Wednesday, 20 June 2007


Thought for today, Purplecooers.... Support! No, I'm not talking about uplifting, bolster-holding or cheek-enhancing, but the support offered by this site to those of us who bare our souls and share our lives. Now, I know Exmoorjane has posted an excellent bit on this on the main page and it was reading this that prompted my thought, but from a slightly different perspective. I realised that if I found the support offered by the wonderful Purplebunch to be beneficial to me, then perhaps it could be the answer to all my problems. Not getting what I'm on about? Well, it's quite simple really....

For example, we are all aware by now that self-esteem (and the lack of) is a not insubstantial problem for many on the site, myself most certainly included, and we all know how the mood can be lifted by the thoughtful and helpful comments received on a bad day. So what about those days when I can't get my act together for, let's say, cleaning? What if I post a blog about it and you all reply with a list of tasks which we shall all undertake in an act of cameraderie guaranteed to ensure I am motivated. We could keep checking online to see how we are progressing and I shall finally have a wonderfully neat and tidy house! Someone good with motivation (Angel) can send messages to keep the spirits up and perhaps another would work out a timescale along the lines of 'wash the floor - 10 mins'.

Alternatively, when I am behind with paperwork and filing of the household accounts (re-bank statement checking, etc) we could all have a session of sorting together going something like this:
1. Collect paperwork off florr.
2. Divide into different areas - filing, bills, etc.
3. Panic - oops, no that should say work through and deal with!
Suggestions from the good-with-their-cash brigade (of which I was one till I met Dave!) would be sooo gratefully received by the rest of us and, no doubt, enforced post-haste thus ensuring a healthy financial outcome with maximum potential for treats (wine, chocs, creme eggs).

The possibilities are endless! Just think of something that you are not dealing with and drag everyone else down with you! No, that's not right either - I mean get everyone else to work at it with you and lo and behold, it's sorted.

Or I could just get off my arse and do it myself.... Ho hum, said Pooh!

Have a good day all xx

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

So there I am attempting to mow the diminutive front lawn with an ancient and useless Flymo, my back protesting as I swing the cursed beast wildly back and forth, and the expletives flying from my erstewhile ladylike mouth as the verdant blades of grass spring up unshorn to laugh at me in gay abandon, when Dave hoves into view on the top step wearing a fetching ensemble of boxer shorts and apron. In one hand he brandishes a wooden spoon (or was it a whisk?), desperately trying to catch my attention over the ratcheting grinding of the mower, while in the other he holds his mobile phone, pressing it hard against his ear in the manner of someone not wishing to miss a single syllable of the conversation.
I stop the machine.
"I'm on the 'phone to the Fraud Squad. Pip," he announces and for just a moment I am reminded of Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced Bouquet, of course) basking in the importance of association.
Allow me to explain.... On Sunday dear Davey took it into his head to check our bank statements - not something we do with great relish or, indeed, great frequency but, money matters being rather pertinent at present, he was moved to inspect the ins and (mostly) outs of our finances.
"What is FTB World of Warcr?" he asked of his beloved.
"Not a bloody clue." she testily replied, only to be informed that on the 7th of May three payments had been taken from our account by something bearing the aforementioned name, each one for the amount of 14.99.
We went online and entered World of Warcr - up came Warcriminals and suspicion smote my untrusting breast as I considered Dave's obsession with World at War, the endless episodes of black and white footage played out to the distinguished tones of Sir Larry, and the distinctive burning of the Swastika at the forefront of my mind. Was there more to his interest than met the eye? We carried on searching and discovered World of Warcraft - Ah, ha! Now I had him! The obsession had gone too far and he was downloading games to feed it.
"Bum (I paraphrase). It looks like the kids have downloaded something that we are paying for."
We questioned. We interrogated. We did everything bar shine a lamp into poor Sam's eyes (well, he was the only one around), but he was adamant that he had only heard of the game, not ever played it. Eventually we rang the bank and asked for more info, only to be told that one of Dave's own accounts also had two payments from the same FTB W of W for the same amounts paid out on the same day! So, five payments in all; that's er... 5 X 14.99 = a lot! The bank told us they would look into it - obviously, the bank person, not the building. Honestly, do try to follow - and get back to us. Fast-forward to Delia, sorry Dave, in the apron and boxers and the Fraud Squad.
Apparently, they are dealing with thousands of cases like this to do with FTB World of Warcraft. It's a huge scam and they are using cash machines, etc, to access the details of peoples' accounts. Dave will be signing a statement and we will get the money back, but how scarey is it to think that if he hadn't checked we might never have known?
The moral of this tale? Go check your accounts, statements, under the mattress and, should you see the words FTB World of Warcraft, then get thee to the Feds!

Oh, and as a footnote....DAve was wearing the apron because he was baking me a cake as a bribe to get me to cut the lawn. Why only boxers beneath? Haven't a clue!!!

Bye all xx

Friday, 15 June 2007

Spiders and secrets.

I was going to write a blog about the spider poking its hairy legs out from under the fridge. I discovered its revolting presence as I lobbed a crisp packet into the bin and bent to retrieve said packet when it inevitably missed the target (no, no good at any throwing games). As I leaned down with graceful agility to scoop it up, my eyes were drawn toward the 'Thing' half-visible amongst the debris not yet swept from the floor and I leaped back with as much gracelessness as it is possible to muster to stand trembling by the kitchen sink. Now, I am not usually such a wuss about spiders, but it was the shock which caused my over-the-top reaction. Once I had steadied the nerves with a reviving swig of last night's dregs, I crept forth with shoe raised high above my head prepared to wallop the poor thing should it decide to advance, only to discover it was the top of a tomato! You know, the calyx where the flower rots away to leave something which closely resembles a spider. Well, I thought it looked very alike anyway!

So, having decided to jot down the spider episode after all, I realise I am trying to put off writing the blog I ought to write which is the one about my sister-in-law...she of the terminal cancer which wasn't as mentioned in my list yesterday. Now, my problem is that there are a number of issues around the writing that concern me:

1. Will it seem as though I am using what was/ is a horrendous ordeal as a means of sensationalism?

2. Will it mean I can work through it and gain some perspective on the whole bloody thing or will it mean that I have opened up a whole can of worms that I am mostly able to keep buried away in my head (though it haunts us day and night with the threat of its re-emergance)

3. Will you all think this is one barking saga too many and disappear forever therefore meaning I will need to leave the site unless I am capable of pretending to be someone else and lie my way through future blogs about some make-believe family (though of course, this could be great fun and a chance to be someone who has HUGE self-esteem and is highly successful at all she does!!!)

4. Are there some stories which should remain private?

It is not a pretty story; in fact, it is an extremely ugly one which I am both embarrassed and horrified in equal measures to have lived through, but I am aware that I stupidly mentioned it as it, once again, was in my mind at just the wrong moment. Anyhow, let me know what you think. No offence will be taken and I shall be more than happy to return to relating stories of tomato spiders and so on.

On another note, I am intrigued to know what has happened to some of the Purplecoo crew. I decided to read some blogs I have not yet visited only to find some of them either haven't blogged for ages or else have never blogged at all. Why? Names that come to mind? Oh, I can't remember - curse my bad memory! Obviously we know Milla is up to her eyes since the Dyson episode, but what of the others? Well, I just thought it was a point worth raising!

Have a good weekend all (and as ever, sorry for the ramble today!) xx

Thursday, 14 June 2007

I've been tagged!!!

Well, I didn't even know it was going on till today and now I've been 'had' - tagged that is! Eight things about me that won't send you to sleep with utter boredom? Hmm, not easy really as I don't get up to much and when I do, I probably blog about it. Ah well, i'll give it a go ....

1. My one-time best friend and sister-in-law claimed she had terminal cancer for a year and a half and then sat on a train track so that her legs were ripped off when she was 'found out' - that got your attention, didn't it? Unfortunately, it really did happen and as the hospital subsequently informed us that she was in no way insane, we have had no choice but to understand that some people truly are coldly manipulative and single-minded in their quest to get their own way. And I know I sound hard, but it is the only way I can cope with all that happened without falling apart.

2. Something less heavy going perhaps... I was once painted with Tom and Lauren (when they were much younger) for a magazine short story competition. It was Woman's Own and apparently I had just the right sad, worried look for the woman in the winning story! Great eh! The artist also paints the covers for some of Babara Cartland's novels and also did the illustrations for the updated 'Joy of Sex', though I was NOT a model for that!!!!

3. I eat anything and everything. There is not a food I will not consume or try!

4. I had post-natal depression so badly after Lucy's birth (and during the pregnancy, now I think about it - antenatal, obviously) that I have been left with a tendency for depression which drives me potty! Luckily it doesn't appear very often. It also affected my memory which used to be brilliant and is now pants which also drives me potty.

5. I can do drawn threadwork, cross stitch, embroidery, crochet, paint, draw, write poetry and knit anything from Fair Isle to cable! However, I sing like a cat (though it does't stop me, to the kids' disgust!), dance badly and cannot ride a bike!

6. I used to be in the school German folk club (could sing back then) andstill sing the songs now. Quite handy in a beer festival, I suppose...

7. I am a loyal, honest and caring friend who gives too much of herself because she can't bear others to be in pain. Ooh, I sound a bit worthy now!

8. I am certain I was a soldier in WW1 - and a clairvoyant once told me I was too!

So there you go. Nothing wildly exciting really. Am I supposed to teg someone now? Let me know if you haven't been had! xx

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Thank you, thank you xx

Well, I hardly know where to start! What an amazing, wonderful, supportive bunch you are. On Wednesday I moaned my little heart out and the response from this dear site completely bowled me over. So many brilliant suggestions flooded onto the page that today I can honestly say I feel a weight has been lifted. I cannot thank you all enough. I have read, thought about and taken on board all you have said and this morning feel more like Pipany than I have for a long while. And so to action! No more the wallowing (which makes me feel worse anyway); on to the lists (well, I am a list kinda gal) and forth into positivity!

Here are the things I have decided to take from your comments, adding and embellishing as feels right for me:
Step 1 - Each day write a list with these headings (How was I such a crap teacher?!)- General - for normal jobs that have to be done (keep small!)
Me - Put three things on it that will be purely for me (candlelit bath, see a friend, etc) and try to do at least one. Achievements - three things that I keep trying to do but never manage, however small (might be painting a door or baking a cake) Kids - One special thing to take away the guilt of not giving time (might be going to the park or chatting with one on their own). I do this anyway but it will make me appreciate just what I do with them! Dave - Something nice each day (send a card to work for him to find in his pigeon-hole, run a candlelit bath, etc). Again, we are both quite good at this (particularly Dave) but tiredness etches its way into each day and we sometimes forget. At the end of each day, write down what I liked about the day and b*****r the rest!

Well, it works for me! Yesterday I felt as though I had been let off the hook and decided to stop beating myself up about things. Isabella and I met up with a friend, went for a beautiful walk through Penjerrick (such a beautiful name) and swapped plants. Perfect. After collecting Lucy from school, we visited Granny for tea and cakes followed by a trip to buy the makings of a special meal for me and Dave - antipasto for starters involving all sorts of piquant, tasty foods to be eaten as finger food (love the feel of squishy spiced peppers and juicy olives dribbling through my fingers) and a rich paella for after. It was supposed to be a surprise as he had yet another meeting which meant he wouldn't be home till late, but we arrived back to find him on the sofa as the meeting was cancelled and so he played cards with Lucy at the kitchen table, chatting away as I cooked. Later I checked my emails to find he had sent me one from work with only the simple words, "I love you." Life's not so bad really, is it?

So once again, thank you Purple People. I suppose I knew what I needed to do but reading all your suggestions and supportive words gave me some clarity which I had been unable to find. I still don't have a clue what direction I am heading in, but it doesn't matter as I am heading somewhere! For once the Fates, the gods or god himself can decide!

And to end, a wonderful bit from the lovely UPL which I think is relevant to all of us sometimes and was a brilliant thing for me to do - when it all gets to much, just say this out (to your God, whoever that may be)..."Ok, I am here. You take over because I'm knackered and no longer have any idea what I'm doing."

Brilliant! Have a lovely day all x

Sunday, 3 June 2007

A bit bleary.

So, my return blog. Should it arrive in a blaze of fanfares and revelery? Perhaps fireworks are more appropriate? I can see their rainbow colours streaming across the sky even as I type. No, unfortunately reality has yet again raised its (frequently) tiresome head and ensured that my efforts today will be feeble thanks to the early-morning risings of Isabella. Today Dave and I are gritty eyed as befits those souls woken by the four-thirty am yellings of a one year-old babe, God bless her overlarge lungs.

Ah well, enough of that familiar moan. As I posted on the main page recently, we have been sans computer thanks to the fact that we have been sans phoneline. BT have worked hard to ensure we remain that way, but we battled bravely and eventually good overcame the dark forces of the overpaid BT network (apologies to anyone in their employ - tis the company that I berate) and we are connected once more. The impending threat of a 116.00 (pound sign has taken itself off in disgust) call-out fee - yes, that's right...CALL OUT FEE - was enough to guarantee sleepless nights in the Poltisko Farm household even without Isabella's best efforts in that department. The idea of the further charge of 99.00 per hour or part thereof was almost too much to comprehend, especially as it took five hours for the fault to finally be fixed. Why aren't we all setting up phone-fixing companies purple people? There's clearly a killing to be made somewhere!

Despite all things conspiring to the contrary, KittyB and I managed to meet up during her recent stay in not-very-sunny Cornwall. Nerves abounded as I walked into the pub - late as ever - only to find Kitty looking exactly like her photograph: slim, pretty and incredibly easy to chat to. The evening seemed to fly and yes, of course your ears were burning! It was my chance to catch up on what had been happening during my enforced absence. A uniform has emerged I hear? Will have to read up on that before I get detention for breaking school dress code.

Lovely though it was to actually meet a Purplecoo member in the flesh, I was slightly worried (oh, OK...Very worried) about being a disappointment myself. What if I registered shock on her face which could only mean the posted pictures of one Pipany were guilty of giving a false impression. Perhaps the one revealing only a back view of me on a beach would have been a better one to go with? I could have entered the pub in reverse and conducted the whole evening with only the subtle light of the pillar candles flickering in the window recess lighting my face in soft and flattering warmth or maybe wearing a hat with a veil in a kind of slightly eccentric this is how I dress for a pub attitude would have lessened the nerves somewhat. As it was, my usual disorganisation meant I didn't have time to do more than pull on trousers and top in order not to leave poor Kitty sitting for too long on her own. What did it matter? She was lovely and so was the evening. Just desperate to hear about the meeting between Milla and Kitty now.

Well, a bit of a befuddled and rambling (as ever) blog to kick off with. Thanks for all the lovely welcome backs and I will gradually get to all your sites over the next few days. I've made a start but it's a huge task - perhaps I should charge a catch-up does 116.00 sound?

Bye for now x