Tuesday, 18 February 2014

The Purple Donut Of Love

So, how was it for you?

I'm talking Valentines Day here people.  Were you wined, dined, spoilt rotten and showered with gifts??

Or, like SD and I, did you have 'that' chat?  You know the one.  The one where you agree that it's all a pile of commercialised crapola designed to part a fool from his/her money and how you don't buy into that one day a year rubbish because it's far more important to show your love on a daily basis with thoughtful little gestures that show you really care ...

So, Friday morning I opened one eye and checked for the trail of rose petals leading downstairs to a lovingly cooked breakfast served with champagne and a huge bouquet of flowers, heart shaped balloons and intriguingly wrapped parcels.

And ...


Well, that's ok I reasoned, SD really isn't a morning person and I expect he's having my flowers and balloons delivered later and I'm not that fussed about champagne for breakfast anyway.

So I spent the whole day with a heightened sense of anticipation and ...


So I did the only thing a girl CAN do in situations like this - I made bread.

Pounding the crap out of that dough was very therapeutic and I ended up with this:

Garlic and Rosemary bread

By the time SD called round that evening I was (understandably I think) feeling just a little hard done by - after all, I AM the self acknowledged 'best girlfriend in the world' and surely that deserved a little recognition don't you think?

Luckily it seemed that all was not lost.

SD carried a bag out of which I could see a large Dairy Milk box slightly protruding - YAY, chocolates!!  SD put the bag down and said nothing.  I waited patiently for at least 4 whole minutes before asking 'what ya got in the bag SD ...'

'Oh' he said, 'I nearly forgot, I've got something for you'.  I grabbed it from him before he had the chance to say anything else and started to thank him profusely adding that I thought we'd agreed not to buy presents etc and that he really shouldn't have and then I noticed something ...

The tin (for that is what it was, not a box) felt rather light ...

SD looked a little perplexed. ' It's no trouble' he said, 'someone brought in a tin of biscuits to work as it was their birthday and I know you like to have tins around for baking and stuff so I brought the empty one home for you'.

I was slightly overcome with some kind of emotion at this point, not really sure what it was but it intensified when I opened the tin and it still SMELT of chocolate ...

Then I spotted something else in the bag, a RED ENVELOPE!!!!  Now that HAD to be what I thought it was ...  Didn't it???

To digress slightly.

SD had apparently had this conversation with one of his pupils earlier in the day.

'Have you got a wife Mr SD?'

'No I haven't'.

'Have you got a girlfriend?'


'Are you taking her out tonight?'


'Have you got her a card, flowers, chocolate, present ...'

'No, no, no and no ....'

'But you have to at least get her a card, IT'S VALENTINES DAY'

SD was apparently adamant that he wasn't buying me a card so she offered to make me one (which was really VERY sweet of her don't you think?). As they were in a craft lesson SD agreed that she could if she wanted to.

'What's her name', she asked.

'Sarah' replied SD.

She rooted through the stick on lettering.

'We don't have any A's left' she said a few moments later and then, a few seconds after that, 'Or R's'.

SD considered the possibility that having SHH on my card might actually not be a bad idea when she said brightly, 'Does she have a middle name ....?'

Eventually they decided that it might be a little confusing (not to mention suspicious) should SD present me with a card with the wrong name on it and so a little card was written with Sarah on it to stick to the front of the card and then she got to work.


My Card

What's that purple thing I asked SD - That he replied solemnly is the Purple Donut Of Love!  A symbol of my regard for you.  And the pink thing I asked - Im not really sure he said, possibly a heart or maybe it's representational art.  I decided not to ask if the two red balls were representational too ...

And then the Purple Donut Of Love fell off:

Then the pink 'heart':

 and then one of the shiny red balls and now my card looks like this ...

And then I sat on the sofa sniffing my chocolate scented empty biscuit tin for a while before I went to bed.

So, back to my original question:

How was it for you ...?

Linking up with Life Love and Hiccups for the Weekend Rewind and Falling Face First for The Lounge.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

My 500th Post!

Five Hundred Posts – Wow, who'd have thought I'd ever get this far?

Actually, I have Joe from Cranky Old Man to thank for bringing it to my attention. Joe published his 1000 post the other day which is a HUGE achievement and one I can't ever imagine reaching and it prompted me to check how many I'd written so thank you Joe.

I've thought a lot about what this post should be about. Nothing in particular has happened to me lately, none of those damned 'things'! I've had my rant for the year and I haven't really been up to much.

My blog began nearly 3 years ago now. It started life as a diary on a dating website. I'd been separated from my husband for about 18 months and I was curious. Was there anyone out there for me? Could anyone cope with the scatty, unpredictable, chaotic, 'do before you think' kind of person that was/is Sarah Mac? In turn, could I allow someone into my life again and give them the potential to hurt me or was I too bruised, too battered and too broken to ever give anyone a fair chance?

I was surprised at just how much fun I had. I had a flurry of messages, mostly, it has to be said, from people I didn't really think would suit but I tried to reply to them all even if if was with a 'thanks, but no thanks'. I even went on a few dates. Nothing earth shattering but nice people who started to restore my faith a little.

Then I discovered the diary facility. Many diary entries were rants from people who had been let down or had bad experiences and while I understood their frustration I couldn't help thinking that there was no faster way to ensure that no one messaged you than having a pop at everyone on the site but some were fun, light hearted and made good reading, these I looked out for.

My diary attracted it's own small following and some of these people I've kept in touch with.

And then I met someone. And I fell in love. And staying on a dating website didn't seem appropriate any longer.

I missed the diary though, I missed writing down my thoughts, telling my stories, sharing the small things that made me laugh.

And so the idea of a blog was born.

I didn't start to write it straight away. I wasn't sure how to go about it. I didn't know how to get people to read it. I didn't know if people would WANT to read it. So I started to read some blogs myself and I got hooked and the idea grew.

I was walking through town one day texting SA (that's Smart Arse by the way – a name that seemed eminently suitable at the time although he did turn out to be NSASM – Not Such A Smart Arse ;). I've got no idea what we were talking about, some nonsense as usual I'm sure when I mentioned I had a real craving for some fudge.

Now, I'm fairly fussy about my fudge, I'm not interested in the soft squidgy stuff you can buy in any seaside town with 'thanks for looking after the dog/cat/hamster 'etc printed on the box. For me it's got to be the old fashioned crumbly type we used to make as children. Cooked slowly in a copper bottomed pan the liquid slowly becoming granules that clump together in a sweet, tooth coating mass that melts in your mouth.

At that time we had a Rolys Fudge Pantry in town. A tiny, tiny shop where you could watch them make fudge in flavours ranging from lemon meringue to rum and raisin, cherry bakewell and even Christmas pudding. Sadly the shop has now gone but fortunately is a franchise and one opened in Lyme Regis last year so more reasons to go to the beach!!!

I mentioned to SA that I really fancied some fudge and he replied 'Then have some - People Don't Eat Enough Fudge' and instantly I knew that should my blog ever become a reality then that would be it's name.

And now, 500 post later and I'm still here. Many posts were put into draft a while ago but I think it's time I took a look at them, dusted a few off and put them back on the blog.

I thought about thanking some of the people who have inspired, commented, cheered and at times comforted me in the last few years, people that have become a part of my life but I just know that I'd miss out some important people if I did that so I'm going to say a blanket thank you to all of you (the ones above know who they are and how much it has meant to me) and thank you SA, you were my inspiration an you are indeed an arse.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Life In General

I don't really have much to say, I guess I kind of exhausted myself with my rant the other day. Actually, I've been feeling a bit mean about that. I'm sure if it had been any other boots I'd been wearing I probably wouldn't have been that bothered. Not that I don't stand by my views but like I said, I'm a live and let live kind of person generally.

Life's a little drab right now. The relentless rain is starting to get to me. My hair's a permanent mass of curls and frizz and completely untameable and I keep looking at all the summer stuff out in the shops and longing for the day I can just pull on a pair of shorts and a vest top and warm my skin in the sunshine.

To cheer myself up I've painted my nail a vibrant blue.

I'm also adding landscape gardener to my CV having spent Sunday helping SD prune the bramley tree at the farm and pruning the damson tree by myself. It's not quite the same since the goat died, I no longer have to keep one eye on her or run off and leave SD stranded up the tree. After the experience with the bloody sheep I don't think he's in any hurry to replace her.

I haven't made an arse of myself for a while, well, not since the washing up brush incident anyway (although there was a brief moment with the bin men last week but it wasn't really very noteworthy).

I've been thinking a bit about my fiction, it's been an age since I wrote any and I'm thinking I may start looking for a good blog to join up to and share it, any thoughts?

I'm also away next weekend visiting a friend which I'm very much looking forward to. A whole weekend with no jobs, lots of food and wine and plenty of just doing nothing other than sitting around gossiping, can't wait!

Miss Mac is very excited that we now have a Nandos in town which opens today and she is planning to have her Birthday party there in April but I expect she'll persuade me to take her before that. She's also got McBusted and One Direction concerts to look forward to later in the year and, although she doesn't know it yet, I've tracked down the converse she wanted and put them away for her birthday so she's doing pretty well.

Gus is in desperate need of a bath and wafts around pungently but I will have to wait until the weather warms up or I cant stand it any longer before I do the deed.

And (and I consider this a seriously personal affront) big D turns 30 at the end of the month.


That bugger is going to make me the mother of a 30 year old in a couple of weeks, talk about inconsiderate, I'm not nearly old enough for that!

So life in general is pretty good really. The snowdrops are out at the farm and there are lambs in the fields. Spring is on it's way and there is so much to look forward to.

I may grumble and complain and have the occasional rant but all in all, life is pretty good really.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Just Say NO (and mean it ffs!)

Excuse me for a minute while I have a little rant – I'm not actually all that good at ranting being more a live and let live kind of person but I’m going to give it my best shot.

You know what really pisses me off?

Unruly parents that's what!

I won't say kids (although they often unfairly get the blame), it's the parents that get my goat. In particular the ones who say no and don't mean it.

Now I guess from time to time we all have a pop at other parents and the truth is that I doubt any of us are exemplary, I know I'm not but then again, I'm not the worst either (more on that later).

I'm also not a disciplinarian, I'm a fairly laid back kind of mother but there are some things I don't tolerate and among those things are, whining, moaning, screaming displays of temper and tantrums (unless they happen to be mine!).

So, the reason for my rant today?

All of the above.

And the reason for all of the above?

Unruly parents who say no and don’t mean it!!

I was standing in a queue waiting to be served at a checkout today. In front of me were a couple and their child who was about 18 months old at a guess.

They had one of those baskets that also has wheels so you can pull it along. Amongst other things they had in their basket several packets of sweets presumably for the child.

The checkout was one of those festooned with sweets designed to have children (who don’t know that NO MEANS NO) shouting for a sugar overload.

Sure enough the child in front of me spotted the left over selection packs reduced to 2 for a pound and grabbed a handful.

His parents said no.

He screamed.

His parents said yes and put them in the basket.

He wanted to hold the basket.

His parents said no.

He screamed.

His parents said yes and gave him the basket (which he then proceeded to ram into my bloody New Rock boots every 2 seconds).

He spotted a large pack of brightly coloured sweets.

His parents said no.

He screamed (are you getting the picture?).

His parents said yes and put them in the basket.

He wanted to hold the sweets.

His parents said no.

He screamed.

His parents gave him the sweets.

He wanted to open the sweets before paying for them.

His parents said no.

He screamed …. yada, yada, yada …

To all intents and purposes this child was a huge pain in the butt (and yes, I AM mainly talking about the scratch he left on my lovely boots!) but the truth is, the parents were entirely to blame for every bit of perceived bad behaviour.

The kid was too young to know any other way of communicating. He knew how to get what he wanted. OF COURSE he was going to scream every time they said no because he knew THEY DIDNT MEAN IT!!

I don’t know why some parents think its the easy answer and no, I cant speak for all parents and I fully accept that not all bad behaviour is a result of bad parenting, there are many factors to take into consideration including medical, emotional and mental health issues and not all are apparent to the lay person but, it APPEARED in this case that it was a simple matter of bad parenting and it pisses me off!

Saying yes to kids who scream is a short term gain which results in long term pain for everyone including the kid who doesn't have any idea where the boundaries lie.

Like I said, I'm not a perfect parent but I don't tolerate bad behaviour and never have even when my kids were very small, no means NO with no arguments and, I have to say that it's worked pretty well in almost every situation. I'm sure I've been lucky in that my children have all had pretty placid and laid back personalities but I'm also fairly sure that knowing where they stand has helped with that.

I rarely judge other parents, after all, I know nothing about them or their circumstances but on occasion it's almost impossible not to have an opinion. What I never do is judge the child (well, not before a certain age of culpability anyway) but seriously, is it really so hard to say no and mean it?

I was going to move on and tell you how great Miss Mac is but that seems a bit smug after my rant …

Sod it, I'm going to anyway ;-) but first of all I should tell you that she accused me of wearing something 'age appropriate' the other day so she's really not ALL that perfect!

We had parents evening last week and aside from the fact that she is doing beyond well in every subject the thing that pleased me as much as anything was the fact that the teachers seemed to genuinely like her. She had as much praise for her behaviour and attitude as she did for her performance and results and that makes me incredibly proud.

Ok, well I'm not going to bang on about it too much (although I really could) but I am going to leave you with a couple of examples of the art work that she's been working on lately because I am one proud Mama!!!