Monday, 17 July 2017

And so it begins.............

So far, so good!

Got here early, was admitted to the day ward and tagged (not electronically....). Being given 3 tags confused me but I have since found out that once you're in theatre, they take one off your arm and put it around the tube down your throat so they can check ID as they can't (easily) see your wristbands. I'm glad that one's sorted at least. Another thing I don't be worried about walking myself up for to ask halfway through the op!! 😂

I had the lovely 6 minute walk test, looking stupid again (no different to usual then... Yeah yeah I know.....), chest xray, ECG and bloods, forms, forms, more forms etc. etc. etc......

We had an afternoon of cards and puzzles, then were told they were closing the ward so I'd have to go to a different ward to sleep then come back up again in the morning. Before any of that happened, however, the fire alarm went off. Rumour has it someone burnt toast on level was just like being back at work!! 😂. The anaesthetist came to see me so we missed the evacuation and the drama was over by the time he'd finished. As he left the surgical doctor who's going to be helping tomorrow came to see us to go through everything and by the time he left everyone had gone!


Now on Duchess Ward with a cup of coffee, crackers and cheese. Waiting for my towels and lurvely antiseptic wash for my shower.....


Oh I'm being so spoiled!! Not only do I now have towels and Octenisan (mmmmm, a lovely antiseptic scent....), I have also been given my backless gown, paper knickers, special red socks, AND I've been measured for a pair of those gorgeous, highly sought after, surgical stockings. Can my day get any better???!

I fear the actual op tomorrow is going to be a compete anticlimax after such excitement!! 😂 😂 😂

Let's just hope the shower is a power shower now to complete the night!!

I have to say, every member of staff I have had any contact with has been really lovely and helpful, I couldn't ask for any better care and am, surprisingly, feeling very calm and ok about it all. Although I could still be in denial...... 😂

Friday, 14 July 2017

It's almost time for 'The Op'......

Soooo, my last weekend of freedom for a couple of weeks! I'm off to Papworth on Monday so this is also likely to be my last blog for a while, until I'm back in the land of the living after my op!

It was very strange finishing work on Wednesday. Afterall, you don't usually have pre-warning of bring off sick. Particularly when you don't actually feel 'ill' as such!

Anyway since it is went out for drinks after work and my big Sis joined us as well which was lovely. It was a good night in great company. I will miss everyone!

Yesterday morning it felt wrong not going in but I was kept busy with the kids. The end of year church service for the year 6 leavers was really emotional, the kids were crying, we were crying..... our kids aren't even leaving until next year! Not sure I'll be able to cope with that service!! 😢😢😢. Faye was surprisingly fine, until we'd been home for a bit. She went to get changed and came down sobbing her heart out, bless her! 🙁

I distracted her with the mermaid tail blanket a friend from work had given me for hospital (knowing first hand how much I hate being cold!!).

They wanted McDonald's so we went there on the way to my friend's. It was nice for all the kids to play together as they don't really get to see each other apart from in the holidays.  My friend gave me a beautiful Hot Diamonds guardian angel charm, which is definitely coming with me to Papworth!

Today I didn't do bad being of add the kids were off anyway. We got clothes ready to pack for their 'holiday' and sorted some stuff off myself. I decided to treat them to the cinema so we went to see Despicable Me 3 which they really enjoyed. It was nice to just spend the day with them.

I was really surprised when Jay gave me a bag of lovely goodies from one of his work colleagues! I was so touched at such a thoughtful gesture. With all the bad things happening in the world it does restore faith that the majority of people are good, caring people.

I feel so lucky to have such loving family and friends who are always there for me and I will always be there for them, no matter how near or far, or how much or little we see each other.

I love you all with all my heart 💖💖💖

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Old friends, new old friends, sunshine and relaxation

What a fantastic few days!!

It all started with a day of pampering at Beauty Boutique in Wigston, a pedicure and massage, toe and finger nails manicured and painted, and lashes lifted and tinted (will save the need for mascara in hospital!). I was out just in time to get to Base hairdressers for a trim and highlights to brighten me up for the summer. Bliss!

I packed the following morning and went on my way to Teddington for the weekend to see a friend I haven't seen for a couple of years, leaving early to miss the traffic. It was a lovely day and it was great to park up and wander down to the river. It always has a real holiday feel to me, especially when the sun is shining 🌞

It turns out that another old friend lives there too, who I haven't seen for (cough, cough) years. We agreed to meet at Tide End Cottage for a drink and, although I felt a bit nervous meeting someone from so long ago, it was actually really easy and the time flew by. Well, it did for me anyway! For all I know I could have been chatting far too much and bored them to tears! I hope not though!

As they needed to leave, my other friends arrived and we made our way to the Fallow Deer for cocktails and then almost next door for an Italian (food, not person...). Overall, a very enjoyable day with delicious food, refreshing drinks and, most importantly, great company!

I awoke Saturday morning to another lovely day which we decided to start off with a game of crazy golf, much to my friend's partner's horror! Not just crazy golf though, Pirate crazy golf! It was really busy, and yes mainly with kids, but did we care??! Well, two of us didn't! 😂 We had to pull ourselves across the water in rafts, play inside a pirate ship in the dark, it was fun!! There was another small group of adults only behind us who were taking it all much too seriously! I had to bite my tongue to not point out it was a crazy golf course, mainly aimed at kids and not grown men...... We really didn't take it seriously, I mean, my first hit of the ball and it went straight in the water!! You could almost see their agitation growing with each of the 9 attempts it took my to complete hole no. 1!!

We recovered from the effort with some lunch at The Anchor at Wisley, watching the boats go through the lock, going back to the Flying Cloud at Teddington for a cuppa and cake back by the river, again watching all the boats go by as we made several (fairly unsuccessful) attempts at taking a selfie!

Another beautiful evening made our decision to go to a now favourite haunt of mine, Comptoir Libanais, by Kingston Bridge. We managed to upset the waitress by wanting to sit at a different (and nicer) table than the one she initially offered us, leading her to very grumpy and almost throwing chairs about before telling us we'd have to wait while she seated someone else at 'our' table! Ooops! Another waitress then came to seat us, who was very happy and pleasant! We had a lovely meal watching the sun set. Our cocktail reminded me slightly of Benilyn (although you got used to it after a while!) and the 'tea' my friend ordered looked vaguely as though she had been pond dipping, although she quite liked it, until my pond dipping comment at least........

Sunday wasn't meant to be so nice but it was another gorgeous, hot and sunny day! We ambled around a classic car show in Hampton before shopping for picnic bits and making our way to Strawberry Hill House for their fun day and music festival. We went around the house which was like nothing I had ever seen before. Very gothic in style and seemingly completely random! Lots of the windows had original panes of 17th century painted glass from Flanders which were fantastic. We then relaxed in the sunshine with our picnic, listening to the different bands until early evening.

It was a really chilled out weekend and I had such a lovely time, just what I needed before hospital calls!!

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Flashing knickers!! πŸ˜–

So I probably experienced one of the most embarrassing, mortifying and traumatic moments of my life yesterday. I still shudder just thinking about it!!

I finished work and collected Faye, had tea, did some work whilst Faye got ready for gym. All fine. Took her to gym and sorted out Billy going for a trial next week (bless him!). Decided not to bother going home so just say in the car, rang mum and dad and spoke to Billy. Still all good so far.  Got out of the car to go a different fetch Faye, and my nightmare began.

It was still warm and I was happily walking past the cars to the gym when I lady following me down the hill called 'excuse me'. I turned and realised she was calling to me so stopped. Her next words sent a chill right through me.

'Sorry, but I thought I should tell you your dress is split all down the back.'

'Is it bad?`

`Well it's all the way down you the hem. You can see your pants and everything. I thought it was shorts to start with but then realised. I'm really sorry but if it says me I'd want someone to tell me...'

I was mortified!!!  I had no coat. Nothing. And I just stood there like an idiot with no idea what to do!! Then there was the horror of wondering how long it had been split without me noticing? Surely someone at work would have said. Wouldn't they?? Or at school when I picked Faye up? And what about when I dropped Faye off at gym and spent a while at reception with kids and parents everywhere?? Had I been flashing my knickers to all and sundry?! They weren't even a decent pair!! The thought was paralysing!!

I held the back of my dress together the best I could, probably looking like I'd had an accident as I scuttled into the waiting room clutching my bum and clamped myself to the nearest wall! Faye was first out which, to start with I thought was good, as that meant I could get away quick. In reality I soon realised that just meant that everyone else was behind me......

'Faye walk behind me!'


'just do it?!'


I told her about my predicament and she promptly went into hysterics! Not that I could blame her, no doubt I'd have done the same. She did walk behind me though. Encouraging me as we went. Not.

'Mum you look weird, just let go of it'

'I can't. You can see my knickers'

'it'll be better than you look now'

'Thanks. But it really wouldn't. And stop laughing!'

'I can't, it's funny'

At this point I noticed a car with one of the dad's I know say in it. We always say hello, but on this occasion I thought it would be better to focus ahead and pretend I hadn't noticed him.

'It is NOT funny. At all'

I'm sure there was an amused look on 'dad's' face as I passed the car.....

'let go'


'well you're going to have to let go of it in a minute to get in the car!'

'yes. Thank you. I'm well aware of that!'

Thankfully the car next to me dad empty so I was able to take refund between the two cars.

'let's have a look then'

I let go.

'[gasp] oh m that is really bad! I mean REALLY bad!!`

I have never been so pleased and relieved to get in my car!!

And I've never known 10 minutes to be do traumatic it felt like 10 hours!!!

At least Faye reassured me that my dress was fine when I dropped her off so that was at least some relief!

All I need to do now is find the receipt...... and a disguise to wear to all future trips to gym........... 😐

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Iiiiiiiiiiit's RANT TIME!!!!!

OK, so maybe I'm just not in the best of moods today. Or maybe, just maybe, it's been a day full of idiots conspiring to annoy me............ On the bright side, they only partially succeeded 
It started with a kamikaze cyclist  on the school run. Now I know cyclists have just as much right to be on the road as cars, and I am generally very considerate of them,  but surely they should comply with the rules of the road too?? So if their traffic lights are on red, STOP! Don't just carry on and cycle straight across in front of me, when my lights are on green, and just expect me to stop! I did, but one day you might not be so lucky......
I then had a stereotypical white van man cut me up, twice, coz he was in so much of a hurry as he obviously felt he was much more important than everyone else trying to get to work. Still it worked out well for him, he managed to get 1 vehicle ahead of where he started (behind me) all the way in to town, shaving milliseconds off his time,  so Woohoo!! Well done Mr Van driver! You must be sooooo proud of your achievement!! 
So that was all before I actually got in to work.......
As far as work goes, there are a few things I consider important...
1. Work hard and you will be rewarded (OK maybe that one is a bit out of date and optimistic.....)
2. Be humble and don't run ramshod over other people to get where you want /get the recognition you want, whether you deserve it or not.
3. Don't ask anyone to do anything you aren't prepared to do yourself
4. If something needs doing and there's no one else available, do it yourself!
..... But maybe I'm just old skool
Why people can't do something that, OK, might not be their job, but would only take them approximately 1 minute at the most to do is beyond me. Especially when not doing it can causes delays of a day or so. I guess some people must think certain tasks are beneath them......
Still, however irritating, it's not such a biggy I guess and I can at least be glad that I'm not like that.
I had half a day's annual leave to take Billy for another visit to big school, this time we left them and they went on their own. He was full of it when he came back and loved it! I was so pleased and feel happier that he isn't going to be really clingy when he starts  We got Faye and came home to get changed and go straight into the paddling pool. It was soooo nice! We had a pack of water balloons and had an hour or so messing about in the pool and staying cool! . We had a great time and all was well with the world again!
For a bit ....
Tonight I dropped Faye off at guides and went swimming.  It was a busy but lovely and cool. There were a few lads being lads but there were also the annoying chatters. I know people go with their friends and have a bit of a natter, I know I used to. But we swim in lanes and I still have to stop every two lengths to, well, breathe! It's therefore pretty annoying to not be able to stop at the end coz of people chatting. I don't mean a few minutes chit chat while they have a breather, I'm talking 10/15 minutes of not moving! In the 10 lengths or so I managed whilst they were chatting, I learnt more about their dog's habits, behaviour in the park, what they had for dinner blah blah blah than I really needed, or wanted, to know! Then one of them complained about how busy it was and that they hadn't even got out of breath yet! I was so close to pointing out that that wasn't exactly surprising seeing as they hadn't moved for ages, although the amount of yapping she was doing should have rendered her breathless!  Unfortunately this didn't happen and I had to suffer overhearing their inane conversations......
Hopefully, seeing as it was far too busy for them, they won't be there when I go again. It would be much safer for them, probably more than they could ever imagine.....!!

Friday, 16 June 2017

Wet chairs and water fights πŸ’¦

Well it's been a funny old week! This time last week I was sat at home after a long day at the polling station watching the first of the results come in. It seems much longer than a week ago!

It was lovely to get out in the garden and get some planting done after all the rain last week and I'm happy to say my cucamelon plants are looking good! I can't wait for them to grow and fruit..... They are going to be soooo cute!!

Work has been a bit stressful to the point where I'm not sure if I even speak English or people can't actually hear me.... But then something will happen that makes turning up worthwhile.....

For instance, as I got into work on Tuesday I found boxes of files on my desk that needed to go to the lab. I grabbed a couple of boxes and was on my way when a colleague came out of a nearby office and called me in, saying I needed to look at her chair because she didn't know what to do. She explained someone had been in her office, sitting in her chair, and her chair was now marked.... Sure enough I looked at the chair and there was, what I can only describe as, a wet, oddly shaped streak on the seat. I shared her horror with an exclamation of "what is that?!". She replied that she didn't know, we really didn't want to know, but she didn't know what to do because she couldn't bring herself to sit on it. I didn't blame her but at that point I started laughing uncontrollably until I was crying!  Just thinking about it again now whilst I'm writing this is making me giggle! When I'd calmed down enough to be able to speak, I reasoned that we must have something in the department or lab to clean/disinfect it with, and we had a spare chair in our office she could use.  We did find some Flash (with Febreze I might add!) in the tea room, so I gave it a good scrub and left it to dry....... All's well that ends well 😂

Yesterday was sunny and hot, promoting one of the managers to bring a lead of jubbleys into work. And a number of water pistols. What could go wrong?! Well, maybe giving one to me for a start! It was nice to temporarily revert to being a kid again though!!

Last night Faye was in an interschool athletics competition involving all the local schools, about a dozen altogether. As you can imagine, it was organised chaos but I think the teachers and everyone involved did a really good job sorting so many kids out! I didn't any even one bit! Everyone did well and seemed to enjoy it anyway.

Today the water pistols are forgotten about. For most of the day. Then all hell let loose in the office! In hindsight I should have known better than to shoot one of the Consultants. At the time I didn't know better but son learnt my lesson when he came back at me with a fairly powerful water bottle. I got soaked. As did the carpet, my chair, my desk....... Squirt two had me running out of the office to escape another drenching. And to dry out!

Things calmed down, he left for home and I went to collect my printing. On returning to the office I walked through the door and got soaked again.... and almost had a heart attack as he was hiding behind the wall as I came in! Apparently he'd forgotten his phone and thought it to perfect an opportunity to miss! I can't say I blame him, I would most likely have done the same thing myself. I did get him back with the water bottle on his way out though 😂

Best of all, it's nearly the weekend again!! It's meant to be a lovely one too! I can see paddling pools, hose pipes and water bombs on the horizon........

So a Happy Father's Day to all of you Dad's out there and I hope you all get spoiled!! Xxx

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Schools and pools

Today Billy had his first induction at 'Big School' ready for starting in September. For all my concerns about him being less confident and more clingy than Faye was, after a couple of minutes his coat was off and he was getting stuck in!! A couple of kids he knew from pre-school last year are there too and they came over to him which was sweet of them. We made pictures with shells, played in the kitchen, did a puppet show, and went climbing in planks, crates and tyres outside in the rain! He seemed to really enjoy it and asked when he could go back so it looks promising!

Faye's been to athletics after school fir the last two nights and has really enjoyed it. Her teacher has told us she's very good and the best at throwing! She throws Billy around a lot so I guess she has had a fair amount of practice! 😂

After dropping Faye off at guides I made it back to the swimming pool again. Aren't I a good girl!! It was a lot busier to start with but then emptied a bit and, apart from a couple of lads being a couple of lads, it was fairly peaceful and relaxing. Unfortunately, my muscles must have been tired from the effort last night as I only managed half a mile in 45 minutes. Still, better than nothing I suppose. I'll aim at just making it into the pool tomorrow night!!!

Monday, 5 June 2017

...and I'm done. In. Completely...😩

At least I did it.  After a fairly long break from the pool I was quietly optimistic of managing my 1k/40 length goal.

But, get me, I'd done that in just under 50 minutes so then faced the dilemma of getting out whilst the going was good and I'd done what I wanted to.......or seeing if I could get another 8 lengths in the last 10 minutes to make it 3/4 of a mile in an hour.

I only went and did it!

Admittedly I am now completely cream crackered and ache everywhere!  But I don't care!  Smug me is back! 😏

Now to see if I can keep it up long enough to make it back there again on Wednesday..........

Fitness regime attempt No. 6875423885.........

So here we go again...... another attempt at regular swimming sessions. I have made it as far as the gym..... in the rain no less! To be fair, getting wet to get to the gym isn't really anything to be pleased with myself for when my goal is the pool!
Unbelievably, my swipe card worked to let me in - I was expecting alarms to go off, lights to flash and a booming voice to yell "Who the hell are you?! Don't you come swanning back here after all this time and expect to just be let straight back in!!!"
Thankfully, that was just the paranoia in my head!
So here I am, ready to go for it. Again. I'll be back with an update. Presuming the shock of exercise doesn't kill me...... 

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Rain, rain go away, come again.... Actually, you know what? Don't bother!

So a typical bank holiday/packing up camp day with rain. And more rain. Lots of rain........

After breakfast we started to get things packed away as much as we could in the dry but as all that got done we were forced to empty the tent and load it all, and the kids into the car and start loading the trailer..

At one point we were also forced to the car by the monsoon type rain, waiting for it to slow enough for us to carry on. In the end we just had to go for it. We were drenched within minutes but it seems you can actually only get so wet....

Our jeans were so wet we were close, on several occasions, of sporting the current half way down your bum look...... Not a pleasant thought!

We finally managed to get everything packed and loaded, all as wet as we were! We need some sun when we get home to dry everything out !

It was our first experience of a CCC rally and we loved it. We were at Merry Weather Farm and the rally was organised by the Coventry DA. The stewards were really friendly and helpful as were all the other campers/caravanners there. We really enjoyed it and I'm sure we will be on another rally soon!

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Rollright stones and Cotswold Farm Park

What better to do on a sunny, cloudy, and rainy day than to go and look at a stone circle. I mean, everyone loves a stone circle don't they? No? Just me? Oh well, never mind. I like it so off we went to the Rollright stones!

It was a bit chilly and very windy but the lady, when we got there, chatted and told us some of the history of the stones. She was a volunteer with the Rollright Trust and bless her for turning out in such conditions! We learnt all about the Whispering Knights, the King's Men and the King Stone. There had been a druid wedding in the morning and one of the trees had ribbons and purses tied in it.  It is said that if you count the stones in the circle twice and get the same number both times your wish will be granted. All I can say is, we tried! Several times. Nice of us got the same number twice or even the same number as each other! I guess those wishes are just going to have to wait!

The following day forecast a dry sunny day so we booked tickets for Adam Henson's Cotswold Farm Park. It was really good! Faye and Billy tried their hands at milking fake cows, we had a tractor and trailer ride around the sight learning about the rare breeds, then went to the barn where the kids could hold chicks, which were very sweet. However, they weren't as cute as the ducklings, which were adorable! Forget the kids, I wanted a duckling so asked and, like the kids, I was told to sit down and was handed a duckling...... My duckling was the cutest thing ever with his (or hers) big clumsy webbed feet, although it was a lively little thing! I really didn't want to hand it back told Jay I wanted a duck for our 'pond'. Unsurprisingly he rolled his eyes and said "she's worse than the kids.."  I'm guessing no duck then 🙁

We went round and fed the animals before going back to queue to feed the lambs and kids (OK, yes, me again....) . After half an hour we were duly given a bottle each to feed whichever animal fought, pushed and nuzzled it's way to the teet first, which was empty in about 2 seconds flat!

After that we went on the wildlife walk, saw the beehive (I was slightly more cautious and observant in this area due to my apparent allergy!), climbed over some logs and made our way to the play area. The whole day was really enjoyable and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a day out in the area, with or with hour kids! It was well run, well organised and the staff were all really pleasant, helpful and genuinely seemed to enjoy what they were doing. We had ice creams and visited the shop before making our way back to camp.

Faye's new friend was at the rent door almost before we got through it! We had a BBQ then new friend's grandparents brought their chairs and drink up, the neighbours joined us and we watched the kids' show as the sun set behind the trees.....

A very enjoyable and relaxing weekend!

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Cotswolds, camping and curfews...

It was such a gorgeous day to start our camping weekend, if a bit hot for travelling. Considering it was bank holiday Friday, we had a really good journey and reached the campsite by 6.30.  The weather was perfect for getting set up and because it was so nice, we had no idea of the time. Until I went off in search of a chippy.

Chipping Norton is only a couple of miles from the campsite and is bigger than I thought it would be. I parked up and had a walk around, found lots of pubs and bars (and yes I was tempted but thought I should maybe feed the kids first!), but no chippy and all the takeaways were shut. P Went back to the car and tried good old Google. 2 minutes later I was outside the chippy. Which we shut. Probably because it was 10.45! Plan B, I'd passed a garage. So it was meal deals all round!

Got back to the campsite and the was shut. But if a nuisance but no biggy. Got out to unlatch it, but no. It wasn't just shut, it was padlocked! I then saw the sign stating the gate closed at 11pm. It was 11.04. Aaarrgggghhhhh!! We still had stuff in the car, like our clothes, the cool box and another bag with some drink and food bits in...... A slightly panicked phone call to Jay and he met me with the kids to get the clothes and 'dinner'. Then went back for the wine (priorities!). So no chips, locked out and car dumped. Not a bad start...........

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Red sky at night, Shepherd's delight...

.... and although there aren't many Shepherd's around here, plus I'm not that keen on lamb, I have enjoyed the sun making an appearance as the saying promises!

It first came out on Saturday morning and Faye was happy as she had a hot tub party in the afternoon. We went to Asda in the sunshine (no coats needed today!) and came out to black skies and a monsoon-like downpour! By the time we got back to the car we were soaked!! It kept alternating between sunshine and torrential rain for the rest of the day.

Faye and Billy had been wanting to watch Star Wars so on Friday night, as a treat, they were allowed the sofa bed out downstairs with me and we watched A New Hope (no arguments from me!). Billy made it as far as the Cantina band scene before flaking out but Faye watched the whole thing and loved it! :) Saturday night turned into another Star Wars night with the Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Billy missed it again but Faye enjoyed them, apart from when Han and Leia kissed, which she watched in horror, pulled a face and said "eeeeewwww that's disgusting!!" 😂

Sunday was so nice we spent the day in the garden, mainly weeding but at least we were outside enjoying the sunshine. The trampoline is back up so the kids were happy too!  Most importantly, I finally got all the washing done and dried (oh how you must all envy the rock 'n' roll lifestyle I lead! 😂)

We also sorted out camping for the bank holiday weekend - we're off to Chipping Norton! Sounds a bit posh for us but never mind! The rollright stones are nearby and I do love a good stone circle! I just hope the weather stays like these. The memories of packing up in torrential lane at the end of our last camping holiday are still lurking in the back of my mind and not something I'm in a hurry to repeat!

So after a lovely day I got the kids in the bath whole Jay cooked dinner..... and that's when if hit...... I'd either done too much gardening or had too much sun as I suddenly felt rubbish! Nothing specific just generally crap! So once I'd got the kids settled, Iwent to bed myself!

I was fine in the morning and, after taking one look in the mirror, decided it was definitely the sun that made me bad. Glowing is an underestimate.... Warning beacon is closer, I was red. Very red. Some might say 'blazing' red (you know who you are!!) and ever so slightly sore!

Work has been work..... Enough said! Although after a pretty rubbish morning, someone dropped by the office for a chat to tell me it makes their day to see me when he goes by the office and it's never the same when I'm not there! Awwww how sweet! I do think he maybe got the wrong office........

Faye decided it was too hot to go gym tonight, until I gave her the alternative of helping me tidy - she soon changed her mind!! 😂 As it happens, she really hurt her hands on the bars with deep broken blisters, so she would have been better off tidying!!

The most exciting thing was getting home to a big box in the porch with our new portable toilet (basically a posh bucket with a seat) and toilet tent. Woohoo!! My sister did suggest I could lock myself in and hide when the kids are driving me nuts...... I should probably take some wine in with me too.....

Only one more day to get through..........

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Ging Gang Goolie Goolie Goolie Goolie wat...cha step Mrs!!

This weekend was a big weekend for Faye - her first time camping with the guides! I was probably more nervous about it than she was!! After spending Thursday night naming everything and cramming it into her rucksack she was ready. It turns out the rucksack was almost as big as her, How she managed to carry it I'll never know!
I was probably a bit older than her when I first went camping, but similar weekends working up to Charnwood 85. Did anyone reading this go there? There were loads of different activities but I remember archery was very popular with the guides. Which I am pretty sure, in fact certain, had absolutely nothing whatsoever at all to do with the rather gorgeous scout doing it!
As it happens, and possibly for the better, I wasnt able to take her as I had a prior engagement after work. At The Parcelyard. I did ring her though and she was very excited!
Whilst sitting in the Parcelyard waiting for a couple more work friends to arrive we heard a noise behind us and turned to see a woman on the floor, having fallen on the stairs, her, we assumed boyfriend, coming back down the stairs to her. We all did the very British thing of 'don't look at the drunk lady' and pretended nothing had happened. Until one of our group said "Hey isn't that our lady from work?". On re-checking, it turned out it wasn't a drunk lady falling over, leaving with her boyfriend, but was in fact our sober friend falling down the stairs on her way to meet us, helped by a gentleman who had been leaving whilst we all ignored her!! But fair play to her, what an entrance!!  I blame it on the fact that she hadn't got her pram with her to use for balance.  At this point, I would like to point out (particularly if my friend is reading this!), that most of my amusement at this situation was purely due to the fact that that is exactly the sort of thing that usually happens to me!
It was the usual chores Saturday, food shopping etc., but went shopping with Amez in the afternoon which was nice. The weekend was slightly strange though without Faye. And quiet! Especially Eurovision Saturday night which Faye loves. Billy had his flags to wave though and stayed awake for a lot of it.
Faye came back this afternoon and seemed to have enjoyed herself! Within a short space of time, her and Billy were arguing and falling out. 
I couldn't help a little happy smile to myself...... Yep, Faye’s home, normality has resumed and life is back to normal 

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

The Good Old Days

After a friend from primary school asked if I had any photos of us, I popped round to mum and dad's to pick something up..... And a couple of hours later was still looking through photo albums!!

Some photos had people in that I couldn't even remember and yet others brought back memories of people I hadn't thought about in years. Some of them for good reason!! 😂

Thankfully some other friends were able to help out where my memory failed, and vice versa!

Our school performance of 'Hip Hip Horatio' (about the life of Horatio Nelson in case you were wondering) was a far cry from the fairytales the top class usually put on, and I do remember being really peeved about that at the time! There were more people in my class than I remembered and as all the boys appeared to have beards for the production, my ability to recognise any of them was pretty much zero! I only recognised the one that all the girls liked as I recall!!

My old school photo was also spookily similar to Faye's, although I think she was probably more disturbed by that than me! 😂

And who can forget that luuuurvely Brownie uniform, complete with woolly hat?!

Times moved on to Cala Gran in Fleetwood where I spent a happy 8 months as a barmaid with my sister and temporary illusionist's assistant after we jacked in our jobs at the Alliance and Leicester, much to the shock of my manager at the time!! We had many 'theme' nights which had me dressed up as Hilda Ogden, a flapper girl, St. Trinians, a French maid, a clown amongst many...... I was so (rather cruelly I thought) 'advertised' as a 'cheap night out - one bottle of Max and she's anybody' 's!' To clarify, it would have taken at least two bottles. And food. 😊 Max, for anyone who doesn't know, was a strong bottled cider, the Northern version of Diamond White. I never really used to drink much prior to Fleetwood as I had generally been the designated driver so it is true that after one bottle of Max I was likely to be asleep...... It was good fun though, even when we did have to thaw caravan pipes out with a hairdryer in the winter just to be able to make a cuppa!! We made friends for life during that short stint and my life is all the richer for it.

It's so nice to be able to look back and relive old memories, remember people you thought you'd forgotten and wonder where their lives have taken them...

"It's not like the good old days" always seemed a bit of a cliché, but it's true. Or maybe I'm just getting old! Either way, we had lots of fun and I'm grateful for those friends and experiences.

Good times!!

Friday, 5 May 2017

Election Day - Round 1

So everything started well.

I'd spent Wednesday night baking goodies to see us through the long day ahead, got everything ready, even did my nails! I'd never been so organised! My plan was to get up at 5am, pack my bag, go to Asda to pick up a couple of bits for Faye's imminent camping trip, get diesel and be at the polling station for 6.15/6.30. That was the plan. I set my alarm and snuggled down for a decent hours' sleep.

As the saying goes, the best laid plans.......

I woke up at 4.20, great still half an hour until I have to get up 😊 then I heard Jay get up.... Strange for him to be up do early....

I looked at the clock, then double checked, blinking back at my was the worst start to my day...... 6.05.....


My polling station is a good 20 to 30 minute drive away and I was meant to be there for 6.30, ready to open the doors to voters at 7am. Jay got everything ready for me as I got ready and I was out if the door at 6.20. I tried ringing the Presiding Officer, 4 times, without success. Considering I'm normally early and the first there, it was reassuring that it got to 6.40, as I was pulling in to the car park, before he rang back. I could have been in a ditch somewhere! 😂

Once there I calmed down and the day went fairly smoothly. I got asked if I was married which, if it had come from some gorgeous hunk of a man, would have been flattering. Unfortunately the gentleman was in his 70's/80's and didn't even appear to know which election he was there for........ So not exactly flattered!!

Still out team had a good day, it was a nice change and actually quite relaxing spending the day just having to write down numbers, hand out ballot papers, eat and read! I did manage to read an entire book through the day/night!

We were out by 10.20 pm and made our way back to Harborough for the verification count. At which point my diesel light started flashing.........

Verification went well and by 1.30 am we were done. After several conversations to locate the nearest 24 hour petrol station (slightly concerned about this as I was pretty sure I wouldn't make it home!), someone came along and confirmed the one on my way home WAS 24 hours. It was. Feeling more than a little relieved, I filled the tank and got home around 2am.

By that time I was wide awake so took ages to get to sleep, then up got ready, briefly saw Jay and the kids before coming back for the count!

All went well, no recounts and results declared. Went for a break at 1 and dismissed at 1.30! Now home for a rest!! Well, play with the kids at least!!

That's it for 5 weeks until we're back for Round 2 - the General Election.  I gave a feeling that one may take longer......... 😂

Saturday, 15 April 2017

What a week! Ubers, Italians and lock-ins!!

Well, it's been a brilliant week!! After my pamper day last Friday, followed by cocktails at the Slug and Lettuce and Hakamou, the weekend was gorgeous so got some gardening done. It was just nice to be able to get outside in the sunshine! Then I just had to survive 2 days at work before my birthday 🀣

I have to say, I was truly spoilt! Breakfast was served, the house was tidied and cleaned, I was made to relax and put my feet up....... There were some concerns raised about my reputation due to the number of bottles of wine I was given by friends at work, but I can't see any problem with that myself! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸΎπŸΎπŸ·πŸ·πŸ·πŸ·

I now have a new kindle (paperwhite) which is all loaded up but I haven't had time to use it yet! The kids, typically, had taken ownership of my old one within seconds. The look on their faces when Jay suggested he might be having the old one was one of shock, disbelief, and "You?!" πŸ˜‚. I had so many lovely cards and presents I feel truly blessed to have such wonderful and loving family and friends.  Mum had also 'helped' Faye and Billy make me a birthday cake, which they had done really well!

Yesterday was spent relaxing and playing with the kids whilst Jay was at work. Mum and dad then picked the kids up for me and Jay to have a night out.

I organised this night out during the day. We had thought about going to the cinema, but didn't really fancy anything that's showing, so thought just a nice e meal would be good.

Then I had a brainwave!

We could try an escape room!

I knew there was one in Leicester almost opposite Terracotta so I had it all planned in my head - escape room followed by a Chinese buffet! Perfect! πŸ‘Œ

I got started on Google and in no time I had booked us onto the Bank Job room at Escape Reality for 8pm. I clicked on the directions / map just to double check how far away from Terracotta it was before booking our meal, that's when it hit me.

Now how was I supposed J Fri yet to know there was more than one escape room venue in Leicester?! I mean, they're a fairly new concept aren't they?? Apparently not. In fact there appear to be at least 3 venues in Leicester!
the in the in e tree
Not only had I not booked the correct venue, the one I had booked was on the opposite side of the town!! Nowhere near Terracotta, or any other restaurants that we knew of! After working out how long it would take (me) to walk from the new venue to anywhere we knew to eat, I found out that everywhere would have stopped saving and it quickly became clear that we were going to starve .......

Enter brainwave no. 2 πŸ€”

Ring the venue to see if we could go later, then we could eat first. God I'm clever πŸ˜‚ in fact, scrap that. If I was clever I wouldn't have booked the wrong place in the first place and everything would have been going to plan!!

The man at Escape Reality was really friendly and moved us to the later slot. Phase 1 of Operation Recover-the-situation complete! 😊

Now just to find somewhere not too far away to eat........ Jay did a bit of street map googling and found an Italian nearby.  We checked out the menu online and a phonecall later dinner was sorted! Woohoo!! 🀣

We decided to try Uber for the first time and after my panic that I hadn't actually booked it at all, there it was outside the house! Things were definitely looking up!

We arrived at Altro Mondo, the staff couldn't have been lovelier, the food was gorgeous and there was live singer who blended perfectly. Although I was highly embarrassed when my birthday was announced, Happy birthday sung, and a big square of tiramisu with a candle was brought out, thankfully it was early so not too busy and the tiramisu was beautiful and melted in the mouth! Now I just hoped the escape room was good! We were so full I was glad we had found somewhere nearby as I don't think I would have made it far!

We made it to Escape Reality and again the man was very friendly, helpful, explained everything, although, put on the spot, the best team name we could come up with was TJs44! We were given the background story to the room we had chosen (Bank Job), gave us our first clue of where to start, then locked us in with 60 minutes on the clock to get the diamond out of the safe....... We were so pleased with ourselves when we solved the first clue and the next door opened!! We thought we'd solved the next clue but got stuck in the next room so went back in ourselves to have another go. After a while the man came in to tell us we had already solved that part, otherwise the last door wouldn't have opened. Oh yeah, doh!! He gave us a bit of help to find the next clue we were struggling with then left us to it. We solved the next bit and found the secret door to the vault. There was a cipher to deactivate the vault and although we were OK with the code we ran out of time and it turned out we were using the wrong word with the code. I have never known an hour go so quickly!!! We both loved it, it was really well set out and organised, we just wanted to go back in and have another go!! We will definitely be going back! (we might even let the kids come!).  Within 5 minutes of leaving we were in our second uber cab of the night on our way home.  It was a fantastic night!!

The week was ended perfectly with a visit from the big kids, who took us all out for lunch at the Horse and Hounds, which was also really good service and food.

All in all, a brilliant week!!

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Skinny tanned again!

The lovely people @SkinnyTanHQ sent me some goodies including their primer and new express mousse1 hour tan.

I have to admit, I was slightly nervous about this one! It is recommended to leave it on for 1 hour for a light tan, 2-3 hours for a medium tan, or overnight for a deep tan......

The primer was really good a d I also used the exfoliating mitt for good measure! Then it was tanning time 🤣

As I have mentioned before, I am white. Milk bottle white. Now the tan and tone oil gives me quite a deep tan (a month in the Bahamas type of tan - at a guess as I've never actually been to the Bahamas, or anywhere for a month for thay matter! )  So, the mousse was applied and it was easy to get it even as it is tinted so you can see where you've been 😀

Then the waiting started and the nerves kicked in. How long should I leave it on for?? 1 hour may not look that tanned on me but 3 hours may go really dark 😕 and overnight wasn't even in the thought process!!  In the end I decided on the mid-point, 2 hours.

I jumped in the shower and watched my legs turn.... cream. Not white but the colour I would go with a natural light tan and, as is also usual for me, the rest of me did look slightly more tanned than my legs! As the sun was shining and the garden was beckoning, I quickly put some skinny tan oil on my arms and legs and with a couple of hours I had a nice healthy glow!  Whether there was any reaction between the mousse and oil, or whether the self-tan in the mousse was still working I don't know,  but after using the oil this time I think my tan is darker than it was the first time I used it.

I did like the mousse and, now I know how it reacts with me, I won't be so nervous about how long to Ieave it on next time.  Even overnight has now entered the realms of possibility!

Friday, 7 April 2017

Pamper Heaven!

The sky is blue, the sun is shining and I'm looking at it, not from my desk at work, but through the window of the hairdressers!

What a lovely day it's been! It started well with the postman bringing me a box of goods from Skinny Tan (which I can't wait to try. In the daylight. With minimal help to reduce the risk of another Oompa Loompa moment!), dropped everyone at school and did a bit of shopping before going for my first pamper session of the day!

Jay bought me vouchers for a facial and massage at the Beauty Boutique for Christmas and I finally got round to booking in. What can I say?! It was lovely!! It was sooooo relaxing! I was asked what my current skin regime was and I desperately tried to make something up that sounded impressive, or at least plausible, but I failed miserably and ended up mumbling 'make up wipes'. In fairness, if she was appalled, she did a good job of not showing it, then again she'd probably figured I have no 'regime' the minute she saw me! Nevertheless my face was treated to a 'proper' regime of cleansing, toning, exfoliating (which in reality I would never have time to do!) a shoulder, face and head massage and a face mask....... This was followed by an arm and hand massage whilst the mask dried. It was bliss!!

When I finally dragged myself out (I could happily have stayed there all day), Jay came along and had to stop for me to cross the road - perfect timing! We picked up Billy and I dropped them off at Muddy Boots and had a quick tour of the allotment before grabbing a quick shower (at home, not the allotment!) and it was off to church for Faye's school service!  They all did really well and it finished in time for me to get to the hairdressers for pamper session 2, ready for my night out with work 😊

Bring on the weekend! 🍷🍹🍷🍸

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Oompa Loompas, Surgeons, and Music!!

What a busy few days!!

(Another) night out from work to celebrate a colleague passing her Masters. It was a good night and I also bumped into two customers from my barmaid days so it was nice to catch up. Quite an early night too as I was home by 9.15 to a silent house as everyone was asleep. Well they were asleep until I realised I hadn't taken my keys with me....... Ooops! 😕

Saturday disappeared in a flurry of chores and ended with me deciding to top up the tan.

In hindsight, these things are probably better done in the morning.

In daylight.

When you can actually see what you're doing.

And with very strict instructions to anyone you get to help.

Otherwise there is a very slight chance that you may end up resembling an Oompa Loompa........ 😂 😂 😂

Hindsight is a great thing!

Now, as I have mentioned in a previous post, the skinny tan oil gives a lovely natural colour, used properly, and you only need a very small amount.

It appears I didn't emphasise this enough when requesting help......

Yep, by the morning I looked vaguely like I'd been tangoed or, as referred to above, like an Oompa Loompa! I also must have caught my hands at some point during the night as my palms are now also wonderfully tanned!

On the plus side, skinny tan does last well and doesn't wash off....... 😂

So that was how Mother's day started! I had lovely cards and presents from Jay, Faye, Billy, Amy & Kie, was brought breakfast in bed and then had dinner and tea at mum and dad's with Big sis and clan. It was a really lovely, family day!

The Wizard of Oz was made reference to on numerous occasions (you can go off people, mentioning no nieces in particular ....) and it was also mentioned that maybe when I got to hospital the following day there would be a sudden panic to take bloods to check my renal function as I looked jaundiced - sister's can be so cruel!!

As it was, jaundice seemed to be the least anyone was bothered about at hospital, although I did start laughing when I was asked I'd I had any skin complaints!! The nurse reassured me she wasn't going to laugh as she'd once used a product that claimed to just give a 'glow', so didn't use gloves and ended up with hands like mine.

The op was discussed in lots of detail and by the end we got the message that it is quite a big deal, based on the number of times the words 'huge', 'major', and 'massive' were used! 😂

It was all good though and the surgeon seemed confident that he could remove all the clots/scar tissue. As for himself, I observed that he was able to walk independently, wasn't wearing really thick glasses (although I have just realised that he could have been wearing contacts 😕), had a good, firm handshake, and had no apparent shaking. So I stayed in the room, agreed to the op and signed my life away - hopefully not literally! (The surgeon didn't seem to find that little 'joke' as amusing as I did! I do hope I haven't upset him.....!)

Tonight it was the Leicestershire Schools Music Service at De Montfort Hall and Faye's primary school had joined with two others to do their African drumming.  The last time they did this concert it was, well, noisy........

As such, I had prepared myself for the worst and had sweets etc in my bag to distract/bribe Billy, but in fact didn't really need them. The whole concert was brilliant! Most of the children taking part this time, apart from Faye's group, we're secondary school age and they were all really good. Billy was really good and even when he got tired and a snuggled in, as soon as someone finished he sat bolt upright to clap and was bouncing and dancing on my knee to the steel drums at the end. He was very loyal though and said Faye's drumming was the best! They did do very well and I'm very proud of her 😊 (although I have to admit, I'm still glad they don't bring the drums home to practice!)

So that's my round up of the last few days...... See you soon!!

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Another night out?? Bad Mummy!!!

Yes, twice in two weeks (shock horror) I am deserting my family for a night out with work!!  Last week it was a girly night out with cocktails at Fat Cats, a gorgeous meal at Casa Romana, and more cocktails at the Terrace Bar.  This week It's to celebrate a colleague passing her Masters, a very well deserved celebration for her! I have no idea where we're going and, to be honest, I'm not really bothered!!

Not only that but I'll be out again in a couple of weeks for birthday drinks! It would be rude not to!!

It's been an up and down week and I'm actually surprised I haven't started lunchtime drinking...... Yet (although a suggestion has been made 😂😂😂)!

I have been good in other ways though😇 I've still managed to get to the pool twice this week, even though it's been later.  Last night (known as Sardine night last week) was great. There was still staff training in two lanes but only three other people in the pool in two lanes and the slow lane was empty and all mine! As the night progressed the other swimmers disappeared and the lane separaters gradually hit put away until, by the end I had three quarters of the pool all to myself! It was bliss! I obviously felt the pressure that they were about to kick me out at any time though as I managed to shave five minutes off my 1k time to forty five minutes 😀

That's my exercise for the week complete so bring on the weekend! Woohoo!!!


Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Bones knitted - time for cast off!!

After many weeks, the time has finally come!!!

It's cast off day for Billy!! 😀

He was very excited and was chatting away to a couple in the waiting room before he was called in. He was as good as gold whilst his cast was sawn off then it was over to x-ray, which he's obviously got used to now as he was happy to sit on his own, instead of on my lap, to have the x-ray taken!

All is well, new bone is forming and he was happily moving his arm around, although did say it hurt a bit when he straightened it so was still walking around with it bent for a while.

Back at the car he decided it would be a good idea to start rubbing the dry skin off his arm........ Then collected a pile and shouted me. When I looked he threw it in the air and said "Look! It's snowing!" 🤢

We met Jay at lunch and went to a gelato cafe for ice cream (and warm chocolate muffin for me 😊 mmmmmm it was yummy!!). He had a red power ranger toy and blaster for his treat and spent the afternoon shooting me (and Faye when she was home from school)! 😂

He's now happily playing in the bath, without his waterproof arm, telling me how nice it is!

Happy days!!

Friday, 17 March 2017

Skinny Tan!!

My new favourite!

Now, I have the type of complexion that needs fake tan. I am the type of white you want your paint to be when decorating.... BRILLIANT WHITE. Pale and pastey, that's me. I don't tan. Well, actually I do tan, eventually, it's just that I'm so pale to start with my 'tan' just colours my skin to a sort of beige.... Everyone else's normal colour.

As such, I have used many different tanning products over the years in an attempt to achieve a healthy 'sun-kissed glow'. Hmmmmm. Many of these attempts have ended in me looking like a strange disease-ridden Tiger 🐯 or an OompaLoompa. OK, so maybe not quite that bad, but you get the idea. And then there's that unique distinct fake tan smell! (what is that smell?!)

Until now.

I came across Skinny Tan on Facebook and the reviews were good, they had a good offer on so I decided to give it a try.  I've only used it once so far and.... I love it!! 😍

I got 2 bottles of the oil and an exfoliating /correcting mitt with my deal and got a tanning mitt and face mitt from ebay. The exfoliating mitt is fab - one side to exfoliate and the other to correct any excess tan. I've never been overly impressed with exfoliating mitts /gloves as most of them remind me of those plastic-type scourers you get for non-stick saucepans, which don't work on your pans any more than the 'exfoliators' work on your body!  However, this exfoliating mitt really works and does leave your skin feeling smooth 😊

The spray oil is easy to apply and a little goes a long way. It smells coconuty which reminds me of Hawaiian Tropic sun oils and Malibu (other favourites too so, to be honest, this was always on track to be a winner from the start!).  It absorbed quickly and by early evening I was tanned. Even my other half was impressed and gave a good endorsement of the product with his comment "you actually look brown, not that orangey colour you usually go"! 😂

I've only used it the once and I'm not sure if or how the 'skinny' part of the product will work but, in all honesty, I don't really care! I feel so much better for just having a bit of colour, that looks natural, doesn't smell, and is still there after a week which also included 2 swimming sessions! It also felt much better turning up at the pool looking 'normal' instead of like a glow-in-the-dark milk bottle!!

I love you skinny tan!!

Thursday, 16 March 2017


Well my second night of swimming - and I'm moaning already!

The pool is usually divided into 3; slow, medium and fast. Each area being 2 lanes wide, enough to allow two people to pass comfortably on a 'circuit'.

Tonight,the pool was split into 6 individual lanes, 3 for swim school and 3 for public swimming, so only 1 lane wide for each of the slow, medium, and fast lanes. Not all that easy if there was more than one of you in a lane!  I was quite happy as I was the only one in the slow lane for a while, there were a couple in the fast lane, and when it got to about 4 or 5 in the medium lane, they started moving over to join me.  Ok, so slightly more crowded but still ok.

Until half an hour had gone by.  Then they had staff training too so our 3 lanes became 2 lanes - medium disappeared and we had slow and fast. Hmmmm.......... not the best plan ever.  It created a fast lane with 3 or 4 people in it and a slow lane with around a dozen people - talk about sardines!  (although I realise sardine are much more streamline in the water than we were!). It was a nightmare!  You couldn't swim properly, and I ended up doing about 2 strokes of breaststroke and the rest almost doggy paddle to avoid hitting someone else or the wall!

It wasn't great but I managed my 1 km in 50 minutes so I was happy with that, and even happier to get out of the pool!

Just to end the session nicely, as I was getting changed, I could hear one of the 'medium' swimmers complaining about how she had had to tread water several times because of the 'slow' swimmers.  Whoever she was talking to obviously told her she should have gone in the fast lane then as she snorted indignantly "I couldn't go in the fast lane because I'm not a fast swimmer!".  Well newsflash lady, the majority of us weren't 'medium' swimmers but, as there was only a slow lane or fast lane, we were in the right place - we definitely couldn't go in the fast lane but as far as I can see you could have chosen either so either quit moaning or do one!

It wasn't pleasant for any of us and I can't say that I particularly enjoyed it tonight, but at least most of us just got in with it the best we could.  I guess there's always one and I do hope I don't accidentally drown her if I have the misfortune of being in the same lane as her again...........!

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Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Swimming is back on!!! 🏊🏊🏊

Woohoo! It's been 6 months but I've finally made it back to the pool!
I have to admit that I was quite nervous and self-conscious about getting the cozzie back out but with the help of Skinny Tan (more about that later) I had enough colour to not dazzle everyone else in the pool with my bright white legs!
I checked the timetable several times, half of me willing the times on it to change so that I had an excuse to back out! They didn't. Damn!
After scanning my card to get in (it took 3 attempts, surely that was a sign that this was a bad idea?) I made my way to the changing rooms, feeling quite sick at this point......
5 minutes later and I'd done it! I was IN THE POOL!!!
Now, before I started I knew I couldn't stay in for my usual hour as I had to pick Faye up do I decided not to count lengths (I used to do 40 in an hour so didn't want to put myself under pressure!). That lasted all of... Oh, let me see.... Errrr...... 2 lengths! 
So I counted. I also worked out completely pointless facts in my head whilst trying to distract myself from counting lengths. It didn't work. I just counted lengths And made a mental list of rubbish. Still, who doesn't like a good list?! I Iike lists. My list was a something like this:
1. The pool is 25m long (OK, OK, so I didn't work that one out, I already knew that)
2. If I timed my swimming strokes right, I did an average of 1m per stroke (weirdly this was mainly 23/24 strokes on odd lengths and 25/26 on even lengths. Nope, I couldn't work that one out either. Believe me, I tried!
3. One of my legs is wonky. It's true. I do breast stroke and my left leg did what it was supposed to. My right leg on the other hand (or I suppose that should be foot) did this weird downward, diagonal thing.
4. If I consciously made my right leg for what it was supposed to, my left leg and the rest if me went wonky and I was likely to drown.
5. From the poolside I must look like a duck with a dodgy leg.......
6. I should stop making random lists.
7. I really should stop my brain from thinking sometimes. For my own sanity.
Anyway, with random list making and all, I managed half a mile (32 lengths) in 37 minutes so on my calculations, and yes I worked this out whilst swimming too, if I'd stayed in for an hour, I would have made my kilometer (40 lengths) easily!!
Basically I'm pleased with myself and I actually feel pretty good! I was even almost half an hour early to get Faye! Hence having time to write this blog!

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Reading and blogging!!

Well this is a rare opportunity! Two hours on my own to blog, read (We were on a break by Lindsey Kelk if anyone's interested!) , and freeze......... πŸ˜‚

Jay is running the Adidas Silverstone Half Marathon today so we were up bright and early, we'll maybe not so bright, it was raining! Nevertheless we were up, even the kids got up!

How do kids manage to do that by the way?? On weekdays, when they have to get up at 7.30, I'm shaking them, pulling the covers off them, turning the lights on full and STILL have to physically drag them out of bed. Yet on a weekend, usually when we actually want a lie-in (with the exception of today), they're out of bed and running around full of beans at the crack of dawn!!

Anyway we were all packed up and ready to go when Amy and Kie arrived to babysit for the day. Made good time and we're here in plenty of time. I have to say, and I know it sounds really obvious, but Silverstone is huge!! It's also full of vans selling burgers, hog toasts, doughnuts, waffles.... Yummy........ Think I'd better just stay in my seat and blog/read away!!!

My biggest mistake so far is that I forgot my glasses so can't see a damp thing (or anyone), although it is very colourful!! I just filmed everyone start, then filmed again around the time I figured Jay should be passing again, and I think I did actually see him that time!  Another 40 mins and I think he should be passing again round the other side. I've picked a nice front corner seat in the grandstand so I can see all round. Purely by accident as I didn't even realise they came the other way til I checked the course map!

The sun is starting to break through now thankfully so it might start warming up a bit so I can eat my very healthy picnic (πŸ™) and carry on reading - only just started it but I've loved all of Lindsey Kelk's other books so I'm sure I'll enjoy this one too!! πŸ“šπŸ“–

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Running for Papworth πŸƒπŸƒπŸƒ

Not me, obviously!!

My amazing Fiancé has just told me that he has been in contact with the Papworth Hospital Charity for a little while now to arrange fundraising for them through all the running events he is taking part in this year.

This is a fantastic hospital and all of  the staff have always been lovely, helpful, and reassuring and so he is hoping to raise some money so we can give something back to help them continue to offer their specialist treatments to others.

If you are in a position to help in any way, please click on the link to his JustGiving page to make a donation. Thank you Xx

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Stuff the diet!! Times like this call for chocolate, and lots of it!

Well the time has finally arrived for our childminder to leave us for pastures new!

I obviously wish her all the very best in her new life (miles away!) but we will miss her! She has been an almost daily presence in our lives for nearly 4 years, first looking after the kids when Faye was 7 and Billy was just 9 months old!

Faye made a memories folder - she added a couple of really sweet poems and also researched their new home to put an info section on places to go (I haven't had the heart to tell her they already know the area really well!). I've been through and added some bits for Billy along with some photos. It's been quite emotional! Seeeee, I'm big softie really!

We'd already shared a tear when I picked the kids up tonight as she'd given Billy the "nee-nah racing car" he'd made out of Duplo when he was about 2!

Not only has she been a great childminder, she's been a great friend too. We've had lots of laughs, lots of moans, and done lots of plotting! :)

Tomorrow is her last working day, well today actually (I've just noticed the time!) and it's going to be very sad. We're going to miss her!

Sunday, 5 March 2017

I guess the diet will have to wait til tomorrow.....

Well I've just watched the darts and a bit of Dave ja view and managed to demolish the remainder of a box of M&Ms! Ooops!

It was worth it though! The diet and swimming plan will still happen..... There's always tomorrow!! 😂

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Room makover complete!!

So, after lots of (nice) interruptions, Faye's bedroom has finally been finished! After 10 years the Humphry's Corner lemon walls and curtains and the blue/red/taupe/lemon patchwork wardrobes and door panels have gone! 😭With some sadness I have to admit! It seems like of yesterday we were decorating it and getting it all ready as a nursery. Me and bump happily sitting with all the wardrobe doors around me on the floor painting them in the 2 weeks between finishing work and Faye finally putting in an appearance!

The walls are now amethyst (purple to most of us normal people!) and the wardrobe/door panels are Bubblegum (bright pink). No more curtains, instead she has an aubergine (Errr..... Purple again!) blackout blind (Yaaaay no more moaning about it being too light to sleep in the summer! Yes, I did plan this one!) and, to make it a bit more 'grown up', fuschia (you've got it, bright pink!) voiles with some pretty crocheted/beaded tie backs. The only snag being the tie back hooks were too small to go over the tie back holders. Nothing a couple of hair bobbles couldn't fix!!

Her old TV unit has been replaced with a chest of drawers and her drawers/bits'n'bobs unit has been replaced with a desk and pink chair. Unbelievably, the chair was just 'pink'! Not fuschia or Bubblegum or rose or blush etc. Just pink!  We need to get handles for the drawers to match her wardrobes and they're done.

We went internet shopping for Faye to pick out her lampshade, desk lamp plus some other bits and jobs and I think it's fair to say she loves her new room!

The only other thing left to do is to pick up and fit a new radiator as hers had corroded and was leaking.

In the meantime, Billy has been running around dressed as Captain America but being "the red power ranger, what's his name again Mummy?"  "Troy"  "Yes. The red one RRAAAAAAA HA YA!". Cue running, karate kick, falling and cracking the cast on his already broken arm on the floor/the table/me...... Ouch! He has had some calmer moments. He proudly showed me the picture he'd drawn of himself weeing in the toilet! 😂 😂 😂

With all the decorating and work, the house is a complete tip. . Even more so than usual which, to be perfectly honest, I didn't think was possible. Apparently it is!!! 😱

For now though, it's time to snuggle down under our 'teal' duvet! Night night everyone! 😴😴😴

Sunday, 19 February 2017

The joys and pains of decorating!

Ouch!!! I have discovered muscles my body had forgotten existed!

The weekend started with Billy discovering Faye's old Barbie toys in the garage while we were getting the decorating kit out.  Oh what a happy boy he was!! Faye also appeared to take a reliking to Barbie and it was a blissful afternoon!  No arguing over the tablet or TV,  Faye dressing all the dolls and doing their hair,  Billy playing with the camper van. The day ending in the sofa bed downstairs with Barbie films (A Fairy Secret (definitely my favourite!) and the Island Princess) while Jay prepped and stripped Faye's room,  at the same time discovering her radiator had gone and was leaking.  At least the carpet was coming up anyway!!

Today the decorating began. Lining paper went up no problem. The ceiling paper on the other hand......... I think I must have ended up with more wallpaper paste on my head and in my hair than on the paper!  It would not stick to the ceiling!! Jay at one end of the room trying to put up one end and me at the other end with my end resting on my head because I couldn't be doing with holding it up for what felt like 3 hours!  After lunch we finally got it finished,  got everything put of the room and the carpet up and out ready for painting.  We made a start,  mainly because I couldn't wait to see what colour 'Bubblegum'  pink actually is!  I love it!  It is only being used on the cupboard door panels though - it is fairly bright!  The walls are amethyst and the two colours do compliment each other really well 😊

Faye is barred from her room until it's all finished.  We've got her a proper desk and  new drawers,  a blackout blind and voiles to make it a more 'grown up' room. 

By the time we'd had dinner,  I could barely move! Bath and bed for the kids then a nice hot bath for me.  I know we haven't done any decorating for a while but I really don't remember it being so painful before!

All I can say is,  Faye had better like this room when it's done, because it's not getting done again for a looooong time!!!


Sunday, 12 February 2017

Bad Mummy!!

What can I say?
I don't think it would have mattered what I did today,  the kids were going to hate me anyway!
I made them get dressed.
I made them have breakfast.
I let them watch what they wanted on the telly.
I let Billy empty toys all over the room I'd just tidied.
I made Faye put her clothes away (Ok, ok,  I'll give her that one!)
I made them have lunch.
I let them have chocolates /sweets.
I let Faye go on the computer.
But then,  if all of that wasn't enough, of all the wicked and evil things to do.......
Both of them actually.
They were filthy and disgusting!  But they got washed and then came out of the dryer all nice and fluffy, clean and warm. 
I gave them to Billy,  who promptly sniffed one and started crying,  shouting "it smells horrible now!!"  before throwing them on the floor in disgust!
Err....  nooo,  they smelled horrible before, now they smell nice!
I don't know why he's bothered anyway.  A day of dragging it around everywhere and it'll look and smell as bad as it did before it crawled into the washing machine! 
Oh well,  there's just no pleasing some people!!
So that's the end of another day as another Monday rears it's ugly head......

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Short and Sweet (the blog, not the children, although.......)

Another play day!!  I could get used to these!  I mean,  really,  how often can you get attacked by Chase (from Paw Patrol) with a cutlass, a police man with a big fluffy duck,  and a beanbag sheep all at the same time,  in between acting as a tissue and bib for a baby who flatly refuses to have her nose wiped under any circumstances?!  😂

I also had my hair cut (with the cutlass, obviously), my foot eaten by Zuma (Paw Patrol again...and I thought they were supposed to be Rescue Pups! ) and turned into a slide / piece of general play equipment!

The lorry with the big grabber bucket at our neighnours' was a nice distraction and instead of shouting at the kids to get put of the windowike I normally ,  I was throwing them in to watch and get a 5 minute break!

If nothing else,  the kids had a great day and it got me out of clearing Faye’s room ready for decorating!!

At least our two power rangers finally ran out of steam,  as have we.

As such, today's blog is short and sweet, night night all 😴😴😴

Play day!!

What a lovely day back home!  I spent the the morning playing Humpty Dumpty's wall game (not necessarily by the rules!), mended a bean bag juggling frog,  although didn't get around to finding / clearing up the escaped beans ο€”,  and generally enjoyed cuddles with Billy.  Well cuddles and the odd clonk from his plaster arm!
Then,  after a trip to get his hair cut (he now looks older but just as cheeky!), we cuddled up on the sofa with lunch and watched Wall-E.  I love that film!
Faye came home quite excited about it being the last day at school, slightly less excited about her Valentine gift from someone she hadn't got anything for and isn't intending on getting anything for,  and very excited about her Pamper Evening at Guides (mainly because it meant she was allowed to wear makeup!).
Billy then also wanted to wear makeup so he was jumping around,  wearing an old leotard lion dancing costume of Faye's,  pretending to be a monkey,  telling us not to spoil his lip gloss!!   
Seeing as I'd had a lazy day,  I took Faye to Guides and then went to Asda to get the shopping,  a much more attractive prospect than going tomorrow!  I was done and back home by 8.30,  feeling really smug and pleased with myself!
The evening got a bit busier after that, hence why I'm still up now Blogging,  even though I have nothing interesting to blog about!  Suffice to say, life is never dull around here!!!! 

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Home sweet home 🏠

It's good to be home!

After a nice relaxing afternoon playing chess and cards etc.  I got a visit from my Consultant and team to let me know the surgeon has decided I am "an attractive candidate"  (very flattering, thank you very much! 😂) "for surgery" (oh,  not that kind of attractive then!  Never mind 🙁) . Letter will be in the post,  we'll still monitor you in the meantime, thank you very much and bye bye 😀

So that's it.  There is a cunning plan!

Downloaded the leaflet about the op,  read it 😱, deleted it 😆

Dressings were whipped off,  cannula taken out,  bags packed and we were out of there! 

It was so nice to get my little uns back (big thanks to Mum and Dad for all their help) and get back to my own home and bed.  The house was tidy and there was a welcome home 'banner' on the stairs as I came through the front door ❤️

I'm so lucky to have such a wonderful family who are always there for me.

I love you all so much! 😘

Anyway,  back to reality,  although unusually the kids haven't started arguing again yet,  admittedly they are asleep! 😂

No more of the alien reject look for me!!

Well day 3 is making a good start!!  I had a lie-in,  still woke early but stayed in bed dozing until about 7am. Then I was brought an early breakfast so thought I should drag myself out of bed and get ready for my MRI.

The porter arrived with a wheelchair (!) to take me (Err.... No thanks,  I'll walk) - as it's in another building you have to go by ambulance!  🚑 It was freezing outside, shame they didn't have a blanket in the wheelchair!  Following the ambulance ride,  I realised the early breakfast was nothing to do with the time of the scan,  it was to give it time to go down before the ambulance journey to prevent it making a reappearance en-route!! 🤢

Once in the MRI suite I had something laid over my chest and was told it might get quite warm during the scan (as if they thought that might be a problem!) so to buzz if I wanted the fan turning up.  That wasn't going to happen,  I was really looking forward to the warming up part!!

Now I know a lot of people don't like the MRI scanner because it's quite a tight fit and noisy but, in between all the commands to not breathe, I actually found it quite relaxing and almost nodded off a few times!

1st test of the day over and back to the ward to psych myself up for my second exercise test - cycling endurance!  😱

This test was explained to me on Tuesday.  You get all wired up etc. again,  the same as for the first test I did (lovely,  REALLY looking forward to that bit 🤣).  Freewheel for a couple of minutes,  then they whack it up to,  I think,  60% of your full capacity and see how long you can keep going for.  At least it won't be a long test........... 😂

I tried hiding in the loo but they found me and dragged me kicking and a screaming to the waiting area.  Then returned 5 mins later to say it was lucky day as due to my angiogram results yesterday I don't need to do this test anymore!!  Woohoo!!! 😂 😂 😂

Cure definitely wins this round!!  In ya face Kill!

I now have the day to relax and chill until the MDT meeting finishes at 5/6pm,  find out what their plans for me are and go home!

And to top it all off,  it's lovely and quiet on the ward today.  Yaaaaaayyyy!!


Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Headphones required 🎧

OK,  so I survived Day 1,  just!

Day 2 started bright and early,  well,  early anyway,  not so sure about the 'bright'  bit,  it wasn't a particularly peaceful night ! I thought I'd better beat the crowds to the shower in case the hot water ran out. It was more drizzle shower than a power shower (my hair REALLY needs a power shower!) but it was nice enough and hot.  I think everyone else had worn themselves out during the night so I was out of the shower,  dressed and watching telly before any of them even woke up.  Breakfast arrived,  as did the Dr who was going to do my right heart catheter,  who promptly told me I shouldn't eat my breakfast until after the procedure 😭

She got me to sign the consent form (I mean,  what's the worst that can happen [read form] oh!  All of that!!  😕), and handed me a lovely gown to wear for the special occasion!  I have a sneaky suspicion day is going to end Kill -  2, Cure -  0!!

As it was, it wasn't too bad,  slightly uncomfortable and apparently they only made a 2mm hole in my neck and jugular vein and it was a 'clean puncture'  so Woohoo!  Bring it on!!

It turns out that I do have pulmonary hypertension anyway so there was no need to do the cycling test with the catheter shoved through my neck into my heart / lungs....  Every cloud!...... I never thought that sounded like a good idea anyway!

I finally got my breakfast and was on bed rest for 2 hours with a lovely pressure dressing on my neck. Slightly uncomfortable and restricting but hey ho....

We did some more puzzles and crosswords and admired how well I'd done not to smother anyone. Yet (there's still time.........) . In order to prevent such a terrible thing from happening,  it was strongly advised that I wore headphones for the rest of the day!

I did.

And so far it's worked!!


Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Papworth 'Spa' Hospital

Well,  the staff are lovely,  the food isn't too bad but it's a shared bedroom/shower/toilet 😂

There isn't a pool and the gym isn't what you'd usually find.  Instead of being made to feel better about yourself,  it appears they do everything in their power to make you feel as ridiculous as possible!  I kid you not!!

Today was the first of my tests - cardiopulmonary exercise test 1 (incremental).  Sounds sort of impressive. 

First bit was just a few breathing tests.  No problem at all,  felt more relaxed thinking 'this is going to be a breeze!'.  Next,  blood tests from the wrist,  I was warned this might be more uncomfortable than usual blood tests but,  again,  this was fine.  Yaaaay getting into this now!

Then the fun began.  So it started with wiring me up to the ECG.  OK,  no biggy.  Hop onto the exercise bike and a blood pressure cuff was put on.  Fine.  But then some monitor thing was strapped to my forehead with a lovely head harness 😕.  It has to be said,  I've looked better!  But nooooooo,  they've not finished yet!!!  Just to complete the look,  let's just add a bright blue face mask with attached pipe to breathe through!  Now they're just taking the mic!! The final touch was to ask how I was feeling........ Seriously???!  You REALLY want to know?!!!

Finally the test began,  looking like some sort of alien reject 👽 I then have to start pedalling,  easy enough for a while but then it got harder and harder until I began to think they really were trying to kill me..... 😱. Seriously though they were very encouraging and apparently I did really well.  Couldn't breathe,  talk or stand up but, apart from that, great!! I asked for a sticker but apparently the budget doesn't stretch that far 😭

At least that was it for the day and back to my bed to relax, have a game of chess, do some puzzles, and listen to all the other patients...... Now that DID make me feel very healthy and well!!

I've been thinking I should have brought a Facepack with me to wander around through the night to see how many people I could scare 😂😈

Unfortunately I didn't think about that when I was packing so I'll just have to think of something else to do to pass the time......

Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!! 😁

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Time for a break!

It's been a busy old time since Christmas with birthday parties and leaving parties,  well one leaving party anyway (honestly,  some people are so selfish,  swanning off down under to a gorgeous Australian summer and leaving us behind....... ). Still it was a great party and I'm only joking.  I'm not good with crocodiles and spiders 🐊🕷️😱

Work has been manic but trying to keep on top of things due to my impending spa break at Papworth Hospital this week 😂 Bag sort of ready for packing,  although I've still not found my kindle.  The kids had it last....... Hmmmmm🤔

So it was planned to have a relatively relaxing family weekend.

Of course, this is my life, so things can't possibly go that smoothly!

All was going well, even the kids were getting along OK and even asked if they could sleep together and have a dvd seeing as it was a Saturday.  After the 10 minutes of messing about,  laughing and screaming doing their teeth they finally settled in bed. On checking a while later they were both cuddled up in bed watching a film.  They looked quite sweet! Not long after there was crying and footsteps on the stairs.  Faye was being very reassuring to Billy but there was a note of panic in her voice that had me off the sofa and out of the door quicker than I thought was  humanly  possible.  Billy had apparently been jumping on the bed and fallen,  his arm was bending the wrong way from the middle of his forearm and he was begging us not to take him to the Dr. So the Calpol came out it was off to A&E.  Poor Faye was sobbing the whole way,  Billy was alternating between crying and almost nodding off. 

By the time we got there his arm looked straight again but it was still hurting him.  After getting him booked in he sat quietly and we read books.  The nurse saw him and checked his arm,  he said it hurt when she touched his wrist but nowhere else and,  although when she was pressing along his forearm he was fine,  I jumped a mile and flinched for him when she got to the part that had been bent!   I didn't know a 4 year old could give such a scathing 'what are you doing Mum!'  look - I'd assumed that was reserved for teenagers! Although on thinking about it,  it could have just been shock at not only having his arm prodded but then,  for no apparent reason, being practically launched into the air by his own mum! 😲

Soon after, the Calpol kicked in and he was off.  Whizzing around from table to table, colouring,  playing with the toys,  cooking on the kitchen,  chatting away the whole time and amazingly adapted to using one hand for everything brilliantly!  He told me his arm felt better so he didn't need to see the Dr now so could we just go home,  please? Just then the Dr arrived.

The Dr was really good with him and he again said nothing hurt apart from his wrist.  The Dr felt he was OK but sent him for xrays anyway. We had to follow the trail of skeletons hanging from the ceiling around the corridors to X-ray,  which he thought was funny.  He was fine until we got into the xray room, then got really upset for the first time.  He wasn't going to have photos,  wouldn't sit on the chair,  wouldn't sit on my knee.  The poor little thing was terrified and refused to move.  We eventually convinced him and when he realised the machine wasn't going to touch his arm he was fine and we were laughing and saying 'cheeeeeese'  when it took the xrays.

Walking back he was swinging his arm as we walked and went back to play,  although still didn't use it much.  He tried a couple of times but stopped because it hurt,  but never made a fuss.  The Dr came to find us and said he was really shocked because the xrays had come back and showed a fractured ulna.  He showed us the images and it looked quite nasty.  Billy sat on the bed and had his hands on the bed,  the Dr was laughing and shaking his head coz he was leaning on his arm and showed no signs of being bothered!   Billy got plastered (I was tempted myself!)  and resprayed, then we could finally go home.

Our neighbours had very kindly taken Faye in for a sleepover so we could just get back and crash, but no, our brave little boy was still chatting away ten to the dozen and wanted Paw Patrol on!  We let him seeing as he'd been so good and,  after another dose of Calpol he snuggled up and was fast asleep in about 5 mins!

When he started to wake up this morning ,  he was wriggling about and muttered 'mum let go,  get off me!'  I laughed and waved my hands at him 🤗 He looked really confused and looked down at his arm,  which he'd obviously forgotten had a cast on it!

He said his arm hurt a bit and was heavy when he first got up, but once he had his sling on he was off as normal!  Faye eventually decided to come back home and they played with the neighbours' girls for a while until we got a phone call asking us to take Billy back to fracture clinic for a new cast and xray.  I tried to convince Faye to stay with her dad but she was having none of it!  Far too nosey!  So another 3 hours were spent between fracture clinic and xray!  Happily though,  the bone has realigned really well and you can't even see where the fracture is 😀

I feel so bad I'm not going to be around this week for mummy cuddles but will give him plenty tomorrow and Friday when I'm back 😢

For now though it's bedtime and I think we're all going to sleep well tonight!!

Night night...... 😴😴😴😴😴😴