Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2017

Out and about with Mrs Humdrum - The Parade Tearooms

We, in the Humdrum household, like to start our days in the best way possible. Good football match? Have a Parade breakfast. Shopping planned later in IKEA? Start with a Parade breakfast. About to set off on our long drive to Cornwall? Start with a Parade breakfast. You get the drift. We have been regulars there since it opened, and I can honestly say, we have never received anything but fantastic service and food there. I won't bang on about how Mark, the owner, always greets you with a smile, even when you're not actually in his eaterie! I won't overenthuse about how it's worth the wait for a table at peak-breakfast time. I won't repeat ad nauseum how polite and good natured all the staff are. What I will promote is the food. I have to admit that 9 times out of 10, we have breakfast, which is (in  my opinion) joint best in the world with the Cliff Top Cafe at Whitsands, Cornwall, but all the food looks amazing. The cakes, well they speak for themselves. Shame th…

AM arguments

Ben and I have always had a tough time in the mornings. At 8am, he used to ask me if he could take a ball in to school. We then had to search in the garden (as we were already in the car at this point) or in the garage. Or he'd forget something. I did threaten that if he forgot his lunch again, he would be having to pay for a school dinner. Funnily enough, that worked. I didn't realise for a long time that I was also stressed in the mornings, so when we clashed, boy, we clashed.

I know we could do that thing that all smug mums do - Get Ready The Night Before. Yes, I do in principle but there's always something you can't do until the morning. Like getting your packed lunch out of the fridge and putting it in your bag. Or realising you need money for a trip. Etc.

I could also get up earlier. I have an aversion to getting up earlier than 7am. I know some mums who don't work, but get up at 6 something just to make sure they're ready before the kids. I am not that s…

Why being mum to a tween is so hard

Building Boys, my favourite new Facebook page, posted an article about how being mums to middle-schoolers (that's 10 year olds to me) is hard. The piece spoke directly to me. I am mum to an 11 year old boy, who is about to start secondary school tomorrow and whilst I am no longer facing issues such as nappy-explosions, feeding stand-offs or other problems a new parent has no choice over, I have done my time there and paid all my dues (I think). Here's why I think being mum to a tween is so hard:

(1) Where are the tween mum blogs? To extrapolate the Building Boys' article , there is a plethora of help and aid for new parents, including hilarious mummy blogs and Facebook pages, but scant few for tween mums. I love those mum blogs, but it puts me off to read titles such as "The ten things you wish you were told as a new mum". I want to read "The ten things you wish you were told as a new mum to a tween". There are a few mummy blogs who cope with this, which…

My Victorious - 25-27/08/17

Victorious Festival - August Bank Holiday 2017
Southsea Common

Don't read that, read this. This is the heavy, heavy Victorious sound. The Southsea-est sound around. So if you've come in off the street, and you're beginning to feel the heat, well listen buster, you'd better start to move your feet, to the rockin-est, rocksteady beat of Victorious. One Step Beyond!



Friday
OK, so I've paraphrased Madness, or Prince Buster actually. The sun shone down on this year's Victorious Festival, the sixth so far, with an additional Friday night to boot this year. Kicking off My Victorious was the one and only Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show (from our beloved 6Music)! Crowding the D Day car park, the soulful DJ came on stage amid much love from the audience. His energy flowed through the banging speakers and he sang along to every line of every song he played. What a disco! Sadly, we had to leave after 45 minutes of bopping in the second row, just because we wanted to watch The…

He's pushing my buttons

Everyone knows I'm a koumpounophobe so I don't actually possess any buttons to push, but even my 11 year old boy can find them. Find them with such pinpoint accuracy as would befit a sniper, then deploy them, waiting around for the blow-up. The more I read about this, the more I realise how much I'm complicit in this - not totally to blame, but I can certainly help to avoid it.
It all started - well when he was born, no seriously, about two years ago when I identified that I was getting really stressed out in the mornings with our school routine. Five minutes before he was due to walk or I was due to drive him, he'd come out with lines like "Oh I need to take in my football today" - cue hunt in the garden or garage. Or "I would like to scoot today please". I know I sound unreasonable, but these things organised the night before are fine. More than fine. But hell, when we're both trying to get out of the door but only one of us understands the nee…

Trying out big school - Transition WEEK starts tomorrow!

Ten things we know about Big School, before Transition Week:
Transition week is yes, a week! Most other get two days. We get a week! That's a week of him coming home earlier than me...They advise taking a packed lunch for the first day, but afterwards, it's £3.50 on average per day for a hot lunch. This is going to cost me a fortune!They have two lunch "hours" of 25 minutes, he can eat at either. Both more like, if he realises he can do it.He's going to get homework this week. (Ha ha ha ha ha ha.)They already know the details of the detentions and bookings. We have been told (by him) to not expect him NOT to get any detentions.But he doesn't want isolation, that sounds awful. (Good.)He can wear any shoes this week, but in September, he has to wear all black shoes. Yes he's already asked me for a certain pair. No I can't remember the name.He's outraged he can't wear shorts to secondary, but he is able to this week. (Good cos his long trousers pr…

How I miss those farm visit days

Today, I accompanied Year 5 on a school trip to a wartime farm for their WW2 topic. How I love my job. We got to be bossed around by a strict teacher in an authentic school room, writing with chalk; participate in rag-rugging (I want to do some at home!); weigh out how much cheese and butter you were allowed for our rations and walk around the farm visiting the animals. We had some free time in the afternoon before our coach took us home, so the children voted to go back to the park so they could - wait for it - play on the little tractors! Yes, there was a racetrack there with some toddlers pedalling around in tiny John Deeres. Nine- and ten-year olds playing in the toddler park. It was so lovely to see them just being children again!

As I lead them across the farmyard and past the barns to the park, I felt a sudden pang in my heart. I realised it was the effect the farm was having on me. How long ago it was that we used to take Ben out to these types of places, where you'd be tot…

Personal shopper experience for my birthday

Mr Humdrum is usually extremely good at presents. Whether it's clothes (apart from THAT orange cardigan that I tried to wear for weeks, then admitted it was horrid), make-up (he can even ask for Touche Eclat) or anything else, he's usually spot on. This year, for my 46th, he surprised me a couple of days before with a gift voucher for Debenhams. Yes, you may say, what's so great about that? Well if you buy a voucher for £100, you get a free personal shopper, tasty treat from the restaurant, a glass of wine and an hour makeover from a beauty brand. I was to attend after school on a Friday with my mum in attendance. My mum is usually my personal shopper; I actually think she buys things with me in mind, knowing I wouldn't usually try them, and they says, "It doesn't really fit me, do you want to try it?" Or I just try her clothes on and buy the same. She has just hit the big Ahem-O, but looks fabulous in my opinion. So, how was I to cope taking my personal …

The Cureheads at Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea 24.6.17

Having seen this Cure tribute band at the Butlins Shiiine On Weekend last year, I decided to give them another go in my home town. Admittedly, I'd not given them a good rating last time. Well, that's not entirely true. Musically, the music was great. In fact, more than great. But "Robert" was a bit odd - he rambled on about his grandad and Armistice Day. I think he thought we should be interested in him, rather than Robert Smith himself. With hindsight, after this second gig, I think the problem was that the first set was on near midnight and possibly he'd had too many lemonades? I decided that I was going to have too many lemonades this time, in order to truly enjoy the tribute experience, and it was my birthday celebration. I did know, however, that he was probably more "Robert Smith" than "Robert Smith" these days, in terms of voice, having heard a few YouTube videos of concerts. And his guitar - well, you can tell he learned these tunes fr…

Should I let my son go on his school trip to London?

My son's end of Year 6 trip was to see The Lion King in London's West End. Going up to London is always a treat from our south coast city. However, we agreed for him to go before the recent terror attacks in Manchester and London! Over half-term, indeed after last Saturday's London Bridge attacks, our school Facebook group flooded with posts entitled "What do people think about the school trip to London?" and "Should I let my child go?" I read that a school that my friend's children attend in Cornwall had posted a Facebook update saying they were having emergency meetings about their own school trip this week with the Local Authority and governors. We heard nothing from our school.

I had a text from the mum of Ben's school bestie. She wasn't keen on him going, I don't think, but wanted to know if Ben was going. I replied that he was. We'd talked about it, he wanted to go. However when I mentioned his bestie possibly wasn't, he c…

A Humdrum Mum reviews Tana French's The Likeness

I'm afraid I came a little late to this party. I've just discovered I've read #5 and now #7 (this one) in a series. I hate doing that! Sometimes you never read anything that'll give the game away. Sometimes it's the fault of the fault of English translations (Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole's first case is much referenced in later books, but was only available later). Anyway I digress.
Detective Cassie Maddox agrees to go undercover to find the murderer of a woman who is her doppelgänger. She has to seamlessly return, believed to have survived a stabbing, back to her four housemates. 

This novel is basically a story of an undercover cop, who you don't actually know will or wants to return to real life. She lost her parents at a young age and identifies with her new housemates and their "no pasts" mantra. She finds herself slipping into their closeness. I found the theory that someone could fool others into believing they were someone known to them slightl…

A Humdrum holiday in Wales

During the half-term holiday, we celebrated Mrs Humdrum Senior's 70th birthday by renting a cottage in the Middle of Nowhere, South Wales for the week. Holidaying with my parents and us three, I imagined finding a happy medium of activities for us all would be tricky. We like sightseeing, we like walks. He likes - well, YouTube.

After overriding Mr Humdrum (oops not good parenting but I had to do it), we allowed Ben to use his phone on the wifi in the car to watch The Simpsons or YouTube. Our journeys ranged from 30-90 minutes each way each day, and I reckoned that this was a good trade-off for his attention during daytime and at mealtimes. To be honest, I was asleep on the way home most evenings! It seemed to work; he disappeared upstairs after the hot tub each night, but came down again to play a game or to watch a film. He put up with our walks; even when the sightseeing wasn't quite to his taste, he didn't moan. I think the little angel is starting to understand compro…

What becomes of the uncontinued?

I call them uncontinued, because to name them discontinued lends a sense of finality. They may, of course, be picked back up again. The prefix "dis" means a negative force. Not continued. But they are just not continued for the moment. Therefore uncontinued.

Whilst off work recently, and saving my voice, I trawled the internet as usual. Well this time, I did some work on my old blogs. I have two (a private one and this public one) and I hadn't blogged on this once since July and the private one since October last year. I have thought over the last year or so that I was probably a bit too early with my ideas with blogging. I blogged (privately) intensely about my son's baby/toddler/child/teen-hood from 6 weeks of age. He's now 11 and I know there would be more of an audience now were I to have started this lark last year. In the past, I made up a story called "That's not my son" using the "That's not my..." books as inspiration. Now th…