Friday, 19 April 2013

Squiggle's Trip!

So there I was this morning lying in bed fast asleep, when I was woken up by a bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, crash - scream! Squiggle had only gone and fallen down the stairs!
I don't think I've ever gotten out of bed as fast in my life. The poor thing was lying there at the bottom of the stairs in floods of tears, luckily his dad got to him quickly and carried him into the living room for cuddles so I could try and assess the situation. I asked him to show me his ouchies, and he pointed to his wrist, elbow & back, and asked me to kiss them better. I couldn't see any marks on his head, so didn't know if he'd bumped his head on the way down, but still decided to take him to the hospital to be checked over.

Despite his fall he was chirpy as anything at the hospital, running around and just being his general, noisy, happy self. We went through the triage nurse who took his stats but because little Squiggle always has cold hands, she had to put the stats thingy on his feet - uh oh I thought as I took his trainers off, good job he'd had a bath last night and didn't have stinky feet!
We then waited to see a doctor, we were the only ones in the hospital and thought it would be quick - but no as soon as it turned 9am a whole host of kiddies and parents turned up with various ailments.

Eventually we saw the doctor and he had Squiggle jumping around to test he hadn't damaged his back, he passed with flying colours but was still sent for an X-ray on his rib cage and back just to be safe.

He was well behaved and even smiled and said "cheese" as the radiographer took his X-ray. We then had to wait for another hour to get the results, but thankfully there was nothing wrong with, just a few bruises. So we were sent home.

We spent the rest of the day cuddled up on the settee watching cartoons, I think he was still a bit shaken up. At one point he turned round and shaking his head said "Mummy, I not fall down stairs again"
I most certainly hope he keeps his word!

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Notice anything?

Okay so neither my dad nor my husband have ever claimed to be the sharpest tools in the box but they have excelled themselves this week in not being observant!

Firstly I decided to make a start on stripping the wallpaper off the walls in the living room on Monday, I did one wall before I had to give up and I suppose in fairness I did leave the lining paper on, but it's only today - Thursday, 4 days later,  that my husband has noticed the wallpaper has gone!

My dad on the other hand has been complaining about a Wendy house cluttering up his house that my mum bought before Christmas, so my mum and I decided to move it from their house to ours and put it up in my garden. My dad has now been home 6 hours and still hasn't noticed it gone!

What are they like?!?!

So going back to this Wendy house, what a nightmare that was. Of all the days to decide to walk up the street with a piece of 3 foot x 5 foot plastic, we had to choose today when it was gale force winds. My mum had the easy job, she carried the pieces with windows, so at least when the wind blew, it blew through the gap. Me on the other hand, well I was spun in all directions, blown into walls and very nearly blown into the parked cars at the side of the road!
A nice young man ran after a piece that blew off and offered to carry it for us until he learnt we had to go up the hill and then he declined, deciding that as the butty shop was nearer then that's where he was going!

We managed to get all the bits here in the end and have put it up in on a small patch of mud outside my kitchen window. I need to find a ground sheet tomorrow so that Squiggle can play in it without him getting too dirty until I can get the rest of the garden done and then it can be moved into its permanent position.
I'm just waiting to see how long it takes before all the neighbourhood cats move into it.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Tots Club at Wacky Warehouse

After promising Squiggle that one day he would get back to the Wacky Warehouse and weeks of him asking, I finally caved in and took him. I only wish I'd done it sooner!

It is so different during the week compared to the weekend, for a start it's a lot quieter and cheaper, secondly they provide free drinks for the kids, thirdly there's arts and crafts for them to do and last but not by any means least - adults can go on the equipment!

Oh how I wish I was 30 years younger, I could have such fun with Squiggle, I tried my best today but it's still very hard for me to manoeuvre with my war wounds, and I'm not as bendy as I used to be, but still, it was brilliant, climbing up and down and chasing him around. I made a new friend in the little girl who decided she was Squiggle's new best friend and was going to take him home with her!

Squiggle even did something out of the ordinary - he joined in with the painting, yes, he actually sat down and painted on paper, not the walls or doors that he is used to drawing on at home, but actual A4 paper. It's going to be framed when the paint finally dries as proof that he can do it!

Unfortunately, I'm now paying the price and sat here in agony, (with pleasure comes pain) but it was worth it to see Squiggle enjoying himself so much!

Not so sure about the wording on the balloon we were given though - 
As my husband asked when we got home - 
What sort of Wacky do you love? !!

Monday, 8 April 2013

I've been baa - king cakes

My grandma has always made and decorated cakes for as long as I can remember, I used to look forward to getting a birthday cake off her, over the years she's made hundreds - all different. I've had doll cakes, Magic Roundabout with Zebedee and Dougal, Tetley Tea Folk, handbags and glad rags  she's done countless football shirts and cars, horses, trains, retirement, anniversary and even wedding cakes, the list is endless. But now she's retired, so no more cakes off her. However she still likes to go to the cake shows and keeps her tools for flower making. So I treated her to a day out last month at the Cake International Show at Event City in Manchester. Unbeknown to me that it would ignite a new passion in me for decorating cakes. I did dabble a bit when I was about 17/18 years old but haven't done any cake decorating since. So last weekend when it was son's 3 rd birthday I decided to bake some cakes and use my new found inspiration to make some sheep cakes.

Excuse the psychotic looking sheep in the first picture, I got tired of making eyes, 
so opted for a food colouring pen instead!

I was quite impressed with them, and they are quite easy to do, all you really need is a bag of marshmallows and some premade ready to roll black & white icing. I used Renwicks which I bought from Tesco.

1. Make a batch of buns/cupcakes/muffins
2. Using the black icing roll out head shapes and ears
3. Using the white icing roll out tiny eyes and press onto heads.
4. Using the black icing again roll out tiny eyeballs and press onto white balls
5. Mix up some butter-cream
6. Spread butter-cream onto buns and cover with marshmallows
7. Attach sheep heads

If you're not a fan of marshmallows than simply pipe a fluffy design onto your cakes before attaching a head.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

How rude!

I decided to go and treat myself to a new coat, so headed to Winfields at Haslingden. Haven't been there in years, used go regularly to buy shoes and things as a kid with my parents, but after this experience I will be thinking again.
The trouble is I am a stickler for customer service. I did it as part of my college course when I was 17 and was taught at college by a fantastic woman called Sheila H, she had pretty much the same opinions about customer service as Mary Portas does now. Sheila obviously left an impression on me because I love to observe people and see how they react with customers, so much so, that I dabble in mystery shopping now and then, ( but I must admit I do find it hard to switch off, so I have always got my "mystery shopper head on"), if only I was on a mission today.

I found what I wanted and joined the queue to pay. There was one member of staff serving and a woman in front of me also waiting to pay. She moved to the till and this is when the problems started, she appeared to be buying a gift voucher but the staff member didn't know how to process it, so he called his manager for help. The two of them then proceeded for 10 minutes to faff about doing whatever. A small queue was forming behind me. A further 10 minutes passed and the manager finally looked up to see the queue so instructed the male staff member to open a new till and serve us waiting customers.

Finally I thought I can pay and get out of here, oh no, no sooner had I got to the till and put my basket on the counter, along came another staff member, called him over with another customer's order and he proceeded to ignore me and go and serve her! - Well my mother wasn't happy and voiced her opinion, but the staff member didn't flinch, in fact he did nothing, no apology, no excuse me nothing, quite simply he ignored us!
He finally returned to serve me and still no apology for keeping me waiting or anything, he proceeded to scan my jacket and asked for payment - I asked if he was going to sell me the boots that were in my basket - "oh yeah" he said, "size 7 boots is that right?", "erm no!" I said, "they should be 6.5", oh right was his reply as he put them in a bag.

If I wasn't so desperate to get my boots and coat I would have just left them by the till and walked off! 
My write up may come across as tame and my readers may wonder why I've got worked up about it, but people should expect a minimal level of customer service, and keeping customers waiting 20 minutes to pay without an acknowledgement or apology doesn't meet that minimal level!