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Practising restraint.

Gag Law

Restraint and diplomacy are not my stronger points, in fact neither are a trait I would say most people would attribute me with.

I’ve lost track of the amount of times I’ve opened my mouth when I should have just bitten my tongue or when I’ve said completely the wrong thing in the most inappropriate of settings. I have to admit it’s not my most redeeming quality, it’s not something I do deliberately and it’s probably why I’m struggling right now.

You see, I know something.

I know something that is not for me to share, nor is it for me stick my nose in, but in knowing this thing I’m frustrated and angry and I want to do something to change it. I also want other people to know what I know and be equally as frustrated and equally as angry and for them to want to change it too, But, I know if I share this thing, or if I do stick my nose in there is a 50:50 chance I’ll do the wrong or say the wrong thing and make it worse, I know people will be upset with me so instead I’m practicing restraint and writing a frustratingly ambiguous post instead.

Seasonal Craziness

I have issues!! Seriously Christmas brings out the crazy in me in the form of OCD and boy have I got it bad!!

For years the Christmas season starts for me in a flurry of decorating, the tree, the windows, the fire place….  but do I share a tender moment with my devoted son while we choose whether to have the angel or the star atop of the tree this year?


I have to decorate in certain way, in a certain order, lights, then ribbon (NOT TINSEL) the fir cones, then the baubles. If anything, in my mind, is out of place it drives me insane, It has in previous years taken me a a whole day just to put up a tree, but even better THEN and only then can the star or angel be put on top  – and this has to be chosen last of all and sometimes not until the day AFTER putting the tree and the rest of the decorations up because once chosen it has to stay there – no swapping and changing AT ALL so this is an important choice!

The colours have to be evenly spread and JUST SO and the fireplace swag has to match the tree and be decorated in the same order at the same  no compromise – as an example of how bad this is when we unpacked and erected the tree this year I couldn’t decorate it!! We’d managed to leave the swag in the loft and I just couldn’t put anything on the tree until this was down too!!  Luckily for me James is very understanding of the crazy and went back up to hunt for it as I could feel myself become quite silly about it!!

Last year was the first year I introduced colour to my tree in the form of bronze and red to go with the well established gold and ivory theme I’ve had going for years in an attempt for make myself loosen up a bit – I’m insane!

All this causes much mirth and derision particularly from my not so understanding sister and much exasperation and frustration from myself.

BUT IF You think that’s bad I used to be worse, much worse, for instance (and  I’ve worked hard at getting over this one because it was ridiculous as I would hunt for days to get this right), the gifts used to have to colour coordinated – the adult presents would be gold or ivory paper with red ribbon and the children’s red with gold or ivory ribbon and wrapped just so….

Notable insane moments:

  • The year I unwrapped ALL the presents and started again because they didn’t look right (unwrapping one or two to start again isn’t a rare occurrence in my house BUT all of them is a stretch by even by standards)
  • Taking down the tree and starting from scratch TWICE!
  • Letting TBK and James hang baubles only to go ahead and move them when I thought they wouldn’t notice because they were in the “wrong” place.
  • Point blank refusing to let James bring any of his decorations with him when he moved in with us as they wouldn’t match mine, and then buying him decorations that matched my colour scheme and still refusing to let him hang them on the tree because they’re just not right!
  • Finally succumbing to my OCD and buying TBK a tree & decorations for in his room as I didn’t want him to miss out on decorating his own tree and he can have as much tinsel as he likes!

So with all this in mind imagine how I’m coping this year with two very mischievous cats who are spending their first Christmas with us!!

I took the decision early on not to put out my nativity scene and I’m glad I didn’t because they keep knocking things over and pulling things down. They keep climbing my tree and flattening the branches and knocking off baubles  and chewing my ribbon, and yesterday they discovered if they pull hard enough they can pull my fireplace swag clean off the surround thus clearing any obstacles for them to sit on there – somewhere THEY NEVER CHOOSE TO SIT AT ANY OTHER TIME OF THE YEAR.

This year it’s going to be kill or cure for my OCD as I’m either going to have to deal with it – or go not so quietly insane battling with those damn cats – I’m hoping for the first option but as I left for work nearly in tears this morning as I again found my beautiful fire place destroyed I think odds are I’m currently leaning towards the latter!

Good Deed December

December means  Christmas, which to most means presents and food and drink and parties…and to be fair it does to an extent to me too but I’ve been thinking lately about the spirit of Christmas, the good will to all men and peace on earth sentiment possibly the romantic view but I thought why can’t it be like that? At least a little bit anyway, All it would take is a little effort to put a smile on peoples faces…

…So this December has been decreed Good Deed December, my own advent of good deeds.

Between now and Christmas day I plan on trying to complete a good deed each day and hopefully update here and my twitter feed (@essitam) using the tag #gooddeedfortheday, (when I get around to it, I suck at keeping blogs up to date maybe this is the impetus I need).

I’m sure some deeds will be more worthy than others but it’s important to remember the little things also count……

1st December Carried a ladies bags up a flight of stairs.

2nd December Dispatched James to an elderly neighbours to get her shopping list and went to the super market after work just for her (I needed nothing myself)

3rd December took the lovely lady in the post office a Lemsip, she was suffering when she dealt with my parcels and I thought she could do with it.

Continue reading Good Deed December

The Magic Box


Despite it now being March 2010 I still have my 2009 calendar up in my kitchen, not because I’m particularly lazy (but I am) but because it’s about 50 shades of awesome!

Of course every parent thinks their kids work is amazing, fantastic, fabulous, first rate etc, but this is! I like it so much because while it’s not the work of art Matisse, Banksy or Tracy Emin could produce, and it’s no Shakespearean prose, Hell it’s even below the quality of work TBK can produce when he wants to, every time I read I can’t help but smile.

I read it and remember that it’s good to have imagination and to never ever stifle his!

The Magic Box

In my box I will put a massive, dirty and dangereus exploding army tank. The feel of silky, shiny, sparkly, quick Sahara sand and a door leading to a u.f.o.

In my box I will put the smell of super noodles cooking the sight of presents round the tree and the sound of rock music.

My box is fashioned from high tech lock and dinosaur skin cover.

And hinges made from a alligator jaw.

Spelling mistakes are all his own!


Is it a bird....?

I’m going on Holiday in October Term time AND taking my 9 year old son with me. I take him out of school every year for a holiday and for other activity days, as was agreed with his school that I be allowed to do so in advance of enrolling him.

Flexi Schooling is the correct term for it.

I take my responsibility as a parent very seriously and TBK consistently scores in the top percentile in his class  and receives glowing praise every year from his teachers, he has friends in school who come home to play (please read create havoc), and is fully integrated into society, he is bright and articulate, and as bias as I may be as his mother I do have the school reports to back this up, His education and social skills are not suffering because of it, if anything they are prospering.

YET the local paper is yet again reporting on an increase of “Truancy Fines” and while the article itself didn’t really rub me up the wrong way.  As, I will never have to pay a truancy fine for my son  as we’ve the proper protocol in place for our educational choices, But taking out holiday leave from the debate,  it still leaves the question unanswered of WHY these young people feel the need to play truant in the first place?*,  What really wound me up was the ignorance of some of the commentators who posted both before and after me.

These trips or in some peoples eyes “absenses” provide an education kids just can’t get when in school and also teaching shouldn’t just happen, and in our life DOESN’T, just happen from 9am – 3pm in the classroom!

On our holiday, just like last year, we will be teaching TBK Maths (currency conversion), Geography (he knows where we are going and surrounding countries) History, (we often like to visit cultural and historical monuments while away and actively encourage TBK to involve himself in the culture). R.E. (Turkey (this years destination)  is a predominantly a Muslim country) and much more, all on a one to one basis for periods of time he would never get in the classroom.

Previously he’s also been out of school to have the opportunity to attend HESFES, (the home educators seaside festival) where he has taken part in wood work and metal work excersizes,  fabric painting and labyrinth building amongst other things, using skills he’d have never developed sat behind a desk.

We’ve taken him out of school to have a hands on learning experience  as a zoo keeper for the day.  He’s had time off to go to an archery day, and to attend other exhibitions and events. Once, when he was in reception class, I even kept him off school on a Monday JUST so he could have a day off, As over the weekend he had participated in clay building with us, visited a monkey sanctuary, spent an afternoon playing drums and for a child of only 6 this was a lot, he needed the rest!

So how about we stop stereotyping parents who take their kids out of the classroom for any period of time as losers (as one commentator metioned) or selfish (as another did) and look at the beneifts these extra curricular activities can and do provide!

The real time and effort should be concentrated on dealing with the parents who’s children aren’t getting any education through truancy because the parents just don’t care!

* Yes I played truant as a teen, and I was duely punished for it by my mother, But I know why I did it. I hated my English teacher and she hated me, proven fact as she marked all my work down and told me , and my mom, I woudln’t get higher than a D,  myc oursework was sent to the invigulator and came back marked higher and I left school with a B (lit) and a C(lan)  Take that Mrs Smith!

Maybe if I’d have been listened to as a teen and moved to another class I’d have attended those sessions I missed and maybe that tis the answer now, listening to what our young people want!

Election Day

Comments Box

I don’t consider myself much of political commentator,  I don’t think I honestly have anything interesting to say on the subject but,  I do vote every election. I believe in democracy and by voting I believe I’m taking my opportunity to have a little influence over how things are run. I think a lot of people fought long and hard to earn us the right to vote and I don’t ever waste it.

I also venomously believe that if you don’t vote you are not entitled to complain!

If you don’t like how things are going, if you have something to say about the economy or your bin collection is late don’t come whining to me as you didn’t DO anything to change it when you had the chance. As my manager so eloquently put it, “Voting is your license to bitch”

So with my point of view in mind I was shocked today, not by how many people have come out in saying that they have lost faith in politicians , but by the number of people who’ve said they wouldn’t be voting at all. One lady I had and contact with had this to say on the matter

I have voted in every single election! BUT now politicians have lost my respect and all political Parties are as bad as each other in one way or another, It’s not just labour MPs, Tory’s and lib dems have been at it too.

They have robbed the tax payer,we feel like we have been robbed, my husband works full time and pays over £600 a month tax.

Why should that go towards paying for some MP’s weekly shopping at M&S when there are poor families who struggle to budget for there weekly shopping at aldi or whatever cheap shop they have to go to.

First of all I want to say, Can I have a job where I earn enough to be having to pay £600 tax a month please! Maybe then I could give more to charity to help those less fortunate instead of sitting on my high horse bitching about the unfairness of the tax system,  and secondly I disagree completely with her statement:

The majority of the politicians only took so much because the rules and the system are flawed.  If I had job that said I allowed me to claim for carpets, curtains and a 3 piece suite ,a new outfit for every day of the week and everything else to go with it I’d do it, and, so I believe, would the majority people who end up reading this.

It’s the ones that broke the rules who are the real thieving bastards. The ones who didn’t just take advantage of a flawed system, but who knowingly dodged the rules for profit, Fortunately for most of us,  they’re the ones who are falling over themselves to resign now before the shit really hits the fan.

So what’s the alternative?

By not voting and we run the risk of letting some fascist party like the BNP or UKIP take control because of voter apathy, and then we’d all be in a much worse place than we are now with a few crooked politicians caught with their hands in the till.

My solution is this, look for local alternatives, independent candidates  the green party or vote intelligently….

Vote for the party who have acknowledged the problems with the system, are willing to, and are already making changes. Look for the party with policies you agree with and vote for them!

Simple things

Sometimes it’s the simple things make me happy.

Taking a walk after it has rained, watching the cat sleep on the sofa, playing snap with the blonde kid or sitting quietly with James listening to some music.

BUT then sometimes I think the things that make me happy mean I am simple.

Seriously how excited can one person get about a new kettle, but in my defense it is awesome, it makes the water glow blue and looks amazing if you set it to boil in the dark! 😀

Blue Water