Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Trains station!

I feel like my home will be a crazy trains station this afternoon.. is is at the best of times, but timing this avy will be interesting!!!

I saw parents last night who need care for 2 days... they asked when I'd need an answer by and I said I didn't want to apply pressure, but I was seeing someone else today and she is needing the same days and 1 extra, and that I would take first come, first serve... they then phoned me when they'd got home (obviously had a good natter about me in the car! ) and the mum would like to spend this avy with me so she can see how her child is with the others. No prob, she is welcome... but she needs to leave by 4pm when the next prospective parent arrives with her little one... and then my sil from Kent is coming at 5pm to spend the night (last minute arrangement.. what do I do with her whilst I am interviewing/being interviewed by prospective parent? The kids don't know her at all either)... so I need to find time to cook tea for the kids and the pork chops for her and hubby and me, plau hostess to sil, take care of new parents questions, oh, and look after teh childminded kids too

I just told hubby... 'Please get home asap tonight!'
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Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Dad 's cremation

As it turns out, his brothers are not arranging the private cremation, my brother is. There will be no service as he was pretty much a hermit the last decade or so, only had his gf (a bit of a wild one at that!).

I'll give you a little background.

He has had such trouble from my father the last few years, as he is the only sibling left in South Africa. Some of you know he sued us 4 kids for maintenance at the beginning of 2007... a seemingly weird law in SA. Note he never paid maintenance his entire life to us... he has hardly been in our life and played no role, except when he wanted something and then he switched to *your father needs help* mode. My mum (bless her) never turned him away.

We have never felt obligated to help him as kids as he has never been a dad, but we did feel it was our Christian duty to help a man in need... as we would anyone. For the last 5 years we have been paying for a funeral policy, paid for all his food and monthly supplies, and extra things he needed, like a walker.

He sued us because he wanted to have us pay for a full-time carer for him and he didn't want the food delivered, he wanted CASH. And we weren't keen to feed his smoking and drinking habits! The judge (and his own lawyer!) thought the claim was ridiculous and we have just continued with our old arrangement.

He had gone into hospital for a blocked intestine, which they unblocked, and they then saw what a terrible state his insides were. He had advanced lung disease (thanks to the many ciggies he has smoked since a teen), and his kidneys were nigh on failing (thanks to his alcohol prob).

He has used a walker for the last year or so, as he looked about 85. Amazing what smoking and drinking does to you. He is proof of that. I went to my gruncles (great uncle) 80th birthday bash last weekend and he and his pals look younger than him - shows what a healthy and good life does for you.

So I am not mourning the loss of a dad (as crass as that may seem to some of you), for he never was one. But I mourn the loss of a human being and mourn the fact he wasted his life, and what never was. He was very clever and would have gone far... both his brothers are multi-millionaires... and he let his habits and rubbish lifestyle waste his life away. He missed out on getting to know 4 fab kids and doesn't know he has 3 grandkids and one on the way.

So there you have it. Loads more to share, he really was a rotter :(

Sunday, 27 July 2008

I am battling

My head and heart are battling at the mo. I feel such immense sadness and pity for a man - my biological father - who never knew his kids or grandkids.

I'll be OK, it'll just take a little time. Got to realise that things can never change now and that 'sorry' will never be said. I have a very close family (even tho we are on 3 different continents) otherwise and an amazing hubby and those are things I cling onto x

Saturday, 26 July 2008

My dad

What with hubby's birthday this week, and then the lovely inspection news, my week ended with a bang. My dad died yesterday. He was 62

I am feeling pretty numb at the mo.

He is in Johannesburg. He left my mum, sibs and I when we were really young (4 kids under 6 yrs), so I do not know him very well. Never paid maintenance, lived for his booze, ciggies and women. The only time we heard from him was when he was causing trouble. You can catch my drift I am sure. Thankfully we have a ROCK of a mum, who is one of my closest friends.

I won't be going to the service, there is no point. He was my biological father but never a dad.

But then why do I feel so bally crappy?

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

My inspection bits and bobs

So I had my first grading inspection on Tuesday.. and was bowled over to be graded *outstanding*!!! I know the parents and kids are happy with everything, but I never expected that grading. It has given me extra confidence... and lets me know that all those late nights and weekends spent planning, assessing etc. etc. were not for nought

It started off in typical fashion... my little boy has not made a poo in his pants for 6 weeks.. and decides to do one JUST AS THE BUZZER rang.. the inspector! hehe.. so her 'hellos' to the kids were in the bathroom. She obviously is super with kids and they warmed to her immediately. She signed my Visitor Book at the door.

A few things stood out...

She was impressed E (turns 3 next month) knew the fire drill well, and through the morning answered questions with her prompting - about what fruit I give him, what colour etc. She was clever in the way she asked him questions to find out if I did the things I say I do in my portfolio. She said she picks up very quickly if someone has put something out just for the inspection... and she could see the kids were happy and familiar with everything. My 1 year old knew what snails etc were... yay!

I did a colouring activity using a variety of media... and then we brought in the wire duck from outside and 'pruned' it and watered it. She LOVED this. It is a wire duck in a flower pot from B&Q, with a shrub growing inside.. and you prune it so the shrub will be in the shape of a duck. It was a hot day and the duck was thirsty so we had to water it of course.

She loved the fact it mirrored our theme this month (farm animals), plus I was bringing the outside in. I do not have my own garden, so think this is quite important for the kids. We do have a large, mature communal garden which we love playing in. (Hubby is reading this over my shoulder and I do feel I should mention it was HIS idea to get the duck when we were lavender at B&Q)

When it was time for a snack E said 'Can I have an aeroplane again?' I explained to her that the day before, I had given him his grapes in a bowl and they had fallen in the shape of an aeroplane... he saw this, not me.. and it was not deliberate, it was his super little imagination He then bit a grape on the side and said 'I have just eaten a wing!' haha.

So I made up a bowl of carrots and grapes and this time cheated a bit, winking at her... and placed the grapes in the shape of an aeroplane... his eyes lit up The inspector loved this.

Little K had put her 'babies' (the dolls) to bed with a blanket over them and she commented on this too. She loved the big beaded necklace K was wearing and liked the fact I make jewellery and get the kids involved in making pieces too.

I did the home boxes at the front door, and put the kids labelled suncream, hats, individual artwork etc. in them.

I have made a start on my EYFS observations and she loved what I have done so far and gave some helpful pointers. She said planning and assessments were great. (They are BIG on their admin!). She checked that all the attendance register/permission slips etc. were signed.

She had a good look around everywhere except the main bedroom (the bed WAS made in case she should venture in!) and did not ask to see my first aid kit.

She commented on the lightness of the rooms, lack of smell, and that I had used the interior space well.

Loads more thinking about it, but that's a few things!
Keen to see her report!

Tuesday, 22 July 2008


I have had my grading inspection today, where I received the grading of *OUTSTANDING* in all five areas of care on my report!!! To say I am over the moon is an understatement!

The judgements included in the report are made in relation to the outcomes for children set out in the Children Act 2004; the National Standards for under 8's day care and childminding. I am so excited! All the hard work has paid off :)

Kudos to the kids who were delightful on the day and remembered that they went down the stairs and not the lift on our fire drill

Am so relieved. A lot to live up to and maintain standards, but am so relieved it is over.

And if I ever see another policy..... hehe

Monday, 21 July 2008


It is crucial for the development of your child, that you and I work closely together and have excellent communication between us at all times. I have an 'open door' policy regards communication.

If your child is feeling poorly/had an upset the night before, is wetting his bed and doesn’t usually etc. please do confide occurances with me so I know what is going on in his/her life. I can then look after and support him/her accordingly. In partnership with mum and dad, this is easily achievable.

I need to know:
~ any allergies and/or medical conditions your child has
~ foods that she/he particularly likes or dislikes
~ favourite toys, comfort items, activities or books
~ sleeping patterns
~ special words for things

At the start of the day, please don’t forget to mention anything that might affect your child’s mood or behaviour, such as a bad night’s sleep. It is also a good idea for us to
chat regularly about the progress of your child.

Friday, 18 July 2008

Happy birthday Madiba!

Nelson Mandela turns 90 today - what an inspiration to us all!
You can leave your birthday message for him here:

I was so embarressed this morning!

I blubbed at the dentist today. I had a filling done, my wisdom tooth chipped yesterday whilst eating. The dentist, bless him, was so concerned, asking if I was hurt and what had he done wrong! The thing is, he had done nothing wrong. It was just me.

3 years ago I had a tooth chip when eating food (a pattern it seems, the wisdom on the other side of the mouth, also lower jaw!). I have always had excellent teeth, and had the same dentist in Joburg all my life, was never concerned visiting the dentist, till I went to an NHS dentist in London, for said chipped tooth.

Instead of giving me a filling after numbing me... she yanked it out SANS numbing me. I was in agony, clenching the sides of the chair etc. She just kept saying 'it'll be over soon, do not worry'. Very uncaring and matter-of-fact. She made me feel so stupid too for getting upset re the pain :(

I immediately looked for another (private!) dentist and found a wonderful South African one in Wimbledon. He is such a super man, gentle and caring.. yes, he charges more, but he does a proper job, and is in the business to SAVE teeth! I went to him for a check up last year and all was fine.

Then I went this am to sort out chipped tooth, and started crying on the chair. What a woes hey. I was shaking for half an hour after too. He was so caring and chatted about what he was doing to calm me. I told him about my previous traumatic experience.

He said he used to do NHS work but felt he wasn't giving his patients the right treatment and care as he was supposed to only use certain (cheaper) materials etc. and yanking a tooth out is cheaper than treating it.

So £104 later, emptier pocket but calmer me! :)

Latest travels!

We visited the tranquil and green Lake District area in July 2008 for a week. We stayed in a gorgeous self catering cottage in Bouth, a small village about 20 minutes from Windermere. When you look out the old cottage window all you see are rolling fields, sheep and some distant cows.

Bliss :)

We relaxed, read, braaied, went on walks, sailed, fished, ate good food, visited Beatrix potter's farm home, and visited Muncaster Castle and the spectacular owls at the Owl Sanctuary!

Thursday, 17 July 2008


I am keen on recycling and this means using products that would otherwise be binned! Teaching children about recycling and how they, in their small way, can help the environment, is very important.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Going home

I am a South African lass living in England - my blog is about my travels and experiences living away from home, plus has loads of info about my home country.

What I have come to realise (having been away for 6 years) is that both countries have good and bad... and it's no good to wear pink tinted glasses about either country, but to get on with living!

I am returning home in 2 years time... and even though that is where my heart is... it'll be very difficult as I have a good business in London, hubby is settled in his job, we have a lovely home etc.

BUT back we will go, because that is where our heart is. They might not have amazon, nor have all the creature comforts we are used to now, but it has sunshine and smiles and so much more in other ways.

Monday, 7 July 2008

Music of life

Music, dance and singing is fundamental in the development of a child I feel. I have a bongo drum, a tamborine, bells, a shaker, egg shakers, a rain maker and a xylaphone. I have some fun children’s CDs for background music, and music to dance along with! I also like to play classical background music at times whilst the children are at play. We do a lot of dancing, clapping, singing and laughing!