Category: Domestic

Rainbow Clouds (by )

Yesterday was mad! It took five hours of extra driving to get home thanks to lots of different road works, a detour to th wilds around Oxford due to kids not listening to "go to the toilet now as there wont be any other toilets on the way home" and having to show the nice police that our van only contain kids and no stolen motobikes!

Rainbow Clouds before the night lights

But it did mean we were driving when the rainbow clouds appeared in the sky, the colours haven't really come out that well - possibly as the best angle for colour was not one where I could get a picture and I was in a moving van taking the photos through the windscreen!

Iridescent clouds

I believe this is Cloud Iridescence and was something I have only come across in the last few years when I saw and photographed some green clouds with my phone. Since then I have been seeing it quiet regularly though normally when I am not in a good position to take photographs!

Rainbow Cloud

It's basically little ice crystals in the clouds working like mini prisms and splitting out the colours of sunlight. It's beautiful, I am wondering if it is because our climate is changing that I've only just started seeing it or if it is because I was just really unobservant before?

Parental Party Failure (by )

So Sunday we were doing house work and admin and we wanted to pop to the shops for some candles, we were going to go to Homebase but we sailed past and ended up at The Range instead.... Once we had finished all the admin and popped the kids in bed Al spotted a text from that morning asking for comfirmation that Mary couldn't have cheese for the party.

We hadn't seen an invite though Mary had mentioned a party but not a when or where, so replied saying she'd love to come (it's one of the kids she really likes), but when was it?

Turns out it was when we were faffing with candle buying 🙁 Meaning that we dragged a crying child who did not want to go to the shops past her friends party and worse if we'd gone to Homebase we'd have bumped into people and she could have just gone to it!

The little girl was convinced that Mary was going to it as well so I feel really, really bad :'(

I've often wondered how many invites and things we miss, and of course conversely I'd said to Al that I was worried a couple of key people might not have gotten Mary's birthday invites as they didn't even say they couldn't come which is very unusual for the families involved.

Issue is that we drop the kids at breakfast club early so see hardly any of the other parents and w don't do pick up as we have a car share thing going and often they are in the after school club so same issue as with breakfast club.

Jean also has missed two parties this academic year - one because we lit. forgot and another because complicated logistics meant there was just no time to get her there on the day 🙁

This sort of thing make us feel like really bad parents.

Parentfail

edit: so Mary proudly presented us with the invite yesterday (Tuesday) after school 🙁 I assume it ended up in her draw at school.

Big Food and Naps (by )

Big Food Christmas left overs

Yesterday I did an hour of work and then went for my 9 am nap, this is supposed to last half an hour and is part of the new regime to make the head injury go away but... I woke up at nearly 2 pm having slept through all my alarms.

To be fair before said nap I felt awful, really fluey and afterwards I felt really good and got lots done but it was frustrating as it felt like I'd waisted the day.

I hadn't even had breakfast so I decided to treat myself and had Christmas left overs that were frozen in the freezer and made some gravy. This was my meal for the day - it was good 🙂

Alaric has made me me safe paneer for today which I can just reheat and I was actually organised enough to sort us out a family only mocktales. Al did admin, Jean worked on her Foodverse and has actually managed to get it out of the planning stage and started writing it 🙂

I finished off my Storystorm with over 100 ideas for picture books - most of them are kind of one idea and would make a series - now all I need is time to write them! I also did some poetry writing once Jean had gone to bed - she was most helpful with my storystorming and looked things up on her tablet for me. Mary did not join in this Mocktales which was the first of the year (my bad!) as it was too late which made her a bit of a grumples but Daddy flew her to bed and she was a super hero so she was happy.

So yeah kind of did everything wrong yesterday - binge slept and ate one huge meal which was most of my cal allowance instead of spreading out over the day but was actually very productive in the end - still kind of feel guilty though!

The Jan Recap… (by )

It's the end of January so what has gone on in the household snell-pym in the first month of 2017?

For a start there was the end of Christmas, I am still making the last few Advent vids ready for Christmas next year. We delivered presents though sadly not all the presents so we still have a back log!

Also mine and Mary's birthdays - mine involved a coffee, meal and shopping with Al before hospital stuff but we have only just done the proper celebration with kids and friends this weekend just gone which was also Mary's birthday. There was also posh vegan/Gluten Free brunch. Mary has so far played in the Waterstones cafe with her friend Lilly as her party is going to be in two weeks time. We've planned the party and got stuff ready for it.

This includes me working out how to make upcycled unicorn head bands and tail belts and little roll and pop up horses for the kids to make.

My mother was hospitalised so there was a trip to Essex and the adventures of getting home on the train which were unexpected.

DIY wise we have fixed several toys, remounted a coat rack which had pulled off the wall, dealt with networking and upgrading Jean's computer.

We got a telescope - an amazing thing which was a pool of Christmas money instead of presents for Al and Jean and part of mine and Mary's birthdays. We've seen binary stars so far. It was an undertaking to assemble and we now need to build a storage/transport box but it is assembled and being looked through though we've only had like three clear nights!

I've had three lots of testing at the hospital which took it's toll and norovirus hit the household. I missed a theatre meeting about performing a monologue and a poetry recording evening but I am being given second chances at those so that's all good.

I also missed my Krav self defence one off class and a poetry book launch which made me sad but on the other hand I was live streamed reading poetry at Food For Thought.

Talking of poetry I have also been typing up and editing poems from the BOOKCASE (Not shelf) of notebooks I have. The shear number is insane obv. not all of it is usable but a lot is so I have been organising Turquoise Monster and have even started submitting work again (as in 2 poems so far). I've written three poems this month predictable all about Trump. Of course I am doing my poetry writing challenges so I've drafted a good few more mostly not about Trump.

Jan has also been me gearing up for the poetry writing challenge that I host over at Wopo.

I have also designed, refined and created mini poetry scrolls, story scrolls, made bookwallets etc... for blank scrolls for others to write poetry on, personalised pencils and made write your own poem kits, made and put together 100 mini zine surprise pouches, story boarded two more zines, drafted half a short story, edited a couple of flash fictions, tried to write daily on this blog and started on the mammoth task of trying to sort out the Salaric Craft blog.

Also Storystorm - what used to be Picture Book Idea Month has rebranded and moved to Jan. so I have been idea generating and expanding on those ideas for kids books.

Alaric has been making a cufflink holder for the cufflinks I made him for Advent, the girls have been making invites and decorations for Mary's party and we have all been working on the cosplay outfits for True Believers Comic Festival which is this weekend coming. This has involved sewing, sticking, painting, metal twisting, papier mache and buying new wellys.

I had to get a third print run of my colouring book Love: A Stranger Dream made and in general have been trying to sort out The WigglyPets Press.

I have been teaching myself origami and have folded lit. hundreds of things from geometric modules to make bigger things from to little stand up foxes to pretty little boxes.

We've organised things for getting back down the allotment, so just sorting out containers for soil etc...

I've knitted four hats, made an Ironman craft kit, taken the kids to two (not us) birthday parties. Three projects are still currently being designed and refined including mending a rocking horse that is older than me. I accidently made a pair of slippers from an old coat whilst trying to make a portal gun (please tell me this happens to other people!).

Alaric made my laptop usable again (for now) and we had a chicken fatality 🙁 and we had to fix the chicken run and stuff and general animal stuff to sort out. We've got our new electric car and there was pie making!

NB pie was not chicken Al is veggi!

Jean is still at Scouts, Jujitsu, and Drama and Mary is doing her Ballet, both girls are missing climbing but for one of the parties we did get to go "caving". Alaric is still doing Krav and Hackspace each week. Oh and of course we had to do my tax (sobs!).

There were also visits from and too various family.

So that was January - it snowed and it rained and there was scary fog.

Future Shock (by )

Gloucesters Frosty Morn

A cold frosty morning with delineated skies of faded ice cream colours, we look out over Gloucester with it's historical buildings as they puncture and frame the ancient landscape around them. The air is misty cool and I feel sick at the sight of a frost covered sleeping bag hidden in a corner, the occupant is alive and I sigh in relief, the air tastes of ozone and fumes and rotting food until it is all over lain by the sugar-fat smell of the doughnut van cooking their first batch of the day.

The progress of time marches on, we seem to have been stuck for a long time, at least ten years we failed to roll with the waves of advancement, we barely noticed them.

Before that we thought we'd march singing and triumphant into a future of virtual reality and medical advancement and the healing of our societies and nature. We are 80's childs though Alaric was born in the 70's - just.

When the mysterious x-box was sent to us for Christmas a couple of years ago and we found we could do physical games with it, we knew the future had arrived and we had somehow missed it.

We think on these things, we park our car... we plug it in.

Charging the car

We have FUTURE SHOCK.

When we drive we can plug in and charge our books, my friend charges her cigs. My mum is in hospital but she is alive, alive because of amazing medical advancements made in the last twenty years, made in my lifetime. My dad is the same, a hundred years ago he would have died in his early 30's, he turns 70 this year. I am alive, one of my children is a c-section babe, we walk paste the homeless on the way to dance classes and I swollow the bile that rises. The future is being good to us but it is rather too threaded through with cyber-punk dystopian chords than I would like. Our eldest complains that people live in apartments with all they could want and swimming pools on balconies that over look slums.... how could they?

I frown how different from that are we?

But we do stuff she insists. Yes we do, we don't know what others do or do not do. The Future is full of mental and moral pit falls I never saw coming, like Brexit... like finding myself on the side of the haves and seeing what it would do to the have nots and despairing as I knew which way they would vote and why and neither side would listen, dipolling themselves further.

The divide is growing. But uneven.

Sometimes it overwhelms me, all the thinks to think about, all the interconnect facets of our time and world and society. The environment, housing conditions, health, respect for others, not becoming an oppressor when you have been repressed but not slipping in the victim mentality, stopping cruelty, allowing freedom. Sometimes I can't process it all and I have to ignore it to function and do anything and that maybe selfish but if I don't then we can't do anything. When overwhelmed we can not organise fundraises or gather supplies for food banks or try and remember to shop ethically when we can afford to do so.

Adaption is key and not being judged for buying primarny when there is no time or money but looking nice is an imperative and the way our society works yes you do need to sometimes look nice... like job interviews etc... I am not saying that is right, but it is a reality.

We are lucky, having had times of not being lucky we are acutely aware of the contrast and how fragile that can be. Yes we've safe guarded ourselves this time - as much as we can - because we can. But we are more determined than ever to make a good future - the future maybe here but that doesn't mean we can't improve it and more importantly it is not here for everybody.

So we change what we can where we can, sometimes the difference is so minute we can not even appreciate it and sometimes it is for many and sometimes it is just a packet of sani pads sent to the food bank or a conversations with someone.

Sometimes it is saving up money to try and pay for surgery privately for a parent and not getting there before the nhs sorts them out and then having a deposit and luck to get a new car on lease, a car that will help the environment and our long term spending as it is cheaper to run. Sometimes it is then giving the other car, the old polluting the air car, to your parents because they no longer have a mobility car because... austerity and the damage it causes especially to older folk who drastically go down hill if they can't get out and about, ending up in hospital costing the tax payers more money than their mobility allowance ever cost.

To miss-quote Terry Pratchett - we can't make everything better but we will make the little bit we can see and touch as bettererererrrrr as we can. Granny Weatherwax says it better in The Shepherd's Crown.

It took us ages to work out how to unplug the damn car so you know the future is never going to be plain sailing.

Putting the car on charge

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