Saturday, November 20

The Dragon

Now I may be a bit biased, but my 5 year old seems to be showing some very good drawing skills for her age.

This morning she was painting flags with her dad, for no particular reason. As we live in North Wales (although none of us are actually Welsh) she goes to a Welsh School, and so she decided to paint the Welsh Flag. Have you ever noticed it? It looks like this

Isabelle asked me to draw the dragon. (I can draw, but not THAT well!!) so I got the above picture up on my laptop and suggested she copied it herself. And she did.

I have to say I was gobsmacked... particularly in the face detail. Looks like we have another little artist in the family.

Wednesday, November 17

Grumpy old woman!

I am turning into a grumpy old woman! 

So many things annoy me that never used to bother me... stupid things such as:

Drivers not indicating, especially when I'm sat at a junction waiting to turn right and I sit and wait for the car to go past only to see it turn left into the junction I'm waiting at, with no indication!

My hubby putting his plate in the sink when he's finished his dinner while it still has food on it so that I have to fish the food out of the plug hole afterwards so that the water drains away!

Cold callers on the phone. Bugger off I do not want your x, y, or z, otherwise I'd have phoned you. And I especially don't want your call if you're asking me about protected payment plans. We have NO credit cards, loans or anything on HP. If we can't afford it cash, we don't buy it. And don't sound so shocked when I say we don't have a credit card, that's the way hubby and I have always done things. If we had credit we'd spend it and then be in the shit finacially. The only loan we have is our mortgage, so stop wasting my time!

Back to drivers.. speed humps in the road are designed so that you can go over them at 30mph. OK, I realise you might want to go a bit slower but slowing down to 0 miles an hour when you are going up a hill that has 12 speed humps between the bottom of the hill and the top is really too much to bear, especially when you drive at 40mph between each speed hump. Get your act together!

My son and hubby filling the bin so full it all spills out of the top rather than emptying it and putting a new bin bag in. (ok that's not a new one but it annoys the hell out of me).

Asda home delivery. Whilst I love the fact that Asda deliver my groceries, is it absolutely necessary to put only one item in each carrier bag? When I'm in Asda I'm asked if I want a bag... erm, how else am I going to carry my shopping home. They are so miserly with bags in store they make you feel guilty if you ask for more bags. I always make sure each one is full, so I'm not wasting them, and I recycle them when I'm done, but the over-use of carrier bags on home deliveries is taking the piss. Out of the 20 bags of groceries I had delivered today, if they'd been packed properly I would probably only have had 10 bags at the most, maybe even less.

Parents at School!!! Is it absolutely necessary to stop on the no parking zone outside the school gate to let your child(ren) out of the car? Can't they walk more than two paces to the school gates? The street only has enough room for one car travelling in one direction at a time, so when you park in front of the gate, you hold the entire street up because you can't be arsed to park up and get out of your car. And to other parents who decide to come down the street the other way, surely you realise, after all you do it every day, that the street only has enough room for one car going in one direction with no room to pass.. so why do you insist every day on coming in the other direction causing chaos for everyone? And to the gossipy mums. I have no problem with you gossiping, take all the time in the world, but please move away from standing right in front of the school gates. No one can get in or our when you're stood there. On the occasions you have moved into the school yard, you stand just inside the gates and block the path so that other parents and their children have to walk around you and your push chairs over the muddy grass to get into school. Show a bit of courtesy and move onto the yard itself where there's billions of room. The same goes for home time too.... haven't you gossiped enough during the afternoon together?

Ok, I think that's it for now.. they're the ones bugging me the most. I feel better for that.

Monday, November 15


OOB stands for out of the box. Sometimes when I don't feel like doing anything else, I play with my photographs. Today was one of those days. Here are the results.

All the photographs were taken by me and then 'played with' by me.

Monday, November 8

Time.. where does it go?

Why do I never seem to have enough time? I don't go out to work so I guess I'm a stay at home mum, but good grief, I never seem to stop running about doing this that or the other.

I did however get a little bit of time to myself a week last Friday. (see .. it's well over a week ago already!) and I was invited over to a photography friends house to use his small home studio to take some photographs of Isabelle. Supplied with coffee and hints and tips on photographing a not particularly photogenic child with the attention span of a goldfish.

This is my favourite shot from the day as it really does summise Isabelle. She is a walking talking whirlwind until she decides to read a book (which she does love to do). I love the concentration on her face and the appearance that she's completely lost in the book. Kipper really is too easy for her to read these days, but she still loves it.

and I like this one because it was her own choice of pose and she's looking cute.

Fast forward a week and a bit to yesterday. My hubby, previously know as couch potato has spent the last couple of years getting fit, losing weight, stopping drinking and smoking, and started running. After a couple of half marathons, he decided to do the Hell Up North aka Hell Run through Delamere Forest. Isabelle and I were dragged along for support and praise him at the end for doing well. The run is 12 miles up hill and down dale, avoiding trees wherever possible and ending up running wading through the Bog Of Doom. 

Isabelle and I managed to get ourselves down to the edge of the bog.. and it stank!! As the runners went through we were splattered and covered in mud, it was messy, but we managed to see Mark on his way through. 

 Yes he is up to his waist in mud and water, it was a bloody big puddle in the bog. And he was wearing white shorts!!!
Helping someone through the bog... nice and clean aren't they?

And then this came wading through!! Words fail me LOL it was bloody freezing cold too.

Thursday, October 28


After everything that has happened since Tuesday night, loads of phonecalls yesterday and a whirlwind going around in my head which just won't stop - and is causing lack of sleep, I think I have come to a few conclusions, and I basically have two options.

1. Take the questioning, the answering, the guilt laying, the 'you should have', and all that comes with it.

2. Walk away from it all

I phoned mum yesterday morning, afterall, she did tell me the night before she was going to kill herself. I am not the cold hearted uncaring person I am sure she and my brother percieve me to be. She was ok, but full of questions wanting answers. 

The basic upshot of it all is:

She can't bear to be in the same room as my hubby. She brought up an incident 11 years ago when hubby and I first got together. It was Christmas and we'd all gone to my brothers house. Hubby (unknown to me at the time) is what's known as a binge drinker alcoholic. He didn't drink during the week, but when he was off work for any time, he would drink to excess every evening. He IS an alcoholic, but has now been t-total for 5 and a half years. Hubby decided in his drunken state to tell my mum what he thought of her and how she'd treated me. It didn't go down well obviously and everyone ended up in a state. She brought this up yesterday and told me I was wrong for not standing up for her at the time.  This had all been discussed and (I thought) solved years ago.

Various other incidents were brought up which all involved hubby's alcoholism and how he abused me. Again, since he stopped drinking none of this happens anymore. That has all been dealt with over the years and threat of divorce etc due to his drinking. He is a different person sober and has changed so much for the better. Sleeping dogs will not lie however and now Mum and my youngest brother have both said they can't stand him for what he's done over the years and don't want him in the same room. A nice position for me to be in eh? considering it's a 3 hour drive to visit mum... one that I can't drive alone for various reasons (including medical)... which, according to my brother (I've since found out) are just excuses and I'm a whinger.

All through the phone call I was being asked 'why didn't you do...?' or told 'you should have done this...' I can only do what I can do based on my judgement and situation at the time.  All the time she was telling me that she was seriously ill for 4 years. I am fully aware of that. She had a mental breakdown.. was treated, told she was bipolar, told she wasn't, but now insists she is again. Either way, whatever it is, I supported her the best I could. Considered her as much as possible. My actions are now being questioned. When I asked if she needed me to come over, no, she couldn't cope with anyone there, especially a child under 5. I didn't go. She had dr's and nurses visiting, my brother, my aunt and various other people, I thought there were enough people to care for her. Now it seems that I should have rented a flat near her house for a month or so, just so she knew I was near if she needed me. I should have over-ruled her decision for me not to go and gone anyway. WHAT?

She has gaping holes in her memory of the last 4 years, which I can understand. When you suffer a breakdown, one day rolls into another and you don't remember things or situations.  I have suffered with depression on and off for over 20 years. I have fibromyalgia which can immobalise me at times. I am an emotional wreck and am currently on medication for anxiety and depression. I am not a coper, especially when it comes to me having to justify myself. But when I said this, it was met with, but that's nothing to what I've gone through. Nowhere near. Maybe it's not. As far as I'm concerned, it's not a competition as to who has been the worst medically. I was trying to explain that things can be difficult for me too because of medical reasons. To which the reply was, when you were sick as a single parent with two young children I came straight over to help. Where were you when I needed help?

Oh it went on and on, I tried to fill in some of the gaping voids and explaining situations that she had no recollection of or had got totally wrong in her head, and that decisions had been made with her being foremost in the decision making to ensure things were the least stressful for her. 

But I now feel that I can't justify myself and my decisions over the last however many years of my life any longer. My life and my decisions have been mine. Rightly or wrongly made they were made for a reason at the time and I dealt with the consequences. I feel that now my mum is trying to go through a big therapy session to solve her life through, in particular, me and my middle brother, or more.. his wife. It isn't just me this is happening to. My sister in law has just had mum over for the weekend and told her a few truths. This led to the killing herself phone call from mum. My elder daughter is also involved in this. But what mum can't see, is that she is the common denominator in all this. All her immediate family are involved. We all feel the same way, we're all being put through the mill because my mum has decided that things need discussing. I know that there are still more things she wants to discuss.. it's looming over me but I can't take any more of it. It is taking over me. It's all I can think about and it's not fair. My hubby's point of view? Why are we all still pandering to her like we always have? She's no longer depressed by her own admission. She's trying to sort herself out and she has a cuckoo land idea of what her family should be. And it's not the way she wants it to be so she's trying to change it. 

She is behaving like a spoiled brat stomping her feet because she's not getting her own way. But for me there is no happy medium. I'm not prepared to do the 3 hour each way drive once a month and stay for the weekend without my hubby because that's what my mum wants. But if I remain in contact with her, I will constantly be told she needs to see me. She even said we can stay in a hotel somewhere for the weekend just so that we can spend time together.. her, me and Isabelle. She said she's not making me choose between her and my hubby, but she's made it clear that he's not welcome in anything that involves her and myself.

I need to write to mum to say a few things. I can't think quick enough on the phone. I don't like confrontation. And having had at least 4 confrontational phone calls with her, I really can't deal with any more. But how do I write without being accusing and saying it's her fault, even by implication? I don't want to upset her, especially when her emotions are all over the place. But in the interim, she has no idea what I'm having to deal with. And even when I did say I was struggling to cope with it all, she said 'Well I've had to deal with it for years and I'm trying to sort everything out now.'

Having written all this to try and get it out of my head and sort some kind of sense, it's becoming more and more clear what my only option is. I just need to work out a way to go about it. I don't like hurting or upsetting people, I put other peoples feelings first.. to a fault.. but I'm not prepared to live with a whirlwind in my head and my self esteem plummeting lower than it already is.. if that's possible.

Wednesday, October 27

novel? if only it were

Hubby was late home and she and her young daughter had already finished eating dinner when he got home. She started to wash the dishes mulling the day over. It had been a rough week what with her daughter having a stomach bug and then her. For the best part of a week someone or other had been throwing up. It looks like the bug had finally left.

She was up to her armpits in soap suds when the phone rang. Surely hubby would get it afterall, he was in the living room whilst she was washing up. No. Her young daughter came running through to the kitchen with the phone in her hand. In her hurry, her little girl dropped the toy she was playing with and started wailing I've lost it, I've lost it. She anwered the phone with a 'just a second', she found the toy and handed it back and picked up the phone again. 'Sorry about that' had to sort a major catastrophe out'. It was 7.15pm. 

A voice on the other end of the phone spoke. A female voice, it was her mother who had been to stay at her daughter-in-law's for a couple of days. Her mother said.. "what did I say to your eldest daughter on her birthday that upset her?" What? she said. That was back in June.. hold on, I can't think... although she did wonder what had happened to the words hello, how are you? Oh, she said, i think it was something about her getting a motorbike and some comment you made. Her mother replied.. I can't take this anymore, (in tears) why do you all hate me so much, I'm going to kill myself and hung up.


Her mother lives a 3 hour drive away and she'd just said she was going to go and kill herself. She stood in shock, looking at the phone in her hand. Had she heard right? Yes she had. Panic!! What was she to do? Phone the police? What? What was she supposed to do? her mother had been in a poor mental state on and off for 4 years, but it had never been this bad. She phoned her brother who hadn't spoken to her since a previous argument with her mother a couple of months before. She told him what had been said and told him to get round there to her mother's house quick. He could be there in 10 minutes. Still in a panic she phoned her mother back and was relieved to hear her pick the phone up. Don't do anything, she said to her mother. I might as well, she replied, but your aunt is coming round. Thanks for being my daughter, and hung up again.

She was in floods of tears now and didn't know what to do. What would the next phonecall entail?

She waited a couple of hours and phoned her brother back, who didn't go round but phoned and was told someone was coming to see their mother. He had spoken to her again and she was ok, she told him. She had calmed down some and was ok. 

The worry is, that her mother lives alone and no one is staying with her tonight. It's going to be a long night, hence typing this at almost 1am.

No it's not a novel.. this actually happened to me tonight, and I don't really know what to do.

Tuesday, October 26

Whispered words

Still fast asleep at 7.15 in the morning, I feel a gentle kiss on the cheek and a whisper in my ear, Mum... is my bum clean?  I open my eyes in the still dark bedroom with just the landing light on to see my 5 year old bent over, bum in the air and definately NOT clean. 

The poor girl had spent the two nights previous, throwing up for England. She'd complained of tummy ache and couldn't settle and asked if I'd stay with her. So we lay down in my bed for a snuggle and the apparent stomach cramps eased after Milk of Magnesia and calpol. She drifted off to sleep and I left her in my bed thinking I'd move her when she was fully asleep. Half an hour later I heard a little cry but then silence. Mummy instinct kicked in so I went to check if she was ok. She'd thrown up all over.. projectile all over, my double bed! Full bed change and two more of the same, and she settle off again on a bed covered in towels. Several more episodes successfully caught in the bowl meant my poor baby was now empty, or so I thought. No, then the other end kicked into gear. Oh dear. 

She was like this all the next day, and that night and the following day.

Then the next morning she was better. Just like that! Back to normal and hungry. Thank god for that.... except... I started that night. Despite my dilligence with bleach, antibacterial handwash and hand sanitiser, I still got it. It wiped me out. Yesterday I had to phone my hubby to come home from work. I couldn't function. I was so tired from being up two nights in a row with Isabelle and the following night myself. Hubby got home and complained. He was so busy at work, he went on and on, and I ended up in tears. I'm sorry I'm sick, I can't help it I said.. I can't look after Isabelle. 

The thing that annoyed me the most was I never ever phone him to come home from work. Well I say never ever, the only time in 11 years that I've had to ask him to come home from work was when I fell down the stairs 4 years ago and thought I'd broken my leg, I needed taking to hospital because I couldn't even walk! So I just went to bed and fell asleep at 1pm. I woke up at 6pm! I thought oh no that's buggered me for a nights sleep.. but no. I slept from 11pm until 7am this morning when Isabelle woke me up. 

Thankfully I do feel a lot better this morning, albeit a bit light headed, but that's probably because I've not eaten in 2 days. Coffee stayed down this morning.. phew! 

So hopefully it's all gone and I hope to god Mark doesn't get it. I may have to kill him. He doesn't suffer quietly or go to bed like anyone else does. He lays on the sofa in full moan mode, complaining and groaning for everyone to hear. Please.. don't let Mark get it!!

Wednesday, October 20

The Gallery - Red

This week's promt for the Gallery from Tara at Sticky Fingers is RED

I had a good think on what to use, and opted for the slightly ghoulish (halloween coming up remember) strawberry with added bite. I photographed the strawberry and then used a photograph I found on the internet of a large bitey fish and merged the teeth with the strawberry..

Thursday, October 14

Musical Taste? or lack of?

I have a rather eclectic musical taste. It's very varied.. sometimes bizarre. Sometimes heavy, sometimes smooth and soulful, sometimes just odd.

My teen years were in the colourful 80's full of new romantics, and to fit in with the school crowd, I had to go along with that, although really I loved rock.. heavy rock.

I've been on a memory lane on you tube finding songs that I love, or mean something to me, or both. So I thought I'd share them, in no particular order, other than the order I listened to them, here are a selection of my faves. Please listen and enjoy.. or just turn the sound off and think my god she's bonkers!

Musical taste, or lack of... part I

Oasis - Don't look back in anger

Radiohead - Creep

Kings of Leon - Sex on Fire

Guns n Roses - November Rain

Bon Jovi Wanted (Dead or Alive) this one still gives me tingles as soon as I hear the intro. It was the first thing I ever heard my now hubby play on the guitar.

Bon Jovi (again) - Dry County. Poignant words and the best guitar solo ever

Metallica (with the San fransico philharmonic orchestra). It shouldn't work, but it does.

More to follow.....

Wednesday, October 13

Why do I.... ?

Why do I feel guilty or embarassed to talk about it? I shouldn't be. I'm very proud of it, but it's something I don't often talk about, especially in real life. A post Jen made at TheMadHouse made me think. She asked the question What do you do when your children are bright?

I have a very bright 5 year old daughter. I don't mean that I think she's bright, everyone she meets thinks she's bright. But it's not just bright, it's quite shocking sometimes just how clever she is. She is the baby in her class as her birthday is mid July. When she went back to school to start year 1 in September, my little girl who had just turned 5 was attending birthdays of children who were turning 6. She has been put in a class of year 1 and year 2 children and is coping extremely well. She is a very friendly little girl who gets along with anyone. She has the emotions of a typical 5 year old and is prone to the odd temper tantrum when she doesn't get her own way at home, but no more than any other child of her age. She does prefer to mix with children older than herself, so I guess being in a class with 7 year olds works well for her.  Her vocabulary is amazing and can hold a conversation with an adult, often questioning them and often causing surprise with the level of understanding she has. She loves space and anything to do with the planets and will sit and tell you what most of the planets are made of, how hot or cold they are and their size. She has a map of the world on the wall and I put small post it notes on each of the main countries, took them off and asked her to put them back in the right places. She did it, replacing about 15 post its with the names on, in the right countries.  Is this normal for a 5 year 3 month old? I don't know. I don't really have a measuring stick to go by. I can't talk about it with other mums, it's too difficult. They either snub you or make excuses to move away from you ending the conversation.

Tonight was parents evening. She got a glowing report even though she's only been in that class 5 weeks. She is doing maths with the year 2's and doesn't struggle at all. By the end of this year she is supposed to know her 10x's table and 2x's table. She knows them already, and her 5's and can also do her 3's and 4's although she does have to stop and think a bit sometimes. She can count a handful of coins correctly. She counted £1.75 in various coins the other day. I asked her if I paid £8 for something with a £10 note how much change would I get? She said £2 right away and followed up with if i'd bought 2 lots it would cost £16 worked out in her head.

Her reading is way ahead of her age. She seems to be able to read and understand anything. Mark has just finished reading Charlie and The Chocolate Factory with her. She read it and understood it. Apparently her spelling is also well above her age level. Her writing has improved vastly of late, but her muscles aren't developed enough to cope with what she expects to be able to write. We have quite  a lot of problems with frustration, particularly with her drawing. She is very good at drawing for her age, but she is too harsh on herself. She sees the image in her head but isn't pysically advanced enough to transfer it to paper and she gets cross and angry with herself because it doesn't look right to her, she says it's rubbish and throws it away.

She is on the high achievers register (as they call it at school) so they are aware of her ability and she does get extra tuition at a level she can cope with. Luckily her teacher is the high achievers teacher anyway so she is fully aware of what Isabelle is capable of or not. 

The comments from parents evening is that she is a lovely, kind, caring little girl with a great sense of humour. She can make the teachers laugh at the drop of a hat but it's humour with intelligence rather than clowning about and being stupid. Her teacher and teaching assistant absolutely adore her, yet I know that they take no messing and will pull anyone into line that needs it.

I suppose this post is a little brag really that I can't do in real life. I don't have high expectations of her or put pressure on her. I want her to be 5 and enjoy life, but she questions constantly and wants to know more.. and more... and more. She absorbs everything and still asks for more.  I wonder how long before she pushes my intelligence to the limit and I can no longer answer her questions.

I'm don't for a minute think she's the next child prodigy, or a genius, but I do know that she is clever... high achiever? Gifted? I don't know... but I am glad that the school are aware of her capabilities and are prepared to push her that bit harder - she loves a challenge, but she seems to be finding the challenges fairly easy at the moment.

The Gallery - Favourite photo

Choose your favourite photograph says Tara at Sticky Fingers. Does she realise how many photographs I have to choose from? Each and every photograph is a favourite for one reason or other. 

I could choose my bald eagle photograph which has been very successful for me in competitions. I could choose my current favourite motorbike racing shot or I could choose any of the numerous photographs of my children.

I opted for a different photo for a different reason. I chose a my favourite photo of me and my dad, the reason being, I can still see any of the rest of my family but I can no longer see my dad. If I could only save one photograph in a house fire, it would be this one. It sits in a frame on the shelf in the living room. He watches over me all day and night. He is always there even though he's not here. I could never re-take this photograph or any other photograph of my Dad, whereas I could take more photographs of the rest of my family.

My Dad was my world, he made me who I am. He gave me good morals, rationalisation, world knowledge, he taught me how to care, he taught me to be a kind and compassionate person. We were very close. And in my adult life I have learned that I have taken the best parts of a very wonderful, kind, caring and compassionate person. He made me who I am, yet I can  no longer thank him in person.

So, my favourite photo: I am about 8 months old I think.

Sunday, October 10

It's been a weekend of bikes

My favourite way to spend a weekend. But I'll go with the proud mummy moment first.

Isabelle was 5 in July and is one of the most un-coordinated kids I've ever known LOL. She's very clever, but she was at the back of the queue for co-ordination. She loves riding her bike but she's almost too big for it. She does have another bike that hubby lost his marbles and bought off ebay which is way too big for her. So I decided that as it was such a lovely sunny day we'd take the stabilisers off her bike and take her to the park and see how she went. She got on the bike and took off as if she'd been riding without stabilisers for ever. She could just do it really easy after the first few tentative pedals whilst concentrating. I'm so proud of her and when I told her I was she said "thanks" and grinned. So that's it, she's off.. looks like Santa might have to stump up some cash for a bike that's the right size for her now.

And on Saturday it was my day. My day to go to the race track at Oulton Park to watch the British Superbikes. The sound, the smell, the feel of fast motorbikes roaring round the fantastic Oulton Park and to be able to take photographs of these bikes is my idea of Saturday heaven. Never mind a spa and pampering.. take me to the bike racing!!

It's the final round of the British Superbikes, and we've watched it all year, so it was really exciting.

Isabelle's day was made by Ryuichi Kiyonari on the HM Plant Honda. He's now the British Superbike Champion after winning today. On the victory lap, Isabelle (who was wearing her HM Plant Honda t-shirt) was waving like mad at all the bikers going round. Kiyonari waved to her. We know it was to her because we were stood alone at the side of the track. She was overjoyed that he waved at HER.

And I just got to take photographs of young lads in leather racing around on throbbing motorbikes.. ahhh bliss.

And before I bore you all to death, if you want to see more of my photographs from the superbikes CLICK HERE

I have more to edit, when/if I get chance... but sadly the superbike season is now over, so I guess I've got until May to get them done when the season starts again [sigh]

Tuesday, October 5

Hellrun up North

5 years ago, my hubby was an alcholic. He was 3 stone over weight and smoked 40 cigarettes a day and rarely moved off the sofa. He was 35 years old. 5 years down the line he is a 40 year old tee-total non smoker who weighs about right for his height and is extremely fit for a man of his age. He has completed a 10k run, a half marathon, cycles at least 20 miles a day and runs 3 times a week. He is training for a marathon, which he was going to do in May this year until a football accident buggered his knee up. His knee is slowly recovering and he is now in training for a marathon next year. 

However, his next event is on November the 7th. He is going to run the Hell Run up North. This is 11 miles through Delamere Forest through rivers streams and mud, ending up running through the bog of doom. He is trying to raise cash for childrens cancer charity but only has £20 so far. He'd love to raise more! I'll post donations details in a minute, but first take a quick glimps at the hell run from last year.

I know everyone is short of money and I know everyone is asking for some cash for a million and one charities all over the place. But if you can spare a few £'s only, we'd really appreciate your donation. If you can't spare any cash, perhaps you could give my post here a mention?

To donate, please CLICK HERE


Monday, October 4

Autumnal Morning

I've been somewhat withdrawn and a bit insular just lately. I've had  lot of emotional stuff to deal with. A cancer scare for my 25 yr old daughter which thankfully is not cancerous, has been dealt with and she's now got the all clear. The problems and fallout with my mum, who phoned last week after a month of not speaking. The phone call was very emotional, we both said a lot of things that needed saying, but she still can't see things from my point of view and I'm really not sure how I feel now. We've not spoken in over a week, but I know I'll be in bother for not phoning, but to be honest, right now I have nothing to say.

My son came to the end of his apprenticeship and qualified with an HNC in Engineering, but they didn't keep him on. So he's now jobless and really doesn't seem to be bothered about getting a job, despite me laying the law down. Ultimatum time is coming for him!

I have had a horrid fibromyalgia flare, which wipes me out. My back and hips are so flippin' painful, but I'm trying to keep going without complaining too much. Hubby (who does no housework jobs normally) has obviously noticed I'm in pain, he's washed the dishes three times this week!! That is more than he's washed them in the entire 12 years we've been together. 

I've also decided it's time for Isabelle to learn the concept of money. She's costing quite a bit lately even though she's only 5. The ice-cream van comes around every night, but I've always had the rule that she can only have an ice-cream from the van on a Saturday. We have ice lollies and ice-cream in the freezer and I'll be buggered if I'm paying £1 a night for one from the ice-cream van. She complains, but she knows it won't work. But now, for her to be able to have an ice-cream from the van on a Saturday, she has to earn some pocket money. It also gives her a bit of money for if we go somewhere or she wants some sweets at the weekend. We decided that £1.50 is plenty for her, and I also put 50p away for her to save. So she has to do some jobs to earn her £1.50 (which doesn't actually go that far considering an ice-cream is £1). She has to bring the waste food bin back into the garden when it's been emptied on a monday. She also has to stack the cartons of milk up in the cupboard when the asda delivery has been. And now I've added helping to dry the dishes to her jobs when she's asked. It's not every night yet, but it will be eventually. So on Friday night (my back was bad) I said hubby and son were on dishes duty and Isabelle could help dry and put away. She knows where all the dishes go, in fact she knows better than hubby. Well, the noise coming from the kitchen was immense. I had to laugh to myself. I could hear "this is the worst job in the world EVER! I hate doing this job. Please give me a different job to do.. I'll do anything.. pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease! Isabelle fussed and cried and shouted and went on and on LOL. She did do it on the threat of no pocket money, and it's something she has to get used to, but my god she put up a protest LOL.

Evenings are getting a bit busy now and I feel like an unpaid taxi driver. Not that I mind Isabelle attending things. It's good for her socially, especially as her closest sibling is 15 years older than her. Monday she has swimming lessons, Tuesday is gardening club after school, Wednesday is a free night (at the moment) Thursday is Rainbows which she started 3 weeks ago and absolutely loves. I've just had to buy her a Rainbows uniform. It's no longer a tabard for £8 like it used to be.. oh no... jogging trousers, t-shirt and hoodie.. in RED with Rainbows log on. Jeez! I managed to get a second hand set off ebay for £17.50. Much cheaper than the almost £50 a new set costs. 

So this morning after a busyish week and weekend, I took some time for myself (trying to ignore the guilt of I should be tidying up after the weekend, it looks like a bomb dropped in the house) and took my thinking-it-had-been-forgotten camera out into the garden. The Autum early morning sun was beautiful. I looked out into the garden and had a rather random thought, that how beautiful the cobwebs around the garden looked in the sunlight. Rather an odd thing to thing, but they did. So I took my camera outside and took these photographs. If you dont like spiders, don't scroll down to the third photograph! 

One of my favourite flowers - my Fuchsia's

 Having an early morning wash

God only knows what this spider is eating for it's breakfast!

Thursday, September 30

The things my 5 year old comes out with...

Having to older children (20 and 25) I've been through pretty much anything a kid can throw at you ... or so I thought. Then I had Isabelle who is now 5. She is such an inquisitive child, very bright and makes me laugh.  Lately, her questions are getting harder to answer.. such as..

Mum, when is the earth's birthday? not how old is it.. what is the date of it's birthday

Mum, did you know there are 7 digits in a million? me [blank look.. checks google] yes Isabelle, you're right, well done  

after talking about religion at school... Mum.. who made God?

Muuuum.. if there's a Timbuktu what happened to Timbuk-one?

She's only just turned 5 in July!! What am I gonna do? lol

There was also a couple of conversations with her dad..

I: Daddy, now you're 40, you're very old.
Daddy: 40's not very old.
I: Well, you're not exactly young are you (disdain on her face).
Daddy: But Mummy is older than me
I: Yes, but Mummy is still young, You're very old now.

and the one I almost wet myself laughing about

I: Daddy, why are you growing a beard? You really do need to shave.
Daddy: I'm growing it because I like it.
(mummy's voice from the background) Tiz, he's turning into a wookie.
I: (very loud laughter) Daddy, you do look like a wookie. Why do you want to look like a wookie?
Daddy: I'm NOT turning into a wookie, I just like to have a goatee beard.
I: Well, you definately look like a wookie. And you've got hairy ears, wookies have hairy ears, Daddy is a wookie, daddeeeee is a wookeeeeeee. Will we have to call you Chewbacca?

and finally an awwww moment
I: Mummy, why did your mum and dad call you Ann-Marie?
Me: Because they thought it was a nice name. Don't you?
I: Yes, but they could have given you a better name.
Me: Oh? Can you think of a better name for me?
I: Yes. They should have called you Angel

Wednesday, September 29

Best Comedy of all time?

Heather over at Note From Lapland suggested that The Office was the best Comedy Series of All Time. [shaking my head]. Clearly, Heather has lost the plot. Ricky Gervais is one of the most annoying people in the world ever. 

Heather seems to have forgotten all about Blackadder! Which is obviously THE best comedy series of all time, is timeless and can be watched over and over again.

Edmund Blackadder goes through the ages as a male housekeeper and personal assistant, including to Queen Elizabeth I.

Classic lines from the show are sheer genius and are usually aimed at the hapless, brainless Baldric. Lines such as: 

Baldrick used the line 'I have a cunning plan' in every episode. The cunning plan was always useless.

Blackadder; You wouldn't know a cunning plan if it came and danced naked on a harpsichord singing cunning plans are here again.

Blackadder: Baldrick. Your brain is so tiny, that if a hungry cannibal were to crack your head open, there wouldn't be enough to cover a small water biscuit.

Blackadder: I have a plan so cunning you could put a tail on it and call it a weasel

Edmund on Cousin MacAdder: "He's mad! He's mad. He's madder than Mad Jack McMad, the winner of this year's Mr Madman competition."

Blackadder: this is the most useless thing since the book 'how to learn french' was translated to french.

Blackadder: i believe the phrase rhymes with.... clucking bell.

"Baldrick, an eternity in the company of Beelzebub and his instruments of torture will be a picnic compared to five minutes with me, and this pencil!"

I could go on all day, but won't. The dry humour and sarcasm is pure genius. All lines are delivered with such seriousness but are hilarious. I don't know how they managed to keep a straight face. Rowan Atkinson deserves several awards for his acting in Blackadder. The other characters are also amazing. The entire cast must have had such a laugh filming the 4 series of Blackadder. I'd love to see the outtakes!!
So - skip The Office and go and watch Blackadder!

Tuesday, September 14

Sold a photo...

Wow, how long is it since I last made a blog post?

I've had so much going on in my head I've not really had anything to say out loud in the blogisphere if you know what I mean. I have too much on my mind and I need to sort it out before I can make a rational blog post. Lets just say that at the moment I am like a swan. Looking calm and serene on the surface, but under the water I'm paddling like buggery against a strong current!

Anyway, something happened tonight that has really lifted my mood and made me smile.

Anyone who knows me, or reads my blog from time to time, will know about my love of photography, and in particular, photographing the British Superbikes when they come to Oulton Park (due again in October and I can't wait!).

Tonight I got an email from a guy called Martin Jessop. Martin Jessop rides in the British Superbikes for a team called (long winded name alert) Ducati. He'd seen a photograph I took of him on flickr and asked if he could have a copy. Firstly, I was shocked because I'd had an email from Martin Jessop.. and secondly, I thought, oh no, how can I charge him for a photograph of himself. I wrote back and asked if he wanted the image emailing or if he wanted a print. I explained that I'd have to charge for the print and include P&P. He wrote back, and wants a print and paid straight away through paypal.. woohoo. 

So now I need to get it printed off and posted to him. I am so chuffed to bits because out of all the photographs I've taken, to have a professional biker and racer like one of my shots enough to buy one means the world to me.

Funnily enough, it happens to be one of my favourites too.

Thursday, September 2

It's been a long 7 weeks

I'm sure there will be hundreds of back to school blog posts today, but here's another one.

Isabelle was finally 5 years old in July. She is the absolute baby of her year. Some of the children in her class start to turn 6 in a couple of weeks. I am very proud to say that she was at the top of her class all last year, even though it was reception class and was put on the high achievers register in her school. 

She has enjoyed being home over the holidays but she has really really missed being at school. She's a child of routine. When her routine changes, she struggles a bit to adjust and to cope. After a week she started to ask how many days is it till I can go back to school? She did go to the free playscheme, but she wasn't learning. She loves to learn. She needs to keep her brain active and occupied. She's created, drawn and written so many things. I have almost a full ream of paper that she's drawn pictures on and refuses to throw away. I shall be filtering those over the next few days and will keep the best ones in our memory box.

The silence this morning was bliss after I dropped her at school to start year one. I walked back into the house and exhaled.. and thought ahhhhh the quiet. But now I'm bored. I miss the chitter chatter, the bouncing on and off the sofa, the questions, the constant talking, but it's ten minutes until I pick her up to find out all about her day in a new class, her new friends, her new teachers etc. I'm sure by the morning I'll be more than ready to take her back to school again LOL.

I managed to get a photograph of her where she isn't gurning or pulling faces with a natural smile. This is a very very rare occasion. She goofs for the camera. She waits until she hears the focus beep and then pulls a face. But this is a photograph of my smiling, pretty little girl with no grimacing.

Wednesday, September 1

It's official.. I'm a ...

OK, it's official! I am a very sad case and there is no hope for me. I've just got all excited because I had a twitter reply from Gino D'Acampo.

I've had various tweets from people from TV albeit minor celebs. Robert Llewellin (aka Kryten from Red Dwarf) Danny John-Jules (aka The Cat from Red Dwarf - in fact I've had several 'conversations' with him on twitter), Suzi Perry (gadget show and motogp commentary), Jason Bradbury (gadget show), Mark Blundell (ex Formula 1 driver) and Gok Wan (if you don't know who he is.. you should LOL)

But today Gino announced he's doing a voice over for an iPhone app he's bringing out in October. I told him I don't have an iPhone but would buy one just to listen to him. He tweeted back and said Grazie Bella xxxxx (note the kisses on the end?) swoon.

I've always had a bit of a sweet spot for Gino and even though I can't abide I'm a celebrity get me out of here, when he was on it last year, I couldn't help but watch it. He was walking around half naked, all muscly.... etc.. very sexist I know but hey.. who cares LOL.

So then he posted this picture on twitter saying he was all done for the day and was now relaxing. How am I supposed to go and cook dinner now?? 

Thursday, August 26

Hung up

A bit of a doom and gloom post, so if you don't want to read it, no problem. I just need to get it off my chest.

I'm so tired of trying to do my best, keep everyone happy and ending up being wrong yet again. 

I moved away from my home town.. 3 hours drive away... 21 years ago. My mum and one of my brother's lives in my home town still. My other brother lives 5 hours away from me, 2 hours away from our home town. We've moved on, got families and are living our lives. We make trips back home as and when time and money allows it. We all try to get together at least once a year at Mum's house, twice if we can co-ordinate it, but we always meet up a couple of weeks before Christmas to swap presents and see each other. There's always an argument from mum about us being with her at Christmas, but with young kids (Isabelle is 5) it's so difficult to do, and also spoils the magic of Christmas for her. Anyway, I digress.

A couple of months ago, Mark booked the last week in August off work for his holiday. We compromised on the holiday and split his time off into two sections. One for Isabelle and my benefit of days out staying in a hotel and the second part of the week for Mark to go off on his motorbike with a one man tent so he can do his hunter-gatherer thing and walk up mountains. Everyone is happy. Then I got an unexpected phone call on the Friday evening from my mum saying she was going into hospital on the following Monday night for a knee replacement operation. She'd be in hospital for 4 days, coming home on the Friday, the day before we went on our holiday. I tried to work out a way to go and see her. Because of the timing of everything, it would have to be the Sunday (this Sunday coming) for the following reasons.

Mark will be away Thursday to Saturday. My 20 yr old son will be away Thursday to Monday at the Leeds festival. I had a Drs appointment this morning, and a hospital appointment tomorrow morning (Friday). 

I phoned Mum twice a day while she was in hospital, and then twice a day when she was home, despite us being on holiday. I sent a text when we got home late on Tuesday night to say we were home safe and had had a good time.

When I got up the next morning there was a text sent at 12.45am from Mum saying she was struggling and could I go over for a few days. I didn't notice I'd got the text until later and was out at the time so couldn't phone her, so I sent a text back, explaining the above, plus there would be no one to feed the cat and rabbit until Saturday night at least. I can't leave them for 3-4 days without them being fed, and my neighbour who would normally do it is also away. Mum didn't reply to my text. I had told her I would phone later that night, but let her know that I had an evening photoshoot and might not be back till late evening. When I got back, Isabelle had got upset over something and wouldn't calm down. It took me ages to settle her and by this time it was 10pm. I text mum to see if she was still awake, no reply. So I phoned this morning to receive a telling off. I'm 42 but felt like a 4 year old who'd been a naughty girl.

Despite me phoning twice a day for the past week and a bit, she told me I never phone her (past history - and had been discussed) unless I needed councelling. She told me next time I need to complain, phone a councellor and not her. She then complained that she'd asked for Isabelle and I to go on holiday with her for a few days, but didn't happen. I told her at the time that I couldn't drive the 3 or 4 hours necessary on my own. I have huge anxiety and panic attacks when I have to drive any distance and especially somewhere I don't know. I've also had a meltdown and had to go on anti-depressants to calm me down a bit so I can deal with sorting myself out. She dismissed all that.  She then told me that she'd not received a get well card from me. I told her it's in the car ready to be posted, but we've been on holiday.. she told me not to bother posting it, she didn't want it. And she told me not to come on Sunday because she doesn't want to see me and hung up the phone.

To her, I suppose they look like excuses, but they are all genuine reasons. I didn't mean to upset or hurt her. I've supported her in the best way I can, but it's not good enough. Apparently instead of just telling her I couldn't come over and giving reasons, I should have asked if there is anything I could do. I should have asked if I could call the Dr or something. Should I? It never crossed my mind to be honest. My sister-in-law visits in the morning, my brother in the evening and my aunt who lives two minutes from my mum around the corner drops in at various times and is on call if necessary. She also has paid home help twice a week. If she needed the Dr, surely she would have asked one of them to call or she could have called herself. She's only 63 and is no way senile. So I'm still trying to understand why I was expected to ask if there was anything I could do when I live a 3 hour drive away.

I must be missing the point somewhere. Was I expected to cancel our holiday and drop everything to go and stay with Mum? I thought there were enough people around her to care for her and help with anything she might need. It was all so last minute too. I didn't know about the op until the Friday night, she wouldn't be out of hospital until the following Friday - the day before our booked and paid for holiday. 

I'm very upset and hurt by what she said on the phone to me this morning. It's not true I only phone for councelling. I'm stuck in the middle when trying to plan visits. My mum and my hubby don't get on and hubby doesn't want to visit, he only goes because he knows I can't do the drive on the motorways. I also have fits and although I'm ok to drive because I've not had one in over a year, they come on for no reason. What if I'm on the motorway when I have one with just me and Isabelle in the car? Mum just thinks it's an excuse, but it's not, it's a real anxiety and sends me into such a state, I can't function. So visits to mum's are a bit limited, but a three hour each way drive makes for a long day with a couple of hours visit in the middle of the drive, or an over-night stay. Add the cost of the petrol and an extremely grumpy hubby doesn't make things easy.

The more I sit here thinking about it all, the angrier I'm getting at the things said to me. I've never been good enough.. should have done better, should have done more. Any success seems to have been met negativity, it wasn't good enough or my decisions questioned. Even aged 42 I'm still being told that my decisions are wrong, I should have done differently, or I should be doing things that I haven't thought of. I was sure that I'm a caring and considerate person, sometimes been called for being too considerate and thinking of others before myself and my own welfare and always putting myself last. So to be called for doing something to the best of my ability given the circumstances really hurts, especially when it comes from my own mother.

So I'm sitting here sad and feeling lonely, with only Isabelle for company until Saturday. Mark won't phone while he's on his hunter-gatherer holiday as he doesn't have a mobile phone, and he's highly unlikely to use a phone box. So I'll sit and fester away on the words that made me sad until I can put it out of my mind and get over it.

Where do I go from here with my mum? I'm too emotional to phone her to try and discuss things rationally, and she's not generally a rational person anyway. I can't email, it's too impersonal, so my only option is to write her a letter. But i feel that if I'm writing to her, I'll be justifying myself to her for my life and my actions and decisions. Am I wrong? I'm not sure what I need to apologise for except for not being there in person although circumstantially, it wasn't possible.

I don't know :(

Wednesday, August 11

You're grumpy!

Picture the scene in our house last night

6 o'clock, hubby is due home, although it can be anywhere between 5.30 and 6.30 so timing dinner is always difficult. Guaranteed if I cook it for 5.45 he'll be home at 6.30. If I plan to cook it for 6.30, guaranteed he'll be home at 5.30 and starving.

So last night I started cooking a grill up (same as a fry up but everything is grilled) at 6pm. 6.10pm hubby walks in, shouts hello and goes and sits at his computer. I find this really annoying and Isabelle goes nuts saying Daddy, Daddy, Daddy over and over again because hubby being the stereotypical male can't do more than one thing at once. He can't read and listen at the same time. He's been selling stuff on ebay and has spent hours and hours and hours sat at the computer every single night for 2 weeks! I shout dinner is ready. son, hubby and Isabelle sit to eat their dinner. I start to cook more bacon for myself as there wasn't enough room to cook bacon for everyone and fry my egg. Just as I dish mine up, hubby is finished and heads out to the garage to wrap up whatever needs posting from his ebay sales. I eat my dinner and then go and wash the dishes. I bath Isabelle and get her ready for bed. Hubby is still in the garage, so I take Isabelle to bed, read her story and settle her down. I come downstairs and tidy up, then sit on the sofa with a coffee. Hubby walks into the house, picks up his iPod and sits on the opposite sofa playing with said iPod and then says... "you're grumpy". I look blankly back at him. How the hell does he know what I am? We've not even spent two minutes in the same room since he got home from work. I say, I'm not grumpy, I'm fine. He says "what"? He can't play with iPod and listen at the same time. I repeat, I'm not grumpy, I'm fine. He says "sorry, what did you say". I say, yes I'm bloody grumpy I'm sick of being ignored and then told that I'm grumpy for no reason. Now I have a reason to be grumpy, deal with it. 

Monday, August 9


As a kid my dad used to take our family to Airshows as we lived fairly close to RAF Dinninton (I think), but the last one I can recall, I was about 7 years old. On Saturday I was told that there was going to be an airshow over a beach local to us, about 20 minutes drive away, and it was free!

Cue charging camera batteries. So off we went.

The first display was the Red Arrows! Wow! if you've never seen them live before, you really do need to. Their display and skill was stunning! Even my hard to impress hubby was impressed.

The wing walkers must be completely bonkers! Isabelle's favourite bit was the RAF parachute team. 10 guys all jumped out of the plane at the same time and chuted down in a tower like line. Great day, but very few photographs.. planes are a bit faster than motorbikes that I usually photograph lol

Here's a few from the day, and one of Isabelle doing her newly found most favourite thing.. bungee trampolining

Phew, what a relief!

Hubby has a week off at the end of the month and wanted to go away. Me, being bank manager and financial consultant had to make plans and save whatever money we will need, and put it away for 3 weeks so we don't spend it. There's never enough month left at the end of the money, so this had to be done as we don't have a financial backup. No credit card, no overdraft.. nothing. If we don't have the cash, we have to go without. We've always been this way and although it's a pain in the rear sometimes, especially if something goes wrong or needs fixing, it works for us.

So hubby set off about what he wanted to do for his holiday week. A week mountaineering and kyaking... erm, if that's what you want, you'll have to go alone! Various options were discussed and the outcome was that he wanted to go to Cornwall camping. Now hubby has no idea about logistics for this to happen. He thinks that we can just drive on down there and camp where we like without booking anywhere, and doesn't like to be tied to having to be in a certain place if he doesn't like it. So to camp in Cornwall at the busiest peak week of the summer without booking just isn't going to happen. 

So me in my over-anxious state at the moment was getting really and I mean REALLY worked up about it already. I'd have to pack everything for the three of us for a week, work money out etc etc, because hubby thinks that as soon as he's on holiday from work.. he's on holiday.. aka.. do bugger all. 

Due to my current physical state I was beginning to get really worried about how my muscles and joints would cope with camping in such a cold and damp environment. Lets face it, summer is crap again and it gets so cold at night, and this set my anxiety off to another level. And to be honest, I just couldn't stretch the money far enough. Once I'd worked out how much petrol money, camp site fees and food for the week, there was barely anything left for spending and doing things. Hubby is a very materialistic person and wouldn't spend a week chilling out at a campsite. He has to be doing things and going places all the time.. this all equals money.

The other problem I had is that our camera club is having an outdoor portrait shoot evening in a ruined abbey. I really really wanted to go to this but it's on the Wednesday night, smack bang in the middle of hubby's week off.

So I told hubby I had a proposal about the holiday. How about we spend Sunday, Monday and Tuesday on days out, sleeping over at a Travel Inn (or similar), I could go to the photoshoot on the Wednesday, then he could perhaps take his one man tent and motorbike and go do his mountaineering and camping. He mentioned us all camping, but I said, I don't think my body can cope with the cold and damp. So we discussed the days out (I'd already been on google) and suggested that we go to Blists Hill Victorian Village, where everyone is dressed in Victorian Costume. This is a place hubby mentioned visiting a while ago. Then we can go to Drayton Manor Park and visit Thomas Land (Isabelle will love that) and then the next day go to the Cadbury's Chocolate World. He agreed! Yay!! So finances are worked out, and it's doable, including giving hubby some bribe money for his solo excursion, which he has done before and enjoyed. 

I feel so relieved. We get some time as a family, we get to go away and sleep in a warm bed and hubby gets to do his thing, and Isabelle will be very entertained with her days out.

Happy people all round

Wednesday, August 4

Here we go again...

Good morning, do you have any appointments left for Dr Davis this morning? Yes? 10 past 11? yes that's fine thank you very much.

I've only been trying to get to see my Dr for 2 weeks! It's a stupid system. You have to phone on in the morning for an appointment but by the time they take the phone off the hook, the appointments have usually gone to the people who can get down to the surgery for 8.30 and queue to get an appointment. So, 11.10 it is then. 

I go into instant anxiety attack and panic mode. Oh no. Isabelle will be at the playscheme. I have to pick her up at 11.45. What if the Dr is running late. What if I don't get out in time to go and get her? I work myself up into a stupid frenzy over something that might not, and in fact, probably will not happen. Of course I'll be there in time. I keep telling myself this, but it doesn't stop the overriding anxiety and panic.

I drop Isabelle off at 10am and go home to wait for it to get to 11 o'clock, time for me to drive to the surgery. My head is convincing me I don't need to actually go and see the Dr now, especially as it's cutting it so fine (in my mind) for picking Isabelle up again. Call and cancel. You don't need to go. But I know I do. I've been here before several times. I've put it off for six months and I know I can't ignore it any longer. I have to deal with it and sort myself out. It's taking over my life and spoiling it.

I get to the surgery and the Dr is running about 10 minutes late. There's only 1 person in front of me, providing she's quick I should be ok. I'm sat there working myself up into a frenzy by this point. Trying to remember everything I need to say to the Dr and am overanxious about getting to pick Isabelle up in time. My heart is beating so fast I can hear it pounding in my head. I'm even sat there trembling. How stupid is this? Get a grip for heavens sake!!

My name is called. My lovely, smiley, friendly Dr says "what can I do for you today?" I can't cope anymore! and the floodgates open. Tears are now rolling down my face. Oh for heavens sake I tell him, I wasn't going to do this. We chat, I calm down, he's rational and makes sense, and I tell him I realise and understand how stupid what I'm saying must sound to him, I know it's stupid to feel this way and to react to things the way I do, I just can't help it no matter how I pysch myself to think differently. He tells me it's ok. It's understandable to feel the way I do, it's quite common. I'm not a freak. I tell him, I've even been shouting at my 5 year old, who is generally a good kid. I never shout at her, I'll tell her off, but never shout. That's how bad things have got. I've always been such a patient person, but my patience has run out. 

It's ok says my lovely, friendly Dr, I'll help fix you. I love my Dr for wanting to help me, and for actually listening to me. I know he's paid to do it, but some Drs listen more than others. He is one of them.

He tells me he's going to change my painkillers to something stronger. He looks back over my records to see what we've tried in the past. A very looooong list. We talked about Fibromyalgia. I normally try not to mention it.. daft I know, but he said it must be very hard to live with and asked when I was actually diagnosed with it. 13 years ago! Oh, he says. If it had been 2 or 3 years, there was a good chance it would go into remission.. but after 13 years, chances are it's not going anywhere. Hmmmm, no blood tests since 2007, lets have a batch of bloods done shall we? Yes Dr, ok.. we'll try that route again.

So out I go with a prescription for some kick ass painkillers, anti-depressants (I've been on them before and am not ashamed to say I need them again.. I've been on and off them over the past 25 years!) and a poly bag to take with me to visit dracula for a shed load of blood tests. 

And yes, I was out in plenty of time to go and get Isabelle. 

Is the anxiety and panic over for today? No. Do I tell my hubby when he gets home. He's not a sympathetic person or understanding at all. He can't understand anyone who has any mental health or depression problems. He's a 'what the hell have you got to be depressed or stressed about' person. Snap out of it, will be his reaction. Get a job. Find something to do to amuse yourself. Which doesn't help a bit. Get a job? and add to my already huge workload ( he goes to work and (in his opinion) therefore doesn't have to do any housework, financing, bills... etc etc.. that is all left to me), so great idea ... not.. to add extra to someone who is not coping very well to start with. The fact that I can't talk to him about it doesn't help. How do I get him to understand what's going on inside me when I can't explain it to myself. He doesn't even understand (or try to for that matter) fibromyalgia.  I might as well go and talk to the wall. I'd get the same amount of understanding. 

So, I'll go and collect my new medication ready to start it tonight, and move forward.

oh, and on a side note.. the sun is actually shining at the moment. This is the first time I've seen the sun out over our side of the country in about 3 weeks!! So it's not all doom and gloom.

Sunday, August 1


Imagine, just for one minute...
  • waking up in the morning and feeling like you've not slept for a week.
  • having to sit on the edge of the bed for at least 5 minutes for the blood to start circulating before you can go to the bathroom.
  • trying to move your arms and shoulders with a 5lb weight strapped to each arm just to be able to make your morning coffee.
  • having to lean on every available wall/piece of furniture to be able to move around.
  • taking 10 minutes to be able to get back up to standing from a sitting position.
  • having to tell your young child, no I don't think we can go to the park/swimming/on a bike ride because you just don't have the energy.
  • hobbling around like a 90 year old woman because your hips and legs just don't want to work.
  • moving around at a snail pace because that's as fast as you can go
  • taking 40 minutes to write a small blog post like this because you just can't hold your arms out in a position to type for more than two minutes at a time.
  • the mental fustration, hurt, disappointment, loss of pride and overall bloody total annoyance that your mind is willing but your body just won't co-operate

I've been like this for 2 weeks now, and today is the worst day so far. I need a break from this fibromyalgia flare. All my positive thoughs have gone today. I'm so tired of it, my positivity has vanished. As much as I try to carry on as normal, today it has got the better of me and I've had to admit defeat to my hubby. He wanted to go to the Sunday market. Normally I would have gone along and trudged round slowly. Today, I said I don't think I can manage walking around the market. It hurts me to admit it's got the better of me, but today I have no choice. Hubby went to the market alone :(

Saturday, July 31

with fangs and boots on...

Anyone that knows me personally will know that I have a completely irrational and ridiculous fear of butterflies. Yes I know that if I were going to have a phobia it should be of something that can actually hurt or maim me.. but no.. my phobia is of things that fly randomly towards me. Birds... butterflies and in particular moths! I will run screaming like a girl (I know I am a girl) in the opposite direction as quickly as possible to get away from said furry flappy thing. It has been an in joke that I have said that moths and butterflies are so scary because they have fangs and wear big boots. A very sorry and pitiful attempt to explain when I'm afraid of them.  My excuse of 'they bite with their feet' (which is true.. butterflies do taste with their feet) is deemed hogwash.. butterflies don't have fangs in their feet.

But check out how brave I was today. Look how close I got to our resident bitey, killer Red Admiral. This was taken before it landed on my head and made me run to the safety of our house! Click to view large and take a look at the killer menace instilled in it's eyes!

Wednesday, July 28

White lillies...

I've always loved white lillies. Death flowers, declared my mum. They stink and make me think of funerals.

I think they're beautiful. So simple and delicate yet so intreaguing to look at. My hubby bought me  a white lily plant and potted it in a beautiful stone pot to go in our garden. He bought it for my birthday about 6 years ago. The three stems with a few flowers on has now blossomed into a gorgeous plant with about 20 stems and too many flowers to count.  It always blooms about a week after my birthday. The anticipation of how close to my birthday the first flower will burst open is silly really, yet I check daily from the 17th of July onwards.

White lillies also make me think of my dad. He loved them too. I placed a single white lily on his coffin, no big fussy wreath or gaudy tribute in flowers, a simple white lily was enough from me to him.

I took this photograph todayl Lillies are difficult to photograph. they have such big flower heads and frilly petals and then you've got the stamens and anthers in the middle. So I went in close. I don't think I've done this beautiful flower the justice it deserves.

You can click the image for a full size shot.

The Gallery - Nature

The theme for this week's Gallery from Tara at Sticky Fingers is Nature

Nature is everywhere.

Stop for a while and smell the roses.

Take a closer look

And then get a little bit closer

See what you miss when you walk around the garden without looking and seeing. All these photographs were taken in my back garden, nature is never very far away, but if you don't stop for a moment to look, to actually stop and see, you won't even know it exists.

One of the most beautiful sights is from mother nature herself. During the winter, this is the early morning view over my back garden fence. 

So open your eyes and take a look, spend time to actually see what's around you no matter how big or small. it's all there free of charge waiting to be explored and etched in your memory for ever.