Friday, 25 June 2010

me and my ipad forever

I know that money does not buy you happiness, but sometimes it can honest! This week I took possession of an ipad. Its wonderful. Its amazing. Its fanbloodytastic actually. I am so thrilled.

When i first got it I took it out of the box and did not dare to turn it on. I was scared I might do something wrong and break it before I had even got to see what it can do. I sat it next to me on the sofa and continued using my laptop. Actually I am still on my laptop. The one thing I have discovered about my fantabulous new toy is that it is not really suited to those of us who can touch type, or at least nearly touch type. well you know, use more than one or two fingers when we type!

I didn't really buy it to replace my laptop anyway. I do work and emails and stuff on it and the diddy 16 gigs of memory would not really go very far if I used it for anything more than a toy. But its soooo cool. Of course the first app I downloaded onto it was 'Talking Carl' this has to be the funniest app ever. Its a little red square thing with googly eyes and a big mouth. If you rub his tummy he giggles. If you poke him in the eye he says ow. If you talk to him he repeats everything you say in a higher voice. If you laugh he laughs. Its one of those totally addictive gizmos that has everyone laughing and having a go. Even Neil when he phoned me talked to Carl and heard his voice coming back at him. Cue much hilarity! When my friend Julia brought her friend Ali round Julia ended up singing Mama Mia just to hear Carl sing back. I tell you if you are ever stuck for something to say, then bring out talking Carl because he will have everyone giggling like loons. And if you are REALLY naughty  then yes Carl does repeat your swear words in a very high pitched voice too. I know so childish, but sooooo funny!

Second app I downloaded was a calculator. A jumbo one that fills the 9.7inch screen. It has jumbo buttons and great for when I am working as I don't have to squint at the little numbers on my usual calculator. Well of course, you spend a fortune just to have a jumbo calculator! I probably could have bought one for a fiver in Staples, but thats not the point. This is my coveted ipad. My gizmo. My wunder gadget!

The great thing about the ipad is that of course it is an ipod too and it has itunes. But more than that it has a built in speaker so that if, like me, you cant use ear phones, then you can still be part of the iclub and listen to music wherever you are. At the mo I have downloaded and am listening to Split Enz. Remember them? I Got You and all that? Ooooh its so exciting!

Before, the iworld had left me far behind, but now I'm right up there with the best of em. I has me an ipad and I loves it! If you are very nice to me I might let you have a play :-)

Oooh oooh and just before I go, let me tell you that I bought my ipad a skin. A pink skin! ha! So there! I would show you a picture of it, but I'm not too clever at this uploading malarky. Just imagine a little fat lady with a great big grin and a pink ipad.

Oh and of course money cant buy you love, not happiness, I am rubbish at remembering sayings! have a great weekend xxxx

Monday, 21 June 2010

All things family

While waiting for Neil to drive home last night I cast my eye over my family tree. I've been studying it on and off since 2003 and while we are not exactly a very exciting lot, its my family and I get a buzz out of doing it.

My maiden name is Priestman it is apparently German if family folklore is to be believed. My middle brother even found a family crest, although I think perhaps the American branches may have invented that!

My parents divorced when I was eight so although I knew my dad's mum, i never did know much about the family history, which is why it was great to investigate it. I never did finish off a lot of the rellies though, so last night I did some fevered research to discover when they all popped their clogs.

One good piece of news was that my Great grandfather Edward was 82 when he shuffled off this mortal coil. Unfortunately his son George William died young at only 57. Fortunately this is not a new trend, as my father will be 74 this birthday. His Great grandfather George was 75 when he died. I'm hoping for a little Priestman longevity!

The one thing I have found really frustrating is that I cannot always find my people on the census. We know they are meant to be there, but often it is in transcription that they get lost. Now as the Priestman's of my branch were from London, its not so easy to do a street by street search!

Edward Priestman was born in 1860 His mother has the quite groovy name of Elizabeth Mary Catling Mead. I can find her husband and two daughters on the 1861 census, but not her and her infant son. In 1871 I cant find any of them, but I did happen upon a ten year old Edward Priestman visiting a grocers. I wonder if he had been set to work as a delivery boy!

My biggest challenge is linking the London Priestman's to their many relatives up in the North East, as that's where the majority are in the 1800's One family tree has gone back to the 1600's but I am a long way off settling my leaves on those branches!

Still it is good fun, and even better when you have juicy gossip like I found when I did Neil's tree. Might share that with you another time :-)

Thursday, 17 June 2010


If I may just put it on record, I love the flags that are currently adorning many houses round here. 

I drove down to RockFerry today to pick up my mum. She lives in a little side road and they have even strung bunting across the road between two houses. It looks almost like Christmas, but with lots of flags instead.

As I drove down the streets, house after house had flags outside. I passed one couple leaving their house, turning round, and grinning like loons at the enormous England flag they had hanging from their front window.

It makes me sad that the one time there is a huge display of patriotism is when our football team are playing. Wouldn't it be great if the same joy was shown on St Georges Day? What is wrong with being proud to be English? What can we do to make our National Day more of an event? And if people don't want that particular Day, then why not another day?

I love the way the Netherlands has a Queens Day. Why can't the Queen's Official birthday be the day chosen to wave our flags? Of course she is not just Queen of England so there could be the argument against using the St Georges Cross, but there must be some way of showing we are proud to be English.

Just have to hope England do well in the World Cup as then the flag of cheer will be around for a while!

Tuesday, 15 June 2010


Ok so here is a question I need your help with.

Bought son a giant sized cricket bag for all his gear. He loves his cricket and has everything helmet, pads, gloves, crickets bats and all those other bits and bobs boys need :-) He said he needed a large bag, so between us we bought one and it cost £70. That was two weeks ago.

Today some of the year 10 boys thought it would be a great idea to empty out the bag and put one of their comrades in it. Probably hysterically funny at the time, but the problem is the escapade resulted in them ripping the bag. Its not unusable as it is a kind of internal pocket that has been ripped, but the rip is the full length of the bag and renders the large pocket useless.

I'm furious and feel the boys should be made to pay for a new bag. If it had been an old bag I'd have chalked it up to boyish foolery and left it, but this is a brand new bag.

So the question is, what do I do? Do I demand full payment? Do I demand part payment. Do I demand letters of apology? This is a private school we are talking about, not some yob factory.

Would welcome your views

Monday, 14 June 2010


A poem written by a friend I knew only as Rialtos. He was in his seventies at the time and that was some 13 years ago so I would imagine he is no longer with us. His words however can last forever if we let them. Course we might not agree with him :-)

Love is a loosely used
four letter word.
I learned that from a woman.
Odd in a way, since they 
think they hold the patent
and men don't know the
first thing about it.
I love you, she said...
over and over until 
I finally realized she
didn't love me, but the
idea of being in love.
A common female
fallacy, I'd say.
Love me loving you --
that was the gist.
So who knows the least
about love, men or women?
Men may be ignorant,
but they're not confused.
That's why we keep our 
mouths shut when it
comes to love.

Sunday, 13 June 2010


As an epilogue to my last post....

Firstly I know I am not alone. Its good when other parents actually mention their own teenager problems. In this 'lack of respect' society we seem to live in these days I'm not the only one trying my best and feeling so frustrated at the way I am spoken to, ignored etc etc

I was amused and bolstered by something I read in one of Shirley Wells' books yesterday:

'Teenagers have to rebel,' Jill went on softly. 'it's natures way of preparing them for flying the nest.' She smiled 'And the way they turn into monsters - well that's nature's way of making sure the parents are happy for them to fly.' (A Darker Side p153)

Makes sense to me, thanks Shirley!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Being tired

I'm tired and grumpy and not much fun to be with at the moment. You know when you try and reason with people but it gets you nowhere? I'm tired of the constant battle with my children. They don't tell you these things in the baby books. They don't tell you that if you are indulgent, if you give in to your children's every whim, that in the end they will turn round and bight you. I suppose I should have worked that one out for myself I just made the fatal flaw of wanting to give my children all the things that I never had as a child. But the fact is, that the things I never had were material. As a child there was an abundance of love and understanding which made me the person I am today. I wish I had worked that one out sooner!

The thing is, my boys are not rebels, they are not tearaways. they have good manners, they know how to behave when we are out, they are polite and courteous to others. Is it my fault they do not respect me? Is it the fault of family influences beyond my control? Is it just part of the Juveniles Code that they must make life as difficult as possible for the significant adults in their lives?

I am so lucky, my boys do not have illnesses, they do not have disabilities. Ok there have been a few problems along the way, Tom's dyspraxia caused a lot of problems when he was younger but we have worked our way through all of that. I was even lucky enough that we had the money to send both boys to Private School when it became apparent that state schools were not helping them.

Is it just that I am ineffectual as a human being? There are times when I am so strong, so driven. I have succeeded. I don't mean just having good days, I mean weeks, months. I ran a website that had hundreds of thousands of hits. I acted as mentor on a dieting site. I was fan of the year for my local football team. I learnt how to do the books for the family business, to do the payroll, to use a computer, to give advice on plants and gardening. I studied local history and even through my depression, failing health and divorce, and managed to come away with a certificate to show me that I can achieve.

If I can do these things, if I can succeed, then why can I not be the mother I should be. I've never liked confrontation, I don't like arguments. Is this roller coaster ride just par for the course? Am I getting off lightly in comparison to other parents? Are my expectations too high?

I'm tired. It just seems that every day there is something else. And if its not my boys, then my ex is always there to dig the knives in further. If one of the children does something wrong, why is it me that gets shouted at. When will I ever find the voice to say enough is enough? When will I learn to press 'end call' on the phone if I am at the receiving end of another rant? When will I stop the boys mid track and just walk away if they talk to me with the lack of respect they have been showing?

I'm tired because I don't sleep because my head is full of stuff as I try to cope with the tospy turvey world that is my life and I suppose my ability to make a drama out of a crisis. Perhaps I should call for Supernanny to set me straight!


You know nothing of love, he said
You know nothing of a broken heart
You know nothing of the pain that I have felt
You could not even begin to start
So he took in his hands my soul
He moulded it in his fashion
He drowned it in everlasting love,
Taught of unbridled passion.
But then his hands like a vice became
Squeezing it tight til I screamed
What must I do? Must I suffer too?
You destroy everything that I dreamed.
My soul when wrung out, hung limp in his hands 
As empty as I had become
Are you happy now? I asked through my tears
Surveying what he had done.
He cried out in anguish Oh now I can see
In my anger and hate, how wrong could I be?
Your beauty and love I had no right to doubt
Your pain is as true as the pain deep in me
But it was too late,the damage was done
My heart crying out to an empty soul
My love could have been the answer for him
So strong to once more make him whole
But by his hands he destroyed the thing that could help, 
A warm loving soul  so readily given 
A time and a space to share and to be
A love in an earth bound heaven
I know about love I shout to the stars
I know about a broken heart
I know about the pain, we have felt and shared
You taught me so well in the art.