Thursday, 17 May 2012

An example to follow

This is a long post so be warned but they deserve every word of it….

43 years ago my mum would have been getting ready to walk down the aisle to meet my dad in all of his army finery.  I often wonder if she was nervous or whether, as she often appears to do, she took it all in her stride. 

When talking all things weddings she often says that had dad not been in the army they wouldn’t have married but lived together “over the bush” or “in sin” for a while but the army were prudish in those days – come to think of it, I wonder if they still are….

They married only 18 months after meeting each other and the story of how they met and started dating has my mum’s stubbornness stamped all over it;

Mum worked behind the bar in the family owned pub.  She was tipped often and when told to get herself a “something with cola” she would have the cola and pocket the money for the alcohol as a tip.  One day, dad stood at the bar, he ordered a drink and told her to get one for herself which she did.  His parting shot as he went to leave was “I’ll meet you here next Friday and I’ll take you out.”

Mum thought “Oh will you know?!” and took that Friday night off work but arranged a night out with her girlfriends instead and just left my dad to turn up with no-one to take out.  The following week he asked her where she was to which she responded “No-one puts baby in a corner”  “No-one tells me what to do.”

Amazing really that they managed to marry after that start, yet they did and he cycled 30 miles each way every weekend just to see her.

As the old saying goes they are as different as chalk and cheese but they complement each other.  They aren’t the most demonstrative parents with each other, for which I was probably eternally grateful for when I was a sulky teenager but they evidently love each other.

We moved 14 times in the space of 6 years with the army and lived in both Germany and England.  I remember Mum and Dad telling us we could not play in the woods across the road because it belonged to “the Germans” or that is how my tiny brain interpreted it – that was reinforced one day when one of our older friends was found tied to a tree for trespassing.

I remember mum staring at me from the balcony when I wanted her to open the main door to the flats to come home after playing and I remember the adults playing badminton on the front lawn eating lollies – I learned many years later all of those frozen lollies were laced with lots of alcohol. 

I remember a family friend painting my nails bright red while sat on the front porch of her flat and mum dragging me home to scrub it off because “I was not a tart” and I remember staring in horror at my sister while mum calmly removed a bee sting while she screamed the house down.

I remember the day I carried my sister into the flat after a swing hit her right in the forehead and split it open from left to right and despite the sheet of blood mum stayed calm to keep me calm.  Strangely enough I don’t remember the hospital visit to get her stitched up, nor do I remember an episode of running away from home.  Mum didn’t worry – as she knew I would, I returned with my little suitcase 3 hours later because I couldn’t leave home if I couldn’t cross the main road on my own.

I remember living with nanny in her guest house when dad left the army and all 4 of us living in guest room number 4 for 2 years until mum and dad bought our house>  I remember helping serve the dinner guests and only just being tall enough to look over the table; of helping them to change the guest bedding in all the guest rooms and how I went round the side of the bed nearest the wall to tuck the clean sheet in because I was smaller; of nanny giving me chocolate marshmallow cakes to eat and her making me pea soup; of sitting in the kitchen and eating the left over potatoes from the guests plates as they returned from the dining room.

I remember mum and dad selling the first car they owned so that we could go on holiday and I will forever treasure the memories of staying awake with mum to keep her company when she took over the twilight hour driving to Cornwall.  I will forever remember the shame of hearing my mum shout “Ian, give me some money.  Tina has started her first period and I need to go to the shop” across a busy motorway service station car park and shouting at her in horror.   

I remember their 25th wedding anniversary party when I was heavily pregnant with beautiful b and catching dad taking a photograph of a mirror and on asking him what he was doing, he responded “I am taking a picture of me in a mirror, which is taking a picture of me in a mirror, which is taking a picture of me in a mirror…..” - one of his few drunk moments.

I remember all the lessons; many of them not wanted at the time and now all treasured and being passed onto beautiful b.  I remember telling beautiful b that she needed to find someone like my dad and hubby to love her just as mum and I are loved.

I remember finding myself on the floor with no idea how I got there when I received the call to say mum was in hospital after an emergency operation following a heart attack and seeing my dad cry for only the 3rd time in my life.  I remember my dad’s second stroke and how scared he was at staring his own mortality in the face and I remember my dad slowly coming back to us and knowing he was recovering when he mimicked trying to escape the ward when waiting for visiting time during his recovery.

I live every day loving my parents more than I have ever done.  I live every day trying to make sure that they know just how much I love them and appreciate every thing that they have ever done for us and continue to do.    I am more than uncomfortable in the realisation that they are not invincible and that as I get older so do they do. Along with that comes the constant worry about them which hubby tells me I have to let go because worry never solved anything.

As they have for many years, they are on holiday for their anniversary and I can think of no better place for them than somewhere warm and sunny and relaxing with family they see only twice a year.  Maybe next year hubby and I will join them for the week to help them celebrate their 44th anniversary.

Mum, Dad – you are my world, the love you have show me guides me each and every day.  I can think of no better parents than you and the lessons you taught me in respect, love and honour are passed on each and every day.  Happy Anniversary, have a great one and have a drink to celebrate for me.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Short but sweet

I am meeting myself coming backwards. As well as working on Value Added Tax stuff, I have been roped into assisting in the preparation and publication of the annual report and accounts. Due to finish on 15th June - yeah it's that big! Hubby is beginning to forget what I look like.

So I will post as I can for those of you that stumble across the blog. In the meantime; a little something to be going on with.....

Apologies for the fuzziness
This had me rolling about laughing...but I am easily pleased

Friday, 4 May 2012

The post in which I sulk

I am not good at sulking, I don't get much practice because my glass is usually overflowing never mind half full.  Wednesday night I sulked.  I took myself off to fat fighters relatively secure in the knowledge that I would lose some weight, albeit not a lot.  Except I didn't - I put on exactly what I lost the week before.

I wouldn't mind if I could understand why.  Not that I expect the majority of you to understand this but I still had weekly points left; 17 of them and I had earned another 5 in activity.  So no idea and I felt cheated.

Beautiful B, bless her, told me that what is done is done and it cannot be changed and to move on - I know just where she has got that from and turns out having your pep talk repeated back to you makes you realize that when someone says it you want to stick your tongue out at them.

I got home and Hubby gave me a huge hug, telling me I have done it before and will do it again.  He made my tea - diet homemade pizzas and sent me to bed to catch up on some TV. Being looked after felt good.

On this new plan (which granted has been in a year now), fruit is 0 points. It's already factored into the allowance and a bid to get people to eat more fruit.  I get that; what the control part of my personality does with that information is get frustrated by it because I eat a lot of fruit and veg (see a leopard can change it's spots) and how do I know that the amount I am eating is still within that allowance.

Lets face it if I eat a banana, 2 apples, some pineapple, some melon and a bunch of grapes I am approaching 400 calories and I am not convinced that they have accounted for that many calories. I've ranted I'll get back to what I was doing before and see if it is better next week.  Mind you, I might just write to fat fighters and see if they will tell me the calorific content they have accounted for.  If they tell me then I can point what comes over and above that...alternatively eat less fruit but it is oh so tasty.


Want to know why my wardrobes look like this?

I'll give you a clue - it isn't because of me!

Hubby does my ironing - this is not his latest bout of ironing; no, if it were that you would see a smaller selection because his idea of a mammoth ironing session is a maximum of 5 items.

No, hubby wanted to be helpful.  By helpful I mean putting the clothes away for me onto the nice gadgety hanger thing (yes, another phrase in the Ribena dictionary).

As my mum is one of those that believes the best things come in small packages, I am tiny - but only in height mind you.

When I designed my floor to ceiling wardrobes I forgot that a split level wardrobe meant that I wouldn't be able to reach the top rail.  For two years I have hunted around the house for the small stool or jumped up and down like tigger on a pogo stick in a vain attempt to take something from the top rail. 

So we bought a rail that is attached to two spring loaded arms.  When you pull down the handle the rail lowers to shoulder height - there is probably a technical word for this but I have no idea what it is.  It was my saving grace; after all until I get to a much lower weight me jumping up and down on an invisible pogo stick is not a pretty sight.

Hubby did the ironing, hung it on the front of the wardrobe (all 5 items mind you) and then pulled the handle.  I was relaxing on the bed, in some small way trying to look somewhat feminine (not seductive mind, it was after all daytime...) and you know when you can see 5 seconds into the future?  My mind does not go at 88 MPH nor does it transport me into the future or past though some would argue that at times it does transport me to another plant but I digress...

I knew what was going to happen.  Hubby was either going to "forget" or just not use that wonderful brain of his to remember that being spring loaded you must take the weight of it before it hits the bottom.  Gravity alone means that the sheer weight of the many much required items I had placed on the hanger meant that taking the strain is necessary.  Except he didn't and my mouth did not kick in as fast as my brain.

This is the result: 

You can bet I didn't rely on Hubby to put a new one in!  No, I called my Dad.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Why going to work suddenly got more enjoyable

I'm guessing I don't need to say anything else.

The Day I went to the US

I'm obsessed with some US food stuffs. It started way back when Beautiful B was 2 years old and I discovered some Jelly Bellys in a posh sweet shop. Oh my goodness they were so divine I didn't care about the cost.

Then I visited the US when Beth was 3 and let's just say when in Orlando I had died and gone to heaven and spent a fortune.

I have since spent a fortune on the Internet buying sweets from UK sites that import from the US.

The Biggest Loser showed some sugar free Wrigley's gum in weird and wonderful flavors last week and being on a healthy eating kick I just to try some but of course I also had to try some other goodies...

Nothing as exciting as these flavours in this country, trust me.
* Jelly Bellys were a given

Excuse having to tip your head to the left - my iPhone turned itself around when I wasn't looking

Dark Chocolate Raspberry M&Ms intrigued me

 * Of course Hubby had to have a treat and he says the Dark chocolate mint M&Ms are addictive and went down a storm at work

*The Ice Cubes; well I was just intrigued

.....and of course there is the much desired and required box of fruit loops which will ensure Beautiful B and I will be on a sugar high with for the next week or so.

All I have to say at this point is how amazing it is that the price I paid reduces by £10 when I relay the necessity of their purchase to Hubby.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

See what major surgery does to you

This was me in the summer:

Babafluff posed, if only to show off her Zippy mouth

Then Angel's mum passed away and I mourned for her and for Angel.

Then I had my operation and spent 8 weeks learning how to move about again while Hubby fed me and I got back into bad habits. 

Then Mia and Tom died and Beautiful B's life fell apart and I took on the burden of sorting the funeral for her to try and take as much strain as I could - and we ate fast food almost every night for 4 weeks as a result.

Basically I got lazy, felt terribly sorry for what my family was going through and returned to food as a comfort blanket.  After 12 months at fat fighters I had achieved partial success; I still battled a life long comfort and was losing the battle.

This is the result of my stupidity:

I have to be smaller than the first photo by October.  At the rate I am losing I am not going to get there.  So I am back at the gym.  Every other day come hell or high water, rain or shine, well or ill. 

Fat fighters for me will have to become like AA meetings to an alcoholic - though I know the two really don't compare.  If I stop going to the meetings, I slip back to my old ways; the one I have lived with and nurtured for 37 years.  Now is time to stop the cycle; if that means having someone hold my hand once a week at a meeting for the next few years then so be it. 

You not only cannot change the habit of a lifetime overnight; turns out you sometimes cannot change it in a year.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

This made me smile

I saw this and it made me smile.  Here's hoping it does the same for you.

Happy Tuesday everyone.