Friday, 28 February 2014


Ok so I didn't make something to eat macaroni cheese with. I made a cake slice. Well I say make, I mean I buffed it and sort of made a handle but that pretty much beats any other craft achievement in my life so it's all good for the soul.

Essentially I was given a cut out shape to buff on a machine. Then I cut a wooden block into a handle shape, sanded it a lot and slightly lamented the fact that I couldn't etch it with a witty phrase because I hadn't picked a cheese knife, dammit. It's flipping lovely though, and even going to be in the gallery for a bit, alongside cake slices that may be more aesthetically pleasing but that doesn't take the shine off it for me (you see what I did there?).

I personally think the word 'whittletang' was made up by someone who had drunk a bit too much cider. Whatever it's origins it is one of my new favourite words along with 'shrewd'. 'flamboyant', 'squishy' and 'dubious'. Which of course whittletang is most definitely not. It's a bonkers word to describe making cutlery and adding handles.

The whole point of the training is to understand the student journey. Many of the sessions we offer are craft based to give them the chance to use their hands and their imaginations to produce something they can be proud of. If the students are half as excited as I was when I actually produced a cake slice then I totally get it. Whittletang in mainstream schooling may be the answer you know...

So once it's been displayed it comes back to me and if you come round for cake I will use it just to show off.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

The oddest thing you can think of

It's a training day at work tomorrow and I'm a little over excited. Because training at my work isn't just the normal stuff, it's much more interesting than that.

"Can you guess what I'm doing tomorrow?"

"I don't know"

"Ok. What's the oddest thing you can think of?

"Erm. Feeding macaroni cheese to a frog?"

All of a sudden whittletang just doesn't seem that interesting.

I still think it's cool though. Besides I could eat macaroni cheese with it...

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Ten Years

I don't often put photos on blogger. Largely because I'm wordier than I am visual as you'll probably know by now. But this is a special occasion because it's been ten years since I married him you see. Which is a bit irrelevant in many ways, because I've known him since we were about 12 on and off and we have been stuck with each other properly for 17 years, but a celebration's a celebration...

So in a nutshell it was ten years ago on stage at the Lyceum. We were lucky because the play was "Suddenly Last Summer" and the set was a Victorian greenhouse. The following week it was "Slamdunk the Hip Hop Musical".

My two oldest friends were there - one in a box (not literally) with a reading and one behind the camera. Our best friends kept us sane.

There were lovely people.  Friends and family.

There was a bear - because I told my cousin he could wear what he liked for the wedding and he took it literally.

There was a ridiculously quiet registrar who needed a career change.

There were a few too many of us crammed into a small restaurant.

There was cake and laughter.

There was dancing, too much alcohol and an excess of hair grips.

There was a terrible hotel afterwards.

There was a hangover.

It was a blast. Here's to the rest of forever.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Happy Stuff

This week had it's up and downs. Here are some ups.

My nearly eight year old has got up every morning this week, got dressed, made her own breakfast, made her and her sister's packed lunch and on one occasion emptied the dishwasher. She has not been bribed and as far as I can tell has not been bewitched. She is truly astonishing.

David O'Doherty. Sheer hilarious, adorable brilliance. Plus he answered my tweet. 

I really like babysitting other people's children. It's fascinating and amusing. And getting them to go to bed is great for your self esteem. Babysitting circles are genius. 

I know I've already mentioned it but I love where I work. I'm doing more hours for a couple of months and this coupled with my body being a bit stupid means I'm completely knackered but I actually like going to work and don't watch the clock ever. Sometimes the right things just happen.

We went to the oddest school assembly I have ever seen in my life. There was dancing to Aqua, a number of, as far as I could tell, unrelated poems chanted in unison and a Tina Turner song. The kids were wearing PE kit. I don't know why. They were all flipping brilliant though but I'm not sure the director would make it in the cut throat world of the West End.

And better than everything? I made a difference to someone's life. A small difference but a difference nevertheless. I cannot tell you how happy that makes me. Someone else is making a change because of me wittering on and sharing too much information. I might have had a hand in making someone happier. What is better than that?

So not a bad week and it's being finished with my Mum and Dad coming to stay and a trip away to celebrate our ten year wedding anniversary. Nice hotel, shopping for things we can't afford, lovely food and probably lots and lots of rain. It'll be like Iceland just with less horseriding and the added benefit of going to see a play with Hayley Cropper in it. Life is good.

Saturday, 8 February 2014


Never let it be said that I don't write profound and thought provoking blog articles. So then..


I don't know about you but I have a love hate relationship with Aldi. On the plus side it's cheap. Ridiculously so really. Of course part of the reason why my bill is so much smaller when I shop there is actually because they don't stock a large portion of the stuff I really want but we'll put that to one side. I mean if I didn't enter at least two supermarkets in a week the world might spin off it's axis.

The second reason for loving it is the speed I can do my shopping. I can be out of there in twenty minutes flat with a following wind, provided I go at 9am and I don't get distracted by bird feeders and bargain de-icer. Of course the reason for the speed it is mainly...well see above. They don't have everything I want. But I still think speed is a definite plus.

And finally there's all that stuff that they sell that sees to be a complete bargain. But you don't need it and rarely buy it which is another win. Which makes you feel like you've saved money by not even trying. It's a clear win.

So any other negatives apart from the lack of choice and cafe selling toasted tea cakes? Oh there are just one or two.

Let's get this straight from the off, I am an intelligent woman. Well at least I used to be. But I have yet to have an experience in there that went to plan. Each time I have emerged feeling more like a dimwit than ever before.

Twice I have turned up without the required pound coin for the trolley. An innocent mistake you might think.Thankfully I was helped out on both occasions, but not before an eyes skyward motion and an audible sigh. Clearly they have been before and never go anywhere on a bus.

Actually selecting the goods is fairly straightforward if you can weave your way through all the cages waiting to be unloaded. This morning I managed to not buy a £2 gingerbread house and a £10 bird feeding station but I was enticed by extremely cheap seeds. At least this year I will fail to grow things that only cost 39p.

It's the till where it all goes a bit awry. You have to unload on the conveyor belt fast. And I mean really fast if there isn't a queue in front of you.

Then there's the means of payment. The first time I ever went I caused untold chaos by a) trying to pay with a credit card then b) realising I didn't even have my debit card with me. The result was an aggravated cashier and an extremely fast run to Sainsburys to take cash out on my credit card. Plus all this was post op. It just wasn't funny.

And the packing? I learnt the hard way that you are under no circumstances allowed to try and pack your goods into bags. No you have to throw all goods, irrespective of break-ability, into your trolley like it's an episode of supermarket sweep.

There was that other time when I didn't remember to take any bags with me and, too embarrassed to pay for any, ended up unloading every item I had bought individually into my boot. Unpacking at home was a laugh a minute.

So this morning I was ready. I had learnt my lesson.  I had limbered up suitably. I loaded the goods onto the belt like a demon. I was so fast I even had time to remove my debit card from my purse and put it in the most convenient pocket so I could shove it in the machine like lightening. I had bags. What could go wrong? I swung the trolley round the end to catch the items in the confident manner of a woman who has been to Aldi before more than once.

The trolley was instantly manhandled into the correct position butted up to the till end by a cashier who was probably wondering how I managed to be so stupid when it had all seemed so promising.

"Oh sorry", I laughed nervously. "I always get that bit wrong". (Yeah just that bit). "It's like Jenga isn't it?" No you divot it's not like Jenga. You mean Tetris. You complete plank.

The cashier smiled at me. It might have been a smirk.

So I set off to the car feeling yet again like I had failed. It's so unfair.

As I reached the boot to pack all the shopping into bags I got a text. Could I buy hay. Bugger. I went back in the shop. They don't sell it.

I went to Sainsburys.