Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Frazzled by the Fringe

This is a bit out of order...I should have written this up before but have only just calmed down enough to do it.
On Saturday 4th August we decided to visit the Fringe on the spur of the moment. My idea. Gawd knows why as I do not do well with spur of the moment. I need to plan, make sure I know where I'm going, check out the reviews, figure out the best way to get there and make sure we have supplies for the long journey ahead.
Last year we went into Edinburgh to soak up the Fringe atmosphere. Kiddo was still in a pushchair which caused some arses to comment that kids should stay at home as they get in the way.
Back to this year. I duly check out the Fringe brochure and opted for Monsters Got Talent. However, when I went to book online, I was a bit taken aback by the 90p booking fee for EACH ticket which is added on top of the credit card fee . So we decide that we will instead go in and just go to the box office for our tickets. VERY BAD mistake. A long wait in the queue with a hyper child raised my blood pressure no end.
TIP: if you pre-order tickets, don't join this queue. You can go to the Information centre and print out your tickets from electronic machines. You have to be psychic as no sign tells you this.
TIP2: do not send hubby off to a theatre on the off chance of getting tickets while you stay in the queue with hyper child.
TIP3: THIS IS A SERIOUS ONE. Before parting with any money make sure you know where the venue was. When kiddo and I got to the counter, we were too late for Monsters Got Talent. So had to find another show. Which I mentioned to the booking person (I shan't use the term assistant as that would imply she would give assistance). Quick flick through and we chose Purves Puppets Nessie the Loch Ness Monster show. £8 each. As I couldn't reach hubby on the phone I bought the tickets. Only at this point was informed that I would need to get a taxi as the venue was quite far outside of the city centre. WHY not mention that before hand especially as refunds or exchange are not allowed.
So a quick dash outside to wait for hubby then another dash to find a taxi and then a lot of stressing on my part that this spur of the moment jaunt was becoming quite costly.
The show was OK. Kiddo said she enjoyed it however, I think a lot of it was beyond her understanding. I also felt that paying that amount of money to sit in a church hall and travel so far from the Fringe main area was not. In fact for me the best part of the day was the bus ride back to town through some really pretty areas of Edinburgh.
TIP4:  AVOID THE FRINGE unless you are spontaneous and happy to go with what happens, don't mind crowds or arses, know the city very well and are willing to queue for a long, long time!

Sun and flowers

What a difference a day made 
Twenty-four little hours 
Brought the sun and the flowers 
Where there used to be rain 

Beautifully sung by Dinah Washington, the lyrics are very apt right now. The sun came out, we managed to get out of the house and it's made a world of difference.
Yesterday we visited Potter Around in Kirknewton again so that kiddo could paint sun catchers while I caught up with some crochet. Unfortunately, I forgot the crochet so after a long look around the goods available to buy, I bought a small ball of yarn and sat down to crochet in the sun. The place is on a farm and seeing the fields behind the sun was extremely good for my soul.
The finishing touch was glitter on the suncatcher. Glitter makes everything OK.

Today was even more glorious so we took ourselves off to Edinburgh. A short train trip followed by a bus ride brought us to Edinburgh's Botanic Gardens. A lovely peaceful place. We wanted to sit on the grass to eat our sarnies but it was soaked so opted for a bench near the very impressive Glasshouse. We faced the really long 100 year old hedge which was 8 meters high!

The highlight of the day was the Chinese Hillside walk where you could see plants native to China. Kiddo particularly liked the waterfall and the pagoda. Mad nutter mum made a brief appearance here as kiddo refused to leave the pagoda and then later again while trying to get her to stop rolling around in front of Inverleith House. But as I walked around the gardens nutter mum was banished to a cupboard in my brain and I returned to being THAT nice mum again. The Gateway house is a fantastic building at the main entrance and a welcome haven from the hot sun.
We decided to visit Inverleith Park which is opposite the Gateway entrance to feed the ducks at the pond. The rain has made a mess of the fields so it was not easy to walk on the grass. However, we eventually arrived at the duck pond which is a bit grotty. Not worth leaving the botanic gardens (that have much nicer ponds). I was glad that we brought bird seed as a sign at the Inverleith Pond warned that bread is not very good for ducks etc.
After a quick play in the park we went back to the Gardens. After a quick visit to the gift shop which was interesting, we strolled back toward East Gate for the bus home. I am definitely going to return as I want to visit the Glasshouse but next time we will take a waterproof picnic blanket so we can enjoy a picnic in this lovely park.

New spiky tree with mature one in background

100 year old hedge

Monday, 6 August 2012

For tonight Matthew I'm going to be "That Mum"

Not THAT mum, the altogether one who happily bakes cakes, does loads of craft stuff, has a cheerful smile plastered to a her face (except when looking down on other mums, then it's the special condescending one), who drives kiddos to and fro and happily watches them at the park/softplay/swimming/crafting/friends/anywhere (delete as appropriate) and has to endure "Watch me mum, look at ME mum, mum, mum, MAMA, MUUUUUUM, mummy, mummummum" if she dares to look away for even a nano second.
I'm the well-past-midway-holiday mum who has no patience, cannot do any housework without constant interruptions, the one who has to supervise the kiddo lest she floods the house (what's the obsession with water?), has let countless cups of tea go cold, has to cope with the half a day it a takes to get kiddo out then faces the shopping trip to hell where said kiddo is so hyper that the dogs in the next county are barking.

If you are observant enough you can spot me. I'll probably be red faced with gritted teeth and crazy staring eyes. I'll no doubt be whispering promises of horrid punishments to the kiddo if she doesn't SHUT UP or CALM DOWN. If anyone who doesn't have kids tuts at me, I'm liable to run them over. I have sworn at the kiddo. Don't bother telling me that I should calm down, that it's not kiddo's fault or any of that. I know all that. But for tonight Matthew, I'm That mum. But tomorrow I'll be the other mum. The smiling one who loves her kiddo with all her heart and would die if any of the horrid things she thought today ever ever came to pass. Damn I'm gonna go give the little gal a huge hug now. Not her fault she has a nutter for a mama.

P.S. Teachers are bloody marvellous. I miss my kiddo's nursery teachers who were able to inspire her in art, drama and so many other ways. Marvellous. Why oh why did the term have to end?