Sunday, 24 April 2011

Fight or flight

When faced with confrontation do you go in guns blazing, or make a hasty exit in the name of self preservation? This week I did a bit of both.

I'd gone to the local country park to meet some mummy friends and let the kids tire themselves out in the playground. We never agree a certain time, it's usually around 10ish so I wasn't surprised to arrive and find the others not there yet. The park is a mass of little paths and wild meadows and is great for joggers and cyclists, not so great if you haven't got an all-terrain buggy. Despite this I thought we'd head for the lake and feed the ducks to kill some time.

It was already baking hot and it seemed pretty quiet around. I soon realised that I couldn't remember which winding path led to the lake but I ploughed on regardless. Ahead of me I could see a man sitting on a bench. He clocked me and I saw him fiddling around with his jacket, it looked like he was hiding something shiny, probably a can of lager. I felt the urge to turn around but then I thought I was being paranoid so carried on, but when we got within a few feet I could see that what he was actually doing was holding his penis in his hand and smirking at me.

I was so angry with him, angry for spoiling our walk and for doing this in front of my child. I yelled at him, calling him a f**king pervert. It was mid rant that I realised how isolated this area was, nobody was around, and probably no one could hear me. He didn't seem to understand English so I reached for my bag and asked if he wanted me to call the police. He understood that, shook his head and put his very unimpressive manhood away.

I didn't call the police, I didn't want to give him a reason to get agitated. Once I got past him I pushed the buggy as fast as I could without running (checking that he wasn't following and shouting a few more choice phrases at him) until I got back onto a main path by the warden's hut.

I thought I should mention to somebody that this flasher was lurking about, but as the warden wasn't in I phoned the safer neighbourhood team instead. They took a description and said they'd send someone over. The problem was that I couldn't tell them whereabouts he was, there are so many paths that it was impossible to give directions.

In the meantime I let K loose in the playground and told the other mums abut my creepy encounter. After just a few minutes a police van pulled up and as I was walking over to meet the policemen I spotted the perv strolling along - bad timing for him but great for me. I shouted 'that's him' and they handcuffed him and bundled him off. A policeman said I'd need to give a statement so we agreed that he'd pop to my house in a couple of hours. This gave me enough time to scoff chocolate cake with the mums which certainly helped ease the stress.

Later on I was chatting to the policeman. He said that although the flasher looked Indian, he was actually Slovakian and his pathetic excuse for having his bits out was that he was having a wee. But of course his excuse is flawed as he was sitting down and therefore would have peed on himself. I'm waiting to hear what happened to him, it'll probably just be a caution but hopefully the fact that he was stuck in the back of a baking hot police van for 4 hours (the station was so busy that they didn't have room to book him in for ages) should deter him next time.

It's shitty when you don't feel safe in your own neighbourhood, especially when it affects your independence. I'm just glad that I didn't let a loser like that ruin my day and that K is too young to realise what was happening.

Image by alkasesser

Monday, 18 April 2011

You can't give a baby booze

Which is why I'm sadly saying farewell to my ebay wine rack.
I'm not actually parting with it, it's going to live under the stairs, out of sight and out of reach from busy little hands that have learnt how to undo caps and lids.

My entire dining room is furnished courtesy of ebay: the dresser, the farmhouse table and chairs, the fire surround. It took some patience – even when I found an item I liked it needed to be within a few miles to pick up, the right size and of course the right price – but we got there in the end. I love that the furniture is a bit knocked about so I don't feel the need to be precious. In theory they should get better with age, just like me *ahem*.

The wine rack is a Fired Earth one that I'd lusted after in a shop in Brighton a few years ago. It's modular, each terracotta honeycomb section is separate (another reason that it's not great with a toddler about), and I found this one, a set of 10, for just £14. I only needed 6 of the sections so I put the other 4 back on ebay and sold them for a tenner, so this only cost £4!

I've been out of action this week as my cold has developed into a disgusting cough, the type of which you would expect from a 60-a-day smoker, and poor K has it too. She's been waking in the night, boiling hot and vomiting. I managed to catch some in my hand yesterday, why did I do that? It's not like I had anywhere to put it. Hopefully things will get back to normal soon as the sleep deprivation is making me and Mr really snappy with each other. We planned to start D-Day next week (taking K's dummy away) but she's been so dependent on it while she's been ill that I might have to postpone it for my own sanity. I could need access to that wine rack sooner than I think!

I've linked this post to Magpie Monday over at Lizzie's 'Me and my shadow' blog. I love seeing the bargains that people have found :)

Me and My Shadow

Friday, 8 April 2011

Top of the plops


Hey plop-pickers! Notes from Home is hosting the Carnival of Poo, so without hesitation I give you my run down of the most memorable poo moments in the Make-do household...

At number 3 we have a new entry: Pebbledash by K.
She was just a few weeks old yet she managed to splatter her Daddy with poo during a nappy change - ha!

No change at No.2 for, err, number two, it's 'the floater'. A nappyless K plus a paddling pool always ends with a paddling poo. The quandry is how to catch it. I opt for the fishing net approach. Mr uses his bare hand!

And the number one slot goes to Dreadlock Horror-day. K was at that stage when everything went in her mouth and I was perhaps a bit lax with the hoovering. I was changing her nappy when I saw a long hair on her bum. I gave it a tug and a whole dreadlock slid out. Like a cat with a hairball - if the hairball was coming out the wrong end :(

For more ploptastic posts visit Notes from Home:
Friday Club

Monday, 4 April 2011

Unexpected Magpie Monday

I didn't think I'd have anything to share for Magpie Monday. I'd found K a Petit Bateau dressing gown for 50p in the week but hardly worth a mention on it's own.

Yesterday, which was Mother's Day in case you hadn't realised (if you forgot then you'd better call your mum right NOW and do some grovelling), we had a trip to Penge to get some garden bits. I noticed that one of the charity shops was open, quite strange for a Sunday, so we popped in.

I was doing that horrible panicked browsing that you do when you have a toddler who is screeching and doing her best to break the restraints on the pushchair. So in a supermarket sweep stylee I grabbed this gothic looking frame (£2) to go on my frame cluster wall, this lovely little cake stand (£1.50), I've been wanting one for ages, and a couple of books for K (30p). I'm gradually building up her Mr Men collection but I'm getting to the stage where I need a checklist – I think they have one on the back of the books – so I don't end up with doubles. Incidentally, Mr Slow is the spitting image of my step-grandfather!
Best of all I didn't have any change on me so Mr had to foot the bill, well it was mother's day, he couldn't really refuse.

If you have second-hand treasure to share then you can link up over at Me and My Shadow!

Me and My Shadow

Sunday, 3 April 2011

To have and to hold

Firstly, HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

After working far too hard the last few weeks I wanted a little treat for K (and me!) so I bought the Happyland Royal Wedding set from ELC. The Queen is already up to no good, I found her in the back of a caravan with John Cleese. And I'm sure it's only a matter of time before Prince Philip insults the black guardsman.

My mum got K the folding Happyland storage box which is very clever - the sides zip down so you get a playmat with roads and gardens, then when it's time to tidy up you just shove everything to the middle, zip the sides back up and put on the lid, I love it. What does let Early Learning Centre down is its customer services. My poor mum has been given the runaround by them over a Happyland vet set. The original one we bought had a sound problem. Having exchanged it we noticed that items were missing from the new set that were in the original (no kennel, no corgie) and after several trips back and forth to the branch we have just ended up with the same toy, for the same price, with the same sound problem (a strange hybrid woof/meow noise!) but with less toys - rubbish! And now I know where all the corgies have gone... to the Royal Wedding set.

I can't say I'm that interested in the Royal Wedding (apart from Kate's dress) and because I'm freelance I only get paid for days that I work, so I'm one of the few that doesn't relish an extra bank holiday this year. Still, I love a bit of bunting, party food and a glass of something cold and bubbly so I will no doubt be joining in the celebrations.

I have a vague memory of being at a street party for Charles and Diana's wedding in 1981, wearing a union jack hat, waving a flag and eating jelly and ice cream. I remember playing sleeping lions (funny how that game always lasts the longest - it's the only chance the adults get of some peace and quiet).

Will you be celebrating Kate and Will's big day or will you be doing whatever you can to avoid it and all the kitsch memorabilia that goes with it?

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