Tuesday, 30 August 2005

I survived!

This post re-published December 2012

I survived! I survived! I survived! I survived! I survived!

Hooray, I survived!

My parents just left and I reckon I have the happiest mother in the universe. She loved her presents, really loved them it seems! She loved the fuss we made of her and overall my parents behaved themselves. My mother loved the time and effort we took helping her to get better used to her Mac and has gone off jolly-dee with a movie slide show of her birthday dinner. Something in her hot mitts to show for all the "fun" that was had. (And I have learned so much about the Mac that makes me want to stay a PC user! - but admittedly it does have some nice features.)

Both my kids excelled themselves in all areas and I'm so proud of the way they made their grandparents feel special, even though my mother was excessively rude to them at times. My daughter posed, and even over-posed for snap after snap when usually she gets upset about "having to perform". My son did a nice "Happy Birthday" thing this morning even though we did the "party" and presents last night.

A third mouse was removed live from the kitchen and there has been no action from any today. Maybe.... fingers crossed.... they are now out.

Thank you for all the encouraging and interesting messages from everyone on my last posting about parents and mice. Some interesting ways of despatching mice indeed!

And throughout it all, I even managed to do some complex work for one of my clients. I have still plenty to do so may take a nap and then start work again later tonight. I am so knackered! But happy :-)

    \"/` ___ ;___S
      º  ^^   ^^
    \"/` ___ ;___S
      º  ^^   ^^
    \"/` ___ ;___S
      º  ^^   ^^

PS. Dearest Mr Doris has booked us all to go play squash and young son has enquired whether I will be wearing that same short dress again! So much for the nap.


Cheryl said...
I bet thats how you feel too.
Hallelujah for that and multitudinous congratulations! Or something ;-)
Good for you, and hurray for everybody including the kids.
zandperl said...
Congrats! My parents are usually quite trying as well. Surprisingly, my recent trip to Cape Cod with them went quite well, I think because we were on neutral territory and it was only 3 days. :) I also gave them some gifts I got from Lancaster, PA, and London. My dad really liked the Leonardo daVinci tie I got him (from the Greenwich Observatory), which was a relief.

I currently use both Macs and PCs -- one of each at both home and work. I find both have their strengths and weaknesses, and I think most of it just boils down to what you're used to. The one advantage though that Macs have and I CANNOT stress enough is they are MUCH less vulnerable to viruses, worms, trojan horses, etc., etc. This is because less than 20% of the market has Macs, so to get the most mileage of their code, malicious hackers target Windows. There's NO getting around that simple fact.

Of course, if everyone now runs out and buys a Mac based upon this fact, things will quickly change...
DaFFy said...
Yay!! Glad the parental visit went well. I love seeing my mother, but unfortunately it can wear off pretty quickly :(
How cool are your kids, rising to the occasion like that? Well done!
/T/ said...
Good for you that everything worked out good. Yeah having your parents over is not an easy chore always. Well since they (or I) live so far away I don't have them over on a regular basis. In fact have had them over only once in the 5 years I live in the US.
Z said...
Well done and I so know that knackered feeling. Squash! I would have squashed someone ;)
ella m. said...
~pins Medal Of Spectacular Achievement on each of your family members~ Few things have the potential for trainwreck like family visits, congrats onsuviving yours with dignity and sanity intact. :D
jane said...
You sound like the dearest daughter Doris. (say THAT 10 times!) How sweet of your kids to go out of their way for your parents too. Whats your dad like? I liked Mac's cuz if they crashed, you just put a disc back in & wala, everything was back. (I think) I'm so glad you survived & thrived & I hope you had a splendid time playing squash!
Steve said...
Wow a whole weekend with the family without a major row congratulations.I can remember family xmas's in the past where it wouldnt be normal unless there was at least one fall out.On the mouse front, did you know that mice prefer chocolate to cheese, we found chocolate buttons the best.
Tagged you for a meme btw
Mama Mouse said...
How nice your mum is happy and if she is you are! But which makes you happier ... HER happiness or the happiness of having rid yourself of yet another mousey mouse? LOL

I caught one myself last night and his was dispatched today! Hope that is the end of BOTH of our mousey problems!
Ally said...
Hoorah, congratulations! Enjoy the squash!

Saturday, 27 August 2005

Rubberised Rant

This post re-published December 2012

Like a little bouncy ball, I'm trapped in a room bouncing around out of my mind, so much going on in my head but furiously cleaning and scrubbing. It is karma for my jokey response to Mama Mouse (connection to her name is purely coincidental) about our cute little mouse that we got rid of with our humane mouse trap. Seems they are not gone and I'm horrified to find mouse poop where there ought not to be in our kitchen.

Overnight I have transformed the kitchen and thank goodness for the new unit I have been putting in as that can be a safe and secure home for some of our wares whilst the decks are completely cleared. Everything is being dishwashed or washed and sanitised. More to do though so I'm up early to continue my zealous activity.

I'd rather be blogging about my important day out on Thursday/Friday but that has to wait. I'd like to spend time looking through and commenting on Zandperl's photos of London that she has finally posted but that has to wait too.

I have clients who pay well and work that needs doing but I've been flaffing around with outings and mouses and then on top of it all I actually asked my parents to stay this Bank Holiday weekend from Sunday night for two whole nights. I have a tolerable relationship with them, it is my mum's birthday and she was obviously at a loose end going into "poor little me" mode. Also, she has moved to a Mac computer on my sister's advice and is now obviously struggling with using it and moans about it all the time. Mr Doris and I are very geeky but are not Mac users. Luckily my daughter does have more contact with them at college so she will do the bulk of helping my mother.

Nevertheless, I feel I have a kitchen that is not yet fit for human habitation; a guest room to bring up to scratch; clients who deserve a weekend miracle; other work that needs doing; a mad mother visiting and I should be the good hostess and need to shop and prepare (preparation is everything and means everything goes smoothly); and I'd rather blog more than this!

Like Fugazi I'll not blog or read blogs whilst they are here in case they realise I have one!

I'd better continue with my bouncing around trying not to go out of my mind.

Boing boing boing boing.......


Cheryl said...
Which of your neighbours has had building work? Thats what flushes them out to look for new homes.
Find the holes and pack them with wire wool, or at a pinch fluffed up brillo pads.
Wire wool has no smell to it - they head towards their exit hole and scratch their noses. Its a slow death, not being able to smell for food (which is how they navigate) but they could always just get out the way they came in.
Hey, if you wash the kitchen down completely once you are clear, dont use caustic soda! I tried it too strong and it melts paint.
doris said...
Wow! I just stopped to eat my breakfast and had been wondering what I can stuff in the gaps in the wall behind the cooker. And we have a roll of wire wool. Many thanks! :-)
Mama Mouse said...
Gee Cheryl I've been wondering what to put in any holes I might find too! Thanks! So far though I haven't found where they are coming and going from. I think I only have one Doris ... but I have had to take all my eating utensils and other cooking implements out of their drawers and after washing them in the dishwasher THREE times put them all in sealable plastic bins. So far mr. mousey isn't getting into the cupboard that I keep my dishes in ... THANK GOODNESS. It does seem to like my stove top though and I am SICK of cleaning it.

My husband loaded the trap AGAIn ... but the cheese goes missing and the mouse does too! LOL Guess we'll need to consider a different method of trapping ... perhaps your humane traps.

You sound like you are going to be very busy! If you don't see this for awhile ... I hope you managed to stay sane whilst you were so OCCUPIED with all things OTHER than blogging!

As for your mother ... at least she can use a computer! A lot of older people are frightened of them and refuse to have anything to do with them!
Universal Soldier said...
Why not catch them and keep them as pets. In Kosovo in 1999 we made our own "mouse friendly" traps. A small amount of food placed in a Coca-Cola bottle, a condom with the end cut off tied to the top of the bottle. The mouse would smell the food - crawl through the condom into the bottle and then not be able to get out. Unfortunately it didn't work with rats and one night I awoke to find one keeping me company in my sleeping bag. If you do catch some you can always release them at an opportune moment to get rid of unwanted guests.
Janet said...
We usually get a couple of the critters when the weather gets cooler. I guess they're looking for a cozy place for the winter. Thanks to our cat "Lucky" and the mouse traps baited with peanut butter, the mouse population stays way down.
Anji said...
We had a visit from 6 voles a few years ago. They were so light they could take cheese from the traps no problem. We used humaine traps and let them go near the marshes. We always seemed to catch them at night, I wonder what the neighbours thought if they saw us heading for the marsh at the dead of night in our jimjams?
dog1net said...
Nothing worse than a mouse in the house. I had one that somehow decided building a nest on top of the heating element of furnace was a good idea, that is until I turned the heat on after a very chilly night. The smell was just absolutely baffling as we couldn't figure out its source. When I finally realized where the smell was coming from, I did a close inspection of the furnace, and after poking about with a flashlight, I found the little bugger sufficiently crisped. Enjoy your writing . . .
Pookie65 said...
Mice or parents. Which is the lesser of the two evils? I wish you great success in getting all of the above out of your home quickly, painlessly, and without reproach.

If all else fails sneak off and have a nice glass of a good wine.
jane said...
lol so you are boinging? i had a tangering imac for a few years & i loved it. sold it when i moved in with tarzan as he refused to separate with his pc.
sounds as though you are extremely busy & i selfishly want your blog brain back all to us bloggers!!! hurry & get all that tedious stuff done so you can have fun!
decrepitoldfool said...
"Nothing worse than a mouse in the house"

When we lived in Tennessee our neighbors were untidy and rats came to the apartment. I had an air rifle and dispatched one, but another I only wounded so we had a 3-legged rat for quite some time after that.

Today we have two residents, Oscar and Mahalia, whose predatory habits render persistent mouse infestation unlikely.
Radin said...
You choose the best cheese. Put it on a small plate. Put a cardboard box on top and leave enough space (by cutting a hole at the side) for the head to go through. Place a blade at the bottom of the hole. Now, the mouse puts its head inside and after eating the cheese will move its head side ways saying mmm yam what delicious cheese and at that the throat is cut. Easy.
Karen said...
Happy bouncing - I keep finding them in our shed, they go after the rabit food - at least it keeps them out of the house....
Rocco Viana said...
Rather disputable.

Wednesday, 24 August 2005

Mouse Dust?

Does "Mouse Dust" sound appealing? As a colour scheme? For your kitchen worktops? I just don't understand what was in the designer's mind when they designated that colour. It is actually not a bad colour and is about the cheapest worktop you can buy - which is sort of what I wanted for our new science/experimenting lab area in the rear of the kitchen. This is what mouse dust looks like:

Last year we put in one unit and worktop in this part of the kitchen which is our breakfast room. We are developing a sort of diner style and even had a pinball machine in there but as it has needed too much maintenance and basically didn't work anymore we have sold it and I'm putting in the new "lab area" instead. Anyway, the worktop (steel style and looked quite good) on the existing unit is no longer sold - and we only put it in last year! Drats, drats and double drats. Which made me less amenable to this mouse droppings worktop but c'est la vie.

Original Comments:

Pookie65 said...
This reminds me of the names given to paint swatches in color books. I'd love to be the one who "names" the patterns & designs. Here are a few paint swatches that come to mind:

Doris Morning - a warm, sunny yellow

Pookie Sorbet - brown with a hint of plum

Teddy Bear - soft tan with a warm undertone

Fresh Lawn - bright green with a smidgeon of sage

Autumn - Reddish burnt orange

Spring - blue with just enough green to look like the sea

Winter - wintery white

Love - deep red
Wednesday, August 24, 2005 6:55:00 PM
doris said...
I love the sound of Doris Morning! That would be me :-) Is there really a Pookie Sorebt - is that why you chose your blog name? I just did a google for Pookie and found an interesting site of Pookie's erotic fiction but somehow I don't think it is your cup of tea!!! ;-)
Wednesday, August 24, 2005 7:42:00 PM
Mama Mouse said...
Mouse Dust? ..... UGH! I am having mouse problems of my own ... one little errant mousey is going to bite the dust SOON I hope! I HATE finding HIS 'mouse dust' all over! Gives me the creeps and sends me on far too many cleaning binges lately!

Now something nice like 'soft mouse fur' would be nice as I DO have very SOFT fur!!
Thursday, August 25, 2005 12:26:00 AM
jane said...
you're putting a science/experimenting lab INSIDE your house? i hope you aren't going to us chemicals.
mice don't leave dust! they leave mouse droppings. fairy dust would've been a cute name. but i think it would have had to have some pink in it. maybe fly dust? no, that doesn't make any sense either.
mouse dust...hmmmm....odd name
Thursday, August 25, 2005 12:37:00 AM
doris said...
Oh yes, definitely going to use chemicals! LOL Gotta have a bit of danger and I don't mind if the worktop gets burned away with acid - as long as it is all pretty contained to that part of the house :-)

Hubby has a chemistry degree but better than that, he grew up experimenting with chemicals: in his bedroom! I don't think he should have all the fun :-)

Mrs Mouse! We had a mouse, or rather two, the other day. We caught them in those humane mouse traps and let them go in the park. They were the tiniest and sweetest looking mice I have ever seen!
Thursday, August 25, 2005 6:58:00 AM
DaFFy said...
It's all a wicked conspiracy to make you spend more money - nasty colour designers
Thursday, August 25, 2005 1:32:00 PM
MattyD said...

That's superb! Those designers must be so random! :) Which company was offering the "mouse dust"?

I'd better send my CV to them, because I can come up with far more whack things!! ;)
Thursday, August 25, 2005 8:15:00 PM
/T/ said...
I love experimenting. When I grew up I did quite a bit of chemical experimenting in my bedroom. There was a drugstore that sold every chemical you could wish for without checking my age. I financed it with my home made smoke bombs that I sold at school. And come to think of it.. after you burned those smoke bombs the left overs looked surprisingly a lot like mouse dust :)
Friday, August 26, 2005 3:25:00 AM
tim said...
i love the color. as for the pinball machine in the kitchen it sounds cool. You must have an interesting home.
Friday, August 26, 2005 4:14:00 AM
Hannah said...
I'm rather a fan of names of the paints in the National Trust range - Dead Salmon is my favourite.
Friday, August 26, 2005 10:24:00 AM
doris said...
Dead Salmon!!!! OMG!

Tim - some people think we have an interesting house with some kids thinking we even have a drinks machine in our bathroom!
Friday, August 26, 2005 2:19:00 PM
brewsmith said...
Guess it could be worse.. . mouse dropping gray or something. ..
Friday, August 26, 2005 8:09:00 PM
zandperl said...
I'm definitely a geek, because my first thought upon reading "mouse dust" was not the squeaky animals shedding fur, but the crud that gets stuck inside the tracks of your computer mouse ball.

BTW, I've finally got my London trip photos up!
Saturday, August 27, 2005 5:38:00 AM
decrepitoldfool said...
That is precisely the pattern of the linoleum I used for the top of my computer table. Whenever it needs cleaning, I just accidentally spill some coffee on it and then wipe it off with a cloth.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005 2:04:00 AM

Monday, 22 August 2005

First School Report

In looking through the photographs yesterday I came across my first school reports. From Kindergarten when I was three years old! Quite novel and indicative of what a "good girl" I was which is a disability our society inflicts upon our girl children so that we are quiet and helpful and dutiful.

These reports are from the Far East where we lived for a year or so and therefore are in Chinese characters as well as English.

First term

Age: Three years three months
Class: Nursery One
Attendance: 63/64

General Knowledge: Good
Co-operation: Can be helpful when asked to do so
Emotional Control: Tends to cry at the slightest bit of hurt
Concentration: Fairly good
Initiative: Good
Manners (politeness): Good
Self-dependence: Takes very good care of herself
Cleanliness: Fairly good
Music (Singing): Can sing quite well but tends to be inaudible
Art: Fairly good
Handwork: Good
Conduct: A good and quiet girl - often times with a cheerful smile

Second term

Age: Three years seven months
Class: Nursery One
Attendance: 58/70

General Knowledge: An intelligent girl
Co-operation: Has learnt to co-operate better this term
Emotional Control: Still tend to cry but less often
Concentration: Good
Initiative: Average
Manners (politeness): Quite good
Self-dependence: Takes good care of herself
Cleanliness: Average
Music (Singing): Can sing quite well
Art: Good
Handwork: Good
Conduct: A good and quiet girl

Third term

Age: Three years ten months
Class: Nursery One
Attendance: 55/61

General Knowledge: An intelligent girl
Co-operation: A very helpful girl
Emotional Control: Has hardly cried this term
Concentration: More attentive this term
Initiative: Can take the lead when called upon
Manners (politeness): A polite girl
Self-dependence: Good
Cleanliness: Keeps clean throughout the day
Music (Singing): Marked improvement (Can sing almost all the songs and very clearly too.)
Art: Made some progress
Handwork: Better work
Conduct: A good and well-behaved girl

And that was my first year of education. I learned to cry less though those descriptions pretty much sums up me as an adult - sometimes I cry easily and sometimes I'm as hard as old boots!

This was the same Kindergarten that my 4 year old brother was expelled from - he says it was defending me but it was for beating up one of the local kids.

Original Comments:

Red Mum said...

The comments about crying are mad, for god's sake you WERE a baby....

Its great to have them.

Monday, August 22, 2005 12:18:00 PM

Red Mum said...

As in, its great to have reports from when you were so young...

Monday, August 22, 2005 12:21:00 PM

doris said...

Yes it is great to have these school reports but they would never dream of "reporting" on such things these days and in this formal way. I have nearly all my school reports which are "fantastic" until my rapid demise in the later part of secondary school. I think some of the comments in those are very funny - but daren't re-read them just yet or I'll get diverted.

Monday, August 22, 2005 12:59:00 PM

Cheryl said...

Flippin' 'eck Doris - your brother was the lucky one.
I really dislike the way they stress quietness and your gender when appraising conduct. Creeepy.
So the ideal for this school was a quiet, obedient, quiet, biddable girl, who was QUIET and could take a knocking without showing emotion. Mr Pumpkin Eater in charge, by any chance?

Monday, August 22, 2005 1:58:00 PM

Pookie65 said...

Oh, you were a good little girl. I made good grades in academics but usually got U = Unsatisfactory in conduct because I talked all the time. Some things never change :-)

Monday, August 22, 2005 3:29:00 PM

MrsDoF said...

Those are some of the best politically uncorrect phrases I've seen in such a long time. I worked almost six years in daycare and would never have been allowed to say something so forthright about my 3 year olds.
Thank you for aiding and abetting my old-fashioned perspective.

Monday, August 22, 2005 7:47:00 PM

Minerva said...

I grew up in the Far East as well, and have some of my reports but only from primary school, not nursery.

What amazes me is how accurate a reflection your report is of the attitude towards women then.


Monday, August 22, 2005 8:29:00 PM

Universal Soldier said...

So much nicer than ticking certain boxes or picking set phrases for each student. I daren't look back on mine because I know I'm still the same - must pay more attention to detail.

Monday, August 22, 2005 8:33:00 PM

Mama Mouse said...

Oh Doris ... I have my report cards too, but we didn't start school till we were 5 years old though it was still called kindergarten.

I haven't looked at mine in years ... I'd be almost afraid to now. :O

BTW -- How did you get that nifty spam blocker code for this page Doris? Is it a Blogger thing? Or is it something else? I don't believe I've seen it offered anywhere when looking for stuff for my blog. Thanks.

Monday, August 22, 2005 11:20:00 PM

jane said...

awwwww you were sooo such a cute little girl. i bet you're a beauty now that you're a grown woman too.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005 5:11:00 AM

doris said...

Jane No Jane! It doesn't work like that. I've noticed that the ugliest of old people were probably very cute little ones. In fact it helps me when I see an objectionable old person to think they were once a really cute kid that someone would love!

Mama Mouse Thanks to Jane I found the word verification thingy! In Jane's own words "Go to your Settings, then Comments, then Show word Verification for Comments? and click YES! I found out from reading another blog. It's supposed to stop the bots."

Universal Soldier LOL because that report was full of set phrases of the "good little girl" type!!! Very funny because you said in your own reports it was a case of must pay more attention to detail!! I'm not sure if I have visited your blog before and look forward to it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005 8:51:00 AM

Anji said...

Good and quiet, I was like that. I'm sure I'd have had more fun if I'd had made more noise!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005 2:42:00 PM

A Touch of Style said...

How wonderful to be able to see yourself at that age. (Our house burned down when I was a kid and all that sort of stuff was lost)

My dd was just talking about her years in public school and if she had known how much she could have gotten away with, she wouldn't have been that goody two shoes lol... glad she didn't know.


Tuesday, August 23, 2005 5:20:00 PM

Milt Bogs said...

Glad to see your singing showed a marked improvement. The cleanliness report is worrying though. My final French report read, "I hear that he opens the batting for the first XI."

Wednesday, August 24, 2005 12:40:00 AM

Janet said...

You were only 3 years old! Wow, great report for someone who is so young. Your brother sounded like a real hoot!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005 4:26:00 AM

Mamsbug Speaks said...

Cutie Pie!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005 6:39:00 AM

anniebee said...

My son had a comment on a report a couple of years back, saying that he was 'childish'! Um, excuse me, but he was only 11 at the time! My Mum actually has a primary school report describing her as backward! Considering all she does and has done, it's ludicrous!

Friday, August 26, 2005 1:02:00 PM

Le laquet said...

Aww! I hate school reports like that .... where's the essence of you? Where's the little Doris? Where does it say what you really liked best about school? Who your friends were? However love the dress! Mine always said I was too chatty ..... no change there then!

Saturday, August 27, 2005 12:01:00 PM

Sunday, 21 August 2005

Passage of time

Looking through some old photographs I notice that photos of me that I once hated now look good. I look good! Everytime I have photographs taken of me I'm hyper-critical and notice the chubby cheeks or the generous chins, the thickening waist, the large profile, the less than flattering clothes, and think I look downright icky.

Then something magical seems to happen after a few years. I look back at these same photos and suddenly see that I not only actually looked good but could even be considered almost phwoar on occasion!

Perhaps the best thing is to keep having photos taken of me but don't look at them for a few years. By then my eyes might have mellowed towards myself.

@-`-,-- @-`-,-- @-`-,-- @-`-,-- @-`-,--

Original Comments:

Mama Mouse said...

I've noticed the very same phenomenon Doris! I was down right PRETTY once upon a time, a LONG LONG time ago! LOL

Now I only see my very square head, my wrinkles that have gotten MUCH more pronounced and my sagging double chin! UGH! Perhaps I'll live long enough to think the current pictures of me are attractive ... but I don't think I have THAT many years left! LOL

I don't think we ever look good to ourselves!

Sunday, August 21, 2005 2:01:00 PM

Anne said...

I noticed that, too! A few years ago, there were pictures of myself from a vacation that I couldn't even stand to look at. Now, I wish I looked that good.

Sunday, August 21, 2005 4:04:00 PM

Ghone said...

But are you brave enough to share any with us?
I hate having my photo taken - that's why I hide the other side of the lens!

Sunday, August 21, 2005 7:07:00 PM

doris said...

Ghone - it's a bit hard to keep up the anonymity thing if I start putting up pics of myself! Also, I'd far rather not spoil my granny image ;-)

Sunday, August 21, 2005 9:22:00 PM

MattyD said...

I've never really liked myself in photos. I'm not photogenic at all. I don't even understand why my girlfriend finds me attractive sometimes, but hey, I should be thankful for what I have :)

Sunday, August 21, 2005 9:43:00 PM

anniebee said...

Hating photos of myself was what started me off as the family photographer! I've changed so much that people wouldn't even recognise me in old photos.

Sunday, August 21, 2005 9:47:00 PM

bentley92 said...

I can remember going through High School never smiling. Back then I wasn’t happy with the way I looked or felt. I too think now I looked okay back then and wished there were a couple pics with smiles. These days I find it hard to find a picture that I’m not smiling in (I blame my kids). The most profound difference I see in those old pictures is how I’ve rounded. I no longer have the chiseled jaw or six pack. As a non-Englishman what does phwoar mean? Is it like phat (pretty hot and tempting)?

Monday, August 22, 2005 3:34:00 PM

Anji said...

Great idea. If I hang on long enough I won't be able to see mine at all!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005 2:39:00 PM

Thursday, 18 August 2005

Home Education

Our 15 year old daughter has been home educated since she was 11 as secondary school didn't work out for her. Strictly speaking we haven't sat down and educated her at home as she was very difficult and highly resistant. However, we have provided her an "education otherwise". This is the clause in the UK Education Act that allows anyone in the UK to educate at home.

Her education otherwise has been what we normally do as parents. We talk to each other, provided opportunities when the interest was there and generally supported her in whatever she wanted to do. Which sadly, on the whole, was very little! Until the last couple of years when she wanted to return to a classroom environment but not with her peers.

In the end, her education otherwise couldn't be so bad. She has just completed her first year of A levels - started when she was 14 through her own choice. Partly adult education and partly 'full time' college though both based in the same college.

Under her belt she now has a Grade A GCSE English, A level English Grade C and A level Media Studies Grade B; with full marks for her practical work. She is disappointed that she did not get higher grades and wants to re-sit the two papers that might take her Grades up to a B and an A. At this stage, her peers would be entering the second year of their GCSE courses. She will get her Maths GCSE grade next week when they come out.

The most important thing to me is that she is a happy and balanced person. It is sad that she keeps looking at her excellent grades with a "cup half empty" attitude instead of a cup half full.

School never gave her that desire to learn and to do well. It had crushed her and she was aware of the peer pressure of non-achieving. I'd like to think that we gave her the necessary drive but I don't think that is the case either. I think it has come from within her because she was no longer repressed by the formal education system and allowed to blossom in her own way. She was able to learn at the right time. In the end, she has studied for her exams through the education system but not with peers and so her education is different.

Daughter is able to work at a pace and level that suits her. She would not be described as gifted or particularly clever - just bright. I am so proud of her that she has pulled through some very difficult emotional years. As much as she has fought us, and still does on occasion, she acknowledges that we are not so bad after all. This evening, for which she had originally planned to be out celebrating with her mates from college, she actually said she was pleased to be home with us and felt she could finally celebrate. All her mates, including the cleverest ones, failed at least one subject and had mainly D, E and C grades. (Somewhat contradicting the 96% pass rate in the news.)

There is a lot to be said for home education and what it gives to a young person. Exams can be important but they are not the be all and end all. Home education can get results in terms of exams but it is the less tangible ones that are far better.

Original Comments:

Neutron said...
I think it is wonderful that you managed to do that...it is something I always wanted to do too but never managed to organise the space for...maybe with my grandchildren..

Well done!
Thursday, August 18, 2005 10:22:00 PM
Mama Mouse said...
Home schooling really didn't exist as an option when I was raising my boys ... I wish it had. But even if you can't home school you CAN supplement their education in ways a school just can't and won't do!

Doris ... your kids are very fortunate to have you as a mother!!
Friday, August 19, 2005 2:34:00 AM
Mandy said...
I think it's great! I only wish I had the same opportunities when I was younger. I think many kids try to be mirror images of their friends, or the 'popular' people. There are far too many distractions at school.. or at least there were for me. I feel I wasn't given the 'push' or the opportunity to go further..

One to one tutoring is way better.
Friday, August 19, 2005 7:19:00 AM
Anji said...
Both of my boys have had problems with 'school', The youngest went back after six months, but the eldest didn't. He's managed to get good jobs based on his charm and personality. The system is not geared to those who can't, or won't fit in. Congratulations on the excellent results!
Friday, August 19, 2005 9:16:00 AM
doris said...
True enough that the school system is a system and doesn't work for everyone.

As parents we are actually our children's main source of education and there is so much that we do without realising which is why what we do at home with our kids (all of us) is so important. Just the talking, having books and the occasional activity can have an impact.

I can't say that we are virtuous parents who do wonderful stuff with our kids because on the whole they just get on. But sometimes we do make the effort.

We have our 11 year old son who we have recently deregistered from the school system in favour of home education. He will get the occasional bit of one to one but on the whole the aim is to help him to become a self-learner. The self-learning is often knocked out by the rigid school system, so that the kids only do what they are told when they are told. Our main task at the moment is to re-instate his ability to learn.
Friday, August 19, 2005 9:48:00 AM
anniebee said...
Good for you, and your daughter. My eldest son was labelled disruptive at playgroup(!), and has had trouble at school ever since. Only for being mouthy, nothing awful. Now he has had extremely good SAT's results and come top of his class for at least one thing, it will be interesting to see if attitudes change. Schools can't cope with kids who are at all different, and I wonder how many other kids end up labelled as special needs when they are bright or G&T's.
I wish homeschooling had been an option, but I'm ill and he lives with my parents.
Friday, August 19, 2005 5:19:00 PM
Cheryl said...
I still think that compared to you, I'd muck it right up - take a little credit!
Friday, August 19, 2005 6:09:00 PM
Milt Bogs said...
Certainly sounds like cup full rather than "half full" to me. As far as I'm concerned it's the parental support every time that matters most in a child's upbringing.
Saturday, August 20, 2005 2:18:00 AM
jane said...
Sounds as though you & hubby have done a good job with daughter. I think it's good she's challenging herself. She probably knows she can do better if she tries harder. Pat yourselves on the back Mr. and Mrs. Doris!
Saturday, August 20, 2005 7:27:00 AM
intoxik8 said...
I wish I'd been given that opportunity, I was a straight A student when I started secondary school, put into advanced classes etc. but from the 1st year onwards my grades just got worse and worse because I was all the time losing interest.

As for the A level grades, all the grades are actually worth is to get into the university you want, beyond that employers only seem to care whether you have a qualification and don't seem to care about which grade it was. I wasted 2 years on A levels and in the end didn't even need them to get into university.
Saturday, August 20, 2005 12:24:00 PM
Pookie65 said...
Your daughter is quite lucky to have the one-on-one time with regards to her education and her mom.

What ever became of that nasty little smoking situation?
Saturday, August 20, 2005 3:20:00 PM
Arc said...
I've been toying with the idea of homeschooling my daughter.

You make a great case in it's favor!
Sunday, August 21, 2005 2:48:00 AM
Karen said...
I think you are very brave It is good to hear you have put your daughters emotional wellbeing first rather than conforming to pressure - I worry about my daughters education all the time, she gets her GCSE results on Thursday - It is good to hear your daughter is doing so well.
Sunday, August 21, 2005 11:45:00 AM
decrepitoldfool said...
By schooling your daughter at home, you have probably forever crippled her in the putatively crucial ability to follow instructions and let others do her thinking for her. Worse, you've taught her to learn on her own, so she'll go on learning all her life. That will make her a difficult citizen to manage and control.

Tsk, tsk, tsk...

She is so lucky to have you! ;-)
Sunday, August 21, 2005 11:50:00 PM
Mike Hitchen said...
I think you did a marvellous job and have a great and realistic attitude.

There were a number of comments you made that made me say to myself, "thank heavens someone else feels that way."

All the best

Monday, August 22, 2005 1:27:00 PM

Wednesday, 17 August 2005

Pizza Archaeology

Pizza Archaeology crossed my mind as a possibility as I cut the pizza for dinner. As the round cutter chomped its way across the pizza, the pieces of pepperoni shifted about. I then moved some of the smaller pieces of pepperoni to the cut edges of the pizza that I thought were a little bare.

For a moment I was concerned that the kids would know that an itty bitty piece of pepperoni was missing from their slice. Made me think of "Pizza Archaeology" and whether one could dig around and analyse which piece went where, where it was cooked and where it shifted to in the cutting process, how old it is....


Original Comments:

Mama Mouse said...
Doris have you been out in the sun too much recently? I hope your pizza wasn't as dry as some of the 'stuff' you might find on a NORMAL archaelogical site.

Hmmmmm ... though it 11pm here I am NOW hungry for PIZZA! Geeeez ... thanks a LOT! No pizza in the house ... eggs perhaps? Hmmmmm ... not the same but they COULD be good!

OK ... I'm off to egg hunt!
Thursday, August 18, 2005 3:58:00 AM
Clublint said...
Hoo boy you think of weird stuff during mundane tasks too.

Fun, isn't it.

I'm surfing through Blog Advance and you made me giggle so I thought I'd stop and say hiya.

My kids are the same in that they know when you move even a tomato seed out of their tomatoes. I'm obviously not giving them enough to do if they're going to notice stuff like that. Maybe they could clean my living room....

Thursday, August 18, 2005 4:23:00 AM
Sparkling said...
My son doesn't care where the pepperoni originated from, as long as there is pepperoni on all bites.
Thursday, August 18, 2005 9:42:00 AM
anniebee said...
I should take more water with it Doris! Pizza sounds nice though *off to search freezer*...
Thursday, August 18, 2005 12:11:00 PM
Z said...
I have to cook pizza every night at the moment. My youngest is autistic and at the moment it is all he will eat, same make, same flavour. He knows how it is meant to look and gawd help you if you did a little re-arranging. He just wouldn't eat it :)
Thursday, August 18, 2005 1:40:00 PM
ella m. said...
Upon reading the title of this post i immediately thought of digging arond through the piles of crap in the average fraternity house trying to find the approximate age of the pizza boxes strewn about by virture of how much other crap was piled on top and the mold it had grown. :)
Thursday, August 18, 2005 1:42:00 PM
Anji said...
I play Archaeologist when I'm cooking frozen paella, chipping away gently at the rice to reveal prawns, mussels etc. I wouldn't like to try dating the stuff though......
Friday, August 19, 2005 9:20:00 AM
doris said...
Anji I know what you mean... I'd rather be dating a handsome bloke ;-)

LOL - I've loved everyone's comments!
Friday, August 19, 2005 9:39:00 AM

Monday, 15 August 2005

White knickers

Somewhere out of the blue today, Mr Doris decided to take the kids to buy whites for playing squash. Being an ex-squash player he feels there is an etiquette and so I dug out my white squash dress. I'm not sure if it has shrunk since last time but I had to dig around to find my big white knickers as nothing else would do.

Daughter had been excited about going to play squash for the first time but practically freaked when she saw me in my uber-short dress and at first refused to go out to play squash en-famille with me dressed like that. Son thought I should be wearing shorts under my long t-shirt!

We went and it turned out brilliantly. Both kids in their new whites looked perfect and like something out of a soap powder advert. Considering it was their first time on a squash court they did rather well and they are both excited to continue. Which should be good exercise for Mr Doris when they get up to speed.

I'm the only one who was injured. As a spectator. Twice! The first time, Mr Doris decided to thrash the ball against the glass back wall to show the kids that all the walls could be used. I'm sitting on a chair watching from outside the court and in a reflex action of the ball flying straight towards me I throw my head back. Straight back with fright but into the brick wall. Son was very helpful and rubbed my head "to get the endorphins going" he said!

The second time was shortly after the first. Son has a lot of energy to burn up whilst his sister and Mr Doris were playing on court. Son is doing cartwheels and lands straight onto my crossed legs and practically breaking my foot. At this point I'm not sure if my head or my foot hurts most.

Otherwise fantastic night of exercise and hope the kids keep up the enthusiasm. Mr Doris and the kids all agreed that I needed a pair of shorts with my dress in future! I think I actually agree for once.

Original Comments:

Jo said...

Ah squash...I remember well my last foray... The court was double booked and me and my opponent found ourselves having to wait about 45 minutes to get on. A trip to the bar followed, and two halves of lager. Not recommended...

It's a tad energetic is squash :-)

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 12:57:00 AM

Mama Mouse said...

Oh I love to see people dressed all in white! I bet you all made a pretty picture! But Doris DO be careful next time ... you might hurt yourself and not be able to BLOG!! HORRORS!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 2:15:00 AM

vegemiterules said...

G'day Doris,

Sounds like a lovely family outing. I have not played squash for years, loved it when I was fit enough to play.

Hope that you did not get a "walnut" on your head.

Take care, hopefully I will be back soon

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 4:33:00 AM

Hannah said...

See?! People should listen when I say exercise is dangerous...

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 12:03:00 PM

Z said...

You know there is something positively delightful about being dressed in white! I always fancy myself when i go dressed for the dojo. Excuse me if i giggle at the way in which you came by your injuries. heh

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 1:29:00 PM

Cheryl said...

I have never played - I was even hopeless at tennis, at school.
Glad you all had fun!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 1:52:00 PM

doris said...

Ah yes, squash and sport are definitely dangerous! As is swimming it seems. I took 3 boys swimming this afternoon (I didn't swim) and once again I'm the one that is injured... after the pool I took them to a diner for milkshakes and in all the fun and laughter I went to get up and dance to the jive on the jukebox (just to embarass them) when I slammed the back of the injured foot into some strange cross bracket on the padded bench. So painful - hard against the bone - I nearly went dizzy from the shock and pain.

Maybe I am getting old.... but later on I was kerb crawled by some 17-19 year olds! I think they need glasses!!! LOL

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 9:04:00 PM

MattyD said...

not doing too well with the injuries eh? :(

Wednesday, August 17, 2005 12:16:00 AM

anniebee said...

Son 1 started playing squash a couple of months ago. I don't think the dress code is too strict where he plays. He's just taken up golf though, after trying it on his school 'curriculum week', and of course they are sticklers for being dressed correctly.
I'm useless at ball sports, well any sports really. I got thrown out of the local tennis club as a teenager because I was so bad I was putting other people off, or so they told me!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005 12:23:00 AM

zandperl said...

Unrelated to the current post, but I'm back in the US! :) Was it your blog on which I read a discussion of bidets? (See this post for why I'm asking.)

Wednesday, August 17, 2005 4:42:00 PM

fineartist said...

Squash seems like a cross between tennis and soccer to me, can tell I am from the states?

I can relate to getting hurt while being a spectator, I got so involved in a softball game once that in my excitement I fell off the bleachers. My son was mortified, from then on he insisted that I sit on the ground seats, so as not to embarrass HIM.

BTW, love your blog.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005 7:17:00 PM

Mike Hitchen said...

LOL I love it! BTW, I am not sure if this trend has reached the UK yet, but the lawn bowling club near me has recentlyintroduced "bare foot bowling"

That wouldn't have gone down too well in Cardiff in my day:)


Thursday, August 18, 2005 2:10:00 PM

Chandira said...

yeah, squash is dngerous.. I've never played, but have also been injured as a spectator.

I remember in school, our squash courts used to be a great place to hang out and smoke cigarettes.. lol

Thursday, August 18, 2005 7:01:00 PM

Pearl said...

Sounds like a fun outing. Such a cardio sport.

Thursday, August 18, 2005 7:11:00 PM

Meme - What Dog Are you?

For all those doggers out there.... well, maybe not but I have been collared by a fine English Cocker Spaniel on Mad Baggage.

I used to have a paralytic fear of dogs but now, just don't care for them. That doesn't mean I wouldn't care about one needing help and would not have cruelty inflicted, just that it is more likely that the world would explode than I would have a dog.

Now would be a good time to state that I never ever have my fears eased by an owner telling me "Don't worry dear, he/she won't bite" when the dog is barking furiously or jumping about wildy in my direction. This is no pacifier. What I need is to have you look like you are at least attempting to hold onto your dog so that I can pass safely on my way.

The last time there was an incident was only about two years ago when at a close relative's house where they had a bull-type dog. My son was playing with it outside when the creature decided to put my son's head between it's jaws. Son was not hurt either physically or emotionally for which I am grateful. The family were about to have their first child and this event concerned them greatly so they found a new home for their beloved animal.

The year before that, I was walking along, on my way to do the school run home, when a car pulled up outside their house and out jumped a woman and about 5 large dogs all barking and jumping wildly in my direction. It felt like my heart stopped, I must have gone white, I froze and was transported back to childhood fears of dogs. The owner gave the usual inane comment of "Don't worry dear....". I just burst into tears and tried to walk on without looking back and trying not to give off the smell of fear.

Moving on....

There is an excellent and worth-seeing game on Gone To The Dogs called What Dog Are you? Sadly its not blogger oriented (yet) and you can't copy and paste your answer, but Cheryl has turned this into a Meme.


  1. Go to www.Gone2TheDogs.com and select game.
  2. Follow the instructions
  3. Answer the questions
  4. Find out what dog you are and
  5. Post the answer on your blog!
  6. Collar someone else
I am, it says, a Welsh Corgi

UK. There are two breeds of Welsh Corgi, the Pembroke and the Cardigan, the former being the most popular probably because of its patronage by the British Royal Family. Some believe that the corgi is descended from the Swedish Vallhunds brought to the Welsh coast by Viking invaders in the 9th century. Others think that the Welsh Corgi was brought to Wales by the Celts in 1200BC. These dogs are dubbed "heelers" for their skill at herding cattle.

Outgoing, active and intelligent these animals were once fine working animals. However, after years of pampering by the likes of Queen Elizabeth II, the Pembroke breed might well have trouble getting cows into line, having become much heavier and less agile over the years.

I collar: Ella, Scott and Sarah, and anyone else who wants to play!

There you have it! I'm a fat, pampered pooch with aspirations of the fine life and a deep seated fear of cows because they mean work!

Original Comments:

Cheryl said...

ROFL brilliant post!

Oh Doris.....



Monday, August 15, 2005 3:28:00 PM

Pookie65 said...

Now that you have me collared are you going to take me for long walks and toss the frisbee to me?

Meme is complete. thanks for tagging me -- it was fun!

Monday, August 15, 2005 4:46:00 PM

Bernadette said...

I love Tasha Tudor's winsome watercolors of her beloved Corgis. I shan't be comparing myself to any dogs, thanks all the same!

Monday, August 15, 2005 9:43:00 PM

aka.alias said...

You put it perfectly as far as I am concerned. The world might very well explode, indeed, before I would agree to invite a canine into my house.
And, :-)) thanks for dropping by my blog!

Saturday, September 03, 2005 12:22:00 AM

The Naked Interview

The last couple of years I have kept a low profile but the preceding few I did a lot of TV and radio interviews in connection with my work. One was for a national BBC Radio: a breakfast programme slot about a hot issue of the day. It was terribly serious and they wanted my views on some possible new UK legislation.

The interview was going to be live but I could do it over the phone from home. So I knew to expect an early morning phone call - they would phone a few minutes in advance of the interview to make sure we had a good phone connection.

It had been a while since we needed to use an alarm clock..... it was the phone call that woke me from my deep sleep. Luckily I had plugged in the phone next to my bed!

I flew downstairs to get the notes up on my monitor so that I could refer to them. No time for anything, I don't wear anything in bed, the sleep fug was still in my eyes and then the phone whirred into action and the interview was done. I think I sounded reasonably intelligent and pompous. And then I realised that here I was, conducting a serious interview on the esteemed BBC radio and they didn't know I was sat naked at my desk.

Makes me wonder about other interviews I have heard on the radio!

How I came to be recalling that was as a result of one of my little mind rambles. I was wondering how much I would be prepared to put on my blog - I mean really important stuff, not like this post which is just a funny incident to me. I mean the nitty gritty. Utterly personal and somehow central to who I am. And yet stuff, I would rather not hide anymore, locked away in the back of my mind. I wondered if I opened them up and laid them bare would I be able to cope with, one day, reconciling my real life where I don't talk abut these things, with what I have written here.

It is an utter coincidence I post this item on the day that www.ipodnirvana.com have their Podcast #2 which mentions this here blog and Andy gives his answers to 5 Qs 4 U in amongst some good music. I've been podcast and it feels gooood :-)

Original Comments:

vertigo25 said...

I found out not long ago that all of Terry Gross' interviews for Fresh Air are conducted remotely. Not really by phone, but they have people go to a studio and she interviews them from a different studio... apparently even if they're in the same town.

Conan O'Brien asked her why she did that and she said so she could be naked while doing the interviews :) She was joking, but Conan's response was great. One of the classic Conan WTF looks.

I went through a period of very personal blogging, and I don't think I'll ever do it again. There are parts of my life which are just better off left off the internet, I think. It's amazing how people you've never met will seem to think they know everything about you if you do too much personal stuff.

And BTW... the show is up and your answers are on it. Sorry if I sound a bit tired through the show. I was up much later than I wanted to be.

Monday, August 15, 2005 11:29:00 AM

Cheryl said...

Think of it as a diary and confessional in one - does that help?
Saying whats on your mind publicly but relatively anonymously, genuinely but with an acceptance that once you state things they have a tendency to change.
Hope it helps :-)

Monday, August 15, 2005 11:53:00 AM

Cheryl said...

Tagged you for a meme.


Monday, August 15, 2005 12:04:00 PM

doris said...

Andy LOL I am sure there is a lot more that goes on behind the microphones than we realise.

Interesting what you say about personal blogging which I will bear in mind.

As for your show - it is great. It was last week too but especially this week as you do the 5 Qs 4 U and found all that news about the Unicorns >mega grin<

Andy's iPod show can be heard online here, today mentioning me :-) www.ipodnirvana.com

Cheryl I'll just take each post as it comes and if I decide to post a bit deeper. It has been interesting for me because I feel that what I have posted so far is only a "reflection" of what has happened, as a sort of story-telling and not because I am deep in that quagmire anymore. And that in itself has been cathartic - I suppose because I can laugh or cry at those situations and feel thankful and happy I am here now and no longer there.

As for your meme, I'll be along to fetch it :-)

Monday, August 15, 2005 12:46:00 PM

zandperl said...

Hah, that's hilarious! I don't know how old you really are, but from the title ("Gran") I'm expecting older than my parents, and I've got this image of white hair and wrinkles all over. :-P

Meanwhile, yeah, how personal to get... I feel like I used to be more personal on my blog before I joined Blog Explosion. Now I know strangers are reading it, not just a few friends. Additionally, my bf occasionally checks it too, so I try and restrict my comments on him. (Not that I'd say anything except how wonderful he is!) It's kinda strange. He also reminded this past week that I need to be careful about work-related comments. I've removed my photo to help with the anonymity there. *sigh*

Wednesday, August 17, 2005 4:50:00 PM

Saturday, 13 August 2005

Tearing pages

With our digital doodlings we can tear out pages. Undo what was writ and not leave any smudges. No rough edges, no broken spines. Not quite as neat as strawberry pavlova on a sunny afternoon, with champagne, fine china and special friends, but pretty close!

( ^
/ )
( ^
/ )
( ^
/ )
( ^
/ )
( ^
/ )

Original Comments:

anniebee said...

You're very poetic this morning Doris. I love reading evocative bits like that. I like the ascii(?) art too.

Saturday, August 13, 2005 9:53:00 AM

doris said...

LOL - it was only because I removed my Big Brother post from last night. On reflection it did nothing for me and messed up my 'notebook' so I tore out that page and was glad there was nothing written on the other side :-)

Saturday, August 13, 2005 10:31:00 AM

Cheryl said...

Well I am sorry I only found the first paragraph of your BB running commentary. (Still on my new RSS feeds on bloglines)

I am pretty sure that Makosi has borderline narcissism, but that she will make the most of this in terms of promotion. Anthony shot himself in the foot, suddenly showing a money grubbing, opinionated and disdainful side to his character, in the winner's interview. Even Davina, with her final words, showed him to the audience calling him 'your big brother winner', not our, or the. She is amazingly careful and clever with her words, so I am certain she went right off him.

As for Eugene, he is incapable of dishonesty or suspicion, I think, and will simply go his merry, mannerly way.
No stars out of this batch.

Saturday, August 13, 2005 1:01:00 PM

doris said...

Cheryl - I think your comment was far more intersting than the additions to my post and you've summed it up well.

Strange about Makosi. She could have come out a star if only she had come out and laughed about it all and said what games she played but instead it turned out quite nasty. Maybe she can salvage it but I doubt it if she really is that odd.

Anthony is just the pits now in my eyes. He was only borderline for me - because of the way he handled Craig's attentions - but the way he put down Eugene's decision over the money lacked style and class.

As for Davina I think she is very good and it disappoints me when I see her slated on the BB Forums. I've done the crowd a couple of times at BB and once she asked me my opinion but that wasn't televised. She is a great crowd handler and speaks to us nicely - just as she appears on the TV. Whereas you have someone like Chris Tarrant who behaves like some demi-god and does not have any interaction whatsoever with the audience. Not nice at all.

Hmmm Cheryl.... I didn't think you were so knowledgeable about this prgramme ;-)

Saturday, August 13, 2005 1:18:00 PM

Milt Bogs said...

Those are very beautiful little birds Doris.

Saturday, August 13, 2005 8:54:00 PM

ella m. said...

~prepares everyone for stupid question~ how'd you do the pretty little birdies?

Monday, August 15, 2005 1:49:00 PM

doris said...

Ella! I just tagged you :-)

The birds....

( ^


/ )

and each one is a table cell with a colour.....

that didn't help did it?

Look up "ascii art" in Google!

Monday, August 15, 2005 2:22:00 PM