The trouble with working from home…

work-from-homeAnd so it begins…

6.45am : “Okay, so the plan today is to work on my edits, otherwise this book is never going to get published. But first I need to get the boys up…”

A couple of hours later…

“Right, that’s the boys off to school, now I just need to tidy up and load the dishwasher.”

Some time later…

“The cat’s used her litter tray – I best empty that. Oh, and whilst I’m at it, I need to empty the bin too.”

Some time later…

“The guinea pig really needs cleaning out and if I don’t do it, no one will. I guess it would be best to do it whilst I’m already out here.”

Some time later…


“The tinsel that my son has destroyed looks more like my carpet than the actual carpet. I need to hoover downstairs at least.”

Some time later…

“That’s the washing machine beeping. Better put the load in the dryer otherwise I’ll forget.”

Some time later…

“I need a cup of tea. I can make one to take upstairs with me for work.”


Some time later…

“Great, I’m upstairs but I can’t believe the pig sty my son lives in. I could just close the door but ugh…no, I can’t. I’m going to have to tidy it.”

Some time later…

“Now my cuppa is cold. I need to make a fresh one.”

Some time later…


“Finally! Waiting for the computer to start up but hold on…who put the clocks forward? Where the heck did the morning go?”






I am not fit for human company…

traffic_signal_2Yesterday was not a good day. It started with me driving through a red light – at a junction where I am well aware that there is a red light. Thankfully there was no one else around and no major damage was done, but it was the first clue that something was definitely off.

A while later, accompanied by my parents, I went to one of the most beautiful canals in Wiltshire. At the small cafe I filled in the details on the form for car parking and we went off for our walk. Upon our return we visited the cafe once more and ordered some beverages at which time I looked at the car parking list once more. Out of habit, when I had filled in the form, I had also signed my name next to my Mum’s car when in fact that box was purely for the colour of the car. So, instead of writing ‘white’, I had signed my name. Not only that, my error had forced the person below me to do exactly the same which meant that the form no longer contained the colours of cars, just lots of signatures.


Caen Hill Locks – view from the top

Okay, we did laugh about that but really? I am supposed to be an intelligent writer.

Finally, at the same cafe, I was accused of throwing a dirty look at a dog. Is that even possible? I admit, I did look at the dog, but purely because it was whimpering excitedly upon its owners return. The owner, however, interpreted this as a ‘dirty’ look and proceeded to moan about people being intolerant of dogs etc..etc..



Caen Hill Locks – view from the bottom

By the end of the day I had decided it would be best if I no longer went out in public and am thus spending today in the company of my laptop only. Hopefully it won’t get upset at the looks that I give it.

In my defence, this week has been incredibly stressful and will continue to be so but yeah, if you see me anytime soon, I would turn the other way.

PS. Anyone else have a spider living in their car wing mirror?





In the news: Driverless cars

Car 1Google, according to a recent article in the Daily Mail (‘Driverless car “flypaper” to catch collision victims’ – DM May 21st 2016), are well on their way to developing the ‘driverless’ car. In fact, it estimates that we could see these cars on our (UK) roads as early as 2020.

My first thought was why? Why do we need driverless cars when we have enough trouble with cars that are controlled by people? Then I read on…

These cars it would seem, are potentially going to have ‘sticky’ bonnets. A glue like substance will be applied to the bonnet which in turn will be covered with an eggshell type paint. The idea is that if the car hits an object the paint will shatter allowing the object to stick to the bonnet, thus, minimising injury. I must admit, I had a giggle. Does this mean that on an average journey you can expect to return home with various accoutrements and the odd pedestrian stuck to your bonnet? And what happens to these items when you get home? What if the pedestrian was going several miles in the other direction?

Google states that the glue will allow the objects to be removed after a ‘period of time’ so does this mean that our paramedics are going to need to carry nail polish remover or some similar substance?

digital art

digitalart via

After a while I got to thinking – maybe driverless cars are not such a bad idea. Imagine being able to have a cuppa and even a nap whilst you are on route. Or perhaps, a cheeky tipple. Who knows what the law will be in that regard?

As it stands I cannot imagine seeing these cars on our roads but I am sure that is purely because I do not understand the concept or the need. When the time comes I have no doubt that all will be revealed and, even if by 2020 I still don’t get it, there is a massive plus side.

At least I won’t need to pay for my son to have driving lessons.


(This is purely my humorous take on this piece of news – no offence intended or meant)




Who’d want me as their Mum?

Yesterday I received a text message from my son, only I didn’t realise it was from my son until a full ten minutes later – largely because I was busy, my phone was over the other side of the room and I was challenging myself to see how long I could ignore it.

When I admitted defeat and retrieved my phone, this is what the message said:

Can u bring in hw (homework) i stupidly forgot on desk ict folder and maths shape meet u in reception sorry thanks

Aside from my instant desire to correct every grammar and punctuation error, three thoughts went flashing through my head:

  1. No way. I told you I was not going to bring your homework in ever again. You have forgotten it – take the consequences.
  2. Ah, the sun is shining, I’m in a good mood and he did say sorry – can I be that mean?
  3. Crikey. He sent that ten minutes ago which means I have less than five minutes to get it there before the end of break.

Now, I don’t know about anyone else but when I am working from home, I dress for comfort. Comfort (because I am still a long way off a svelte 5k runner’s physique) generally means jogging trousers, oversized t-shirt and brightly patterned socks. I figure that my husband married me for better or worse, the postman sees people wearing a lot less and if there’s a fire, all I’ll be concerned about is grabbing the cat. Having to take my son’s homework into school (ie. being seen out in public) does not usually come into the equation.


Courtesy of nenetus via

In the few moments that I had to get out of the door I decided that I could make my appearance somewhat acceptable by wearing my running trainers. That way I could be mistaken for one of those ever fit parents who had just finished an energetic workout. The only problem with this theory was that my running trainers were in the washing machine (courtesy of my ‘plod’ yesterday along a muddy path). That left me with dress shoes or, what can only be described as unisex, utilitarian clodhopper boots (walking boots if you want to be technical). With no other choice I donned the boots and prayed that my son had enough common sense to wait at the school gate – that way my foray into the public world would be limited and unlikely to be witnessed. What I swiftly remembered, however, as I pulled up to the school gate was that one thing my son lacks in abundance, is common sense. Of course he was not standing at the school gate. There was nothing for it but to walk into the reception area and leave his homework there.

Holding my head high I made the journey, all the while pretending that I was proud of how I looked. After all, doesn’t every mother wear clodhopper boots, grey jogging trousers and a bright blue t-shirt that proclaims the last (and only) 5k race she has ever run? And doesn’t everyone leave their hair to dry naturally in an odd, last been tamed two months ago, style?

Stuart Miles 6

via Stuart Miles @

Upon returning home I took stock of my situation. Having realised a long time ago that I was never going to be a trendy Mum I began to wonder, now that my eldest son is a teenager, if I ought to be representing him in a more socially acceptable manner?

I considered this for a full five minutes (?) and then decided that despite my appearance, a Mum is generally uncool at this age regardless. What was the point, I argued, in getting out of bed earlier to actually dry my hair, just in case he happened to forget his homework again?

Needless to say that today sees me wearing the same ‘comfortable’ attire – there is, however, a slight difference. I am no longer challenging myself to leave my phone if it beeps. The second a message arrives I am onto it. After all, as I did discover yesterday, five minutes to get from here to acceptable public persona is just not quite long enough!









Have you ever…?

Have you ever had a conversation with someone, about something that really spooks you? Then they try their best to reassure you, only somehow, they make it worse?

Well, this has kind of been my story over the last couple of weekends.

Troy Faulder via

Troy Faulder via

I have a fascination with Australia. It could be the accent (yep), it could be the idea of bronzed, blonde, blue eyed, surfer dudes (yep), but it could also be the vastness of the country. It still amazes me, and this is the same to a certain extent with the USA, how you have to get on a plane to get from one side of the country to the other. It is possible to drive from one end of the UK to the other, in less than twelve hours!

My dream is to visit Australia. There are dozens of reasons for this (and if I happen to bump into aforementioned surfer dude, then so be it…) but primarily I want to see it for myself. I want to experience the warmth; the summer and the winter being the opposite way around. I want to have a ‘barbie’ on the beach and I want to know what the ‘real bush’ looks like. I want to see kangaroos and koalas out in the wild and I want to hear possums on the roof at night.

Michelle Meiklejohn via

Michelle Meiklejohn via

Over the last couple of weekends, I have been fortunate enough to meet with some of my husband’s family who have emigrated to the land of Oz. An Uncle and cousin nearly thirty years ago, and another cousin around two years ago. I decided that having experts on hand would be an ideal opportunity to find out everything that there was to know about Oz – which included spiders and snakes…

We started at the tame end. Snakes. Evidently these can be found meandering along the roads in Oz and if you drive over them, they get cross (I can kind of see their point). Once cross, they will attach themselves to your car and if you are not quick enough to close your windows then bam… they are inside.

I am beginning to waiver here.

“But it’s fine,” says the Uncle, “I’ve only seen around three on the road in my thirty years…”

Hmm… still waivering.

Next we get onto spiders. These, it would seem, come in all shapes and sizes and will give you a nasty ‘nip’. I don’t like spiders. We don’t have any poisonous spiders in the UK and by Oz standards, ours are tiny, but I still run like a girl whenever I see them.

In Oz they can be sitting on your front door, the size of your hand. Or bigger. They require industrial strength spray to kill them (or mortally wound them) and then you have to dispose of them – and it would seem that the traditional UK method of sucking them up with a vacuum cleaner won’t cut it. Due to their size.

I am seriously wobbling now.

Apparently it is wise to check your shoes before you put them on, not to leave clothes on the floor and to give your bed a thorough going over before you get in at night.

Now I am really not happy. Surfer dude or not…

phil1950 via

phil1950 via

The cousins’ try to reassure me. “It’s okay, we don’t like spiders either, but we are coping. We just sweep the house with the spray every morning and it’s all good…”

Yeah. I am sure it is. But on the basis that our dream is to take a camper van around Oz and there are hundreds of spider sized nooks and crannies in one of those… I am seriously doubting if even the most blonde of hunky surfer dudes is going to get me on that plane…