Saturday 22 August 2015

I Want To Kiss A Complete Stranger!

Not just ANY complete stranger I hasten to add ...

Just one VERY special one.

I want to kiss the complete stranger who marked Miss Mac's GCSE Maths paper!

Miss Mac got her GCSE results last Thursday.

It's been a tough year.  A year where she has worked extremely hard.  She's been in school several mornings each week at 8am for revision sessions.  She's left school late after yet more revision sessions.  There's even been one where she went in at the weekend to collect the latest release of past papers as well as working hard at home.

Whatever her results were I was going to be so proud of her.  She really couldn't have done more.


Maths has always been her bete noir - the subject she has struggled with the most.  The one that after numerous test papers in the last year she had only once managed to scrape a C grade in.  The one we pored over, a little like the blind leading the blind as I only passed mine in my 20's after going back to college (and that was a LONG time ago so I'm not sure I was really that much help.

The one that to be honest, (although it was never said out loud) we really thought she might not get ...

But she DID!!!

She got a C and we are THRILLED!!!

A C is all she needs to never have to worry about it again. 

It is DONE!

She phoned me from school SO excited to tell me that she'd passed it and I was so excited that everything she said after that just washed over me so I had no idea what her other grades were.

SD who was sitting next to me when I got the call said he thought he'd heard her say A more than once but he wasn't sure and so I had to wait for her to get home to find out about the rest.

She did brilliantly!

B's for English Language, Science, Additional Science and Geography.

A's for History, RE and English Literature and an A* for Art.

I couldn't be happier for her.

It means her place at 6th form college is secure where she will be studying English Literature, Biology and Photography for the next couple of years without the stress of having to resit Maths.

I can't wait until October when she will be able to bring her Art course work home and I'm pretty sure I'll be showing some of it off here on the blog.

She is thinking of taking life classes as an extra out of hours course which I'm really pleased about and I think that based on this quick sketch she did that she's already pretty good at it.

So proud, so happy, so relieved it's all over - I could kiss you all too!

Wednesday 19 August 2015

... And Puppy Dogs Tails ...

 I've done some strange things in my time ...

(In my head I just said that in a deep masculine drawl kind of like a cowboy in a western leaning on a wooden hitchin' post picking his teeth with the sharpened end of a matchstick ... )

Now I know I left you all on tenterhooks after my last post with my cryptic remark right at the end about not wanting the weekend in Swanage to end especially when I came home and found something ...

It was a cunning ploy and one designed to have you hanging on the edge of your seats just BEGGING me to tell you why and what ... and why ... and WHAT???

Sadly NOT ONE single solitary person begged me at all ...

So I'm going to tell you anyway!

We have fleas ...

I know - I can't believe I'm telling you either but well, we don't have secrets do we?

Plenty of fleas but NO secrets!

I really thought that having forked out over 60 bloody quid for flea stuff for the animals and house.  Covering myself in scratches from head locking cats trying to escape my little vials of pest killer and alienating my poor dog Gus who now spends most of his time peering balefully at me from under the coffee table that we had cracked the problem.

I have washed EVERYTHING on a boil wash (except for the pets) - I have sprinkled toxic substances all over my carpets which left my house smelling like a Nana's cleavage.  I (and when I say I - I obliviously mean SD) spent 4 HOURS vacuuming every nook and cranny in my house pulling out every bit of furniture.

I've (and this time I really do mean I) wiped down all the skirting, DVD's, hard floors and work surfaces with cider vinegar (which apparently fleas hate) until Nana's cleavage was obliterated by the smell of chip shop and then I went away for the weekend thinking that we were done!

Five minutes after being back in the house SD found a bloody flea on him!

Funnily enough they don't seem to like me.  They like climbing SD's leg hair (he's kind of like a hirsute adventure playground for parasites ...) and they bite Miss Mac to buggery but me they hate and it's MUTUAL!

We started again with different stuff which fortunately didn't smell at all which was a bonus -  sadly it didn't bloody WORK either!

We deflead the animals AGAIN - we vacuumed AGAIN (that's 3 times in a single week - OUTRAGEOUS!) and the little buggers are STILL making themselves at home!

SO - last night I salted my entire house ...

We have gone from Nana's cleavage to chip shop to ... well, MORE chip shop (please feel free to come and baste your cod in my carpets ... ).

According to google salt has the same affect on fleas as it does slugs and dehydrates them  UNTIL THEY ARE DEAD! (to be honest, I'm willing to believe ANYTHING right now).

Talking of slugs ...

I was curled up on the sofa watching a film with SD the other night (Tropic Thunder - very funny in a VERY un PC way ...) and I got up to get a glass of water (actually, I really got up to go to the loo but you don't need to know that ...) and I trod on a SLUG!!!


AAAARUUUGGG - It's not the FIRST time I've trodden on a slug obviously - I once skidded half way across the decking on a big MoFo  but this was in my front room and I had no shoes on!

I screamed a lot bit and held out my foot like a wounded puppy whimpering and gagging at the same time because - THERE WERE BITS OF SLUG ON MY BARE FOOT!!!

SD proving  his devotion to me grabbed a handful of paper towel and carefully wiped the remains of squashed slug from between my toes murmuring soothing things to me as I moaned and gagged some more and then boil washed my bloody foot.

And that's NOT the worst thing that's happened in the last week!

I KNOW - seriously???

Actually, it WAS the worst in reality but not potentially ...

All men have their foibles don't they?

Some are dry humpers and it's not safe to unload the washing machine without first checking behind you (as I once said - HOW is it sexy to dry hump someone wearing a washing machine drum like a bloody sombrero?  I don't WANT to be jammed shoulder deep into a cave full of your dirty kecks having a layer taken off my chin as it grates back and forth on the metal interior of my Bosch Maxx 5  thankyouverymuch!)

Some are gropers and will absentmindedly grab a handful as you pass by carrying a dish full of roast potatoes.

Mostly this is entirely unconscious and intended as a physical demonstration of affection.

Well, SD doesn't do either of those things but he does have a bit of a penchant for a bare shoulder and will often sidle up behind me if I happen to be wearing a vest top or bikini or whatever and, sliding his arms around my waist, take a bloody great CHUNK out of my shoulder with his teeth (and yes - it HURTS!!).

I couldn't seem to break him of the habit and believe me - I HAVE tried.

So the other day I was hanging out the washing.  It was really hot and I was just wearing shorts and a bikini top.  SD came out to give me a hand and was overcome by the sight of bare brown flesh.

My hands were full of damp laundry and I was powerless to resist as I felt his incisors pierce my skin and then ...

Leaping back in horror SD spat something out!!!

He coughed and choked and gagged slightly ...

I dropped the washing and ran to his aid ...

SD was peering at something in his hand - he looked at me, eyes streaming - 'I think I just bit off a mole!!!' he said.

We looked at each other in silence - we looked at the 'mole' in his hand - I gingerly felt my shoulder for damage before remembering I didn't actually HAVE any moles on my shoulder even before SD bit it ...

I looked closer at the 'mole' - then I remembered that earlier, as I'd reached for the breakfast cereal, it had tipped slightly spilling some of the content down on to me.  I guess a rogue piece had got caught in my hair or something and so in fact no,  SD hadn't inadvertently bitten off a mole.

He had just found a bit of second hand muesli!

But I'm hopeful his biting habit may now have been cured ....

Monday 10 August 2015

Sun, Sea, Swanage and Swords

SD lost me at the weekend - yes, I did say LOST me!!!

How he managed to do that I DO NOT KNOW ...

I mean, I am NOT insignificant - I'm 6ft tall for goodness sake and if that isn't enough I'm usually waving an unruly mop of hair around like badly behaved candyfloss - I am NOT easy to mislay ...

He said he could see my shoes, I hadn't taken my toothbrush and I'd left my makeup behind so he guessed I was probably planning on coming back but he just didn't know where I'd gone.

His last sighting of me was in my PJ's clutching a bright pink plastic bowl of muesli and apparently he hadn't felt the need to tether me given that I was also barefoot - I felt forced to point out that I was NOT a pony or a goat or even a pot bellied pig that one might generally feel the need to tether!

No, SD agreed - You're like a bloody hobbit scuttling around up to no good ...

This man who professes to love me so much thinks I'm like a fictional humanoid creature who inhabits middle earth with leathery soles on my hairy feet ...

Just to qualify - I DO NOT have hairy toes - in fact I have NO hair on my toes (whereas SD has a considerable amount and Miss Mac even more!)

And he thinks I scuttle - he thinks I'm like a hairy toed crab/hobbit or something ...

Oh, and did I mention we were here:

A bloody great practically empty field in the middle of nowhere?

Seriously, if I HAD been gambolling or even scuttling crab like and barefoot in my PJ's clutching a pink plastic bowl of cereal across the field I THINK HE MIGHT JUST HAVE NOTICED ME - don't you ...

As it was I had actually taken my coconut mat to the far side of the van and settled down to eat my breakfast in the sunshine (and I still have the imprint of it on my bottom and thighs to prove it!).

Therefore I was not lost because I knew exactly where I was!

What a fantastic weekend!

SD wanted to make up for the fact that we had missed out on Swanage Regatta a couple of weeks before due to my health problems and so we packed up the van and headed for Corfe Castle deep in the Dorset countryside.

Corfe Castle stands above the village of the same name on the Isle of Purbeck which is not a true island but rather a peninsula.

Corfe Castle was built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century and was one of the oldest castles in England to be built of stone rather than earth and timber.

Corfe Castle was twice besieged by the Parliamentarians during the English Civil War and fell in 1645 when it was partially demolished on Parliaments orders so that it's defences could not be re-used.

It is now owned by the National Trust and is a grade I listed building and a Sheduled Monument.

So there you are, a little bit of history but this isn't a history blog, I leave that to those much better qualified than me.

This is a blog about ME and my great weekend.

We spent the day wandering around Corfe Castle village looking at the beautiful houses:

Drinking coffee in the sunshine and I bought a SWORD!!

Now I'd wanted a really GOOD sword to go with my Xena warrior Princess costume that I didn't get to wear at the Regatta but I hadn't been able to find one and had to borrow a frankly inferior sword that was a little short and didn't have a scabbard.  I wanted a really swishy sword.   The type that you could chop someones head off with as befitting Xena but the one I'd borrowed was more like the stabby type.

Anyway, I saw the PERFECT sword outside a shop in a box full of swords and it was gold, the only one amongst the silver ones.  Just as I was approaching the shop a small boy PICKED UP MY SWORD!!!

I hovered while he examined it willing him to put it down and pick up a silver one - Xena NEEDED the gold one - she just ... she just ...  NEEDED it ...

SD refused to let me wrestle it from him or even challenge him to a duel on account of him only being about 6 which I didn't really see as relevant and I was heart broken when he went into the shop and handed over his 2 English pounds and walked off proudly clutching MY SWORD!!!

Fortunately when SD went in to enquire it transpired that they had lots more gold sword 'out the back' and so, like Sampson in Romeo and Juliet, I DID bite my thumb at him as I left proudly clutching my very own gold sword ...

After a wonderful afternoon we set up camp at Harmans Cross and lazed around for a bit before catching the steam train back to Corfe Castle for dinner.

How fantastic is this train station?

And this train?

We watched as the sun set over the castle and the lights came on in the village below leaving the castle in silhouette above it:

Inside the pub they had their own illuminations covering the ceiling:

The following day I woke up early as I usually do and went off for a wander while I waited patiently for SD to wake up.

After having a bit of a play on the adventure playground and finding some beehives:

I went back and jumped up and down on SD until he felt sick and got up - it was after all ALMOST 7.30am!!

That's when I got my breakfast and SD lost me.

Anyway, once he'd 'found me' again we packed up the van and headed down to Swanage for the day.

The sun shone, it was hot, hot, HOT (I was wearing a bikini top with my shorts and now have sunburn in curious parody of the VW logo - SD may not have tethered me but it looks a hell of a lot like he's BRANDED me!) - there was sea, there was sand, there was the most amazing salted caramel and fudge ice cream.

and there was this:

A tiny little rabbit jelly mould which makes me SO happy as I've recently decided to become a collector of jelly moulds ...

I know, you are slightly taken aback by the thought of Sarah Mac applying herself enough to ANYTHING to become a collector but fortunately I have SD to keep me focused and he gently steered me away from the antique watering can rose (which I actually REALLY needed as I have a watering can without one) and stopped me when I wondered if I might instead become a collector of brass lady shaped bells ...

Anyway, my jelly mould collection will no doubt be a whole other eagerly awaited post  but I just thought I'd share that one as it did come from Swanage.

So, it really was a FANTASTIC weekend and one that I really didn't want to end - especially when I got back and found ...

Hmmm, well, that really IS another post ...