Tuesday, July 28

Tha Repititionz

As I mentioned before, my son plays lead guitar in Tha Repetitionz. I got a txt yesterday morning saying that one of their songs had been played on BBC Radio Wales!! woohoo.. public air time. The lads were so chuffed about it, and I'm so pleased for them. They played a gig on Saturday night and it went really well, so I'm told. They have another gig coming up this Thursday.

I finally found a way to put a clip on here. I made a photo video with sound track.

This is one of their noisier songs called Save it till the morning after. Enjoy... or put your earplugs in LOL (I love the lead singer's voice - and it has such a range, although not really demonstrated in this song)

Thursday, July 23

My son, the Rock Star

As I may have (proudly) mentioned before, Russ (19) is in two bands. One is a rock/pop type of band called Yea Boii! and the other one is a Rap/Rock band called Tha Repetitionz. Yea Boii came fourth in the recent local Battle of the Bands. What surprised a lot of people, is that Tha Repetitionz came third. The BotB final was only the third time they'd actually played live.

As good as I think Yea Boii are (proud mum thing), Tha Repz are more my taste in music. A bit heavier and dirtier. Well, Tha Repz, yesterday, finished their first EP and Russ brought home his copy and played it to us. I have to say that these lads sound great (for their first recording session) and I'm sure they'll go a long way. They seem to have something different, and more to the point, they really enjoy what they do, and aren't easily swayed by peer pressure and 'what should' be played. They play what they want and how they want. I particularly like the lead singers voice (Ad), very raspy but he can growl and wail along the lines of Axl Rose.

Of course, this is all my opinion and I may well be swayed by a 'mummy moment', but Russ plays lead guitar along with Sam. They switch between rhythmn and lead depending on the song. Russ seems so much happier in this band. It's more his style and the six of them get along very well. There's no cat calling and bitchiness which sometimes happens in Yea Boii (too many prima donna's).

Now, if only I could find a way of adding a sound clip in here, you could have a listen LOL

Tuesday, July 21

My little ray of sunshine

This picture just sums up my little ray of sunshine and bundle of mischief.

Yesterday I was really worried about her. She had a really bad headache, I mean, REALLY bad. She could barely move for it. I gave her calpol but it didn't really take it away. She ended up falling asleep at about 12.30 but woke up 10 minutes later and threw up quite a lot. She then slept for 2 hours. This is not like her at all. She's not had a nap in the day for a long time. Later in the afternoon she threw up again. Of course, swine flu is at the forefront of everyone's mind at the moment, but she didn't have a temperature or a cough. Her neck wasn't hurting and no rash, so meningitis wasn't such a worry, plus she's had her vaccinations for it, but even so, I kept a very close eye on her. She did improve by early evening and was really chirpy and back to herself. I thought it was just a 12 hour bug. She woke about 10.30pm screaming and crying that she could hear things and it hurt her ears. She's always had very sensitive ears and loud noises seem to hurt them. She couldn't explain the sounds. It wasn't ringing or hissing or humming, but she had her hands planted firmly over her ears trying to escape the noise. It lasted about 5 minutes each time. She was also sweating like mad and was very hot. Cold flannels cooled her down and calpol settled her back off to sleep. She woke twice more with these episodes but eventually slept until this morning. This morning she is right as rain as if nothing ever happened. We talked about her ears and what she could hear, with me making suggestions. We managed to hit on what happened. She said everything just got very loud. She could hear the TV even though it was very quiet and she said it sounded like mummy and daddy were shouting very loud when we were only talking normal volume. I don't know if this is all down to her having a temperature or what, but it seems that even the silence was deafening. She insists this morning that everything is (in her words) 'much much much right again'. So I have no idea what was wrong.

So this morning, in the tipping it down rain, we had to go and get some shopping. There was nothing in the house yesterday for dinner etc, but she was so poorly that I couldn't get to the supermarket. Thank god for takeaways.. which we don't do very often these days.

Isabelle had some birthday money left to spend, so off we went to a local retail park. I needed to call at the pet store to get yet more flea spray, even though I've not seen a flea for days and I've sprayed, powdered and vaccuumed every single day since Thursday.. apparently Mark found hundreds this morning. God only knows where, because I've gone around spraying everywhere and haven't seen one! But that's by the bye.

Isabelle and I went into the toy shop and she had a field day. She had £25 left to spend. Her little face was a picture as we were going around and she asked if she could have 'this' and I said yes, and then she asked if she could have 'that' and I said yes. She was nearly bursting with happiness. She is such a girly little girl. She bought a big teapot with a full tea-set inside including a little cake that velcro's together, an ironing board and iron (funny how little girls love these but as women we hate them!), a little shopping trolley with loads of cardboard food boxes, some (more!) princess glass slippers and a little silk purse set and a colouring book. We went to the checkout and she was grinning saying 'I'm so lucky I have got so many things'. She even has change! It all came to just over £15. She still has money to spend LOL. All hail to half price sales!

So, I have had un-countable imaginary cups of tea, about 20 slices of velcro together cake and have had to be checkout operator for her shopping trips with a trolley full of cardboard food boxes while she's all glammed up in her glass slippers and silky handbag purse. She's now sat colouring but is so happy.

Her enthusiasm is a pleasure and is very heartwarming. After all this crap that's gone on this past week, all it takes it for me to sit down and watch her play and become completely engrossed in whatever she is doing. She has such a great imagination you can't help but be sucked in and go with it. It is lovely to be able to go into her world and escape mine. Bugger the housework and worries of life, lets all sit down and have a pretend cup of tea and a piece of velcro birthday cake!

Monday, July 20

What a stressful week...

and it's not over yet!

It's been quite stressful for me this week with one thing and another.

The list of stressful events (although on their own, each one is not that stressful, but throw them all together and it stressed me out!)

1. Isabelle's birthday - presents to buy, party for 20 kids to organise and buy food for. Prepare the party etc.
2. My birthday - turning 41 - no major stress really, but I'm 'over' 40 LOL
3. Mark found fleas on the sofa. Covered the house in flea spray and powder... but this tale goes on.

Mark became obsessed about these fleas. They're not from the cat. I de-flea her once a month every month. I checked her over, not one flea. They've come from Mark's garage. It seems to be a meeting place for all the local moggies. So I bought flea spray and flea powder and went through the entire house. This was on Wednesday. Mark had Thursday off work with it being Isabelle's birthday. He saw another flea. He turned into a raving madman. He powdered everything again and was in such a bad temper. I was trying to make sandwiches for Isabelle's party and sausages were cooking. The rest of her party food was in bags by the front door ready to go in the car. He ended up going mental at me.. like it was my fault there were fleas in the house. Everything was pulled out from every corner, swept out, flea powdered and his temper rose. He ended up having a right go at me for not helping him. I'd already done it all the day before and I was getting the party stuff ready.

We ended up having a huge argument about what I should be doing. In his very male chauvenisting, pig headded attitude, he told me that everything to do with the house is my job, and I should do it.

He went on and on and on in his bad mood and ended up saying some really hurtful things to me that just weren't called for. I ended up in floods of tears and he still went on. I walked out the house, and waited for Isabelle to come out of nursery and my poor friend at school asked the wrong question. She asked if I was ok. Out came the tears again. I ended up going to her house for coffee, poured everything out but felt much better afterwards. I got home an hour or so later. Mark didn't ask where I'd been or anything. He did however, apologise. (wonders never cease) he also said he was out of order and he was in the wrong. (now this is a miracle!)

To cut a VERY long story short, he was still putting flea powder down yesterday (Sunday) as he said he saw another flea. I have 5 bin bags full of washing because apparently EVERYTHING has to be washed, I have to hoover the bedroom once again to get the powder up, this makes it 6 times since Thursday. I've also got the sofa's too hoover out again.. etc, etc.

He is so obsessed by it that every tiny mark on him is inspected incase it's a flea. I did laugh last night though as he was trying to kill a crumb of chocolate cake thinking it was a flea LOL.

One of the biggest annoyances though is that he hasn't treated the garage. He has washed it out with Jeyes fluid, but no flea treatment. So he's bringing them in with him every time he goes to the garage.

OK, that's off my chest... and the next two on the list are:

4. No one can ring in to my house. We can phone out, but if anyone tries to ring in, it just says there's a fault. I've done a line check with BT and it says the line is ok. It's probably equipment and we can call an engineer out to the tune of £100 + any consumables needed, and then £85 per hour after or part there of. Great! just what I need. I've tried a different phone in a different phone socket, but still can't ring in. It rings once and cuts off. So I have to get on to BT today and speak to a real person rather than an automated system.

and finally 5. On Thursday my internet connection became very intermittent. It loaded slower than a snail crossing a beach, if it loaded at all. Then Friday morning it went completely. Our connection was set up via a router so that we could all share the connection. I said to Mark, the router has decided not to work anymore. Once again, Mr Knowitall went into overdrive. I'd gone through all the checks I knew.. pinged, traced routes etc.. everything pointed to the router despite all the lights being on. I dug out the original modem that I got when I first started having broadband and voila it connected. So I told Mark once again that it was the router. He decided that he knew better. spent hours trying to get my pc to recognise his pc and mine to his. No go. He got more and more stressed, temper rose and started getting shitty with me .. once again. He even ended up standing behind me while I went through everything I'd already tried, including re-installing the router software only to get the same error message that I'd had before. He even tried installing it on his pc.. getting the same message. Why doesn't he trust me? Why doesn't he think that I know what I'm doing? Grrrrr. it's really frustrating!! I know that he knows the insides of a computer, but I've always done software installing and internet based stuff as he doesn't know how to do it. (or doesn't want to know?)

I managed to keep my temper and frustrations and annoyance to myself, but inside I was boiling. It was like being back at school having done some work and then the teacher standing behind me making me do it again because I couldn't have possibly got the right answer.

So my self esteem (which isn't great at the best of times) has taken a bit of a dive this week.

On the up side, I got some studio lighting (flash and softbox and umbrella's) for my birthday which is great. It's probably the best birthday present I've had as an adult. I'm sooo pleased. I did manage to get Isabelle to pose (sort of LOL)

Then on Saturday we went to Cholmondeley Pageant of Power. All things speedy! Cars and bikes through the ages, powerboats, aeroplanes, helicopters and jet ski stunts. We had a great day and we didn't get any rain right up until we were walking to the fair for Isabelle to have a ride, as promised, before we went home. The heavens opened and the clouds emptied very fast! But we'd had a great day including seeing the dancing JCB diggers! woohoo. . they were awesome. I'm going to upload some photographs from the day to my website later when I get a spare 5 minutes from all the jobs I have to do today!

Tuesday, July 14

The camera god giveth....

and then he says... 'but we don't want to give you that!'

Yesterday a package arrived. Not unusual at all in our house when you have a husband addicted to ebay. But this one was for me. I wasn't expecting a delivery of any sort (well not that size at least) and the label said it was electrical goods. What on earth was it? It's my birthday on Friday, so had someone sent me an early present?

So with anticipation, I opened the package. and inside? The invoice was from Nikon. Amount to pay... £0

And inside the box in a box, was a nice and sleek, shiny, brand new 10 megapixel Nikon Coolpix S560 camera. eh? What's this doing here? My excitement quickly vanished when I realised it wasn't actually meant for me. So where had it come from? There were no messages inside giving any relation as to where it had come from apart from Nikon. So I started to wrack my brains.

Eventually I came up with Amateur Photographer Magazine. As previously mentioned, I came third in the AP Mag competition. On checking the AP website the first place prize was, lo and behold, a Nikon Coolpix S560 camera. My third place prize of an AP Mug arrived safely on Thursday, so why had I got this camera? The only conclusion I could come to is that there's been a mix up somewhere and my name and address was sent through to Nikon by mistake. I've written to the woman on AP Mag forum who requested my address for the mug and told her that the camera has arrived here, named and addressed to me. What happens next? I dunno, I'm still waiting for a reply. In the mean time, I have a brand new compact camera sitting on my desk beside me shouting 'use me, use me', but I can't. What a tease! As much as I would have loved to keep it and use it, I signed for it and so it would be easy to trace back when the poor guy who came first reported that it hadn't arrived. My conscience wouldn't allow me to keep it and lie, but oh how I'd love to have this little nifty camera to take out with me as a 'just in case' camera rather than lugging my full kit around with me.

oh well... the camera gods can't like me very much - they're having a good old laugh about this, I bet.

c'est la vie!

Friday, July 3



I've just found out that I've won 3rd place in the Amateur Photographer Magazine monthly competition!
The subject was Man-Made Landscape so I entered my Powerstation Sunset photograph.

This is the judges comment about the shot and why it came 3rd.
Quote: If you described the contents of this industrial picture to a friend it would sound like the standard 'industry v nature' type shot, but when you experience it first hand (or first eye) you can see that it is far from 'usual'. The colour of the sky has a massive impact in the scene, but it does not 'make' the picture by itself. Annie has really worked the contents of the subject to create something that is only complemented by the sky. By keeping the camera dead straight she has produced a formal atmosphere, and the stillness of the water reflects perfectly the structures on the land. This is obviously a gift of a scene, but it is Annie's treatment of it that has made a great picture.

I am soooo pleased :D

Thursday, July 2

I don't like the unknown

Well I never did get to photograph the boys last Friday night!

As I'd mentioned, I didn't feel too good, but it got worse. Russ, Isabelle and I nipped to Somerfield to pick up a few bits and I felt unwell in the supermarket. I told Russ I needed some fresh air and had to go to the car. Russ came to the car with Isabelle when he'd paid for his shopping and I told him I thought I was going to pass out. I've passed out a few times over the years for some unknown reason, and I know the signs. I've never had it investigated. The next thing I knew, I was 'coming round' again. Russ said I'd been out for about 30 seconds, but I hadn't passed out, I'd had some sort of fit or seizure. I just remember thinking, thank god my bladder didn't let go (it had done in the past) because I was sitting in the drivers seat of my car. Russ gave me some water and after about 10 minutes I felt ok again, apart from feeling tired and a bit weak. I usually feel like that after 'passing out'. We went straight to the doctors, who then sent me straight to A&E for blood tests. The most embarassing part was when I got out of the car, I realised my bladder had let go. I was mortified. Russ just shrugged it off as if it were nothing. He was so good about the whole episode.

Russ phoned Mark on our way home and he said he'd be straight home from work and would take me to the hospital. I just wanted to lay down and sleep! To cut a very long story short (er) we arrived at the hospital about 1.30pm. Tests were done for blood, ECG, urine etc etc. Then they took me to the ward!! Yikes! That scared me. No one would tell me anything about what was happening, why I'd been taken to the ward, what was wrong with me or anything. All I kept being told was that the doctor would see me soon. Even when the ward doctor came to examine me, he couldn't tell me much either! I was scared! Mark didn't help matters by saying, what's going on? You're in a ward. They're keeping you in! I ended up in tears and he shut up in the end. I think it was just because he was scared too. He did in fact tell me the following day that he was scared and worried which made him nervous. It didn't help to calm meat the time though LOL.

I was told I'd have to go for a chest x-ray. Oh great! I told Mark it was probably a good idea to take Isabelle home and get some dinner for them both and I'd phone if they were going to let me home or not. By now it was about 6.30pm. Isabelle had been so good bless her. The hospital was a whole new playground for her and she was fascinated by the water coolers and kept going for more water. That kid barely stopped peeing all afternoon LOL. Oh and then she ate the ice-cream that they'd bought with my hospital dinner. She had the ward in uproar laughing with the way she devoured and savoured every taste of the ice-cream. It was as if she'd never had any before in her life with squeals of 'oh this is so lovely' and 'yum yum this is delicious' bless her.

So I was wheeled down to x-ray to be met by a rather dishy radiographer. Ohhh he was nice. I had an inward smile when he told me to strip to the waist LOL. what a sad person I'm becoming, smiling because a dishy bloke has told me to get my kit off.. LOL.. of course I had to put the rather lovely (not) gown on to have the x-ray. That done, I was taken back to the ward. around 9pm the Consultant Neurolagist came to see me. At last I was told something. He said everything pointed towards a fit. I had had all the classic signs and symptoms. Why it happened, no one knows, but he does think that all the previous passing out episodes were also fits. I now have to have a CAT scan and an EEG (that's to check for brainwaves. I told him he'd be lucky if he found brain ripples never mind brain waves LOL). He said I could go home! Yay!!

Mark and Isabelle were waiting for me in the car park at almost 10pm. It had been a loooong day. Isabelle just kept saying 'Mummy I love you. I missed you so much'. bless her little heart.

It has taken me almost a week to recover. I'm sure I've actually had some sort of virus because I've felt very odd this week. Lethargic, overly tired and just plain weird. It's hard to explain. Today is the first time I've felt anywhere near like normal and even now I still only feel about 90% right to how I normally feel. I'm just trying to take it as easy as I can, but life has to go on. Nothing has been done in the house housework wise. Washing has built up and the place is an absolute tip. Mark hasn't thought to tidy up at all or do dishes etc. I've had to do them when I've felt okish. So now I'm trying to catch up and it's taking some doing. I'm trying to do it in bits, hence sitting here typing now. I do a bit then take a break. But I really must get back to it before I have to go get Isabelle fron Nursery... no peace for the wicked, even when the wicked hasn't been well. [sigh]