Monthly Archives: July 2013

Washing lines

I recently bought a retractable washing line. It is a useful thing to have I suppose as there are times when you want to dry or air items outside in the fresh air. I have used it a couple of times but have to confess I am a bit disappointed with the experience.

I know I shouldn’t constantly use the tumble drier as I should be caring for the environment more and being more frugal with my energy use. But it is so easy and the clothes come out smelling divine and feeling soft and fluffy.

I put a load of washing out last week. It was a hot day with a light breeze – perfect drying conditions, I thought. They swayed around for most of the day, making the garden look very untidy. I took them in late afternoon (unlike some of my neighbours who seem to leave them out for days) and stuck my nose in the washing basket, expecting to smell fresh air and sunshine. They actually didn’t smell very pleasant at all. Moreover, they still felt a touch damp. How could that be?

I duly ironed them and left them to air but have to confess I felt a bit let down by the whole experience. By choice, I would use the tumble drier every time.

I’m sure my grandchildren would enjoy a blanket thrown over the washing line as a play tent though.


I hate it when things get spoilt. We moved into our new house last year and it was perfect. All the walls were perfect. All the floors were perfect. The driveway was perfect. I loved it, living in my perfect house.

Visitors came. That was lovely too.

But did they have to park on and leave patches of oil on my perfect drive??

Anyone know a good way to get oil drips off a previously perfect drive?


We all have them. We may not even realise we have one but it could well be that yours annoys someone near and dear but they just wont tell you. In my time, I’ve met a few. You may well be able to add to the list!

The throat clearer

The hair flicker

The leg wobbler

The nose picker

The nail biter

The one who keeps saying ‘Erm…’

The one who uses your name in every sentence

The one who finishes your sentence for you

Habits are so hard to shake off. Especially if you don’t know what yours are!

I have a brain

Is it just me or are we constantly being told things that we have the intelligence to know for ourselves? I’ve talked about the nanny state mentality before but this current spell of glorious weather has presented us with even more opportunities for being told the obvious. Yes, I do know that if I’m on a journey I need a bottle of water, I mustn’t leave my dog in the car, I should take care of my elderly neighbours (actually, in my street, we ARE the elderly neighbours!) and I should put a sun hat and sun cream on my grandchildren if they are playing in the garden.

I really don’t need to be told by TV, radio and twitter what to do and find it most patronising. Stop it at once.


Weigh that pig!

Today’s news makes me foam with anger. My grandson is five. He is a clever boy with a thirst for knowledge and we often have quite meaningful conversations. But the thought that he could be given tests to rank him in his school makes me so angry. He is a child. Not much more than a baby really.

I’ve already blogged about the importance of play for young children so won’t repeat myself. The two quotes about not making the pig fat by weighing it and the fish climbing the tree come to mind. Anyone know who wrote the ‘pig’ one? I can’t seem to find out.

I can only see this move – one of the latest in a stream of ill-informed government decisions for education – alienating little ones and giving them a hatred of school and education. It might be great for Johnny and Johnny’s mum and dad to find out he is ‘top of the class’ but what about those at the bottom of the pile? Add to that the fact that a test is only a snapshot of one moment in time and only measures set objectives and it looks like a recipe for disaster. Children are individuals. They each have strengths and weaknesses. Every child is good at something. An early years or key stage 1 teacher is the expert at observing and noting constantly how every child is doing.

It is time we trusted our teachers to bring out the best in our children, allowing them to grow through play, forming relationships, communication and using imagination. And you can’t measure that!


I’ve got a thing about eyes. The thought of having anything done to my eyes fills me with shudders. My husband told me he had surgery once which involved taking his eyeball out and laying it on his cheek. Can this really be true or is he just winding me up?

I once told children at school that I hated the phrase ‘keep your eyes peeled’. Big mistake. For at least a month, they tried to introduce the phrase into every lesson.

I might just have made the same mistake again.

Words I dislike

I was looking for inspiration today and can often find it on Twitter. It can be guaranteed I’ll find something to whinge about by reading the last hour’s timeline. Today it was looking at someone’s bio and seeing a word which triggered a reaction.

Now this may upset some of you but the word was ‘feminist’. I find it quite a distasteful word. It conjures up images that don’t endear it to me. I see butch-looking women, shouting and aggressive. I see women looking at men with distain. I see eyebrow piercings, cropped hair and tattoos.

I know that this is not what a feminist looks like in reality but it is the image that the word gives me and I can’t help that. I strongly believe that women should have all the rights and responsibilities of men. They should be paid equally for doing the same job. That is just common decency. But I also enjoy being a woman and I like my man to be a man. He has strengths that I don’t and vice versa. We are a team. We just work together. But I also like it when he treats me like a woman. We are different. I embrace those differences.

The other one I really dislike is ‘partner’. To me, a partner is a business arrangement, not your lover or boyfriend/girlfriend. The word has become unclear because of its use to describe someone you live with but have made no formal commitment to. It causes confusion. I love to watch ‘Homes Under the Hammer’. People buy a house at auction and then do it up. They are interviewed after buying and I often hear ‘I am buying it with my partner’. Then I don’t know what they mean. Is it a business partner? Is it a same-sex lover partner? Is it a girlfriend / wife?

There are lots of other words that make me cringe. Which ones annoy you?