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Summer holidays came and went. The caravan holiday in Weymouth was the children’s idea of heaven, and conversely, my idea of hell. On the up side I have never felt so svelte and stylish (tattoos and obesity being de rigueur). Walking with Dinosaurs produced total delight in two small boys only crowned, in Ben’s view, by the discovery of colonic irrigation by the pavement fountains outside the O2 arena. I was SO proud!

The house move was the worst ever and so we are never doing it again. Oppressed Husband tried to help this time – another thing that will never be repeated. He spent 3 days “turning in his basket” sorting out his study bookshelves! The room is only 8ft by 6ft. Never again!

We were accompanied on our move – unbeknown to me – by Sam’s private joy: his dead bat in a jar! This was only discovered  some weeks later when the jar got broken – and the house GOT EVACUATED. We have underlined the importance of leaving dead things OUTSIDE from now on. It turns out that clearly demented husband had promised to get him a bone boiler for Xmas so he was making a collection of things to skeletonize. I have been driving fast past likely looking roadkill and spotting buzzards – over there – since learning this delightful plan. Apparently their dearest wish is for a badger to stuff.

Half term has also been and gone with only one A&E visit so this was felt to be a success. My comment on this is “Just say no to Pinatas”!

AND the builders have started. We have been adjusting to the language barrier – frankly I think I was better in pidgin English/Polish than West Country. Initially thought that the Roofer was delusional as he kept explaining things that had happened to the roof by attributing them to invisible people. It wasn’t until the builder joined in with these – possible pixie – references but was generally easier to follow that I realised that the West Country way is to only use personal pronouns: no ‘it’ or ‘that’ only ‘he’ or ‘them’. So now I understand things like “he do’ um be zarft”. (It is soft).

The children are faring no better with the linguistic divide. Ben was a little confused to be addressed as “Mate” by one of the workmen and came to ask what it meant. On understanding that is was a friendly greeting he said “Oh, is it French”?

Sam’s birthday meant the arrival of new creatures to the menagerie. Nigel (the Piranha) has settled in well with only marginal distress when he ate is tank mate Marvin (the Crayfish) chosen for his exoskeleton we thought it would be alright – apparently not. Arguments about who should clean out the aquarium have become more desperate as we are all keen to keep our fingers.

The pet rodent who escaped – posthumously named Harry – as he lived(ish) under the stairs as been replaced by Fang the Hamster.  And all the stick insects have escaped thank goodness. Although we do keep finding them in unexpected places – like my BED!

Following rather grumpy episode felt it necessary to explain to the children about PMT and its disastrous effect on my lovely mothering. Thought I did the basic sex ed bit rather well. Explained about the egg cycle and if it wasn’t turned into a baby, how this can make a normally perfectly rational lovely person – somewhat cranky.

Sam clearly got the gist but unsure on the detail as when a couple of weeks later I was roaring at him to “PUT YOUR BLOODY SHOES ON” for the 15th time that morning he asked sympathetically ” Is your sperm bothering you mummy?” – Took me a while to work that one out. Following further explanation and the sorting of various gender issues the most recent episode of evil dragon mummy was met with relative sympathy on the grounds that this must be a ‘really big egg’.

I have even managed to enter the cultural life of Bath and went to a play called ‘Pornography’ – a rather misleading title as it turned out to be about the July tube bombings.