Finally Off The Hook…

Childhood, Parenting, Things I Made This Week No Comments »

Hello!!

How are you all? 

I know my posts have been erratic recently (I shall get the missing poems onto the screen in the next week or so) but hopefully you know that I have been thinking of you?!

The last few weeks of the Summer term always seem to be particularly frantic, and this year’s has been no exception 😉 but today was the last day…Yippeeeeeeeee!!

Can you BELIEVE that Eldest has finished primary 2 already, or that Youngest will be a preschooler come August?! What the flaming Nora happened there…?!

I have been very busy trying to complete the teacher gifts that I had negotiated with the boys.  I found this free crochet pattern on Ravelry for a pirate.  Eldest and I agreed that it was perfect, because his teacher this year had dressed as ‘Where’s Wally?’ for World Book Day, and then had adapted his outfit to fit with the Pirates vs Mermaids theme of their school Summer production 😉  I did not, however, fully appreciate how much time it would take me to make, nor how badly the kids would want extra cuddles this past week and use up most of my ‘free’ time


I dutifully started crocheting on Saturday (the 24th) and worked on Eldest’s choice until Wednesday, when I decided to whip up Youngest’s gift (because I needed a change of project, and I knew it would only take me a couple of hours!)

 

Youngest had picked this pattern from the same blog as Rab the Rabbit, so I made sure that neither of the boys saw where the Toothfairy had got her inspiration


 

Youngest was very taken with the monkey, and he enthusiastically helped me to squish the stuffing in, too.

His nursery Keyworker was chuffed with it, and I wrote in the card that Youngest wanted me to make a ‘mumma monkey’  because his Keyworker “works so hard and she’s kind to all the children” (bless him!) 😀

By bedtime last night, the pirate was legless (!) but getting there.  All the pieces had been crocheted, but I had had to tweak the wooden leg instructions, as it at first ended up too long.  Eldest had stuffed the finished piece nicely for me, however.

By about 11pm all was sewn up, and I am rather pleased with how he came out, given my need to quell the (usually rampant) perfectionism in order to meet my deadline! 

Both boys loved cradling him before they went in for their last day, and Eldest was quite sad that he had to say goodbye to his cuddly pal so I could wrap the figure in tissue paper!

Unfortunately I didn’t witness the unveiling of the pirate, but Eldest says that his teacher said “Thanks, I love it!” and remarked that the toy must have taken a while to make! It did take me a good 90 minutes to clear the coffee table of the crafting rubble that had been adorning it all week, whip the house back into some semblance of order; and vacuum up all those pesky fluffy bits of stray stuffing before my parents were due to visit us this afternoon
 😉

The fab thing about making Amigurumi toys is that each one comes out with its own wee character, and recipients know that you are also handing over time spent thinking about them.  The kids chose and helped to mould their gifts too, and I love that!

Even better, though, is the fact that it is officially the Summer Holidays now!!  7 weeks of no schoolrun madness, or having to stick to others’ routines 🙂

Happy, happy, happy!

I’ll leave you with the pictures that the boys drew for their teachers’ cards, I hope you have a great weekend lined up 😉

Youngest’s “Me dancing with poppies, on a rock”

Eldest’s “Pirate on a Beach, With Sand”

 

 

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Copyright © 2017  Montaffera All Rights Reserved
Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

 

Wonder

Random poetry 2 Comments »

Hi!

As mentioned yesterday, I have been revisiting a few shows where some of the characters are brooding types.  I’ve always been drawn to them – I suppose we all are or there wouldn’t be so many of those characters written 😉

I looked upspuriousandrusticjust to see if I could get a different angle on the words by doing so.

 

View  Long  Nippy  Wonder  Spurious  Action  Milk  Screw  Rustic

 

I just needed somewhere with a view –

To draw a long breath and centre;

Feel the nippy wind stealing troubles,

Wonder at something much bigger than me.

 

How long I have played the spurious child:

Frozen, scared of action in case

Worms and milk everywhere

Would make others cry?

 

Turning that screw on myself

Just to punish thoughts of grandeur;

Keep myself rustic and humble

For some unrealised gain.

 

While thinking about the poem, Dr. Carter from ER sprang into my head. I think it’s because of the scenes where he goes out to get some air and agonise over life, the universe, and everything?! If I wasn’t so squeamish I would get a hold of all the seasons of that corker, too…

 

 

 

 

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Copyright © 2017  Montaffera All Rights Reserved
Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

Bonus

Random poetry No Comments »

Hello

Duke  Orphan  Condo  Not  Dozens  Extremist  Daring  Smuggler  Bonus

 

I switch on and immerse myself:

Invite a duke into my livingroom,

Care deeply about some poor orphan

(Who doesn’t exist)

Watch as some rich person

Swithers over which condo

They’ll pick, featuring many

Fantastic ‘mod-cons’.

 

I am not looking (on purpose)

At dozens of children

Lying in squalor

Far too sick to move;

Or watching the fall-out

From shelling and conflict,

Extremist values –

Or those buried in earth.

 

I open my purse-strings,

I sob at the images –

Praise the daring heroes

Of first-aid and food! –

But go back to tall stories

Of some sneaky smuggler,

While cuddling my offspring

Safe: bonus of locale.

 

There are things I would change about the above.

The first is that the generated words actually say ‘riot’ as the fourth word but, as it was pretty small on my screen, I unfortunately read it as ‘not’ and have only just realised while typing this post up *slaps forehead* it would have fitted in quite nicely, too


Secondly, I don’t like the first eight lines.  The next two stanzas have a rhythm, dammit, and the first one doesn’t but I ran out of time â˜č

The last line jars me, as well.

But the poem outlines how I’m feeling. I have watched the whole of the first series of Fringe in the last week, flirted with a few episodes of Downton Abbey, and have now moved on to re-watching Angel, all because sitting in front of the news is far too much wincing reality to take at the moment!

What are you making of it all?  Am I the only one who wishes she could just keep the kids in some bubble of protection (with a library), and maybe hang out with hubby in there too?!

 

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Copyright © 2017  Montaffera All Rights Reserved
Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

Hiss

Politics, Random poetry 2 Comments »

Hi!

Hiss  Habitual  Favour  Back  Thief   Hurdle  Bag  Numeric  Shaman

The hiss of disapproval
As they sit on benches
Surrounded by habitual pomp
Goaded by others in favour this week.

Those at the back
(Like anywhere) troublemakers
Playing the thief
Of credulity: well.

A clever hurdle here,
A concession in the bag;
Spin that numeric truth thin
Like some talented Shaman


 

I watched the Prime Minister’s question time (PMQs) today, and I wanted to write about how many MPs stood up and pressed Theresa May about the arrangements for the Grenfell Tower rehousing and investigation.

I wanted to explore how surreal it always is to hear any one of them remark on events that affect ‘ordinary’ people, while the MPs are simultaneously being cocooned by grandeur and tradition within Westminster.

There was a lot of reference to class division having been brought to our attention in the harshest way by the towerblock’s blaze, and how this year and this century should mean that none of it should exist any more.

I listened to the accents, and I noted what my first impressions were. I closed my eyes and took them in, tried not to have my storyteller’s mind fill in parts of the speakers’ biographies straight away – but it was impossible to escape.

We categorise from a very early age. We are taught to. The more life experience we have, the more we learn to read the ‘signs’ when we first meet people. It becomes something we do naturally, it gives us a framework, lets us determine if we are ‘safe’, or how much we will be understood by the other person. We get impressions and feedback from others in a myriad of different ways, and often subconsciously; then change our behaviour accordingly.

This becomes a problem when we take our categorisation further and decide that others deserve less. That their lives are expendable, that steps should be missed out when assuring safety. Although it seems incongruous (and, dare I say, patronising?!) to hear a plummy accent declare that ‘the poor’ and ‘disadvantaged’ in our societies should be treated more humanely, it is indeed even more chilling that the fact does still need to be pointed out!

My generated words only led to a poem about the general workings of the Commons Chamber, but there is a lot more in my head I wish to express!

Later, I watched footage of cladding being taken down from other towerblocks, and the whole thing is beyond scandalous. How can anyone, anywhere justify knowingly endangering lives by using materials, that are proven to be a fire risk, on people’s homes?! I really hope that the investigation is widened to include any company or body that is responsible for knowingly choosing money over lives. I just can’t get my head around the enormity of such a deed, and the price the Grenfell residents have had to pay for that decision.

I fervently hope there are appropriate criminal charges brought to bear after the police investigations.

 

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Copyright © 2017 Montaffera All Rights Reserved
Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

Herd

Random poetry No Comments »

Hi,

Less than a week ago, I was writing about the devastating effects of fire; and today I was watching horrific scenes of the rampant destruction in Portugal that has been an unfolding story since the weekend. 

I can’t believe how many awful reports are in the news this month, or the number of people who have died in sickening circumstances!

None of us really appreciate how fleeting this life is, do we – or how our obsession with position and possessions is all very pointless
?

 

 

 

 

Smell  Move  Umbrella  Calculation Housing  Career  Poetry  Monster  Herd

 

My nose, full – the smell

Of imaginary smoke

Taunting me from images

I can’t expel.

 

It’s hard to move past

Searing realisation:

That nature is formidable,

Not some nurturing umbrella.

 

Fire works outwith

Our human calculation

(We are mere scared animals, all;

Irrespective of housing or career)

 

And again, I turn to poetry

To look a monster in the face,

Herd stampeding thoughts

Into some cohesive whole;

 

Whilst elsewhere humans

Pick through precious ashes –

Dignity charred

But outrage well fuelled.

 

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Copyright © 2017  Montaffera All Rights Reserved
Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

Ahead

Parenting, Politics, Random poetry No Comments »

Hi.

The reports keep coming.  I don’t know how London’s emergency services are supposed to cope, never mind the communities who live there.  I find myself watching the rolling coverage on the BBC a lot more than is healthy, but it is almost like if I take in every detail I will somehow see that there is a meaning to all the recent tragedies.  That I will be able to glimpse some equilibrium and feel comforted? 

But at the same time I don’t wish to be merely consoled, I want to look the chaos in the face and show the grit that those communities do, become mightier by seeing how other people manage it; learn the ultimate resilience.

My heart, once more, is with the afflicted families.  I am so proud of the humanity that is being shown across faiths and class divides, for this is how we all should be.  It proves there is, after all, hope and kindness still circulating in this world.

 

Ahead  Want  Doubt  Toys  Linen  Sad Romantic  Strong  Middle

 

I don’t want to be ever fearful

Of what lies ahead.

I don’t want to doubt

The future of a curly-headed kid:

Happily playing with toys

And hiding random stuff

In my linen baskets.

 

I don’t want to be sad

Every time I turn on the news;

Feeling voyeuristic

As there are Panorama specials

Advertised

That make suffering almost romantic

By adding music.

 

I want to remain strong,

Show my children that:

Things like terrorism can’t win.

We are not in the middle

Of some unimaginable

Slump in humanity –

We’ll get through this


 

Won’t we?

 

 

 

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Copyright © 2017  Montaffera All Rights Reserved
Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

Evidence

Childhood, Parenting, Random poetry 2 Comments »

Hello!

Today’s wee random word foray, to mark it being Fathers’ Day:

 

“Amongst many other things

He saves mummy’s bacon.

(That means he helps me out

When I’ve done something silly,

Or I am stuck on something)”

 

I saw a small chromatic shift

In hubby’s face

As Youngest was heard to blurt:

“And he makes good food,

And likes cud-a-win us!”

 

Our other, bigger, monkey

Frog-leapt from his seat

And hugged his Dad, forcefully.

All thunder-clouds vanished

As affection bloomed.

 

This cultural obsession we have

With naming days

To declare our feelings for people –

When, if we just looked,

Hourly evidence is everywhere.

 

 

 

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Copyright © 2017  Montaffera All Rights Reserved
Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

 

Disaster

Politics, Random poetry No Comments »

Hi

Yet more powerful images in the news today, such raw emotion.  I can only imagine how angry the surviving former residents of Grenfell Tower are beginning to feel. 

It was all too surreal to comprehend at first,  I would think, looking up at the shell of their homes and knowing that this tragedy was forewarned, but its remedy forestalled. 

The class questions this raises are not going to just disappear, and nor should they.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Word  Decisive  Circulate  Offset  Acquit  Roll  Disaster  Aloof  Hilarious

 

They don’t believe a word she says

About being decisive

And working tirelessly

For the common good.

 

As rumours circulate,

And the promised

Is offset by reality;

It is hard to acquit guilt.

 

When hours roll by

And a leader does not share

Solidarity in the face of disaster –

 

Appears aloof,

Stirring anger in her wake –

 

They must be forgiven

For taking to placards and soundbites;

 

Finding platitudes

Ruefully hilarious.

 

 

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Copyright © 2017  Montaffera All Rights Reserved
Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

Sad

Random poetry 4 Comments »

Hello

I came home (thankful that I was going to be seated on my couch for a while, after an exhausting morning on Youngest’s woodwalk) to the appalling news about the Grenfell Tower fire.

Again London. Again an amazing response from the community and, of course, the emergency services.

I watched homes being obliterated, reporters standing in front of a building that was STILL burning twelve hours later – and continued to glow orange through the rest of our day.

There had been sleeping families in there.

The stories just kept coming: of escape, of loss, of grief, of hope, of anger, of friendship, of heroism, of humanity…my heart is just so full for all those affected.

My head got overwhelmed from the barrage of images and accounts. Everything felt muffled, if that makes sense? Today’s words didn’t express what I wanted them to, and yet kind of did: from garrulous to a whisper.

I wish words could fix everything.  I wish words had been heeded when the residents raised their fire-related concerns years ago.  I wish the world did not work this way. I wish tragedy did not scream louder than logical argument and heartfelt reasoning.

 

Garrulous  Bulb  Slave  Hanging  Sad  Paddle  Seat  Thread  Whisper

 

My garrulous pen

Silent

As the bulb flickers

Annoyingly, overhead.

 

My electronic slave

Whirs

As an avalanche is hanging

Out of shot.

 

For I am morose:

Sad, and

Adrift on a windless lake

Sans paddle or tide.

 

My seat creaks in protest

But

I’ve misplaced the vital thread –

A whisper unheard.*

 

 

 

[*I went back and forth over ending the poem with ‘unheard’ or ‘of fate’ but I think I like ‘unheard’ best?  It fitted with how I was feeling about the voices of the Grenfell residents against the establishment, and is also the sound of a dropped thread…]

 

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Copyright © 2017  Montaffera All Rights Reserved
Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

 

 

Horrible?

Childhood, Parenting, Random poetry No Comments »

Hello!

It will be another short post tonight because I can hardly keep my eyes open to write this!

Look how many steps my Accupedo app has logged for me today
that is a full 9 mile school run, a short game of tig, a bit of housework, getting dinner ready, racing Eldest around his school (I am faster than I give myself credit for.  My boys were impressed) and probably a few other things besides.

Our day started with the kids not wanting to leave the house and not being the best of friends, but progressed to them running around the playground in the evening sunshine, while we waited to chat to Youngest’s nursery keyworker.  He got a glowing report, as usual!

From Textfixer

The boys were extremely volatile when they got in, however, and it took some fancy parenting footwork from Hubby and me to get them calm enough for a bath, cuddles and bed.  Upon reading tonight’s words, I thought about this and the strategies we use.  We are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination (I screeched a bit on the schoolrun!) but Hubby and I learned a while ago that connection works better than opposition with our two.  I think the speaker in the poem has a different approach


 

Horrible  Coward   Chart  Ballerina  Concert  World  Drench  Agency  Exception

 

Although she screamed that I was horrible

I’m not some sort of parenting coward;

I tore up her behaviour chart rewards

Ripped right through her prized ballerina.

 

I told her I would not attend her concert

(Did not take pictures, even though I snuck in)

 

You would have thought her world

Had collapsed around her frilly frock!

I swear she wanted to drench me in tears

But I just walked away, firmly.

 

There won’t be concessions made;

Blackmail through the agency of emotion

Will not be tolerated.  (Without exception)

How else is she ever going to learn
?

 

I am going to walk away from you lovely people, myself.  I hope you have a great day, whatever you get up to tomorrow.  🙂

I…am…soooo…tiiiired….  na night, all!

 

Come visit the Facebook page and follow @ComfyRestless on Twitter

Copyright © 2017  Montaffera All Rights Reserved
Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!