Thursday, 29 July 2010


Sometimes you just need a kick up the butt.  Granted God decided to give me a very stressful one but it was what I needed at the time.  There I was minding my own business, being unusually self-centred and stressing about all things that one cannot change; exam results being the biggest thing but also the inability to clean the house to my usual standard because of the long drawn out decorating that is still going on.

So God decided I needed a wake up call and Dad had a stroke.  As strokes go, minor but still we all stressed for a week and 2 days ago (comfortable in the knowledge he was well on the way to recovery and mum was not going to have another heart attack worrying about the love of her life) I realised that I had not worried about the exam results in nearly 2 weeks.

Because folks, lets face it, they are not that important in the grand scheme of things.  There is nothing I can do by stressing about them and dreaming about them (not being able to find my way out of a school when I haven't been in one for 20 years but I got the analogy) and yet my brain would not turn off so God did it for me.  Now I am not complaining, I needed that kick up the ass, the world does not revolve around me and I was making myself unhappy.  I had lost the ability to walk around thinking "it could be worse, get a grip" and actually doing what I told myself to do.

However, I have no nails.  Well peeps, exam results are out tomorrow morning, at 8.30 to be precise.  So what if I fail the exam I expect to fail, it means a re-sit, study for another 5 months and no room in the wardrobe for new pretty shoes but who cares? 

I think the little aliens that live in my head are stressing slightly however, they keep forcing me to nibble my nails when I am busy doing other things without realising it. 

However, on the off chance I pass both exams, I am then fully qualified and I will be dancing around a bonfire burning the books by the evening, probably on the verge of alcoholic poisoning.

What will I do immediately on finding out the successful results?  Cry (but then I do that when I pass or fail), join the gym spending the whole afternoon in there, then drink copious amounts of alcohol after ordering myself a new cross stitch to complete.  Yes, you may think me weird but I find them strangely relaxing.  I am thinking this one.....

or maybe this one:

both of which would go very nicely in the back room once we bother to put the new colours on the wall.

Alternatively, because I was Mrs Claus in a former life I am probably likely to go for this one:

despite Hubby telling me that I really do not need another Christmas picture in the house.  Really?  You think so, because I don't.....

Now, in some ways parts of my life are on hold.  I know I promised to go to gym I don't know how many blogs ago (think picture of the random woman on a bike who I took a picture of whilst on a bus) but lets face it, when I do bother to join I will live there and I cannot very well do that if I have to re-sit an exam. 

I only have my own self to blame if I fail but if I join the gym when I have to re-sit I may as well kiss the future pass good-bye.  So, I may well be destined to be more than slim (or less than whichever way you look at it) for another 6 months but as I said earlier, who cares?  There are much more important things to worry about.....

Tuesday, 20 July 2010


After whinging for the past few posts I am full of perspective today.  Dad had a stroke just over a week ago and suddenly the pass or fail of an exam is the furthest thing from my mind. 

He is much better, sounds more like my dad (as it affected his voice, face and throat) and we could tell when he was feeling better as he started being naughty in the hospital.

Poking his head round the door of his room when it was near visiting time at the hospital to see if we were waiting to get in the ward (cos you know, they lock them in - there will be a good reason for it, lets face it some of them will be confused and wander off to the shops or similar).  He'd then wander up to the doors and attempt to escape or attach himself to the doors like a limpet making us all laugh.

Mum has decided that the next time a hospital doctor says "We'll just keep them in overnight for observation" it really means "You will be here for at least 3 days".  Maybe it is a big conspiracy to make you spend more on the TV and phone cards - as it's £5 for a day and only £10 for 3 days (£20 for 6 days!!!) they are on a nice little earner.

Brains are funny things - I have slept okay for the most part while Dad was in hospital - unfortunately my brain didn't.  I'd wake up each morning and feel more tired than I did the day before.  I am sure I was seriously in need of a makeover, or at least some damn good foundation, by day 3....

I am so glad Beautiful B has decided to be a nurse.  She chose her uniform (the dresses are horrid apparently) and opted for a tunic and trousers - she was not impressed when I asked her (in total innocence, of course) if they do trousers in 4 feet nothing size......

So, as we are all to look after our parents in their older years, as is only right, Beautiful B will be qualified to look after me.  Let's face it, she is going to need all the help she can get, my memory is going already and I am still all of 18......

On the home front, Lily had decided that as we are not going to take her to the Bahamas for her doggy holidays she will take to lying on her back with her head hanging off the end of the couch ala sunbathing.  When someone walks into the room she slowly turns her head as if to say "Hello Waiter, I will have a gourmet biscuit please." 

Pictures to follow......

Wednesday, 7 July 2010


So, after feeling unsettled since I finished my exams I have been roaming the house like a mother bear who can't find her cubs whilst being unclear what I am looking for.

In true Ribena fashion, instead of talking it out I mused and mused and then....had the requisite meltdown.  Hubby kissed and hugged me better, told me I wasn't being stupid.  Then 2 days later.....I had another one.

I kinda figured that when the studying stopped my perfect live would return and I'd be settled and the house would be wonderful and the family would have lots of togetherness walking the dogs, going to the pictures, eating out, visiting friends.......and the list goes on.

Except, that is not what has happened.  The family has got used to living separate lives for 4 years while I have buried my head in study books - I live downstairs studying, Beautiful B lives upstairs or most often out with friends as she is growing up far too fast and Hubby lives upstairs loving all things sport on the TV.  So although I am no longer studying we all seem to still be living separate lives - World Cup not helping there.

I have continued to run around at the weekend doing the weekly shop, visiting all the family and finding myself on a Sunday night, not only wondering where my weekend went but also thinking we haven't spent time together.

So, I had my meltdown made worse by the fact that I am not one for moaning about being unhappy about my lot in life and for feeling guilty about being selfish.  We agreed to change our priorities.  Shopping has moved to a week night after work and visiting family has move to week nights.  This leaves the weekend to spend together as a family and re-connecting as well as giving time for much needed downtime after my usual mad cleaning sessions at the weekend - hopefully I will feel less like a hamster in a wheel.

Do I feel better?  Yes, I got stuff off my chest, I don't feel as nervous and out of sorts.  I feel incredibly guilty at the moment though because it is unnatural for me to be selfish and to think of myself over others.  I feel like I have let myself down as a mother and 'wife' who should be able to cope with all this and I also realise just how incredibly lucky I am to have a happy and healthy child and a hubby who worships me.  At the same time though, I recognise that connecting with the family is the most important thing as well as making sure they come first and are happy.  As a unit we can be stronger and happier and can give more than I feel we (okay, I) am doing at the moment.

I worry some of this will be coming from the unknown around the exam that I am 99.99% sure I have failed.  As this is a final exam, a failure means a further 6 months study and I am just plain fed up of studying so I can't relax.  After previous exams, I literally leave the exam room and don't think about it until the night before the results are posted, this time I can't stop thinking about it. 

So, yes, if by some miracle I pass then all this stress I am feeling may be for nothing and my meltdown could have been for nothing.  In the meantime, I am thankful that I have an understanding hubby who loves me no matter how crazy I get and an extended family that do not sulk when I change the rules.

Sunday, 4 July 2010


Today I am grateful that my daughter is alive, that she is well and that she is happy and that she knows she is loved.  What I am not so grateful for is the symphony of World War III coming from her bedroom.  Why it sounds like she is repeatedly kicking the side of her bed is beyond me, other than the fact that she probably is.

Today has been a somewhat lazy day.  The normal Sunday rounds of visits to my parents and to Hubby's mothers for Sunday Lunch.  A complete blessing but sometimes I sometimes catch myself wanting to just be and not do anything or something different.  Sounds completely selfish I know.  I will be back to my normal self tomorrow.

Tomorrow I start the gym, prepare for hilariousness. 

Okay just had minor heart attack at a beastie walking across the keyboard unexpectedly.  Who knew spiders could move so fast????

Friday, 2 July 2010

As an aside.....

Just to keep you up to date in the assylum that is our home, Beautiful B thinks I have gone mad. 

Innocently enough I called her yesterday and asked if she wanted to see Eclipse tonight.  She was quiet for a minute so I jumped in with "It's on at midnight."  Silence.  Then.....  "You want to take me to the cinema in the middle of the night, at midnight, to see Eclipse?  Are you mad?"  (She was laughing by this point, she obviously thought I had made the time up in some alternate universe that is my brain).

"No, deadly serious, it's on at midnight, Hubby is away, you might be out with your friends, I am at a loss for what to do other than clean and wait for both of you to come"

Note, I had cleverly planted the seed that my life revolves around my family and that I live, breathe and eat for them.  It obviously has nothing to do with the fact that I could in-fact stay at home potter about, bob a few snakes on the head on a computer game, do some cleaning then happily read while I have the house to myself and that I am really not wanting to see the film as soon as is humanly possible.....honest!

Late last night, I saw Beautiful B's latest Facebook post which went something along the lines of:  "Mum is taking me to the cinema at mightnight to see Eclipse....nutter!"

Hubby says he has despaired of me.

Well peeps, it's because I live on the wild side and they don't......

I Love to Laugh

Soft ice-cream, the smell of freshly cut grass, spending time with the family, my fluffers, reading, all things sweet related, grapes, strawberries and pineapples - these are a few of my favourite things.

But laughing beats all of these hands down.  Besides the fact that you can burn quite a few calories doing it (and I need all the help I can get) it also apparently reduces the chances of a heart attack or something equally sinister (disclaimer: I may have made the first excuse up or imagined someone knowledgable told me this just to make me feel better).

So, anything that makes me laugh is a good thing.  It's easy to make me laugh, I'm not fussy and the silliest of things make me laugh (cue the Resolva advert) so I love getting funny emails.  Hubby was sensible enough to send the latest one to my home email address because had he sent it to work I would not have been able to hide the fact that I was laughing hysterically in the corner.  It wasn't rude but it made me laugh so much that I cried for 20 minutes, I hurt my sides (why I think holding them will hurt less I don't know....) and eventually my laugh sounded like it was mixed with a foghorn which may have worried me at any other time.

What were you looking at you might be asking.  Now I am not one for treating your animals unfairly but 2 of the pictures Hubby thought I may find amusing are below:

This was the first one I started crying at.  Not amazingly funny but my brain found it amusing that anyone can put a bag on their fluffers head and get them to just sit there nice and well-behaved.  My fluffers would not do that if I bribed them with a lifetime's supply of dog food.

This is the one that did me in peeps.  I mean, 1. Why? and 2. How on earth do you get your dog to do this?  I was still crying with laughter when I got to my friends 20 minutes later.  Hubby loves that this type of thing can keep me amused for hours, I love that he knows me well enough to know what will make me laugh and how much.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Things to be Thankful for

Well, for a start I have finished proof reading the annual accounts.  Mind-numbing?  Yes.  Boring? No.  I did find it rather interesting.  No I am not crazy peeps.  In my defence, it is the first time I have read these particular departments set of annual accounts so I have learnt lots of new things today for which I am thankful.  I enjoy being at work and learning new things and not being bored....boredom being one of the few things that I find hard to deal with.

Today, I am thankful as I often am for lots of things.  Specifically  2 things......

Firstly Beautiful B.....

She got herself a job at McD's peeps.  No laughing at how proud that makes me, I happen to think that it will teach her a lot about hard work and customer service.  Stop laughing, I am being deadly serious (for once). I am only saying stop laughing because for 3 years I was informed by my gorgeous daughter that there was NO WAY she was going to work in McD's.

Beautiful B is going to college (we are still waiting to hear which one which was extremely upsetting for her yesterday who wants a specific college and has been working herself up for 3 months to finding out at the end of the college assessment day if she was in or out only to be told on the day that she had to wait another week.  

Now we all now that in the life of a 16 year old a week is like a year long!!!!), however, I felt it important that she get herself a part-time job to ease herself into employment rather than it hit her full force when she starts her lifelong chosen career of nursing people back to health.  So in the caring mother (that I am) fashion I told her I was stopping her pocket money when she left high school so she would be forced motivated to find a job. 

Harsh?  I hear you say.  Maybe, but sometimes we have to be cruel to be kind and teach important life lessons.  There was a possibility of her spending most of the summer on her butt and I couldn't have that, I am all for a bit of hard work never hurting anyone.  And, anyways I worked every summer from being 12 in a rock factory and loved it, earning my own money totally rocked so therefore she can.

So she studiously went out and papered all of Blackpool with her CV, completed an on line application to McD's answering questions in a way I (as a fully fledged adult ) would be proud of.  They rang up for her at 9am the next morning and said they were very impressed with her responses to the on-line questions - I was very proud of her.

So she started today, picked up her uniform (which means Nanny will be taking all the trousers up about 5 inches over the next few days as she is tiny - all of about 4 foot 8 inches.  Any sewing goes to my mum because I cannot even hem a square piece of cloth - no seriously the teacher informed my parents of this when I was at school shortly before she told them she despaired of me because it was obvious I was trying very hard and still failing miserably).  No work on the tills or serving real people though today folks.  Oh no, just some more watching of short films and listening to lessons......  I wonder if she will know what has hit her when she does a real day next week. 

I am also concerned, you know seen as she is short short, that she won't be able to reach that far back on the counter that they store burgers on.  I will be blamed for that because, as she informs me, I have passed on the short gene.  I will have you know, I am not as short as Beautiful B - well not yet, my spine has not begun to compress in on itself as Nanny's has so I estimate I have a good 10 years or so before Beautiful B starts giving me a run for my money in the dizzy heights of 5 foot stakes.

Anyway, I digress.  Today went well for her (well, it would for anyone if we went to work and actually didn't do any work...), I am proud that she found herself a job and that she did not throw a strop about losing her pocket money and understood the life lesson I was teaching her instead of calling me the devil incarnate.

Secondly Angel.....

I am off to visit my longest running best friend (Y'all, I make that sound like I have tons of best friends - I don't, it takes a lot of energy to put up with me, by now I have exhausted my long running friend and she is too tired to run away from me).

She is hereon in known as Angel because that is what she is.  She would deny this but she is.  She would ask why and I would tell her that it would take at least 24 hours to list all the ways she enriches my life and at the end of it she would just say "Don't be daft" so we will just accept that she is because going round in circles makes one dizzy.

I first met Angel when she sat on my parent's front garden wall.  Some part of my brain, that part that I have no control over, obviously took objection to her sitting on the wall because when I jumped over the wall I accidently kicked her arm which was in plaster at the time.  Not a great start to a friendship but peeps, she considers herself lucky as I once had a 15 month relationship with a boy because I shattered his kneecap for picking on another friend.

Anyhoo, we have been friends now for ...... 23 years.  Wow!  Would she have become my friend had she not just moved onto our street?  Lets face it normal people avoid those who kick their broken arms but maybe she had no choice - she had a selective small pool of local friends at best at the I took full advantage of it.

Angel is the one person I can pour my heart out too (other than Hubby but he's only just come along in the last 5 years so I am not counting him and anyway he is not a GIRL), she looked after me at my wedding to No1 and supported me in the No2 wedding plus the fall out of both.  We can go without seeing each other for ages and pick up where we left off.  Because of stupidity on my part we did not get together for 3 years at one stage yet when I turned up at her front door without warning one sunny day she opened the door with open arms and all she said "You've gone blonde" - how cool is that!

Angel has had lots of bad news these last couple of years.  She battles on bravely, she is incredibly upbeat and puts the rest of us to shame with how she copes with everything that is thrown at her.  She makes me proud to be her friend and I have put her on the highest pedestal.  She is the female version of Job.  She is a force to be reckoned with and I love her more than words can describe.  She is astounding peeps. Instead of feeling sorry for herself, instead of dwelling on what she can no longer do she turns around and finds something that she can do.  I am rarely one to feel sorry for myself, even when ill I am often heard to say that there are others so much worse off than me.  Angel says the same thing and it astounds me each and every time but it is a reminder of why we are such good friends.

What she has gone through has reduced me to tears on countless occasions.  When I first heard she will ill, honest to God all the oxygen disappeared in my house for about 5 seconds (well, okay but it felt like it). What her family goes through to help support her through everything exemplifies how families should help each other through.  To see the love that shines for her from her husband and children is amazing.  The protectiveness I feel towards her is breath-taking at times.
I cannot take a lot most  any of what she has to struggle with on a daily basis away.  My role is to love her, comfort her, be there for her, to listen, be a sounding board, counsel her and when she wants it be an advisor.  I try (though probably fail on occasion) not to give unsolicited advice on how she should run her life - I let her talk, get it off her chest and come to her own decisions.  Why?  Because that is what best friends are for, and because in a lot of ways we are so similar it is scary and that is what I would want. 

Peeps, Angel is a control freak.  We are cut from the same cloth in that respect. My OCDisness (a word only in my world) is mild in comparison to hers.  The woman was cleaning cement off her kitchen floor peeps when she was in labour for crying out loud.  She is banned from my home at the moment as she would have a heart attack at the unfinishedness (not a real word but a ribenaism) of the back room - alright, she wouldn't because she loves me but I would.

I love that I can sit and chat with someone who understands my need to clean when I am exhausted or poorly, who understands how it is impossible to just sit and be when there is cleaning to be done, who cannot face staring a basket full of ironing, someone who just gets me.  Hubby and Beautiful B get me but in a different way because they are not OCDish.

I love Angel, like a sister. She is one of the centers of my world.  She is a lifeline when I need her and if I mean half as much to her as she does to me then I have a friend for life who will stick by me through thick and thin.

Now, peeps if you haven't got that I am thankful for Angel then know this, she is family.  As I would walk to the ends of the earth for my family, I would do the same for her.  She enriches my life and as much as I hate the life lessons that she is going through at the moment and how they affect her, she and the way she is coping with the world at the moment enriches me constantly and I love that I can give back - I hate why I am giving back but that I am there for her means the world to me.

So, I am off round to visit, to listen and laugh....and hear all about the diving as this time she managed to dive without perforating an eardrum.

So, today I am grateful for Beautiful B (who I am grateful for each and every day because without B there is no air to breathe) and for Angel who has enriched my life for 23 years and will continue to do so.

And of course, Hubby who is off travelling at the moment.  He just rang, I just informed him of an "apparently mad" plan to see Eclipse at midnight tomorrow.  His feet are tired, it is too hot as he is 200 miles nearer the equator people.....

The Shoes are Comfortable I tell you....

So, after Hubby tortured teased me last week about the pointless retention of shoes that I did not wear, I decided I would wear them and to work, no less!  Well, 2 pairs out of about 20 but you get the idea.  He even noticed I was wearing said gorgeous shoes and asked "Are they comfortable?"  I confirmed they indeed were.  They did remain comfortable for the rest of the day, they did - the almost Orlando temperatures sunny Blackpool has been experiencing of late did not cause my feet to swell later in the day at all, your honour....

In other news, these pesky migraines are driving me nuts.  The pills work but I seriously cannot take a pill every night before bed or the GP may begin to wonder if I have started experimenting in some black market sales.  I love the sun and the heat, I really really do but my brain obviously doesn't.

Hubby is away for 2 days, Cardiff and Bristol - one city is obviously not sufficient for him.  He returns on Saturday.  Now I am busy wondering what peskiness I can get up to in his absence.

You can almost guarantee that peskiness will translate, if only in part, to cleaning which is not really peskiness. 

Beautiful B starts her new job in 10 minutes.  She will be calling me on her new toy blackberry (not that I am jealous in any way, you understand) on the way home to tell me all about it.  Obviously when she informed me that this would occur she conveniently forgot that I would be at work.  I will forgive indulge her, it is her first day after all.

I may or may not post how exciting her day has been later today - depends on whether I need lots of alcohol after proof-reading annual accounts all day.

More brain dumps soon peeps.