A Jazzy Easter Part 3: A Helping Hand, PopNics and New Friends

The last few days since our return from our Bolt Hole has been filled with visiting my mam, with a bribed WiiBoy in tow, a movie 'n' pizza trip with his cousin and a tough Taekwondo class. I am impressed with how he performs his Purple belt pattern called Chung-Gun, I must say. He does it with style and power.

Enough of the fun stuff now.....there is work to be done around here ya know. Chez Jazzy needed a clean up. So I drafted in some help.

Our car was filthy after our long drive so WiiBoy washed it (with minimal assistance from me)

We were expecting some special visitors so yesterday we got to work! House needed some tidying up...it would be nice for our visitors to be able to find a seat to sit on, amongst the clutter!

Downstairs needed hoovering (so did upstairs but sure they won't be going up there!) WiiBoy to the rescue!

WiiBoy really wanted our garden furniture set up but patio needed cleaning first....

He then got to enjoy the fruit of his labour...

After all that work (he really did all that by himself!)  we headed to the beach where we whiled away a blissful two hours lounging about listening to the waves gently breaking on the beach and munching on our PopNic (Wiiboy's cool new name for Popcorn Picnic...cool, eh?!) Followed by more lounging about in the nearby park.

Then, as we knew they were coming we baked a cake. Well, it was in theory a cake!

And today our special visitors arrived! Yes, we had a lovely visit from the ever- lovely Blue Sky who was accompanied by the ever-cool CD and the ever-smiling Smiley...... and a plate of yummy brownies!! It was fantastic. We really wanted to get WiiBoy and CD together as they have very similar interests etc. But, would it work? Would they get on or would it all fall apart?

All I'll say is that Blue Sky and I were left to chat in peace while the boys bonded through Xbox play. See, Xbox IS good for something after all ;-)

They got on so well. Same interests and same sense of humour. We could barely get a word in!

We thought a quick walk to the beach before their journey home would be nice so off we went. We spent nearly an hour down there as the boys got a little carried away with their paddling in the sea! It started off as chasing other other on the sand then paddling but ended up with them both totally immersing themselves in the water. Fully clothed!! Oh the squeals of joy from them, it was a pleasure to behold.So, we just left them at it!

We somehow, eventually managed to drag them back to the house and the boys said said their excited farewells, making promises to befriend each other on Xbox!

I literally deposited a saturated WiiBoy into the shower, from where he waxed lyrical about his new found friendship! He was so excited and so, so happy. He was amazed that he made a new best friend today ...a straight best friend as he says, in that they became best friends immediately!

Yes, I believe a friendship was forged today.

And that's good. Real good :-)


A Jazzy Easter: Part 2.... Our Bolt Hole

It can be expensive trying to find interesting activities to lure an only child away from his beloved Xbox on the school holidays. My last, hastily written post, details Part 1 of this break.

Part 2 of this Easter Break  has just taken place and was a successful diversion from all  things Xbox related, as planned.

This stage of the holiday involved a few days away in our favourite Bolt Hole to which we have retreated once or twice a year for the past 10 years, in order to recharge our much depleted batteries. We love this place a lot, situated as it is on a beautiful sandy beach on the south coast of Ireland. The Clonea Strand Hotel has been very good to the Jazzys over the years and we thoroughly enjoyed this trip too.

 And they don't have Xboxes either ;-)

Although I keep referring to Xbox in these posts it's not just Xbox that's the problem. It is  mostly xbox but it's also all screen related activities too. With that in mind this trip away nearly got off to a disastrous start. I arrived home from The Sound Of Music as I mentioned in my last post to discover that WiiBoy's  itouch, that I'd left connected to the PC to update after downloading a movie, had reverted to factory settings!! Oh, Dear Lord. He has no music on his itouch, none, nada... it's all Apps. Four pages of Apps...all gone. Disappeared into a cyber black hole. Oh God. I cried. Really, I did! It was late, I was tired and we were heading off the next morning! Thankfully I got some help from a twitter pal and all was restored:-) Well, all except the movie, that is.

So, the next morning with our new car (yes...our new car!) all packed up and with itouch and Nintendo DS all charged up, off we went! It was  a lovely trip and a sleepy WiiBoy was very quiet most of the way, catching up on much needed rest.

It is always when I hit the watery warmth of the hotel's jacuzzi that I feel I am truly on holidays, as all strains and stresses melt away. Total bliss. And so it was on this trip also.

We had a glorious fun-filled and busy 3 days away. We played in the pool every day. He is 11 now and at that age it's great because he can go into the men's changing area by himself or with Mr Jazzy. I don't know how this transformation took place but magically it has! Well, I suppose all the training with school lessons and the changing villages in the local pool has had something to do with it ;-) Is it sad that changing and showering by myself in the ladies area constitutes 'me time' these days? At this age he can play in the pool by himself while we avail of the jacuzzi and steam room etc. Only problem is he still wants one of us to stay and play with him! I must learn to cherish this as no doubt this too will soon pass.

We spent time on the fabulous beach where he played in  the waves with his water board and dug some trenches to allow rock pools flow into each other. Something he always does.

And I got some time to relax and read my book.

I'm currently reading the third in Stieg Larsson's trilogy.. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest and am thoroughly enthralled. I am of course intrigued by The Girl in question who has Asperger's Syndrome. I am particularly intrigued by her  IT abilities and the culture and lifestyle of her hacker pals. You know where my head is going with this. Right? Sigh....

We had lazy lunches enjoyed with a lunchtime drink. Thirsty work, is swimming! And I got to sneak down to the foyer either before or after dinner to read in peace for a while and enjoy a glass of wine.

We played bowling. Once. I booked for 30 minutes but was late down. Mr Jazzy started up but was told I'd booked for an hour! Nooooo....never, EVER book bowling for an hour. Never! We survived but 30 minutes from now on. Seriously, don't they remember us???!!

We had lovely lazy meals too. The hotel does fabulous dinners and we ate out one night in the local Indian restaurant too. And all electronic equipment was left in the hotel room for most of these meals!

All this frolicking around  in swimming pools and on beaches and eating big meals with lunchtime pints is very tiring work you know, so the Jazzys were in bed by 11pm! Hard to believe I know, but it's true!

We arrived home safe and sound with WiiBoy promising that the first thing he'd do is play with his budgie, who was very lonely without us. What do you think was the first thing he did? Well, he went to the loo and then, without so much as a backwards tweet at poor, lonely Sunny he went straight onto his Xbox. Just to 'check something out mum'.

Four hours (yes... I said four hours) later we got him off and went out for tea to finish off our holidays. There is a positive aspect to this particular Xbox Fest that I will discuss in the Xbox-Wars post I have planned.

And so it continues as we go forth to Part 3 of this Easter break...

We will have a chat in the morning.

Damn Xbox....

I really did enjoy Part 2 of the Easter Break though :-))))


A Jazzy Easter: Part 1

The Easter school holidays is turning out to be an exercise in xbox damage limitation as I single handedly try to entertain an exuberant, xbox-obsessed pre-teen by desperately attempting to provide alternative and appealing entertainment.

We got off to a good start by hosting a small sleepover on the first day. This was followed by an early morning xbox-fest, as is expected with a chez-Jazzy style sleepover, promptly followed by..lets just say a little argument, when I tried to encourage him to leave his preferred activity to go to a Triple A organised Art activity involving clay-making. You'd swear I was trying to get him to go do schoolwork at his teacher's house on the holidays. Apparently, she does house calls when you're hosting a sleeepover, for a small 'fee'  something I'll remember to threaten him with next time ;-) I'm relieved to say that a very different child left that Art class to the one who entered. How calming an activity clay making is :-)

The next day Mr Jazzy went off on his golf trip so we were left to our own devices for a few days. We filled this time with limited, well as limited as I could make it, xbox play interspersed with trampoline time and walks/cycles to the beach. It is hard to see a boy stuck on xbox when the sun is gloriously shining outside.

We had a trip to town for a fruitful secret meeting on foot of a secret email I received, all will be revealed in due course! The bribe for this was pizza and a trip to the museum. No pizza as it turned out and the museums close on Mondays, so it was a relaxing trip to Stephens Green and dinner in the local chinese with a fellow Golf Widow and her daughter that evening instead. The last time WiiBoy was at this restaurant he was about 6 years old and only ate egg fried rice and chips. This time he had chicken wings and chow mein, which he didn't like so he had...... egg fried rice instead! But, hey he tried and trying is always praised :-)

We had takeaways and trips to pub for tea and snuggles. We also had another Triple A sponsored trip, to the cinema this time. Thank you Triple A.  We ended our week with Mr Jazzy's return which was almost spoiled by an unexpected xbox meltdown. All my fault, of course! he was so enraged, upset and broken-hearted ....and wouldn't speak to me for about an hour! This meltdown threatened to ruin daddy's return, his important Taekwondo class and a hastily arranged sleepover in his pal's house. Thankfully all was resolved and his 'head felt better' just in time. Phew!

The next day I took a sleepy sleepover boy to the Grand Canal Theatre to see the Sound of Music. We had pizza in the over-priced Milano's restaurant first (with Mr Jazzy) where a pint of beer costs approx E8.80 and a glass of wine E7.30. They do have a special on at the moment but you need a secret code and then you must nod and wink at the waiter to surreptitiously ask under your breath for the *speaks from covered mouth* specials menu. Gawd!

The show was entertaining. Verity Rushworth (she who plays Donna Windsor in the Emmerdale soap) was brilliant and Jason Donovan....wasn't. The sets and set changes were wonderful, the second half was slow and WiiBoy thought it was all B.S. What can I say?! I enjoyed it but Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was better. WiiBoy did reveal something to me:  no offence mum...but I prefer the acting bits to the singing...and dancing. That's ok, sez I, we all take something different from these shows. I also pointed out that sometimes the songs tell the story too and they must be acted as well as sung. This was very evident for pretty much the first 15 minutes of this show!

So now we're into the second week and I have plans for the next few days which include no xbox play whatsoever.

This break is quite exhausting and as he's 11 WiiBoy stays up late every night, which leaves me no time for being my usual social butterfly self ,so forgive me for not reading your blogs recently... I will be back stalking you real soon and that's a promise ;-)

I must add though that WiiBoy has been very good while Mr Jazzy was away and is actually becoming a companion to me. He is growing up and I am very, very proud of him :-)

xx Jazzy

NOTE: This is a hastily written post on a pay-as-you-type PC with a mind of it's own. Please forgive any bad spelling, grammer and the lack of photos or links. It is the PC and not the 3 glasses of wine that I have consumed!

You Just Never Know What May Happen....

Life is fickle and fate can bestow all sorts of unwanted travails upon us whenever it feels like it, so it is always good to be prepared, for all sorts of eventualities. All sorts of things can go wrong you know, especially with regard to property. Therefore Home Insurance is always a good idea. I mean, you just never know when you might need it.

You never know when a family member might come home late at night feeling a tad tired and subsequently fall asleep on... say... the sofa. With lit cigarette in hand. While your parents are away on what may be the first holiday they've had in years. Quite a lot of damage could be done in that scenario. You would hope though, that said family member would wake up just as the cigarette burns through and touches skin and that he/she could escape the encroaching smoke and flames. You would also hope that he/she may think of waking the sleeping sister upstairs in her bed before he/she makes fast his escape. Otherwise it may be left to a passing neighbour to remind him that he actually has a sister who may  be still  inside the house. The house with the billowing smoke and flames that is. Jeez. If this accident were to happen in your lovely home you'd be glad you had Home Insurance. Wouldn't you?

You never know when you're married with a child  in a house of your own and let's say that your child is about 2 or 3 years old . Let's also say that one day your child throws a whopper of a tantrum and throws a small glass picture frame at the double-glazed window in your hall door. You then see a huge crack in the window.... he's a small child with huge strength, especially when in tantrum mode. Wouldn't it be nice if you had Home Insurance that covered that?

You never know when you might have trouble with your oil tank in your back garden. Let's say.... you get a fill of oil and that approximately six weeks later your heating system fails. You may scratch your head in bewilderment and finally think to check the oil tank to find that it's empty. Empty? After six weeks? Where is this....Antarctica? It may take a while for that to sink in, you may even, in your bewildered state, convince yourself that some very clever person siphoned the oil from your tank over the back wall.....  in a truck.... in broad daylight. You may even be convinced enough to report this theft to the local Gardai. However someone may eventually prove to you that your very full oil tank slowly but surely, over a six week period, leaked it's entire contents (1000 litres) into your back garden.....  and, as you may later discover, into your neighbour's back garden as well. Oops!  You may also hear horror stories of other cases where the oil leaked under their house and then you'll be thankful for a large back garden with a strategically placed oil tank.... and your Home Insurance policy!

You never know when your heating system may inexplicably fail again, a couple of years on. Of course this time you'd have learned your lesson and the first place you'd check would be your oil tank. Your a fast learner, after all is said in done. When a leaking oil tank proves not to be the culprit you would most probably wipe copious amounts of sweat from your brow before you soldier on to find the real cause of this particular disaster. In this scenario you would learn that there is such a thing as a Trace and Access Clause...... and once again you would be very grateful to have your Home Insurance policy to pick up the tab. Phew.

You never know, even though at this stage you would probably feel that you've had your fair share of , ahem upsets, when disaster may strike yet again. The Gods may have decided that house fires, oil leaks and heating system leaks hadn't quite discommoded you enough and may conspire to curse you with a flood of epic proportions. Well, a flood of approximately 2 to 3 inches throughout your whole house might satisfy those evil Gods. To justify their existence and show their true strength however, the evil Gods may ensure that the flood water also contained the contents (all the contents) of the local  foul water system. Could you just imagine how you would feel in this case? Particularly if you lived on a cliff......  20 feet away from any body of water..... anywhere? Jeez. You could take solace in the fact that you weren't the only house affected and be eternally grateful for your Home Insurance Policy that would cover the cost of this very expensive bill. You may also cross your fingers and touch all things wooden in your vicinity for years to come, in the hope that the evil Gods have been satisfied and have moved on to pastures greener.

Oh yes, be in no doubt at all...... Home Insurance is a very good idea indeed.

Please note that this is a fictitious account of imagined scenarios and any similarities to events that may have occurred in real life - seriously, even The Jazzys couldn't be that unlucky.... or could they?!?!- are purely coincidental. Seriously!


NOTE: This was a sponsored post. thank you for reading.