Thursday, 24 October 2013

A bit quiet!

Okay so my good intentions didn't last long!

I have posts waiting to be written but two weeks ago I had a small accident whilst cooking dinner.
I had lit the two outside pans and was cooking away, and had left the milk in the milk pan on the middle back burner ready to make my white sauce.
Anyway I lifted the pan and the pain was instantly there, burning! Obviously the heat from the other two saucepans had heated the milk pan handle and I held it and moved the pan forward before my brain clicked into action and told me it was hot! I put the pan down and went straight to the sink, turned on the cold tap but instantly knew it wasn't good. I left the cold tap running but the heat that was coming from it was intense and so I grabbed the nearest thing I could find (the Easi Yo Yogurt maker) and filled it with water and plunged my hand in.  Moors-daddy was upstairs whilst all this was happening, oblivious to it all and when he returned downstairs I told him what I'd done. Ever sympathetic he said it didn't look too bad! (I later remembered that to a policeman who has seen horrific burns and had to identified people who have burnt to death - in comparison it probably wasn't that bad!) But when I removed my hand from the water the intense burning pain returned immediately.
Beanie had a swimming lesson at 7:30pm and so I had to go out. I couldn't drive so moors-daddy had to come too, with Monkey in tow. I took 2 cocodamol knowing that if they ease RA pain then they must work for this. (It didn't) By the time we left, my hand had been in the water for an hour and a half! At the swimming pool, my fingers were throbbing, getting redder and redder and swelling, the pain was becoming unbearable. So after the lesson we went to our local minor injuries. I saw the nurse, who told me my hour and a half in water was the best thing I could have done for it! She plastered it in Vaseline, put gauze dressing on and then bandaged and tapped me up with orders to return the next day for a redressing! the next day the difference was amazing, the pain had eased but i had some big blisters. It was redressed and I was told to leave it a couple of days and to see how it was and return if needed.  After two more days the blisters had dried out and the dressing came off. I had one massive blister at the top of my middle finger that wouldn't heal, and it peeled and cracked and was painful for a couple of days but now two weeks on my hand looks fab! You can't really noticed the blisters at all except they have all now peeled and the skin is slightly redder than the rest of my hand. I am so amazed at how well it has healed! And from now on I will be using the oven gloves for everything!
First Night! 

After the redressing!
So what to do if you burn yourself or if someone near you gets burnt. (Minor burns!)
  • Immediately get the person away from the heat source to stop the burning.
  • Cool the burn with cool or lukewarm water for 10-30 minutes. Do not use ice, iced water or any creams or greasy substances, such as butter.
  • Remove any clothing or jewellery that is near the burnt area of skin, but do not move anything that is stuck to the skin.
  • Make sure the person keeps warm – for example by using a blanket – but take care not to rub it against the burnt area.
  • Cover the burn by placing a layer of cling film over it.
  • Use painkillers, such as paracetamol oribuprofen, to treat any pain.
Advice taken from NHS Direct (which is where I Googled to find out what to do - it says leave hand it water for 10-30 minutes but I left it in for longer as it hurt so much every time I took it out and so it went straight back in! If it still hurts keep it in water and if so leave it there until you seek medical help - I am sure this is why mine have healed so well!)

Friday, 11 October 2013

Welcome Assembly

Beanie and Monkey go to a lovely little school in our town. It has one class per year and has a friendly, family atmosphere. They both love it. Beanie is in year 5 and is very 'unique' as his year 4 teacher put it! But he thrives on this little school, the routines, the familiarity and his friendship group.  I worry about next year and the decisions that have to be made, but we have started the process by visiting the 3 secondary schools that we have as options and I think we know where we want him to go but the final decision will be his, and that worries me!

Monkey on the other hand has just started here. He is now full time, they did a week and a half of half days and he needed that slow break in to it, he was asleep most afternoons by 12:30 in those first two weeks. He has now adjusted and is getting used to it, but there are still days when he cries when I leave him. His teacher and TA are lovely, and his TA has a bit of a soft spot for him. The other day he came home saying he'd had 10 cuddles with her, and it's probably true.  Today the school did something that they do every year with the foundation stage children and that is they had their 'Welcome Assembly'.  It is the most adorable thing ever. Parents/Carers and grandparents are all invited into assembly and we all sit at the back and watch as the whole school walks into the hall. The last class to enter is the little ones, who instantly stop to look for their parents and wave!  You can hear the ohhs and ahhs from the older ones. The children then sang a welcoming song, written by the music teacher whilst all the foundation children stood at the front, some grinning, some quite shy in front of the school, Monkey sucking his fingers.  Then the year 6 house captains take to the front of the school and read out the names of those children in Foundation who are in their house. Each child in turn goes up to the house captains to be Welcomed to the school, they are each given a certificate and a teddy bear who wears the schools t-shirt. Monkey has taken his to bed with him tonight and has this evening proclaimed to nanny and granddad that he "loves his new school". Beanie still has his bear too, somewhere in his bedroom and it really is such a sweet thing for them to have to remind them of their time at primary school.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

For the love of Flat Pack!

For two days last week I assembled flat pack furniture for the two little boys' room!
It is something that has needed to be done for such a long time. Monkey is now 5 and has just started big school and yet for the last five years he has been unable to access his books. They have been stored in a huge under bed basket that even I have struggled to pull out. He and Worm have also been sharing four drawers in Beanies old chest. I have dreaded ironing clothes, knowing that they wouldn't fit in the drawers, the frustration of not being able to fit them in getting to me time and time again and so consequently leaving the ironing and having piles of it around the house.
Last week my parents came to the rescue. Firstly they have given us their old wardrobe. A triple one they couldn't fit into their new house, perfect for the little two. On top of that they have paid for and I ordered the little two a chest of drawers each, a bookcase each and a bed shelf each. And so for the last two days I have screwed, banged and nailed the furniture together.

I have to admit I have shocked myself and my ability to use tools and power tools at that! But I loved it too!
So now, with a few finishing touches and moving clothes around, bagging those that are too small up for charity, they can finally get to their own things, find their own clothes and select their own stories for bedtime!
It has been an absolute godsend, to be able to sort their clothes out - I have a black bag full to hand down to their little cousin, but the best bit is seeing them going to their books and jigsaws and watching as they play and read.  The other morning I even came down to find all 6 Hairy Maclary books on the floor in their toilet - it's such a boy thing!

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Tavistock Goose Fair

The second Wednesday in October, people from far and wide flock to Tavistock. Coaches drop people off, roads are closed, the children are off school and the fair comes to town. This isn't just any fair this is Tavistock's Goose Fair. Dating back as far as the 12th century, Tavistock hosts the Goose fair on what used to be Michaelmas Day (29th September) where geese were bought ready to be fatten for Christmas. Now held on the second Wednesday in October, it draws hundreds if not thousands of people to the town. The farmers market still has geese for sale at its auction but the main draw is the stalls and fair ground rides that cover Plymouth Rd and Bedford Square.

So today the boys are off school, all local schools close. And as ever we go for a wander. This year we went into the cattle market for the boys to look at the animals, sheep, alpacas, chickens, ducks, turkeys and of course geese. There are a few stalls around the market too, some local produce and some craft. Then we headed down town! As we walked down the road coaches from Dawlish and Tiverton were dropping people off. As you come to Abbey Bridge you hit the chaos of people, stalls on either side of the roads, selling everything you could ever imagine and quite a lot you can't! 
The older I get the more I grow to dislike Goose Fair. It's the same every year, the same stalls, the same stall holders selling the same 'tat' and this really annoys me because Tavistock is such a beautiful market town and has so much to offer. If this fair was really thought through it could be amazing. There are so many people in and around the area that could very easily come to sell their products and produce, instead of the 'stuff' that is sold year after year. The number of crafters and artists that could come here could make a huge difference to this day. Instead we end up doing the same thing, we don't want fake flowers or dogs beds,    and so the boys go on a ride (they are not a fan so it's usually only one) and then we spent an hour in the park!! We bought nothing! Next year I'm going to do what many others do, take the boys out for the day, aquarium, zoo somewhere nice that they'll like! 

I know it brings a lot to Tavistock but I can understand why moors daddy hates working on this day too! It would be nice to get it back to what it used to be and bring the locals back to Goose Fair and not just the tourists!

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Our Summer...

When I think back to this summer I realise how quickly it flew and how much we didn't do!

Nothing ever seems to go to plan, but we have also had some amazing times in the beautiful weather that we had.

Most of our summer was spent at home, the paddling pool has been out to the point that it is now wrecked, punctured beyond repair.  The boys have each spent some time at the beach house with their grandparents but I have only been over there a handful of times this year and have only stayed there once. The reason being that my parents moved out of their house in February and lived with my Nan until July but spent as much time as they could at the beach house. Then from the beginning of July it was all go, getting them into their new house.

However in August, the moors family did what we do best. We packed our bags up and headed off Camping in France for two whole weeks.  We booked through our website Go Camp France, and went with the same company that we always travel with, Canvas.  In the past we have only really ventured to Brittany due to having very young children, but this year with Worm, our youngest now 3, we decided to travel further south and so this year we headed for the Vendee, and stayed at Le Clarys Plage in St Jean de Monts.  The reasons I chose this campsite were; great pool complex, (always high on our agenda), swimming pool, lazy river, slides, indoor pool and splash park; a great play area for the children and near to a beautiful beach.

We took the overnight ferry from Plymouth to Roscoff. We had anticipated that the boys would be in their pjs and would fall asleep on our half hour drive to Plymouth ferry port arriving there at 10:15pm. How wrong we were, all 3 wide awake with excitement!  Boarding the ferry was quick and we were soon in our cabin. (We also had to book a reclining chair as there are 5 of us but the little two topped and tailed in the bottom bunk!) After the announcements had finished, (an hour) we finally settled down and all the boys slept really well to be woken at 5am by the ferry's alarm system. The crossing was good (and I really don't travel well) and we will definitely be doing the night crossing again.  When we reached Roscoff we set off on our journey to the Vendee.  We knew it was a good 4-5 hour drive but when we hit Nantes we weren't expecting the amount of traffic we encountered.  We later found out that the weekend we travelled was the French bank holiday and so everyone was on the road!
We knew the direction we were heading and with the help of a map of France we made our way down to St Jean de Mont.  We drove along the esplanade and were amazed by the size of the beach here. Many campsites were sign posted from here but we couldn't see ours.  At this point we got to try out our own app, having been telling everyone how great it is, it was now time to test it for ourselves.  We had to use 3G as we were in the car but the app located us really quickly on the map and then as we drove we followed the blue dot (us) moving on the map until we reached the campsite.  It took us 4 and a half hours in total to drive down, and we arrived before the check in time, but our reps were ready for us and showed us straight to our caravan.

Camping Holidays in France

The site isn't actually in St Jean de Mont but just outside, it is classed as a medium sized campsite and is split by a road. We were grateful that we were on the side with all the amenities, pools restaurant, bar etc. The pitch size was smaller than the one we had at Les Mouettes, where we had been before, but this time we had a deck which took up most of the room but the pitch was small enough that the car was practically parked in the hedge and there was no room for the boys to have a kick about!.  The rest of the camp site was brilliant.

The swimming pool was busy, every day, and it was a case of get there early if you want a seat or lounger but to be fair we spent most of our time in the water with the boys! The boys all did the slides even Worm who went down all of them with moors-daddy! The pool is split into two, a section for the little ones with their own slides and then the big pool with bigger slides. The lazy river was separate and the splash park was amazing. Dragons squirting water from all directions, hopscotch with water spouting up through the numbers, water canons being aimed at you as you walked past! The boys loved it.
Le Clarys Plage campsite in the Vendee

And on top of that, the beach is a 500m walk down the road, but to be honest we never walked it! Why? Because the French do some things so much better than us Brits! The short drive to the bottom of the road leads to a car park at the top of the beach. A free car park, as all car parks are along the coast in this part of France, and with the amount of stuff you take with you to the beach, you may as well drive! The beach was beautiful, golden sand, stretching for miles.  The part we were at was also lifeguarded which was great, though having said that the sea was flat every day we were there. It seemed like a very safe beach, the sea shallow for quite some way out, people on inflatables, swimming, surfing and bodyboarding. I loved this beach, it's the kind of beach you wish you had on your doorstep at home, one you can pop to after a day at work!

We spent most of our holiday in the pool or on the beach.

We ventured to the local supermarket (on the other side of a gate leading from the campsite), the local hypermarket (used the app to find it!) as well as taking a trip further south to Bretignolles Sur Mer to the market (couldn't park anywhere) so carried on and found a great rock pooling beach!

We took a day trip to Noirmoutier de Ile, and had a walk around the chateaux.

On all our French holidays there is something that we notice and that is the children's play areas are so much better than what we have here in Devon.  This campsite was no exception. The play area was fantastic and the boys loved it - we went every evening after dinner and before our drink in the bar!

 The range of equipment is amazing, at Le Clarys Plage there were two sections one for the under 5's and one for 4 -14 year olds.  Worm (3) needed help at first getting up onto the bigger equipment but after a few days had mastered how to get himself onto the steps and was off and gone down the massive slide!  (I'm in white to the left of it!!)

 He also mastered the climbing wall quickly much to the annoyance of his older brothers!

We had an amazing two weeks there, the drive was definitely worth it, the weather fantastic for all but two afternoons. What I also liked about this part of France and one of the reasons we will be returning at some point in the future was how flat it was and how the area was made for cyclists. The Vendee, unknown to us, has over 1000km of cycle paths, from outside the campsite you can get on your bike and pedal for miles, though forests, along the coast, wherever you fancy.  I wish the little two could ride, they need to learn and we will be back, with our bikes in tow!

On our last day we had to be out of the caravan at 10am, with our ferry leaving Roscoff at 11pm, we had a day to kill! So instead of taking the main roads back, we drove up along the coast into Brittany and around the coast of Brittany, stopping off at Carnac to see the standing stones (an amazing site and so much bigger than you think -fields of them!)

Our return ferry crossing wasn't as good, as the one who gets sea sick, I did struggle to sleep because of the ferry rolling but managed to remain in bed for the duration of the crossing.  The boys slept through it! It was by far our best French holiday to date and next time we are thinking of going even further and possibly doing a split break, one week in the Dordogne and another in Brittany or the Vendee!

Thursday, 3 October 2013

The start of being Organised

Well this is it, the start of our new lives.  Me, jobless but generally feeling really quite positive about things!
We have to make changes, that part is obvious, and we will start little and hope that by making those small changes we can change our lives for the better.  We had long been stuck in the rut of long days, moors-daddy's shifts, processed food, quick meals before leaving the house for this club and that.
Yes we need to make changes and most of them concern money but also our organisation, our budgeting and what we do with the boys when we are home, what we eat, what we buy and where we buy it.
We are also making changes to the house and garden, nothing majorly drastic, no extensions or anything like that (we dream but have no money), in doing so we are trying to recycle and blag a few things as well as saving our pennies to make things better for us and the boys.

To start us off on our journey, I have invested in something that I already know will become our Bible.  I have wanted something to organise us as a family for a long time, I have looked for nearly two years for something that keeps everything in one place. I have a family calendar, a  meal planner chart etc etc, but I wanted more than that. And so when I had almost given up finding anything (and verging on getting my brother in law to design exactly what I wanted) I found and have bought the Family Life diary. It has everything in it, month to view, week to view, to do lists, shopping lists, meal planner, address book, budget pages. It is fabulous and I love it, everything in  the same place and at hand.
So for the last couple of days I have been pencilling in the boys clubs, practices, birthdays etc  and trying to work out what we can have for dinner and when.  We are getting there. We have had it two weeks now, our food bill has already reduced and meal planner stuck too apart from today when I forgot to take the meat out of the freezer!!

And we have our first free 'blag' - a piano. We just have to get it from Plymouth to Tavistock!!