Friday, 29 June 2007

Saving Money

Here are a few of my Mum's tips for saving money.

1. Never buy a book. If my Mum reads of a book she fancies reading she rarely buys one. Instead she walks to Waterstone's in town and she can read so fast doing skim reading and various techniques that she can usually get through the book in about 15 mins, enough anyway to get the gist. The hazards are sometimes you get a Waterstone's employee hovering around, rearranging books loudly so you get the hint but she reasons they are a big company who make a lot of money out of people, including, on occasions, her.

2. Don't make stupid bets. My Mum was watching Eastenders on Sunday with us and a woman was about to have a baby. My Mum bet Connor £10 that the baby would be kidnapped by a woman for whom the first woman was originally acting as a surrogate. The woman had her baby and all looked well from Connor's point of view. However, suddenly the second woman started to dress up as a doctor and my Mum felt victorious, especially when she sneaked into the hospital room and picked up the baby. However, just as she was leaving the first woman shouted 'Stop Right There!' and then the closing credits rolled. We had to wait till the next episode to find out the outcome of the bet.

My Mum had a brief reprieve when it looked like the second woman had another chance to snatch her baby when the first took pity on her and let her have a look at the baby outside her house but suddenly the police arrived to arrest her for kidnapping and my Mum had to cough up £10.

3. Make chicken soup. We always have chicken soup make from the boiled carcass of the chicken we have had for dinner. Put in herbs, carrots etc. and it is a Jewish panacea for things like colds and flu, very nutritious. Add a french onion cup-a-soup for a bit of mono sodium glutamate.

4. If you run out of washing up liquid use mild shampoo and vice versa. It's all detergent.

5. Save on your electricity bill and energy and folding up any school clothes under a large pile of large books. In the morning the clothes will be crease-free.

6. If you get library fines on any overdue books never go to that library again.

Thursday, 28 June 2007

More Flood News

Chaos in the morning as Holly rang at 8.20 to say that my school had opened (it was closed yesterday) and I had ten minutes to get ready. I berated my Mum for incompetence as my school uniform was nowhere to be seen as did Jack as his cookery ingredients had all been put in together in an old ice cream tub. My Mum said 'So what, they are all going to be mixed together eventually.' Jack said 'You are supposed to put them separately in foil so that then I can do it properly and anyway the ice cream tub will show me up.'

I could tell that my Mum felt guilty for her general incompetence so thought it would be the ideal opportunity to press my case for a Tamagotchi which I had wanted for some time. I left a bit of paper cut out from the Argos catalogue with the Tamagotchi on it on the arm of the settee.

My Mum went to get the Tamatgotchi in town, but went along the railway line which she had used on Monday and which was quite pleasant when it wasn't chucking it down. On the way she went to the Post Office to get some coffee and overheard some pensioners talking about how, in the old days, there were proper flood defences and how council cutbacks had led to them being unused.

On the railway line she talked to a woman with a boxer dog about her experiences of the flood. The woman said that her kids were still off school but had enjoyed being pulled about in their rubber dinghy outside the house. My Mum said 'I think you've got to be careful about the water because there might be sewage in it and I am telling my kids to wash their hands all the time.' The woman said 'Yes, he was drinking the water but I told him to stop it.' My Mum said 'What, your son was drinking the flood water!' and the woman said 'No, the dog.'

On the way to town my Mum saw loads of skips and whole rows of houses had all their carpets out on the fronts drying. An old man was walking his dog on the end of a woolly scarf because he had lost everything including his dog lead.

Later she saw Julie who said she had lost everything, including school books and the kids couldn't go to school because they had no shoes. She said that her and Lily had stood crying outside their house knee deep in water when it was suddenly as if a plug had been pulled and the water had suddenly gone down. What had happened is that two men on the estate had been told about an old flood drain by the old people and had taken matters into their own hands and had gone to open it.

Jack came back without his buns because the cookers at school wouldn't work. More flood damage.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007


Yesterday we had a month's rainfall in a day and this city was put on a state of emergency.

My Mum had nearly finished her dog walk and was trying to get to Sainsbury's when she found that the road she usually crosses was a lake and unpassable. However, she was not unduly concerned as it was like that last week when it flooded so exchanged a wry glance with a lady who was standing at her front door to keep a check on the water level and continued up the estate to try and find a dry bit through. This proved to be impossible and my Mum ended up with the two dogs on a disused railway line on a piece of waste land unable to get out because of a high fence. She ended up scrambling down from a railway bridge somewhere in the centre of the city.

As she finally got to Sainsbury's for her paper she explained what had happened to the shop assistant who was sweeping water from the shop who said 'Surely you didn't want a paper that much' but my Mum said 'Well actually I had to walk my dogs'.

As the day progressed the floods got worse and worse until even this street (which is on a raised bit of ground) looked like Venice with the road knee deep in water and waves lapping up the pavement. When my Mum came to pick me up (bringing my Dad's big fluorescent work jacket for me to put on) we saw that the road she had walked down in the morning kids walking back from school waste-high in water.

There were police and emergency vans everywhere and on the air you could hear the sound of sirens. Some ladies had given up wearing their high heels and were walking home in bare feet. In the streets next to our's people were bucketing water out of their houses and building walls of sand bags. My Mum had to carry me across our road on her back.

My Dad couldn't get home from work so went to my Grandma's where the water was half an inch from coming in the back door. He said the Avenue was a heaving torrent of brown water which had come off the nearby hills.

We kept a regular check on the water level outside our house.

Today most of the schools were shut and I fell out with Jack because his school was shut and mine was open. It turns out me and Holly didn't need to have gone to school after all because in one class there was only Lorna and Harrison.

On the way to school there were tide marks and flotsam and jetsam. On the way back James at Tesco's was looking very tired as he had just completed a twelve hour shift to cover for the people who were at home sorting out their houses. Later on the girl on the evening shift had come in because she just couldn't face it at home and her eyes were red-rimmed.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Losing Dogs

My Mum has a history of losing dogs.

The first time it happened my Mum took Tessa to Tesco's in the evening when it was dark. She got her stuff and went home.

A few hours later somebody noticed that somebody had seen Tessa for a while. When you have got dogs they usually follow you about the house and when they aren't there you subconsciously notice an absence. When Tessa has been in kennels my Mum always feels funny like there is something missing.

This is the sort of feeling which she felt on that evening.

Everybody searched around for Tessa and then the awful realisation dawned that my Mum had left her outside Tesco's. This is not as hard to do as it sounds as Tessa is a black dog and it was night.

My Dad went back to Tesco's and Tessa was not there. What had happened is that a dinner lady (the same one who leaves veg for horses on the Common) had taken pity on Tess because she thought she was an abandoned dog and had taken her to the RSPCA dog pound where my Dad had to collect her later that evening. My Mum felt dreadful and the dinner lady still gives her dirty looks to this day.

In the second instance it was worse as it was somebody else's dog.

Sally and Rob had just got a rescue dog called Angel, which was a very timid dog. My Mum volunteered to take Angel for a walk on a Monday afternoon when Sally went to work.

The only problem was that Angel was scared of Scamp and he could smell him on my Mum and when she tried to put the lead on retreated under the table.

My Mum decided to get Jack to put the lead on as Angel was used to Jack. She got Jack to go in to the cowering Angel while she stood by the front door. Suddenly Angel shot past her through the door and disappeared into the street. What had happened is that Jack had put the lead on under the table, stood up, banged his head on the table and dropped the lead. Angel must have thought her best bet in this house full of idiots was to leg it.

My Mum ran after Angel, who is a very fast dog. She went down all the places where she was taken for a walk and my Mum ended up running all the way to school past many of the people she knows running like crazy after a dog with a trailing lead.

Angel changed tack and ran down the road in the rush hour traffic with my Mum in hot pursuit. Somebody asked what was happening, took pity on her and gave her a lift in a car. When my Mum recounted the story later to her workmates they said she shouldn't have got into a car with a stranger to which my Mum said 'Well, she was a woman with a child with her' to which someone said 'Yes, but have you heard of Chuckie?'

Later my Mum located Angel in the middle of the park, obviously gone to a familiar place. My Mum was scared that if she tried to approach her she would run off so asked a kindly passerby to approach her instead. The passer by approached very gently and cautiously and at the last minute Angel ran off again out of the park.

Then my Mum went back to Angel's house and opened the door and stood in our house and watched.

A little while later Angel ran down the street and into the house.

Dogs aren't stupid.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Jack is In Trouble

In the city where we live stink bombs have been banned.

This is because lads have been buying stink bombs from the joke shop and letting them off in Marks and Spencer so the local council have banned the shop from selling stink bombs.

My Mum knows this because she wanted to buy Jack some and they told her this in the shop but because the man said she looked like a responsible person he brought her some out from under the counter and let her have some.

Now when she wants some she waits until the shop is empty and asks the man for some stink bombs so she doesn't get him into trouble.

Yesterday Jack was late home from school as he had been at David Parker Hunt's. He slipped in the house very quietly and unassumingly.

It later transpired that Jack had been put in detention at school with Connor and David Parker Hunt for letting off a stink bomb in the changing room. I asked what it smelt like and he said 'Rotten eggs, but it smelt worse when we tried to cover up the smell with our deodorants'. He said they had waited in the reception for their detention for half an hour but no teacher turned up so they just went to David Parker Hunt's.

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

A scary dog walk

Where we live sometimes lads from a nearby estate come riding, helmetless, on their motorbikes at high speeds. They take the silencers off the motorbike's exhausts so the bikes make a very loud sound in between a very loud angry giant wasp and an air raid siren. It is a very sinister sound. When they do it during daylight hours everybody stops what they are doing and has a look, which is probably what they want.

My Mum was doing a late evening walk in the dark along the deserted pavement when she heard this sound in the distance getting louder and louder as the bike got nearer. Even though my Mum knew it was a couple of daft lads she got spooked.

The sound then retreated again as the bike changed direction and my Mum breathed a sigh of relief. She started walking faster.

Suddenly the sound started getting louder and louder and my Mum felt like she was being pursued by an unknown malevolent entity who had worked out where she was and was coming to get her. She made for the snicket (a path lined with fences through a built up area) and the sound got louder and louder until it was deafening, my Mum's heart raced and the idiots sped past her through the snicket.

My Mum thought it would be a good idea for a film.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007


Now it is Glastonbury Week it takes my Mum's mind back to camping.

When they first got together my Mum and Dad had a tiny two-berth tent and they took it to Scarborough. It must have been very early in the season as my Mum remembers primroses being out. They camped on a cliff and it was howling a gale all night and they awoke to feel the tent roof touching their noses. Such was the wind the tent had been flattened though it popped up again once the wind had abated.

When we were little they didn't have much money so still used the tent though a fishing umbrella was added at the front by way of an extension. Once on a holiday in Wales we spent most of our time under the fishing umbrella, alternating with the site laundrette, as it rained the whole time. It also rained in Cumbria and we were quite small and played around in the mud a lot. On a visit to Blackpool on the same holiday my Mum noticed red blotches appearing all over my body. Highly alarmed she took me to the local casualty who diagnosed impetigo, which is a disease got by grubby little Victorian urchins who lacked basic sanitation. The mud, combined with difficulties in reaching the shower block in the pouring rain, had had the same effect.

My Mum and Dad's golden rule when it comes to camping is 'Go Down South'. The weather is always better and a few years ago during the hottest summer on record being on the beach at Combe Martin felt like being in the Med, with packed beaches and people partying until the early hours. The exception is when we go to my Dad's Landrover trials and we camp overnight. Once we camped on a cliff at Robin Hoods Bay and when you looked out of the tent you could see the line of the edge of the cliff and then the blue sea and it felt like being on the edge of the world.

We have been to Dorset,Somerset, Suffolk, and Oxfordshire. At the latter camp site I picked up a wild rabbit because nobody had told me I couldn't. I held the rabbit in my arms for a moment while it must have frozen in disbelief and then it sprang away. That was also the site where we saw a water snake.

The site in Suffolk was next to a pond and every morning a mother duck would bring her ducklings while we were cooking the bacon sandwiches. She would stand back while me and my brother would throw them bits of bread and never have any herself which is a fine example of maternal devotion.

This was also site where we had to walk a long way to the toilet block and for some reason I thought that my towel was like a vampire's cape and I ran along the track baring my teeth like a vampire, pink cape flapping behind me. I didn't see the car coming but the bloke in it chewed his fists like he was really scared.

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Father's Day

Today was Father's Day so we let my Dad lie in a bit and then we gave him his favourite bacon sandwiches and a cup of tea. My Mum specially grilled the rind for Tess as a little treat to keep up her interest in things.

I gave my Dad a card with a picture of me inside that I made, a bought card and an octopus desk tidy which I had made at Brownies on Friday. Because of the floods we had Jack's friend Connor tea on Friday because he couldn't get home. I was talking about Brown Owl and Connor asked if he could come to Brownies with me. As I went in with Holly him and Jack were peering through the window to see if they could see the owl.

My Mum spent a lot of time in Scope choosing a present for my Dad. She came up with some rose bath salts with a rose on and a little silver shovel which you use to shovel them into the bath. You could tell he wasn't that impressed with them but my Mum said 'Well, you do like bubble bath and you have got a feminine side' and my Dad said 'Yes, but not that feminine.'

My brother had to be persuaded to go to the shop yesterday to get a card for Dad but he had made him some chocolate truffles at school.

We spent the afternoon going round some open gardens in a village near where we live. There was supposed to be a scarecrow competition with the scarecrows placed around the route but they had to put most of the scarecrows in the village hall as they were frightened of them being ruined in case it rained. However, we got a bit of a shock when we rounded the corner into someone's back garden and suddenly came upon a giant Little Miss Muffet scarecrow and her spider. Obviously some people had got their scarecrows up in their own gardens because they could take them in themselves if it rained. Then my brother started worrying in case we came across ET scarecrow because he doesn't like ET.

There were little activities laid on in the gardens and we did some quizzies and planted a pumpkin and a sunflower seed which we later got into trouble for for moistening in somebodies koi carp pond. Actually we were pleased to see the koi carp because round where we live some of the koi carp from people's ponds swam away when the garden's were flooded on Thursday.

There were quite a few good quirky ideas in the gardens like saucers of large glass balls, tea pots hanging from trees and quite a few fairies but in one garden people had put tiny doors at the bottom of trees where the fairies lived. We liked the metallic bendy toad stools.

Quite a lot of money in the village as some of the children had their own Swiss Chalets to play in and we overheard 'Is Stephen back home again' 'Yes, he is but he's just out on the boat' which is not a conversation which happens very often in our neck of the woods.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Mini gardens

My Mum is right tight when it comes to plants for the garden.

There is a pot near our front door and my Mum decided that it needed some flowers putting in it. That day she was walking the dogs and came across a mound covered in flowers on the hill just next to somebody's fence. At first she took it to be some sort of pet's grave but on closer inspection it revealed itself to be a compost heap with some discarded pansy plants on it. The pansies looked to be in quite good shape so my Mum scooped up the pansies and put them in a carrier bag she had with her. This solved the problem of what to put in the pot.

However, the pansies did not last long so my Mum had to think about what to do next. She had quite admired the planters in the fruit shop with corn dollies in them and this merged in her mind with the thought of the Easter Gardens which we make at Easter for school which are little gardens with chicks and rabbits in them.

My Mum looked in my toy box and found a little fairy castle and two little princesses which go with it. She put them in the pot but thought the castle needs weathering a bit because it is quite a garish pink. Then she put some moss in to make a lawn, some tiny slates to make a path, some blue glass gems to make a pool and a rock to go behind the pool. She needed something to make a pine forest to go behind the castle and on another dog walk found some garden plants which had seeded on the green belt. The leaves of the plant are long and thin and point downwards surrounding the stem and which makes it look very much like miniature pine trees.

Then she made some tiny flower beds for the garden with wild flower seedlings which we have grown for the back garden. One of the princesses is bigger than the other so she put that princess at the front of the pot to give a sense of perpective.

My Mum is extremely pleased with the mini garden and is even thinking of starting some sort of cottage industry making them as she thinks nobody else is doing it.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

An ingenious invention

My Mum is getting fed up with carrying my double bass to school on Wednesdays so today came up with an ingenious invention.

You get a skateboard and tie a bit of string on the front. Then someone can hold the double bass on the skateboard and someone can pull the string and it takes a lot of effort out of transporting the double bass. My teacher, who came out of school helping to carry the double bass, thought it was a good idea and so did Sharon and my Mum said 'Yes, I'm not just a pretty face'. Misha offered to hold Scamp's lead but my Mum told her that if he started to run after anything to just drop the lead or otherwise it was dangerous.

Later in the evening we had run out of cordial and Holly wanted to go to the shop for some apple juice. My Mum thought she could kill two birds with one stone and asked Holly if she would also post a Father's Day card to my grandad. In it we put the 'World's Best Grandad' coaster which we had bought. I wanted to slip in a plaster polar bear fridge magnet that I had just made but it made the envelope too fat. My Mum thought that it made the envelope too heavy for just one stamp so asked Holly to buy some stamps as well.

Then I said 'You've had some wine, haven't you?' as she is not supposed to be drinking during the week and she said 'Yes, but only one glass and don't tell Dad'. Then Holly,who always has an eye for the main chance, said 'OK, we won't tell him if you get us some sweets from the shop' My Mum said 'Why, what do you want?' and Holly said 'Some Chocolate Heaven, but they are £1.20 each.' My Mum said 'OK, it's a deal' and because Jack had overheard he had to have one too.

Because it was quite a complicated errand my Mum wrote us some instructions to take:

1. Buy six first class stamps. Put one on letter.

2. Post letter.

3. Buy Chocolate Heaven.

When we got home we explained to my Mum that one of the Chocolate Heaven bars had two strips missing from it when we picked it up and when we told the shop assistant she still insisted that we had to buy it and that was the bar we gave to Jack, and we forgot the apple juice.

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Going to the Beach

Today was a nice day so we took the opportunity to go to the beach, which is a country beach near where we live.

We took Scamp and as always he indulged in a bit of wind-sniffing which involves sticking his nose out of a partially opened window and taking in deep sniffs of air for virtually the whole journey. When persuaded to take a break from his hobby he emerges not surprisingly looking like he has been in a wind tunnel with his fur flat against his head and looks highly comical.

The roads were busy and the route we take is the route taken by weekend bikers who go racing up and down dicing with death. One of them went along and high speed and suddenly did a wheelie and my dad, who was not impressed, said 'Tit.'

We arrived at the beach which is on a bit of a cliff and we scrambled down the cliff but my Mum took the sedate route down by walking about half a mile up the track to get down.

She caught up with us on our walk and we threw pebbles into the sea for Scamp to fetch but he is not a water loving dog and stayed on beach. When he finally got near a pebble he had difficulty picking it up and spent ages trying to dig up the pebble leaving big holes in the beach and himself obliterated by a cloud of sand. A tiny Yorkshire terrier came up wanting to play but he ignored him.

We saw sand martins swooping round and they had made lots of holes in the red clay cliff and we saw three baby sand martins peeping out. My Dad chased us with a crab.

Our Dad started the BBQ while me and Jack went swimming. Scamp jumped from rock to rock to get as far out as he could to us but was still too scared to go in the water. I made a bikini top out of my t-shirt by twisting it and danced around the beach.

We had tortilla wraps with cheese and cucumber, and sausages and chicken from the BBQ. My dad made my Mum drink some Eisberg(non-alcoholic)wine which she thinks is a waste of time and later when he went up to the kiosk to get a can my Mum said 'What's in that can?' and he said 'Beer' but he was only joking.

When it came to the time for us to dry off with towels it occurred to Jack (who has started doing RE at school) that the red clay slope up the cliff looked a bit like Mount Sinai and with the towel round him on top of it he looked like Moses and started doing the ten commandments. When I tried to rip the towel off him he said 'Hey, get off, I'm Moses, man'.

When we got home we found my Dad's sunburn started just at the top of his belly because that is the bit that sticks out.

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Abusing YouTube

My Dad has had to change the passwords on the computer because we are using up all the month's credits in a few days and we are only allowed to use the computer in the evening when he comes and puts in the secret passwords. This is because we are all addicted to You Tube.

He is also annoyed because I have put fifty quid on the phone bill from ringing Holly in the evening when she has just gone home and walking about talking to her for hours. I also was losing five pounds of credit on my mobile phone after putting a tenner in and getting upset and accusing different people because I thought someone was secretly using my mobile phone when it turns out that I had subscribed to loads of wallpaper for my mobile and they were eating all the money up and I didn't realise you had to pay.

My Mum hadn't bothered much with the computer and didn't realise you could see videos on it but once she did there was no stopping her. She thinks it is like having a private free juke box in the corner of the room, though of course my Dad has to pay eventually.

My Mum keeps watching Steve Harley and the Cockney Rebels playing 'Come up and See me'. She said she always liked the song but didn't actually realise what Steve Harley looked like. She says she likes the latest version of the song best because Steve Harley is like a fine wine which gets better with age. He looks like he has lived a bit and he has ditched the daft furry jacket. She also likes the backing singers. My dad says he had heard he was gay but that doesn't bother her. She was trying to watch his work in 'The Phantom of the Opera' but he has got a mask on and it isn't the same.

My brother likes watching Mika and I like Umbrella and Miracle but my Mum says the eighties were better. She has got me on to Michael Jackson and I keep doing the rising shoulder movement he does when he is dancing with the zombies. I also like Bananarama and like the hand movement Siobhan Farley does in Venus. The best dance music is Norman Cook's 'Brimful of Asher' and 'Praise You'. The funniest video is 'Muffins'.

Monday, 4 June 2007

Tessa's Life

My Mum and Dad got Tessa from the RSPCA when she was a puppy.

She once saved my Mum from some snakes as my Dad used to keep King Pythons and once when my Mum was upstairs she heard Tessa barking, came down and saw that Tessa was barking at the snakes which had escaped so she ran back upstairs, rang my Dad at work to tell him to come home and put the snakes back their aquarium.

Tessa is part collie, part retriever and we think the retriever part accounts for her love of swimming. My Mum and Dad took her on their honeymoon to Scotland and there are a load of photos of Tessa out in the middle of lochs. She does a very precise doggy paddle with controlled breathing and lots of puffing and blowing. When she is walking in the park she always makes a beeline for the boating lake.

The collie part of her means that when you are on a walk with your family she herds you together and doesn't like it when you walk apart. Once we were on a walk in the park and Tessa was racing about herding us together and a man watching said "That dog is great".

When my brother Jack was born they were a bit worried if she was going to be jealous so they did what it said in a book which said let the dog approach the baby in its own way. It goes without saying that this calls for a certain amount of trust in the dog.

They put the carrycot with tiny Jack in it in the middle of the floor, let Tessa in and stood back. My Mum said that Tessa went up to the carrycot, sniffed Jack and then licked his head and that it was very moving. The only time in her long life that Tessa has been aggressive is when a dog barked at the buggy with Jack in it and Tessa's hackles rose and she growled at the dog.

When Jack was a baby my Mum used to take him and Tessa out in all weathers. In the days when we still had proper snow she used to walk round the park through the thick snow and it took a lot of effort to push the buggy which acted like a snow plough with a load of snow piled at the front. He had a book called 'Pop up Puppies' and one of the first things he could pick out by name was a picture of a dog lead.

Tessa has a good sense of humour and when she was young used to start running at my Mum from a great distance getting faster and faster with her tongue lolling and a wicked glint in her eye and just at the last minute would swerve to avoid my Mum.

She has left her mark on posterity because she once ran down a whole stretch of pavement which had just been tarred and left her footprints in the tar which you can still see today. The trail of footprints get deeper as the tar she is running on is less set.

Now we are having hot summers we have to clip Tessa's fur as she gets too hot. Once it was a very hot day and Tessa's fur had not been clipped and my Mum had to buy a big bottle of Perrier water from the shop to sprinkle over her as she couldn't go any further.

We took her to 'Jayson's Poodle Parlour' run by two blond gentlemen whom we like because they've got some baby guinea pigs. However, Tessa did not like being confined to a little pen for four hours while they did it and apparently whined the whole time we were told by the pained looking Jayson when we came to collect her so we decided to do it ourselves.

She didn't like the sound of my Dad's hair clippers so now my Mum cuts her fur with some scissors while she is watching the telly in the evening. She does one side and then when Tessa moves to lie on her other side she does that side.

Now she is old she just likes walking to school and back and little boys take it in turn to hold the lead. When she is tied up outside Tescos she likes to eat the stuff people have dropped like bits of chocolate buns. I know dogs shouldn't eat chocolate but it makes no difference now as she has reached such a great age.

Jack's Birthday

Yesterday was my brother Jack's birthday and we invited his friends Alex and Ross round so we could go and see Pirates of the Caribbean 3 and go to Pizza Hut.

Jack has a thing about Johnny Depp and has grown his hair long like Jack Sparrow. Alex's Mum will not let him grow his hair long but I noticed he now has spiky hair with hair gel on which is almost as good.

We played on Jack's Nintendo Wii and my Mum took a video of us dancing to S Club 7 which we replayed with the CD on again so that we could have a soundtrack with the video.

I wore a brown sequined top and a black skirt with purple dots on which sticks out as it has net under it. I also wore a variegated green bobble, some silver jellies and a black suede jacket with a fur trim. I borrowed my Mum's amythyst earrings and her silver necklace with the seven diamonds. Alex said "Those aren't diamonds " but my Dad said "Yes they are, only not very good ones". My Mum said I looked great and took a picture.

We enjoyed the film and my Mum smuggled some Frazzles in as she says the food at the cinema is a bit expensive but my Dad bought us some coke.

The film was three hours long and my Mum fell asleep like she did when we went to see Skooby Doo at Luton.

We went to Pizza Hut and I had chicken with dips with a salad bowl which you take to the salad bar and fill up with as much salad as you want. If you put something solid like croutons at the bottom of your bowl and then put a wall of cucumber slices on top of it around the bowl you can get a lot more salad in.

When we got back we had the cake with candles in it and we did it with an old 'Seven' candle with a giraffe on it from when Jack was seven plus five more individual candles. We found a birthday card from Holly on the mat as I think she wanted to be involved so I took her round a piece of cake.