Breaking your arm sucks, but I’m doing it in style

I defy anyone to criticise an NHS where you can be a total tit, break your elbow roller skating, walk in to a hospital, see a doctor, be X-rayed, patched up and given an appointment with the orthopaedics team all within 2 hours. And without any charge.

I still don’t understand why so many Americans are against this system. It’s just common sense and it is everything that the “all men are born equal” thing is about. Whether you have a heart attack or fall over being an idiot, they’ll treat you. Whether you’re rich or poor, male, female, black, white or rainbow coloured, the staff will do their best. Yes, on occasions it goes wrong and people need to speak up when it does. But the overarching concept is there.

With that said, current treatment for broken elbows is painkillers and a sling. And the sling is already looking worse for wear. After all it is only a triangle of muslin. So this afternoon I single handedly (did you see what I did there?) set about putting together a slightly more robust, and a little more ‘me’ sling.

I’m hoping that they’ll stick my arm in a splint on Wednesday which will give me a bit more of a fighting chance to do normal stuff (if its a neoprene one, swim for a start), and get the kids out to do stuff.

Still, we have a whole week of LSH at home (woo hoo!). And who couldn’t be happy with a Dalmatian arm accessory?

I am Cruella da Ville, hospital edition!


Writing Books With Kids

So, this holiday’s plan is to get BeanPole writing more creatively. Her reading is years ahead of her actual 8 years, but she is painfully scientific.

The bribe for writing is that she must:

  • write the story
  • create the characters
  • draw the characters and backgrounds

Then I will help her:

  • turn her story into an ebook
  • use scratch to turn the story into a game
  • create a website for her where people can play the game and read her book

This is a project and a half, but should be fun! It’s also giving me some ideas for lesson planning for next year!

Today’s plan is to write out the main story notes, characters and talk about how the story is structured. This does mean Beanpole gets to use her tablet for something other than temple run!


Not destined for starlight express – the downside of skating.

Some days my brain doesn’t quite remember the age of my body. At 5’10” it’s rather a long way to fall and when on roller skates and trying not to fall on TinyPants who has just whizzed through my legs and lost her balance it’s even harder!

In short, I fell on my arse. Or rather on my hand, then my arse. I pretty instantly knew something wasn’t right… Elbows shouldn’t feel like that. Perhaps removing the wedding ring might be an idea… I’m sure it’s just bruised but let’s just get it checked out…

So here I am sitting in A&E explaining to various medical staff that I’m here because I was prattling about on roller skates and fell over. Cue giggling about me having a mid-life crisis and a trip to X-ray…

Edit: turns out I’ve fractured my elbow and the future for me holds several weeks in a sling… I may have to raid the fabric drawer for something a bit more attractive than this hessian thing tho.

It was fun for the first hour…


It’s not that selfless… #imahappster


Parking for swimming this morning, we bought an extra ticket and left it inside the machine with a note saying ‘have a great day!’ and the happster website (which is btw!).

Off we wandered and saw the next guy who went to buy his ticket. He looked really confused and gave it to the lady behind him with a huge smile.

Job done.

On High Brow Literature?

The first rule about book club is, you ought to actually read the books.

I try. I really do. It’s just my brain is wonky and starts making the characters real. And then I want to kick their backsides for being wet and wimpy.

There have been several books though that have had me laying on a pile of blankets like the Neverending Story.


In most cases, people have disagreed with me on whether these books should ever have been published in the first place. The women in book club are awesome people, and it’s for that reason that I have stuck with it. The books that have caused the most controversy have been some of the best I have read in years. They are hard work and quite often have content that looks at the more unpleasant side of life (the red tent is a novel not to be read after eating!). But they make me think. More recently, I have snuck off into the naughty corner to read other books like The Psychopath Test (Jon Ronson), The Antidote (Oliver Burkeman) and my latest It’s Not Rocket Science (Ben Miller) which looks at all the exciting bits of science. I added to this Things I want to Punch in The Face (Jennifer Worick) for a bit of a giggle.

In the eyes of book club, I am a literary hussy. I keep giving myself to the boy books and ignoring my prim girly books that I should in fact be reading.

This month I made it my mission to actually read Bread, Jam and a Borrowed Pram. It was a good story, and historically it seemed quite accurate, but I couldn’t help feel that there was a distinctly girly gloss over it. While it was not ‘chick lit’ (which makes me want to gouge out my eyes with spoons), it left me feeling blah. I’d burn a bra in support of the women in this book, except I like my bras, and they don’t come cheap…

Despite the cleavage and heels, when it comes to my brain, I’m not only a nerd, but a bit of a boy. I do feel the need to trip up the whimsical heroin and let the zombies eat her, because I’m questing for the sci-fi sword, or learning about how cool it is to blow stuff up. There’s a world of adventure out there.

I am Finn, and LSH is my Jake.


#fiveminutefriday – broken

As with the previous posts – this is part of the Lisa Jo Baker Five Minute Friday blog project.

I have five minutes to write continuously based on a single prompt each week. No editing, no rewriting, just from brain to paper (sort of).

This week’s prompt is ‘broken’.


It’s Easter weekend and people around me are getting very into the ‘real’ meaning of Easter. We even bought the kids ‘real’ Easter eggs. I felt a bit vindicated filling them with chocolate this way.


Except I’m inclined to feel that actually, the whole torturing a man to death thing is not really symbolized by eggs and bunnies. These are two separate stories.

Across the globe, there are many goddesses in history that were worshipped for their links to fertility. Even the word ‘Easter’ is most likely linked to the Goddess ‘Ichtar’ who brought her son back from the dead by her tears through the spring leaves (sounding familiar?). In the UK, prior to the Romans, there were many religions, several of which involved goddesses of nature and fertility. One in particular was Damara, who was linked with spring and her protection of children and fertility. The May bank holiday where children are still encouraged to scatter flowers and dance around Maypoles is intrinsically linked to her. The scattering or gifting of floral wreaths was specifically to ask her blessing on those to whom the floral gifts were given. This is one of the many reasons that the tradition of May Day celebrations in quaint Christian villages throughout the UK never fails to raise an eyebrow. That and Morris dancing – men with bells on bashing each other with sticks is odd in anyone’s books.

Spring is a time to contemplate the fertility of nature, and perhaps ourselves. Which means for some accepting that our own fertility has passed. This was something which I was required to do at the age of 29 after my body again rejected our final efforts at creating new life. My body was officially broken. Since that point, I have generally avoided the joyful postings of scan and birth pictures on social networks and laughed off the questions of whether we want ‘any more’ – if only because replying ‘I’d love to, but my uterus kept killing them off’ just doesn’t help make friends.

Interestingly, my closest friend appears to produce babies like sausages, then thrusts them into my arms when they are minutes old, causing not a single pang of pain. Possibly because I love her kids like my own (although, and I know you’re reading this, that is not an offer of babysitting the whole tribe!)

I have two beautiful girls, and I thank whatever deity is keeping them happy and healthy, but I will forever wonder what the other faces would have looked like.


Ok, that was a bit longer than five minutes, and a little more personal than my cake explosion from earlier. I’ve shared and now the frog can move on.


I’ll get my coat…

To start Easter weekend with a bang I decided to try out making Nutella Cupcakes in the microwave. I found an awesome recipe online and the pictures looked lovely!

We followed the recipe to the letter. And 2 minutes later….

…well, yeah. It didn’t exactly work as expected.


It tasted AWFUL too!

Not my finest hour.

Dance like no-one is watching

… Because if they saw Beanpole, TinyPants and me dancing this afternoon we might all be wearing the the hug yourself jacket!

This is the perfect example of just being. We boogied our way around the kitchen to some of the worst music known to human kind (this includes One Direction and Taylor Swift amongst other abominations that my tweenies are obsessed with) whilst we twirled our way through making the unhealthiest lemon drizzle cake possible.*

Eventually I had to sit down, but TinyPants was still in full swing…. And I captured this.

I’m fairly biased, but I think the lunatic is rather cute.

*note: I feel I need to mention that I did not feed my children cake for tea. I am not Marie Antoinette. They did not eat cake. They ate beef stew. We are now eating cake – my eyeballs are buzzing, and as such, this cake is not for the munchkins. It’s for me.

You are not your mind. Or you sir, are out of yours.

After reading a fair bit on the negative route to happiness, I started delving into Eckhart Tolle’s book The Power of Now. I’ve been far more open to the idea of mindfulness over the past months and after seeing it discussed on the news this morning, I thought I’d talk about it here…

The frog is getting Zen.


Actually, the frog is feeling very much at peace with everything since it was decided that the road of the frog is much better than that of the princess. (See Why being a Frog is Better than Being a Princess). But this book is taking it a step further.

Don’t let your mind possess you. It cannot allow you to exist in the here and now

At first, this sounds like the rankings of a crazy person who should be medicated, rather than published. Except, he’s quite happy.

The time for thinking is over. The mind has evolved so far that thinking is destructive. It is time to evolve to a higher state of consciousness.

Again, clearly mental.

Except… Except, the ability to take a step back from all the noise in your head and perceive them in an objective manner is ultimately helpful. Am I actually angry with that person for driving like a complete tool, were they really trying to put my life in danger, or is that my perception of the situation? Stand back. Am I angry because I’m actually not in control? Do I need to be annoyed? The tool is now half way down the road and actually, right now I am in no danger. They were just being a tool and it wasn’t aimed at me per say. I can continue with my day. Holding onto any anger will only make my own day unhappier.

This idea of watching our thoughts until they are rationalized or just go away completely allowing us to just be aware of everything around us is an exceptionally good way to reduce general stress and anxiety. Since starting this on a daily basis, I have certainly been immensely less stressed and am gliding through what could be quite a stressful upheaval with a real sense of peace.

I’m nowhere near totally stress free, but the frog is no longer a princess sitting in a pond.

Despite the initial raised eyebrows, I shall continue with this book with as open a mind as I can muster.