Childhood, Parenting, Random poetry, Relationships No Comments »

Hi there 🙂

Eldest was very pleased with his rabbit from the toothfairy, as detailed here, and the boys’ chat and subsequent friendly breakfast was a nice way to start our morning.  They did seem genuinely confused that there was no Irn Bru inside Rab, however…

Hubby went into the office today, so the boys and I walked down to school together, Youngest between me and his brother.  Eldest hands in his homework book on a Monday, so he soon relinquished his extra-heavy bag and let me carry it, which was a challenge as I already had my trusty loaded rucksack to contend with!  I ended up carrying the four year old and his bag for the last few metres, too, so I got a bit of a workout before breakfast!  He did go and chat to a sister of his friend, however.  He had energy for socialising 😉

I wandered back, once I had successfully mothered the boys into their day, listening to ‘Seether Radio’ on Spotify.  I met a neighbour near home, and we ended up standing in the drizzle chatting outside my house for a good half hour, because we both had a lot to do and didn’t have time for coffee…of course!

Youngest was in his new dungarees for the first time today, and it was not until the last minute that I had realised that although I had thought I was ordering the same as Eldest’s online, Youngest’s were not lined with fleece.  I checked this before going to nursery pick up, and realised that sure enough: the listing had been changed since I’d bought Eldest’s.  Sneaky! 

Youngest had, meanwhile, been trying them out for me in the nursery garden! I am pleased to report they did well 😉 After his energetic morning, he asked to go in the buggy before we even got near the traffic lights.  It took about two seconds for him to fall asleep, as I had tilted the seat.  He settled in and told me: “Aaaah dis is much comfier, mummy! Keep it like dis all da time!” just before closing his eyes, heehee.

I met a nice lady who had recently lost her husband as I got near our street.  I had been admiring the plantlife around me as she had approached (it had stopped drizzling), and we had a wandering conversation about Eldest’s class topic, her teaching days, and how her husband had known the names of trees and flowers better than she did.  It is lovely to have moments in my day when the kids are cared for and I can just connect with people I see out and about.  Although her loss was still raw (I gave her a big hug) it was a lovely, positive chat; with birdsong and blooms all around us.  Pretty life-affirming!

Youngest was not best pleased with being woken from his nap.  It took a lot of cajoling for him to get changed out of his muddy clothes, and cleaned up for lunch.  He finally did cooperate and changed himself, then showed me his studied technique for brushing his nails – he gets them cleaner than I can!

Youngest elected to stay awake indefinitely after lunch, and was messing about in the buggy all the way down the road, but also stroking my hands and telling me he loved me, so I forgave him!  I chatted to some mum pals and Eldest’s teacher for a bit while Eldest was on the Trim Trail in the playground, then we were homeward bound.

Youngest begged out of the buggy on the last half of the journey, and he and Eldest ran ahead frolicking around another mum we see walking home sometimes with her kids.  Luckily she was not upset by this, and I was able to keep them at least part way civil…

The boys went on the tablet and I got dinner organised (pasta and cheese, fancy fare…) and once hubby came home, I got a few things ready for the evening. Hubby was hoping to attend a meeting of our  community council, and leaving me to do bathtime solo (!) I hung a washing on our indoor lines, sorted school and nursery clothes for tomorrow, and made sure there were PJs available for the boys to change into. Our boys usually get ‘Daddy Time’ after dinner, tidy up and homework are out of the way; but today I just asked them to tidy the playroom as usual and let them have 20 minutes’ wind down with Hubby. One night without the usual reading and maths consolidation won’t jeopardise Eldest’s education 😉

The boys were not happy that I was doing bathtime and they would not be spending it with Daddy, but the meeting was about proposals for a substantial number of houses to be built in our village, that has implications for our school community and road safety.  We thought it best that Hubby went along to check it out.

I bathed Youngest while Eldest played, then visa versa (Youngest had made the choice for us by stripping everything off and running about shrieking…) then it was supper and a chapter of the tenth Famous Five instalment.  I was very impressed by the boys’ washing and toothbrushing skills again.  They are getting so independent!

The boys fell asleep pretty quickly, almost before I had even left the room!  I feel a bit bad now, because I had rushed their chapter a bit, thinking that Hubby would be back with the chippie any minute, but the meeting seems to be going on longer than I thought!!

I went for a school theme for today’s poem, after pondering all the different ways I could use ‘lime’ and whether I could link it to a graveyard. Funny how my brain works…


Honorary  Bell  Royal  Camel  Grasshopper  Lime  Graveyard  Rassling  Code


I had an honorary seat

At the front, under watchful nonchalance

When the bell rang.

I felt like a royal fool.

What had possessed me to open that letter…?

I could still see the roughly drawn camel

And the crudely scribbled phrase…!


God KNOWS what the grasshopper meant?!


The teacher’s patterned lime top

Was the only thing shouting,

The emptied room was graveyard quiet.

Instead, I was left fidgeting

Rassling with my impulse

To start explaining in a rush.

I listened to her finishing her marking…


Maybe her pen-scratches were teacher Morse code?


I looked up the Urban Dictionary to see what it made of ‘grasshopper’.  Option 4 probably fits the poem best…?!

Please excuse the notebook page, the orange biro doesn’t scan very well, but I love using it!

I’d better sign off before Hubby gets back with my dinner and it goes cold. 

Toodles for now!



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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!



Childhood, Parenting, Random poetry, Relationships No Comments »


I took the boys into school today, despite reading some awesome fiction from Twitter until about 2.20am 😉

The boys were not very cooperative, but I still managed to get to the gates before 8.50am.  Youngest was happy to see his friends and wandered off after hugging me, and Eldest seemed ok in his line as well.

I had a quick detour to buy Empire Biscuits in the shop and grabbed a wee blether with another mum I know, too.  Then it was Seether and Drowning Pool in the ears all the way home, while pushing the vacated buggy.  I was even complimented on my hair by a lovely lady just as I came to the park near our home! That was a surprise as its refresh is about two months overdue :-0

I did a bit of eating, Twitter tapping and housework, then headed back out to get Youngest around 11.20am, again listening to music.

  Youngest gave me a big smile from where he was sitting on the floor in his group, and presented me with a drawing of “me inside oo tummy, mummy!”.  It has become a bit of a theme recently, and his keyworker joked that maybe he wants me to have another baby!!  This is waaay out of the question (not my idea of a suitable 40th present!)  but Youngest is a bit obsessed.  Today’s picture was just of him floating about, but he likes to draw Eldest in there sometimes, too.  They are usually both in some stage of dancing! 

Last June, Eldest drew a picture of his c-section birth…with him in a breech position and everything!  It’s the expression on my face (not to mention his and the surgeon’s!) and the caption of “Ouch” that really sell it to me. 

I wonder if this (Mail Online) article is onto anything?!

I was admiring Youngest’s curls on the way home.  They really sit nicely sometimes.  He points out that one of his girl pals at nursery has curlier hair than him, but I still like taking pics of his 😉 look at the back ones!

After thinking about the boys’ drawings of my pregnancies, it amused me that ‘Vesta’ appeared as one of my words.  I had to look up ‘cowbird’ and ‘andante’. ‘Coiltie’ is usually split into two words, but is at the start of a few street names in Inverness spelt like this!  It wasn’t until I was about to start writing the poem that I realised I had ten words instead of nine?  Not sure what happened there, but I just went with it!






Cowbird  Precious  Vesta  Alps  Coiltie  Andante  Eggy  Freeze  Habit  Outside


She was the kind of tormentor

That had a cowbird flock around her

Hoping for precious pickings.

To hear her speak

I was akin to Vesta

(An exaulted position

Totally unintended on her part)


At least the boys were

A bit more…up front;

Pointing to me with stupid phrases like

“The Alps are looking good today!

I’d like to rest in that valley..”


Apparently, living in Coiltie Road

Was a euphemism.

Boys liked to walk andante

Past me, leering.


But, I’m not taking offence;

One day their faces will be eggy

And freeze in shock

As their jibes and nonsense

Won’t see me forced into a nun’s habit

But see me making millions

Lying outside swanky hotels

Modelling  luxurious beachwear.


I obviously have fans already…


I’m not too enamoured with the poem, but I do like the image of the hangers-on types around bullies being referred to as Cowbirds 😉

Hubby has managed to get home early tonight and is making the kids’ dinner, and we are going to have a chippie later, which I always look forward to.  I really thought I would be more tired than I am as I walked all the nine miles today and felt so yuck yesterday! I was obviously needing the fresh air.

I had to shut the window in Eldest’s room earlier, however, as a rather large wasp wandered in and was none too pleased at being asked to leave, with a paperback…summer’s coming!!

Hope you have a great evening, see you tomorrow!


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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!


Childhood, Parenting, Random poetry, Relationships No Comments »


I woke up aching, as if a large vehicle had squashed me in the night.  It was a struggle to open my eyes, and my head felt like someone was shoving it sideways as I attempted to lift it from the pillow.  Youngest came for his morning cuddle, but didn’t stay long, I kept drifting in and out of consciousness. 

Eventually hubby asked when I was getting up (he had fed and dressed the children while pottering about before working from home) and whether the kids were definitely going to school today.  I asked him what he thought.  He said they were both still pretty snotty and coughing.  The boys were back in PJs rather quickly!

After our nice creative day yesterday, I wanted to do some more lovely stuff, so I snuggled down into the couch with a boy on either side of me (after phoning the school) and read three chapters of our current Famous Five book, trying to ignore the rasp in my throat.  Eldest loved it, Youngest became very silly and started swinging himself about over the back of the couch and poking his toes into me, etc.  Extremely annoying. 

This broke the mood, so the kids went off to play with cars and superheroes instead.  I tried to do a bit of catching up with my Twitter, but my head was still feeling strange and my vision was being hampered by black fly-like floaters a lot, so I opted for staring at the news for a while in a horizontal position. 

We all had an earlyish lunch, but even that did not calm Youngest down much.  He refused to be quiet for more than five minutes together for the rest of the afternoon, and by the time Hubby finished work I was feeling rather green around the gills.  I did lie down on our bed for a while, but I had to keep getting up to break up fights!  Such is a mummy ‘sick day’…

I finally just gave in and played cards with them.  They won every game, despite me getting down to my last card a few times.  Typical!


By rights it should be a Jimpix day, but my head would probably fall off, so I’ve cheated and gone for Randomlists instead.

I am not sure what exactly is going on in today’s poem, but I think the speaker is maybe not who ‘he’ thinks she is…


Rings  Kick  Staking  Parsimonious  Employ  Orange  Arrange  Windy  Momentous


It gave three rings and –

I could kick myself –

I picked it up.

Within seconds he was

Staking a claim on my weekend,

Casting aside

My parsimonious excuses;

Pointing out that

Being in a Fat Cat’s gainful employ

Had its benefits.


I watched the orange blink

And wished it was not my spot

He’d be steering into.

Still, I felt myself arrange my hair

Before I opened the door.

The windy stair did not

Slow down his advance.

His smile was too broad,

His mood too good,

To hope for less than momentous news.


I should really try for an early night tonight.  Y’know, before 2am? 

Of course, I am now feeling some of the energy I could have done with earlier when the kids were awake, and I am able to breathe more easily 😉  there is a law governing that, isn’t there?!

One fab thing that did happen today is that I got a parenting post of mine featured on another blog.  Not bad eh? Definitely cheered me up! 😀


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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!

My Cupboard

Childhood, Parenting, Random poetry, Relationships 2 Comments »

Hey there 🙂

We were all feeling pretty rubbish today, still fuzzy-headed and runny with the cold.  Not only that, it was properly raining too!  Only Hubby made it out the door in the end. 

Youngest and I slept in until about 8.30am and Eldest until 9am.  I had got up briefly for Eldest around 6am to get him a fresh water, and he had said then that he was feeling very tired with a sore throat.  Youngest had looked too comfy so we’d left him as he had been coughing in the early hours again.  After lots of cuddles, the boys and I went down for breakfast.

Youngest asked for us to do painting, as he often does, and Eldest agreed that this would be a fun activity.  I did a bit of straightening of the house while the boys played, handed Eldest’s homework to a mum pal at the door so she could pop it in at the school office (homework had to be taken in if at all possible, I was told when I called the boys in sick!) and then got the kids to clear a path so I could set up the various painty bits n bobs.

They had made a windy and interesting train track while I’d been away!

Eldest put on an old t-shirt of Hubby’s (with Cookie Monster’s eyes!) and Youngest plumped for the old painting shirt the boys have been using for years.  I gave them: the cardboard sheets from board games that had housed the press-out pieces, some toilet roll innards, different sized sponge paint brushes, a small plastic bottle and lots of ready-mixed paint in old plastic fruit punnets (so they could get handprints on their pages if they wanted).  I also swirled some sparkly gold paint through the colours for extra interest.

They had great fun!  I especially love the running commentary that they both always give me, and how they remark about each other’s work so positively.

A page or so in, they started a study in faces.  Eldest used the toilet roll for eyes, Youngest freehanded.  They both suggested improvements to each other’s and these were enthusiastically taken on board. 

Youngest liked the mixing effect of rolling the cardboard over the paint, so the resultant partial covering of a second face painting, he said, was him having jumped in mud and been splashed all over! (See bottom right painting in the pic with the artwork all out to dry). 

Eldest then went on to do another of his faces, this time in orange; which is his favourite colour.

There was a lot of discussion around which colours mix to make which new colour.  Youngest was fascinated by purple, and Eldest by pink.  We do not often have the white paint asked for, but I had put some out today as a wee experiment, and they seemed pleased that it made things lighter.  We suspect that Eldest may be colour blind, so I have come back to these conversations a lot with him over the years.  It’s always lovely seeing the wonder in the kids’ faces when the paint changes before their eyes!

They stopped after 5 masterpieces each, as I had run out of drying room by then, and little tummies were rumbling.  Apart from me having to blow noses a lot (!), it was a very enjoyable wee session with the boys.  I put out the legs of our antique table, and managed to get all but one of the works on that.  The boys loved seeing me ‘magically’ extend the table as it is usually folded out of the way of their careening nonsense! It always has a wipe-clean cover on it anyway, so it didn’t come to any painty harm.

For the rest of the afternoon it was a late lunch and various combinations of cuddly people in front of Spiderman, Tin-Tin and Sonic the Hedgehog before Ed fell asleep around 4pm (which wasn’t a very good idea…).  He had probably exhausted himself by somehow figuring out how to unlock ‘Shadow’ on the Sonic game.  Eldest was mightily impressed!!

After watching the boys exploring their art skills this morning, I must have had a wee affect on the generator.  At least, ‘cupboard’ immediately made me smile:


Cupboard  Width  Radiation  Breeze  Rich  Terrace  Passage  Generate  Cater


I have a cupboard,

Built especially for me

Taking up most of the width of one wall.

It has special things inside;

Creative radiation

Emanates from it –

A tangible breeze.

I open this cupboard

And instantly feel rich

All this treasure


On a terrace of plastic boxes

Rests a happy passage in a card

Telling me ten traits that make me cool.


From this cupboard

I can generate peace;

Follow ideas

Play with dreams.

It can cater precisely to my wandering mind;

Then be closed,

To await me once more…


Eldest would also like to point out that this bottle picture shows how it landed when he flipped it.  Apparently this is all kinds of awesome 😉

It has been a good day, despite the cold having me feeling decidedly yucky at points. 

We have arts and crafts and writing and each other at home here, what else do we need?!





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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!


Childhood, Random Short Stories, Relationships, Religion 2 Comments »


*Said through teeth* Huh-wy uf the taxi will leaf wifout me…

Quick post tonight as I am going out to a 40th  birthday party!  Woohoo!  I’ll get hubby to take a pic of me in my gladrags, and I’ll upload it before I publish this.

We are all unfortunately suffering various stages of the cold still, so hubby and I took the rock and roll decision to stay indoors for most of today.  The kids were not too happy with this, but with Eldest sporting a bright red sore patch between his top lip and nostrils – and Youngest coughing any time he gets too excited – we stuck to our guns!

There have been the obligatory games of cards and block-house building; interspersed with dressing up as Spiderman and a Dinosaur respectfully (!) so the boys have not been starved of entertainment by any means.  We are hoping to have our family meal as usual tonight, just bring it forward to about 5pm as I need to get out two hours later, and I just KNOW I’ll be running around half dressed with 15 minutes to go before the taxi is due…

I picked the Textfixer generator today, and was surprised to see ‘creepy’ surface again so soon!  It is weird how that happens so often, as yesterday I used a completely different site!  I wondered whether I would carry on with the same vibe as I had created yesterday, too, but my brain decided we needed a piece of fiction that would focus on the ‘biblical’ angle.  So there 😉


Biblical  Aboveground  Fiery  High  True  Blurt  Phonetic  Creepy  Defect

He was the master of the biblical phrase.  For someone who (to hear him speak) was almost fluttering as he performed his aboveground daily tasks; he was also unhealthily obsessed with the fiery pit of hell.  To my four year old self, lifted high upon his hallowed knee, every word he spoke was true – and usually terrifying.

He would blurt out judgements upon my innocent dealings, remark on how everything I did weighed against sainthood or evil.  I was always striving to be a ‘good girl’, even overthinking how I said a word – was each phonetic part perfect?  Should I just remain quiet?

Would he prescribe some time down in the creepy cellar if my sentence displayed the slightest defect?

I envied kids who actually looked forward to visiting their grandfather.  I dreaded even walking up the path; had to put so much effort into choosing what to wear.  Looking too good was a sin as well, of course.


This man sounds delightful!  I wonder if he’ll turn up in tomorrow’s piece as well, or whether I’ll write about something different…?



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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!

Problems (Remuda Pt 2)

Health, Mental Health, Parenting, Random Short Stories, Relationships No Comments »

Hiya 😉

From Jimpix

I was excited when I saw that ‘problems’ and ‘crumb’ had shown up on today’s Jimpix offering!  It was surely a sign that I was to carry on and extend yesterday’s prose piece?! It was a nice mild selection too, so not that tricky to work with (strange…?).

Having read both of my pieces back a few times, I don’t think they sound like an American girl is narrating, really – or at least to my mind it reads as though she may have been brought up by an English nanny!


Eminent  Problems  Gunnells  Mammet  Volume  Zero  Childish  Infatuated  Crumb

Mum was very encouraged by the fact that some eminent psychologist or other had taken residence at the ranch.  The answer to all my problems.  Mum looked hurt when I’d tried not to snigger.

“What’s so funny?” she’d snapped

“Well…did you say her name was ‘Gunnells’?!”


I laughed outright; “So! At this hallowed place that treats people with eating disorders – they hire a shrink with a name that is synonymous with being full-up?! Talk about subliminal messages! I love it!”


You see, I’m really NOT one of those sad mammet types who want to take up as little room as possible and shrink out of life. 


Turn it up to full volume, why don’t you, and throw some groovy shapes on that dancefloor!

I watch my weight, obviously, but I am not a size zero.  I’m not some waif with a childish desire to stay little forever, stop my periods, be looked after by my parents…

I like what I like, and I do what I do.  I’m not infatuated by every fashion model out there, nor am I suspicious of every crumb on my plate.  Plus, I hate throwing up. 

I don’t think this place is really ready for me, as beautiful as it is.  I don’t play nice with other girls.  But then, that could be fun!

I shook out my bun and squared my shoulders, hoping the crick in my neck would soon leave. 

“Let’s go then” I said, cheerfully, looping my arm through my dad’s.  Mum looked delighted.


A very full notebook page today!

Is the girl a reliable source of information?  Does she really feel as she says she does, or is she in denial? I suggested yesterday that she had moved to the other side of the US from her home town…what was she running from?  Has she aspirations she wishes to chase, or just demons she’s hoping to leave behind?

Or is it the mother who is in denial, hoping that putting her daughter in for this kind of therapy will be much easier to talk about at the tennis club? Is she hoping that any other mental health issues will be mopped up at the place as well if she just throws enough money at them?

What is in the past with the father?  What renegade moves has he pulled recently?  Is he even with the mother any more, or is he there for the daughter?

Let me know what you got from the emerging story, in the comments!

**Disclaimer: I have only done rudimentary research on Remuda Ranch, and the services it provides.  The pieces I have written are entirely works of FICTION and the characters are not based on anyone I actually know or have ever met!  The area of expertise that the place in question specialises in is a very emotive and delicate one – I in no way wish to belittle that, just explore it through the characters I have created.  The characters’ views should not be taken as my own**


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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!



Health, Mental Health, Parenting, Random Short Stories, Relationships No Comments »

Hey-lo lovely reader!

So! I was putting off my Jimpix dealings yesterday, as I have been pretty busy trying, trying, trying to catch up on housework and the washing pile, since my pelvis decided to give me a lot of pain and make me take it slower last week. 

From Jimpix

But today I bit the bullet and just went for it to see what the god of Jimpix would give me.  I had already decided that I was going to attempt to write a prose piece with the words and see where it took me.  I had the idea at the back of my head that I might do the same tomorrow with another Jimpix selection and see if I could carry it on with the same characters?!  Is such a thing even possible with this wild generator?!

I was surprisingly nervous about writing the piece at all.  Blank page syndrome really kicked in!!

**I must point out here and now that I have only done rudimentary research into what the place I will set my piece in the grounds of looks like, and the services it provides.  The following piece is entirely a work of FICTION and the characters are not based on anyone I actually know or have ever met!  The area of expertise that the place in question specialises in is a very emotive and delicate one – I in no way wish to belittle that, just explore it through the characters I have created.  The characters’ views should not be taken as my own**

I had to look up ‘remuda’ and just underneath it on the search engine appeared ‘Remuda Ranch’ – a treatment centre for women and girls who have eating disorders.  It is in Arizona, so I immediately had to look up how long it would take to get there from Connecticut (as it was one of my words)…and so a wee story started coming together in my mind.  I started the timer and off I went:


Anchor  Remuda  Flank  Connecticut  Kissing  Stoic  Renegade  Offensive  Triathlete

It had been a four-hour flight, then the drive, and now my head floated as if finally released from its anchor.  Remuda Ranch, at first, looked tipsy.

Pins and needles scuffled in the whole of my left flank, but the air smelt like freedom after Connecticut.  I stretched my arms towards the big blue sky, and got sudden images of a stubbled stable hand, pungent from leather and horse sweat, kissing me like his life depended on it…

Dad had been such a stoic through the whole journey, listening to mum rattling off all the benefits this beautiful place boasted for people like me.  How much the other girls would take to my sweet nature and we’d get through it together.  Dad already knew there was a high chance I’d turn renegade.  I took after him, so he never found it as offensive as mum did.

Not even after I’d ditched the hunky triathlete at that Vegas alter last year…


Scribblings…gutted because my purple pen ran out half way through my time! Hoping I have another one somewhere…

Las Vegas is next door to Arizona, but waaaay across the map from Connecticut.  What age are we thinking the ‘girl’ is? One must legally be 18 to marry in Las Vegas, but how easy would it be to fake an ID?

It would appear that the parents live in Connecticut, so why was the daughter so far away?  Did she abscond in her summer vacation and get a job as a cocktail waitress?

It reads like her parents are wealthy, so has she stolen money and gone off to seek adventure, previously?

I’m pretty pleased with the piece.  I think I will try to expand upon it tomorrow, dammit! 😉

Wish me luck!





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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!


A Sensory Woodwalk

Childhood, Parenting, Relationships 2 Comments »

Hello 🙂

I am always left in awe of the nursery team when I help out (read: ‘make up the obligatory adult quotient’) on one of the woodland walks.  I can’t get my own two kids to listen to me, but the ladies keep groups of 10 or so children enrapt with ease!

Youngest was in a particularly crazy mood today, bouncing off his buoyant partner in crime that he always buddies with. Neither of them would hold my hand the first time they were asked, both wanted to pick up sticks and brandish them at each other as soon as possible, and each boy gave me a mouthful of cheek a few times – that ended in the other giggling.  Good thing I have a lot of time for them both, eh?!  They know how to get around me with their cute merry faces…

Today there were two groups of children out so, after a quick game of hide and seek, the kids split back into their usual set and followed their nursery keyworker to an appropriate spot to sit down.

There was a discussion about where our senses reside, and how they help us glean information about the world.  Eyemasks were then produced, and a scent challenge commenced.  Youngest picked the fish mask, as his favourite colour is blue, and went first.  He and most of his peers couldn’t identify the peppermint oil, but eventually one of Youngest’s favourite girl-pals sussed it.

Some more oils were attempted, then each child was fashioned a bracelet of double sided sticky tape, with just the top layer of paper removed.  The kids were tasked with picking up and sticking as many different colours of plant life as they could find – and if there were lots of the same colour, they were to focus on shades. 

Youngest loved this activity! He was a little miffed when heavier items wouldn’t stick, but he was proud to show his friends where they could find white feathers, and to compare found flowers. The small knot of kids even had a contest to see who could blow fluff from their dandelions the fastest.  There was no clear winner 😉

There was a game where a bangle of bells was put around a child’s wrist, and then that child had to go off and hide while jingling the bells.  The rest of the group were supposed (!) to keep their eyes closed and concentrate on listening to which direction the bells had gone in. 

Most of the kids tried to hide in the same place, but Youngest was tricky and ran in every direction before finally plumping on standing behind a tree quite close to the group!  He was very indignant when the kids pointed to him because his partner had peeked 😀

Snack was preceded by a taste test.  Each child closed their eyes (!!) and stuck their tongue out, and the keyworker dealt them chocolate buttons.  Then there was a discussion of sweet and sour, and a bit more confectionary to illustrate the difference.

After snack (of fruit and a Digestive biscuit) there was free play.  Here is Youngest with the other eyemask on, his chin sporting juice from his strawberry!

Other kids ran around with tinkling wrists again, or made capes and veils from square chiffon scarves.  There is so much energy and inventive craziness in 3-4 year olds!

We trooped back, my loony and his pal messing about again, and we got there before the usual chucking out time.  We were allowed to leave early, so Youngest and I sidled to the little shop and I bought my son a sports cap bottle of water to make up for having completely forgotten to bring my bag with me today** and therefore his drink, which I had put in the side of it for the walk.  The bottle he picked was a 750ml one, and Youngest was delighted.  I think it’ll last him a few days!

He valiantly walked most of the way home, but became really silly and bolted near a busy road (he stayed on the inside of the pavement, but still) and so lost his tablet viewing privileges.  Cue huge tired rant from him, which was only calmed by a biiiig mummy cuddle once we got in.  He fell straight to sleep snuggled into me, bless him.

I really can’t believe that Youngest will come to the end of his anti-preschool year next month, or that Eldest is almost out of Primary 2!!  How can these children of ours be getting so big?!  Someone needs to invent a pause button for life’s live feed.  I can’t keep up with the feels 😉

I enjoyed the woodwalk today and I’m glad I got so many nice pictures, there will be countless experiences I won’t see him have as he grows, so it is lovely to hear his joy while I can.


**Those that know me offline will realise what a big deal this is (I probably accosted you at the time and told you, to be fair…).  EVERYTHING is in that rucksack, all the stuff I need in order to feel prepared for most eventualities.  But…? We were fine.  Weird.**


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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!


Mental Health, Random poetry, Relationships 4 Comments »



I wrote this poem thinking about the way I had been feeling last week: sore, tetchy, tired and ever so grumpy!

I get into this place where I don’t want people to tell me about all the rational good stuff about my life, (because I have a fluffing annoying camp-coordinator-type person in my head who does that CONSTANTLY to keep me moving, and keep me focussed on the family’s needs).

I feel guilty that I’m not ‘just’ splendiferously happy with my amazing sons and husband and wider family and friends and social media laughs; and certainly with having all my basic needs and much more met without having to slog my guts out like I did in my younger days…!!

From Textfixer

I watch the news.  I know how awful it could be, what atrocities happen, how people lose everything.  I give money to charities, have even worked and volunteered for a good few, have seen devastating things happen to people close to me, and have marvelled at the way they and the fabulous souls around them have got on with life anyway.

I get it, I do.

I am the world’s worst at remembering to speak without channeling the morose and voicing the negative.  I often don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel as being anything other than a train.

There is a ‘but’ here: I also hug a lot of strangers. 

I am a keeper of life stories, and I make people laugh – and also give them a safe shoulder to cry on.  I care about my fellow humans.  I hand found notes into police stations, and I usually make it my mission to catch the eye of someone standing alone at any social gathering. 

If you are one of those people who find passionate rambling endearing, I’m your gal.  (You’re still reading, I notice)

I was the shop assistant who would get things from high shelves and talk bunions and ‘the good old days’ with my mature customers, and earn myself boiled sweets in the process (I never got my shelves stacked on time).

I’ll keep your secrets and not judge you harshly.  I will point out your positives and options, but I’ll also join you in your misery. Because:


Moan  Communication  Gloomy Harmless  Beast  Gimmick  Basic  Willow  Call


A moan

Is the best communication.


Offering your rant –

A gloomy, harmless beast –

Can be liberating

For the person listening.


It’s like some

Shiny sales gimmick

That lets another know:

No topic is barred, here.


So what if your

Basic life is ‘privileged’?


That can be sh*t, too.


A willow is beautiful

But still droops, as it blooms.



Only being a call away

Can be equivalent to dead.


Yes, tomorrow is another day, you do have amazing things to live for, you should definitely step out of your comfort zones and embrace this wonderful life…

…but all of that takes energy and there comes many a moment when you just need to say ARRRRRRGHHHH and throw it all up in the air.  Restraining that alllll the time is unrealistic.  (I can’t do it for two weeks together, right now!)

You will get that energy back, you will feel better/do better/move on again – but you don’t need to pretend that you never feel yuck.

You also don’t need to fear that if you let it all out you’ll never get back the pieces in the same order/be able to look the other person in the eye again.

Pick the right person (tricky, but doable) and something will shift.

Promise 😉

This is how deeper friendships are formed. Oftentimes, you help the other person, 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!

The Ten Elephant Cuddle

Childhood, Mental Health, Parenting, Relationships 2 Comments »


Me cuddling the boys, drawn by Eldest for Mothers’ Day

We are a cuddly bunch in our house.  We are happiest lying like a pride of lions: limbs strewn, hair tousled, comfy clothes on, not any set agenda.

Three out of four of us would take an afternoon nap any day of the week.  The remaining one doesn’t mind watching/doing something quietly while the other three indulge (in whatever combination); and he’s quite partial to someone stroking his feet 😉 When he was under five, he would nap for two straight hours, so he understands our energy dips!

We (well, the boys and I, mostly…) can also be very LOUD and EMOTIONAL and CRAZY, but a hug has magic properties!  Even if one of us is still full of RAGE and not ready to calm straight down, a hug lets them know another person cares.  That they are still part of the family.

Our unit’s members might get really FRUSTRATED and GRUMPY and just plain FED UP with each other at times, but they still love each other fiercely.  Maybe a little too fiercely, hence the arguments…!

The boys adore me. 

Me and Eldest, joined by ‘heartstrings’

They love stroking my tummy and telling me how every stretchmark was made by their tiny selves (and that I have a ‘food baby’ in there – once I’ve eaten and it isn’t flat!). 

Both boys were breastfed (Youngest ‘still’ is) so they see breasts as wonderous things that kept them full as babies (Eldest self-weaned at 10 months) and still help Youngest feel comforted when he is hurt, ill or tired. 

They love stroking my arms, counting the moles on my legs (!) – and Youngest quite often feels compelled to “kiss oo buniwins betta”, even though I have tried to discourage him maaaany times from putting his mouth near my feet…!

The boys especially love it when they are allowed to mess my hair up (I must add that is quite often, because I walk a lot of miles, and I’m usually windswept anyway) and they always exclaim that the resulting styles make me look even prettier than I had done – before kissing my nose or cheek (or elbow.  Youngest is going through a very cute phase).

We can have a really packed day, with many exciting things going on, and yet the boys will always cite “cuddles!” as one of their favourite take aways.  We usually ask them around bedtime what they had enjoyed the most, and hugs are even on a par with visiting Santa, searching for Easter eggs or going to a party!

Bedtime, as all you parents out there can probably attest to, is when their little hearts are unburdened the most.  Around the story book shared, their own stories and emotions tumble out.  Sometimes it can be an obvious ploy to delay the light snapping off, but most of the time it is something they have carried with them all day (sometimes all week) and they feel comfortable enough with their parent to finally share. 

Brushing them off at these moments can be devastating,  No matter how hungry/impatient/tired/all of this I feel, I have learned that they need to feel heard and that everything is going to be ok because they aren’t alone, they are part of your team, and you are there for them whenever they need it.

I read an article a while back (not sure if it was this one?) about how it takes at least six seconds to really register a hug, so I came up with the “Ten Elephant Cuddle” for Eldest (as Youngest was still small and getting prolonged/breastfed hugs a lot, anyway).  It started a few months into Primary one, I think, just as I was hearing more sadness and worries from Eldest at bedtime, and the social competition was starting to bite from his class. No matter how ARRRRGH things had been during the day, we looked forward to it!

Eldest had to put his arms tight around my neck, and I had to put my arms right around his whole body, and I would count with him:

1 el-e-phant

2 el-e-phant…

We would usually go past 10 and he would still be holding me.  When he finally let me go, he’d give me a big sleepy smile and look like a weight had been taken from him.  It was so worth it.

Since the boys had that tummy bug the week before Easter, Youngest has been falling asleep in his own bed more often.  He was eager to do the “Ten Elephant Cuddle” but one evening started to say ‘Crocodile’ instead. 


Now the boys choose what animal they want to use to count with, and a few times nonsense words like ‘Helipop’ are used instead!  I find it incredibly sweet that Eldest usually plumps for ‘Elephant’, however.  It really shows he loves our wee ritual – he always gives me a conspiring smile!

I explained our tradition to my mum pal over our café meet on Monday, and she tried it with her daughters that night. Apparently they all enjoyed it, too (‘cupcakes’ featured in theirs, I’m told!). 

It really is a lovely way to bond with the kiddies.  Let me know if you try it and – of course – what they chose to count in!!



Further reading about the science behind a good hug: here and especially the third comment down on here


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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!