sarah miles

Triple blogger and a bit of a lush.

Apr 022014

Back in 1981, I was 8 years old.

We had our spellings given to us in a tobacco tin, we counted bottle tops in Maths and we were made to stand in the ‘silly circle’ if we misbehaved at break time.


So smoking, alcohol and public humiliation all perfectly acceptable.

Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer and we all marvelled at her wedding dress and tried to copy her hair-do. Most of us, unsuccessfully.

I went to parties with a white stripe across my face in homage to Adam Ant. And in the playground it was a major faux-pas to steps on any tiny insects ‘in case it was one of Adam’s Ants’. I know, I know.


Life was opening up to me and I had the (in my opinion) great fortune to spend my ‘growing up years’ in the 80s. Shoulder pads, Wham! (Andrew or George?), Back to the Future, ski pants, fluorescent yellow and pink alternate socks, black patent brogues with lace for shoe laces, jelly bags, Torvill and Dean, Thriller and Grolsch tops in your shoes.

I'm sure I had this on my wall, ripped from Blue Jeans Magazine

I’m sure I had this on my wall,
ripped from Blue Jeans Magazine

Lots of memories, most of them good, a few of them wonderful. School days, exams, discos, first slow dance, first kiss. Great friends, two of whom remain my best friends today.

They say fashion goes in cycles; I think the 80s are back. And it grates…not just in a ‘My God, I wouldn’t be seen dead in that any more’ way and not in a ‘Man, that makes me feel old’ kind of way, but in a ‘Go away – these are my memories, my childhood, my era’ kind of way. Trespassers will be terminated. Hasta la vista, Baby.

Mar 312014

Well, I hope all you mothers out there had a nice day yesterday. I was greeted with a 6am wake-up and, what appeared to be, a pot of snot.

Pot of Snot

Home-made cards = the best.

Flowers = lovely

Clay handprint = special

Pot of Snot = questionable

It was from my 4 year-old via nursery and she didn’t know what it was either. It smelled of mint (apparently chosen because I like toothpaste – who knew?) and had the texture of molten earwax. I am assuming, after much perplexing and ‘help me out here’ stares to my husband, that it was supposed to be an almighty tub of lip balm. Even poor old Jocelyn Wildenstein would have trouble using that up before Christmas.

jocelyn wildenstein cat woman plastic surgery

Still, I had a lovely day; first barbecue of the year, dog walk and reduced argument rate from the kids.

Today, the tulips are brightening my mantelpiece, my kitchen has some new artwork and the bin smells of mint….

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Mar 252014

When it all gets a bit too much, I think of life as a tennis match. Points, games, sets and match.

I wake up before the alarm does. Love-15.

anyone for tennis?Fall back to sleep. 15 All.

Child appears wanting breakfast. 30-15.

Husband goes to make breakfast. 30 All.

Shower uninterrupted. 40-30.

Washing machine activated, shower runs cold. Deuce.

Sneak onto Twitter. Advantage Sarah.

Child screams. Deuce.

Hot cup of tea. Advantage Sarah.

Tea goes cold whilst making breakfast for the hordes. Deuce.

Last night’s homework not done. Advantage kids.

No packed lunch for school trip. Game kids.


If life were tennis, I’d have a heap of earth named after me. Sarah’s Summit. People would sit on it and cheer.

I mean jeer.

Well, they’d drink Pimms until they were sloshed and love me cos I’m British.


New Balls Please.

Mar 192014

In case you didn’t know, we have two dogs. First there is Delilah, a somewhat lazy, very rotund choccie lab with breath that smells of rotting fish which can floor you at 20 paces. She is the doggie equivalent of Mr Stink. One huff of the breath of doom and you will be surrounded by an almost visible pungency of malevolence. Sometimes, when I am tickling the kids, I hold them down and if they don’t surrender I call Delilah over to breathe on them. Don’t call social services, they love it really. Honestly, they do.


Then there is Fergus, a cross cocker/collie who looks like a bigger version of Kate and Will’s pedigree chum, Lupo. Except where (no doubt) Lupo has a gleaming coat and comes to call, Fergus has knots of hair that are entwined with debris from the forest floor and strands of weed from the reservoir. He had an entire branch stuck in his tail once which he had to walk all the way home like a badge of honour until I could get at it with the kitchen scissors.

Fergus....or is it Lupo?

Fergus also has a tendency to dig holes, pee like a girl and eat small toys – my son’s Playskool Marvel figures being his current favourite. I found Iron Man’s head in his poo the other day. Not smiling now, are you tough guy?

This weekend, though, Fergus gave us a bit of a scare.

I returned home from a school play rehearsal (on a SATURDAY MORNING I hasten to add) and the family were arguing playing together nicely as usual. I made a cup of tea and then noticed – no Fergus. ‘Odd,’ I thought to myself ‘he didn’t welcome me when I came in. He always welcomes me.’ (I am the alpha male of the family; he follows me everywhere).

I asked the family where he was and got a general reply of ‘Dunno’. I called for him. I checked the back garden, then the front, then outside the front gate. Nothing. He was gone.

What ensued was half an hour of me driving up and down the local country lanes yelling ‘FERGUS!’ out of the window with more and more desperation creeping into my voice. He had run off before, during a walk with my husband, and I found him on the doorstep, having made his way back home. But his time he was nowhere to be found. I felt sure if he was loose he would find his way back. That left me three options: He was dead under a car somewhere, he had been picked up by someone or he had been taken by someone. Dog theft is rife around here and even though he is a mutt, he looks like the royal dog of choice and is high on the hit list.

There were no missed calls on my phone and returning home we were on the verge of calling the police when we remembered it was our home number on his tag, not my mobile. I don’t know about you, but we never use our landline. Its sole purpose is for the internet and the only person who tries to call us on it is my mother-in-law. The phone wasn’t in its cradle and was out of charge so we had to wait to find out that there was, indeed, a message from someone who had found Fergus!

Turns out, they picked him up right outside our house and our neighbour was watching from his kitchen window. I say nothing. I am just glad that he was found and safe. We went to meet them in Tesco’s car park to make the exchange. This felt very dodgy and I’m sure one old woman was noting down our registration numbers as local dog pedlars. They asked me his name (they had re-christened him Sam) and I told them he was Fergus, of Irish descent and much-loved and missed. He was VERY subdued and traveled home at my feet with his head very firmly stuck to my lap and big doleful eyes looking at me.


We still *don’t know* how he got out. My husband swears he never left the premises. Oh, except when he took the recycling out but he was sure the gate was closed…

Either way, it could have happened to any of us and Fergus is a pesky little bugger who’d be out of the gate like a shot.

Delilah slept through the whole debacle.

She missed him really...


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Mar 112014

one weekMonths of torrid rain has made this winter into a soulless place. The only silver linings were the clouds; the skies were full of the most wonderful, billowing clouds, often framed with silver as the sun nestled just behind them. I saw rainbows in their midst and we turned their shape into fairy-tales with giants and butterflies, witches and galloping horses. Evening brought bright skies full of shepherds’ delight with clouds stretching back as far as the eye could see. Just glorious.

Linking up to Older Mum and #oneweek