Gin-Spired – Dream House

Lorna is back, after an extended break with her prompt for a post.

This time she gives us the words DREAM HOUSE.

What a great prompt!

It is extremely apt at the moment for me, as I am up to my ears in junk that is being Marie Kondo-ed the heck out of! I look around our abode and wonder why we kept things, why we haven’t fixed things, and when we are going to get our act together.

You see, if things were cleared up/fixed up/extended slightly, this place would be our dream house.

We have a lovely garden, space to extend and it is in such a convenient location, close to town and work. Close to villages and farm life as well as being within easy reach of the city lights of London. It is a cul de sac, no through road, so there aren’t many cars speeding past and undesirables wandering around. We have the spiritual sanctity of the Gurdwara on our doorstep.

But… When we moved in, the kitchen was fitted rather shoddily. A fact that didn’t become apparent until much later, as it started to show that certain parts hadn’t been fixed correctly, one screw used where two should have been, cupboard doors coming loose, plugs messed up… all sorts.

The house had been freshly carpeted by the previous owners and painted and plastered. It looked wonderful.

Except the carpet was cream. And we had two kids.

So fast forward to know, it is kinda grubby grey in most areas, unless you look under longstanding items of furniture, where the brilliance of the original cream shines out!

And the walls: well they were plastered with something substandard, and corners hadn’t been fitted with the proper corner piece that they should have been, so there are gouges in the walls, and things like curtain poles that should stay up, decide to give up as the plaster doesn’t want to hold anything, and crumbles…

The bathrooms have awful ventilation so, despite windows being left open, bleaching and scrubbing happening regularly, the black grout mould has taken residence. And there appears to be a leak somewhere under the shower tray in the second bathroom, that has rotted the skirting boards, and most recently, the door frame, so much that the hinge has now come away, and splintered the wood…

So many issues.

Why are we still here?

Why haven’t we sorted them all out?

Because there are plans afoot.

The hope is to get someone in to quote on a possible extension and loft conversion.

It could mean larger rooms for the children, and a guest bedroom or suite.

I may even get my creative room, with desk space and lots of shelving and storage for my books and stationery!

All that and we’d still have the convenience of where we are.

That would be my dream home

Of course, if it is going to cost way too much, or they can’t deliver, we’ll be looking to patch this place up as best we can, and start looking at a bigger home.

Then I’ll dream of what else I could get…

For Lorna’s Gin-Spiring Post prompt.

Lorna’s Gin-spiring Prompt #10 – Time Warp #Ginspired

The lovely Lorna over at Gin & Lemonade With A Twist Blog has started a new writing prompt.

She hasn’t named her challenge, so I have – Lorna’s Gin-spiring Prompt!


This week, we have the word: Time Warp

I have never watched the Rocky Horror Picture Show.


Image result for rocky horror picture show

I would love to, but it’s one of those shows that I’ve never been close enough to the venue to watch, or there haven’t been the right people to go with when I have.

I haven’t even caught it on TV when it has been playing.


I do know the TIME WARP!

I suspect everyone of a certain age knows the TIME WARP song and moves.

In fact, at the school disco last week, the DJ was also a lady of a certain age, and she knew that there were adults there (aka teachers) along with the tots who wanted Little Mix etc.

So, as she watched us bopping along with the Teeny Bopper majority, she decided to spin a tune for us too, blasting the TIME WARP out for us, doing the actions to teach/remind others, so we all had a great boogie!

There were some strange looks from the younger teaching contingency and the kids, but who cares! We were having fun! It was our disco too, you know! As a teacher, your social life is somewhat limited during term time, so this was our time to let our school marm hair down!

And we did!

The Macarena followed – had to be done!

Now, I don’t want you to think I am stuck in a musical TIME WARP…

I love music of the now, as well as the past, as I have to listen to the developing tastes of my kids, being exposed to more modern rap/pop/grime etc. I must admit, I don’t like it all but I’m aware, and you all know that I mastered The Floss last year too. See! Down with the kids, that’s me!

And because I am so ‘with it’ we are off to see Little Mix in Concert net year, and we are also going to the Jingle Bell Ball this year!

But I still haven’t found someone to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show with…


Lorna’s Gin-spiring Prompt #9 – Home #Ginspired

The lovely Lorna over at Gin & Lemonade With A Twist Blog has started a new writing prompt.

She hasn’t named her challenge, so I have – Lorna’s Gin-spiring Prompt!


This week, we have the word: Home


That’s where the heart is, isn’t it?

Where is my heart?

A huge part of it is here, where I am right now, sitting in the first home we bought together as a couple. The first home for our family.

But then, when I go to visit my parents, I always say I am going home for the weekend, or however long.

Because home isn’t a specific place.

It’s a thought.

it’s a feeling.

It’s love.


Lorna’s Gin-spiring Prompt #8 – Roadtrip #Ginspired

The lovely Lorna over at Gin & Lemonade With A Twist Blog has started a new writing prompt.

She hasn’t named her challenge, so I have – Lorna’s Gin-spiring Prompt!


This week, we have the word: Roadtrip

We’ve embarked upon some interesting road trips in our time.

I’m not talking about cross-country overseas trips, though we’ve made a few of those too in Kenya, on holiday when I was younger. I mean the general UK based ones of my childhood.

Those were the days, pre-seatbelt Nazi time. When no-one batted an eyelid if eight people slowly appeared out of a Mini Cooper. Perfect for those HUGE Indian families, anyway!

Our family was a conservative two adults, two children nuclear family, and we had our one car. There was no need for more. And when we had visitors, we’d just squash in!

I remember countless long drives from Birmingham to London and back when my brother and I would take turns to choose songs on the tape deck, and my mum would have to be the DJ, slowly rewinding, or forwarding the cassette to the right song. If it was late, one of us would lay across the seat, and the other along the footwell, so we could stretch out. I remember sometimes, as a toddler, laying across the back shelf too.

It was even better when my dad had his Citroen hatchback. You could remove the back shelf and deposit children in there too! We even had a special large cushion that my mum had made, complete with Mickey Mouse cover, that would sit at the bottom of the boot, so we were comfy! When my aunt and uncle visited with their two daughters, Pops would drive and my uncle sat at the front.

Pre-hatchback, my aunt and mum would sit at the back. Us three girls would be on laps of the middle of the seat at the back with them, and my brother on my uncle’s lap. When he whined or wanted mummy, he’d be passed through the front seat gap to the back and would swap with one of us. All exchanges happening in a moving car!

Post-hatchback, we would argue about who sat at the back, because it was actually quite fun to be in the boot! Who needed pets, when you had four children to cage in the back?!

We’d sing songs, play Eye-spy, gossip and giggle, or if I was feeling more serious, I’d read. There were the obligatory shouts of “Are we there yet?” but we knew we were being annoying. Mum would have packed a handy bag full of snacks and drinks too, motorway snacks were far too expensive!

Pops was a trooper and still is. We would make the trips to and from London in one day, and on occasion, if we had been invited to more than one function, there would be multiple trips there and back in a single weekend.

He sure loves driving too. When I was at studying at Kingston University, and my brother in Bournemouth, he would make triangle trips from Birmingham to Kingston, to Bournemouth, then back to Birmingham, in one day. No mean feat!

And when I was married and had my children, he didn’t want me to drive all the way to Birmingham from Kent – three hours – alone with a baby so he would make the six-hour round trip, starting at 6 am, so he’d be with me by 9 am, then after a quick refresh at my in-laws house, where I then lived, he’d pack up our stuff for a week-long trip back home, and drive back. We’d be with my mum in time for lunch.

He’d still do it now if he could, but his age and sight mean that I wouldn’t let him risk such long journeys in a day.

I know there are pictures of us, piled into the boot of the car somewhere, but they are back in Brum somewhere, in a box of old photos… One day I may find them!

Nowadays, the car is piled with stuff for our maximum capacity of five people car, with four travelling in it. The kids each have some device to keep them occupied. Lil Princess quite likes a notebook to sketch in. We still have the drinks and snacks – a must!

There aren’t many calls for certain songs as they have their playlists on their phones. But when there are, the song is there at our fingertips with these streaming apps and educated cars that play music straight from your phones. They tell us how long we’ll be, using Google Maps to chart the journey. And forget being sandwiched between five other people in the back, like we used to travel… If they even touch fingertips, they scream blue murder!

Our journeys used to be such fun. Kids nowadays don’t have a clue!

And I’ve not even touched upon the days in Kenya, speeding through the Rift Valley, still squished, sticking to the leather seats in the heat, stopping for breaks at breathtaking spots, and arriving, hot and sticky, at our destination, or when we got to stand at the back of the pick up trucks, holding on for our dear lives as the vehicle dodged the potholes, screaming with joy at the exhilarating vibes of the journey.

Those were the days…

Thanks, Lorna for helping me to reminisce!


Lorna’s Gin-spiring Prompt #7 – Prep #Ginspired

The lovely Lorna over at Gin & Lemonade With A Twist Blog has started a new writing prompt.

She hasn’t named her challenge, so I have – Lorna’s Gin-spiring Prompt!


This week, we have the word: Prep

When I was at school, I used to have a prep book.

What was prep?

Well, in my school, which was an independent institution (Private), homework was referred to as prep.

I wondered why it was called prep, rather than homework, so did a little research.

Obviously, the class connotations are there. The boarding and private schools tend to use the term prep, whereas your regular state schools say homework.

See, posh I am! 😉

Then there was a whole debate on what the terms meant.

Nowadays they do essentially mean the same thing, but if you dig back, Prep – short for Preparation work, would be getting ready for the next stage of learning – because as a boarder, you wouldn’t be going home to work, as you stayed at school!

Homework is work that has been sent home to consolidate the learning that has already taken place.

Makes sense, really, doesn’t it!

I actually hadn’t thought of the term ‘prep’ for years, but the last book I read, ‘The Art Of Hiding’, by Amanda Prowse, was about a woman whose life is turned upside down when her husband dies and leaves her and their sons reeling, not only by his demise but with the news that they are actually bankrupt. Her sons are forced to go from an extremely expensive private school to a local comprehensive school.

The eldest son is really upset, as he asked about what prep they would have for that night and he had the mickey taken out of him by the rest of his classmates.

At school now, we definitely don’t assign prep, but homework.

Strange how words that mean the same can have such different connotations…


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