Saturday, 24 December 2011

He's on his way...

Merry Merry Christmas.
Thank you for reading my ramblings.
Have happy times, Ali

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Peace on earth and goodwill to all men???

So much for Christmas Spirit.

SmallerBean has just rushed downstairs in search of her Lego folk.

Me: Are you and Small having a lovely game?
Smaller: Yes. One of the baddies is just going to be electrocuted.

Ho ho ho to you too.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Toot Toot Splutter Cough Cough....

Well it just serves me right.
Blowing my own trumpet was never going to be a good idea.
SmallBean pointed out to me yesterday that there were two number 23's on the advent calendar.
I shouldn't have had that third glass of wine as I was drawing.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Toot Toot Tootoot

Can you hear that?
Toot toot.
Do you know what it is?
I'll tell you.
It is the sound of me blowing my own trumpet.
I sure am.
I went to a certain Never Knowingly Undersold shop yesterday and looked for an advent calendar. They were all revolting. And I didn't have the time to go anywhere else. (Well actually I did have time but Wednesday is my no kids day and I had a whole day and an empty house to get on with.)
I came back home with this book and flicking through it I saw an advent calendar to colour in each day.

Later on, my mind went back to the book, (which is now squirrelled away in the loft, ready for the week before Christmas) and I thought that I could do a similar sort of calendar. I have card. I have a black pen. I can draw, sort of.

So I made one and I am veryvery pleased with it. Look.

Can you now see why my trumpet has been blowing? I did have a few probs getting twenty four symbols of Christmas that I could actually draw- a satsuma is pushing it a bit, I feel. But as Small reminded me, FC once left him a banana so it could have been worse...

I can hear the arguments already though. Small is not going to want to colour angels. They are both going to want to colour FC. The snowflake is going to be sneered at.

But I am going to block their moans out. If they complain, I will colour it in.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Overheard in the kitchen II...

Me to BigBean about work: x is going on a career break.

SmallBean: North Korea or South Korea?

Saturday, 5 November 2011


Way back at the start of September I thought that a wee giveaway might be the kind of thing people might like for a pick-me-up to combat the back to school blues.

The blues must have been bad here at BeanTowers. I totally forgot about it.

So. With no further ado and with many many apologies, I announce the winner as ....................................................................................................................



Vintage Vicki!!!!

Well done my lovely. Please get in touch with me and I'll get the necklace off to you. Don't hold your breath though- as you have seen. I'm a smidge unreliable...

Friday, 4 November 2011

Thoth II

The Egyptian Gods have favoured me...
The papier mache covered balloon didn't pop.
The papier mache didn't stick to the balloon when I deflated it, realising I hadn't put any Vaseline or oil on it before I started sticking.
The cereal box worked well for an ibis beak. And it stuck without wobbling off. Hooray for Copydex!
I had blue material in the box in the loft.
There was black spray paint in the shed which hadn't run out.
Thoth was reincarnated...

And off he went to school today in the torrential rain. (Why is it that it always rains on dressing up days???) We met Cleopatras, Tutankhamuns, mummies and cats. There were Howard Carters aplenty. And Thoth.

I hope he doesn't scare the pants off the reception children...

Wednesday, 2 November 2011


Hot on the heels of Halloween is Year 3 Egyptian Day.

After spending half term in Muddy Scotland (with a ton of washing stilll being dealt with) sorting and sourcing Halloween costumes was a bit of a struggle. However, we got there and went out terrorising the neighbours as a Vampire and a Scary Fairy.

Now I find myself in the kitchen with a bowl of flour and water and torn up newspaper making a headdress for Small to wear on Friday.

'Mummy, I think I'll be Thoth.'

'Isn't he an ibis?'


'That will be quite hard to make- he has a long beak doesn't he?'

'Yes. Mummy if that is too tricky, I'll be Anubis.'

Anubis is a jackal.

So I googled Thoth and realised that it could be done with one of those Venetian type masks. Off I trotted to the party shop. None left. Bloody Halloweeners had bought the entire stock.

So it's home made. The balloon covered with papier mache is being urged to dry NOW on the washing line so I can attach a beak, paint it and make a headdress to wear on Friday morning.

Will keep you updated on my state of mind and the costume.

I wish he'd gone as a mummy. But persuading him was futile.

'How would I go to the loo...?'

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Blogblip Patchwork

I've been blog-dodging recently.
Life has got in the way a bit and other things have taken over.
And I have also been wondering what this whole blog malarkey is really all about. There is nothing deep or too analytical going on in my head, just a wonder. Is there any point in typing about something which noone really reads? Or cares about? But I think I have got over my blogblip and I am going to do a Ta-Dah.

Yes. I made something with the sewing machine. I love it. I am veryveryvery pleased with it. And I am feeling quite pleased with myself.

As you know (or not) my sewing skills are of the iffy variety. The sewing machine and I have a turbulent relationship. I don't like following instructions or being told what to do so patterns are a bit of a no no. But doing something off piste is also dodgy as it is Very Likely to Go Wrong.

I made a quilt. Well actually, that is a lie. I made the patchworky front of the quilt. I have no idea how to make it snuggly and backed so it can be put onto SmallerBean's bed. But after speaking (emailing) Driftwood last night I found myself thinking that I could blog about it and get over my blogblip and show off my not-so-enviable needlework.

You'll have to excuse the bad photography, not quite lined up rectangles and dodgy bright light/shadow combo, but whaddya reckon??? Pretty good for a first go, eh?

And then I spied this fellow on my way back into the house. Isn't the sky a fabulous colour? It goes quite well with my new patchwork...

Tuesday, 13 September 2011


SmallerBean had her first swimming lesson last week and she LOVED it. It was just FAB watching her in the pool with five other Small People, splashing about, having fun and really listening to her teacher. Really making eye contact, taking in what MissusSwimmy ( let's just call her H) was saying and doing her utmost to follow the instructions. It was the first time I've seen or had the opportunity to watch Smaller in action in that sort of situation. She was a good pupil. I was very proud of her. (She was also quite fearless and scared me once or twice, diving down to pick up some stick thing.)

When we were on our way home, she asked endless questions about H, who happens to be a mumma up at SmallBean's school. Question after question. 'Why does H have girls?' 'Why is she a mummy?' 'Does H like swimming?' (Not always the brightest Bean...) 'Why is she going to be at school?' 'Where does H live?' 'Why was H wearing a t-shirt with writing on it?' etc etc. I switched off after a while. Stalking came to mind.

Up at school at pick up (no deer sighted recently) we saw H and Smaller had to go and say hello. And stare and stare. Stalking...?

Back at home at tea time, the marriage subject came up. 'Why do girls have to marry to boys mummy? Why can't girls marry to girls?' 'They can but usually girls marry boys.' 'I'm going to marry H then.'

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Giveaway Update

Have realised that I put no 'time up' date on the post for the Back To School Blues giveaway.

I'll do a random selection on Friday 16 September. If you put a link on your blog, I'll pop your name in twice.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

I've Got The Back To School Blues...

...and I can't help but cry.

I've got the back to school blues

And all I do is sigh.

Well. Not quite. But I am back to work (part time) after three years at home and I am a teeny bit nervous.

And there is that feeling of 'September' in the air. Are you feeling the blues too? You are?

So. To help everyone along, I thought a giveaway might be in order. Just to cheer up the mood.

How about some earrings?

Or a necklace?

Leave a little comment and what you'd like and I'll pull a rabbit, sorry, name out of the hat and send a Cheery September Parcel to someone.

PS. Sorry about the bad blues at the start.

PPS. This blogger spacing is really starting to annoy me.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Back Home

Our dreamy week is over and we are back to earth with a bump.

Loch Fyne living was magical.

Highlights were

SmallBean catching ten mackerel. (He equalled my highscore of five on one line of feathers, twice.)

SmallerBean playing musical chairs with her Grandpa and Great Uncle. It truly had to be seen to be believed.

SmallBean learning to skim (or as he calls it, skin) stones.

Seeing amazing sunrises.

Watching a thunderstorm roll in towards us one evening and then standing out in the torrential rain.

Eating the most delicious scallops, langoustine and mussels and the mackerel for supper one night surrounded by family.

Watching the Beansprouts pottering on the beach, lifting stones and catching crabs.

Putting the frozen mackerel guts into the sea and waiting and watching the crabs fight over their tea. This is excellent spectator sport if you have a strong stomach.

Going to Carnasserie Castle for a walk- the view along Kilmartin Glen from the top is incredible.

And here are a few sneaks of the week.

Edit: I have been googling the caterpillar and it appears to be from an elephant hawk moth. The caterpillar feed on rosebay willow herb, which was growing along the lochside and the moths are becoming more common in Scotland. Fab stuff.

(Page from UK Moths used for reference.)

Monday, 15 August 2011

Overheard in the kitchen...

SmallBean (getting the cereal out of the cupboard): Why have you got a packet of elastic bands in here?

Me: They're not elastic bands, they're noodles.

Monday, 1 August 2011

A Walk in the Woods

Yesterday, the Beans packed up a picnic, the two hammocks and a camera and went off here, to Eversden Woods. These are ancient woodlands just near the Wimpole Estate, a National Trust property just south of Cambridge. We drove past the car park where the hoards were queueing to get in to see the amazing house, farm and gardens. (It is a wonderful day out, but not on a sunny Sunday.) We had a more peaceful adventure planned. Up the hill we drove and parked the car- not a soul in sight. And off we went. Just a solitary hare and a shrew were spied, but plenty of insects and plants. Smaller was not impresssed by the waspy interest in our picnic...
A day of wandering, thinking, chatting, looking, laughing, planning and playing.

Aplogies for bizarre spacing but blogger is not doing as it is told.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Freaky Balloon Moment

I looked up from reading SmallerBean's bedtime story last night and spied this.

Recognise anyone?

Marge Simpson or what???

Monday, 18 July 2011


Seven years ago today, this small person arrived.

For some reason, SmallBean turning seven has really shocked me. The time has flown so so fast. Why his seventh birthday is making me feel slightly melancholy and reflective I am not sure. I thought that your first childs tenth birthday was the one which hit you hard. Maybe it is the realisation that he is about to move up to KS2. Perhaps just having my birthday is making me more thoughtful. I don't know.

But he is not a dependent and needy boy any more. He is an interesting and funny, articulate and unique boy.

Happy Birthday Gorgeous Boy. Your cake is in the oven.

Sunday, 10 July 2011


Take a walk out into some green space.

Lie down on the grass for five minutes.

Close your eyes.


distant cars

unknown flying beasties humming

children playing, bickering, laughing

breeze blowing the leaves of the huge oak

an aeroplane off to foreign lands

invisible grasshoppers chirruping

a cuckoo

the deep drone of a bumble bee

a pigeon cooing

a fly buzzing right by my ear
small birds high in the branches twittering to each other

twigs being snapped by faraway feet

pheasants chooking

What will you hear in your five minutes?

Thursday, 30 June 2011

June Photo Scavenge

On time.
No cheating. (Well not really... as usual I've had to run around the house like a mad thing trying to fit the list.)

A farm animal- Smaller's gorgeous money box. I did want to use a photo of the Red Poll on the common but they were moved on while the fair was in town and haven't returned. As Smaller said 'Are they burgers now?'

Something beginning with z- my zebra print boots.

An elephant- on the Christening invitation for my new niece, Frankie.

A childhood memory- Woodland Snap. Do any of you remember Nubby Tope? Prettywigs Pattikins? Mrs Croak? I found these recently in a local toyshop and the SmallBeans love them as much as I did.

Branches- our mulberry tree in the garden.

Cutlery- I just opened the drawer and pressed the button to take the picture. I am quite impressed how shiny it is...

Cheese- doesn't last long in our house.

Something with the name of where you live on it- books from Cambridge University Press.

Wheel trim- on my trusty/rusty bike.

The view out of our front door.

Architectural detail- amazing brickwork in an old barn we really wanted to buy. But didn't. I'm still pining.