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It was Mum's Seventieth last week, and on Saturday we had a party for her. Because she's a nightmare to buy for, and we don't have a lot of money to buy stuff anyway, I offered to make her cake.

For some I-want-to-give-myself-a-nervous-breakdown reason, I thought, 'Hey one of Mum's passions is Bell Ringing, I'll make her a Bell Shaped cake. It will be easy!'

It wasn't.

It turned out really well though, and people were impressed with it, but I think Doug was ready to throttle me, as Saturday morning I was nearly in tears because it hadn't gone as I wanted it too, and I'd convinced myself it looked awful. Fortunately by the time I got to the party, I'd got some perspective, and realised it actually looked good, and wasn't too upset over one of the letter getting broken and changing LXX to LXY.

From Mum's Birthday
From Mum's Birthday

It was wonderful seeing everybody again. I don't get to see my cousins nearly enough - especially now we've all got babies and jobs and grown-up things like that. I did however extract a lot of promises from people to come and visit us. AND I WILL HOLD YOU ALL TO THEM! ;-)

Anyway more photos here -
Mum's Birthday
as I have run and pick Hannah and Rebecca up from pre-school.

This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
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From iPhone Photos

Yesterday, when we went to pick Owen and Cullyn up from school, Hannah and Rebecca held hands and sang all the way there and all the way back. I have no adequate words for how cute this was.

This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
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So Cullyn brought home a booklet from school - one of these Help your Child to Read (cos if you don't do this you're a shitty parent) and please make use of this voucher to buy one of our fine products (50p off if you spend £50) things.

Page 7 read thus

Let boys be boys and girls be girls

Until the day your daughter expresses an interest in rocket science or your son gets into show jumping, you won't go far wrong if you try them out with these kinds of books...

  • ...enjoy books about their interests - especially dinosaurs!
  • books that are a bit scary, funny or have silly jokes.
  • ...often have a shorter attention span, so books you can dip in and out of may work better for them. Try comic strip books and non fiction.
  • ...prefer big, bold, colourful illustrations or things that can be moved or touched.
  • reading to have a purpose, for example books that show you how to make things.

  • ...enjoy series of books about the same characters.
  • to listen to talking books and watch DVDs of favourite books.
  • ...enjoy a bit of fantasy, magic and make believe - princesses, castles, etc. like sparkle and glitter on the pages.
  • enjoy books that have props with them - dolls, soft toys, dressing-up clothes.


    I will of course be complaining to the school, and to the fuckhead at the local education authority who thought it would a good idea to send this crap out, so any suggestions for good turns of phrases will be gratefully received.

    I need a feminist rage icon.

    This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
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Doug and I sat down to watch episode 4 of Leverage. (And I so love Parker and Hardison)
And then Hannah woke up. As did Rebecca. And then Hannah woke up again. And again.

By the time I'd got both of them back to sleep, Doug had decided to go to bed, which means I've got to wait until tomorrow night to watch the rest of the episode.


We are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it's still quite disheartening - apart from the three nights at Vidukon, I haven't managed to sleep through the night since a month or two before the twins were born. I am TIRED.

(But Leverage! Glee! <3 <3 <3 <3 )
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I think I've just found the song I need for the Middleman Vid I've been wanting to do for ages.


Mum came up today, mainly to bring back my camera which I left at her house over Christmas, (and in a perfect example of Sod's Law there been some amazing photo opportunities in the interval including a snow covered Mynydd Troed lit by a red sunset.) It was really good seeing her, and as she came and picked the boys up from school & came to the chip shop* with me, she got to see a bit more of Talgarth than she has before.

In other news, BAD FORM SUP. I don't think LJ is going anywhere, but I do think english speaking LJ is going to get sidelined in favour of russian speaking LJ. I don't don't think I'll ever completely abandon LJ, I have a perm account and I'll have been here seven years in September, and it's where I've made so many good friends, and had my sanity saved on so many occasions, but I am looking forward to the Dreamwidth Studio's offering.

*Sadly I was not able to introduce her to Jay from 5ive this time, although I did see him there again the other day. He really is rather lovely.


May. 30th, 2006 09:36 pm
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Originally uploaded by TheDivineGoat.
As I'm doing the photo thing tonight, I thought I'd share this one.

It was really quickly snapped whilst I was doing the flower photos, but I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

Doug said it looks like it should be his authors photo on the back of a dust jacket.
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Somerset Guardian Article )

Dad's funeral was on Saturday.

As funerals go it was good. It was at Haycombe Crematorium, which is on the outskirts of Bath, and the Chapel has one wall of floor to ceiling windows, looking out over valleys, and hills and fields. There were a huge number of people there, so many they could only just get everyone in, with most people standing. (And on a completely irrelevant note, my male cousins* [and cousin's boyfriends], are, en masse and in suits, rather an impressive bunch.  My sister and I have decided to call them the Murrell Mafia).

My Aunt Jessie, who is a Ordained Local Minister ([ profile] mister_jack and [ profile] heyjudas, have I got that right?) with the Church of Wales, took the service, which apart from anything else avoided the problem we had at my Grandmother's funeral where the minister pronounced my Grandfathers name Hywel as Howl, (whereas the old family pronunciation is Huel) and and his and Bammie's surname Murrell as Murr-ell rather than Murrall.

Jessie spoke for a bit about Dad, then we had a chap known as Set, speak about his caving life, Angus Buccanhan (sp?) speak about his Industrial Archaeological 'career', and Dad's habit of popping up in unexpected places, (sometimes literally) and Phil Cullen speak about Dad's involvement with the Mining Industry, particularly the South Wales coalfield. Phil got a laugh by starting by telling us that he never expected to be speaking from the pulpit, as he was a Marxist. His speech affected me the most, as he talked about the Welsh Miners gratitude to Dad for recording their working life as it was, rather than how TPTB said  it was.

We then played 'Cwm Rhondda' (Bread of Heaven), as a recording, which meant people could listen or join in as they wished.  And one of the advantages of having Welsh Miners there, was that the song got sung properly.  And quite a few people sang the last few lines that were repeated in Welsh too.

I then read Dylan Thomas' Do Not Go Gently, as Dad always loved Dylan Thomas.  I think a lot people weren't quite sure if I'd be able to do it, but it was something I needed to do for Dad.  The only place I had trouble was the last verse, and the last line ended up being rather rushed out, but I'm glad I did it.

We then had the committal and the Lords Prayer (My sister wanted the traditional committal with the Ashes to Ashes bit), and then were meant to have 'Measure of a Man' read, but the tributes had over-run slightly so there wasn't time.

Then as we left the chapel we had the 1812 Overture playing, which was apt for a Man who loved playing with explosives.  (Part of his caving days) It was something nearly everybody commented on.

There were a lot of people there who I hadn't seen since I was a child or in my teens, and there were two things everybody said to me - a comment on the twins and a comment on the colour of my hair, (an unnaturally bright red).  It was nice seeing all these people again, but also incredibly awkward - I'm not very good at small talk, and how could I express to these almost strangers how I felt about my Dad dying?

We then went on to the Red Lion in Paulton, when we'd got sandwiches and coffee laid on for everyone.  We'd also put together some albums of Dad, and of his work, both caving and mining.  (Incidentally, I found out that Dad is a theme on the Gathering the Jewels website.

It was good, but painful, and made me aware all over again just how much knowledge - local, family and mining has been lost with Dad. He was a curmudgeonly old bugger but it's not going to be the same without him.

I'll miss you Dad.
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Rich & Debs
Originally uploaded by TheDivineGoat.
[ profile] heyjudas and [ profile] debsbattlequeen at my Birthday Meal.

You can see the rest of the photos here.
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If anyone's at all interested in flying machines, [ profile] faintfuzzies has posted pictures from the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, on his flickr account. And because he only has a flickr account because I prodded him into it, I thought I'd pimp his pictures.

Also, on a completely unrelated note, I have one more day of long, reddish/brown/dark blonde hair left. It's below my shoulder blades when plaited at the moment, and it's been roughly two years since I was last in a hair dressers, I thought I might as well get it all chopped off. I very rarely have my hair, but when I do, it's generally dramatic.
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Happy Birthday [ profile] heyjudas!
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(I tried posting this last night, but thanks to a massive thunderstorm, the network went down.)

Trying to read the threads at Slashdot make my head hurt. :-(

We went up to Camerton Primary this evening, to meet the teachers and find out what's expected of us as parents when Owen starts there in september.

It's the cutest little school, this year they have a confirmed intake of three, and two more possibles. Owen's class will consist of 3 Reception age children, 8 Year Ones and 6 Year Twos. The whole school is sixty children in total. My neice's school is one of the smaller Bristol schools, and their intake this september will be about a hundred.

One of the things that got mentioned was taking the classes out for walks, and the Teacher said how she always made sure her class was the first each Autumn to walk down the track to the Conker Tree, (Horsechestnut) so that the little ones get first go at the conkers. Made me all nostalgic. (I can remember coming home from school with conkers spilling out of my coat pockets, I'd collected so many.)

But it is really wierd to think he's going to be at School in November. We're going to be ordering his uniform soon, (the school emblem is a Miner's Lamp) and I still can't get my head around the fact that he's now longer a toddler.


One thing that's taken me by surprise is the sheer quality of the New Who fanfic thats appearing in the comms; the good stuff, at the moment, is out numbering the bad stuff. I know the bad stuff's out there, (I had a brief look over at and eek!) but it doesn't seem to be as pervasive as it normally is. Do people agree, or is my perception wacked? And if you do agree, any theories as to why?

Couple of recs...

Once Upon a Time by [ profile] tangledwood - Jabe fic, spoilers up to The End of The World. Absolutely stunning look at Jabe, and making her death a lot harder to bear.

Breaking the Rules by [ profile] boro_girl - Do not read until you have seen Parting of the Ways. Why Rose makes the choices she does.

And lastly [ profile] mythichistorian has got four parts written of a Doctor Who/Buffy crossover. Go read. Now.

(Oh, and if you haven't read [ profile] sangga's Deshabille, why not?)

Is it Christmas yet?
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Roses fight back. I beat the bastards and they're now looking neat and tidy (ish), but they made me pay for my victory.

I just excavated a thorn from my thumb. (My arms are also scratched to buggery).


I think parents should be awarded badges like in Brownies and Scouts. Tonight I totally won my "Getting sleeping child out of wet pyjamas and his bed stripped without waking him or his brother. I rule as a Mama!


Still obsessed with Parting of the Ways.  I rewatched it yesterday and found myself even more emotional than I was on Saturday.  It's also been cool to see Doctor Who take over my friends list, a feat I would not have believe possible at the beginning of the year.  Is it Christmas yet?
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Owen's party went amazingly well today, the weather was perfect, the kids had a whale of a time, and the adults seemed to enjoy themselves too. Plus the Cake didn't turn out too bad (I made all the fences myself /pride ).

The only bad thing was that I got interupted putting on my suncream, and forgot that I hadn't finished doing it.  I now have really bad sunburn on my shoulder and across my back.  (Normally I'm really parinoid about the sun, and wear a 5 star factor 50).  Ouch!


Doctor Who related - [ profile] jacinthsong is holding a mini caption contest over in her journal...

Also I'm confused. spoilers for tonight and speculation )

And did anyone catch Doctor Who Confidential? When Tom Baker, (at least I think it was he) said "Fanlove is superior to normal love, because fanlove endures."

I <3 Tom Baker.
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Owen's going to be Four tomorrow.

He's got a big boy's bike, and in a couple of weeks we go up to St Peter's, the Village school*, for the new parents evening, he can dress himself and for a very-nearly-four-year old is worryingly responsible.

Where did my baby go?

The bike BTW is a Spiderman bike, and he wants to take it everywhere.

*My niece's school in Bristol is considered to be a small school and has an intake of about a hundred kids a year.  This year, Owen's school has an intake of five.
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Yesterday lunch time I was sat round the table eating lunch with Doug, Owen, and my sister's two kids Sky, (4 1/2) and Summer (2 1/2). I was feeding Cullyn at the same time.

Sky: Is Cullyn eating your body?

Me: (Rather startled). Um No! He's drinking my milk.

Sky: Is he eating your skin off?

Me: (Catching Doug's eye who is looking slightly green at the visual) No no. My breasts make milk for him as he doesn't eat normal food. (I then make a mental note to speak to my sister about her daughter's education...)

Even better than the time when Sky asked me how Cullyn had come out of my tummy, and me not having a clue how my sister would want it handled, and not wanting to overstep any boundaries, pointed vaguely in the direction of my crotch and said he came out down there. To which she told me not to be silly as legs don't have holes in them. I then told her to go and ask her Mummy.

As I have boys I feel that it should be Doug responsibility to undergo the embarrassing facts of life thing. (And yes I know it's something that we should open and honest etc. about, but realistically, talking about sex with your children, is no more comfortable than talking about sex with your parents.)

*Flashing back to being sixteen, going out with my second boyfriend who I hadn't even thought about sleeping with yet, and being told by my mother that I should - "Use two forms of contraception as we are an incredibly fertile family" *, and that I should borrow my grandmothers copy of The Joy of Sex! I wanted to throw myself out of the window at that moment from sheer shame, (we were in a moving car at the time). My mother is exception to the whole talking about sex to your kids/parents rule. I'm repressing the times when she's told me about her and my dad's sex life...

*Ironically it took me two years to get pregnant, and we had an appointment at the fertility clinic when I found out I was pregnant with Owen.

Incidently my icon is my niece Sky.
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My son is playing with his sand buggy on the floor

ME: [Speaking to my husband] It looks like Jesus or the lamb from the nativity set is driving Owen's buggy.
HUSBAND: Yeah? [Comes in from kitchen and looks at said Buggy] It's a piece of rice cake.
ME: Oh.

I need new glasses.


When did Christmas get so close? The last thing I knew we had a few weeks to go, and then all of a sudden it's two days away and I haven't wrapped any presents.

But, on the plus side at least all the present got bought prior to Cullyn being born, so at least I don't have to do any last minute shopping.
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Cullyn Thomas Lee was born on Monday 17th November 2003, at 11:40 am weighing 8 lb 7oz.

I had a pretty good labour and had a full water birth, (I managed not to throw up in the birth pool this time!) although the highlight had to be getting completely off my head on the entonox (gas & air) whilst they were stitchng me up, and blathering on about complete bollocks. (Apparently I wittered on for a while about fourteen year old fanfiction writers, who wrote about labout without knowing anything about it - and how I wanted to slap them for it!)

Cullyn is just as beautiful as his brother.

Piccies here.

Apologies for the lateness of this announcement. As you might have guessed I've been a little busy the last three weeks, and have barely touched the PC.


Mar. 2nd, 2003 09:58 pm
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Designing a get well card for my father-in-law, who is rather badly ill. (He has Angina & Parkinsons and has just developed a severe chest infection).

I've spent approx the last two hours on it, (I know I'm slow!), go to save the last hours changes, and the bastard program crashes!!

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My mum is serving a year as Chair (or Chairman as she would say as she thinks Chair is PC nonsense) of the South Western Region of the Institute of Structural Engineers. She gets to wear a Chain of Office and everything.

In her capacity as Chair she has to go to several dinners, and a problem arises in that my Dad being a grumpy bastard, (but a lovable grumpy bastard), won't go with her. With some of them it's OK as she can go on her own, but two, one in Bristol and one in London she really needs a partner for. So I'm going. Which is good as I'm getting a new outfit out of it, the London one being v. posh and me having nothing suitable.

This week I got a letter from the wife of the President of the ISE, inviting me to coffee at the Wardolf Hotel with all the other wives of Chairmen, and then a tour around the Art Deco exhibition at the V&A. My first response was to laugh, as it all seemed a little Hyacinth Bucket. I mean for a start everyones going to be at least twenty years older than me. And I've never been to the Wardolf, but it sounds posh. And I'm not.

But we have to be in London early as Mum has a meeting in the morning prior to the dinner, so I have to choice of wandering around London on my own, (which does appeal slightly) or going to the V&A (which I love) to see an Art Deco exhibition (which I also love.)

I am however on my reply slip, very carefully crossing out the Name of Spouse, and replacing it with Name of Mother.

Got my first pair of new glasses today since, um... April 99. It is so nice to be able to see again without my eye feeling as they're straining to focus. Frames are going to take a bit of getting used to as they're quite different shape to my old ones. They're Ralph Lauren, unfotunately, as I hate Ralph Lauren, but I liked the design, and they looked OK on me. I really liked some Nicole Farlhi(sp?) frames - they looked really amazing on the self, but looked crap on me. :-(
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I can't believe how long it's been since I've posted here.

I've spent the last few weeks thinking I must post this in my journal tonight, but not being able to due to work for NCT/son refusing to sleep/exhaustion/more work for the NCT.

I haven't even been able to keep up with my friends journals. It's left me feeling rather disconnected from things.... Oh Well, I'm back now.

PS Why is Trevor McDonald talking about Kylie Minogue's knickers? It's not exactly as if it's a slow news day.

PPS On the subject of underwear, who wears thongs when pregnant? 'Cos huh?


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