Tag Archives: Family

NYE

Hello!

I was gone a little longer than I expected there but……weep into your pillow no longer, for I have returned!

A super quick recap of the last 15 months so I can move on and write about fun stuff….I gave birth to a beautiful little boy, I moved 200 miles across the country, I left Geordie, I learned how to not pull my hair out on hold to various companies such as Scottish Power and realised just how boring it is picking out carpets and wooden flooring. I now see my parents (all four of them) in a whole new light and my brother and sister continue to be my absolute best friends. Nothing like family when the shit hits the fan huh?

Mini People

Mini People

So it’s the very last day of 2014 and what a year its been. I feel like I can confidently say, this year…at the grand old age of 32….I have finally grown up. The day my baby boy was born I felt complete (and sore as hell following a C-section) but complete none the less. We are now an awesome-foursome and we’re starting a whole new book of adventures.

I don’t have any resolutions for the new year, I have about as much will power as that bloke from the Fatboy Slim video ‘Lazy’ and therefore wont stick to any of them. I am feeling really positive though, and more importantly I’m being proactive. I’ve signed up for two new courses after loving every minute of a creative writing course earlier this year with the OU. I’ve pitched to two new magazines with articles ideas and I’m applying to the BBC journalism training programme in the hope I might elbow my way into a new career. In the mean time I’m going to continue to learn, be happy and enjoy every minute of my beautiful mini people.

What does the new year hold for you?

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Whirlwind

I’ve walked like I was shot in the arse today, it’s not a great look let me tell you.

race for life 2013

race for life 2013

It has been a jam-packed few weeks and I’ve absolutely loved having some of my nearest and dearest around more often, especially while Geordie is away. I’ve travelled down to Devon and Cornwall (fell in love with Bideford fish and chips and Padstow beach) and back up again to Whitby (I’m still too terrified to go back into the Dracula experience). I’ve been to watch moto gp track training, I’ve sewn ball gowns and of course I have eaten way too much cake to even think about losing any weight for ‘Summer’ (whatever that is?) I’ve shared the momentous occasion that was Baby Isaac’s Christening (you remember my cake eating partner in crime Rachel…well her son Isaac, who will also grow to adore cake) which was a 9.5 hour bouncy castle-fest. The sun shone for the gorgeous little one on his special day and a good time was had by all.

Yesterday I ran the Race For Life 5k in memory of my lovely friend Rebecca, support of my wonderful school friend Emma and in hope for a healthy future for Fraja and my own two beautiful little girls. My mind was set on taking off and sprinting the course, Paula Radcliffe style, while my ever supportive running partner Danielle had a more realistic approach and pondered whether to carry her phone to take a picture for if/when I fell over! I had so much fun doing comedy power lunges and moshing during the warm up, as we made the most of being child free for an hour or so. We made a point of high-fiving a bunch of kids and a few marshals which ultimately lost us valuable seconds at the finish and has cost me the use of my legs for the last 24 hours. Unfortunately the sun was blazing at the start (that’s my official excuse) and I limped around in 31:02, greeted at the finish line by my eldest with these pride filled words…… ‘Aww Mum I thought you were gonna win it?’

Lessons I have learned in the last few weeks are as follows;

Always do the warm up and take it seriously instead of taking self portraits impersonating Sonja-from-Eastenders’ fitness dvd.

Do not get a stomach bug the morning of the six-hour car journey home from Devon….

Always have nappy bags in the car (for vomiting into) should the above situation arise.

Mini Pizzas are the best sustenance at a Christening…..all 9.5 hours of it…just keep eating and you will not get drunk….much.

And above all else, surround yourself with lovely people who make you laugh so much your stomach hurts, eat cake and be happy. Life is too short.

 

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Aww You Guys

Leah & Marc

Leah & Marc

Okay look I’m sorry…..I’ve gotten into this really bad habit of writing half a blog post and then being distracted by cute cats pictures on either Facebook or Twitter and then ultimately not finishing the blog post and before you know it three weeks have gone by without so much as a sentence! You’re all probably happy for the break…aren’t you? Well tough because I’m back and I have good news, no moaning Minnie from me, it’s all super cheery positives for this post so if you’re in a crappy mood you have two options, you can try to lighten-up and read on or bog off. Decisions decisions?! (ps, I just wandered back on to Facebook for a minute there as well haha) I think it’s really important to celebrate life’s little (and big) achievements and more importantly to spread good news and make others smile, so if you’re ready and your seat is in the upright position…let’s go congratulating! First up on our happy roller-coaster today; huge congrats to my lovely friend Leah and her new husband Marc, they tied the knot on Monday at the stunning Thornton Hall, Wirral after dating for FOREVER! I want to wish them all the love and luck in the world for their future together. I’ve known Leah since I was 11 and just seeing her looking so effortlessly elegant in her gown made me well up! Much love to you both, lovely people. More congratulations to my fabulous friends Andy and Claire who are celebrating their engagement in Dundee this weekend, I’m absolutely gutted the girls and I can’t be there to celebrate but we shall indeed lift a glass of Ribena to you on Saturday night! Andy and Claire have the most amazing little dog called Percy (the Pomeranian) who I’m going to dog-nap when they go on holi……oh did I say that out loud?

Claire & Andy

Claire & Andy

Next up a different kind of celebration, but news to celebrate none the less. My wonderful little sister just completed her first year exams at uni and is now free for three months of non-stop partying, well done spud I’m very proud of you! And keeping it in the family my lovely older sister has just secured a place in the Great North Run and I’m ecstatic that we’ll all be there to support her with a huge banner (and most likely indulge in the pre-race carb-loading and post-race drinks).

My final congratulations (you’ll be pleased to hear) goes to my two beautiful daughters because they have done an amazing job of keeping me occupied (toddler assaulting pensioners and 7 year-old practising recorder all hours) and keeping my mind off missing Geordie, well done girlies, Mum loves you both very much…….One final note, how cool am I to have such good-looking friends?

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The Banana Yellow Unicycle

I thought I was going stark raving mad this morning, all because of a Padre on a banana yellow unicycle. Check that out for an opening line!

No Wheels for Me

No Wheels for Me

I was woken by the sun this morning, or at least that’s what the cheeks on my daughter’s poorly teething face felt like. So after a quick beaker of warm milk to fill her tummy and a drop of Calpol, we got wrapped up to head out along the perimeter road for a morning jog, pooch in tow. It was yet another beautiful morning here behind the wire and I’m starting to really enjoy getting out early when the airbase is quiet and there’s no traffic around. It’s at times like these that you can get so lost in your thoughts that you forget how you got from A to B.

It’s been quite a busy week and I got to thinking about a random conversation on Friday when a friend had mentioned trying out unicycling, obviously I laughed and made all the relevant circus jokes (how do you kill a circus?…. go straight for the juggler….two cannibals eating a clown..one turns to the other and says….does he taste funny to you?….boom boom) and predictably the conversation moved swiftly on to other subjects that I was less likely to try and make fun of.

So back to my walk and can you even begin to imagine my shock and confusion at the sight of a man unicycling towards me on what can only be described as a banana yellow unicycle……and he was really good….I stopped dead in my tracks, half throttling the dog in the process. I took out my headphones to wish him good morning in the hope that if what I was seeing was real, he would reply….and he did very confidently, as if the fact that unicycling around at airbase at 8am on a Saturday morning was a completely normal thing to do. As I walked on, adjusting my ear phones again, I couldn’t bring myself to look back and check that the previous 60 seconds of my life hadn’t been a wonderful subconscious dream, and that he really was quietly wobbling down the road behind me, arms out-stretched for balance.

I carried on walking in a bit of a daze. I genuinely had no idea if what had just happened was real and it was only at 7pm this evening that I utilised the power of social media and asked the community page for the airbase to tell me I wasn’t losing my marbles. Luckily the lovely guys and girls came through and confirmed that one of the Padre here on camp does indeed have a passion for unicycling and that no, I’m not as crazy as I thought. Thank the Lord eh?

 

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Keep On Doing Something

Okay so I’m back on the fit wagon, for how long this time, who knows? Here are the bare bones of the situation…

I am living on an RAF base 15 miles from the nearest town, I can’t drive and my designated driver (Geordie) is away for the next three months. I spend my days engrossed in the latest episode of Mr. Bloom’s Nursery, while my 19 month old toddler swan dives off various soft play equipment. I drink too much coffee and eat a bit too much cake. (I actually text my friend Rachel on Thursday morning in crazed capitals no less, at 7:30am demanding she go with me to the coffee shop for Victoria sponge, so you see I have a problem). I also have a little pooch who, as a border terrier cross-breed requires a good couple of miles walk at least once a day, so sitting on my ever-expanding arse sampling the new coffee shop carrot cake isn’t really benefiting anyone!

I promised myself that I would ‘smash ‘Insanity‘ this time around. With Geordie out-of-the-way and not admonishing me like my high school P.E teacher for not training everyday (and how he loves to do that which ends with me resenting him for being fit as a butchers dog….do people still say that?) I thought I stood a better chance of getting into a strict routine and ultimately start to look and feel better about myself. But alas it would seem that after a 6 day cycle I can’t stand the sight nor gloating sound of Shaun T, and I am still convinced he is trying to kill me. Insanity isn’t for me, and if you’re reading this Geord, I’m not sorry because I gave it a good go…..twice x

So almost four weeks into my so-called training routine I have completely sacked off Insanity, eaten a fair bit of cake, chocolate hobnobs, custard creams and went a bit mad and had chips, curry and Irn Bru for dinner tonight. I didn’t just fall off the wagon, I obliterated it! As with any downfall there must be a turning point, the phoenix rising from the ashes…or crumbs in my case! And I have my wonderful friends, who also eat cake, to thank for my epiphany!

Defiant Toto will get blown away for good one day

Defiant Toto will get blown away for good one day!

I have discovered that despite the fact that I live behind the wire and currently have to rely on my friends and family to escape the gold-fish bowl, there is a way to get your heart rate up and burn a few calories………..no not perving at all those cute guys in uniform…but the windy, unforgiving perimeter road! Rachel (from the earlier cake story) and me decided the weather was nice enough for a power stroll with our little ones and earlier this week we set off around the airfield assuming it was somewhere around 2-3 miles in distance…only to be completely battered by what felt like hurricane strength winds, while jets flew over head adding to the buffering, making essential gossiping impossible. We eventually made it, bedraggled into air traffic control to ask (read as beg) if there was a quicker route back to the residential side of camp. Sadly the answer from the smug looking airman was no and so we re-wrapped the children up in their buggies and headed back down the perimeter road, at times clinging on for dear life as the weather closed in. Finally reaching the safety of a built up area an hour later we calculated that we’d power walked (been pushed) 6 miles and vowed to continue our healthy start by not opening the biscuit tin the moment we stepped in the front door…..I lasted two hours and that was only because there was jelly in the fridge, which hardly touched the sides as I cleaned the pot. Even though it felt a bit hard going at times, it was fun. We talked about all manner of random things, the kids mainly slept and my dog didn’t poop anywhere near the runway so that’s a bonus!

Since our first escapade at the beginning of the week I’ve clocked up 18 miles of heart racing power walking and jogging and I’m really pleased that on nights like tonight, when I’ve eaten dinner and gotten a bit bored with the ironing, my first instinct is to stick on my Nike’s, wrap the little one up and head out with Toto for an hour’s fresh air….even if we don’t end up back in Kansas!

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International Happiness Day

According to an unconfirmed tweet from someone I don’t follow never mind know, its International Happiness Day. I’m going to take the tweet as gospel and run with it for the sake of a blog post. Forgive me?

Things that make me happy; Watching people trip up in the street, seeing my daughter’s laughing and messing about, Justin Timberlake‘s tune Suit & Tie and the video, new bed linen, dressing up (steady), winning races (even if my opponent is only 7) finishing a really good book, laughing so much I can’t speak, spending any amount of time with my gorgeous little sister and ripping into J-Lo and her hoops. It also makes me blissfully happy when Geordie even attempts to do a load of laundry, just once in a while so don’t I feel like it’s my sole purpose in life. Reading Vogue cover to cover while sipping a gingerbread latte in a quiet Costa makes me happy too. See I’m quite easily pleased aren’t I?

my.opera.comcyanide-and-happiness-laundry-day

I’m a bit of an admin nerd and I love organising things, my weekly shopping list is on a spreadsheet, our kitchen calendar is a Where’s Wally? family grid type with dates and appointments clearly colour-coded and I don’t care who knows it….this makes me happy!

Whatever it is that makes you happy, do it today, as much as possible. Go on, get on with it. Now where did I put my highlighters?

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Fraja-Ellie

I’ve finally found a bit of time to sit down after a hugely busy week and thought I would explain about the Mermaid and Pirate from the earlier blog. I have learned a lot this week, such as mixing washing powder with yellow paint makes an awesome sand effect and why Pritt-Stick is nowhere near as good as gloopy glue! Oh yes, it’s been a thriller!

Living behind the wire (on a UK RAF airbase) can be quite isolating if you’re not a very out-going person but now and then there comes an opportunity for everyone to pull together and the drive in this community is astonishing. There is a desperately ill little girl living here called Fraja- Ellie, she’s only just turned 5 and she is bravely battling a type of cancer called Neuroblastoma. I’ve not met Fraja or her family but after reading what they are faced with I wanted to so something to help. I think that once you have seen Fraja’s beautiful smile and read the blog about her ongoing treatment, she will melt your heart too.

The community here is a giving one; the amount of people involved in organising fundraisers is amazing; women shaving their heads (look out for pictures in the Northern Echo around 25th March…and it was their idea before Jessie J nicked it for Comic Relief) Guys and girls competing in endurance races across the globe as well as sponsored weight loss, comedy nights, photo shoots and lots of local events from bake sales to sponsored silences, all to raise money for Fraja’s treatment. The boards I painted and umm’d and arghh’d over were for a children’s disco fundraiser here on camp on Friday night, so while my involvement equates to little, I wanted to make sure they were the best I could do. I hope everyone had fun and they made Fraja-Ellie smile.

Today, as Comic Relief celebrates its highest grossing total for on-the-night donations (in excess of £75m) it goes to show that even though we’re all ALWAYS skint, we’re also sympathetic to those in need, especially children. Please visit Fraja-Ellie’s web page and give what you can, if you can.

Thanks xx

 

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The Bandwagon

I wanted to blog about something light-hearted today as my big career plan essay yesterday was a little war and peace wasn’t it? Well in the absence of a hilarious anecdote to share with you…I give you my youngest daughter doing her best Gangnam Style dance at our friend’s Christening party on Saturday. Apologies for jumping on the bandwagon, but she’s only 17 months old…..and it is quite funny!

 

 

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Thursday’s Child

I was born on a Thursday and according to the traditional rhyme that makes me one of the cool kids, not the whiny, or overly polite or hard-working ones, a cool one! The story goes that it was 104 degrees that particular November day and my Mum was stuffing her face with melon when I decided I would make my journey into the big wide world. No no, she’d not had too much gas and air, I was born abroad and as luck would have it, being mahoosively pregnant during Winter south of the equator means kaftans, Birkenstocks and a shed load of ice!

Mondays child is fair of face,
Tuesdays child is full of grace,
Wednesdays child is full of woe,
Thursdays child has far to go,
Fridays child is loving and giving,
Saturdays child works hard for his living,
And the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay

It could have been a lot worse, I could have been born early and risked being the sulky Wednesday kid, or just over the cusp of Midnight resulting in Friday’s loving and giving (code for clingy and dependant). So a big thumbs up to mother nature for getting the timing spot on. I wouldn’t have minded being a Sunday’s child, bonny, blithe, good and gay sounds like the kind who just walks into success doesn’t it? Good-looking, but doesn’t know it, fair and honest and the happiest kid around. I like you Sunday’s child, you’re cool too!

Thursday’s child has far to go. I have moved home 24 times, I have lived on two continents (okay not that impressive but I know what Dover port and Heathrow airport look like) I’ve lived in three countries and travelled to a hell of a lot more, I think that living up to the Thursday’s child expectations is going well, but there is still father to go! I have such aspirations about travelling and seeing the world, there is just so much out there that has to be seen to be believed. I wrote an entire blog about my bucket list (you can read it here) and the majority of it involves travel, I simply have to get to Niagara Falls before I cark it. So what about Thursday’s adult, maybe time to make up a new rhyme?

Okay look, I’m just joking around and don’t really believe that anyone can be defined by a daft nursery rhyme, I mean, I grew up thinking Humpty Dumpty was an egg, but where in the rhyme does it say that? Poor misunderstood Humpty, maybe he was just big-boned?

PS, Sorry Wednesday sulky kids x

 

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17

I found these photo's on my Mum's PC a little while ago, they've obviously been scanned in from a hard copy at some point as back when I was 17 there were no camera phones, how crazy is that, it was only 13 years ago! So today's blog is all about the year that was, 17. Please forgive my horrendous hair do, in my infinite wisdom I decided to have my locks lopped off while sunning myself in Australia earlier in the year and well..... it does get hot there you know!

17

I was having the time of my life when I was 17. When I look back on my life so far I think that 17 through to 18 was my year, the one where I had so much fun and adventures and life was a big barrel of laughs. I was a very lucky teenager and never had a problem with my weight, my athletic frame dared me to wear some shocking outfits that my parents most definitely did not approve of. Lots of getting ready at my friends houses went on. I started going out and having a social life at this age and loved nothing more than donning well.....next to nothing, a huge pair of heels and hitting the town, usually with my best friend Leanne. I also travelled back to my birthplace, Australia at this time and spent three months working and generally getting under my aunts feet. I met some wonderful people who I still keep in touch with now, and wont ever forget their kindness. Being 12,000 miles away from my family at this age really helped me to mature.....but only for a little while!17 Again

I look back with such affection to a time so filled with fun, it was all about chasing boys, getting attention, free drinks, little black dresses, high heels, lifts home, hangovers, the big breakfast, sun beds, being in bed by 3am with ears ringing. Around this time I dated a lot, there were house parties, kick arounds in the park with us cheer-leading like idiots or trying to do keepy-ups to impress the boys, we'd regularly go to the local Whetherspoons to order desert and a few drinks to while away the hours. I remember my friend Becky coming out with a classic one night while we were checking our outfits and hair in a club toilet and I think it sums up our audacious attitudes to a tee 'I mean lets face it, with my boobs and your legs who can resist us?' Thankfully my inhibitions have settled down somewhat since then, and just the thought of approaching the hottest guy in a bar and introducing myself now feels me with dread. I've grown up!

I can't help but smile at all of these memories, along with some I can't type that my Mum doesn't know about and I'm not about to open up Pandora's box here! Just a little reminiscing to keep me young. If you need a reason to lift a glass this weekend make your toast 'To 17'

What an amazing year!

 

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The Calm

Well its been nine months and five days since I slipped a disc in my lower back (don’t worry this is going to be a relatively short post). It’s been 48 hours since my neurosurgery which has removed the disc and released the trapped nerve that has caused me so much pain. I am back on my feet although still walking like I’ve crapped myself but my leg is feeling amazing!

I’ve got an awesome tale to tell you about my short time at the RVI Newcastle and the hilarious patients I shared a ward with, but for the time being I need to chill out and heal.

Take care of yourselves and each other.

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Happy Thoughts

If you’ve ever had a general anaesthetic you’ll know all about lying on a hospital bed left to stare at green tiled walls and strip lighting, occasionally you catch a glimpse of medical people who bob in and out of your line of vision, the anaesthetist chats away as he prepares the drugs that whisk you away for how ever long is necessary and you wake up from a glorious sleep when all the messy stuff is over. This amazing feat of medical science is dependant on many things, mainly skilled staff and amazing technology but there is also one very important ingredient; happy thoughts.

Happy or demented, you decide.

Happy or demented, you decide.

Like a magician the anaesthetist will engage you in conversation, effortlessly finding a positive topic that will elicit a torrent of lovely memories while they are pumping you full of sleep inducing drugs that make the majority of surgery possible. I’m told that if you think happy thoughts whilst being anaesthetised you are likely to enjoy a restful sleep, however if you were to think about an episode of The Walking Dead (mmm Andrew Lincoln) there is a chance you will wake up during surgery! Eeeek.

It took no time at all to find out that awareness during surgery or ‘waking-up’ is simply due to not enough anaesthetic being administered with most patients falling back to sleep very shortly afterwards. I thought it might be better to be prepared so I have a long list of lovely things I want to think about while the neurosurgeon goes to town on my knackered vertebrae. I already know that when it comes to the crunch (not wire) I will be thinking about the evening when I was so ill I couldn’t move from the sofa, my back was in pieces, my stomach had decided it was allergic to everything and Geordie bored to tears with my moaning about it. That’s when my 7-year-old daughter decided to camp out next to me on sofa cushions, her duvet and the sheer determinations that she wouldn’t let go of my hand all night. If you only you could get love like that on prescription!

 

 

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