Monday, 16 September 2013

Three More Sleeps

I know, I know, it has been a while since I last posted. Life has been a bit busy which doesn't usually stop me writing but stuff has been in my head to write and somehow I got distracted from getting it down, so a little bit of a round robin.

Three more sleeps until our holiday to Portugal, I can't wait, this bloody weather has turned very autumnal, it seems no Indian summer for us this year. We lucked out with our summer I guess so the transition seems to be felt more sharply. I am missing my plum tree which at this time of year is abundant with fruit, it got way too big and had to be lobbed about a month ago.

Since we went to Forbidden Corner we had a trip to the seaside, this six week holiday has seemed to fly by so quickly and before I knew it we were doing the uniform shop, last minute as usual for me. My friend and I went on an impromtu trip to Liverpool to see John Edward, he is a medium from New York and I used to watch a programme he did called Crossing Over, it was so comical him trying to decipher the Scouse accent. My lad came up for his dad's birthday and took us to Jamie's Italian, we all really enjoyed it and the toilets were amusing as the manufacturer's name was Crapper!

At time's you get invited to things and my immediate reaction is of course I will come, then the nights start to draw in, X Factor is back on the telly and my pjs seem so much more appealing. Invited to a cousins 50th birthday/25th wedding anniversary I didn't want to go come the day but I have decided to put myself out more, hell life's too short and my job brings that home to me, which was also a great source of amusement with family I haven't seen for about ten years, they thought I had come to measure them up. Ditto a friends hen do, I decided to get the train and meet everyone in Doncaster, her daughter texted me to say ohhh noo you have to come with us we have organised a hummer to take us, well I needed to instagram the shit out of that so agreed to the original plan. See the thing is when you put yourself out on occasions you get to experience things you never thought you would. I for one never thought I would be dancing to Blurred Lines outside a hummer on a dual carriage way while we stopped for a cig break.

Back to school and we quickly fall back in to the routine, the paper darts start coming and first week in we are informed of a WOW day, they have to dress up as a Jesuit nun or some other obscure shit that they don't sell in Asda, actually it was Super Hero's, do you know how little is out there in the super hero department for girls, more or less jack. I cobbled together an outfit from visiting Argos, Aldi, B&M with a bit of sewing thrown in at 8.00pm the night before.

Anyway three more sleeps until our holiday, I have stuff to do, last minute of course, and new things to experience.

Sha X

Sunday, 11 August 2013

My Flirtations

By nature I am quite a flirty kind of person, that is not to be mistaken for flighty. I am after all a Capricorn and we on the whole don't "do" flighty, we are kind of solid folk. Flirting in a good way makes everyone happy, it oils wheels.

Over the last few years I have had a few dalliances, no not what you are thinking. My dalliances are with social networking. Facebook I joined eons ago or as I now call it Facheache. It is a bit like an old boyfriend that you were quite in to at one point but grew bored with. Your conversations became about what you are having for your tea, how you were feeling, sharing music, pouty posey pictures, snapshots of your life together, the occasional inspirational bit of input that eventually even that became tedious. We have never really fallen out, I just dip in now and again see what's going on, check all is ok in their world more as a voyeur, no longer much of a participator.

My next dalliance I fell for, hard. It started with me being aware of it. I skirted around it, sussing it out, weighing it up, not too sure at first, then bam it had me at "followers". Twitter became my all consuming passion. It was fresh and new, to me anyway. It excited, made me laugh, opened up new horizons, took me across continents, was attentive and listened. It fed me on many levels. A good fit for me. We are quite a few years down the line and like all relationships it isn't as all consuming as in the heady early days but we still rub along well and I think we will for many a year to come.

Another dalliance is still ongoing, again I think this one is a keeper, it is just a very selfish affair. It's all about me. One of those relationships that allow you to navel gaze to your hearts content. It is very undemanding. You give to it as and when you can, equally you are grateful for what it gives you in return, as and when it does. At times I think the rewards I get far outweigh the amount of time I spend on it. The one thing it does get that few others ever do is my heart and soul and I think that is was most appreciated by those who read my blog.

Someone new pops up and being aware of it and being curious a nosy bastard I check it out. This one is not for me I have no connection at all, so Pinterest quickly goes by the wayside. My new, again it takes me a while, I have to weigh it up for some time first and secondly get my son or future daughter in law to show me how to go about it. My latest flirtation is with Instagram, it is very early days yet. Having recently got very much in to taking photo's I feel we will be quite a good match, we shall see.

So there you have it, my flirtations.

I blame my son.

Sha X

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

The Fair & Being A Mother

Having always loved a fair from being little, the lights, the noise and the smell of candy floss permeating the air. As a teenager being able to go to the fair or as we called it in Leeds the Feast, Woodhouse was the main one we went to, with my mates felt so grown up. I have said before I was a bit of a daredevil so the scariest of rides I would be the first in line. Hearing your favourite chart songs thudded out all added to the buzz. To this day I can't hear Step Right Up (Sideshow) by Barry Biggs without it transporting me to being on a waltzer circa 1976, screaming so the feast lads would spin us faster. We would eye up the feast lads, they usually were, what in today's terms, were quite "ripped" tanned, covered in tattoos and a sleeper glinting in one ear, they seemed dangerous, mysterious and worldly, which they probably were. And we all had the sense not to go near them with a barge pole, despite their efforts. To be honest looking back they targeted the girls that looked equally worldly, not pre pubescent giggly girls that would take way too much time to get a result, they had to strike quickly only being in town for a short space of time.

My love affair with a fair started to diminish when I had kids, the dangers all too apparent and more so the potential for danger. Wrapping every limb around the kids on a ride, glaring at a feast lad if he so much as attempted to spin us, this eventually became imploring looks to please stop the ride, they never do take any notice. Wondering if we are going to get food poisoning from the stall food, taking them while it was still light, this time of day doesn't attract the youths. I took my nieces to Hull fair in their early teens, walking a pace behind them it was very clear how many leering looks the attracted. The fair stopped being fun.

Obviously the excitement in the girls when they see all the posters for the fair coming to town, I can't not take them. They have been nattering me all week so we went on Saturday. T is just like I was, the bigger the scary she wants to be on it. Thankfully my sis in law came too, I just can't go on them anymore, she was happy to. A is just bordering on to moving from the kiddy rides to something a little more adventurous, as I have said before with a bit of health and safety thrown in. The one thing I am more than happy to go on is the bumpers/dodgems which ever you prefer to call them, for me they are called dodgems as I am hell bent on no bastard bumping in to me.

My sister in law said after going on sorts of rides with T "do you know the fair is just not the same", I told her it's called being a mother.

Sha X

Monday, 29 July 2013

Relax, Breathe & Reconnect

All packed, I just needed to nip to the supermarket to get provisions for breakfast the next morning and collect my sister in law who is going to look after the girls at home whilst we are away. Having decided on the point of least resistance it was better to let hubby watch the race and then set off for our secret trip, we were in no rush, I had booked us in for a meal at the local pub for 8 o clock.

We argued before we got in the car. Driving up the A1 the weather reflected my mood, dark,gloomy and grey. The intermittent showers like my silent tears, my mind trying to process the news I had been told last night. Having shared this news with my hubby this morning, he asked how I felt about it, his question was left unanswered, I can't go there in my head just yet and will deal with it as I should when the time comes. Hardly two words were said on the three hour drive, we had no connection at all. I knew there would be, it would be ok.

Arriving literally in the middle of nowhere, the vibes off my hubby weren't good. We had arrived at a little cottage in the Lake District, the living area upstairs with a balcony, log fire if the weather did as promised, the four poster bed downstairs. A babbling brook and woods surrounded us, the use of a hot-tub in a peaceful location. His reaction left me feeling deflated.

He said he felt like Jason Bourne being taken off the grid. After doing a bit of a reccy of the area we weren't actually a million miles from civilisation, he checked his location on his phone to get his bearings. I thought I was just doing something nice booking us a few days away, just us, the control bit of him as in just being male, felt out of sorts. As a big control freak myself, much more than he is, I got that.

We went out for dinner, chatted to others having a break and the locals. The layers of all our daily responsibilities began to peel away, getting used to being a couple again without the usual distractions of the girls. In bed we laughed so hard and loud I was worried we would disturb the people next door. We talked and laughed long in to the night. It was ok as I knew it would be, we just needed the time to reconnect as a couple.

A bit of a lie in, hubby cooked a full English and off we went to explore. Every turn and bend presenting majestic breathtaking views, I love it here in the Lakes, it makes you feel so insignificant yet so glad to be on this planet all at the same time, in complete wonderment that somewhere could be so breathtakingly beautiful. It is good for the heart and the soul to be surrounded by it all, it soothes you.

Time to relax, breathe and reconnect on all levels.

Sha X

Sunday, 14 July 2013

The 6 P's

Like coming up to Christmas, the end of the summer term heralds a zillion events at school. It all hots up, pardon the pun, we are experiencing glorious weather at the moment, in the old days we called it "summer". Everything that can be is crammed in to the last two weeks of term, making me a bit dizzy. We have trips, sports days, dress up days, dress down days. The letters home from school like paper darts. Oh and the don't forget the sun cream, hat and water bottle reminders.

Friday evening was the school summer BBQ. We held a brief meeting in the millennium garden, or as A calls it, the limenium garden. We needed to dot i's and cross t's. I for one cannot wait to relinquish the role of Chair of the PTA, this would be my last event. I have found it to be a challenge like plaiting fog. I went to school straight after work to help set up ready for serving hot dogs, burgers and kebabs. The accompanying stuff like salad, coleslaw and drinks is provided by the parents. I had mine prepared in the fridge instructing hubby to bring it with him, he forgot it. As it was a lovely evening weather wise, we were rushed off our feet meeting the demand. My hair flicks up all over when I get sweaty, making me look like a deranged menopausal woman.

We get involved in community work as a company and Saturday was my turn to help out at a church in York for a couple of hours. It was like a bloody oven in the church I thought it would be all cool in there. Donning a pinny, regulations, I set to with the washing up, drying and clearing tables plus a stint on the cake stall. I was the youngest helper there and were very grateful, however I did observe knowing smiles from the older ladies who have really got over working at the pace women of my age feel like we have to go at, they would nip off for a wander around the market while afterward I nipped into M&S for something for tea. They are wise old birds, they have done all that and the huge clue is in the word "volunteering". I rushed back home, top lip sweating and flicked up hair.

Today our company were competing in the Dragon Boat Race and as I didn't put myself forward to be part of the team I thought it would be nice to take the kids for an afternoon by the river to support our team. The main thing that struck me, as it does every time I go to an outdoorsy event, is I am so crap at it. I tip up just about remembering the sun cream and money. All around me have chairs and blankets, wet wipes, food and drink in cooler boxes, mini bbq's and every weather eventuality covered. These people when asked has anyone got a candle that repels mosquito's you can bet your bottom dollar they will have one. I'm busy wandering off to find a shop so the kids don't die of dehydration or starvation, paying through the nose for the privilege.

Watching a group of kids whose mother had just handed them oat cakes, the kind of kids who have hair that means they are expressing themselves, they were inching down to the river bank without being reprimanded T started to follow suit, I told her no, there was an electric speaker on the bank that she could get caught up in fall in the river get electrocuted and then drown, I know a bit Final Destination but that is how my mind works. T looked at me with a half smile and a roll of her eyes in a my nana is barking way.

An old boss used to have a saying "Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance". I may fall short  on the planning for outdoorsy stuff but I am a sorter and your kids will be safe on my watch.

Oh and today I wore a hat.

Sha X

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

A Shift & A Slide with a bit of Merengue

We have had a few changes in the household since bank holiday. Hubby started back at work thank the lord, I really thought he was ready for topping himself, he works so he is if you get my drift. Anyways that made me have to have a whole rethink on my working day. Since January I have mostly worked full time, this doesn't work financially or emotionally if hubby isn't at home. I said to my boss I would work each day providing I start at 10am, he is happy with that and it works for me. 

Given the fact he is back at work we have looked at holidays for this year, after much brow beating  soft soap we have booked a holiday to one of my favourite places ever, I love it here, we are going to Portugal in September *does a happy dance* .

On Saturday my sis in law and I went to a Peruvian ladies house for a party, long and quirky story how we met, but it felt it was meant to be. As the majority were Spanish speaking I drank my coffee happy that my sis in law was having a good time, the music was good, the food was excellent and they love to dance. In walked this specimen that looked like he had been sculpted, styled within an inch of his life, he was from the Dominican Republic, I never knew their native tongue was Spanish, anyhow his job at home was a dancer, and boy could this kid dance. We had a dance together and my face was a bit like the girl in the advert where Bruce Willis wants more broadband.

Happily the shift in this house is very positive, we slide in to another chapter and forever we shall merengue.

Sha x

Saturday, 23 March 2013

The Hotel

On the whole most hotel stays involve the likes of a Travelodge kind of hotel, eating at the designated  eatery adjoining, an average ok room and an average ok breakfast. It's somewhere relatively inexpensive to get your head down. So I think it's all the more appreciated when you do get to stay in a "proper" hotel.

Coming up the extensive drive, set in beautiful grounds we then saw this Galgorm Hotel. It is gem of a place just twenty minutes drive from Belfast International Airport. The hotel has log fires in the reception area's with big comfy sofa's and chairs. Before checking in to our room we sampled a good old Irish breakfast in one of the three places to eat. L had never had soda bread or potatoe bread an Irish staple for breakfast. From my other visits to Ireland I always remember how they like to feed you, every conceivable breakfast was there to be had. People never cease to amuse me how they try to have everything on offer the term breakfast like a king seems to be taken literally.

Going out on to the decked terrace the view of the river Maine was breathtaking. Eventually going up to our room it was quite sumptuous and we weren't at the high end of rooms. The bed was turned down every night with a chocolate placed on the pillow, robes and slippers provided. This hotel has three restaurants Gilles bar and grill, an Italian and a need a mortgage to eat there!  The staff couldn't do enough for you.

Sampling the Spa with pool, sauna, steam rooms, lots of different treatments and a surreal experience of being in an outdoor hotub whilst it was snowing overlooking the river. The Irish are a a nosy chatty lot, lots of conversations were struck up, what did strike us was what a bloody good deal we had got at this expensive place.

I decided to go for a walk and do a little bit of exploring. The surrounding woods on a cold but sunny morning were literally a breath of fresh air. Walking back by the side of the river taking time to just sit and watch the birds was good for the soul, it's very rare I get to do anything on my own. Further exploring there are little fisherman's cottages and some log cabins overlooking the river, it's quite tranquil and idyllic. Also in the grounds was a big lodge which looked set up for holdings weddings with waterfalls surrounding it.

There is something about Ireland that I always feel an affinity with, the people, the places, in a very strange way I always feel like it is a homecoming, maybe my long distant relatives draw me to this place. The one thing that abounds is the warmth not in the climate but of the people. This hotel epitomises that, for all it's grandeur it is not up it's arse, never at anytime in my stay did I feel like you had to be on ceremony like you do at some posh hotels.

I do hope I get to return.

Sha X

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