Friday, March 31, 2006

Basil Goes Walkies

Yesterday we took Basil out for his first big walk. We went over to the beach, so he could feel the sand and snif at the rockpools, then we took him onto the dunes.
We walked gently for about an hour and a half, and he thoroughly enjoyed it.

As we skirted the far side of the dunes, we came to a patch of dank and gloomy woodland backing onto a farm. The mist was just settling in, and the trees didn`t appear green, but inky blank, Mordor type trees.
It really was quite eerie, and then to cap it all, a whole flock of crows appeared, circling overhead and cawing at us. It really did give me the creeps, and I was glad to get past it.

When I mentioned it to DoomHamster, she made cryptic remarks about how she would have hated it as it would have reminded her of demon zombie crows from Resident Evil. I haven`t read or seen Resident Evil in any of its incarnations, so I have to take her word on that.

I really must start taking my camera out on these expeditions........
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Bible Meme

I have been tagged by Richard, to do the Bible meme :-)

1. How many bibles are in your home?

I am excluding DoomHamster`s room, as she has her own and I will be tagging her.
I have 4, my husband has 1, the girls have 5

2. What rooms are they in?

3 bedrooms, study, living room.

3. What translations do you have?

Three of my own are KJV, inc Apocrypha volume, the other is the Orthodox study Bible (NT and Psalms).
My husband`s is KJV.
The girls have one NIV and various re-tellings of Bible, plus one Coverdale Book of Psalms :-)

4. Do you have a preference?

KJV. I used to have a Catholic edition Good News Bible, but found it too vague and woolly.
When I was looking for a larger print Bible recently, I wanted a RSV with Apocrypha but could not get one for love nor money.
Now they seems available again. Grrr.
I will be getting one fairly soon.

5. Nominate an interesting verse

Psalm 108:9 (King James Version)
9 Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe; over Philistia will I triumph.

Makes my mind boggle without fail, particularly as the actor Stephen Fry used "Moab is my washpot" for the title of his autobiography(which I haven`t read)

I nominate DoomHamster
and Dave Holford
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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Scary Night

Last night was not one of my best.
When DD1 got back from job experience, we had the delightful experience of catching the Dell tech support staff before they went home for the night, to try to get her laptop (still under warranty) fixed. It took only 8 minutes on hold to get connected, and a lengthy session speaking to get some answers. After we had had to get a screwdriver and undo and remove various components (I felt like screaming Hello !! We paid a large some of money for a 3 year on site warranty for this gizmo ! Just come and fix it !) and try various permutations, the tech support person thinks the mother board has died, so they are ordering a new part and the engineer will be with us some time on Wednesday.
Hooray , I thought to myself.

I went back in the living room to find that DD4 has amused herself whilst I was busy with tech support by drawing on the wallpaper with wax crayons. Very pretty but absolutely forbidden.
At some point in the day the puupy had managed to sneak in the corner and chew through the modem cable. Luckily we still have a spare, so I am able to get on the Web only whilst the dog is in his puppy crate and out of mischief.

I was glad to go to bed, and collapse into stupor, only to wake about 2am and take the pup out for a wee. I surfed a while, then went to bed.
Our bedroom window overlooks a house behind us, which has a street lamp outside. The lamp was flashing on and off, alternating my bedroom with a lovely orange glow and complete darkness. Could I go back to sleep ? Not on your life.

We have had high winds here for 48 hours, and I could hear an almighty clatter which truly sounded as if it was insde the house, so up I got, clutching my mobile phone in case it was burglars, to investigate. ( The dog would sleep through Armageddon, BTW !)
Absolutamente nada.
Thank God !!!

So back to bed I go. Then our house phone rings, just the one ring. My immediate thought is that there is something wrong with my mum, so I hare downstairs again, to check the dialled numbers, only to find that apparently there had been no calls for 20 hours. Weird................

Back to bed again, but this time the pup is well and truly awake and decides to start playing with his toys. He has a pink sqeaky dinosaur type cuddly called Mr Chewy, and he decided to squeak this for about 10 minutes.
I gave up trying to sleep in the end, and just grabbed my prayer rope and held all my family and friends in prayer. I did eventually fall asleep, sometime around 5.30, to be woken at 6.15 by the pup demanding to be let out so he could go toilet.

It`s now 8.29 and I want to go back to sleep. The girls are home today as all the school staff are taking industrial action (Ha ha) in other words they are on strike about the inadequacies of their pension scheme. So we are decamping up my mum`s for the day, taking Basil with us by my mum`s special request.

The day can only get better - can`t it ?
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Monday, March 27, 2006

What a Weekend

On Saturday we were due to take my mother to the crematorium`s garden of remembrance, where Gordon`s ashes have been buried in a plot with his name on, and the work has just been finished.

DD4 woke up, went to the loo and then said "Mum, I feel si.............." and was indeed sick everywhere.
Cleared her up, shoved the soiled linen in the washing machine, and repeated the procedure several more times.

Luckily my mother-in-law popped over and volunteered to stay with the girls so we could still take my mother to place flowers on Gordon`s little grave plot.
He is in the new section, and we put tulips, daffodils and carnations on his plot. The whole place was ablaze with colour, as many people had been putting flowers for Mother`s day, but it really all looked beautiful, and Mum found it very uplifting.

We have promised the small ones that we will take them and my mum back over next weekend so they can lay flowers too, and see where their adored Grandpa is buried.

Dd1`s laptop is dead as a dod, and we are waiting for tech support to get back to us. it is under warranty, mercifully. She is suffering acute laptop withdrawal symptoms.

Half our expected guests for lunch on Sunday were unable to make it, so my huge amount of cooking was partly in vain :-(

But at least DD4 is better, I thought to myself.
And I had the DVD season 4 set of ER as a Mother`s day present, as well as gorgeous home-made cards from my little ones.

We had good news that a family feud between two older members of my husband`s family has been resolved , Glory to God.

But today, Monday, DD3 woke up with a raging temperature and feeling poorly.
It seems that we have only had one weekend this year where every single member fo the family has actually been well simultaneously.......

And it is raining. Not just drizzle, but monsoon type weather.
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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Desert Island Books Again, Results At Last !

I thought you might be interested in seeing what books were mentioned as necessities by all those tagged, and those whom they -in turn -tagged.
We have a wide variety of books, and this is part one :-

The Anglican Breviary
The Roots of Christian Mysticism by Oivier Clement
The Bible and the Holy Fathers
The Chronicles of Narnia
Lord of the Rings (2 votes)
Oxford DSictionary of the Christian Church (3 votes)
St Augustine Prayer Book
Orthodox Spirituality by Staniloe
The Orthodox Missal
Monastic Diurnal (2 votes)
St Dunstan`s Plainsong Psalter
The Rule of St Benedict (2 votes)
40 Gospel Commentaries by Pope St Gregory the Great
Explanation of the Gospels & Epistles for Sundays, Holy Days and Festivals throughout the Ecclesiastical Year by Fr Leonard Goffine.
Philokalia vol 1
The Mass by Fr Adrian Fortescue
Seeds of Comtemplation by Thomas Merton
Fr Paul Tarazi`s OT Intro vols 1 &2, and NT Intro vol 3, and Galatians - a commentary.
The Beginnings of Jewishness by Shaye Cohen
Bp Gerasimos of Abydos by Gerasimos Papadopoulos
Calvin: Commentaries
The Bible Came from Arabia by Kamal Saibi
Middle Eastern Mythology by S H Hooke
Footsteps in the Sea : a biography of Archbp Athenagoras Calvados
Benedictine Matins
English Missal
Biblia Sacra Vulgata
Conferences by St John Cassian
Confessions by St Augustine (3 votes)
On the Incarnation - St Athanasios (3 votes)
The Private Prayers of Lancelot Andrewes Trans by Neale & Newman
Commentary on the Psalms by Neale & Littledale (2 votes)
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From the Walsingham Archive

For those of you have a devotion to the Mother of God of Walsingham, you may enjoy reading an article from the Walsingham Journal relating to the opening of the Shrine building :
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Asking A Favour

Prayers begged for my dear friend Mary, whose mother is very poorly.
It is hitting the whole family very hard, and it is very stressful for them all.
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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

The film arrived yesterday and I did manage to watch most of it despite the mayhem of the young ones and the dog.
I don`t know whether it was because I wasn`t feeling brilliant anyway, or the constant interruptions etc, but I was really disappointed.

Having missed it at the cinema, I had really built my hopes up, but it semed to have been filmed primarily at night, which was not the way it was portrayed in the book. Even Helen, who has just finished the book said she was disappointed.

I will give it another viewing on Thursday when DH comes home and the kids and dog will be tucked up in bed, and see if watching it in one sitting and in peace will enhance my enjoyment.

I hope Narnia won`t be such a disappointment, as I haven`t seen that in the cinema either........
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Monday, March 20, 2006

Unexpected Pleasures

On the weekend I watched an episode of Nanny 911, which isn`t a show I would normally watch, but this episode was really gripping.

A RC couple with six young children, a stay at home mum and a working dad who completely filled his time with church related pursuits.

I had an ominous feeling within the first ten seconds, which rapidly was confirmed. Dad would come home, eat food and go out again, leaving Mum to cope with children who ran rings around the parents. She was in despair, and it was amazing to see how Nanny coped.

When Nanny chatted to Mum and asked her if she was happy, she avoided answering the question until directly pressed to do so, and it transpired that she wasn`t happy because she was left with the children all the time, with no discernible help or input at all from her husband, whom she obviously loved very much.

When Nanny confronted him, he became quite defensive, and it then spilled out that he preferred to be involved in his pursuits rather than be at home with his family. If he was feeling like that, how on earth did he think his wife felt ?

Nanny stepped in and took charge smartly, and had the children toeing the line extremely quickly, much to Mum`s delight. Getting Dad to toe the line proved trickier, and was solved by leaving him in charge of all six children on his won while Mum went out and Nanny observed carefully but did not help.
Within an hour, he was on the cell phone to his wife asking if she was on her way home yet :-)

He sat there in a world of his own, oblivious to the mayhem the children were creating, and failed to notice that one child was in fact missing, and had left the house to ride on her bike in the street until Nanny pointed it out to him.......

That really was the turning point for him, and by the end of the programme, the family was transformed.
It was a joy to watch, and the dad cut down on his church committments, telling people that he needed to spend more time at home with his family.
Result : Six happy children and two happy , committed and involved parents.

If only more TV was this positive...........
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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Rendered Speechless

Today, I was rendered speechless, which as you all know, is a fairly rare event as I am generally extremely opinionated and inclined to believe that I am always right :-)

We popped in to visit my mother-in-law and drop off some shopping for her, and we were just in time to bid farewell to a friend of hers who had been staying for a few days.

This friend is a wonderfully witty, intelligent and articulate 80 years young, and she was packing items into a bag as I was chatting to her. As she put a large brown manila envelope into the bag, she remarked, quite casually, "These are my most important documents and I carry them with me wherever I go."
I had visions of it being things which could jepoardise her security should she lose them or they be stolen, and was just about to put my foot in it when she calmly continued

"After all, at my age, I could easily drop dead anywhere, and I think it is important to have all these things planned for", and she showed me the documents.

In the 1960s, she had decided to will her body for medical examination purposes ( allowing medical students to use your body to learn anatomy through dissection) after her death, and had all the necessary paperwork prepared for that eventuality, including detailed instruction for the doctor certifying her death to complete the required sections and arrange for her body`s immediate transfer to the regional medical school for the necessary preservation techniques.

I can only admire her concern for future medical students` needs to learn on human corpses in order to hone their surgical skills etc, and her generosity in doing this.

She will , once her body has been completely dissected, be given a Christian funeral, probably about a year or so after her death, and she has very few living family members now, but I do wonder how they will cope with having to wait such a long time for a funeral to take place.

I was rendered speechless, although I did manage to say that I have never met anyone with things organised as meticulously as she has. She even carries a living will detailing exactly what medical care she would want if she were to suffer major illness.

And yes, she carries these documents with her **wherever** she goes.
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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Basil`s Day Out

I took Basil by taxi up to my mum`s today for a few hours.
He was well-behaved in the taxi and very good indeed at my mum`s house.

He found a convenient spot in the garden to do his business, and as my mum had bought him some dog toys and some chews to keep at her house, he must have thought he was in doggie heaven............

It did my mother the power of good to haveBasil to fuss over and keep her busy for a few hours.

She is lonely in that house, and it is a 45 minute walk each way for me to visit her, or a two buses each way trip or an £8.50 total taxi fare. She can`t walk very far, so it means either a hassle-filled trip for her to get to me by bus, or an expensive one by taxi.
When DH is home, it is no problem as we can visit her lots by car.

She is seriously contemplating getting a dog of her own, and I am beginning to think it might be a wise move......
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Armed and dangerous.....

Regular readers may remember Max, one of the boys in Abby`s class, being mentioned.
He has developed into a truly delightful little boy, with a glorious sense of humour.
For the last few days he has been bringing to school his bow and arrows, or his toy rifle, which he surrenders at the doorstep to his mum to take back home.

On Monday, he was well wrapped up due to the bitter cold, with no weapons in evidence, and I said laughingly " What`s wrong ,Max, I can`t see your bow and arrows !"

His mum roared with laughter, and unzipped his coat, to reveal the bow slung safely over his shoulder !
We had a good giggle together that soon the school would need security scanners for safety reasons, and Max should get a concealed weapons permit for his rubber suction arrows, LOL......
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Monday, March 13, 2006

I Am Officially Sulking.

Guess what fictional book I am ?
The one book I despise and loathe above all other; the only book I could never ever finish due to its tedium and crummy plot.
No, it`s not the Da Vinci Code.
I am not a happy person.

The name of the rose
Umberto Eco: The Name of the Rose. You are a
mystery novel dealing with theology,
especially with catholic vs liberal issues.
You search wisdom and knowledge endlessly,
feeling that learning is essential in life.

Which literature classic are you?
brought to you by
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The Triumph of Orthodoxy

We actually made it to Liturgy yesterday, for the first time in ages !
All of us were actually bug-free simulatneously, so we were just about to pile in the car when the phone rings and Presvytera asks if we were going to be able to get out of our town .

Deprived of my normal morning coffee or tea, we had a rather cryptic conversation till it transpires that East of us there had been heavy snow and the roads were treacherous. It was fine at our destination, but Father and Presvytera were worried we might have travelling problems.

We got there in good time, so I was able to go to Confession and have a blessing to receive Communion.

I had taken some of our icons with us , ready for the Procession afterwards. DoomHamster had St Tatiana, DD3 had St Helen the Empress, DD4 had the Hospitality of Abraham and I had St Elizabeth the New Martyr.
Although it wasn`t snowing, it was bitterly cold, which made us appreciate how snug it had been in the Chapel ! We did three of the four stations outside, before we started to shake (not shiver) with cold, and Father promptly decided to finish the final station indoors before giving the Blessing.

We left immediately after the service so that Basil the pup wasn`t left too long, as it takes 45 mins travelling each way plus the time in Church, which does add up to a long time to expect a young pup to remain patient and continent.......I don1t know who made it to a food source first, me or Basil - I was ravenous after fasting till 2.15pm !!

It was good to be back, with our beloved Church family, to make my confession and receive the Holy Mysteries. I feel as if my spiritual life is back on track again.
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Baby Worship

On Saturday we went to visit the new baby (and his parents !)

He is utterly, utterly gorgeous, with jet black hair.
So far he is being very good, and sleeping for five hours at night before getting mum up, so he is doing really well.

It was lovely to see him, and cuddle him, but equally it was jolly nice to hand him back to his loving parents and be grateful that I have had all the fun of having a new baby four times myself, and that mine are growing up. Life isn`t "new-baby chaotic" anymore :-)

I never thought the day would come when I stop feeling broody, but it has.
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Thursday, March 09, 2006

A Prayer For The Church

I found this in " A Celtic Primer" by Brendan O`Malley:

O God of unchangeable power and eternal light,
look favourably on your Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery;
and by the tranquil operation of perpetual providence, carry out the work of the salvation of humankind;
and let the whole world feel and see that things which were cast down are being made new, and that all things are returning to perfection through Him from whom they took their origin, through our Lord Jesus Christ.

I thought it was wonderful.
Apparently it originally came from the Gelasian Sacramentary, about which I know very little, but I am sure Huw Raphael or SubDeacon Ben would know :-0

The Celtic Primer book comes with a floppy disk containing the whole text of the book itself in Word format, BTW, which I thought was rather neat.
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Slugs R Us

Basil produced an interesting new party trick this morning; he went in the garden after his breakfast, and when he came back into the front room, he started to heave.

Anticipating the imminent return of his breakfast, I was poised with a cloth to mop up, only to find that out of his mouth popped a slug fully three inches long.

Shades of Ron Weasley vomiting slugs in the Harry Potter film.......................
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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Worth a Visit

If you are in need of a laugh, please, please go here.

I laughed until I cried at this series of spoof letters pillorying "Princess" Tony Blair`s attempts to turn Britain into the ultimate Nanny state...................... the scary thing is, it probably will happen sooner or later.
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And More Good News !

Abby had her scheduled 6 monthly check-up at the university dental hospital and all seems well in her little mouth.
Her stainless steel crowns look good, with no sign of any infection or gum irritation, and her uncapped teeth seems to be in good condition, for which I give heartfelt thanks .
It is only just a year ago that she was extremely poorly on IV antibiotics in hospital awaiting emergency surgery, so this really is reassuring.

She was brilliantly co-operative, and thoroughly enjoyed her day out.
We even have her dental exam mirror as a souvenir, LOL.
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More Nice News

My husband`s cousin has given birth to a son; both mother and baby are doing well.

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Nice News

I am delighted to say that my blog friend Richard has been formally accepted for training to the priesthood of the Church of England. He will do a grand job, of that I am sure.

Axios !
Many years !
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Sunday, March 05, 2006

Forgiveness Sunday

My dear family, my friends, my brothers and sisters in Christ, I humbly ask your forgiveness for the sins I have committed against you in thought, word or deed, as we enter Great and Holy Lent.

I especially ask forgiveness if I have ever inadvertently hurt anyone by any thoughtless comments I may have made on The Garden Window.

May God grant us all a spiritually profitable and edifying Lent, and a blessed journey towards the Greatest of all Feasts, the Resurrection of Our Saviour !
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Many Years for Dave Holford

I owe belated and apologetic Name Day greetings for Dave Holford, who somehow got missed off my mental list of Name Days.
I have absolutely no idea how I managed to do it, and can only plead sleep deprivation due to the new puppy................

Anyway, especially for Dave,

Mnogaya Leta !
Chronia Polla!
Many, many, many Years !
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About St David

Welcome, David !
Here in Wales, St David`s Day is a *big* deal for pretty much everyone !

Many, many people will be seen wearing our national emblems, men most often wearing a small leek, women wearing a daffodil.
Many expatriates will be wearing the emblems, and I know of several friends who, when they were living in England, would cook special celebratory St David`s Day meals for family and friends , mostly Cawl (lamb broth), Braised leeks and Welsh cakes.

St David is the patron saint of Wales, and his memory is held in honour and affection by most Christians.
Information about his life can be found at and
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Saturday, March 04, 2006


Well, the old saying is that "March comes in like a lion, goes out like a lamb", and that wwas certainly true on March 1st !
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St David`s Day photos

I thought you might like to see them both in Welsh costume together.....Helen is holdaing a paper daffodil she made in school.
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Basil again

Sorry, but he is just soooo cute !
He is now getting used to wearing a collar. Next week he gets introduced to the walking leash, which should be fun !
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Role Reversal

Basil spends his nights safely in his puppy crate, and Abby thinks it makes a great den in the daytime........
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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Happy St David`s Day

Happy St David`s Day !

I sincerely hope the day is going to be better than its beginning !

DD3 woke me up at 5am to tell me it had been snowing. I grunted that I knew, as I had been up at 1.30am to take the puppy out into the garden for essential purposes.
I gave up trying to sleep due to her persistent incursions into my room, and got up at 6am.

I can share the excitement about snow, as this is the first time I can ever remember having snow on St David`s Day - before and after, but never on the Day itself ! We only had about an inch and a half, but snow nevertheless :-0

Fed dog, watered dog, took dog in garden. All the time I had DD3 dancing at my heels wanting to wear her Welsh costume.
They were both going to wear their Welsh costumes to school in lieu of uniform, as is our custom.
She went on and on and on and on till I thought my brains were going to ooze out of my ears.
I did try patiently to explain to her that it wasn`t a good idea, as she wanted to play in the snow before school and if the outfit got soaked with melting snow, I would not be able to dry it in time.

Eventually she conceeded defeat and went up to change into play clothes, making so much noise she woke DD4 up.
Sigh. I had been hoping for a little more peace.
DD4 got dressed straight away and was out in the garden, playing in the snow with the dog . DD3 continued to dawdle.

I was trying to tune into our local radio station and found it almost impossible to locate (hardly surprising when I normally listen to Radio 4). Then the girls rocketed back indooors, making so much noise I couldn`t hear which schools were closed due to the bad weather etc.

That was the point at which I started to fume, and it degenerated into farce from thereon in.......

DD4 was easily dressed in her Welsh costume, complete with artificial daffodil (because the florists always hike the prices up of daffs for St David`s Day).
DD3 promptly pitched a purple fit, claiming it was her daffodil. I knew it wasn`t, as I had taken it out of Abby`s costume bag myself...........
So the pair of them were screaming, crying and arguing and I was bellowing at the pair of them.

Out I went in the front garden, clutching the kitchen scissors, in search of a daffodil to cut for DD3. Did we have a single one ? Nada. Absolutamente nada.
Fume fume fume.
Last year we had loads.

The truly irritating thing is that last night, DD3 assured me she had checked her costume and she had ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING that she needed. I should have checked it myself, and then we wouldn`t have had the chaos this morning. My own fault, I know.

On returning, DD3 starts crying that her costume is ruined without a daffodil, and DD4 announces she has wet her knickers. Upstairs to sort her out.
Downstairs to put my boots on, only to be greeted with DD4 saying she is wet again.

Now I start getting cross and shouting at people because we should have left the house five minutes ago.
There was only one thing I could do, go to the icon corner and plead for help.

She was eventually sorted, and we got out of the house. I stopped at the garage, where mercifully they were selling pretty artificial daffodils for charity. Bought one, gave it to DD3, only to have DD4 start crying because it was prettier than hers.

That was the point I seriously considered banging my own head hard against the nearest wall. Eventually, she agreed she did prefer her own because it was larger, even if the other one was a double-headed daffodil.........

That was when we all apologised and agreed we had all been horrible, and the rest of the journey was completed in peace and rather a lot of fun, trudging through the snow. There were very few cars braving the roads, as the council hadn`t bothered to send the gritting lorries out, despite having days notice of impending snow.

We were a bit late getting to school, but so was virtually everyone else who made it, as no-one was risking driving. The attendance was quite sparse, as a lot of people travel from the hilly parts of town.......
Since getting home, it has snowed more, but the sun is out again now.

Happy Days :-)
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