Rhyme and No Reason!

Blogger, author and rhymester who likes to find the humour in life.

Never ‘Just A Mum’ — March 6, 2016

Never ‘Just A Mum’

Mum 5
My Mum!


I wrote this poem last year, but thought it would be perfect for  Mother’s day and good to re-share it for those that haven’t seen it before.

Oh, and of course, you can also find this poem in my new book ‘Rhymes of the Times. which is now available on Amazon and Kindle!

Happy Mother’s Day for all those that are celebrating it today 🙂


You wake up constantly through the night

To each and every cry

You soothe, you feed, you  keep them clean

Then croon a lullaby

You take their hand as they take a step

Your face is filled with joy

You sing, you dance, you muck about

With your precious girls and boys

You nurse them when they are poorly

You kiss them when they weep

You fret, you stress, and you can’t relax

Until they are fast asleep

They sometimes drive you crazy

So you say you’ll smack their bum

You cook, you clean, you’re everything

But you’re never ‘Just a Mum’!

Episode 382: Tea Parties and Trips! — June 19, 2015

Episode 382: Tea Parties and Trips!

Yesterday was Mum’s 83rd birthday. She had invited my two sisters and myself  with our families for tea. The weather could not have been nicer and we only live a few minutes walk away which is handy.

Both of my sisters were there when we got there and one of my nieces. It was great to eat outside in the garden and also catch up with each other as we had not managed to spend all that much time together lately. Later my nephew and other niece and her husband joined us as well which completed our little tea-party,

My sister had set up the table and chairs on the raised patio so there was not a huge amount of room around it to walk freely. Mr Grump had partaken of a couple of beers and went to help himself to something to eat from the table. Unfortunately, he tripped over a quadruple plant pot type arrangement filled with compost, which upended and went everywhere; this had Mum tutting at the mess.

She also has these huge planter type boxes as well which Mr Grump fell against when he tripped. Seeing her chance, my little sister gave him a shove which sent him reeling back straight into it, squashing Mum’s plants. That set the rest of us off laughing, especially as Mum was telling my sister off for pushing him in!

Ahhhh, Just like the old days!

Into the Planter.

Episode 322: A Tough Old Bird! — May 10, 2015

Episode 322: A Tough Old Bird!

As it is International Mother’s day today, I thought that I would share a story about my mum despite the fact that we celebrated our Mother’s Day in March.

About 12 years ago, just before my own daughter was born,(I was about 6 months pregnant), I had moved back in with my mum and step-dad. They were both about 70 years old at the time. Anyway I had gone off to work as usual (I worked in an office then) and about halfway through the day I had a call at work telling me that mum had a bad fall and was in hospital.

Luckily the hospital was only a five-minute drive away so I went straight to see her as soon as I could. She looked dreadful, and was obviously in quite a bit of pain. It had turned out that mum was pottering about in the kitchen that morning, and my step-dad had some jobs he had to do, so he went out.

Apparently there was a bit of water on the kitchen floor which mum didn’t see. She skidded in it and went down with a bang on the floor. Unusually, my step-dad was out for longer than normal as he had also called in to see one of my sisters. When he came back Mum was on her hands and knees in the kitchen where she had been for 3 hours.

She is rather well-covered is my mum and my step-dad couldn’t get her up, coupled with that she was in a tremendous amount of pain. An ambulance was called, mum and Len (my step-dad) went to the hospital where it transpired Mum had broken her hip and would require surgery.

She didn’t actually get operated on until the evening after she was admitted for one reason or another, but she never complained at all. When she came home, initially she would use a wheelchair which either Len or I would bump about, carting her around until she could walk, which actually was not that long afterward.

Three months later I gave birth to my daughter and when I came home the next day with precious little bundle, mum was there helping me to bathe her and give me bits of advice.

Unfortunately. I was taken ill myself when my daughter was 2 days old, and I went back into hospital with my daughter, and was there for a week. During this time poor and mum and Len came up every day, wheeling me out for a cigarette and bringing me in home-cooked food (I have always been greedy)!

Despite Mum still waddling unevenly, with her healing hip, she still managed to make the effort to come and see me and make sure me and my daughter were ok.

She is nearly 83 and still hobbling about looking after herself. She is one tough old bird!


Episode 222: Happy Mother’s Day! — March 15, 2015

Episode 222: Happy Mother’s Day!

Today is Mother’s Day here in the UK. My 11-year-old daughter has very kindly offered to do my hair and make-up for me today, as a pampering treat. Later on I will be going to visit my own mother to spend a bit of time with her.

Being a mother is pretty tough at times and we all take a different approach to it. I thought I would take a light-hearted look at some of the different types of mothers I have encountered.

The Good All Rounder Mum

Oh how I envy this type of Mum. She is the one whose kids always look immaculate.(Poor little Miss Hap, after 10 minutes she manages to manages to look as if I have sent her out with clothes that have never seen an iron, and are not on great terms with the washing machine either)!

These Mums always bake wonderful cakes whenever they have a school fete, or special fund-raising day or something. I however have sent in shop bought cakes when I have had the customary five minutes notice from my daughter panicking when she realises she forgot to tell me to make something. In my defence I have (when I have the right ingredients)  sent in some of my home-made delights!

My biggest envy of these mums though is on occasions when ‘fancy dress’ is called for, You know the nativity play, World Book Day, and other occasions. One of my neighbours is a good all round mum, and I remember when our kids were at primary school when they had to dress up. She sent her son and daughter as the Queen and Knave of hearts. They had wonderful home-made outfits and she had even made a tray with jam tarts on it, such was her attention to detail. My daughter went as Tutankhamun with a cheap outfit from eBay and some wonky eye make-up applied by her cack-handed mother!

The Cliquey Mum

Oh we all know this type of mum. She is the one waiting at the school gates, chatting away to a few of the other cliquey mums. They are always involved in some way with the school, usually as a governor, and they always help out at the fund-raising occasions as well.

I always keep out of their way whenever possible. Miss Hap made quite a name for herself at primary school what with her tendency to want to escape, plus her curiosity in finding out what happens when you flood the toilets! They know everything about every child it seems and I have been on the end of their disapproving glances many a time.

The Over-Protective Mum

This is the Mum who kisses their kids goodbye at the secondary school gates (much to their disgust) having driven them to school when all the other kids have caught the bus. This mum has packed a lovely healthy and nutritious lunch for their child (who tries to swap it  with anyone that has something that is not allowed)!

This child has got on sensible shoes and a spare set of underwear (just in case). The school has about 10 contact numbers for mum for every eventuality. When the child has a cold they are kept off from school for a week to recover and be looked after by their doting mummy.

The Cool Mum

She is the one that rolls up to school just as the bell is going. She wears the latest trendy clothes and always looks great. Her kids also trendy hairstyles which are just on the cusp of being acceptable for school. They are all good-looking, have the best sleepovers, and have loads of friends.

We none of us mums are perfect, and all try our best to bring up decent, kind and respectful children, whatever our style. I would just like to pay tribute to all mums, be they biological, foster, adoptive or step. You are doing a bloody good job!

Episode 219: Silly Sayings…. — March 13, 2015

Episode 219: Silly Sayings….

It’s funny how we incorporate these little sayings into our lives (many that our own parents have said to us in the past) that don’t make any sense! Here are a few of my favourites……

“If you don’t eat your dinner, you won’t get any pudding!” This was said to us as kids if we had left our meal in order to get to the rather nicer looking dessert. This is a bit silly really as, if we ate all our dinner we might not be able to eat our pudding, let alone enjoy it!

“If the wind changes you will stay like that”! We have all poked our tongue out at someone or made a face behind their back. This threat was supposed to deter us doing this, but I really don’t think anyone ever believes it!

“Do you want a smack?” This really makes me laugh. As if anyone is going to say “Oh yes please, the harder the better” (On second thoughts with all this 50 Shades stuff being popular at the moment…)Anyway, as kids when you are being naughty and your mum threatens you with this, you do tend to behave yourself pretty quick!

In the same vein what about, ” Stop crying, or I’ll give you something to cry about!” For a start if you are in a state about something, it is not always easy (as a child) to just instantly stop crying, but if you don’t you are in for a clout. A bit of a no-win one this is!

” Go and wash behind your ears, you could grow spuds there” Even if it were possible, why would anyone want to grow potatoes on their head!

Those are some of my favourites. Do you have any?

Episode 216: Mum’s The Word! — March 12, 2015

Episode 216: Mum’s The Word!

On Sunday, here in the UK it is Mother’ s Day. My Mum is quite a character and I have written about her a few times over the last six months, which is no surprise of course, seeing as she is one of the biggest influences in my life! I thought I would share a few more snippets of her wise and wonderful ways!

She is 82 years old, yet refers to both of her neighbours and others younger than her as ‘old ladies’! That always makes me laugh. How old do you have to be before you consider yourself old?

She is the worst ‘re-gifter’ in the world! I think most of the girls in my family have been on the receiving end of something we recognised giving her for a previous birthday or Christmas present!

On a similar theme. She leaves the prices on all the presents and also forgets to label them, so sometimes you open a present which you really like only to have it snatched out of your hand and told it isn’t meant for you! Or worse still, you might get a rather snazzy pair of boxer shorts, which despite most things being unisex these days, some women are not so keen on the front opening!

When you phone her up if she does actually hear it and pick it up, you can barely hear her voice over the racket of the TV. It is positively BLARING! When you go round there, you are almost sent reeling with the assault on your eardrums!

She is one of the best cooks I know! Although my Mum does not do as much baking as she used to, she still makes a damn good roast dinner. As long as you can overlook the fact that the meat might have been cooked the day before and left in the microwave overnight as she put it there to cool down as it ‘is covered’ and then forgot about it!

She has a tissue permanently up her sleeve! What is it with old ladies and their tissues? I thought it was only little kids that had permanently snotty noses, (and they never have a tissue handy preferring to wipe it on whatever is to hand). Every room you go in there will be a crumpled up tissue!

Starts a sentence with, “I don’t want to be a pain but…” and you know you are not going to like what you hear next! She has just done all of her shopping and when you go to put it away she realises that she forgot to get milk or some other necessity that you had reminded her about constantly whilst in the supermarket! Or Another one…. you are all going out somewhere, a few miles away, you are nearly there when she tells you she has ‘forgotten her purse’. You tell her it doesn’t matter but no, you have to go all the way back to get it!

Those are just a few of the little ways my mum has that drive us all mad! However, she has been there for us all at some time or another over the years, and having six children could not have been easy for her, I hope she realises that she is appreciated!

Episode 124: Mum’s The Word….. — January 26, 2015

Episode 124: Mum’s The Word…..

I was going to write about motivation today, or rather the lack of! I am still trying to get back on my feet, so to speak, after this nasty bout of depression, Finding motivation to do anything is a little bit tricky. Anyway, I typed the word ‘motivation’ into google (probably trying to get a bit of inspiration as well), and one of the results that came back was the word ‘notivation’ which according to the Urban Dictionary means the opposite of motivation. This describes my feelings to a tee!

Now, I do love words, and their meanings; I love playing with them  and rhyming them. I have the Oxford Dictionary, a few nursing dictionaries, also  couple of foreign language ones, however I never stumbled across this urban dictionary before. This is probably because I am old and a bit naff and this urban stuff is for the cool kids.

Oh how I wish I had found this site before. It is soooo funny! I have learned new words that need no explanation, but say ‘exactly what is says on the tin’! (I nicked that expression from an advert). What do you think about ‘ambitchous’? I love that! I could find a few handy uses for that word. I love the examples used on the site of how the words are best used, but they are too naughty for here, but hilarious all the same!

Being as behind the times as I am, no doubt you have already found this site 10 years ago, and it is probably old hat. For me though, it is like a guilty pleasure! I am a woman who is easily pleased, and I have found no end of amusement and entertainment browsing through some of those words! I take my hat off to those that thought some of them up. Very clever.

I think it extremely important to have a wide and varied vocabulary, and I have just added a few more (albeit dodgy) words to mine! I might even try some of the cleaner ones out on my ‘street savvy’ 11 year old. That will make her cringe in embarrassment. She goes mad as it is when I try and sing along to some of the music she likes, but get the words wrong. Or, even worse, when there is a song out that has been rejigged and messed about with, from  years ago,and I will sing the original version!

Ahhhh yes, things are a-changing around here. I am no longer fuddy-duddy Mum,  I am ‘sick’ Mum! (In more ways than one I reckon)!


Episode 73: Mind Your Language! — December 12, 2014

Episode 73: Mind Your Language!

Earlier on today I read a post by Wendy of the Rock where she talks about her love for bad language, particularly the ‘F’ word and how this used to upset her mother, but now she has become used to it.

I could really relate to this post, mainly as it brought back memories of how strict my mum and stepdad were  when me and my siblings were growing up. I have to say that as a little girl, I was not much of a swearer, in fact I was very quiet and a bit of a ‘Goody Two Shoes’. Well truth be known,back in the ‘olden days’ we didn’t really hear much bad language, not even on the TV (Mind you I had to be in bed before 8 until I was about 12 years old)!

I never heard my mother swear at all, growing up, (I don’t really count ‘bugger’ , ‘bloody’ and ‘Christ’ as swearing. She did let the odd ‘shit’ slip out though (Ha Ha!  bit of a double entendre there). Woe betide any of us that dared say any of those words though, We would be threatened as Wendy was, with our mouths being washed out with soap. My stepfather was a bit different though as he had a broad West Country ‘oooh-arrr’ type of accent that made us laugh, especially when he described someone falling as ‘going arse over tit’. Commonplace now but shocking to us kids back then. Mum would give him a bit of a look but he was oblivious to it anyway!

I remember when I was about 9 years old, and desperate to grow up quickly, was upset about my deficiency in the boob department. We had been singing Christmas Carols at school. A line from ‘In The Bleak Midwinter’ had piqued my interest, which was …’a breastful of milk and a mangerful of hay’. Hmmm, did that mean that if I drank a lot of milk then a would get big boobs, which I desperately wanted ( I was very innocent back then). anyway I asked my Mum for a glass of milk, and for some reason told her why I wanted it. She asked me to repeat what I had just said,

“To make my breastful of milk grow bigger” I chirped. WRONG! I got a clout for that!. We did not discuss intimate body parts in our house, not even allowed to say ‘bum’. Bottom was the correct term for everything front and back, girls and boys! Sex education we learned at school (or from other kids), and I dreaded telling my Mum when puberty started!

I would never swear in front of my older brothers and sisters either, particularly my eldest sister as I would probably get a smack off her as well (she dobbed me in to my Mum when she found a packet of cigarettes on me when I was 13)!!! Funnily enough Mum wasn’t as mad about that as she would be about us swearing!

My younger sister was and is a lot braver, and much feistier than I am. I remember once when we were teenagers; she was sleeping in my room, and as we used to fight like cat and dog then. I for once got really angry and told her to ‘piss off”. Oh, no, Mum’s room was next door and sure enough my step dad yelled, but at my sister, not me! No-one thought I had it in me to use such language!

Now of course. Mum doesn’t seem to mind her grand-children swearing, in fact she has been known to come out with a few choice words herself. Not only that she openly talks about sex (CRINGE), and has a filthy mind we’ve discovered. When we have large family gatherings we quite often end up playing games, and although they always start fairly innocently, ‘consequences’ ends up making an appearance, and the filthier the better! For those unfamiliar with it everyone starts off  with a bit of paper, you write a girl’s name on it, fold it over, pass it to the next person and they write a boy’s name on it, fold it over, pass it on, write where they met, what they did, what he said, she said and how it ended up each time folding it over and passing it on. when that is over, you take it in turns to read out all the combinations. It is a playground game really, but you can get some VERY interesting scenarios if you have a dirty mind!

It is odd though that I still have that fear (or respect) in me that will not swear in front of my Mum!

Episode 64: A Little Bit of Dirt Never Killed Anybody…. — December 3, 2014

Episode 64: A Little Bit of Dirt Never Killed Anybody….

I received a phone call from Miss Hap today during her lunch break at school to let me know that there is a Craft Fair on Friday at school and “you have got to make some gingerbread men biscuits”.  Oh great! Well I have to give her credit for telling me a little in advance, normally it is at bedtime the night before she has to take something home-made into school. (I know some supermarkets do a lovely range of ‘home-made’ cakes etc but it does seem a bit naughty to do that; However needs must, and I have done it in the past)!

Anyway, as it is my day off today, and not only have I got the ingredients (and more importantly the recipe) for the gingers, but I actually enjoy making them (along with mince pies, that is about my festive repartee). I have already made the dough, and whilst that is ‘chilling’ in the fridge, I get a bit of time to myself to reflect on how different I am from my mum in the kitchen, I was thinking about Mum and what a fantastic cook she is, although nowadays she doesn’t bake so much. However, in her baking heyday some of her practices in the kitchen left a little to be desired…..

Two funny stories come to mind. the first one was when mum was making her famous ‘rock cakes’. Now, they were not ALWAYS as hard as rock as the name implies, and she put currants or something in them as well, so they were quite tasty for a Sunday afternoon tea. This particular day she made the cakes with her usual method, chucking a bit of this in, sprinkling in a pinch of that, then a dollop of something else for good measure. Once cooked they looked lovely and golden brown and she turned them out onto the wire rack to cool for a bit.

My younger sister and I were there when she decided to have a little ‘taster’ and she bit off a huge chunk from a cake.

“Mmmm these are lovely” (Self-recommendation is no praise, but Mum was proud of her cooking). As I looked up at Mum I was horrified; there were loads of ants crawling around her mouth, my sister had noticed as well. We were screeching and pointing but Mum had realised something was not right, and she rushed over to the sink to spit out the cake, and brush away the ants that she had not ingested!  It transpired that Mum’s wire rack was kept in the little alcove under the kitchen sink, and she had not washed it (how the hell she didn’t notice the ants all over it is anybody’s guess)! Well needless to say we went cakeless, and had something else!

The other occasion, was a dinner Mum was cooking for the family. She had made a gorgeous stew, and was preparing the dumplings to go with it, which she cooked in the pot with the stew. She went to one of the cupboards and got out her little box where she kept, her margarine, butter and lard. Anyway, she made the dumplings, but as I watched her , I said that they didn’t look right (Mrs Expert Chef poking her nose in)! Needless to say she took no notice of me, and half an hour later we all sat down for our lovely dinner. I took one mouthful of dumpling, and the rank taste hit me; the dumpling was expelled straight away.as I retched and heaved. Some of the others followed suit but the slow starters sat there stunned; dinner was ruined. That fat she used had been sitting opened in the packet for God knows how long, and was well and truly off! Mum told us to eat the stew anyway just leave the dumplings, but everyone’s appetite had suddenly disappeared!

I remember those two occasions so well, as my Mum never understood why we all made such a fuss about everything being clean, or that food was not past it’s ‘sell-by date’! Myself, plus some of my brothers and sisters used to go through the fridge and cupboards and sure enough there were tins there from  5 years previously (“tins last forever”), bottles where the date had rubbed off, or perhaps even before they dated foods, unwrapped food in the fridge, cooked and raw meat stored in close proximity, and condiments from the ark! Anything that was in the fridge was edible according to mum regardless of how long it had been in there!

I suppose growing up when food was rationed, they were not so picky about what they ate, being grateful to have anything. Also I have seen her trying  to sneak an errant spud in the roasting tin that had fallen on the floor when she strained them in the pan. Again, anything that went on the floor got either rinsed or brushed off and put on the plate! After all, “A little bit of dirt never killed anyone” and me, and my siblings have the cast iron stomachs to prove it!

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