Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Back to earth with more than a bump

Well it's all very well going off on holiday and enjoying oneself, but as we know, it's all over in a flash and pretty soon you have to venture home to face up to normality.

Yes normality.

That's the one.

The problem is, when we arrived over our very own threshold we soon discovered the normality that we had left behind had only gone and boogered off on its very own vacation, leaving behind a state of chaos in the Almost Average household.

I tried to encourage it back, by doing the washing, a bit of gardening and watching some of my favourite programmes that had been recorded while we were away. I even managed a blog post and planned a few more to help settle back into the post holiday routine.

But life was definitely not returning to normal and I never managed those blog posts or even a small tweet over on Twitter.

First there were the chickens who looked like they'd enjoyed a few garden parties during our absence, probably inviting a few friends around on Facebook, leading to urgent action to fence off the garden to give them some space of their own.

The Bokashi bin had also been up to mischief thanks to Mr A bunging in some iffy cheese before we'd departed. I'd been too distracted with getting out of the house in time to make the ferry that I'd forgotten to add the Bokashi bran. The resulting sea of mold was not quite the welcoming party we'd expected when we walked back in through the door.

And then there was the discovery of the monster. If you're a parent you may have already seen one yourself.

Apparently they turn up in your house unannounced some time at the end of the school holidays and last week it was our turn to receive a visit. One day we'd been enjoying the company of our 5 year old and the next, our little boy had been taken over by some kind of alien only previously seen on Doctor Who. He still looked like himself, but his attitude had changed beyond recognition.

His actions were unrecognisable too.

Especially the day when I witnessed him encouraging our three innocent hens out of their chicken run only to lob them back in like feathered medicine balls. They must have suffered from shock as none of them laid the next day.

Poor chickens.

At least his elder brother got a break.

But I didn't. Upon seeing the incident, I picked up my chicken-hurling schoolboy and sat him on my lap to calm him down - and to explain why his behaviour wasn't acceptable.

I haven't had to pick him up for a long time. And he was unexpectedly heavy. So heavy indeed that I hurt my wrist picking him up - putting pressure on an existing sprain that so far had gone undiagnosed.

It's at times like this you realise the levels of dependency on your left hand. Everyday duties such as washing, preparing meals and driving suddenly become creators of agony rather than automatic and otherwise unnoticeable actions. It's even rendered me almost inactive on the computer thanks to feelings of nausea and physical difficulties with typing.

And as for picking up my children or indeed monsters. That's been off the cards too.

However the good news is that the monster has suddenly disappeared and it left as quickly as it had arrived.

I put down to an unfortunate collision with a fairground swing at the weekend. Instead of being knocked out by a swinging boat, our five year old quickly recovered from the impact and by the following day his behaviour had returned to normal. It's just a shame his brother came down with a hard-to-identify rash that very same day.

Normality eh!

Some people don't like it when things return to normal.

But I am desperate for it.

All I want is to focus again on everyday life and our rubbish. It's taken a bit of a knock over the holidays thanks to upset routines, physical injuries and unpredictable children - not to mention the off-duty Bokashi bin that still needs emptying. Of course that's another job you need two hands for as well as emptying the chickens' poop tray. Where's Mr A when you need him eh! Out earning the dosh, so we can live another day.

So it's a blimmin' good job the kids are both fully recovered and off back to school tomorrow for the start of the new academic year.

I can feel my sanity returning already. And I've even got a new wrist support to help it stay that way.

You never know, I might even be able to empty that horrible Bokashi bin before the week's out.

But I'd better get on with it as Mrs Green over at has told me she's declared next week National Zero Waste Week - starting on Monday 7th September, encouraging folk all over the UK (as well as like-minded friends overseas) to look for new ways to reduce their waste.

Of course, I can't wait to give it my full support and would encourage you to join in too, especially if you've got both hands free.

After all, if I can be a one-handed zero waster, just imagine what you can achieve with two, especially if your brain hasn't been addled by mouldy concoctions, monsters and wild rashes.

A National Zero Waste Week. What a great idea.

So thank you Mrs Green. I'm beginning to feel normal already.


More info about National Zero Waste Week can be found at, where you are welcome to join in with your contributions and plans for reducing waste at home or in your place of work. Share the news and help reduce landfill.


Anonymous said...

Hi (Almost) Mrs A,

This is a bit of a weird comment to write as I found your blog a few weeks ago and so have (slowly!) been reading it from the beginning. I now feel as if I know everybody really well and yet to you I am, to quote my youngest's new favourite phrase, 'some random person'.
Briefly, I am married to a grown-up bin saboteur with 3 children C- 5, B- 8 and T- 10. We live in N Oxfordshire where we have better than average recycling facilities, but not as good as BSE.
I've always been interested in reducing our waste, but TBH, thought I couldn't get as low as you have without doing the whole carrying the bamboo cutlery around thing. It's been fascinating to read how you've fitted it into everyday- I suppose almost-average!- life.
It's inspired me to announce a waste minimilisation programme in our house! DH rolled his eyes, but the 3 juniors were more supportive, especially if it means they can use the pick and mix at the local animal feed shop!(Pick and Mix sweets, I hasten to add- they do people food too...)
We're not bad at what we throw away; I've been proud of the fact that 5 of us (plus large menagerie of assorted animals) never have a landfill bin of more than 1/2 full a fortnight, but I've realised we could do better without actually trying too hard, just thinking what we buy. Consequently, we are now the proud owners of 2 bokashi bins, some voile fruit and veg bags and my New School Year Resolution is to use the farm shops and markets more often. I do use them, but a bit sporadically. The voile bags will help for when I can't. And of course Pick and Mix sweets (in their paper fruit and veg bags, not their plastic sweet bags...)!
Part of our menagerie includes dogs, chickens and our fabulous new additions 4 laying ducks, so the bokashi will deal with the leftover food that none of them will eat (too spicy for the dogs/meat in so the poultry can't have it/boiled chicken bones/fish scraps etc) I'm so glad you'e got chickens. We've had ours 5 or 6 years and they are just wonderful. We are in a house with a garden a bit bigger than yours, but not huge by any means. We started with an Eglu which I loved, but I wanted more hens (they didn't do the cube then) so my mum got the Eglu and I got a bigger wooden house. I talked DH into ducks this year and they're hilarious! So much fun to watch. They have the bottom half of a sandpit- that the local nursery were going to bin!- filled with water and spend ages splashing and preening in it. We got them at the start of the holidays and got our first egg yesterday, so very exciting! (Deliberately ignoring the pun:0) )
Anyway, I can sympathise with the yearning for back to normality- school starts for us today as well. B doesn't cope very well with lack of routine, so school helps him a lot. Better go and wake them all up!

PS sorry, not at all brief in the end! Rather waffly, but basically thank you for a great blog:0) And hope your wrist is better soon.

John Costigane said...

Hi Mrs A,

With another Zero Waste Week over at Mrs Green's site, National this time, it is ace to have you back. Like last year, your support is essential to our joint effort.

Sorry to read about the post- holiday upsets with Bokashi and chickens, the former needs careful handling and plenty of bran.

With a busy life, time to chill can be very relaxing.

mrs green said...

Hey Mrs A; I was exhausted reading your post. I think you deserve another holiday. Oh, perhaps not.

I know what you mean about wanting normality. Well next week, there's no excuse and thank you so much for helping promote the week; I appreciate it very much.

Hope you are recovered soon and great to see your comment Hazel; it's always a pleasure to meet someone else who is doing their bit!

Mrs G x

lunarossa said...

Yes, welcome back to reality too, dear Karen. I know I will sound mean but I am in a way relieved that I'm not the only one to have my own "monsters" and glad to be finally at the end of school holidays. My fight against for recycling and saving waste has been huge and I need all my patience and strenght to keep up with my good resolution... A few more days and it wll be peace at last! Or not? All the best. Ciao. A.


Eeeks...blimmin' 'eck, that's what I get for typing with a wrist support. I replied to your lovely comments on Thursday but I obviously pressed the wrong button....d'oh.

Sorry about that.

Anyway, Hazel I just wanted to say how much your kind comments cheered me along. By last Thursday I'd felt overwhelmingly housebound only puncuated briefly by a disasterous trip into town earlier that week.

You sound as though you are making fabulous progress and I'd love to hear how you get on. Your menagerie sounds fab, especially the ducks. As for your grown-up bin saboteur, I wish you luck. :-D However, you should find that your challenge is helpful to make changes that you need. It really is a fun challenge, so good luck and please keep popping back with your news. :-D

Hi John - it's great to be back even if it's only now and then. Am looking forward to next week though. :-D

Hi Mrs G - thank you. Glad it wasn't just me needing a lie down LOL. As you know, I'm always glad to do my bit. Good luck next week. Will be catching up very soon :-D x

Hi Antonella - you do not sound mean at all...I know how you feel. Enjoy the peace and quiet this week. I know I will. And good luck with the new push on waste reduction :-D

Karin said...

Hope the chickens are back to laying normally. I guess all children have unsavoury ideas. At least you put your son straight that throwing chickens is not acceptable behaviour. Some parents don't, which is why their kids don't learn that lesson.


Hi Karin - yes, thankfully they're are all back to normal now and my youngest hasn't done it again. There'll be more on the chickens later this week. How are yours? I've been popping by your blog to see how you're doing, but I haven't seen any updates for a while. Hope all's well. :-D

Karin said...

All is fine, thanks. I'm just busy, and have been on holiday a couple of times. Plus we've got a 'big do' in less than 2 weeks we need to get ready for. I'm hoping to blog after that, if not before.Our chickens are fine, thanks. I'll be interested to hear more about yours.

clareybabble said...

I can imagine a chicken facebook, they could call it cluckbook ;) They'd have a ball playing Farmville x


Hi Karin - sounds like you're have a jam-packed time. Hope you enjoy the "big do" and I will post about the chickens very soon. They've been having me running in circles :-D

Hi Clareybabble - Cluckbook, LOL, I love it :-D

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