Friday, 12 May 2017

Garden - Part 3

The last job that we had to do - not just on the garden - but the whole house, was a tiny patch of land in the back garden. Since 2009, the most that has ever been done to this piece of garden is that the path has been brushed. Unseen (apart from through my kitchen window) and so, we adopted a kind of 'out of sight, out of mind' mentality about it. Overgrown, straggly, and just an eyesore. I forgot to take a proper 'before' picture of it, but this was it about three weeks ago, when we first started work on it. We'd cleared a fair bit and put the log roll fencing up to keep the bark from spilling onto the path.


Here goes...

Mr G wanted to level the soil out after digging up as many weeds as he could, but there was just no way that was happening. So I had a think, and said that if we were putting weed control down and then bark, it wouldn't really need to be level, and that the levelling out could be done with the bark itself. This worked out fine. The old rickety fence between us and next door, which our neighbour's father put up years ago and he's a bit sentimental about, is now covered with a section of heather screening. We bought two little mirrored tea light holders in the shape of bird cages, these were from Poundworld. A lovely little wall mounted planter from B&M. We cut the pretty pink tree right back before it started to blossom, and put clear fairy lights in, so it looks really pretty at night. Three small mosaic solar lights from Morrisons, which we put in between the potted plants on the bark. A couple of hanging plaques on the wall under the window. Two solar miners lamps hang in the tree too. And my absolute favourite bargain buy, a garden wine bottle and glass holder, which I bought in the Clearance section of Avon for a fiver. It looks so pretty there now, and just as I finally get my little piece of peace and quiet, what happens? Rain.

The view on approach

Ingenuious!



It really looks so pretty up there now, and I can see it becoming a bit of a haven in the summer, as I evade children. Warm summer evening, Kindle, bottle of wine, bag of crisps. They'll never think of looking there, will they?

The shed pub is also tidy and ready for tomorrow evening. Next week hopefully, we should finally have power and electric lighting in there (and internet!) and there are only two jobs left to do. Put the safety flooring down for the dartboard and put the pub sign up outside the shed. Mr G has acquired a long piece of old bannister rail from a friend which will hopefully do as the pole, but we're just stuck at the moment on the best way to erect it, the positioning, and most importantly, the height. It needs to be proportional to the height of the building, which isn't 'pub' sized. Unfortunately.

Every year I'm really proud of my garden and the hard work we put into it, but I think that this year it's the best it's ever looked, everything seems to be spot on. And the lovely weather we've had means that it's been summer ready in record time. I know that usually, around my birthday I'm flapping, trying to get it ready, but this year, it seemed to flow nicely.
















And now today, I will bake, bake, bake for tomorrow, it is Eurovision. Oh yes...

Monday, 10 April 2017

Garden - Part 2

We knew we had to put a couple of hours at least into the garden on Saturday, as we were off to Wrexham on Sunday to the rugby, so nothing would have been done.  A rematch of last week's fixture against Newcastle Thunder, which we won, so we were hoping for a run of form. However, by Saturday night Mr G was in so much pain that he ended up sleeping on the sofa, having had to take a hefty dose of morphine.  I prodded him as he lay on the sofa (not a euphemism) and he asked me how long it took for the tablets to wear off. I asked him how many of me he could currently see, and he replied 'three'. So we 'watched' the match from the comfort of our living room and the Twitter feed! Thankfully, another win for us.  Poor sod. He's worked really hard in the garden this week, and he's certainly paying for it now.

I'm not too downhearted though, even though I like to attend all the home matches, there isn't too much of a gap between this and the next as we're also back there on Good Friday, where Crusaders meet Toronto for the first time! Exciting! Premier Sports are airing this match, so if you're a subscriber, look out for me. I'll be the one standing swaying not too far from the Wrexham Lager Bar... haha.


It was a late kick off (now moved to 5 pm) so we were looking for a cheap hotel overnight. Not the easiest thing to do on Easter weekend, just slightly easier than if I was a pregnant virgin on a donkey. We couldn't find rooms for five, so staying in a Travelodge or Premier Inn would mean booking two rooms and splitting up for the night. This would make it quite an expensive day, on top of the cost of petrol and tickets. Mr G had bookmarked a little camp site in Oswestry that he'd seen, they had pods like the ones we stayed in, in Llangollen last summer. We'd already intended to spend a couple of days there in the Summer. He found that they had one last pod free for the entire weekend and I rushed to book that before someone else did. The cost of the pod for the weekend was cheaper than the price of two hotel rooms for one night. Bargain! A couple of friends of ours have stayed there before too, and they said it was lovely.

The good news is that we've broken the back of the garden. We stained the small shed, the fence, the other side of the trellis fence, the pallet furniture and the decking itself.

Just needs the seat cushions and a glass of Chardonnay...

In a word, if it hasn't moved, we've stained it. Just the Shedpub to go now. Mr G cut back a load of overhanging branches from the trees dividing us from our neighbours in another street. Cut them up into smaller pieces as our garden waste bin is so full we can barely move it. Did a tip run with those and old solar lights and cracked plant pots and other bits. All in all it's looking really good. Still a good couple of full days work to do on it, but it's a spectacular change in under a week! Today, there was a bit of a change in the weather, dull and a lot cooler, but the sun peeked out from behind the clouds occasionally. The main thing is that it's dry. So, today's jobs were: primer the legs of the 'distressed' table.


And the worst job of them all. Cutting the hedges. They desperately needed doing, and couldn't wait until the bin gets emptied on Friday, so we put the cuttings in rubble bags and got them off to the recycling centre too. I've added another thing to the famous saying. 'If it's got tyres, testicles or twigs, you're going to have trouble with it'.

Unruly bush

Neatly trimmed bush. I know, I know, sorry...

So, all in all, I'm really pleased in the transformation within a week. Only two major jobs to do now. The Shedpub. And then tackling the side of the house that hasn't been touched since we moved in. Shudder. Not relishing that job, but once it's done, it will be another hiding place seating area away from the kids which is a suntrap at certain times of the day! I'm really blessed to have such a large and beautiful garden, that it deserves a bit of TLC. Thankfully, we're finally able to do it again.

And in another stroke of brilliance, Eurovision once again falls on my birthday weekend! So we will eat, drink, be generally merry, and viciously scathing about other countries' entries. Time to menu plan, where's my book of lists...

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Garden

Holy shitballs, I hurt in places that I didn't know could hurt.  First thing Monday morning we were out in the garden. We had made a start on it last year, but circumstances meant that it wasn't maintained, it wasn't used because we didn't get a moment's peace, we didn't have one barbecue, and if my memory serves me well, we didn't eat one meal out there, either.  It had been really neglected, and I personally hadn't set foot outside the back door for months.  But Monday was a fresh start. Monday, we were like a pair of Phoenix (Phoenixes? Phoenii?) rising from the ashes of the last two years.  And that could only mean one thing. Summer was on the way.  And we were reclaiming our garden.

The tubs were emptied of dead plants. The patio was weeded between the cracks and then cleaned with a heavy duty chemical cleaner, as it was green. We do this once a year but this was the worst I had ever seen it. Testament to the weather, I suppose?  And then. It was time to tackle the furniture. This too is done once a year, but this year, I fancied a change from the usual woodstain. A friend of ours has the same furniture set and she used Cuprinol Shades on hers, she painted it a plum colour, and it looked really nice. I didn't think that colour would suit our garden, so I looked through the paint chart and we settled on Sage.  The table and one of the benches had been scratched to death by cats, so Mr G said it would need undercoating.  I didn't think anything of it, and so we cracked on.  The table was undercoated. Mr G said he would take the chairs and the benches down to the bottom and just try applying the wood paint directly. He did a bench, and it looked fantastic, so we didn't bother with the undercoat on the other pieces. Thankfully, in retrospect!

The very next morning I was in the garden at 7. A project like this gives me a lease of life, even if it kills me physically.  I start painting the table. And it's apparent from the first brush stroke... this table is not going to have it. It's repelling the paint. 'Christ on the cross.' I muttered to myself, as I persisted. Maybe when it dried, I could give it a second coat, and that would be ok. But it's not drying. And this stuff is touch dry in about fifteen minutes. I call Mr G and show him. We realise that we've done the wrong thing, and it wasn't undercoat we needed, it was primer. Pair of plonkers, we are. We make a decision to wipe the table with kitchen roll, and we end up with a table that could only be called 'distressed'. As was I.

Cue two more days work (and expense) where we attempt to paint over the table and legs with another brand of outdoor paint (more paint than stain) and I don't think it's dried yet! Then we attempted to tackle it with Nitromors, and get it down to bare wood, as it was too tacky to sand down. I was getting really antsy, as we were on our third day of doing the garden, and we still didn't have a bloody table to eat at, and I said to Mr G that, we wanted two new chairs for the side of the house (which is another project on the list). We wanted a bench anyway. And upon checking Amazon for a new table of the same size, the cheapest came in at £150.  Wouldn't it make more sense to replace the entire set for £200? So, we did that. Quickly assembled the table, and that was painted and put in place within a couple of hours.  Job done!


The distressed table, actually looks good though! It looks weather beaten. If I'd tried to get that effect, I probably wouldn't have been able to manage it. So, what we're going to do is leave the top of the table like that, and spray paint the legs white, or black. It's too good a table to get rid of, and will do at the bottom of the garden when we want to eat down there, save lugging our other one back and forth!

Friday comes and after a cloudy start, by lunchtime it's glorious!  I do a little more planting in tubs, and I see Mr G eyeing up the flower bed at the bottom. The one with the palm tree in. It's not the easiest patch to maintain and weed, and he'd been saying that he wanted to dig it up and put weed control down, and put gravel on it. So we did that between us, and as he went to the hardware store for the stones, I grabbed a new tub of woodstain and started to do the trellis on that side. We'd bought two new climbing roses this year, after having passionflower and clematis there in previous years. That was done in the space of three hours, no messing about (and we made and ate lunch too in between!). Staining, stoning and planting the roses.



Mr G then went rummaging in the shed and he came out with various spray paints. He painted his father's ornamental house and put that on the gravel. And he found a full can of barbecue paint, so our slightly rusty chiminea got a coating too! As he did that, I decided to tackle the shed pub. Gave the sofas a good clean with leather feed. Wiped the surfaces down, hoovered the floor and cobwebs. Stripped all the cushions, and washed and dried the covers.

By the time I'd finished, I could barely walk. My back, my hip, my knee, my shin, and my plantar fasciitis all in full swing. He went to get me some wine, and I had a well deserved few glasses sat in my chair, watching the rugby. Well deserved.

Today looks like another glorious day already, the sun beaming down since I woke before 7. Today I'm going to tackle the decking area. Hopefully stain the fence and the pallet furniture at least. That's the only thing about making a part of your home or garden look nice, isn't it? It shows up the parts that aren't so pretty. Ah well, onwards and upwards!

Monday, 3 April 2017

Relief

There has been a reason for my semi-silence over the last few months, a really good reason. I hinted at it in my last post, that I couldn't say what the problem was, but when I could, I would let rip and leave nothing unsaid. And now, today? It's finally over and I don't want to. Not any more. I'm going to be the bigger person here and rise above it.

The hell that my life has been for the last two years, is over. That another human being could knowingly put someone through this, is beyond me. That someone could show such a distinct lack of consideration to someone who would never dream of treating them, or anyone else in that way. When they know what they're doing to you, because they've been told to their face how shit they're making you feel, it's incomprehensible. I could tell you things, I could show you things, that would make any right thinking person's toes curl. When over a quarter of the year has gone and you're stuck in limbo, waiting for the clock on your life to restart again. Feeling bullied and intimidated. Feeling like a prisoner trapped in your own home. Wanting to just pack your bags and move away. And then. And then being made to feel like you're in the wrong for having the audacity to say 'What you're doing is wrong. This is unacceptable. Stop it, now.'

And so, today, there's no champagne on ice, there's no bunting out. It's a very hollow victory, and I'm not celebrating it. What I am doing today is exhaling. Finally letting go of that breath that I've been holding in for so long, and breathing a huge sigh of relief. Go and be someone else's problem now. You've already wasted more than enough of my precious time.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Belated Happy New Year!

Nearly halfway through January and I am just about coming round from the most appalling Christmas and New Year that I have had in decades.  Our Christmas was ruined, after all our hard work, all our preparation in trying to make it perfect for our family.  I can't go into detail about it at the moment, legally.  Not yet, anyway.  But one day, I will unleash the horror story on the world.  I just can't yet. Unfortunately.

Anyway, it's a new year, new start and we are trying to keep positive and not dwell on last year.  We had an amazing break away just before Christmas, we had a week in a converted mill in Cynwyd, which is an adorable little village just outside of Corwen.   Here are some pictures of the beautiful property.  Yes, I outdid myself yet again!  We are hoping to do the same this year, book the same week away.  We had a fantastic, stress free week.  Christmas shopping there was a joy, Caitlin decimated the Primark in Wrexham and Adam is coming up the ranks too!








As I said, unfortunately Christmas was a non-event, although we went through the motions for the sake of the children.  Mr G and I pulled together a lovely Christmas dinner.


Tomorrow, North Wales Crusaders hold their first pre-season friendly against Swinton and we find ourselves in the same position as we did for the friendlies last year.  Will they, won't they go ahead? Can we actually get there?  It seems (as usual!) everywhere in the UK got snow... except us.  So it's not so much leaving here tomorrow, as the weather conditions we'll encounter as we drive closer to Wrexham.  So we have to play it by ear until tomorrow morning, see how the roads are.  I hope we get to go though, it'll be nice to get away from here, and I'm looking forward to seeing how all the new signings perform.  My Cru beanie and scarf are packed ready, and Cait's boyfriend is coming with us for his rugby league initiation.  Fingers crossed that it stays dry and doesn't freeze or snow any more!

Until at least Monday.

:-)

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Seventeen days and counting!

I am frighteningly organised.  Almost everything is bought and wrapped. I know what I need to buy for those I haven't bought for yet, and where I'm getting it from.  We have our Christmas meat bought, we backtracked and opted for Turkey in the end.  No, not Bernard Matthews sliced turkey in a packet, either ;-) The ham is bought, the sausages, bacon, biscuits, chocolates, and other goodies.  Plenty of beers in and Prosecco for the Christmas dinner. I've steamed my Christmas puddings and I've baked and decorated my Christmas cake.

Just needs the ribbon around the outside and bingo!

It actually made it to the decorating stage this year!  There have been years where it's been hacked into while it's still warm and on the cooling rack, I am not even joking.  It's that good.  You can find the recipe here and the only amendment I make is that I use sherry and not rum to soak the fruit and feed the cake, which is just personal preference. So now, the only bits we need to pick up are the fresh fruit, vegetables and bread a few days before Christmas and we are done!   

We are more than ready for our break away now.  The plan is to keep it pretty chilled.  On the Saturday as we arrive, I've bought pizza and party food ready as it's the X Factor final that night (Matt to win!).  On the Sunday, Cait wants to meet a friend in Wrexham so we will go in and stock up with food for the week and do a bit of shopping.  Steve wants to return to Wrexham at some point mid-week when the market is open and Cait can hit Primarni and choose her Christmas clothes.  Adam has requested a visit to Chester, he's fascinated with cities, and he's never been to Chester, so we'll do that.  And we'll take a stroll around Llangollen too.  Mr G wants to pop to Wigan for the day to deliver his presents and cards and visit the cemetery to put his Christmas pots on his parents and grandparents.  Other than that, the plan is to sit, read, play pool, watch Christmas films, eat, drink and be merry!   And, hopefully, catch a few Pokemon, but shhhhh, don't tell Mr G.  I only have 42 left to catch or evolve.  Yes, I did say that the plan was to keep it pretty chilled... I'm not so sure now, looking at all that!

Adam took part in his last school concert, which was a bit poignant.  My first concert at that school was in 2000, with Dan.  Now, my 'baby' is going up to secondary school next year.  It's a shocker how time flies.  It was about homelessness this year, and although not traditional, it's good to make our children socially aware.  Their Thanksgiving service at school for the last two years has asked for donations to the Church's food bank, and it was that which instigated the idea for the show.  Not everyone is as lucky as we are, and I hope it makes some of the 'I want!' type children think twice this year.  I'm paying for a homeless person to have Christmas with Crisis at Christmas, and easing up on the amount of 'special' Christmas cards that I send this year, the cost of those coupled with postage easily amounts to the £22.00 this costs.  More than just a Christmas meal, it's a chance to get clean, get clean clothes, three meals including the traditional dinner, access to help and advice and health checks such as a dentist and optician.  Things we take for granted.  If you would like to pay for someone to have dinner (and the rest!) on you, the link can be found here.   Better for the environment too ;-)

I 'won' NaNoWriMo 2016!  My second year running, and I excelled myself this year too, 78,000 words this time, I think it was 62,000 last year.  I'm looking at it, wondering what to do with it.  Mr G reckons that I should self publish on Amazon, but I don't know.   I haven't had the guts to let anyone read even a chapter yet, so I don't know how I'd feel about putting it 'out there'.  It would need an awful lot of editing first, so we'll see.  I didn't start this with the intention of publishing, it was only something for me, to see if I could do it.  I did :-)  Twice :-)


Go me!


Tonight, the ladies of the family are out for our annual Christmas airing outing - and I am really looking forward to it.  It's anyone's guess what sort of a state I'll be in coming home, if previous years are anything to go by...  Three courses and wine, ye Gods.  This year we are going to The Antelope Inn in Bangor, which has recently changed to a Sizzling Pub, and the food has been fantastic lately, so fingers crossed that we have a good one.  Cait and I have matching reindeer antlers and flashing red noses to complete our look, keeping it classy as always ;-)

Ha.
   

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Mr G wants a written apology - and other stories

After another hiatus from blogging, not one of my own liking, I am back!  My very old, second hand Windows XP tower gave up the ghost at going online a few months ago, and I am not a fan of blogging using my iPad.  I like to type things out on a keyboard, and choose photographs sometimes that haven't been taken on my iPad and it was just far too much like hard work.  So, after Santa made a delivery of a refurbished tower for me earlier this week, and Mr G said that I could have it early as I had been a good girl this year (define good...) here I am!  I probably won't blog any more often, but at least the option is there!

The Christmas tree and bits and bobs are up.  The house smells festive thanks to one of the seasonal Yankee Candles.  The shopping is coming on well.  Not quite finished, but I know exactly what I need.  In a few weeks we go away for a short break to Corwen and I have relatives coming to stay at my house for a mutual pre-Christmas break.  I'm a little bit nervous about it, because it's so close to Christmas to be going away, there's always so much to do at this time of year.  It's going to be really nice though, I've never been away at this time of year before, we'll be able to get some shopping done in Wrexham and Chester and Llangollen and spend the gift cards I have saved up all year for.  Have a few nice meals out.  Maybe go for a cheeky Nando's ;-)  And at night we can wrap our goodies in front of the log fire, sipping a glass of mulled wine, Christmas tunes playing in the background.  I'll have no option but to relax.  So, we're really looking forward to that.  Also coming up is the family's Christmas Ladies night out, my Mum, aunties, and cousins, we go every year for a three course meal and a few drinkies.  This year, my daughter is being initiated into the clan.  

Done!

I'm currently reaching the end of my second year of participation in NaNoWriMo.  Definitely not as 'easy' as I found it last year, but it did help having established characters. Revisiting them and adding a few more oddballs along the way.  

Our beloved North Wales Crusaders, despite me (and a lot of other fans) believing that last season was the beginning of the end, have a new manager, a new assistant manager, a new general manager and have made some fantastic signings too.  We won't be returning to the Racecourse, and our new home is Queensway in Wrexham.  A trial is being held today, and I believe they've also signed and re-signed about 27 players already.  I'm thrilled that so many of the old faces have decided to show their loyalty to the club, it says a lot about them and their love of the club and the fans. We'll be renewing our family season tickets again this year, we've got two pre-season friendlies in January, against Swinton and South Wales Scorpions.  And I'm looking forward to the next end of season awards ceremony, we had such a lovely time at this year's.  The players were all cracking lads, and it was nice to get to say goodbye to Muzza. We saw our rugby friends Martin and June, and we sat with another lovely couple, Debbie and Mike, who sponsor the best kicker in the league, TJ.  Who is my new rugby boyfriend after Stuart Reardon's departure.  Scott Turner turned up too and he took a selfie of us together.  We weren't too drunk, but we were merry and had a fantastic evening.


The best (and fittest) kicker in the league

Muzza gives his verdict on the season

Selfie with Scott

Mr G bending Martin and June's ears

Mr G is back on the strong stuff, still no better, and waiting for an appointment with his consultant, which he should have had in July *eyeroll* and is scheduled for January *another eyeroll*.  But still. The strong stuff makes him very amusing at times.

Ryan, along with forty other classmates, walked up Snowdon to raise money for Cancer Research and to buy an all terrain wheelchair for the school to use.  He raised £51 in sponsorship money, and I was really proud of him. And a tad jealous that he had done it before me.


Ryan ready for his trek

Adam came out with a corker the other day.  We were talking about our Christmas dinner and what meat were going to have.  We decided to have a break from turkey this year, so I was asking everyone for their preferences.  I showed Adam the new cloth napkins I had bought from Edinburgh Woollen Mill, and the napkin rings.

Me:  Look Adam, new napkins, so you can tuck into your Christmas dinner and not get food all over your Christmas jumper.  Classy, eh?

Adam: Yeah, really classy.  Napkins with a packet of Bernard Matthews chicken and some of that veg in bags you put in the microwave.

Can I just point out, that I have never, ever served Bernard Matthews packet chicken and steam veg as a roast dinner?   And I never, ever would.  So where he gets these ideas from is beyond me.  

This from Mr G, the other night.  Now, I don't think I've ever told you this story.  Back in 2010, my Christmas present to Mr G, was tickets to Simply Red's Farewell Tour concert in Manchester.  Both huge, huge fans of the group.  It was see them now, or never see them, right? 12th December, our babysitter arrived and we got in the car, about quarter to 4 in the afternoon.  Now, we should have known that our afternoon was doomed, when barely two minutes into our journey, we were pulled up by the police, and Mr G was randomly breathalysed.  He didn't mind this, he rarely drinks anyway, and he certainly wouldn't even drink as much as a half pint and drive.  His policy, zero alcohol if you're driving, and he thinks that's what the law should be.  We were a bit antsy though as we were against the clock.  He passed the test, and we were finally on our way with a cheery wish to enjoy our concert from the police officer.  It was dark while we were on the M56, and Mr G was taking his time.  All of a sudden, a car came careering off the slip road to our left, shot straight in front of us, smashed into the central reservation and came spinning back in front of us, across all the lanes, totally out of control.  I screamed and Mr G said "It's ok."  I don't know how he managed to do it, but he kept his cool and we drove through, straight through, unscathed.  Someone up there was definitely looking out for us that night.  We pulled into the layby and phoned 999.  We waited for the emergency services to arrive, and then we were on our way.  Would we ever get there?  Would we get there in one piece?  My nerves were absolutely shot at this point.  We enjoyed the concert, it had a great opening act too, Macy Gray, and it was sad to see the end of one our favourite groups, but it was nice that we could say we were there.  The Farewell Tour.  Maybe, in ten, fifteen years, they'd go back on the road again.  Mr G bought a t shirt, £25 it cost him.  This is a key detail in the tale.  The concert finished, we made our way back to the car park, and as Mr G wasn't familiar with driving in Manchester centre, he didn't know where he was going, and we ended up playing chicken with a tram.  Jesus Christ, I was glad to get home.

Fast forward to less than four years later.  Autumn 2014.  And Mick Hucknall announces that he's reforming the band.  You'd think Mr G would be thrilled.  New music from one of his long time favourite groups.  No.  Mr G is not happy.  Why?  The t shirt.

Mr G: Twenty five b**tard quid on a t shirt that I can't bloody wear now.  Farewell Tour.  The robbing, thieving b**tard hasn't gone anywhere, has he?  How can I wear that when he's still here?   The t shirt is a lie.  Hasn't even been four years and he's back?  

And that has pretty much set the tone on Mr G's feelings about Mick Hucknall.  Hasn't shown the slightest bit of interest in his new music, refusing point blank to go and watch any of the new shows. Browsing through Sky's On Demand music the other night.

Mr G: Huh.  Oh look, Shell.  Simply Red's Farewell Tour in Sydney.

Me: Go on, stick it on.

Mr G: *mutters*

Me:  Oh, come on Steve.  Surely you can't let a little thing like a £25 t shirt ruin the love that you've had for this band for twenty five years?

Mr G: *points at TV*  We nearly died, twice that night.  And I've got a t shirt that I can't wear.  So, until I get a written apology from HIM...?

So, there we have it.  Mick, if you're reading this?  Unless he gets a written apology, you're a fan down, I'm afraid.  I'd throw in a new t shirt and front row tickets to a concert to be on the safe side...

When we went to Cru's end of season awards, my brother very kindly had the children overnight for us.  I left instructions with Adam.

Me:  You know where the crisps and biscuits are.  Help yourself but make sure you offer Uncle David something as well.  He probably won't want anything, so don't press him to eat lot of junk food.  He doesn't eat a lot.

Adam:  Doesn't he?

Me:  No. He's got a very small appetite.

Adam:  And a massive head?

And for now, we'll leave you with this, worryingly, from Mr G...

Mr G:  I'm in a mischievous mood.  What can I do to mischieve?

I don't know, but I'm sure he'll think of something, right?

And we have a few more for our not quite right gallery.  Firstly, Dave Whelan's statue.  There are no extra words needed for this one, BBC North West Tonight called it perfectly.

Yes.  Quite.

Mr G was to blame for this abomination.  He can't see anything usually, yet he can spot sex toy-esque carrots in plastic bags, in Morrisons?




And then, there was this.  On the back of a pack of light bulbs.  I shit you not.




Not suitable for household room illumination.

If not, then... what, exactly???  What is the purpose of this light bulb???  If not room illumination?

I'm a bit embarrassed to say that I have become a bit addicted to Pokemon Go.  I have no idea what I'm doing, I know you're meant to battle and use gyms and such, but no.  I'm just walking, visiting Pokestops, catching Pokemon and hatching eggs.  Like a 40 year old sad case.  Mr G is walking alone up streets talking to himself, when he finally realises that I've stopped dead fifty paces down the road, trying to capture a Slowpoke or an Eevee.   So, whilst browsing the Pokemon that I'd caught, this amused me.  Little things...

I want to reach out and grab ya...

And finally, this has really made my week.  Again, little things.  Get it bought, Amazon, 99p. Christmas number one.  Yeah.





That's all for now.  That's enough, surely?