Friday, 11 May 2012

Doing our bit!

Dear Recycling bags,

You know I think the world of you. Your predecessor was more than a bit crap. It blew away every week and rarely managed to keep a plastic bottle or cardboard tube contained. But then you arrived. Easy to use, easy to tie in a knot to keep all the contents enclosed (even on the windiest of days), and if you blew off that was fine too. The collectors would pick you up, I didn't have to helplessly try to retrieve you from a neighbour's garden or from under a car. Recycling bags, you make recycling a joy, not a chore.

I know every borough has its own methods of tackling recycling, but I have to say I like the way Redcar and Cleveland do it! I like the fact they have provided you, recycling bags.

We (by which I mean our council) have always seemed to  be at the forefront of recycling initiatives. I base this knowledge purely on the fact that when visiting friends/relatives around the country we could say things like !"What you don't recycle plastics yet?" and when they proudly showed us their newly council delivered recycling utensil we could say "yeah we've had one of those for ages". To put it bluntly, we were smug. Smug recylcists.

But no other boroughs I visited had quite managed to cotton on to how brilliant the see through roll of recycling bags were. And you are brilliant aren't you?

It was so easy. We religiously used you fortnightly. No drama. And just when we were running out, there you were - a new role - delivered by the friendly recycling men.

But then they stopped that.

It was too high risk. It appeared there was a household somewhere, probably, who wasn't recycling and just had rolls of you popping up every month and they would just keep putting you in a forgotten cupboard somewhere.

So we had to ring a number when we needed you. And the kind recycling men would drop you off. But they stopped that too, as it seemed some thrifty-but-naughty people were using you as bin bags to try and save a few quid.

So then we had to go to the Library to get you. But that was still a bit easy for the sneaky-but-thrifty people to do.

So they gave the library a spreadsheet and we had to tell them our address every time we got you.

And, it seemed, finally,  everything was going ok...

But then the Tories came into power and they said "MAKE THEM PAY!"

So they started charging £2 a roll and The FH said "no more" And our lovely love affair was over.

So I tried to replace you. I tried using Charity bags, like many others, because we have SO many of them I just wanted to use them. But quite rightly, they wouldn't take the charity bags. I mean it wasn't fair on that poor charity worker who thought his look was in one morning and bounded to the depot with a full van only to discover every single was full of milk cartons and toilet roll inners.

Then I tried black bin bags. But they wouldn't take those either. Because they have to be able to see your contents. Heaven forbid a rogue tin can or a newspaper gets inside and the pedantic recycling man unknowingly takes it away with the plastics!

So I went behind The FH's back and I went to library and I bought you. But it wasn't that flimsy little roll for £2 - it was a MEGA roll! Two years worth to be exact! The FH couldn't complain about that. You were a bargain!

So to all the  people who are no using you because those pesky Tories started charging... It's not that bad really, £2 every 2 years to help save the planet - I mean you pay a lot more that to have your regular rubbish shipped off to a landfill to sit and barely decompose for, like... FOREVER!

And finally, to end on a high I just wanted to let you know recycling bags, you have made difference. When I was at school a friend's dad would collect tin cans and take them hom to crush and send off to be recycled. We thought he was  wierdo. He was just ahead of his time. Before I left teaching I saw some school kids set up and run the school's recycling system as they were astonished the school didn't have one in place when they were all recycling at home.

I think you've pretty single-handedly  much changed the outlook of the youth. Ok the green box and the blue bag have played their part, but we know who's the brains of the operation.

Much Love

Your number 1 fan.

For more of my letters click here. For a blog that contains ONLY letters click here.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Today I baked... That'll show him.

We were in Tesco. On a Saturday. Living the dream.

Two aisles from the end he heel turns, with the trolley, and declares "we're done".
"What about the last two? I ask, even though I know exactly what he's playing at.
"There's only biscuits and wine down there." he shrugs
"They are only my two favourite things" I reply. And when he continued in the wrong direction I added:"And you've been jumping on the sweet tooth band-wagon recently. " he stalled "only yesterday you were hunting for a biscuit crumb to have with your tea".
He turned. I had him. And then he twitched and said: "I know Fran. But with all this spare time you've got I've been expecting you to bake"

He smiled.

I smiled.

And time stood still.

There we were, in front of the Bernard Matthew's Turkey Burgers, having a smile off.
Oh I knew he was joking. But it was one of those clever jokes. He was dangling that fishing line just above my smiling lips.

"I'll show him." I thought. "Just you wait sunshine. I'm going to bake like no ones baked before. Bake till his sons know the difference between a torte and a tart... Till those burly boys can make a souffle and decorate cupcakes with iced roses..I'm gonna bake till I take get a rosette for best in show... Till Kirsty Allsop is ringing me up for advice on how to make the perfect scone... Till... "

Well that was the plan.

Until today when me and big child made these.

And we put the choc chips in the flapjack mix before the syrup cooled, so they all melted into a goop. And then slightly overcooked them so I had to "divide them into squares" with a bread knife and a saw action.

But the Victoria Sponge was nice (renamed "strawberry cake" by Little O as that's a much better name for it, obvs).

But, alas, I'm bored of baking now.
It's a bit of a faff on.

And I passed on to big child all my "licking the bowl" techniques, to ensure you get every last scrap of mixture. So I felt my work here was done.

Not to mention how bloody expensive it is! I mean you can pick up a 4 pack of basic biscuits for a quid.
So glad I took his credit card to the shop to buy the flour which had been sifted by angels and the gold flecked cooking chocolate.

That'll show him.

Friday, 4 May 2012

If my mum had been a mummy blogger

Picture borrowed from HERE

These would have been in the archives:

  • Well that shut her up
                 (Middle child has a tantrum about fried egg, till she gets one flung in her face)
  • The hour long stick dance
                  (Middle child decides she wants to perform a dance with a stick to the whole campsite at the annual campsite meal. It lasts nearly an hour. Lots of politely smiling French people. Cringing parents)
  • Heil Hitler
                  (I told my son (4) son to go to bed. He made a Nazi Salute and shouted "Heil Hitler". I bollocked him and then realised we've probably been watching too much 'Allo 'Allo)
  • How not to pack a caravan
                 (We set off to France in new Caravan. End up on the side of a Motorway, Caravan in a thousand pieces. Badly packed apparently.)
  • There's a rat in the kitchen
                 (Well in the bedroom actually. But, A RAT in our house!. Big drama!)

Will my kids like my blog?

Ok, so here's the usual blurb... I don't write this blog for anyone else, I write it for myself... blah blah blah... you know the drill.

However... do you think my kids will like it?

Because if that was me, all grown up and 18 and THE blog still existed, I'd probably be like, "Why didn't you do on like AKA MUMA? That's really cool.".

And when they ask me questions about their childhood will they get sick of me saying "I dunno, check the blog" - when really it's just about all the ridiculous things I did.

And they're boys, so they might be all "it's a bit WORDY isn't it? Didn't you ever think of uploading any pictures or those - video things you had back then?"

Maybe I just won't ever show them.

Maybe the Tories will have abolished Blogging, Twitter and all things fun by then.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

If you believe...

If you believe Twitter, some Mums get up and float around a tidy house where their children get themselves ready for school whilst they make homemade porridge for breakfast. Then they spend the morning looking in recipe books for inspiration on what to do with their homegrown veg for lunch.

If you believe Facebook, people you went to school with, who couldn't tie their own shoelaces, have the most AMAZING lives and are now totally, drop dead GORGEOUS.

I think there's a little bit of BS going on here aand there. That is all.