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 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.....

Friday, 15 July 2011

Braving the sales....

Now y'all have probably worked out by now that I am on some kind of slimming quest.  I could tell you all sorts of stories, scary and otherwise but linked to this are two little known things about me:
  • I hate clothes shopping
  • I hate sales shopping even more!
Truly, I avoid it both with a passion.  However, for 2 reasons I am braving the Next sale tomorrow morning at 5 am and will DETEST EVERY SINGLE MINUTE OF IT.

Ignoring the fact that it will be 5AM for crying out loud, said slimming quest has dictated that my "skinny" clothes no longer fit - in fact, a work colleague informed me not 20 minutes ago that she followed me up the corridor on Wednesday and thought "Ribena looks like she is waiting to grow into those clothes."  Trust me, that is a compliment.

I asked Hubby yesterday, who is off work for the open golf championship, to iron me some work clothes (it's not that I am lazy, merely that being the loving husband he is he won't let me iron anything at the moment because of my poorly arms, wrists and hands.....I just need him to iron stuff rather than leave it in the ironing basket....).  When I returned home yesterday he said "Honey, there are no work clothes in the basket to be ironed except these trousers." - which, incidently I have on today and it looks like I have no backside.  So I have kinda figured what I am doing is wearing something for work, deciding it is too big and putting it in a bag to go to the charity shop.

Therefore, despite hating clothes shopping (yes, even when thin and despite being a woman) and hating sales all the more because people tend to get temporary insanity during a sale, I will brave the sale tomorrow morning in the hopes of having some clothes in my wardrobe that look like they belong to me when I wear them.

I may not be sane when I return home, or I may not even return home after being charged for murder because some other silly woman decided to become a mad woman in a bid to snaffle everything in sight and forget her manners.....but, if I do and am still sane, I may regale you with my exploits.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

She is still my baby

I love that Beautiful B is growing up, I don't even mind that when I realise she is 17 that means I am getting old because lets face it, I feel and act even more like I am all of 18 myself most of the time.  Plus, there is the tiny fact that she does me proud each and every moment.  Anyhoo....

Yesterdays text went:

"OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG!!!! Just worked out what to do for your birthday and it SOOOO tops last year." 

Now, park for the moment how much of an excitable child she sounds like in that text and lets reflect on her insistence of spending a fortune last year for my birthday.  That was Beautiful B's first year with a "proper" job at McDs and obviously she spent her whole summer there working her little socks off to get promoted for being so good at what she does and obviously, to her, she earned herself quite a bit of money and she spent it all - trust me, boy did she spend!  But she also insisted on seriously treating me for my birthday - which made me kind of tearful for two reasons: the first is obvious but the second was because she is so much like me it is scary because I did the same thing with my mum.  With my first wage I went out and bought her a beautiful gold bracelet (we will ignore the fact that she didn't wear bracelets, it is the thought that counts after all.....) to show her how much I loved her.

So....last year I was treated to a trip to Alton Towers (UK's much smaller version of Universals theme park - the one with the scary rides in) of which she insisted on paying for the tickets and the petrol to get there (of course I had to drive) so I refused to let her pay for the lunch and drinks etc etc.  However, then she surprised me with a mother and daughter pamper session at the salon in Alton Towers hotel which was lovely and such a beautiful thought.

So could she top it this year - well, she thinks she has.  She is taking me to Manchester to see Alan Carr - Hubby would argue he isn't funny however I think he is and Beautiful B thinks he is that funny that we have to tell her to quieten down when she watches him on TV because boy is she loud.

So she insisted on paying for the tickets until she phoned Hubby to confirm if he thought I would like to go and he said he would pay for one for my birthday present, and she is insisting on paying for the train fare so I will treat her to tea out at a restaurant because that is only fair right?

So I am off for a hilarious evening out to a show and the requirement to stand up on the train all the way home because it will be so busy will be worth it.  In fact, I may just suggest, seen as my birthday falls on a weekend this year, that we go in the early morning and have a window shop around Manchester and make a whole day and evening of it.

I am uncomfortable at the cost, of course, but she won't be told because lets face it she is my daughter and although I have not consciously taught her these lessons she seems to have taken them in by osmosis.  She will give her last penny to her family and friends and so somehow I taught her to do something right and so I will repay her in little ways that aren't entirely obvious to her until she thinks about them.....

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Lessons.....part 2

Thankfully Beautiful B's lesson and not mine this week, though somehow we managed to "pay" for it as Beautiful B went out and left us to it.....

When the hairdresser arrives with mini brownies in a nice plastic box it is an idea to move them out of puppy (Abi Fluff) reach when you disappear upstairs to have the bleach washed out of your hair otherwise.... come downstairs to find only 2 left and 8 eaten; and

....your parent decides to take said puppy out, with her family, for a 5 km hike in the hopes of a) ensuring that any resulting bowel issues are solved outdoors and before they return home and b) any hyperactivity as a result of caffeine consumption will be negated by the 5km hike; and

....the mummy (Cala) fluff has a horrendous time on the 5km hike as the baba fluff thinks it is fantastically funny to feel such a caffeine rush that she spends the whole 5km hike running around in circles and randoming barrelling into mummy fluff in the hopes that she will surrender and join in; and

....the 5km hike does not work and baba fluff spends the whole of the evening running around the house like a nutter, finding every squeaky toy imaginable to play with, dragging the toybox out of the corner and tipping it upside down in the middle of the room to find the smallest toy at the bottom, managing to do somersaults because her little legs won't run as fast as her brain wants to.

I, however, will thank whatever higher power exists for baba fluff crashing when she does finally go to bed even if she did wake me up at 4.30 a.m. and for 8 mini brownies not resulting in the expected bowel issues....even if she has reverted to running around like a nutter again.  The house and garden looks like a squeaky toy graveyard!

Thursday, 7 July 2011


1.     When the Abi fluff learns how to get on the couch and chairs it is an idea to move things out of her reach, otherwise, you may receive a phone call from Beautiful B asking where you left your slaved over cross-stitch, pattern and thread, only to feal that dread when you know why such a question is being asked.

2.    When you come home to punish the Abi fluff, even though you feel mildly guilty because it is your fault for not moving it away from the inquisitive 15 week old puppy in the first place but know you must teach her a lesson none the less, it is an idea to shut the door to the room that has a cupboard with no doors on while they are being painted; otherwise said baba fluff may well run away, into the cupboard and under the adjourning bath and refuse to come out.

3.     When you do coax her out, by banging her metal food dishes to make her think you are going to feed her, and pick her up she will wrap her little paws around your neck and lay her head on your shoulder and all will be forgiven and your heart will melt again....

....oh and you will feel even guiltier.