Tuesday, 29 November 2011

On the other side

I spent 3 days in hospital, which for the major operation I had is amazing when you stop to think about it. Sending me back up one the ward without morphine turned out not to be such a good idea as the nurses went mental at whoever made that mistake and soon got me sorted out.

For Hubby and mum and dad to come visiting less than 4 hours later to find me sat up in bed and talking to my ward mates both amazed them and gave them some much needed comfort. Possibly also shows that my existing medication regime must be pretty strong to be able to sit up and hold a full conversation under such influence! Hopefully this operation will mean I can stop taking such potent medication on a regular basis.

Beautiful B works in the hospital and gave up her breaks to come and visit and woke up the ward (unintentionally) fetching me contraband choc chip weetabix and milk for an early morning breakfast.

So, now I am home, pain levels are up and down but not as bad as I expected. Hubby has the week off and is ensuring I ignore Physio advice and stay in bed for the week. The Physio wants us to get up and shower, get dressed and move about the house daily - hubby is having none of that considering that it will give me licence to do too much to soon. So he is waiting on me hand and foot and tells me off if I dare to venture downstairs.....

For someone who is so independent, so keen on cleaning and happy doing for others I am surprisingly happy led in bed sleeping, reading and catching up on recorded TV...oh and watching feel good Christmas movies. I doubt I have suddenly fetched home a lazy gene from hospital so maybe it is a sign that even I know when I need to take a step back and rest.

This, however, is week 1 and Hubby is here to give me the evil eye and I sooooo do not wish to worry him more than he evidently already is. When he goes back to work, however......remains to be seen if I continue to be sensible. Especially when work are expecting an 8 week sick leave and the Physio insisted that it should be a 12 week minimum.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Almost Upon Us….well me….no us…..

The third of three posts - and by the way said day is tomorrow!

So I trollied off to the hospital.  With so many conflicting opinions…that it would be 4-6 weeks after the pre-op for the operation to 4 people telling me they knew people who had been in a week after their pre-op.  

Honestly, earlier is better!  With an 8 week recovery period I’d like to be moving around relatively well at Christmas.  I have almost accepted we won’t be able to have the family round for Christmas dinner but to move about would be nice…..

The new surgical unit is open – very white…..so much so that I had a headache when I vacated the building 2 hours later.  I’m hoping the ward, also located in the surgical wing apparently, isn’t as white – having to spend 2-4 days there….I may need sunglasses and who wants to look like some diva in hospital! 

6 weeks!  6 weeks! On average – for those of us that can add up without a calculator and trust me, I can only just about do that (shut up!!! I am an accountant – we are rubbish at sums without a plastic apparatus to bash numbers into) it takes us up to just before Christmas! Suffice to say, I told the nurse that if she can get me in on a cancellation then I will gladly take it.

The nurse was refreshing honest – although I knew what she told me because I had played the google monster…..”You will feel like death for 2 weeks”…..”The sofa will look very appetizing”…..”The sofa will become your best friend for 4 weeks; I strongly recommend you let it” and so on and so forth.

She found it hilarious that the only thing I was concerned about was how soon I could have a proper shower after the op.  “Seriously…that is all you are worried about?”  Erm, yeah – let’s face it, you are going to take parts out of me and sew me back up with hundreds of stitches, it is going to hurt like hell, you are going to give me some sh*t hot drugs for the first day or so and I am going to struggle to move for 3-4 weeks but that is a given – what I want to know is, can I shower with what is essentially a big ass healing wound and how do I shower without risking infection…..

More bloods taken, so I am figuring on 2 weeks for them to come back and me get the all clear for surgery then another chitty thing to get more taken 7 days before the operation date.  So 3 weeks right?  At least! 

So, I’m thinking, be serious, your hand cannot cope another 6 weeks at work.  Your struggling to open a can of pop woman! …..and the world will end if you cannot open a can of pepsi max so admit defeat you need to use the Dragon.  No, not a horrid lady but a nice computer package – voice activated – that sulks like a woman on PMT if you are in a room with other people when trying to get it to listen to you.  Hang on!  No, it’s like a man who thinks you are nagging at him.

So.  My big big big boss, 4 grades higher than me, gets shoved out of her office for me to sit in there and talk to a computer all day.  I don’t think she is overly impressed and I feel super self conscious.

This happened Tuesday, today is Friday – guess what.  Ring Ring…..how does the 22nd November grab you for being put to sleep, cut open, things removed and then a load of fantastic drugs to make you probably say amazing funny things of which you will never remember when you finally come out of the drug-induced daze? 

Not 6 weeks, noooo not at all.  Complaining? Nope, not I – by my reckoning…that is 4 weeks before Christmas which means I will be able to move around somewhat quite well by then!  Hubby, however, sounded like he was short of breath with panic when I rang him to inform him – now it is suddenly real.  None of this “best write your will, love, before the op…”  joking. Though I had best get one because we ain’t married and I don’t want anyone to deal with all the splitting monies up if it all goes bottom up.

So yes, almost upon us – a week and a half at work to clear the backlog get things sorted and handed over, a week and a half to winter clean the house because Hubby and Beautiful B don’t even know how to use the hoover attachments and I am not allowed to for at least 4 weeks, a week and a half to get the dogs used to not sleeping in our room and crawling all over my body when they are bored and decide it is time for us to be awake. 

I say us, because lets face it, essentially all I am going to be able to do is lift nothing heavier than a can of pepsi max glass for 2 weeks, so everyone else is going to have to help me which will drive me mad and probably result in bouts of wicked witch of the west syndrome affect my hormones very badly every now and again as I get frustrated at the “sitting” and the “lying”.

Good job the Sky planners (yes plural) have been madly recording and I have not been watching it for 2 weeks – it may keep me occupied for a couple of days before I start twitching madly…..

Not Important At All

This is the second of three posts I had difficulty uploading - written nearly two weeks ago now...

I have had to admit defeat.  It doesn't really matter what is wrong with my hands, regardless of the outcome of further tests.  Medication has only been masking the condition getting worse, whatever that condition may be. 

So, I am now located in a little office, making friends with voice-activated equipment.  So with so many grammatical errors in today's blog, I hold Dragon entirely responsible.  Incidentally, Dragon is the name of the voice-activated equipment.  I may have a tendency to name things but even I am not nuts enough to call voice-activated equipment by a name.

In the real world, in this lovely organisation, one normally has to work 40 years to get an office.  I could consider myself important, but that is as unlikely as winning Olympic 2012 tickets and I feel self-conscious, I feel like I am making a nuisance of myself, I worry that others will think I have an inflated ego, which probably explains why it's taken me eight years to make a fuss.  In reality, I'm scared of my GP.  :-)
My desk will be moved into the room next week (now moved in).  So maybe it will feel more like my office (not yet it doesn’t).  My boss is moving to another site, who vacated this office because I made a fuss, maybe when her paperwork has been replaced by mine it will feel more like my office (yet to occur).
In reality, it may take more than that.  Maybe what it needs is a couple of full-size posters.  You know the ones like full-size posters of Hugh Jackman or Damon from The Vampire Diaries.  I'm not sure that will be considered professional though....

Born Beautiful

This is one of three posts that I wrote and had problems uploading:

Angel’s mum passed away, it was horrid.  It is still horrid.  The funeral was awful.  

Watching Angel, my sister in every thing but name get up and give such a lovely eulogy was heart breaking.  I said I would drink with her for as long as she needed me to, and I did, until midnight that day.

Angel’s mum lived a full life, she was loved and obviously still is.  She loved Angel’s dad who was also horribly robbed of a wonderful life when Angel was only 21.  She learned to love again and was loved unconditionally back.  She gave up a lovely life abroad to return home when Angel got sick, then she got sick herself. 

What has happened sucks, big time.  On the glass half full side, Angel’s mum moving back to the UK gave opportunity for the family to grow extremely close again and to spend some much needed, and at the time, short time with her.  On the glass half empty side, Angel has lost both parents and feels lost at sea.  She has lived the last 6 months at her mother’s side and finds herself wandering around aimlessly.  I related to that because I did it for 3 days after Angel’s mum died – losing time stood in a shop only to have been in there for over an hour when I got back in the car.

I feel like I am not helping Angel, because I don’t know what to do other than be there and listen.  I watch Angel like a hawk, who is in danger of a relapse while going through such a stressful time but not knowing what I can do to prevent it.  Telling her to slow down is like trying to stop a whirlwind.  I know this is all she needs right now, but it feels like it is not enough.

Life sucks sometimes.  You realise that your parents and loved ones are not indestructible and watching my parents, who were Angel’s mums best friends, fall apart as they waited for the inevitable and then grieved was truly awful. 

I am angry, I was angry in an earlier post and I am still angry.  I don’t like feeling this way.  I don’t know what to do to stop it.  I hate what has happened to Angel, and her family, and my parents, I hate feeling useless and out of control.  I hate feeling like we are all on a hamster wheel and for what at the end of it?

I have decided that we are on that hamster wheel so that we can be loved, we can find someone who will love us unconditionally, for who we are and for what we stand for.  Angel’s mum had that with both husbands and of course her children and grandchildren.  Maybe the heartache is the price we pay for that love.
Rest in peace Angel’s mum.  We will look after each other and Angel will continue to do the good and love the family the way you did.  She is already taking over your role and looking after her sisters as you would and for that I know you are proud.

Monday, 3 October 2011

It always happens to the good ones..

Today Angel is suffering, yesterday Angel was suffering and for 2 years prior to this Angel has suffered.  On Friday that suffering got worse because she found out that the doctors can do no more for her mum but make her comfortable.  Sucks, seriously!  Seriously!  Angel lost her dad to cancer and now she has to lose her mum to it too!  Not only that, on top of that she has her own illness to deal with!

I kind of gave up on God over 6 years ago but if I hadn't I would of now.  If there is one person who does not deserve this much crap in her life it is Angel - she would give her last penny and piece of clothing to anyone that needed it - why does she have to suffer like this?!

I've been there for Angel both through her illness and her mum's and I hope I have been there with a listening ear when she has needed it because I HATE that it is the only thing that I can do - I want to take the pain and suffering away but I can't. 

I cannot begin to imagine what Angel and her mum and her family is going through.  All I know is that I have know Angel's mum since I was 12 and I spent half of my childhood in her house being fed and cared for and loved.  I have been on holidays with her, celebrated Angel's wedding with her, prepared for that wedding with her among so many other things....and it hurts, it feels like someone is sat on my chest and this spontaneous crying is ridiculous.  How Angel is getting through this I have no idea!

I think we all knew, someone cannot deteriorate that much without the cancer spreading, but no matter how much you prepare for it, it is a sucker punch when you find out.  Just thinking about how it must be so much worse for everyone else makes my face hot and my throat close up. 

My mum is Angel's mum's best friend.  Throughout all of this I have been the one to tell my mum what is happening - it is the least I can do to take some of the burden from Angel and her mum.  My mum came back from holiday on Friday to that news - she had to ring my Aunty in Spain and left her crying on the phone at the news.  My mum put a brave face on and I know she will do that until the very last minute and then she will break her heart.  I know it will be one of the few times I see my dad cry, like he did when Angel's dad passed away. 

I hate that I cannot take it away, or the pain away, or some of it away.  I hate that it happens to people that don't deserve it - granted, no-one deserves it but these people, people that I consider my family, are good, beautiful, kind people and yet they have to suffer horribly both before and after and for what???

My glass overflows, it isn't half full or half empty - my life is rich because of those that I love and that love me in my life and I love life.  But seriously...at the moment it sucks!  and I am angry!  and saddened! and hurt! and grieving....for my loss but I don't even need to analyse the way I am feeling to know that I am feeling what I am because I am grieving Angel's loss and for her families loss, for the pain her mum is suffering and the utter helplessness they are feeling because they can only watch her go through it and help where possible.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Slight state of shock

So I've twittered on I don't know how many times about my manky hands.  Sometimes they hurt, sometimes a lot.  This started years ago and one benefit of working for the Government is that they have the whole Disability Act down and make all sorts of work related adjustments - granted it takes them a long time to crank the wheel and go through the many hoops to get the equipment to you, but it is so much better than other places I could be working. 

So at my disposal I have an arsenal of a light touch keyboard, computer joystick shaped mouse and voice activated equipment.  Granted the latter is slow and annoying as hell and does not like excel - which is not good when one is an accountant - but you get my drift.

For a while when I write for more than 2 minutes I get pain in my hand and I write like a spider - that's kinda not normal but I left it for going up a year before I trotted off to the GP to see if it is something I should worry about - you know, because mum brought me up to believe that you don't trouble to Dr unless you're dying.  He was very derogatory and seemed to ignore the fact that I was telling him my symptoms were worse - the clue was in him informing me that nothing could be done and "for all I know if I stopped taking the anti-inflammatory medication I may find that I am not in pain and it has righted itself over the years."  ERM, hello.....

So being the stroppy mare I am, I stopped the medication to see. Cue 3 weeks later a wail of "I don't know what to do with either of my arms - they just ache soooo much."  So I saw my OWN GP who was very concerned at the severity and speed of the flare-up of pain - indicating that the medication had in fact masked my "condition" getting worse.  Cue a request to the hospital with neurology....

Now the beauty of the UK is that all this is free - yes some whine about the state of it but it is FREE (if we ignore the taxes we pay) but we should think ourselves grateful that we are also not paying through our noses for health insurance as our USA counterparts do.  They saw me quite quickly - well, in comparision to the last time this 'wonderful' government were in power when it would take over 6 months just for an initial consulation, found some weakness in my right hand, prescribed so neuropathic medication and requested nerves tests on my hands.  That was today.....

....I've had one before, they electrocute you but only enough to make your fingers and hands jump about which in the grand scheme of things is kind of funny to watch.  The last one came back saying nerves weren't trapped, again that happened today and I am not surprised at that finding.

What I am surprised at is today's consultant asking questions such as "Is the medication prescribed by the neurologist helping?" - No.  Apparently, that is no surprising because todays test confirmed nerves aren't trapped.

"Did the anti-inflammatory mecication work?" - Yes.

"It is likely that this is the beginnings of rheumatoid or osteoarthristis which would agree with the anti-inflammatories having some affect so I think you need to be investigated for that as well as your ligaments...."

OKAY!  That I wasn't expecting.  Now it can't be that severe if it is that because I can't see any visible swelling which I would expect with rheumatoid arthritis and lets face it, it's not that bad a diagnosis because the symptoms can be treated.  Though one of my friends responses kind of says what I was thinking "you are not that much older than me".

No, I am not, I am not 40 until next year.  I only feel about 20 in my head - my body is probably around the 30 year old mark now (if we ignore the body lift and bat wing surgery now required after the weight loss) but I am getting older. 

I don't know why I feel the way I do though and that is probably why I am twittering away just tapping out what my brain is thinking.  If it ends up to be arthritis then so what; I know that the anti-inflammatories have an effect and maybe a diagnosis would allow for a better medication to be prescribed than what I was on before.

It's not that it is a degenerating disease - a large amount of the population get some kind of degenerating condition as they get older.  It does not mean I cannot lead a full life. 

I think it is more to do with my brain going to the place of "If the nerves aren't trapped it is definitely Repetitive Strain Injury" and me not considering any other condition. 

In the scheme of illnesses it rates very low on my scale to be honest.  Angel suffers every day with her condition and many thank their lucky stars they do not live with her condition every day - Angel has paid a high price but has benefited in other ways - she has adapted and it has made her family so much stronger than it already was and I hold her on that pedestal.  I think I also rate most illnesses against hers and in my head arthritis is miniscule.

The upsides of that diagnosis would be that it would force me to ensure that I stayed healthy - that I kept my weight low, that I ate heathily, that I got load bearing exercise and that I learnt to swim properly so that where I have to give up things such as weights (which I struggle with recently) I can pick up other things that would compensate.  I am sure that Angel would happily teach me how to swim properly - you know, seen as she compensated for her illness and as a result has recently swum in an open water competititon to raise money for her charity - again, there goes that pedestal.

So....all in all, as much as I am in a bit of shock I think it is purely because my head had not already gone there before the consultant said what he did but I would look on it as a positive and make it work for me.

In other news:

Today's lessons:
  • it is a good idea not to leave the dining room door open where the fruit and veg rack is readily available to the fluffers
  • Abi (aka Baba fluff) does not take one apple to try, she takes the whole bag
  • it may help to check the house before leaving it to check for other veg that may have been snaffled because otherwise I come home and find a net bag of tomatoes which have been tried and then left in disgust (by said baba fluff)

Monday, 26 September 2011

Puppy things I learnt this week

Oh dear, found this one was still a draft and has been in draft for nearly 3 months now....

So lets see;

It is not a good idea to leave slippers lying around because baba fluff thinks they are toys and takes them out in the garden to get rained on. You can't blame the baba dog when the slippers look like sheep. 
When Hubby wonders whether baba sheep is crying to get up at 3.30am every day because she wants to lie with her mum and grandma on the bed rather than go outside you should really listen to him because he is usually right and then you get a peaceful nights sleep thereafter.

If you get a small hole in a cushion it is a good idea to move it out of reach before you go out to the shop because this beautiful thing:
does this:

It is about time I realise that the days of being able to eat toffee Poppet sweets are over unless I want to pay £17 at the dentist to concrete my crown back in.

Being off work is kind of fun because more time is available to try new recipes.  Beware that trying new recipes inevitably will mean that half of it has to be frozen as Hubby refuses to eat anything that has vegetables other than cabbage and carrots in and therefore there should be sufficient room in the freezer.

When Scrappy Fluff, now otherwise known as Molly, comes round for a playdate she is like the Tazmanian Devil and it will take 2 hours and then half an hour of posing to get a half decent picture of the two sisters.  Baba fluff will still wake up at stupid o'clock in the morning despite being run ragged all evening.

Puppies think that if their head is over the paper in the house their tush is and therefore they are piddling on the paper, godamnit!

Holidays are coming.....

Okay, I could go all sorts of places with that so firstly lets get this out of the way.......Christmas is nearly here - whoop.  I know Christmas is coming because Next has put out their Christmas ware for sale.  Hubby rolled his eyes when I got excited - just wait until the red votive holders with berries arrive.....

I am holidaying again - at home but it is a holiday away from work and I desperately need that for more reasons than I was spending all hours there lately.

One main reason was that they have some semi-stupid rule to help manage their annual leave policy that you cannot carry more than 10 days over into a new leave year - I had 14 plus more flexi than you can shake a stick at.

The other main reason was the sky man - no he was not cute, though he was 7 foot tall so I had a crick in my neck when he went after his recent visit - because besides doing all sorts of wonderfulness such as rewiring the phone lines to the virgin phone line so that the sky boxes can send their whizzy messages back and forth and replacing satelitte dishes and various accessory parts he wanted to replace my HD box. 

....Now understand, the HD box, only throws a wobbly every now and again but he was concerned because it is a babe in terms of age and he was concerned that it's wobbleness was wobbling in a way he had never heard of before. Nevertheless, I refused to let him replace it because I had 76% worth of programmes to watch on it, the majority of which are not in HD format so you can imagine the number of programmes I wanted to plough through.

Being the nice man that he is, though I suspect it is also some kind of service Sky offer, he gave me his card, told me to watch my programmes and give him a call any time in the next month and he would come and replace the box and give me a further crick in my neck - after all I am just slightly taller than 5 foot nothing.

So that is what my aim is this week - not to clean, I must not spend the week cleaning and doing jobs that my brain tell me must be done.  I must sit still and watch TV and clear the planner.  That is my mission.  Granted so far I have watched the majority of it while completing the biggest cross-stitch pattern I could come across just to keep me in the seat but so far it's an achievement.

The back garden furniture is calling me on a regular basis to attack it with a hammer and screwdriver so that it can be broken down in small enough parts to be taken to the tip but so far I have avoided it.  It helps that it has rained most of the weekend to be fair.

Avoiding the visit to the GP with Beautiful B and the hair appointment that will take 4 hours today because I am greyer than any other 39 year old with thicker hair than most of the western hemisphere population, oh and the hospital visit on Wednesday to have my manky hands and arms electrocuted, I don't have much planned in the way of other activities.

So I may get the majority of it watched.  Might be worth spending the following weekend clearing the sky planner in the bedroom too so he can replace that seen as it randomly turns itself on and off - usually when I want it to record something.  Now either that is not normal or it is the electronic version of a woman with PMT.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

One extreme to another....

You know you are in trouble when you go from this at 8.30 at night:

.....when the world and his wife in the remainder of the organisation go home at 7pm (at the lastest) - notice how dark it is everywhere else but my little domain? Yeah you should have seen me wandering down the corridor in the dark trying to find an unlocked door which to escape from.

and to being told that you are going to burn yourself out within weeks because when you get home at stupid oclock you start on the sports and social football club accounts until 1am in the morning because you thought that would be a good volunteer type thing to do in which to keep your finger in all sorts of actual techy type accounting things to do....

to deciding Hubby might be right and deciding to organise some recreational activities after work to prevent the call of treasurer roles when you suddenly realise that the rest of your week looks like this....

Tuesday: work until 5pm, get home in time for the electrician who will look at the bathroom light switch which whose cable inexplicably came off in Hubbys hand before going round to M & Ks with birthday cards and presents.  Return home at 11pm and consider whether you some start some cleaning;

Wednesday: work until 3.30, take Hubby's mum shopping, rush home and unpack shopping, go to fat fighters then rush half way across town to pick up hubby from snooker;

Thursday: Work until 7.30 pm, rush to pick Angel up, go to pictures to see Friends with Benefits and get home at midnight;

Friday: Work from home in the morning while the Sky man rewires the cabling to the new phone line, go into work from lunch until 7.30 pm, rush to pick Hubby up, go round to spend an evening with friends who should have been caught up on eons ago and get home at midnight (earliest);

Saturday: clean, do some treasury accounts despite it being my birthday, quick trip to be tortured at the beauticians as it is apparently relaxing to have hair torn out at roots, hop on train with Beautiful B, see Alan Carr live, return home at half past midnight;

Sunday: clean, because lord no time to do much of it before now, round to Hubby's mums for a joint birthday lunch with Hubby's brother, home, out to pictures with Beautiful B to see Fright Night and return at midnight.

Does anyone else get the idea that I am swapping one kind of crazy for another.

If only returning to work on Monday would be a rest.....  

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Boxes and more boxes

So..... I have a hubby who would let me have anything I wanted. I love shoes. Truly. When we met I had the old fashioned thing called money. Well, not a lot of it, come to think about it more that I didn't agonise so much as I do now when buying non essentials....like shoes...and more shoes.
Some shoes were what I considered expensive so they were loving kept in their cardboard boxes when not being worn. They hankered after a better home; a step up from their starter homes. Its taken me 5 years; after all I baulk at paying the same high prices for shoes as I did 5 years ago. Hubby would argue that I don't need more shoes. Bearing in mind that I have moved 15 pairs up in the world of real estate for shoes and estimate I still need another 25 boxes even I have to think about conceding that argument......

Beautiful B thinks I am a bit nuts, Hubby has reduced me to tears previously teasing me about selling my shoes on eBay as I never wear them.  My defence that they were "expensive" shoes and therefore not worn every day didn't really wash with him.  My friend K rushed to my defence, even though she understands the need for lots of shoes regardless of whether they are worn often and knew he was joking; I wasn't sure but even I admit I did not think the idea of losing shoes to someone else would make me so tearful.

I always thought that no matter how much weight a person puts on the shoes would always be there.  Ooooh how wrong I was. Turns out feet can get fat too (yes I know - Duh!).  Now that I have been on a mission to halve my body weight the shoes are so much more comfortable - all things being relative - and are making appearances. 

The number of times the conversation has gone like this in recent weeks:

"Are they new shoes?"
"Are you sure?"
"Yep - these are older than our relationship darling."
Hubby refrains from commenting on whether they are pretty or not - apparently "shoes are shoes".  Good job that there are people at work that appreciate their beautifulness.....

Mind you, I shouldn't be suprised - Hubby rarely notices the attire - now don't be rude.  If we are off out and I dare to make an effort that is more than the usual jeans and a top or more often gym trousers and a top he comments on my face and hair rather than my clothes.  One could argue that there is no need, therefore, to spend a fortune on a wedding dress because I doubt that he will take much notice let alone be able to describe it in any way, shape or form the day after - I am, obviously, ignoring that argument......

......as I am ignoring the argument that the evening reception would be so much better if it was held in the works social club because the room has just been decorated, the room hire is cheap and the beer is cheaper than anywhere else.......because well, IT'S LOCATED AT WORK.

Now how did this post get onto weddings......

....ahhh but it would be a good excuse to add wedding shoes to the collection.

Friday, 19 August 2011


Mmmmmm - this was scheduled to be posted on the 19th of August and something went wrong........

6 years ago today we were friends. 6 years ago we were colleagues. 6 months before that I had been your line manager at work; in the 6 months that I moved to another team our friendship and respect for each other grew. I started to come out of my shell and you liked my sense of humour (you refer to that time as noticing that I was nuts); I saw more of yours as our friendship grew.

6 years ago yesterday you sat with me and the rest of our team and watched me drink 8 vodka, lime and lemonades in less than 2 hours and I am sure your respect for me grew later that afternoon when I delivered a 2 hour training course without slurring one word or even hiccupping…I wanted to continue celebrating my imminent departure from the team to start my career as an accountant, you offered to look after accompany me and make sure I got home safe. 

We put the world to rights for 3 hours in the pub and I felt bad that you had missed dinner so invited you to join Beautiful B and I for a late supper. Wanting to make sure I got home without falling over safe Feeling flattered or hungry you accepted the invitation. Little did you know that an 11 year old girl was about to give you the grilling of your life and before you went home 2 hours later she knew everything about you, even if she didn’t believe that your mum was as old as you said she was – after all 71 year old women do not have 32 year old children…..

6 years ago tonight we surprised ourselves by becoming a couple. Had someone told us not 2 days before that it was going to happen we would have laughed hysterically; after all we were friends with no sign of a romance. Looking back some might argue that allowing yourself to be interrogated by an 11 year old the night before was a sign that a relationship was to follow but as ever I was oblivious to the fact that any man might like me.

It took you nearly 12 months after that night to tell me that for the first 2 weeks you were unsure if the relationship would turn serious.  Not because Beautiful B and I came as a package but that you were unsure if you could cope with the two (then) baby fluffs as all they did was bark. I am thankful every day that you persevered…. You stayed with me knowing that you would be unlikely to have children of your own because of how difficult it would be to conceive and I adore you for that.

In the 6 years we have been together you have turned my world around. Beautiful B and I were happy and content; we weren’t looking for a relationship and maybe that is why you found us when you did. I am grateful that we were friends before we started a relationship because on that grounding we have continued to strengthen our togetherness every day.

You always have and always will accept me for who and what I am. You do not try and change me, you accept what has happened to me before and how it shaped me into who I am today and you compensate for others failings. You have worked incredibly hard to build up the confidence that was knocked out of me by the previous 2 husbands and you take great delight in seeing that confidence grow. Because of you, I am more confident around strangers and make friends easier than ever before and I have learnt not to continually analyse what people say….mostly.

You consider Beautiful B to be yours and you get angry at the way she is treated by others. You love her as you would your own and you have helped to shape her into the young beautiful empathetic person she is today. You have been there to hold her hand and hug her when she has needed someone other than me to talk to; you have been there when she was younger reasoning with her to teach her how to think of others; you have been there to show her how a a father should treat his daughter and so much more.  You are her dad in your eyes and although Beautiful B loves her father she also loves you as her stepdad. You take the dad role very seriously and we love you unconditionally for that.

You love me unconditionally and I do not question that because I know you do - I see it every time you look at me; in the way you talk to me; in how gently you treat me and in how well you care for me. I know that you know that I feel and treat you the same way and because of that we are both so content and happy in our relationship.

Bad things happened to you to put you on the path to meeting me. I can never take that away or the pain you still feel at losing your dad but hopefully I soothe that pain and help in small ways every day. I will marry you one day….as soon as we can afford the dress, honeymoon and evening reception to celebrate with friends and of course you need time to prepare for standing in front of a camera and smiling instead of hiding your face…..

Happy Anniversary darling…..you are my world and I will love you until all the stars fall out of the sky.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

I saw this and thought of Angel....

I like to laugh, it is one of my all time favourite things to do.  I found a site.  No, not one of those websites but one that posts funny phrases, pictures and videos.  I could spend all day on this site.

Randomly scanning it the other day I came across a picture and thought of Angel.

Angel, as you will know if you have been following the blog, has had more than her fair share of body blows this last 5 years and cannot do anywhere near the amount or types of exercise she used to and boy did she do a lot! 

So she adapted, she now swims a mile at least once a week and has taken up diving...the type with a tank and oxygen tanks not the type with springy boards and stuff.

Angel also has a dog who is gorgeous and goes everywhere with her and her gorgeous family.  So when I saw the following picture I thought of Angel and Stan....

Stan is a bit bigger than this and shall we say a tad more robust so I guess the wet suit would need to be a bit stretchy.....

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

All good things must come to an end....

So after 3 weeks I have returned to work.  Why is it I always feel, in some small way, that I haven't had a break from work.  Granted, we did not go away on holiday which would obviously make it feel less like a holiday...

I got a lot of maintenance jobs completed on the house - I am kinda going to ignore the fact that I have the same amount again still to complete.  That made me feel better even if I would have got more done had I not sliced through the majority of skin on a knuckle in the first week cleaning the kitchen floor.  You know, I had one of those moments where you see blood and think "Now where the heck is that coming from?" before you think "Oh yeah, from me!"

Beautiful B who is training to be a nurse saw the blood and ran off totally freaked out as seeing blood makes her feet hurt - yeah, go figure.  I am still trying to work that out after 17 years.  Personally, I think it is more the idea of a loved one hurting but meeeeh....

So...the little fluffers sat in a row, all 4 of them yesterday morning and looked forlornly at me as I left them for the first time in 3 weeks.  Yes, I probably annoyed them at home all day but they must of kind of got used to having me around.  Beautiful B was at home to provide company but it must not have been as good as I was bombarded with fluffers when I got home all of which desperately tried to attack me with sloppy kisses.  Baby fluff spent 20 minutes attached to me like a limpet whining as though to request I never leave her to her own and Beautiful B's devices again.

I wandered back into work to the delight of 128 emails which isn't so bad especially when one can delete 20 of them immediately.  The room is seriously depleted as the summer holidays are well and truly upon us.  I spent the day getting randomly confused at tasks I have been given with only half the information (if I am lucky) that is needed but I will give it my best attempt before the boss returns.

Unsurprisingly though, this latest 3 week hiatus from work and the subsequent return has only served to heighten my desire to be a stay at home wife and mum - yes I know she is 17 but still, I think I do an excellent job at that role.  Previously, I have desired to make a difference in my career, to be good at what I do and I needed it to fill a gap that I couldn't describe.  Then along came hubby and he filled that gap that Beautiful B and I so desperately needed and along with that the desire to continue to build that career disappeared.  Although I never thought I would say it, I feel complete being at home and looking after hubby and Beautiful B.  I don't feel torn between being at home and being there for those I love and being at work.  I can concentrate wholeheartedly on those that I love and the longer we are with hubby the more I feel that way.


.....I'd best go out and buy a few lottery tickets then.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Angels in disguise

We are very rarely blessed - I am in many ways but in no way more than the day I met you when I kicked your broken arm when attempting to jump over a wall.  Luckily you forgave me and we have been best friends ever since.

As children we were glued together, today we are glued together as much as we can be with family commitments and distance further than from number 28 to number 62.  You have enriched my life for 25 years!!!!!  Oh my goodness, I have just read that number back to myself!

Angel, you have taught me so very much - you have taught me loyalty when I needed it most during one of the hardest times of my life.  You stood by me despite hating what I went through with my first husband.  You were there as my rock and continued to be. 

You were there for me during my second biggest mistake and stayed there even when I pulled away for 3 years; initially through depression and then as time went by because I couldn't stand the idea of being rejected by you.

It was Hubby that made me stand at your front door while he sat in the car as a support while my knees knocked and you opened the door to welcome me with open arms after 3 years with the simple statement "Wow girl, you've gone blonde."

Since then we have caught up on old times, my stupidity is not talked about as there is no need, and we picked up where we left off as though the 3 years never happened.

In that time, I hope that I have repaid your kindness and loyalty in spades, when you have needed a sounding board, a shoulder to cry on, a counsellor or a best friend. 

I have cried many tears in anger and frustration at how hard your life has become and how unfair things are.  I have cried many tears at your bravery for the past 5 years and I cannot believe that it has been 5 years since that awful phone call when I was told you had had a stroke at such a young age.  We found out it wasn't a stroke but something much worse and your strength and determination is a standard for all to follow.

There have been times where you have felt that things are unfair and voiced that and they are few but I hope that I have been there to give you the strength, along with your wonderful family, to carry on and fight for health.

You have always been on the highest pedestal I could find, always and you always will be.  We are sisters in every which way but blood and always will be.  I miss being able to bob up the street to see you like I could when we were kids; I miss the holidays our families took together; I miss the ability to have more frequent catch-ups with you.

I cannot think of another person, bar Hubby and Beautiful B, that I would want to be best friends with for 25 years and I cannot wait to spend another 25 with you.  You make me a better person even if you do worry about me almost as much as Hubby does.

Always know that you are my sister!

Happy Birthday Angel.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

5 years, almost 6

Nearly 6 years ago I met you for the first time.  You looked so much younger than your years and you had more energy than I did.  You welcomed me into the family with open arms. I doubt that when Hubby first told you about me that you were expecting to be told that he was serious about me but that I would never be able to provide you with a biological grandchild.  You took my daughter on as your own grandchild and I know that even if I could give you a biological grandchild you would not love Beautiful B any less than you do.

You have two beautiful sons, one of whom I am lucky enough to be engaged to.  Hubby saved me; I wasn't looking for him yet I needed him.  I wasn't looking for you yet in you I found another mum.

I am so very sorry that I never got to meet Brendon and I missed meeting him by a whiskers breath compared to the life he lived but in Hubby I see him every day as they are like two peas in a pod both in looks and I believe in a lot of mannerisms.  I know I would have loved him as you all do because he helped you mould Hubby into the man I am going to marry.

Your glass is always overflowing and in that we are very much alike.  You are also a little bit scatty and although he doubts it, I think that is what Hubby first liked about me and why he was so attracted.  It is the overflowing glass that allows you to cherish the life that Brendon had rather than hate that it was taken away too early, that which allows you to share the stories and pictures of your life together so that I can learn more about the man you loved because Hubby is too distraught to share those pictures with me.

I hope that I give you as much as you give me in all the little things I do for you.  I enjoy our weekly trips for the weekly food shopping and the chance to catch up without the boys and talk of football.  I love the more personal conversations that I can have with you knowing that you will not share them with anyone without my permission.  I love that you gave me your son, whom I worship and adore with every fibre of my being and for moulding him into the person I love today.  You instilled in him all your virtues, beliefs, empathy and love and he willingly shares them with everyone he meets most of all Beautiful B and I.  Because of you and Brendon Beautiful B finally has the father she should have had from before she was born and because of you I have a hubby who is making up for the many years I tried to find him others.

Happy Birthday Mum - may there be many more to share xx

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Fluffer Rant

So you all know that every now and again I allow my girlie fluffs to get pregnant because I love the pitter patter of tiny feet around my house for 8 weeks and love passing on the happiness to other families even more.

In March Cala fluff gave birth to 7 beautiful little puppies.  One was tiny tiny, so small and not much bigger than the size of a minature hamster and Hubby and I thought that if we were going to lose one, she would be it but little fluff fought tooth and nail to live and we I nicknamed her Scrappy. 

Little Scrappy fluff used to lie over a bowl of food to eat out the far side to make sure she got some food before the other baba fluffs ate it all.  When they got big enough to knock her out of the way we separated her during feeding time to make sure she continued to thrive.  Here is a picture of how small she was at 3 weeks old:

Despite being half the size of the other fluffs she had a personality twice as big as any of them and I adored her.  We kept a different one, Abi fluff, as I know I will want more baba fluffs in the future and I did not want to put Scrappy fluff through a birth as she was likely to grow up to be a small Bichon Frise.  I cried like a baby when her new owner came to take her her new home.  Here is what she looked like the day she left me:

I thought we had found a really good home for her.  A mother with a 3 year old little boy who was very intelligent.  All the new owners are sent home with an 8 page information sheet on how to rear a puppy and how to look after those needs particular to Bichons especially the need to pluck their ear canals once a week to prevent the build up of curly "bum fluff", as I call it, as unattended that can cause ear infections which in turn when left untreated can cause deafness in later life.

Anyone knows that rearing a puppy is hard work and requires consistency and dedication and my guidance clearly states that.  This family, however, if they even bothered to read the information sheet decided to ignore it.

Two weeks ago I received a telephone call from the mother who was distraught as Scrappy fluff was still messing in the house, barked all the time and nipped.  Now lets face it, the puppy was 14 weeks old - of course it is still going to be messing every now and again even if you are consistent with the toilet training and nipping is part of teething.  After ensuring she was nipping for attention and not aggression I discovered that the puppy was left locked in a conservatory on its own away from the owners most of the time to prevent the little boy continually letting her in and out.  Well of course if you insist on locking the dog away from the rest of the family it will get lonely and if you allow the little boy to keep letting her in every time she barks or continuously knock on the window to disturb her she will bark. 

As for the toilet training, well if you insist on not going out with her each hour and praising her when she is good or leaving paper or puppy training pads in the conservatory when you nastily lock her up for some peace and quiet where do you expect her to go if she needs the loo? 

So Hubby and I visited - yes she barked but then we did take Abi fluff and she adored seeing her sister again and was SUPER exicted, however in the hour we were there the little boy picked her up and put her down nearly 70 times!  There was the reason she barked when she wasn't being picked up - she wanted that attention.  No paper was down at all yet the mother despaired when she piddled in the kitchen - you know when you just feel like saying "Erm, HEEEELLLLLOOOOO"?

After giving them some pointers and stressing that it is a 6 month role of consistency and trying in as nice a way as possible to explain that they needed to control their son as well as the puppy we left and hoped they could pull it together.

They couldn't.  The owner contacted me last week and said they were selling Scrappy fluff and wanted to give me first refusal.  She wanted the full cost back which I thought she had a cheek to ask for but I may well be biased.

Luckily, a friend of mine had regretted not buying one of the other puppies and so I had be priming her with Scrappy fluffs troubles and she was very interested in taking her on if the owners decided to sell her.  I was very clear that Scrappy fluff may take longer to stop barking and nipping for and that toilet training could also take longer.  So, when the owners called me I called my friend and she was estatic at the idea of being Scrappy fluffs new owner.

Hubby and I picked her up and she stayed with us overnight.  I nearly cried when I saw her ears - you cannot see the ear canal at all.  Luckily, there is no ear infection but to pull all the bum fluff out in one go will cause inflammation and probably traumatise the little mite for life.  That, and the fact that she would not let anyone near her eyes or ears makes the groomer and I question whether she has been hurt when the owner tried to clean her ears and eyes and whether it put them both of trying it again.

In the 24 hours she was in my home she barked 7 times - 4 when we put her to bed; we expected a sleepless night yet when I gave her a treat and covered her bed up she slept straight through the night.  The other 3 times were when she was playing with Abi fluff.  Granted she may have barked less as all she did was run Abi fluff ragged every moment she was awake - to the extent that before she left she was sleeping sat up with her head drooping to one side.

She went outside to toilet and when I nipped out of the house for an hour she went on the paper.  She did not nip one - she play mauled; that is it.  Dare I say that Scrappy fluff is better behaved than Abi fluff. 

Yesterday Scrappy fluff when off to her new home having fallen in love with her new mummy during a visit the night before and has settled in marvelously - no messing in her new home, no barking and no nipping.  Everyone she meets falls in love with her.

Below is a picture of the mess she came to us in.  Scrappy fluff's new mum has booked her in with my fabulous groomer in a week to get her cleaned up properly and I will post more pictures of how truly beautiful she is at a later date.

When I breed another puppy and if I sell them I am going to scare new owners half to death to make sure they truly understand the committment they are entering into and any uncertainty at all on their part will mean they do not leave with a puppy.

No puppy should be neglected to the extent that Scrappy fluff was for the first 8 weeks that she left this household.  I know there are worse cases but this one is very dear to my heart and I know that she has now gone to a home where she will be well and truly loved and trained correctly with the upmost patience and attention. 

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Quality Time

So y'all know that I yearn to be self-sufficient enough to be able to quit my job and be the housewife and mum I want to be (and that I think I could be).  Well, that ain't gonna happen because, well I need the lotto fairy to sprinkle money dust all over me. 

So in the meantime, I get to take leave for 3 whole weeks.  Whoop.  I can't remember the last time I was off work for that long....and in the college holidays too.  So not only do I get to keep the house as clean as I want it, and trust me I have a whole page in my to do list dedicated  of maintenance jobs I am going to get done, I get to spend some quality time with Beautiful B.

Granted she may spend a lot of that time at McD's working her little socks off - yesterday, she was a machine and worked 13 hours straight!  However, between that we are planning all sorts of things to do.

Some of those involve a trip to Chester Zoo - Beautiful B was natually light blonde and 3 and half but the size of an 18 month old at that time and spent most of the time on Grampa's shoulders so she could be "as tall as a giraffe".  We have a zoo at Blackpool but it's kinda not the same to go 10 minutes up the road for a day trip out.

We are also off to Beacon Fell - a nice bit of walking which gets my exercise in as well as contributing to the work walking challenge I roped everyone else into and we have decided we will take all four fluffers.

Lots of trips to the cinema and cuddly days on the couch with films are also called for...and trips out with mum and dad to York for which, I informed Hubby the other day, he and I are going on so I can say "Ah do you remember our romantic weekend here" - I am going to drag everyone to the park so I can feed the squirrels again.....so very sad of me I know.

Oooh and now that I am thin I might allow someone to take cute pictures of Beautiful B and I for posperity.

Hubby was ill last night so Beautiful B came home exhausted from her 13 hour shift and yet she still came with me to see one of my best friends K and her hubby just so that we could kick back together and it was lovely.  She is so grown up and can have an adult conversation with M.  I know that is obvious but it made me realise how grown up she has become.  Then she sat there yawning at 11 - hardly surprising when she had been awake since 5 - and reminded me of my little baba again.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

A most deserved tribute to a great woman

Nearly 39 years ago she nearly (well, okay she technically did) die after having me. Thankfully, for all concerned they brought her back to us safe and sound. Despite that, she was brave enough to go through it all again 2 years later to have my sister. She was a rock then (and stubborn) and has been ever since, and I am sure, before. That stubbornness and determination to succeed against all odds she passed onto me.

She looked after us single-handedly most of the time when Dad was away on exercise with the army and taught us how to keep things tidy (or at least put them away after playing with them – something I never managed to instil in Beautiful B) in case of unexpected inspections. That came in handy when Dad left the army and started inspections of his own once a week – of our rooms.

She taught me lots of things including things such as naughty girls do not get sweets after tea and that 3 year olds really shouldn’t allow neighbours to paint their nail bright garish red. She let me run away from home when I was 3 or 4 knowing that I would follow her instructions and not cross the road and so would eventually come home.

She put up with the mountain on my shoulder when I got to my teenage years and argued with me long into the night, determined that she would not give an inch so that I would learn to do the same thing with Beautiful B when she grew up. She taught my sister and me that nothing comes easy in life and if you want it you work for it. In fact, if we were too ill to be at school, they would send us home.

She let me spread my wings enough to marry someone she knew was wrong for me and let me lie in the bed I made until I was brave enough to ask for help and then she broke my heart while I broke hers in the solicitors office as I listed the grounds for divorce. She took her grand-daughter and I back under her wing and into her home, turning her life upside down to care for us when we had nowhere else to go and be safe.

She let us fly again, admittedly back to the house on the next street, when Beautiful B and I got our house back and trusted me to fetch her grand-daughter up to be a good, kind and empathetic child. She trusted my judgement when it came to Beautiful B’s access to her father even though I am sure she bit her tongue almost in half to not say what she really felt.

She stood by me and let me make the second biggest mistake of my life and marry again and was there again when it fell apart. The two times she let me make those mistakes helped shape me into the person that I am now, one that knows who she is and what she will and won’t stand for and those lessons are instilled in Beautiful B.

She has been there for me at all time and as I grow older she has become more and more my best friend and confidante. She is someone I can turn to in a heart beat and who would do anything for her children, grandchildren and family. She is someone who laughs when I turn up tearing my hair out as my daughter does to me the same things I did to her.

She would walk to the end of the earth and back for me, my sister and the rest of our family. I may not have understood her lessons when I was younger and I made her life hell on any number of occasions but her lessons have shaped me into the person that I am, someone who is independent and firm but loving at the same time.

Happy Birthday Mum, may we have many more together. xx

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Who knew.....2000 steps

So Friday night, a late one watching the latest and last Harry Potter instalment and then 4 hours sleep to get up for the Next sale.  So, I rolled on up at 5 minutes to 5 a.m. because I may be mad but not enough to queue for a huge amount of time before the shop opened. 

I parked the car outside the store and saw a burger van - never a good sign if someone thinks they can made a fortune selling burgers to women at 5 a.m. in a morning...then I saw the queue, which stretched all the way past Next, the store next to it, down the stairs and all the way past Tesco - should have parked my car 300 metres away!

I had a nice chat with a woman whose husband had come in at silly o'clock in the morning from fighting crime to wake her up to buy trousers for her son.  If only I had an equally virtuous reason.

I thought I would queue for ages but they had obviously been to Florida and taken some pointers from Disney in how to disperse queues of people because we only had to wait 10 minutes.  At least they were nice enough to give us HUGE bags to put all our clothes in.

Being uninitiated but not totally stupid I decided to buy the clothes without trying them on and take back what I didn't want to keep - little had I realised that they don't even open the changing rooms for you to try clothes on.

So I shopped and where possible bought 2 different sizes (a whole 4 and 5 sizes smaller than I used to be - whoop, but then I might just have been hopeful) and in petite sizes to save on the alteration cost, seen as I am a short ass, an' all.

I had 3 HUGE bags at one point and my hands hurt and I was debating if I needed 4 pairs of new shoes to add to the 40 pairs I already had - hubby would be proud, I put one pair back...

.....and so who knew that I could spend £380 in less than an hour (don't worry, over 1/2 is going back for a refund now I have completed the requisite fashion show for hubby) and who knew that you could complete 2000 steps in a sale!  We should have them more often! 

I went home, fluff bags went mental as the car drew up as normal, hubby got up to calm them down to avoid angry neighbours - after all, it was just after 6 a.m. and so I took hubby back to the sale and we spent another £180 in 30 minutes. 

....and yes, he has kept more of his choices than I but then again he didn't buy 2 of everything in different sizes.

Would I do it again?  Not for every sale but I have to admit come the Next sale for their Autumn/Winter range I will be there queuing up again because lets face it, I may need smaller sizes again by that time.....