Friday, 11 April 2014

..In Which We See the Queen, Nearly Freeze and Mini Turns Seven

It's been a busy old week in the Lazy Girl House.

Of course, the Easter Break started last Friday (hence the quiet on the page here) and it brings two weeks of trying to work out what on earth to do with two fussy Brats when the weather is crap, you are looking for a new house to move to and are skint (or not skint, more saving furiously to pay for aforementioned move).

On Monday, I spotted a thread on a local Gossip group regards Queen Elizabeth and a State Visit. Despite living in Maidenhead for 6 years now, and Windsor being about 10 minutes away, we have never been over during a State Visit or a Changing of the Guard. I've been Charity Shop scouring but that's it.

However, Mini is now an avid reader- including reading over my shoulder when I'm on the PC. This is not good in most cases. Anyone who has written me on Facebook or Twitter knows I like a good curse word like the Celt I am (partly. Cough) and I do subscribe to some quite sarcastic and adult of humor groups on Facebook too.

This time was fine though.

Mini loves the Royals even more than your friendly neighbourhood pensioner, she fell in love the second she saw Kate in her wedding dress and has not stopped since. On seeing that the Queen herself was riding through Windsor, on a day when she was off school well, that could only be seconded by the slim chance of her finding out Harry Styles was in our local Waitrose- she needed to be there.

I was told that the Queen, Charles, Camilla and Phillip (who as an aside, Elder swears blind once gave him a lift to get petrol when he ran out in Windsor Great park one early morning many moons ago) would go past at 11am, so we should definitely get there before 10am to avoid being lost in the crush.

We were all going to go, but as he seems to be doing more of recently, Littlest decided he didn't want to get dressed, get his teeth washed, or do a thing he was told, so Mini and I left at 9.45 to get the train. Cutting it fine but I thought most of it is the atmosphere and I'd either hoist her onto my shoulders or we'd make use of her angelic face to get to the front.

We had to change at Slough, and eventually ran from Windsor station to the High Street at 10.45. I was quite surprised that one side of the road was packed, but the other, on the side of the Castle, was pretty fine for space, so we hopped across the road and took up position between a couple from Maidenhead, and a group of Americans.

By 11am, we were looking around for signs of activity, but there were none. It was also getting pretty overcast too, and we had dresses on- it was boiling in Maidenhead but flipping freezing in Windsor.

At 11.15, I was getting more concerned, Mini was getting bored, and she was shivering. The Maidenhead lady remarked that this was an error she made the first time she had come over to watch the Queen (from the comfort of her stool and her blanket), as its like a wind tunnel. She also said the Queen wasn't late but was passing through at 12.30.

At this point, with Mini getting colder and colder, and thus bored, I thought, as we had over an hour, we'd run across to H&M and grab a pair of jeans and a jumper for her.

Except the Police had closed the barrier. We were trapped.

At about 11.30, we were treated to a marching band, which cheered Mini up a little, but she was o cold bless her.



By the time the Queen went past (twice- once in her car, then in her carriage), Mini was lying on a bench, cold, miserable, tired and having borrowed a blanket from a kind OAP.



Luckily, a lovely Police officer walked past and saw her, asking how long we'd waited, and on hearing what had happened, he opened the barrier for us, giving us an escort into McDonalds for hot chocolate. He told Mini if anyone moaned, as she as pretty, he'd tell them she was a relative of Kate, which cheered her up no end.

With a hot chocolate inside, she was much happier, so we had a wander round the shops, then off home.

Yesterday was her seventh Birthday, which she has been excited about. We have things planned for the weekend so it was spent with us at home, (we're off to London on Sunday), but she did very well.

She was lucky enough to receive a scooter (she outgrew her last one at the end of the summer, and this time we had to buy one for age 9-12 as she's so tall), a RoboPuppy (annoying thing but teaches her maths on the sly) and a Badge It set (instant utter love as she adores crafty things). We went into town and had a coffee shop lemonade, and, after asking what she'd like as a little present, she bought herself a magazine with nil polish in it, and bought a lovely small bunch of flowers.

We had a home made cake (which she helped Ice) and a birthday tea of her fave foods.



A lovely quiet day but she was very happy and snuggled on the sofa in the evening.

I shall report back on our jaunt to London (her first outside of a buggy) and our thoughts on the Museum of Childhood on Monday.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Is It Just Me?: Who Thinks Its Not That Farage Won, Its More That We All Hate Clegg?

Did you see the much hyped second debate between Lib Dem/Conservative Tea Boy Nick "Fame Seeker" Clegg and Nigel "Friendly Face of Racism and Sexism" Farage?

Those in the know are suggesting that Farage basically walked it, making Clegg look silly and lacking in any knowledge of what us, the electorate, want from Europe, and our continued place within it.

There was much of the expected usual fayre, with both men resembling two toddlers having a ruck- accusations of lying being the main point from both.

The thing is, I don't particularly like any of them. Don't get me wrong, I'm even less of a fan of Smugron and his Tory Eton Old Boys Club party, but I can't help think that it wasn't so much a win for Farage, but a case of most sensible, and former Lib Dem supporters, hating Clegg with a passion.

Why?

If you ask me, Clegg kind of resembles the kind of act you see on X Factor. You know the one, it happens every year. You get a band of spotty oiks, who have limited talent jump on stage, fronted by someone who is actually quite good (especially when backed by the less talented ones). 

They sit outside talking to Dermot, about how they have been through so much together, how they are like family and no chance of fame and fortune will ever rip them apart. They are tight, they believe in each other and all they stand for.

Then, they walked out on stage, and of course, the quite talented one gets told to ditch their scruples and go out on their own to seek fame. They may even get told to join a bunch of other, supposedly talented folk. It then all goes wrong and they go out in week 3 as they weren't that talented after all, to be shunned by their mates.

How is Clegg like this, I hear you ask? 

Well, think about it.


The Lib Dems have long been the third party. They had definite policies of being the party of the student, the disillusioned. My own parents voted for them. We always had a Lib Dem sign in our window come election time.

Then, Clegg got a bit bored of being in this party of losers, and on being told by Smugron that together they could lead the country, he jumped in with a party who are their polar opposite.

Straight away, all his promises, to support students against plans to bring in Fees went out the window. He chased fame and gave up everything he believed in.

Now, it's all going wrong, and whilst most of us are not fans of Smugron, he's just performing to type- greedy Tory who is only interested in his rich buddies and what they want- all of us who used to seek refuge with the Lib Dems are jumping ship.

Farage and his UKIP (BNP Lite for the Middle Classes) party of EU haters are no doubt going to hold the power if we get a hung parliament again. 

As for the Lib Dems, well, they're losing seats left right and Middle England to even wacky independent parties, such is the drive to ditch them.

Who will end up worse off as a result of the ConDem experiment? Without doubt the Lib Dems and Clegg. Even Smugron is distancing himself from Clegg- when asked on BBC Breakfast who he thought had won the debate his answer was not to support Clegg but to remark he didn't have anyone in the race.

Clegg is about to find out what happens when you ditch your mates in favour of fame.

Its a very lonely place out there Nick.




Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Mini and The School Play

Mini, as most know by now, is a bit of a diva. Kind of like an X Factor wannabe mixed with a theatre school kid, but with added confidence to boot.

So, being given a good part in the schools year 2 play was a dream come true, which could only ever be seconded by the possibility of snogging the girly looking one from One Direction.

Mini was chosen to play the Rainbow in a play called The Wonderful World of Weather, and had a couple of lines at the end of the play, along with, as we thought, singing "I Can Sing a Rainbow" with her class.

We went to see the performance on Monday afternoon, Mini had a rotten sore throat all weekend and Monday morning, so she was a bit nervy that her voice might go but she went to school regardless and we had told her to do her best, as always.

Mini on the left with her bestie friend "O"

Well, the play was great, every kid in the entire class had a part to play, the scenery had been made by one of  classroom assistants and her family, and the costumes by another (although Mini made her own out of a stripey Monsoon dress and raiding my bangles box for colourful bead bracelets), and they were all weather related and very convincing.

It has to be said, I've watched her class grow from timid, tiny 4 year olds to the confident, funny 7 year olds they are now, and every one of them got their lines spot on. Special mention has to go to two lads who danced to "Hot, Hot, Hot" and "Ice, Ice Baby"  as they were utterly hilarious and seemed to dance in a more exaggerated fashion the more us adults laughed.

The use of songs met with Elder's approval too, with Bob Dylan, Johnny Nash and songs from Mary Poppins and Singing in the Rain featuring.

Soon, it was he finale, with Mini front and centre on the stage. She nailed it (yes, I'm biased of course, but there was barely a hint of nerves or croaky throat to hear), and we got a surprise as the first bit of her song she sang on her own.

She lapped up the applause, bowing as she went back to her seat. She sang so clear and despite sometimes singing a bit too high pitched (I'm forever telling her to sing low enough that adults and not just dogs can hear her), she was bang on pitch.

She even managed to critique herself, watching the video back, that she was slightly ahead of the backing tape.

All in all, it was emotional, and I'm very pleased that this year she wasn't hidden at the back.

I think we may have to find out about drama clubs in the area as she seems to have no fear when it comes to singing and dancing like a loon. She has far more confidence than I ever did at that age (or after) and I do think its something she wants to pursue herself.

I am one very proud Mummy, that's for sure.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Britmums Live- Like I Wouldn't Come Along!

This June is the annual Blog version of the holy grail of Conferences, Britmums Live at The Brewery, and as longterm readers know I've been going since the very start (as well as the two earlier versions under a different name). I even came along to the 2009 Zoo Meet Up.

I wasn't sure I was going to come along this year. After all, I'm ancient, I can't and wont learn HTML or SEO or anything else that seems more important than actual blogging these days. 

However, I did have second thoughts when some very lovely mates told me I should come along and they would miss me if I didn't. 

That's why I'm happy to announce I will indeed be there, and all thanks to the lovely people at Harper Collins.




Harper Collins will be linking up both with us here at Lazy Girl's Life, and we'll be bringing you competitions and reviews (or rather the Brats will at their Youtube Takeover channel) at Family Panel Reviews too.



We love Harper Collins books in this house so its certainly a great partnership. You can sign up at my sponsor badge top left.





I am going to join in with the Meet and Greet, although I'm sure most people will know me by now, but there are so many new faces excited about Britmums and their first year maybe there are some new people to meet too.


Here is me:


This is me with the long suffering, long written about Elder, my other half of some 14 years (I know, 14 years!) 

I blog here at Lazy Girl's Life, at Lazy Girl Cooks and I'm Chief at Family Panel too. Well, I say Chief but most folks want to work with the Brats these days. So it can only be a matter of months before they nick the whole thing.

I am a Twitter user, and have been almost as long as I've been blogging (I've done that since 2006!). You can find me @TheLazyGirlBlog , and at Facebook too. But I don't do much there to be fair, its more for my mates and for buying too many records on Facebook selling sites.

I also love Instagram. I'm addicted actually. I post all sorts on there- stuff I cook, stuff I love, stuff of the Brats not seen on my blog, I always have a camera in my hand. 

*What I look like:

Well, I have red hair (totally thanks to Live Colour XXL, not down to genetics), cos if I don't it has gray and I look well old. I have green eyes. I'm pretty tall I suppose. 

I have not a clue what I'm wearing on the day, but it will probably be jeans and not the stupid shoe boots I wore until I got to the cafe last year, or the red shoes that I hadn't realised how slippery they were until I slipped in a puddle before the BiBs and thus everyone thought I was drunk, when I actually wasn't. 
I don't drink very much at all. I prefer Cake. 

I will be wearing my purple specs though. I will also probably have my phone in one hand, Instagramming everything, and my actual proper camera in the other, whilst balancing my business cards and looking for peeps I know.

*What are you looking forward to most?

Oh tough one! There are some brilliant speakers this year (as ever), a proper eclectic mixture of 'slebs, and the Old Firm of Blogging. I am most looking forward to Mel's words of joy and wisdom (the lady who stopped me from making this blog into a twee nondescript bore fest and told me not to follow everyone else's expectations but to blog how I wanted), I want to go give Chelsea a big hug (as we barely had chance last year). I want to swap gossip and intrigue and Breast feeding love (sorry Mumsnet- boobies rock whether we are being feminist with them or feeding a baby) with Liska, and generally want to meet some great people, as I do every year.

*Stuff in general:

Well, I'm sarcastic, shit with names (I shall call you sweetheart, babe, darling or doll. I am crap at names, blog or otherwise. I'm not rude, I just have appalling memory down to the headaches I get), I won't look over your shoulder for someone better to talk to, I will stalk 'slebs in a fan girl way, I will crush on how immaculate Susanna and Jen always look (they never look frazzled despite organising a behemoth of a conference every year- how? how?). I will love you if you talk music (I love vinyl), don't ask me about SEO (I know nix) but you can ask me a brief history of the blog world as we know it (copyright). 

So, come say hi!

I may be doing the cafe pre-meet up, but after seeing Annie and pals having a boozy time across the road last year, I may just join you. I may actually go and grab some pie and mash from Arments first (so I can Facebook a pc and annoy Elder), so stay tuned.


Thank you so much Harper Collins!

Say you in June guys x


(Oh and if you'd like to nominate me for Keynote speech feel free!)



Tuesday, 25 March 2014

What Type of Bingo Player Are You?*

Love bingo? What type of player are you? I'm an old fashioned player myself.

Want to find out how I found out?
Costa Bingo have a great free interactive infographic will let you know which type of bingo player you are too!
Whatever type of player you are, all bingo players have one thing in common- the love of one thing….the game itself!
Online Bingo grown in popularity steadily over the last decade, with millions of different players across the UK saying eyes down for a full house each and every day. Its a simple, fun and not to mention social hobby, with the added buzz of winning huge sums of money and prizes, just for clicking the right numbers!
But have you ever really thought about the type of player you are? Are you an aggressive player who perhaps needs to analyse their approach and see if it is worth holding back every now and again?
Or are you a social player, looking to add a new , chatty and digital edge to their game as well?
Either way it could be great idea to take a closer look at what type of bingo player you are. You never know, it could lead to more success in the future!
Eyes down…. it’s time to play bingo!








Monday, 17 March 2014

Life in picturesque St. Albans*


St Albans may be one of the UK’s smallest cities, but what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in attractions and is considered by many to be one of the most picturesque places in the London commuter belt.

Therefore it should come as no surprise that St Albans is an incredibly popular place to live with property for sale in St Albans and the surrounding area normally snapped up very quickly. So if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on a piece of prize Hertfordshire real estate, what can you expect from life in picturesque St Albans?

Location

With easy access to both the M25 and M1 motorways, Luton and Stansted airports  just a short drive away, and the centre of London just over 30 minutes by train, St Albans is incredibly well connected and a firm favourite for commuters to many parts of the country.

As well as great transport links, residents of St Albans also have easy access to the beautiful Chiltern Hills and the traditional villages, great walks and fantastic pubs.

History

Though it has played an important part in local and national life throughout its history, St Albans is probably most famous for its connections with the Romans, and many of the city’s best known landmarks date from this period.

One of the best places to learn more about Roman life in the city is at Verulamium Park, a one hundred acre site named after the Roman city on which it stands.

On the outskirts of the park you’ll find the Verulamium Museum, home to a wealth of architectural finds as well as information about the city’s past.

Leisure

As well as the beautiful Verulamium Park, residents of St Albans have a variety of leisure activities available on their doorstep including swimming pools, running tracks, cinemas and shopping areas.

There is also a great variety of cafes and restaurants, one of the most well known is The Waffle House, centred around a 16th century mill close to the Verulamium Museum.


With easy access to London and the rest of the country, great schools, a historic city centre and a rich history, residents of St Albans can enjoy a wide variety of cultural, leisure and educational activities throughout the year, meaning that life in this petit metropolis is never boring.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

...And Then the Stupid GP Proved Me Right (Again)

Following on from my previous rant laden post regards the NHS and their attitude towards woman, I wanted to update you on the latest farce. It seems it's not just woman but anyone who fancies asking the NHS to actually do anything, at all.

About 12 weeks ago, I asked for Littlest to be re-referred to his lovely Consultant. He hasn't seen him for about 2 years, and we were hoping we wouldn't need to see him again as we would have assumed that the District Asthma Clinic could be sufficient.

Why, why on earth, going on previous experience, did I think that? I actually could kick myself.

The thing is, Littlest has the same inhalers he has always had. They simply do not do the same thing as they used to do. His Blue, Ventolin Inhaler is supposed to work to put a halt to the times when he finds it hard to brave without coughing. Despite giving him up to ten puffs at once (which is supposed to act like being on a nebuliser when used with his spacer device), it does absolutely nothing to relieve it at all.

As for the Brown Preventer, well, we may as well not bother with it for all the use it is- think making a brew with a chocolate tea pot.

We have begged and pleaded with his GPs, and the frankly slappable Asthma Nurse (who bad mouthed me for using the correct spacer as given to us by his Consultant and backed up by the GP) to do something, anything, to try and limit the effect his illness has. He is having more and more time off school, which means we had the bloody Welfare Education Officer trying to interfere (she got told where to go until she can suggest a cure for his illness- that soon shut her up).

It also means that Littlest's behaviour is getting beyond a joke. He runs at me on occasion, fists raised, and he gets so angry. Which in turn then makes him get out of breath and cough lots. Its the lack of sleep that causes a lot of it, the same as I am constantly knackered and could happily nod off by 7pm every night as I'm just so sleepy.

The thing is, we know of other families attached to the same GP, who have children of similar age with the condition, and they are forever trying different meds on them. Littlest, meanwhile, just doesn't exist.

Now, because the Cretinous GP and his shoddy and brain dead Secretary know they have messed up, by asking the Consultant to see Littlest about his allergies, rather than his cough, they are now trying to skirt round the fact it is there fault this mess has occurred and are trying to pass the blame to me.

How on earth they can blame me for their immense cock up is anyone's guess. As you'll remember, if you read the previous post, firstly I was told I hadn't been clear enough on what I wanted him to be seen for (so telling the GP I wanted him to be seen as his inhalers don't work any more and I want him, for the first time ever since SCBU, to be monitored overnight is clearly not plain English enough for him).

When that didn't work, they lied and told him I was very unhappy with his original help (bollocks) and I wanted a second opinion.

Which, correct me if I'm wrong, but a second opinion from the same person who voiced the original opinion clearly does not work. And why on earth would I want to go back to someone that I didn't have faith in to the point I would want a second opinion? It just doesn't make sense.

So now, as the previously OK Consultant is now sulking (like a bitch) thinking we have been all mean about him (diddums), he wont see Littlest.

Great stuff. God knows where we turn to next. 

Which leads me onto epic cock up number 2 from the same surgery.

In the same post I mentioned how I felt the female GP I had hoped would show some female solidarity was an utter cow and had, in my opinion, ignored me, but that I awaited to see how much she had ignored me when my referral for a Gynaecological investigation came through.

It came through today.

Is it for the female Gynaecologist who I mentioned I wanted to see, for the simple, non-sexist reason that, frankly, my Lady Garden is my own and it's quite up to me who I give an audience to?

No, is it buggery.

It's for the same bloody pissing male one who I asked, begged and pleaded not to see last time, then twiddled my thumbs waiting for a new appointment to switch to his female peer, gave up and went to the bitch of woman GP to ask her to resend my referral. 

I hate to be proved right, I really do. Why have I wasted the last week odd waiting patiently to see who the referral was to? I knew, I just flaming knew before I left that office, shaking and upset, that she had ignored me. That she had some bloody issue with me, you know, how dare I, wanting to use what is my right as a patient to voice that I wanted to see a fellow woman rather than a man. 

So, now it all starts again. I have to phone up the hospital and cancel, and hope they don't forget why I've cancelled (or forget I've cancelled at all) and yet again send some snotty letter to my GP. I then have to wait for an appointment with another GP at the surgery. I wont be allowed an Emergency appointment, as the Gates of Hell otherwise known as the desk Secretaries wont allow me to (they ask what you want, and before you tell me you don't need to tell them, the last time I refused, telling them it was naff all of their business, they made me take an appointment for three weeks later), so I will need to wait at least a week and half, if not two, for a standard appointment. I will then have to wait two weeks (if not more- after all, we're at the 9 week mark for Littlest's referral with no conclusion or appointment in sight) for the letter for an appointment, and then over a month (at least) for an actual appointment, if anyone actually listens and books it with a bloody woman.

This, this is why the NHS is in crisis.

Why in Christ's name they cannot get their heads around simple admin is beyond me? Its to the point where I am close to requesting to write my own bloody referrals, getting them stamped by the GP and then handing them in at the required hospital, getting an acknowledgement of receipt while I'm there. 

If they actually did it the first time, rather than having to go back and forth, sending out new referrals for the same thing at least 3 times before you get anywhere, they'd save a bundle.

I can't be the only one wondering why I bother even seeing a GP, when I know, full well, from years of experience that they do naff all however much you beg and plead.

Friday, 14 March 2014

End the Stigma Around Emergency Contraception!

Its about time we end the stigma around emergency contraception


Watch our live web TV show where Dr Patricia Lohr from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service gives the latest advice on emergency contraception choices available to women in 2014 and answers your questions on which one is right for you Show date: Monday 17th March Show time: 11 AM It’s not often we come up against taboo subjects and whilst contraception is a simple conversation for most women, there is still a huge amount of stigma surrounding emergency contraception.
According to new research, women in the UK are no more likely to have unprotected sex than women in France, Germany or Italy - but sadly they are more likely to find asking for emergency contraception embarrassing or shameful. Nearly half worry that seeking emergency contraception suggests they have been ‘irresponsible’ with their contraception, exacerbated by feelings of being ‘judged’ to ask for emergency contraception.
Are you worried that you’re not quite clued up on common misconceptions surrounding emergency contraception? Or are you like the majority of women in the UK that find requesting emergency contraception embarrassing or shameful, worrying that in doing so suggests you have been irresponsible with your contraception?
Furthermore, the stigma that continues to surround emergency contraception also allows myths to spread. Nearly half of women think emergency contraception may lead to infertility, and one in 10 is convinced this is the case.
Join our live webTV show where medical director of BPAS Patricia Lohr will run through all the questions about emergency contraception. We’ll cover everything from what different types there are, to where you can get it from, and debunk common myths surrounding emergency contraception such as that taking it can lead to infertility.
Dr. Patricia Lohr joins us live online at http://www.studiotalk.tv/show/end-the-stigma-around-emergency-contraception on 17th March at 11am. Click here to submit questions before the show http://www.studiotalk.tv/show/end-the-stigma-around-emergency-contraception

*Image: PartyStock/FreeDigitalPhotos.net