The Dreaded PTA

As is tradition at our School the week before the School Fayre the children can come in on one day wearing non school Uniform. There is a charge of £1 for this or a donation of a Tombola prize and this year the letter home reminding us of this coincided with me emptying out the gift cupboard. There was a bagful of gifts that I couldn't find a use for (Giant remote control, perfume samples, gaudy head bands, unopened make up etc) and so we gave these to the School as well as the hamper that Interflora had given to me. We were unable to go and support the School Fayre this year as we were out for the day at Drayton Manor and so we had no idea if everything had gone well or not and if they had been able to use out donations to create some funds for the school or if the PTA was cursing us for all the junk I had donated.

Then last night after school one of the PTA who had taken the donations from me grabbed me before Top Ender had come out of school.

"Can I talk to you a minute, around the corner?" she asked me
"Of course!" I said rather too brightly "Can I just grab my children?" I added as Big Boy was making a break for it with the unexpected interruption to us waiting for Top Ender to exit her classroom.

Top Ender started chatting away to me as we walked round the corner and I felt like I was a condemned man walking. I racked my brains trying to think of what I had donated that had caused this member of the PTA to hunt me out after school and to take me somewhere discreet to talk about it. I suddenly swallowed thinking that maybe the rechargeable vibrator was in the bag and this is why she wanted to talk to me when suddenly she came to a stop in front of two more PTA members.

"This was the Lady with the hamper!" she said excitedly
"Thank you so much!" said a second lady
"It was a fantastic prize!" said a third
"We were so pleased when we saw it, couldn't believe it had been donated!" said the second lady

I couldn't believe it, there was me thinking I was going to be kicked out of the school and instead I was being thanked. I guess next time I won't dread my meeting with the PTA.

The one about the Mother In Law, the dry turkey and the new Boyfriend

My Mother In Law called last night to invite the family over for Christmas Dinner. Flyfour had answered the phone to her in a sudden rush of conscience knowing that a phone call at 9pm on a Tuesday evening couldn't be ignored as she would know we were in and the excuse that we had turned the sound down on the phone and so didn't hear it ring is wearing a bit thin. There was a small amount of small talk that I didn't pay any attention to having zoned out as soon as he had announced it was her calling but it was when I heard my name mentioned I started listening in to his side of the conversation.

I think Pippa has invited her Mum over or she would be on her own for Christmas.
Oh well that's nice that you would include her Mum.
I'll have to check with Pippa and what she has arranged.
Yes I will let you know.

Christmas Dinner, but not a dry one

When Flyfour got off the phone he let me know that my Mum was included with us in the offer of joining his Mum and her boyfriend for Christmas Dinner. I don't think in the ten years that Flyfour and I have been married that we have been invited over for Christmas Dinner. In fact I only remember being invited over once and even then it was an interesting meal with Turkey Roll that was dry and vegetables that were overdone. I don't think that my taste buds could take another assault like that one.

Then of course there is the issue of her boyfriend. My MIL's husband died less than a year ago, and it's not that I'm saying that she shouldn't have a boyfriend, or even that she should be dressed in black and weeping over her dead husbands grave on a daily basis but it just seems odd to me that she is ready to move on so quickly. To have the first Christmas without her second husband (Divorced the first, widowed by the second) to be the first Christmas with her new boyfriend and to want your family who has only been for dinner once in the last ten years to be there to witness it, it just seems a bit crass. It isn't just me is it?

I'm leaving it up to Flyfour what we do. I'm not making this decision just like I don't make any of the others.

A Poem To Memorise

When my parents were getting divorced someone sent me a poem by Philip Larkin to read.

Philip Larkin - This Be The Verse

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.

I don't know about you, but I think it's a poem for every generation.

Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

When I brought the Sweet Valley Book I also picked up Stephen Kings "Full Dark, No Stars" as part of the 2 for £8 offer in Tesco. At first glance I misunderstood and thought it was just one story where the four teasers on the back all played part of one story but I soon realised that it was actually several stories which had a common theme; That of committing a crime. I've been a Stephen King fan for several years, (thanks to my Mum who liked to watch Horror Movies and would let me watch some of the less scary ones with her) and spent a lot of time reading his back catalogue. Well, he did start writing books five years before I was born and that was about twenty years before I started reading them!

Full Dark No Stars by Stephen King

I had sworn off Stephen King for a while after reading Cell and a couple of other stories that made me have very vivid nightmares, but it has been about a year and I figured that I would be able to cope with the stories in the book. I was right, the tales haven't haunted me in the same way as Cell did or even the way that Duma Key did when I refused to play with a tennis ball at the beach in case there was a ghost ship ready to moor just off the sandbank.

The stories can be read in other places which is annoying as it turned out that I had already read a couple of them although it's my own fault for not reading the back of the book properly. So here for you is the back of the book;

What tips someone over the edge to commit a crime?

For a Nebraska farmer, the turning point comes when his wife threatens to sell off the family homestead.

A cozy mystery writer plots a savage revenge after a brutal encounter with a stranger.

Harry Streeter gets the chance to cure himself from illness - if he agrees to impose misery on an old rival.

And Darcy Anderson discovers a box containing her husband's dark and terrifying secrets - he's not just the man who keeps his nails short and collects coins. And now he's heading home...

The stories are typical Stephen King to my mind and it was the two stories featuring women (the second and the fourth) that had me most involved because of the motivation for the crimes that they commit. The book was read quickly (again in a couple of days) and has an rrp of £7.99 but will keep Stephen King fans happy.

London Eye - Wordless Wednesday

London Eye

Fireworks - Wordless Wednesday

Fireworks at Camp Bestival

Camp Bestival or Quidditch World Cup? - Wordless Wednesday

Family Life - Wordless Wednesday

The Family

Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years On

I read all the Sweet Valley books when I was younger. It was like a rite of passage; You read the Sweet Valley High books before moving on to the Judy Blume stories (which were more realistic to my teenage mind) and then you moved on to things like Danielle Steel or if you were lucky your Mum's Mills and Boon (I so want to write a Mills and Boon story) where sex was more than just the fluttering of eyelashes and more the throbbing desire and burning looks of lust dancing over the heroine's perfect nakedness. Never mind the put a condom on a cucumber sex education lessons and the "how to use a tampon" talk in the school hall this was the real stuff.

Then this week I was in Tesco when I saw a book that I didn't know existed. Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years On. Finally a book that I can buy that is going to bring back my childhood memories, that is going to transport me to California and to the people I know and love and oh look it's in my trolley already. It took me less than two days to read it (I read a little under half of the book on Tuesday and the rest Wednesday) and I was a little confused to be honest. This one was written by the Francine Pascal not a ghost writer the creator of the blonde haired, aquamarine eyed (reminds me of Flowers in the Attic children) perfect, pretty, popular and loving twins and their athletic older brother and devoted (but a little boring) parents.

Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years On

The problem was that Francine Pascal has forgotten a lot about the twins and the people around them and suddenly they are all acting out of character, more than the time that Elizabeth woke up from the coma with the bitchy selfish personality. I mean having Alice Wakefield (the Mom) shouting "Bring out the Fucking Cake" isn't something that would have happened in Sweet Valley with I was a girl. And yes I know that the stories had to incorporate modern things like Facebook and Twitter (Jessica uses both in her job launching green make up for big brands) but it just seemed out of place.

I knew these girls, heck I had read every single book ever created about them, I had watched the TV series and whilst I didn't go as far as some and dress up as them for Halloween (for the downtown Cincinnati library event just in case you wanted to know) I knew them well, I knew that they weren't going to be the women in this book when they grew up even if they had dealt with evil twins trying to avenge their own evil twins death, friends with drug issues, alcoholics, coma's, accidentally killing your twin's boyfriend and having to work out that the nice English teacher didn't touch up the stupid teenager girl...

So what happened? Well with only the spoilers the blurb on the back gives this is the book in a nutshell.

Jessica commits the ultimate betrayal for Elizabeth and this time Elizabeth can't forgive and turns in to the evil Jessica type character. Jessica is heartbroken (so is Elizabeth really) and is leading a good life, or at least trying to whilst erm planning something which isn't actually mentioned that she is planning and I would have thought there would of been more mentions of the something she is planning considering by the end of the book it is one of the biggest social events of the year...

So some more spoilers but not saying too much so as not to spoil the book for you. (Skip this if you plan on reading it!)

Two people come out.
One of the Twins sleeps around a bit.
Alice Wakefield is actually more manipulating than you ever thought.
Nobody has had kids.
Money makes you a git and then you die.
Sex in California is a lot like in a Mills and Boon story (pg 280 if you have the book)

It was a nice trip down memory lane, even if the twins have gone from being older than me to younger than me and nothing really ended the way I dreamt it would. I only spent £4 on the book as part of a buy two for £8 offer but it is in Tesco for £4.48 (RRP of £6.99) and whilst I an annoyed about a few aspects of the book and how a few characters turned out it's nice to know that Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield are out there still, turning heads and doing their thing.

So what about you? Are you going to read it or are you going to let your memories stay the way they are?

Paddling - Wordless Wednesday


Silent Sunday

Pop over to Mocha Beanie Mummy to see more Silent Sunday pictures.

Big Boy Chasing a Bubble

Silent Sunday

You know when I won Masterchef...

You know when I won Masterchef right? Yes, you do I made a Lemon Cheesecake in the invention test and it looked like this;

Lemon Cheesecake that won Masterchef
Tasty looking right?

Well, I discovered they made a song about it today.

(Video can be seen at

I knew putting Ginger nut biscuits in the base was a good idea.

Me updated - Wordless Wednesday


Things I wish my parents had told me (or I wish I had listened to if they did)

I had a good childhood, I've mentioned that once or twice before over at the family blog and yet the way I was raised left a few areas of my life strangely lacking in knowledge and so I present to you things I wish my parents had told me... or I wish I had listened to if they did.

1 Good things happen to bad people.
Over the past few years I have watched bad people get stronger, get richer and get everything that they want without a toss about who they hurt to get it. I've seen people struggle with absolutely nothing because they are sticking to the rules. What lesson do I learn from this? Stay being a good person, sure they might have to struggle but they never lose the good in them oh and revenge plots are great fun to think up.

2 There is no Happily Ever After.
So you get married and have babies and live happily ever after just like a Disney Cartoon. Yeah, that doesn't happen. Marriage and family life takes a lot more than a fairytale wedding to set up a lifetime of happiness. You have to work at it, be open with each other, communicate, set goals, reset goals and be honest and even then it might not work out for you. Happily Ever after isn't about having everything perfect, it's about working together and being happy together.

Life is what you make of it.
If you want something to happen in your life then you best get on with planning it. Sure sometimes things drop in to your lap but for the most part you have to push yourself to work harder, get better at what you do until finally one day you reach your end goal. And then it starts again with a new goal, just make sure that whatever you do it makes you happy.

4 Learn from your past but then let it go.
Everyone has a past and can remember a time where they succeeded and there is normally a regret or two thrown in for good measure. The important thing is that you learn from the mistakes and from the successes of your past but then you let it go. You can't live on past successes and you can't forever think yourself to be doomed because of past mistakes you can change the direction of your life if you want to.

5 Get over yourself.
Self belief is great and needed. You have to believe that you can do what you set out to do, but you're not a genius, you have a lot to learn from others, you aren't better than anybody, you make mistakes and will have to fix them.

So there you have it. What do you wish your parents had told you?

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

You probably think this blog post is about you

How many times have you walked past a group of people and thought they were talking about you? You know how they stop talking as you draw near or make excuses to leave as you join them? How many times have you read a blog post or a tweet and sat there thinking that it was about you? Well this post isn't about you and if you think it is then your a bigger narcissist than the person* this is about.

  • Sometimes it isn't all about you, believe it or not nobody sits around talking about you.
  • The world is a big place and there is more than enough space for us all to be who we want to be without everyone claiming that they had the original idea first. And even if they are copying you imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
  • It doesn't matter what you think or how you behave, if a spade is a spade believe it or not others will see it as a spade.
  • Not everybody knows who you are, you aren't that important.
  • Not everybody is out to get you. And even the people who you think are probably don't even know who you are.

Now stop sitting there feeling sorry for yourself, get off that rather large posterior of yours and do something.

*And just so we can be perfectly clear this is about me and my own stupid insecurities.

The Real Pussy Willow - Wordless Wednesday

Willow The Cat

The dream and the reality.

With Emma's wedding possibly being next June that gives me roughly 10 months until it is the last possible second to go shopping for a bridesmaids dress. I can lose a stone in about six weeks by diet alone so with exercise lets say that means a stone a month. That's ten stone I can lose right there. That's how much I want to lose. With such an important event as the end goal, and knowing I need to stand next to the super slender Vic, it's almost certain that I would be extra focused, extra dedicated, extra... oh who am I kidding? Emma will morph in to brideszilla in about two months time and that 10 month weight loss plan is nothing but a dream and also if I lost a stone a month it would be a sign of the end of the world and I don't think I want to be responsible for that. Emma would never forgive me.

So what's a girl to do? Well, this girl is going to really start pushing herself with harder daily exercise, with a renewed concentration on her diet and paying more attention to The Biggest Loser. No longer will I sit on the sofa with a snack taunting the contestants... right now I am so fired up I will even start going swimming again!

I will lose weight. I want to lose weight. It might not be the ten stone, but it will be a start.

Silent Sunday

Emma asked me a question on a cookie. She asked Will you be my bridesmaid?

Silent Sunday

Dear So and So - The last week or so

Dear School Secretary,

Yes, Big Boy has grown! Children have a habit of doing that. No, I don't think it is funny to see him walk he has been doing it for a while so I think I would be more worried if he wasn't walking.


Pippa aka Playground Mum

PS Thank you for saying it was nice to see my MIL. It wasn't.

Dear Big Boy.

I don't care that you don't think I'm not your best friend any more, because I'm your Mummy and that outranks a best friend.



Dear NHS,

Take good care of my friend. Please.

Thanks in advance


Dear Travelodge City Road London,

There should be a new circle in hell for your lifts. You already have the heat part sorted.

Tired of going to the Ground floor from the 4th floor via the 5th even though nobody was there.


Dear Husband,

I'm sorry I kept waking you up the other night. I just like to check you haven't been kidnapped or run away.

Always yours


Dear Sid Punk,

I'm sorry you are hidden in a bag under my bed. Please don't come out when my MIL next comes round.

Lustfully yours

Your Creator.

Dear So and So...

Pop along to Kat's blog for more Dear So and Whatevers...

When did alcohol become a criteria in deciding what to do with your family?

I've just had another Summer Days Out Press release sent to me for possible inclusion on A Mothers Ramblings. I have no problem with being sent a press release, even when it is sent to Dear Mummy Blogger or includes another bloggers children's details (as happened to Emma at Me, The Man and The Baby recently when she got an email talking about Top Ender and Big Boy!) but what I am objecting to is the number of times I read through what seems like a great event or day out and then they go and spoil it by saying something along the lines of;

"and there will be something a bit stronger for the grown ups"

Seriously? You think that by pointing out that you are going to have alcohol all parents are going to suddenly think 

"Wow! What a great idea, let's go there they have alcohol!"

Okay, so I know that I don't drink alcohol at all and that I might be the odd one out here, but I don't understand when having access to alcohol at a family event was such an important highlight. Surely if you are taking your family out for the day you don't need alcohol to get you through it and if you do then doesn't that say a lot more about you than it does your family?

I'm not saying that we shouldn't drink in front of our children, (I used to drink a diluted glass of wine with my Sunday Roast when I was little) but I am wondering if the rise in the number of younger drinkers and the rise in the amount of binge drinkers in the world is because of environmental factors such as seeing parents and other adults drinking at every possible occasion?

What do you think, have I got it all wrong? Or just when did alcohol become a criteria in deciding what to do with your family?

What's this all about then?

Well if you have found me here, then you must know me from A Mothers Ramblings or on Twitter because they are the only two places I have "outed" myself so far.

Right so what is Pippa World all about? Well many moons ago I had a boss (who was rather lovely) who often joked it must be nice at Pippa World and so seeing as the internet is the cheapest way to build a whole land dedicated to oneself I decided to create Pippa World here on the net.

Over at AMR, I talk about my family as it is a record of all the fantastic things we tried, places we went, people we met etc, but I feel a bit wrong about filling it up with pictures of me in my underwear looking fat and well just fat. So I thought that maybe, Pippa World could be the place for me. The place where all the junk that is in my head falls out for you to read...

So here we go.

Welcome to Pippa World...