Archive for February, 2012

If you’ve been with your man for years with not so much as a sniff of a proposal, you’re probably well aware that today is traditionally the day that women can propose.

Never mind dropping hints the size of a small planet or wondering if the only way he’ll take notice is with a sledgehammer to spell it out, today it is positively encouraged for women to drop down on one knee and utter those four little words – “Will you marry me?!”

One person who decided to take the plunge and propose is Louise Barrett, who blogs over at http://www.louisebarrett.co.uk/blog. and tweets as @LJB41.

Louise said:

“We were at home when I said to him – you know we have a holiday booked in September but we don’t fly till the Sunday? Shall we get married on the Saturday?!

We had been going out for 2 years, and he had no idea that I was going to propose.

I was nervous, but fairly confident he would say yes.

I thought he would be surprised because we hadn’t discussed it before. His face was a picture once it had sunk in what I was saying. We then went on to drink 2 bottles of wine and ring to tell everyone. It was the days before facebook and twitter so there was no internet announcement, we actually had to talk to people!

This was in 2000, so we celebrate 12 years of marriage in September.

We have had some ups and downs, but I am glad I did it though, as  if I had left it to him I would still be waiting! He is my best friend and I wouldn’t want to be with anyone else.”


Congratulations on being brave enough to take the plunge Louise, and for talking to me and sharing your experiences – it sounds like a wonderful marriage that you have.

So, for all those wondering whether they should just ask themselves, go and do it as you never know – the answer might just be yes!





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It seems like you can’t go anywhere nowadays without being accosted by charities and organisations waving clipboards around and getting in your face with the hard sell, or shops trying to sell you something you never wanted in the first place.

Take this morning, for example. Within the space of ten minutes of being in town, a man bearing down with a leaflet and a cheesy grin tried to foist a leaflet on me as I walked past minding my own business.

“HAD AN EMERGENCY? AN ACCIDENT THAT WASN’T YOUR FAULT? WE CAN HELP!” yelled the sign on the stall behind his head.

I’m too polite. I simply shook my head and declined his kind offer of a leaflet with a ‘no, thank you.’

When I really wanted to reply ‘Accident? Yep mate, you’ll be needing the services of your own company if you don’t Get.Out.Of My.Face!”

Even the shops are waving stuff about at you when you never even asked for it in the first place.

This morning, when paying at the till, I had:

“Would you like one of these chocolate bars?”

Um, no. If I had wanted one I would have told you. It would be in my basket and I’d  have been buying it, you silly mare.

The banks?

Yep they do it too.

When all you wanted was to pay your bill, and go out on your merry way.

“Who’s your mortgage with? Why don’t you change to this one? Or that one? Or get this insurance? Or that one?!”


It’s enough to send you running home for a bit of peace and quiet.

Oh no, wait, hang on –  they even get you in the privacy of your own home nowadays.

Half past bloody 8 they’ve started to turn up with a knock on the door from charities such as the one asking me to sign up to help the sick children.


1) It’s night time, you moron. People are resting. Had their tea, kids in bed and they want to relax in front of Eastenders or whatever.

They don’t want you merrily banging away on the door knocker the minute the kids have gone to sleep. Do you not have a home to go to?!


2) As if I’m going to stand and give a perfect stranger my bank details on the doorstep. I might look daft, but I’m not that daft.


3) Just because I said ‘no thank you, not tonight’ and try to shut the door, doesn’t mean you can go into spiels like:

“So don’t you care about sick children?!”


Yay, way to go. Put on the guilt trip. Doesn’t work with me. (Course I care about sick children, I just don’t want harassing on my doorstep.)

So to all chuggers, hard sell shop people and the rest of you, I say this:

Kindly Chug Off and leave me alone! 🙂





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As someone who reads newspapers every morning, and sometimes watches Breakfast TV when she can wrestle the remote away from the 4 year old and Peppa Pig,  it’s inevitable the 8 year old is starting to take an interest in the news and what is going on in the world.

As a huge football fan (seriously, the child’s obsessed!) he picks up the newspaper and takes out the sports section to have a good read.

He also puts on Teletext when he gets up in a morning to look at the sports results and fixtures.

So it’s only inevitable that he’s picked up on the fact some overpaid, idiotic neanderthal footballers have been in trouble for racist behaviour lately.


Cue him saying:

” *Footballer* is in court for racist. What does that mean?”

In which I had to explain that sometimes people are mean to each other just because of the colour of their skin, which is ridiculous as underneath we’re all the same.

He completely agreed. Phew. One question I managed to answer successfully.


He also reads the front page headlines when I’m reading the newspaper.


“Who’s Abu Qatada?!”

That one was a bit harder to answer without traumatizing him.

As much as you want to shield the news from them as it’s a horrible world out there, there comes a time when you’re going to get the inquisitive little blighters asking a million and one questions you don’t really want to have to answer yet.

I don’t want him to know that there are people out there who are intent on destroying others.

He was watching Home Alone the other day and was in awe at how huge the big building was (Twin Towers.)

I didn’t mention that people had blown it up. On purpose. How could I?! Even I can’t make sense of it, let alone a child.

I don’t want him to know that the footballers he looks up to and hero worships are knuckle dragging cave men who should be dragged back to their mud hut and squashed under a big rock.

They can’t go round living in a bubble though. They get older, and they’re going to realise that it’s not all fluffy bunny rabbits and nasty things can happen out there.

It would be great if they could though. Now where’s my rose-tinted specs, it might make it all look a bit more sunshiney…..





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It’s Pancake Day!

As it’s Pancake Day today,  it doesn’t take a genius to work out what we’ll be having for tea tonight when the little people get in from school.

Yep, that’s right. Fish and chips.

No, not really. It wouldn’t be pancake day without a stack of pancakes.

A lovely stack of pancakes, with a variety of toppings to put in the middle.

The 4 year old will try any combination, but the 8 year old knows what he likes and will never deviate from it. (He’s not very adventurous with his food, that lad.)

Firm winners in this house hold includes:


– honey

– sugar

– jam

– chocolate spread

– golden or maple syrup.


I think I’m going to introduce chopped banana and chocolate spread pancake to the table today. I know 4 year old will go with it, but even though 8 year old loves both, I can’t see him combining. Doesn’t know what he’s missing out on!

Some of the combinations I’ve seen mentioned online today sound delicious and I’d have never have thought to put together.

Baileys and ice-cream in a pancake?! Sadly I can’t have either any more (stupid dairy allergy) but that is GENIUS, and is making my mouth water just at the thought of it!

The chopped fruit such as pears and strawberries sound like a winner too, and I’m going to chop some up.

Now I just need to get my bum into gear and find out how to make decent egg free pancakes and get some dairy free cream and I could get tucked in too!

What do you put on your pancakes?

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After last week’s mug madness, the Listography this week is taking a more ‘normal’ theme and looking at the top 5 things that makes us happy.

I thought about coming over all cheesy and saying ‘my children’ in the list but they’re doing my head in this afternoon – they’ve come home from school constantly winding each other up, and absolutely hyper (what the hell do they pump them with during the day, loopy juice or something?!)

So, in no particular order, and a lot of humming and haaahing over what to put in, this is my list.


Loud cheesy music

80’s cheese, 90’s cheese, I’m not fussy. The cheesier and sing a longier (yes I know that’s not a word!) the better!



Losing 2lbs at my slimming class today

After 4 weeks of staying the same and not losing so much as an ounce, I lost 2lbs today. Which is down to not drinking wine so just shows what I have to do to stay slim. Lay off the grog. Yikes. Let’s see if I can self impose the wine ban indefinitely!




Closer, Reveal, Heat for the gossip. Take A Break, That’s Life, Love It, Pick Me Up for real life Jeremy Kyle type stories that automatically make you feel better as you think ‘well at least it’s not that bad.”



Whether it’s a short story, a poem, or simply writing on my blog – there’s nothing better than writing just flowing out of you! Not so good if it’s not flowing so well and you have to keep stopping and starting though.


Children who play nicely together

When they’re all playing nice, calmly, and talking properly to each other instead of winding each other up.

Which does happen every now and again., although it’s definitely not that way today!


To see what other things make people happy, visit http://katetakes5.blogspot.com/2012/02/listography-top-5-things-that-make-me.html







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As we’ve been here, there and everywhere the last few days due to it being half term, we decided to stay in today and actually do something productive.

So this morning saw me, the 4 year old and the 8 year make like Mary Poppins and get tidying their bedroom – toys away into the toy boxes, books actually put away into the book cases (while deciding we actually need a new house just to house all the books.)

What we could have done with was Mary Poppins magic clicky finger trick that makes all the toys jump into the toy box by themselves, and clothes into the drawers etc. Maybe if I practice hard enough……

Then after a round of Mario Kart on the Wii, we had a go at baking.

4 year old measuring, 8 year old tipping into the bowl and stirring, both of them lining bun tins with cases.

Me spooning mixture in.

Team effort.

What did we make?


For those without a scratch and sniff monitor, you’re looking at a tin full of banana and chocolate muffins. Mmmmm.

We also made some little oaty biscuits, but as you can see there’s not much of them left. (Nothing to do with me. Honest. Ahem.)

Apparently my mum wants us to save her one for when she comes on Monday.

Erm, yes,  good luck with that one. If I can hold off the vultures long enough you might be lucky enough to get one….

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Children sharing a bedroom

It’s not ideal having to have two small children sharing the same bedroom, but when you only have a two bedroom house there’s no other choice.

It’s either that, camp out in our bed (not a chance, they fidget far too much and I’d be dangling out of the other side or in a heap on the floor) or the shed (I think that’s frowned upon though, so that’s not an option. Pfft.)

It wouldn’t be so bad if they actually went to SLEEP when they were supposed to.

As the 4 year old takes hours to drop off to sleep and will lie in bed quite happily waffling away to himself for ages, it makes it difficult when his 8 year old brother comes to bed.

He’s the opposite, as the minute his head touches the pillow he is fast asleep. Not so easily achieved when you’ve got your brother kicking your mattress up in the air as you’re trying to sleep (they’ve got bunk-beds) and singing songs.

So the staggered bedtimes have been introduced. The youngest goes at 7pm, the eldest at 8pm. In the vain hope that said youngest is snoozing his little head off by the time eldest gets to bed, otherwise all hell breaks loose with the two of them arguing and winding each other up.


All’s well and good tonight, as we managed to tire them out via games of football and running about at Grandma’s house.

Let’s just hope the rest of the week runs just as smoothly…

If your children share bedrooms, share your secrets to harmony here. Or else just gloat about your big houses with plenty of bedrooms for everyone to have one each, I don’t mind. 🙂 Although I might do a jealous face……

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