Tuesday, 11 December 2012

The Supper Club

A tweet tonight brought back vivid memories of a really memorable night out. It was my friends 40th and we had decided to go to Amsterdam. I had never been before and was a little apprehensive. There was my friend and her boyfriend, my hubby and I, another couple joining us from Kuwait. It was February so as we flew in to Schiphol airport it was cold but quite spring like. The train from the airport very organised, before we knew it we were in Dam Square which was where our hotel was.

I've said before I'm a bit of a nerd I read everything! Prior to going I had read that if your birthday was that week with proof you could go in to the Van Gogh museum for free. In the hotel I also read about a place called the Supper Club. The description of this place I just knew my mate would love it so I sent her bloke and my hubby out to book a table. My friend and I were off to the Magna Plaza shopping centre. Here I spotted an amazing necklace and bracelet set I just knew she would love. I bought the bracelet and gave boyfriend the heads up on the necklace. I also remember the amazing baby shop called Bam Bam which is what T called her dummy, I just had to get a Bam Bam dummy.

The food was great and breakfast omelette's were just the biz, I can't remember the name of the restaurant. The whole experience was filled with fun and laughter. The Red Light area obviously we had to do.

The highlight for me was The Supper Club, we went to a little side door, escorted in to a seedy looking bar area, the toilets were unisex with portholes, omg what had we signed up for. We were then escorted to our table only it wasn't. Picture a white room with long bunk beds the length of the room, a bottom bunk and a top bunk. We had cushions and laid down, there was no menu, we ate what was provided. It was a five course meal and in between there was a floor show of varying entertainers. It was amazing, the people watching a joy, some smoking joints, gay, straight the whole gamut of humankind and I was like a meerkat loving every minute.

Of nights out and experiences this was up there as a special. If you are ever in Amsterdam it is a must. We got in to the museum for free. And the experience of seeing a lady in the hotel sauna scarred me for life. It was very clear I was English being the only one sat in a cosi. This lady had some "welcome mat" going on Attenborough could have done a whole programme down there.

Thank's for bringing back the memory fellow twitterer @MummyBarrow. Here is her memory of the Supper Club.

Sha X

Friday, 30 November 2012

You Get Less for Murder Mate

Yesterday was our anniversary,we have been married twenty six years. We met in a pub, The Cricketers in 1983 so have been together twenty nine years. That's a long bloody time! I think I have said before both of us would never have thought it.

One of the benefits of working full-time unexpectedly was a full-time wage and yesterday was pay day. We were supposed to be having our works do last night, it has been moved to the 7th for some reason. I decided I would take my hubby out for a meal, my treat for our anniversary. Booked my niece to babysit and  being a bit selfish the options to eat out were, the steak house or Thai. I knew hubby would want Thai but I am having a girly night out tomorrow at the Thai restaurant so persuaded him to opt for the other choice.

Niece arrived at 7.00 we were booked in for 7.30. I also persuaded hubby to get the bus, he doesn't do buses, my reasoning it stopped directly opposite the restaurant and we could get a taxi back. The food was extremely good. My hubby's starter of scallops were cooked to perfection, simple food extremely well presented and cooked. The nicest thing was it was a time to connect, actually engage in conversation, most of our conversations of late are instructions on what the girls are doing or where they need collecting from. Lovely food, nice wine and a proper conversation about what was going on with us was very refreshing and long overdue.

After dinner we headed for a nightcap at the hotel where we went after we got married. It all looks a little shabby now, probably a like little us. What intrigued me was everyone in the bar were glued to their mobiles. Three young lads opposite us, one was on his mobile, the other was playing a game on his, the other was texting, none of them were talking to one another. A couple both engrossed in their mobiles, not a word exchanged.

The boys had bought a jug of something green, I was curious. On leaving I asked what the drink was and why they were out together when not one of them had spoken to the other. They offered me a drink of the green stuff, the lad that had been talking on his mobile had a speech impediment and blinky eyes, he said it was his 21st and they had no idea what they had ordered it was a jelly bean drink with what tasted to me like malibu. It wasn't too bad. They asked why we were out, echoing in my ear directed at my hubby on our way out was "You get less for murder mate".

Hubby said when we came out the lad with the blinky eyes had said "She's fit" Game boy said she's old, blinky said "Yes but she's fit". Bless.

Sha X

Thursday, 23 August 2012

P J Day

From last Thursday it's all been a bit busy. My son and his girlfriend arrived late afternoon. My son had just got back after a two week holiday from the States that morning. The industry they both work in they have a two week shut down at this time of the year. Indian ordered we could eat and have a catch up. My sister called would I take her up to mum's. Mum had rang her as she wasn't feeling very well after having five teeth out that day, which would knock the stuffing out of anyone. Unusually my sister had gone out for an early evening drink with her hubby so couldn't drive. Mum wasn't too bad but my sister decided to stay with her. Getting home a couple of hours later on seeing the airbed up in the lounge I decided we really need to replace the sofa bed the dog annihilated, the air bed looks so uncomfortable.

As I was going to the airport Friday morning to collect my sister in laws relatives who were coming over from Barcelona, I was very grateful that K had agreed to look after the girls and bake buns with them for her sister who's having a family get together before she goes off to Oz for three years. On greeting relatives in Spanish at the airport they continued gabbling on "whoa" I said, I had just used up the whole sum of my Spanish right there. Thankfully the rest of the conversation over a coffee was translated by J. In the afternoon J and K took the girls swimming which freed me up to get washing, ironing and packing done ready for the road trip to Somerset.

The girls and I set off around lunchtime, my car's petrol tank full to the brim, an unusual state of affairs. A made me laugh ten minutes in to the journey saying "It's really sunny here" we had another four and a half hours to go! The journey went as they do with two kids," I need a wee" "Are we nearly there yet" and lots of squabbling. How more mothers don't crash whilst driving I will never know. One pit stop along the way we arrived around tea-time. Considering it was three women with three kids we managed to successfully barbecue, not a man in sight. A lovely weekend was had, in no time at all it was time to pack up the car for the road trip home. After a five hour drive I decided to cancel my client that evening, counselling needs you to be focused on the client, they wouldn't have got me at my best.

Early the next morning I received a text from my friend, her daughter is over from Australia, there was this evening available to see her. This may sound a little regimented  but I totally understand as when she is back for a few weeks they have so many people to get to see it has to be done almost on an appointment system. My dilemma was I had planned weeks ago for another friend and her daughter to come up from the Midlands today, take the kids to Forbidden Corner stay the night going back the day after. Really not wanting to miss the opportunity of seeing S and her new baby whilst over from Oz I was grateful my stay over friend was happy to go off and catch up for a couple of hours with another mutual friend. Forbidden Corner is all outdoors and quite physical all the climbing and stairs, the weather was not on our side, it was pissing down. We had a break in the weather for a good few hours, the kids had so much fun, they loved it. The heavens opened as we were about to leave. I decided to go get the car, no point in us all getting piss wet through. I drove home in a towel. Home and mad dash to get changed. I managed to get a few hours with S and a bottle of wine and catch up with stay over friend.

My guests left mid afternoon. Hubby walked through the door after work and I walked out as I had my client to see. Today is most definitely going to be a P J day. I'm not sure which is more depleted me or my bank account. One thing that is full to the brim though is my gratefulness for family, friends, laughter and love.

Sha X

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Meeting Miss Soho

We happened upon one another about a year and half ago, well actually he came in from left side somewhere. I wrote about how we connected here. he just seemed to bound in to my timeline, a mini explosion of humour and acerbic wit. I do remember thinking who the bloody hell is this!

Over time we chatted frequently on twitter, it became obvious to me he often frequented Soho quite a bit (hence the nickname) living in London and all that. His tweets about his nights out, his next day walks of shame always had me in giggles. The B&S group had arranged to meet up last summer but it didn't come off, all being in different parts of the country. A late night phone call from Miss Soho #teamsulphates had played there part. This "in" joke was from me tweeting I had bought a bottle of organic wine causing Miss Soho to spit his out laughing, his theory is wine has to have sulphates to be worth drinking oh and it must be white, "think of the teeth darling". His voice was like chocolate, he was Scottish, I never knew! That phone call had me on the floor in hysterical laughter, hubby asking the next morning who the hell was I talking to that made me laugh so much.

So a few months ago we arranged to meet up in Leeds, hoping that J and S might be able to make it too. I decided to get the train in. T (his real initial) had booked himself in to the Hilton near the station. In this hotel is a bar on the 13th floor named the Sky Bar, all cool and trendy with the most amazing views of the city, except it was raining and dull. I spotted a guy on his own with a glass of red and a glass of white, it was T. We hugged excited to finally meet. Unfortunately the others hadn't made it so it was just T and I. After a couple of drinks we headed out for dinner, both being easy as to where we ate. T will claim being easier. Finding some pub we ordered a bottle of white a bottle of red and food. The weather may have been dull the conversation certainly wasn't. After dinner I thought we would wander to a pub I have been in a few times that I hoped T would like The Viaduct. Quite buzzing for a Tuesday night, our drinks then were G&T for T, vodka for me.

It was lovely to meet up in "real life", twitter doesn't quite flesh a person out, you get an insight as to things you may have in common. I was presented with a warm, very funny, intelligent conversationalist and I must mention, refreshingly, the most impeccable manners that some seem to have forgotten these days. Like Cinderella I was placed in to a taxi after midnight, promising to text that I was home safe and sound.

I had a lovely evening and hope to meet up again. Everyone should have a Miss Soho in their life.

Sha X

Monday, 30 July 2012

Day Out En Famille

Arriving at the coast yesterday and surveying the sight before me my conclusion is we Brits are just a little bit barking. Hubby had decided to take the girls to the seaside and as my cousin is having a week away in Bridlington with her family we arranged to meet up. Hubby had also decided to bring the dog with us as we haven't taken her to the beach before.

Trying to find somewhere to park was proving difficult, the girls and dog impatient to get of the car so we were dropped off whilst he found a space. I called my cousin and we met on the beach. It had rained all the way there, thankfully a break in the clouds we set our stalls out. It does make me laugh how people sit on the beach in all weathers, windbreakers, kids in cossies, then out come the umbrellas and kagools. Personally I like to go to the beach either in the winter dressed accordingly or somewhere in a hot climate, this carting clothing for every kind of weather in the space of an hour is not for me it has to be one or the other.

On this particular beach there are designated areas for dogs to go which I totally agree with however T being T went on to the wrong part with the dog who promptly did a dump, I was mortified plus the prospect of a thousand pound fine didn't appeal. We meandered to the dog area passing these gorgeous little beach huts which housed lots of smug families, I did wonder who you would have to give a BJ to secure one. It seemed hubby had parked in the next seaside resort as he arrived over an hour later with the bag. On checking the bag T's cossie was missing, he had left in the car so decided to go back to get it taking T and the dog which was just as well, the excitement of being at the beach for the first time meant she had dragged me across the sand yanked away from me and was running amok in the sea, a lady commenting "She's a bit excitable isn't she".

Two hours later hubby showed up and I asked if he had eaten or had a cup of tea, no not at all was his reply.  T happened to mention the fish Grandad had wasn't very good and she had given half of her hotdog to the dog. A domestic ensued right there on the beach. By this time it was about time to wrap up to go home, we trudged god knows how far back to the car, stopping for a cup of tea and an ice cream en route. Then a seagull shit on T.

And that was our family day out.

Sha X

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Admiration & Awe

Today is a special day for two mum's of the most special children, days that although their hearts must be breaking make my heart fill with pride seeing the courage, strength and sheer force of their love driving them on to get through another day without their beloved son's.

Today is Jack Marshalls 7th birthday, the first birthday his family are celebrating, yes celebrating, with out him, letting off balloons, some red ones of course. To see those wonderful eyes and beautiful smile you couldn't not be Jacked  and consequently there is a whole bunch of people that were and have become part of #JacksArmy, people who want help to continue to raise awareness for Jacks Fund.

In London today Harry Moseley's mum carried the Olympic Torch in memory of Harry, continuing his work for HHHO. For both mums today must be so difficult. The dignity shown by the parents and siblings of both these boys is as inspiring as they both were in their short lives. These families seem in some way Herculean to me the lengths they go to to continue striving so others families should never have to experience the pain they have. And yet they are not, they are so very human, warm, caring, devoted, loving and funny with a dynamism that shines.

Seeing today how these boys families have marked each occasion has me in awe, my admiration immense.

Both boys were as I said very special they could not have been anything but as so are their families.

"In order to create there must be a dynamic force, and what force is more potent than love?" Ivor Stravins

Sha X

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Pink Jobs & Blue Jobs

This weekend hubby has booked a long weekend which I am pleased about as he normally only has Saturday off, just a day to cram in those jobs to be done, the blue jobs as I call them. In our house we have definite pink and blue jobs at times they can be purple such as cooking which can be done by either of us.

On the whole most of the jobs in our house are pink. Hubby when he thinks he's being helpful will say "I have done the washing for you" mmm thanks for that but why I was stupid enough to separate the clothes in to three different piles, you know whites, darks and coloureds as clearly there is no need, you just bung them all in together. Recycling is a pink job, putting the bins out a blue one.

The make overs of the bedrooms, wall filling, sanding and painting is a blue job, the picking carpet organising for it to be fitted a pink one. After waiting nearly a year for kitchen to be finished I am quite impressed at the speed of him getting stuck in and so far completing T's room, just the finishing touches to be done, a pink job. He is really on a mission and is now on with A's. We ordered her new Stompa bed on Thursday and hubby is way more excited about it than A is. They went off earlier to pick the paint for her room as this is A who loves all things girlie she has chosen pink. Me and hubby currently in the middle of having a "domestic" as I have a habit of moving things which drive my husband and son mad. See the thing is I forget where I have moved them these unaesthetic looking things that are apparently crucial for the job in hand.

In other news A at the moment is really making me laugh. I remember as a child always wanting to break my right arm, imagining loads of signatures on my pot, so I kind of get where she is coming from. Two kids at school have had a break, one an arm another a ankle, also the little girl next door is on crutches. This must have appealed to A in some way as after hurting her ankle in the week she has borrowed Wan Wan's walking sticks, put twelve socks on one foot and insists where ever we go she needs the sticks. Looking out in the street it's like a Dickensian scene from Scrooge.

I'm off to do a purple job, the food shop, hubby prefers to do this as he moans I spend too much and we then have the "what's for tea"? conversation, but that is a whole other post. I will leave him to his blue jobs and searching for whatever it is I have moved.

Tiny Tim can come with me.

Sha X

Friday, 29 June 2012

Rear Window

Now I'm not wheel chair bound and nor do I believe I have witnessed any murders, I am though as I have said in other posts a compulsive people watcher nosey bastard, so obviously I like to keep an eye on my neighbours (I'm good like that).

We live in not quite a cul de sac but if you slow down near my house you are going to one of the houses nearby. It is a quiet street and I am often like a Meerkat looking out of the front window. We have four gardens backing on to my garden and three houses facing me, to the right is a huge field that is used for dog walking and a cut through to the main road.

The neighbour that backs on to my back garden is a young mum of two, we borrow sugar and cigs and stuff, on occasion she will mind my kids or I will mind hers for an hour. Her car is parked outside her garage at the  side of mine, we mainly meet on a morning packing the kids in for the school run. On occasions I will receive a text, can I go round to hers, I will often ask is this a bottle of wine job, which it usually is as I am the old sage who she will cry to when she has fell out with her boyfriend, thankfully for her this is less frequent at the moment. She's a nice kid, I say that because she is the same age as my daughter.

The couple that moved in to the house to side of my garden I call the "Garden people" even a chink of sun and they are out there. A young couple with no kids they like to socialise in there garden, a lot. They never speak to me, the young man obsessive about everything being neat and tidy. I am a little concerned about them at the moment I haven't seen any washing out for weeks, the grass is well over due a cut, very unusual. Hubby has seen his car come and go so they aren't on holiday.

Next to them is another young couple with three young boys. There is always loads of washing on the line and lots of kids paraphernalia in the garden and rabbits. I often exchange conversations with the little one through the fence and equally as often return footballs. The mum amazes me as I never hear her shouting at the kids...ever. Her bloke is great for rounding my dog up when she has decided to do a Steve McQueen.

The lady next door to that I don't see that much at all. She was married with two young boys, the marriage has ended and the young boys are now young men. At times she will hand me 40% discount vouchers for Peacocks which are welcome. I once overheard her boyfriend asking who she was talking to she said, her at the bottom of the garden, I felt like a gnome.

Opposite they have just had new brown fascia and soffets done, I'm not sure. The other house opposite is a divorced dad who has his kids alternate weekends. One of the boys who is A's age calls for her when he's here.

My greatest joy to watch though is the lady directly opposite me. She has lived there alone for nearly ten years, she is very attractive and a lovely person. I noticed a car parked on her drive a few months ago, it was in my mind a man's car, it was a butch car. My Meerkat skills on high alert, eventually I got to see HIM. I am so chuffed for her. I have often looked over and envied her solitude, her independence, her peace, her ability to come and go as she pleases but I am really pleased she has someone in her life, she is too nice to live a solitary one.

Now and then I am very neighbourly, the chap around the corner, his wife has alzheimer's and occasionally she escapes, my Meerkat goes in to over drive to alert him so she comes to no harm.

Do tell me I'm not alone in my neighbourliness.

Sha X

Sunday, 18 March 2012

You-The Stealer

From the first encounter with you, you steal

You steal a soul
You steal sons and daughters
You steal mothers and fathers from their children
You steal relationships on all levels

You don't discriminate, oh no, not you
You don't care which class or gender, colour or creed
You take what doesn't belong to you
You destroy everyone who comes in to contact with you

You take away hopes and dreams
You take away self worth
You take away pride
You take away morals

You are the devil incarnate
You walk among us insidiously everyday
You are pure evil
You create evil actions

You steal memories
You steal rites of passage
You steal normal
You stole from me

God damn you Heroin

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