Tuesday, 28 November 2006

This is the Scrabble board I wanted to show you. There were some dubious words, like 'ZIT' and 'SATAN' - not sure if that is a name, and if you are allowed names. We were very pleased with the board filling achieved on this one. You will remember this is the one that I WON. You will notice R's unplaced Q in the bottom right. Tsk.

Monday, 27 November 2006

Just yoga tonight at Bitterne. Leisure Centre, not in the open air. Really good as ever. Wish I could take photos to show you some of my balances. We did OMing tonight as well. The instructor, Sandra, must be in the British Yoga Wheel's top 10 instructors.

It would certainly be a challenge to take photos of my own balances, so maybe some of the other members of the class would stand still for me.

Sunday, 26 November 2006

Cobham. Oh how different from my Bitterne. I spent a couple of days in Claygate, Surrey, with my parents, staying in their home, where my dad has lived since 1945. Claygate has gone downhill as a centre for purchasing, unless you want to buy a BIG house ( or even a small one for BIG money) or art, or a wedding dress, or a thai meal. We did have good chips from the chip shop, and ate in, which is something of a Bitternesque thing to do, complete with plastic tablecloths.

It rained a lot and we took shelter in a bus shelter en route to my primary school fair. There was a big puddle by the bus stop and in the time we were there ( long enough for girls to eat choc brownie each) some cars splashed past. And, this is TRUE, half of them were Mercedes. I don't think Bitterne has ever seen a Merc.

We went to Cobham for their turning on the Christmas lights event on Friday. Now, if you think Claygate sounds posh, wait till you get to Cobham. It is the home of the American Community School, and hence the american community. It is also the home of Chelsea FC training grounds, and hence Chelsea FC. Here, you need a BIG mortgage just to buy a shed at B and Q and a BIG car to be allowed in to B and Q in the first place.

My dad's family come from Cobham, Oxshott and Downside for centuries, and so he is a local lad and provides an interesting slant on the place. Wandering around the village in the dark, with crowds of Americans, and my dad acting as an honorary blue badge guide and pointing out where the school used to be, the oldest cottage in Cobham, the garage where a vicar committed suicide and other tourist hotspots made for a surreal evening. In fact, he should catch on to a business opportunity and start up Ye Olde Cobham ghoste walkes and that kind of tourist thing to a literally captive audience.

It was good to get home. It is lovely to be there and see family, but as H put it when we got back to church on Sun am ' I have missed being here'. When I drive down my road towards my house when I have been away I always get that excited feeling that I want to be here more than anywhere else. Maybe that is what home is all about?

Not much progress on the morris side to report. Keith plays the accordian so could be a long distance member of the group, as he lives near Scotland, and is in fact Scottish. He could play by satellite or something. I am guessing that playing the accordian is something that is done by Scottish people as a matter of routine, and that no one would bat an eyelid if he walked through Alnwick with badly fitting white clothes and jingly bells on his legs.

When H was born and I stayed in hospital 2 nights, there was a new dad on the ward who wore long flowing white clothes. At the time Rob and I thought it slightly odd, and not very practical, come to that, with new born poo, beige seems the best colour choice. Anyway, now I see the link and guess that he was a Scot, and this in usual attire. All makes sense now. Perhaps he left his accordian downstairs so it wouldn't interfere with the equipment in hospitals that the signs say get freaked out by mobile phones.

Thursday, 23 November 2006

Did the eastern Bitterne circuit today, Bitterne Health Centre, Lloyds Chemist and Bitterne Leisure Centre. Met an older lady who I used to see every week or so and chat to at swimming, really glad to see her and she asked me to remember her in my prayers as she is now very ill ( hence visit to Doctors, and not swimming). I wanted to ask to pray for her right then, so I did, and we had a good chat and hopefully I was a positive person for her today.

The gym TVs were showing fantastic options, including a step by step beginners guide to Morris Dancing. It showed men doing the dances in situ ( outside pubs) and then doing it again in a dance studio, slowly, presumably to give the rest of us mortals a chance to join in. I reckon that men get to join Morris Sides by being so drunk that they can't run when someone comes round the pub recruiting. The skill level is only set so high that an intoxicated, portly chap of older years can struggle through a few moves without fear of a heart attack. But, on this instructional video (why were they showing it at the gym?) there seemed to be more than the usual token youngster. ( You know, there's always one chap of about 45 who is skinny and does it because his dad does it too and its in the family). So I can only assume they had combed the whole of England to find the fittest and most adept Morris men to show off on this particular vid.

Several times I have encouraged Rob to start a Thornhill Morris Side, in the spirit of community development. Living as we do in a New Deal area, I reckon he could get a grant for upward of £10k to buy accordians, bells, badly fitting white shirts and trousers and sticks to bang. Probably could wangle another £10k for beer allowances and a papier mache horses head. Then all he would need to do would be to find 7 or so inebriated locals and they are onto a winner!

For some strange reason, he is not interested. So, if you are reading Mark, Dunc and Alan, why not give it a go? Just call R up and ask him!

NOT that I would count any of you dear friends as portly, old or drunk. You would come into the category of skinny young blokes showing off.

Maybe you could perform at my inaugral Bitterne Precinct Festival of World Dance?

Wednesday, 22 November 2006

Convincing win yesterday. I have taken a photo of the board to put on here when I learn how to do that. R's hair cut went extremely well, Rachel did a better job than usual 'stylist', and her tutor gave the praise ' you did as well as you could possibly be expected to do in the circumstances' which I would not know how to take, personally. Have not taken a hair cut photo as you can imagine what R looks like with slightly shorter hair.

No trips out today. Had more thinking time than usual, combined with baking cakes for school cake sale, playing A's made up games with balloons and string. Have regular trip to BLC tomorrow, although as been a bit achey and snotty and grim I will skip Body Combat and just pop into the gym and wander around looking at the pictures of skeletons stretching and hope it helps. Am doing a double combo Bitterne trip as need to pick up a prescription from the Doc. Did I not tell you that the Dr is in Bitterne too? Yep! It gets better and better! I have yet to meet our GP, we were swapped from our old one to a new one because our surname begins with B. Seems a bit unreasonable of him, maybe he had people in the B section who were pains in the B so decided to get rid of the lot of us. He always asked me if I smoked, and I always said no. Now I wonder if I had said yes, would he have opened up a drawer of duty free tobacco and asked me to inhale?


Tuesday, 21 November 2006

Cluedo has been suggested as an alternative game. I remember it being dull, dull, dull, but maybe that was the people I played it with. Will give it a go if anyone wants to invite me round for a Cluedo night. But, hey, what about Ludo? That deserves a comeback. Yahtzee, now that was exciting, those 5 dice rumbling around in that black plastic bin. Maybe I should try a casino, or possibly venture past the 2p slider machines next time we go to Haven. If you have never been to Haven, I can wholeheartedly recommend it as the holiday destination of all discerning Bitternites. This Spring we are going to a rival to Haven, called Rockley Park, in Poole. If anyone has been there and wants to comment, please do. Should I stock up on 2ps or not bother?

Did not make it into Bitterne today, sadly. I did try to 'shop local' as Friends of the Earth would wish me to. Our Coop is very good for most things you need from a Coop ( milk, bread, chocolate, washing up liquid), but I tried to buy some Christmas presents in Thornhill Parade. If you have never been you are missing a treat. It was very easy to buy Christmas presents for your pets, but harder for your children. And I don't have any pets. We are thinking about getting a goldfish, but only at the thinking stage. In fact, that is the first Rob knew about that, so good thing its a goldfish and not a python. Anyway, I did try to purchase in Thornhill, and am taking girls there to get their hair cut. But there is not much to actually buy. I bought some very ripe bananas and some rice cracker mix, spending £1.82. I had to use a £20 note to pay, which I rarely see so don't know what it was doing in my purse. The till wasn't up to such a drain and I had to take my change in 50ps and 20ps.

Sometimes real bloggers tell you about books they are reading. I am reading The Wizard of Oz and a book about cups of tea and biscuits, and a book about teaching called 'Getting the Bu****s to behave'. Not really sure what those choices tell you about me, but expect you are rummaging through the yellow pages looking for a unit that would be able to take me at short notice.

Just noticed that I have made it sound like ALL Thornhill precinct sells is novelty pet Christmas presents, rice crackers and ripe bananas. That is not the case. You can buy mops and WD40 as well. And there is a betting shop, which I may just try out.

Sunday, 19 November 2006

Have had bad scrabble and Bitterne experiences this weekend. Have taken this long to get to a place where I can begin to share my pain. So please bare (sic) with me: ( i have always wanted to write (sic) after a deliberate spelling mistake. I have noticed that people tend to use 'bare' in this context when I think, or hope, they don't mean it.)

First, Scrabble. R beat me by 17 points, which is far too many. That was on Friday, and have not been able to look at a Scrabble board since, not even Junior version, which seems nothing like the real version. Kinder eggs. There is another Junior thing, which, frankly, I wish I had invented and not left to Mr Kinder. It is a rubbish toy, encased in air and brown solid resembling chocolate. It is the purchase of choice for both H and A, and I assume that they are not uniquely attracted to these items. So, if there are lots of children, kinder, enfants and what have you all over the globe like them, then Mr Kinder must have a lot of Oompah Loompahs working very hard.

Onto better things. Bitterne. Normally a subject of great joy, but I have to report two dismal failings I have found. Yes, even I, passionate fan of Bitterne, can see that the streets are not all paved with gold. Firstly, we went swimming there on Saturday afternoon at 2pm. One quite good thing is that only R has to pay to get in ( he opens the fire escape for the rest of the family). 2pm. Saturday. Now I am not Mr Britas, but Saturday afternoons strike me as being potentially good swimming times for many of the Bitterne populace with young family in toe (sic). Who can think of anything better than dodging plasters and veruccae in a tepid bath of urine? Well, I can, and Bitterne is a far cry from such a dismal scene. But, and this is the bad bit, it shuts at 3pm! OK, so an hour is more than enough, but some people don't get up as early as me ( 10.40am that day, since you ask) and I could have luxuriated in the jacuzzi another hour or so, no problems.

So, if you can picture the scene, we leave the delights of BLC behind us and head up hill and north east, to the library. While away a happy half hour browsing, until we hear those words we should have expected ' the library closes in 5 minutes'. At 4pm. Now, clearly I am the only peerson in the whole eastern side of Southampton who is not up with the lark on a Saturday morning, and everyone else has done 40 lengths, changed their library books and been bowling before 10am. Or am I missing something here? Feel horribly let down and was looking forward to telling you about my happy afternoon in my precious Bitterne.

Today I spent some time in the healing environment of Furzey Gardens with R H and A. It really is good for the soul to be there. We let A go off on a path on her own, only a tinsy bit away from us, and then saw a new sign which said 'DANGER area closed'. Never seen such a sign there before, never let A of the lead before, R managed a successful rescue and all lived happily ever after.

Thursday, 16 November 2006

Rob got severe migraine and therefore I won scrabble. It was one of those situations where to be kind to him, I didn't ask him to play ( he has 2 blankets over his head and his tea is cold in the oven), so I played his goes for him and I won! Suprising, as I was expecting another draw.

All a bit much today, wasn't it? I needed to lie down with 2 blankets over my head by 6pm, or lie 2 girls down with blankets over theirs. Managed neither, did the dreaded nit hunt again (nil points on that one) and collapsed. Intend to head to Coop shortly, to buy milk and chocolate.

Notable first today - first attendance at 'Body Combat' at Bitterne Leisure Centre. It was boxing training, kicking and punching, perfect antidote to yoga. Loved it! Very sweaty business, combat. Will be looking for people to practise my moves on so don't meet me between here and the Coop tonight. Smell will warn you I am within striking distance, like a vicious wild cat looking for its prey, that's me. I have booked in to attend next week, see you there?

Returned a chainsaw to its owner tonight, thanks R for the loan. I will not, therefore, be wielding a chainsaw in a dramatic fashion as I head down to the Coop tonight, which would have been an exciting option to improve my kickboxing speeds. Or your running speed.

Good night everyone.


Wednesday, 15 November 2006

Scrabble draw again. How amazing is that... can hardly wait for tomorrow! Am planning a trip to Bitterne tomorrow, so you will have an exciting read tomorrow night.

Today I gave an elderly neighbour a lift to Bitterne. She was travelling through to get her hair done in West End, but she said she was stopping in Mays Munchies (no problem with the mention, May) on the way back for lunch. I know, I know, it is a proxy visit, but I hope it counts. If anyone is counting, I think I have only missed two days without visiting the hallowed shrine.

Rachel, the finder of the diary, is cutting R's hair next week, she will be on week 3 of her home hair cutting course at evening classes. I made it sound better than it was, well, made Rachel sound more competent than she is, to persuade Rob to give it a go. Frankly, her family are crying out for her to go on this course and get on with cutting their hair. The course was cancelled in the spring term, and she hasn't let them cut their hair since as she needs lots of material to work with. Will let you know what R's barnet looks like when she had finished. Hey, could even try a photo...

I worked today, but I sincerely consider it pure joy to be in the classroom. Seriously, I do, most of the time. I got to teach dance which is my favourite subject, well, along with maths, art, handwriting, drama and apparatus PE. I love teaching dance. Sure I don't do it very well, but they have a great time and so do I, and I get paid for the priveledge of being there. Don't you feel like you are getting to know me better by reading this? You would not have known that I love teaching dance, would you?

Maybe there is a possibility of teaching dance to the population of Bitterne in the precinct itself, as a community art project.


Tuesday, 14 November 2006

Scrabble result tonight was a draw. But R looked up and found that we had both used illegal words so that might have affected the outcome. Still, a draw makes everyone a winner doesn't it?

I have not won any competitions lately. I will try harder. I entered one to get a style makeover with Atomic Kitten or some similar. Frankly, I think I have things to teach them about style. Stil, closing date for that one not gone by yet so live in hope. I had my hair coloured red today. Not very red, but a bit red. Not ketchup, more oak table red.

Bitterne. Yoga at the Leisure Centre last night. I love it. I like balancing and stretching and lying down in the dark relaxing. I showed R one of my poses and he was genuinely impressed. I have also shown several other friends and passers by. H went to Bitterne WITHOUT ME yesterday. I worked teaching all day - I was shattered by 2pm - and she was taken to Iceland in Bitterne to choose tea with the lovely Rodgers family. Pizza and baked beans. We had a lodger once who ate cabbage, rice and baked beans for dinner 4 nights of the week and said it was a nutritionally complete meal. Which shows that nutritionists must moonlight for some air freshener company.

Woolston. That's where I shopped today. Branching out, I know, but it has a large Coop store and there are many good reasons to shop with the Coop which I will not go into here. You can call me if you want to know them. H had a day off school due to a power cut, again, which also affected our house. I lit a fire and we took cups of tea to the workmen - builders, as H calls them. She loved running up and down the road taking them biscuits and sugar. Does that last sentence sound like we are living in the 1930s? In fact, the whole paragraph does. Tally ho!

Saturday, 11 November 2006

Stranger than fiction - I think that was the name of a new film I would like to see. It is also the case with my blog. You couldn't make this stuff up, could you? Hey, I know you are desperate to hear about Bitterne, so here goes.

Tonight we had a chinese takeaway from The Happy Garden o n T Park Rd. Very good. Not quite Bitterne Village, I know, but in the vicinity to count as an excursion. Made a new friend (well, she might not think so) in the chip shop by asking the lady in front what road she lived on, and what number. Quickly went round and broke in while she waiting for her fish to cook. No no no! She lives next door to a friend so we had something to talk about and she didn't show obvious signs of thinking I was a weirdo.

Friday, I snuck in a sneaky trip to Bitterne to exchange something and buy H some trainers. Glitz is the shop for cheap, sparkly trainers, what every girl needs. They also sell belly button piercing jewellery but I had no need of that. Just mention it in case you are in Bitterne desperate for a new navel bar. Once again I frequented Barnados - think I should get frequent flyer points or whatever the equivalent is for going to charity shops. Hope they appreciate all the free advertising they get here. I expect queues round the block on Monday.

Today was our women's quiet day (yes, heard all the jokes) in the New Forest. I had 2 sleeps and hung out with God in a treehouse. It was great. Felt and heard the tree creaking in the wind and felt God in the creaks.

Thursday, 9 November 2006

Hi. Guess I have got quite a following judging by the number of comments left. There is a thing on here which you turn on to prevent unwanted comments. Hey! all gratefully received.

Someone I met today ( young man, plumbing apprentice) told me people do blogs to make new friends. Frankly, I don't mind if you want to read this but I am not looking for extra friends. (especially not ones who might be reading this - members of the Bitterne fan club, perhaps). I love the ones I have and want to make it easier for them to keep up to date with my trips to Bitterne, so they know what they are missing by zooming past it in their cars rather than stopping to enjoy its olde world charms.

Today we went to Bitterne by bus (am i boring you yet?). A wasn't sure whether bus driver was male or female. Interesting conversation to be had when A is 3, not within ear shot of driver.

Anyway, enough of the journey! I can tell you that one part of Bitterne not to bother with is the public toilets, in case you were going to make a special journey. The ladies in Superdrug pharmacy are much more friendly than in another chemist in Bitterne (want to avoid libel). Successful purchases today included a nit comb, tights, cough mixture and Quorn burgers. Mix them all up and cook at 180 degrees for 20 mins for a fine vegetarian alternative to faggots. Hope I can say that without getting blocked by your anti bad things screening device.

We went to Bitterne Leisure Centre 'the heart of the community' in my opinion. Hours of fun with a bouncy castle and a locker that flashes when you lock it. Well, about one hour of fun. Met a friend and she had a friend with her who I USED TO TEACH. How bad is that? I feel so ancient now. However, nothing Radox can't solve. But I don't have any of that. Yet.

Tomorrow I am hoping to go to Thornhill Park Road shops to buy some door mats. Will let you know how things go as soon as humanly possible.

Bless you all.

Good night. kx

Wednesday, 8 November 2006

Wednesday evening.

Have found my diary. I guess you didn't know I had lost it, but I had, and a friend found it under my sofa.


Tuesday, 7 November 2006

My day... highlights included a bargain buy of top, skirt and jacket from Barnado's charity shop in Bitterne. You can't beat Bitterne precinct. It has to be the top shopping experience in the UK, if not the world. It has EVERYTHING you need, like 3 holiday shops, 7 or 8 estate agents and 4 or 5 banks. Not much room left for anything else you might think - but No! A health food shop, a bowling complex, 3 cafes (tried May's Munchies for first time today - great!). I think I should be awarded the job of tourism manager for Bitterne. Can't imagine that it pays much, but I like challenges.

The reason I was buying clothes is because I am starting a new job after Christmas, I will be teaching 2 days a week from Jan to April. Year 3. Cool eh? I can't wear jeans to be a teacher so thought I would invest in some 'smart' clothes. So with that and working for Southampton Vineyard Church I will be shifting over the border from 'stay at home mum who works a bit' to 'mum who works more days than she stays at home'. Although I have never felt easy with the stay at home mum tag, as I am hardly ever in. So I have always been a going out mum, now I guess I will be a 'going out to work and for fun mum'.

Interesting the labels we wear and why. Mine mainly say 'Barnados' right now.

I do worry when buying charity shop purchases that someone may have died in them. How would I know? Maybe if they had been buried in them there would be tell tale signs - worm holes, singed edges possibly?


Monday, 6 November 2006

Hello, Kay here!