27 July, 2006



My daughter has a lovely wardrobe. It has bookshelves, a cupboard to hang dresses, and three small drawers. She has used it for over a year now, and I am finally ready to take it to the dump. The problem is that the drawers get stuck. And the cupboard door falls off, alot. And it's just plain UGLY. And the drawers are so small, she can't fit most of her clothes in them and I keep finding clean clothes on the floor, in the dirty clothes basket, or shoved in the cupboard. And that is enough to give me a nervous breakdown.

Apparently the majority of the western world choose Ikea for furniture needs, so I figured I'd have a look. A quick browse of their website showed me that their flat pack furniture probably isn't much better than anyone elses- but I saw a dresser I liked.
It's actually a convertable changing table. But, that doesnt matter much, as the changing table part converts into shelf space. Perfect. And the price was right as well. A browse of their storage options showed me something else I liked and it was decided, first thing Wednesday we'd head up to Croydon- the closest Ikea to us.

Rafe had a 10:30 appt. for his shots so after that we were on our way. Or so I thought. Having never been to Croydon before I really didn't know what to expect. Had I known to expect to sit in a horrible traffic jam for a full hour, in the middle of a disgusting, dirty city- I never would have gone. The traffic was the worst part of the day and by the time we got to Ikea, both DH and I were in a foul mood. However, the store was air conditioned and they had a cheap restaurant. Before anyone even so much as said "Mommmmy, I'm huuungry" they were sitting at a table with a plate of swedish meatballs and chips in front of them. And for both kids, including drinks it only cost us £4. Bloody hell, that's cheaper than McDonalds! Unfortunatley adult meals are not so cheap and I elected to go without. DH, however could not resist the call of meatballs in gravy- so I left them to it while the baby and I browsed.

I didn't go anywhere really except the childrens area, and I was pleasantly surprised. The store was well laid out, and well lit. I found the dresser I wanted right away, and the storage options were all close by. The one I originally wanted looked cheap and flimsy so I chose to go with a smaller, more sturdy and nicer looking option. I wanted two, one for each kids rooms, but they only had one left. Plenty of the other one, though. So, I suppose I'm not the only one who liked the smaller one better.

I had found what I wanted and done a little browsing and was back out to meet the horde in about 10 minutes. Amazing. I had been prepared for 2 hours of trudging around a huge store trying to find what I wanted and shoving through crowds of people, while the kids whined and acted up. This was awesome. I was so happy that I practically dragged the horde out of the store before things could go horribly wrong. Poor DH didnt even get a chance to see the dresser and storage unit on display, so lets hope he likes them! The only bad thing about the store was that I didnt get the hot dog I wanted, as they seem to have 500 restaurants and cafes and bistros, and the ones I went to, were never the ones with the hot dog deal. Oh, well.

Leaving meant venturing back into the traffic and our moods soon turned black. As we inhaled the fumes from the guy in front and sweltered in the 39 degree c heat, DH and I soon descended into bickering about his driving and ended up not saying a word to each other the whole way back.

The kids were extremly well behaved, however. And on the way home, I saw a parrot in a tree. Apparently an escapee from Bird World. That was great. :)

So, overall Ikea seems to be a nice place and I would like to go back. They even have a childrens centre, which I love, but it was full when we arrived. But, we won't be going any time soon, as I'm just not willing to sit in that bloody traffic again, it was horrible. I'd love for Ikea to build a store in Portsmouth. Apparently they were planning to, but local residents campaigned against it. Knowing how long it takes to get to Portsmouth (25 minutes to drive down there and park) and how long it took to get to Croydon (2 hours to drive up there and park) I have decided that I really hate those people.

24 July, 2006


At work

You're American?


Oh, man can you believe what your country is doing in Iraq?

To be honest, I'm not very happy with it.

Yeah, you know, the Americans are acting just like a spoilt child who's been slapped, and now is going to slap back much harder. I mean, I know September 11th was really terrible and all- but honestly they're acting just like spoiled children, right?


Spoiled Children!

Well, I'm certainly glad you pointed that out. And next time I see President Bush- I'll be sure to fill him in on your educated, well reasoned and thought out points regarding the Middle East.



22 July, 2006


Little Miss.... something.

Wednesday 7:30-8:25am

"Livvy, go and get ready for school please."

"I'm not getting dressed! I'm NOT going to school!!!

"Livvy, come and eat your breakfast, please."

"I'm NOT eating! I don't want breakfast! I'm NOT HUNGRY!!"

"Livvy, come here so I can brush your hair, please"

"I'm NOT having my hair bruhuhuhushed! I don't want BRUSHY!"

3:20 pm

"Wheres the car, mommy? Did you bring the car? I don't WANT TO WALK HUHUHOME! I WANT TO DRIVE!!"


"Livvy, please eat your dinner."


"Liv- go and brush your teeth."

"NO! I'm NOT brushing my teeth! NOOOOO!"

"Livvy put your pajamas on"


"Liv- go and get into bed, now."



" I love youuuu mommy and daddy and devon and rafey, sweet dreams!!!!"

17 July, 2006



A woman from my daughters school is going to a childrens centre in Mozambique this summer and would like to again bring donated items for the children there. It is quite sobering to read down the list of things they desperatley need, knowing I have access to those things 24/7 either in my medicine cabinet or at corner shop. A recent report on radio 4 discussed the problem of sanitary pads in Africa, and I found myself quite close to tears as I listened. Girls who have to stay home from school because it was that time of the month. Because they simply don't have access to pads. Can you imagine? In most cases it is because they are simply to expensive. And a group has strived to do everything in their power to make pads more accessible to women and girls, but it slow going. They have only just managed to get the government to agree to take tax off sanitary products. But, how much does that help, really?

I put together three shoeboxes of items to send along this summer, and amongst the items I included 6 packs of 20 pads each. 120 pads in total. But those certainly won't last longer than one cycle for 6 girls. I wished I could do more.

I would like for anyone who reads this blog to send one thing to my daughters school, to in turn be passed on to the childrens centre in Mozambique. Please remember while we live more or less in the lap of luxury- these children have nothing.

Here is a list of things that would be greatly appreciated by the childrens centre. If you only send one thing, it is better than nothing at all. So, please....

unwanted childrens clothes (clean)
plasters (bandaids)
underwear (size 2-4)
laundry markers
one piece sleepsuits (large size 2-4)
spill proof training cups
sanitary pads (no tampons)
curly ribbon
glue sticks
dry erase and permanent markers
pencils, pens, notebooks and scissors.

These are such simple items, but would make such a world of difference. And theyre not expensive. I decided to go to Lidl, where I knew I would be able to get most things, and more of them. If you decide to send something, then here is the address.

Bordon Infant School
FAO: Joan Fensome
Budds Lane
Bordon, Hampshire
GU35 0JR

03 July, 2006

Well, despite my desperate pleas to Rafe that he stop that growing stuff, he is now almost to long for his Moses basket, and this morning he rolled over! I know I should be cherishing these very short months, but I just find myself sad with each new day, knowing that soon he will no longer be my baby. I want to sear every smile, every cuddle, every new experience into my memory, it's over so quick and it's so easy to forget.

Yesterday we took the kids to a local fjord(ford?) over at an old milling house. The water was crisp and clear. They ran through it and splashed and watched the Trout that swam by occasionally. Occasionally a car drove through, most were very slow and careful but others, after making sure the kids weren't in the road, would rev the engine and plough through, splashing everyone! These were the most fun. David got some good pictures for the summer magazine he's working on and the kids had a great time. I sat on the side with Rafe at one point and dipped his feet in, and the coldness of the water made the poor thing cry. But, once his feet were warm again, he laughed and smiled in the sunlight.

It's very hot here, they've issued a heatwave alert. That seems so odd to me, as it's at least 30 degrees cooler here than in Arizona, but then I remember that they're not used to it here. As hot as it is, it is kind of nice, just to have the sunlight. But, I'll be happy when it goes. I like the overcast, rainy England. Just goes to show I will never be truly British, as they like to tell me at work.

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