Monday, 30 January 2012


A very short post just to let anyone who finds or regularly reads this blog that from now on I'm going to concentrate on 'supervet-Sarah' instead.  I've found that I've been almost duplicating what I wanted to write on each of them anyway, and as I'm semi-employed now (mother, housewife, market stall attendee, singing teacher, occasional singer and writer) I can't really call myself unemployed.  And that's not a label I like anyway.

So, the end of January with almost two years on this blog and Edward having reached the age of One, seems an appropriate time to cross over to Supervet-Sarah, and concentrate on one of my ambitions for this year - to get back into triathlon.  I did try to link the two blogs but I haven't yet found a way to do it - I think I have to export this one and then import from the other, and I don't know how to export this one.  I may in time!

In case you missed it at the top here's the link again:  Please follow me!

Saturday, 28 January 2012


Poor Edward.  Turning One has been all about illness for him.  First a cold, then chicken pox, and now something which seemed like a cold and cough but which didn't seem to be going, and which has caused him two very bad nights.  Following a trip to the Drs yesterday when his chest was pronounced clear, his was back this morning when it definitely wasn't - and came home with an inhaler.  We're hoping it will have prevented an attack of bronchiolitis, which Isabella had at age 4 and a half weeks.  Poor little sausage (both of them - Edward now and Bella then).  If we can prevent him ending up in hospital again it would be handy (and less worrying).

His Dad took him to the Drs this a.m. as I was manning the Hallsford market stall again.  I really enjoy it and Helen has booked me in for next month, where I'll be on my own for some of the time while she ferries her daughters around.  I also got chatting to the lady at the next stall, who sells knitting kits and has an ambition to have the most diverse 'portfolio career' that she can: hers is certainly already far more diverse than mine (and more financially successful I think).  I look forward to getting to talk to her more.  As an aside, she too has 'boy - girl - boy' and her oldest boy has asthma attacks and is a winter baby, whereas her other two were spring/summer babies.  In a moment I'm going to have a look at her website and so on - she's doing a knitting design course which sounds interesting.

I had another business idea having helped on the stall this morning and then talking over things with David in the car as we drove down to Penrith - more later if anything comes of it!  We went to look at wood burning stoves as he's decided he has enough money to get one put in for us, and then we went to the new Booths, which is LOVELY.  Unfortunately the Booths website doesn't have much in the way of photos of the store, though it does have an interview with the Hairy Bikers from when they visited it.

Meanwhile I've entered a writing competition (500 words - A Journey - I did the Troll-loype in Norway); am awaiting confirmation from Somerset Life that they want my piece about my grandmother; and need to get on with my novel (the ideas are burgeoning) and my composers.  I'm also working towards Grade 8, getting an 8-voice group together for a concert in May, and will be singing a duet at school and in the Carlisle Festival: I'm also trying to work up some funding or payment for my classical music in schools idea.  I guess the problem is that even if I do, what do I then do next?  Perhaps that's where today's business idea might come in....

Monday, 23 January 2012


My grandmother was 100 on Saturday.  We made the long journey down to Somerset to stay with my parents, see some friends, and go to the 100th birthday lunch at the Castle Hotel in Taunton.  It was great to see everyone and my only regret is that I didn't have more time, to see more people and to talk to those whom I did see for longer - as it was the children missed a day of school.  Isabella made up for it by doing sums in the car all the way back, and Alex by showing us that he knew his 3 and 11 times tables.
Isabella, Barnaby Bear and Great Grandma Peters

Edward - at the moment the youngest great grandchild

Most of the clan - both daughters and all 6 grandchildren; 4 out of 8 great grandchildren.

Sunday, 15 January 2012


David and I have been congratulating ourselves (again) recently.  We really like our children, despite the fact that sometimes the way we talk about them you'd think they drove us up the wall constantly.

I think what particularly surprises and impresses us both is the fact that other people seem to like our children as well.  I think - being big-headed for a moment - we have three very nice looking and mostly quite charming children.  Edward and Isabella in particular both seem to like people and to approach them in a friendly way, assuming they won't get rebuffed, and so most of the time that's exactly what happens - they end up making friends.  Edward was cruising over to Penny and holding her hand this evening after I'd been running her and she was here for supper, which was really nice.

Louis was also here for supper and stayed on a bit chatting after Penny and Tim had left.  He said we seem to have met some really good people.  I think he's right.  David and I both feel settled here: our 'souls' feel right, and we feel more embedded in the community (and the countryside?) than we have anywhere else.

We've talked about moving to Canada, but I'm not sure our hearts are in it.  I'm sure Cumbria will come up with more money for us sooner or later - and as David said this morning, which would we rather have - Edward or more money?  There's no decision to make.

We feel great with our trail running and the ability to get out into the countryside whenever we want to (it's right on our doorstep, not a half-hour's drive in the car); and in addition doing my singing/music and writing again is fulfilling for me, even if I'm not earning much.

Every time I go to a city and to nice shops (Aberdeen, Newcastle - even Carlisle occasionally) I think it would be nice to have a bit of a windfall to splash out on new things with: but I'm conscious that there's very little I really need.  And if our children grow up happy and confident and manage to achieve happy, confident lives, then that's - at the moment - all I ask.

Friday, 13 January 2012


I am very proud today.  Isabella was one of the Head Teacher's two 'Special Persons' this week - for being very kind to others.  When I had a meeting with the Head about various other things this afternoon, she told me she'd been thinking of it for some time as Bella is consistently considerate and kind towards others.  I couldn't help laughing but also feeling really proud of her, as she's not like that with Alex at all!   On the other hand I know she can be a lovely, charming, sweet and kind little girl.

I suppose it makes you think about your children, and whether it's rather easy to focus on the negative at home where you're trying to get them to behave and to fit in with what you want.  Alex is hopeless at doing his homework: he prevaricates, finds it boring, gets down from the table, makes a mess of it.... and yet his form teacher and the Head say he is a bright boy and I get the impression they are as frustrated by him as David and I are!  What will motivate him?  Homework isn't exciting - it often involves repetition of similar sums or sentences.  Would he do better if he had to do a project?  And yet he got bored with the World War II project in which he appeared initially interested in the summer....

I'm also dead chuffed that my 'composer of the month' seems to be going down well.  I have to say that the credit is only partially mine: the Head suggested a composer of the month and then she also has taken what I have written and done more research and presented it to the children (which was the idea of it - that it would inspire teachers to get classical music into the classroom).  Two significant results from this week's composer, Monteverdi, to date: Isabella came home and asked me to put some Monteverdi on; and a difficult pupil apparently said that the music 'made him feel warm inside'.  That latter brought tears to my eyes.

I also have another singing pupil - she's coming for her first trial lesson on Monday!  3 pupils per week would be great - and another 3 even better so I'm just keeping my fingers crossed!  She's coming because one of my other pupils told her about me, so I hope that means I'm not doing too badly.  I'm really looking forward to doing my Grade 8 and then my Licentiate and being an 'official' teacher!

Nearly forgot but important to mention - I had coffee with Jenny today, who I met at Toddler Group.  She used to live in the South West and moved up here in April (I think) along with 3 children - one not much older than Edward - and her husband is a GP at the Brampton surgery.  She seems really nice and it was great to go round to see her - I felt that we were both quite chatty and that there's a lot more I want to ask her and talk to her about!  She and her husband have also both joined 'my' choir, the Solway Singers, and are impressed by it so far.  It will be good to see her regularly via choir.  In addition she also knows Emma, which is good, as Emma is lovely (I must ask her how her interview went).

2012 has started well.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012


Solar panels have been springing up on roofs all around us recently.  I look out of Edward's bedroom window and can see them shining at me: at least they're shining if it's relatively light.

The Energy Saving Trust website said, when I completed their survey, that our house wasn't suitable for them.  Bearing in mind we live in what is, I believe, the rainiest county in the UK - at least, if it isn't it seems like it - I wasn't surprised.  I shall be interested to learn how much money people actually make out of having PV panels.

What did surprise me was getting a letter through the door today telling me how cost effective solar panels were and how much I could save (nothing about the initial investment): delivered on a day when it was dismally pouring with that fine rain which looks pathetic but is miserable and gets you soaked through, and following several similar days.  I don't think a rainy day is a day to be selling solar panels.

And anyway I reckon our wood burning stove is going to be far more effective - and warmer!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012


"Yes, yes, let Edward see as much of Jamie as possible - let him get chicken pox and get it over and done with".  So, approximately, went my side of the conversation at Christmas when the youngest cousin came out in spots on Christmas Eve.

On Sunday 8th January spots appeared.  By Sunday evening he was a bit restless, and difficult to get to settle down to sleep.  At 6pm or so we gave some calpol; at 9 or 10pm he woke up and came downstairs, hot and bothered, to fall asleep on David while I finished some work on the computer.  Once I had finished I took him upstairs to sleep next to me in bed, David following.  He refused water and another dose of calpol and was also slightly sick.  We even did the glass test to check that the spots were blanching and I checked what the other symptoms of meningitis were, just in case (he didn't appear to have them, but was running such a high temperature that I was worried).

He was hot and would only sleep on one of us: I took all the coverings off him apart from over his feet, which were cold, but still he slept badly.  At one point he woke and did drink some water; then at about 4a.m. he woke again, absolutely baking hot.  I picked him up to sit on me and he started spasming, and crying: alternatively a sudden shout of distress or a high pitched cry.  I was about to try to get some more calpol in him but having woken David saying 'this isn't right', we decided to phone NHS Direct - in fact David was all for my immediately calling 999.  The upshot was the same: NHS Direct didn't want just one of us driving to hospital in case he got worse, and yet one of us had to stay here with the other two.  By the time we had got through the various stages of the phone call and were waiting for the ambulance he was no longer having spasms, thank goodness, but was still amazingly hot.

After what felt like ages but was probably only about 15 minutes the paramedics arrived, and took Edward's temperature - about 39.7 degrees C!  The paramedic told him it was the highest temperature he'd ever seen (I'm not sure that was true) and they took him and David off to the Cumberland in an ambulance. 

The other two by now were awake and in tears.  I have to admit I was close to tears myself but consoling them helped me to be less emotional: I knew logically they just had to get Edward's temperature down, and I know febrile convulsions can happen even with a post-innoculation fever (and he didn't have lasting convulsions so much as intermittent spasms).  Even so I was worried and wished I could have gone in the ambulance as well.  I took the other two back to bed with me for a cuddle - I'm not sure who was consoling who! - but Isabella kept talking and Alex kept playing with his torch, so at 6a.m. I told them to get up and watch television.  I think at that point I must have fallen back to sleep as I'm pretty sure I was dreaming when the phone went at 7a.m. - David to say Edward was now fine (well, ish) and they needed fetching.

That was a relief - so a quick battle with Alex and Isabella to get them dressed and out of the house as soon as possible and off to the Cumberland Infirmary to pick up David and Edward.  It was strange driving back there: it's just over a year since I was last there, walking out of the doors with a newborn in my arms.  And so much for chicken pox always being a mild disease in children: Alex had a very mild form; Isabella's was worse; but Edward's has probably been as bad as an adult's (like a sort of spotty flu).  He's been quite sleepy and wanting to cuddle up to either me or (yesterday) David and not had much appetite, though each evening he seems to have been better.  Numerous spots in his groin area don't help: changing his nappy really upsets him at the moment.  Still, a few days and he'll be his usual self again.  Meanwhile I've reverted to 4-7 month old purees as I think they're softer in his mouth: though he also keeps asking for digestive biscuits... (what bad habits his father is getting him into!).

Just as you think you're back into a routine something always happens to upset it!