you had never started...

Mr Babs has a few tattoos and Littl'un #1 is fascinated by them. He had a fake tattoo and when it washed off he wanted to know why his dad's hadn't. Took a little bit of explaining. Then we asked him what he would have if he was allowed to have a tattoo. "A dinosaur. On my bottom." was his carefully thought out response.

Then when we were changing his brother's nappy he wanted to know what happened to the dirty nappies. I always try to answer him honestly as far as I can. I explained about rubbish bins and landfills and recycling. "And does the poo get recycled?" he wanted to know...

Yesterday the neighbours had some tree people in cutting down their trees. Littl'un wanted to know why they hadn't cut the trees down themselves, after watching me and Mr Babs attacking our trees with a rusty saw and a pair of secateurs last autumn. I thought this would be an answer in itself, but no. So I tried to explain about bigger trees and the danger of them falling over and squashing houses and possibly people. I think I explain a bit much sometimes. So Littl'un then looks at some massive trees at the end of our garden and asks about them falling over. They wouldn't reach the house, I assure him, so we'd be ok. "But they will fall and skid, and come through the window and then through the car" he told me with a look of morbid fascination on his face.

Next time I am going to tell him to google it...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Failed zumba party

Tonight I was supposed to be going to a zumba party. 2 hours of zumba with disco lights. Woo hoo. I was quite looking forward to it. All that had to happen was for Mr Babs to get home before 8 and the boys to go to sleep before 8 too. None of this happened. Any other day of the week, the magic ingredients of no nap in the day, a big dinner, a nice bath, and a bottle of milk would send Littl'un #2 off to sleep in no time. Not tonight, oh no. He was still jumping round the living room half an hour after his bottle. And Littl'un #1 knew that I wanted to go out, so he whined and cried, and basically got his own way as I had to stay in. And Mr Babs rolled home at 8.30 drunk as a skunk, he'd come home via the shops and his brother-in-laws house. This was not in the plan.

So my life as we know it continues. It is all about the boys and poor mum doesn't really get to do anything she wants. And to top it off, I had chinese and wine instead of zumba and now feel really bloated and guilty. But man are those boys going to suffer tomorrow...

Monday, August 15, 2011


For the past few nights my kitchen has been invaded with a mystery flying bug. They sit on the walls and don't move, and look really odd. I ended up taking a picture and submitting it to the Natural History Museum website where there is a forum for bug identification. 5 minutes later an expert on bugs told me they were mayflies, usually found around ponds. That is the best service ever, and who knew there was a bug forum?! I might go out in the garden and find other bugs to submit. But I don't know where they are coming from, we don't have a pond. Now I'm worried we have a subterranean pond under the house and the kitchen is going to fall into it. I shouldn't watch that "Help my house is falling down", it doesn't half make you paranoid!

Bread and fishes

We took the boys to the seaside today, we went to a little fishing village I read about that sounded lovely. It was quaint but a bit strange. I was a bit worried that there wasn't any sand, as son #1 equates "seaside" with "sand" - it all looked a bit stony to me when we first got there, but we asked a local who assured us there was a sandy beach just down the hill. When we found it, it was indeed sandy, And for a Monday lunchtime, extremely busy. It looked like Majorca on the tv when there isn't a patch of sand left for people. But there was also a lot of bread which was very strange. Bread rolls everywhere. And the occasional custard doughnut. You would have assumed for the amount of bread lying around abandoned that there would be seagulls everywhere, divebombing people close to the treasure. But there weren't any to be seen. And all the people were sitting nonchalantly on the sand eating sandwiches, seemingly oblivious to the bread rolls. I really wanted to shout "don't you see them?!" but I didn't. It was like they had all just had a massive bread fight and the minute we rounded the corner gone, "quick, strangers!" and all sat down like they had been there all along.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Riots and rumours

Crikey it has been an odd week here in London. Scary too. Where I live luckily there wasn't really any trouble, a couple of shop windows got smashed but that's not really unusual at the weekends round here! But watching shops burn down in Croydon, minutes from where I used to live, was awful. On Monday night rumours started online that trouble was planned in our town, and then one of our neighbours knocked on doors saying that gangs were roaming round the shops and a shop had already been looted in the next town along. In real time it was terrifying. The only thing we could do was stay in, watch the news, and try and find out what was going on online. Twitter was obviously the main source, but in hindsight it was impossible to tell at the time what was true and what was rumours, and what was just made up. There were reports of Primark being on fire, shops five minutes up the road being looted, lots of things being on fire. The only thing that made me question it was the lack of sirens, and it not being on the news.

The next day it turned out that nothing serious happened, a few idiots breaking a shop window and nicking a bin. It could have been much worse. Then Tuesday afternoon more rumours started. As we had "got away with it" on Monday night, more trouble was planned for Tuesday. We were so worried we didn't go to zumba, the next day I felt really stupid for believing it all. But it is hard to know what to do for the best, go out and get caught in a riot leaving your young kids at home? I think we made the right decision at the time.

But although all this real time communication we have nowadays is brilliant in some ways, in others it makes things worse. Stoking rumours, nobody knowing what to believe, the way the rumours caught on was unbelievable. And once lots of people start reporting the same thing it makes it much more believable. But I think I've learnt a lesson about not always believing what you read, when I was at library school it was one of the basic lessons we learned - check your sources!