Sunday 28 November 2010

Duty of care?

Sign in most supermarket car parks

'we take no responsibility for any damage to your car'

OK fair enough, it's not their fault if someone reverses into me....but it is their responsibility if the trolley man, damages my car.

You with me so far?

Is it the supermarkets responsibility, if my car is broken into?...No...but if they are aware of a string of break ins, surely they have a duty of care to notify me of this?

In most cases they do, they're not taking responsibilty for a break in, but they are warning me to take due care.

So airlines? What is your duty of care?

Hubby put spare laptop and camcorder in baggage to fly home from South Africa with Qatar airlines, business class. At Heathrow, bag drops onto conveyor belt, it is open and said items are missing. Assumption made...bag xrayed in J'burg, bag marked, lock broken as bag is on route to plane and contents stolen. Who's fault is it? ... Hubbies of course, the small print says to keep valuables in hand luggage and not pack in suitcase. We all know that.

But, when making complaint at Qatar desk in UK, who have taken responsibilty for ensuring his luggage is put on the plane and reaches the same destination as him, at the same time (if bag is delayed airline will re-emberse costs incurred) he is informed by the man at the desk. Sir, this problem is common flying from South Africa...did you read the small print? There in lies the duty of care, which I believe they failed in...What is the point of telling him after he arrives back in the UK, minus the contents.

And, what made it worse was the bloke next to him was making a claim for damage to his suitcase that was caused during handling en route to the plane and they were falling over backwards to assist him with a claim.

Friday 26 November 2010

One week later

As you probably all know by now, cos I'm sooo excited and telling everyone, we are emigrating to South Africa. We are due to fly out on January 3rd. This time last week I left hubby at Heatrow airport to fly out to meet the team and organise schools, house etc. All with full support from HR, he flew business class and stayed in a good hotel. He was collected and returned every day and all appointments were set up for him. The children are now enrolled in a lovely school, we have a short list of houses and all the paperwork is in place for the visas. I drove to heathrow this morning to collect him and we are now home, having had a Chinese for Tea and the boys are away till Sunday night.
And relax.......

But here's what happened behind the scenes. I'm not asking hubby for recognition for all mentioned below and he has told me many a time that he couldn't do it without me. But if I hear one more time...''ll all get done' one more time, I'll scream.

Saturday and Sunday decorators in to do two bedrooms, but where does the furniture go and the paint get stored? my bedroom and the landing, that's where. Where are the kids? here for me to look after, there's a football match Sunday afternoon and ironing and homework and a food shop to do.

Monday to Friday I'm working..full time in a busy and stressful job at the best of times. But I have to stop work several times to do the following.

Answer calls from South Africa, send emails to South Africa, contact current schools, email information, decipher faxes sent via email (actually sent it to @mediocre_mum who then read it out to me over skype)send faxes to South Africa, via the lovely Helen in the office as shes the only one that knows of hubbies transfer, whose fax machine is broken and then only 8 of 11 sheets arrive (twice) order carpet for bedroom after flood last week, rearrange work to be in when carpet is laid. Stop for football training (emergency call to coach to take and return son) empty lounge of all furniture, dining room and conservatory now doubling as storage and out of bounds. Put furniture back in bedrooms re hang curtains (with help from ex husband) Dental appointment. Up to this point I had spent most of the week in tears then I drove car into school wall after dropping son off and sat and just laughed at the stupidity of it all.
The lovely Emily came to clean today (the rooms she could actually get into) while I drove to Heathrow arriving as planned as plane landed, to wait over an hour in arrivals as hubbies suitcase was broken into on route and my laptop and camcorder was stolen. I have copies of photos stored on it, but really not happy with 8yrs worth of family pics now in the hands of someone else.

So that's it.....I'm tired, hubby is tired...did I mention he flew business class though. Child free weekend..and no...decorators in at 9am and we have all the immigration forms to sign and decide where we are going to live...oh and several trips to the tip adn the kitchen to empty as the decorators will be ready to start work on it on monday.

Sunday 21 November 2010


Spending most nights awake now with my brain spinning and lists forming about the move to South Africa. All I want is a date then I can set the wheels in motion. In the meantime, I'm just trying to keep on top of the mess. We have decorators in, there was a leaky radiator to sort so add buy new carpet to my ever ending list. I want the go ahead from Hubbies company so I can confirm the packers and movers and get them in early to start boxing stuff up as we decorate, sort and pack stuff we're taking with us. I need time to sell the rest of the junk.
Anyone want to buy a car, 3 bikes, trampoline, garden equipment...the lists goes on and on and on.

Fame? What's it all about?

Taking 15yo son to school this week I asked him what people are saying about Cher Lloyd in Malvern.

He asked me 'What do you mean?'

I said 'Well are people excited about it?'

His response 'Nah not really, everyone was going on about it when she first went on the show, but not anymore.'

Cher lives in the next street to us. There are two secondary schools for Malvern. Dyson Perrins and The Chase. Cher and her brother have been at both schools. I've had kids at both schools also.

It's a small town...I've only been here 8 years but it's like most places everyone knows everyone and as everyone knows Cher, noone is phased by it.

I did ask my son how he thought people would react if Matt or Katie were to move to the area. He said everyone would be why aren't the locals doing the same with Cher? After all, all Celebs are local to somewhere and everyone there knows them.

Wednesday 17 November 2010

Why your teenager needs a cuddle.

We all need loving and we all love in return. We display our love in many ways and depending on who we are giving love to depends on how we show it.

My 11 year old stills comes in our room in the mornings and snuggles up on the bed....we're not stupid he comes in to get the sky remote, but still gets his cuddles.

The 18 year old has left home and has a girlfriend so obviously gets his cuddles, just not off his mum.

The 15 year old is too young for a proper girlfriend and is too old for cuddles with his mum, although I do get a quick hug when he goes to school its not the same as a proper cuddle.

Maybe this is why we have so many issues with him in regards to his behaviour. He just doesn't feel the love.

What do you think?

Tuesday 16 November 2010

Teenagers- The best way to tackle behaviour

I offered advice tonight in reply to a tweet about managing their teenagers defient behaviour. I realised I wasn't just talking from experience but talking from the point as a Mother thats not only been there and done that but as a Mother that has openingly asked for help and received great advice from friends and family and from twitter and I'd like to share some of the things that have worked for me, and worked well.

dont send a child away to grandparents.......she'll think shes getting away with it...

teenagers dont view things the same way we do...if i change my mind they dont see it as a victory or that youve backed down

pick your arguments carefully and when you say no...see it through to the end......we've just had to replace a door that the 15 yo

punched and kick in a row over the xbox, hes been docked £3 a week pocket money taking the money all in one go would have made

it worse...we talked about it 2 days later and he understood why i had banned the xbox and why he was paying for the door

dont tackle them when they are angry wait till things have calmed down take her out somewhere and discuss it she wont see it as a

a reward for negative behaviour as teenagers forget things and move on much quicker than adults..there endenth the lesson

always tackle a child about behaviour at least 24hrs later once they move on...thats my motto everything inbetween is damage limitation

we move on really quick and as you know from my blog and tweets it gets really bad here sometimes

Thursday 4 November 2010


Yesterday I joined in with the hastag (#) game #tweetyour16yearoldself I made one posting then thought of a million more.

I stopped after two (see below)

#tweetyour16yearoldself white stilettos with skinny jeans will NEVER be in fashion

#tweetyour16yearoldself dont sleep with him he's not going to talk to you tomorrow let alone be your boyfriend

when I realised that I wouldn't give myself any other advice than the route I took.

It has made me what I am today. But I live in fear that one day someone may

Wednesday 3 November 2010

Gadgets and kids

It's my own fault, 90% of the rows in this house revolve around the kids and their gadgets.
I violate my childrens human rights when I ban the use of xbox, internet or mobile phones.
WTF is going on?

Welcome to the real world

In reality, most women go to work, either for finacial reasons, for the love of their job or in most cases to meet adults and get out of the house once the children develop greater independence.

This is not meant to challenge and I acknowledge every family situation is different. I am also speaking from the point of view of the Mother as the Primary Care giver.
Sadly these days, we meet someone, we have children with them and often end up a single parent or divorced as the children get older.

You're not the first person to become a Mummy, you're not the first person to have dreams and aspire for great things for your child, you're not the first person to want more from life.

But, I'm afraid to say you can't have it all. Once a parent always a parent but you are still you and you will make mistakes.

And if I hear one more bloody time today the attitude.... I'd do anything for my kids....of course you would, we all would. Stop trying to be perfect, stop judging other peoples children by your standards, cos once your children get exposed to the real world, the world outside of your control, they will change, influences greater than yours will take over.

So sit back, enjoy this time as it's all going to change and you may not like the choices they make and I hope to god the next generation of 'Mummies' don't frown upon you in the same way.

Tuesday 2 November 2010

Would you get the message?

Despite several emails and phone calls asking Vodafone to come to an arrangement with me to end my contract a year early due to us emigrating, only found out in September, they keep sending me the standard reply.

Today I lost my patience with them and this is a copy of the email I sent them. Do you think they'll get the message this time?

Thank you for taking the time to reply. I know what I can do and how to do it, as I am a grown up. The whole point of the email is that I believe Vodafone have no understanding of why people may NEED to cancel their contracts after 10 years continious custom. I am assuming that should I die you would also impose the same conditions on the account. Please don't bother to reply with the same information unless it differs from what is in the email below, what is written on my initial contract, what is available on line and what your call centre told me. I was hoping you could come to an arrangement with me taking into consideration the length of time I have remained a loyal customer and the fact that I am not moving to another service provider, nor do I want my PUK code or any other code from you.

FYI I have not had any issues with either SKY, Car & Home Insurance, BT Broadband, phone & Vision with which I am also in a contract with.

Monday 1 November 2010

Have you emigrated?

There is too much to do and no time to do it in. Despite handing my notice in with both my jobs and leaving work mid December, it will all be too late then. We are probably going to South Africa in late December/early January, but it is NOW that I need the time off.

Do you realise that to arrange for 1 estate agent to come round takes a phone call, then rearrange work commitments, be in the house at least 2hrs before they arrive to tidy. The appointment takes approx 1-2 hrs to show them round and go through the T&C's. The removal quote alone took 90 minutes this morning. And guess what?, none of them are able to come on the same day, so more diary juggling.

When D day does arrive the removeral firm will do all the packaging, the estate agents will either continue to market the house or find us some tennants and for 10% each month of the rent will manage it all and collect payments.

I need the time off work now, to sort and clear some of the crap out. It's a 6 bed house, only 2 kids left at home and several car boot sales already done, there's still an awful lot of stuff left to do.

Does anyone want to buy a car? 3 bikes? Garden furniture? Lawn mowers? White goods?

And would anyone like to help me with my students and assessing their NVQ's in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools? Would really like to get them all finished by the 10th December or at least have their folders up to date so a colleague can just step straight in.

And as for schools and rent and work that can all wait till be get t there, when ever that may be.


15yo son gave me his school report, he's had it since the end of term and 'forgot' I anticipated the worse or he would have given it to me earlier. No, I was wrong, had to double check I'd been given the right one.

The school claim he is at fault for his behaviour and he needs to address his issues and just issue sanctions in regards to his negative and disruptive behaviour.

This only occurs in Maths and Science and the school, despite numerous meetings, failt o acknowledge his reasonable average behaviour in his other lessons.

My suggestion was that after 4 years of the same teachers in these subjects that maybe a change of face may help....N, the school know best and can't swop teachers around to suit each child.

Behaviour, effort and homework last 4 years 3's and 4' (needs to improve and unacceptable)

Half a term with new teachers in MAths and Science and he has 1's for excellent in both subjects and the 3's he had in other areas have now improved to a 2, satisfactory.

Not going to bother pointing this out to the school as they will only claim they did it on purpose.