Thursday, 24 September 2015


It's cold.  Never mind 'Sun's out, guns out' - in this house we're at the 'Sun's gone, heating's on' stage.  Mr G is insulating the summer house. There's bubble wrap and foil everywhere and how he can breathe in there with the glue fumes is beyond me. He'll be high as a bloody kite later, which is all I need.

The illnesses have started, Ryan and Caitlin are both off school with hacking coughs and sore throats. Yay. Mr G was floored yesterday and was on the sofa, with a patchwork quilt.  There have been two noteworthy child insults for you.

Running from the bathroom. Stark naked. It's literally about three metres from my room. Seven or eight steps at the most.  Mistimed it, face to face with my twelve year old at the top of the stairs.  Who said...

Ryan: My childhood is ruined. RUINED!

And yesterday, sitting down for a rare moment with a coffee waiting for the children to arrive from school. Adam bursts through the door.  Adam is all about the food, 'bout the food... While he's eating breakfast he wants to know what's for lunch and if possible, tea...

Adam: What's that smell? Cod? Are we having cod for tea? I can smell cod.  Yay!  
Me: *stands up* Right that's me off for a shower... 
Mr G: *patchwork quilt vibrating because he's laughing underneath it* Best have a bath too. And another shower after... to be sure...

The house feels funny without Dan.  For one, the aroma of teenage boy is noticeably absent... His room is clean and tidy... He turns twenty next Monday, which is when he starts Uni properly, this week is Freshers Week. I doubt very much that he will be wanting to spend his weekend with us, or have a party or barbecue, which is a bit sad but he's a grown man now and he has his friends, old and new to celebrate with.  

Crusaders play their play off game this weekend, they take on Keighley after Oldham beat them last weekend.  If it had been at Oldham we'd have probably been able to go, but Keighley is too much of a stretch, especially on a Sunday.  Gutted, but hey ho.  Whatever league they are in, we've got our season tickets for next year and will be there for every home game (at least!) cheering them on.  Good luck Cru!  #fearnothing

My mind fog seems to have cleared a bit, the morning sneezing fits seem to be getting better, and not lasting as long.  Maybe it was 'just' hay fever.  And now that the weather is... shite... it's diminishing?  One thing I do know though.  I've always been a bit disdainful of people who say 'Oh, I have allergies'.  Don't get me wrong, I would never say anything to their face, of course, I'm not a nasty person.  But what I do have is an evil little voice in my head, which sounds a little bit like Eric Cartman mimicking them.  I apologise.  Never again will I mock, or think 'MAN UP!'  I stand shoulder to shoulder with you, eyes streaming, nostrils itching like I never thought humanly possible, sinuses throbbing and unable to concentrate on the most basic task.  Roll on Winter.

So, on the agenda, painting porches, bathrooms, the kitchen, oh and the hall, stairs and landing top to bottom AGAIN thanks to my children and a) scuff marks and b) fake blood.  Christmas prep.  It seems like an eternity away to children, but when you're an adult and each week passes like a day?  That's scary stuff! 

I'm also setting up a new blog, because as you may have seen from my blog tagline or whatever that thing is called up there at the top... I am nearly 40.  Fml.  And seeing as I have done absolutely sod all with my life apart from churn out offspring, cook and be sarcastic, turning 40 is as good a reason as any to spend some time on me, doing what I want to do.  And in some cases what I really don't want to do - because sometimes we need to stretch ourselves, right?  So look out for that new blog, coming soon, where I give myself from now until the last day of 40 (because I started late... and I can't even think of 40 things yet...) to complete some challenges.  This honks of disaster already :-D  Happy.  Days. 

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Moving Day

The day was finally upon us, yesterday Dan moved into his room in Halls.  True to form, he only started showing an interest on Friday afternoon - Did I know where his is. Will I need y?  

Really ugly buildings on the outside

Dan collecting his key to his first 'pad'

Off to get part two from the car while I unpack... meh...

Ensuite bathroom #swish

Shared Kitchen

Last time he'll be sober for a long time...

Watching the hockey match outside the window

He was off out last night with the other new students, although he knows where he's going better than any peer guide could tell him!  Another lad in the room opposite came to introduce himself as we were leaving and by the time they went out last night, they'd all been acquainted, and went out together.  I am so jealous, I never thought I'd have a child in Uni before I went myself.  But the thing is, for me, it was always going to be about the entire experience, and not just the end result, the degree.  I wanted halls, living on a budget, drinking away my grant and then having to eat value foods, making new friends from all over the country.  After becoming a mum to Dan at 19, I was never going to be able to do it that way, and ending up as a mother of four, it was definitely not happening that way!  That's why I thought it would be a good idea for him to move out, albeit only three miles away, so he can experience it properly.  If it's not for him then he always has his room to come back to.  If he misses us (doubtful) he can always spend the night here.  If things are tough financially, I'll have his back and can get to him within ten minutes with food or money or whatever he needs.  I really don't know how I would have coped if he'd gone further afield.  Small mercies!

He wanted picking up today for Sunday lunch, apparently the lure of my roast pork dinner was too great to resist.  I was filled in on the shenanigans of the night before, it looks like one of his flatmates is a bit of a card, apparently he forgot to bring an iron and instead - filled a saucepan with boiling water - and used that to iron his shirt.  Top marks for innovation I guess?  I was also informed that I had set his alarm clock for 8 am.  Thinking ahead to the welcome meeting at 9 am on Monday morning, I hadn't factored in a lie in after a drunken night out this morning.  My bad.  It went off at the mains, apparently.  Bet he misses his meeting...

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Lunch out with Mr G - Lord Nelson, Bangor

Today marks ten years since my mother in law passed away, and it doesn't seem like yesterday.  One thing sticks in my mind, one specific conversation that I will always be glad that I had with Rita.  She was a worrier, especially when it came to her children.  One day when she phoned up, she went through her worries about her daughters, and at the end she said 'I don't have to worry about Stephen any more, I know you're looking after him.'

Wow.  There is no bigger compliment that a mother in law can give her daughter in law.  She knew that I was looking after her only son, her first born to boot, so well that she didn't worry about him. What a seal of approval.  I only hope that my three sons (and daughter, of course) find partners that afford me the same peace of mind.  

So, knowing this would quite naturally be preying on his mind, I decided to take Mr G out for lunch and a walk.  Looking through TripAdvisor I found good reviews for The Lord Nelson in Bangor, so we headed there.  There's a free car park opposite with plenty of spaces.  

We were greeted warmly by the Landlady, ordered two Diet Cokes (which came in cans so it wasn't syrupy and flat!), and we were given a glass and ice.  We found a table and perused the menu.  Nothing out of the ordinary, standard pub fayre, gammon, steaks, burger, cod, steak pie, lasagne etc.  We both decided to give the mixed grill a go, very reasonably priced at £12.50.  

There was actually more on the plate than we expected, as the menu didn't say lamb chop.  Really cracking mixed grill, well worth it for the price.

Love this man, he is my world and as long as there's breath in my body I'll always do what I can to make him happy.

In other news, 100 days until Christmas... Aaaaaaaaaargh!

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Indian Summer

We had a week of exceptionally nice weather.  When the kids have gone back to school. As standard. Indian Summer is good but just good ol' fashioned Summer would have sufficed!  It's changed by now, of course, but I have been under the weather and the Blogger app mangled my post, and dragging my sorry backside upstairs to edit it on my computer was too much like hard work.

We saw our last Crusaders home match this season, last Sunday.  They lost against York by 2 points.  Some shocking decisions by the worst ref I have ever seen, and the linesmen weren't much better either. Mr G commented as much on their Facebook page, and I had to laugh when another supporter likened them to Eric Pollard from Emmerdale and Sherman from American Pie.  The Ref was actually booed off to a chorus of 'You are the worst ref in the league'.  Luckily the other result went for us so, last crucial game this weekend up at Newcastle Thunder.  We also bought our season tickets for next year, which we decided would be our Christmas present to each other this year, under 16's season tickets are free, Cait and Beth also have one and we've applied online for the boys, as we can't expect Mum to babysit them every home game.  They're going to have to suck it up and do something I like for 80 minutes once in a while. They have enough done for them!  Short of breathing for them, chewing their food and wiping their backsides, they have very little else to do...

Mr G, me, Cait and Beth

Quite impressed with this picture of the kick

Standing ovation after their last home game

Final Score #wewasrobbed

September seems to be flying by as well.  I'm at a complete standstill at the moment, in limbo.  I have so many plans, but so little motivation and a *drumroll* mystery illness *cymbal clash*.  I haven't been 100% all year really, I had two either really bad colds or it was actually flu earlier on in the year, within weeks of each other.  Completely knocked me for six.  After I recovered from this, every morning since, when I wake up, I sneeze, my nose streams, my nostrils itch - sounds like hayfever or some kind of allergy?  So I started taking an antihistamine every morning.  Which worked to a point, then it stopped.  It's taking hours for it to even out in the morning, and then at night, it starts again.  I am absolutely wiped out physically, for the last three days I haven't even been able to get the most basic of housework tasks done.  It feels like flu... but it's not flu.  My limbs ache, my muscles ache, my bones ache.  My head is racing constantly, with 17 million different things, but I can't pick one to focus on, or to concentrate on before my mind is off again.  Mr G wants me to go to the Doctors on Monday, but I know I'll probably have to give blood, so that's me out.  I'm not going to Google anything because the last time I did that I went from mild headache to clinically dead in three clicks.  Mr G is being fab, he's really looking after me, I've had flowers, cream cakes, he's made food, but I know he is in a worse place than me health wise, so I feel really guilty about that.  Think I'm just going to have to woman up.  But probably not today...

The next thing on the agenda is getting Dan moved into his room in Halls in Bangor, next Saturday.  He's had his timetable for Freshers week, and by timetable, read pub crawls and go karting and then more pub crawls.  He handed me the timetable and I read it out in front of him and his friend Jonny.

Me:  Oooooh!  Tour de Bangor!  Can I come with you, Dan?  I haven't been out to Bangor for about 4 years...
Dan: Sure...
Me: There's only 19 years between us, it is possible that I could be your big sister, right?
Jonny: You could actually pass as Dan's sister...
Me:  Awwwwwwwwwww!  Thanks Jonny!  That's made my day, nay, week that!
Jonny: ... because Dan looks about fifty...
Me: Thanks...

Botox it is then. 

Saturday, 5 September 2015

The One Where I Vomited on Mr G. Thrice.

Last weekend we went off to Llangollen to Abbey Farm with our friends Helen and Gav. We set up camp with a shared gazebo in between us, and cracked open the wine and got the burgers sizzling.  

See that box of wine?  Yeah...

The next thing I remember is Saturday morning.  I wake up, slightly muzzy headed but I've been worse.  I stick the kettle on and I go to my cooker, and make a start on the sausage and bacon.  Helen trots out of her tent...

Helen: Morning!
Me: Morning!
Helen: *sniggers* Those mountain goats were making a funny noise this morning, Michelle?
Me: *blank*... 
Helen: They were going 'baa'...?
Me: Have you been smoking crack?
Helen: Don't you remember?
Me: No...?
Helen: See those up there?  On the mountain?
Me: The sheep?
Helen: Indeed.  Well, according to you last night, they were rare Welsh Mountain goats, and you couldn't be swayed from that opinion.  Then you just got up and went to bed.

Don't ask.  I don't bloody know.  I don't know.  I knew they were sheep before, I knew they were sheep after.  Needless to say I got ripped about goats all weekend.  So, that's how I got to bed.  

Mr G stormed out of the tent.

Mr G: You... You ... shit!
Me: What?
Mr G: You'd best get in that tent and clean that sick up!  I can't do that.  You know I hate vomit!

A vague memory drifts back into my mind.  Ah yes.  I was sick.  Mr G got me a towel.

We walk into the 'bedroom' pod.  Mr G pointed at his sleeping bag and patchwork quilt that went on top. The bottom was covered in 'Shiraz red' hued vomit. 

Me: How did I manage to spew all the way down there?

At this point, I swear Mr G was purple and had steam coming out of his ears.  He points at the vomitty bedding and shouts

Mr G: That? Was up here! *points at head*. You puked on my face!  Three times!  You know I've got a phobia of people being sick!  And you vomited on my face!  Three times!
Me: Ohhhh... Sorry?  


We had a lovely meal here, was so bloody hungry I forgot to get pics.  Five of us ate and had a soft drink for under £30.  Mr G and Ryan had a cheeseburger, Cait and Adam had BLT sandwiches and chips, and I had Steak pie and chips.  We went into Wrexham to buy school shoes for the children and had a bargain in Deichmann who had a buy one get one half price offer on.  We had a wander around Llangollen, but mainly we just chilled out for the whole weekend, listened to tunes, did a little reading and laughed and laughed and laughed.  It was probably the best camping trip we've ever had.

Gav bought us a pint of Wrexham lager, which was spot on, I could drink that stuff any day.  Mr G cried as he couldn't even take a sip of it.  

Three Down, One to Go...

The day after we arrived back from camping, Adam was back in school, starting Year 5.  He was a tad nervous about it, badgering his brother and sister as to what work he'd be doing, and whether it would be too hard for him.  In the end I had to tell him that he was only going to Year 5 not doing a Masters Degree and that the work would be age appropriate.  I've never known a child stress so much about school.  

The next day was Ryan's first day in Secondary school.  As they dressed and ate breakfast, I gave my Facebook feed a cursory swipe and noted all the proud parents posting pictures of their offspring.  Mum and Dad came up to take some pics themselves.  And this is how it went...

Ryan has farted.  He knows, but nobody else does. Yet.  Look at his face.

Caitlin has noticed.  Her eyes dart down to her minging little brother.  Looking mightily pleased with himself, isn't he?

Caitlin's face conveys 'Mum, please God hurry up with the pictures!'  By this point, everyone in the room is choking...

And we had to open the windows and vacate the room!

Everything seems to have gone well, no disasters, Ryan has made friends, Adam is pleased with the new school lunch menu (lol) and Caitlin's teachers haven't commented on the fact that she's come back to school with navy blue hair and a nose piercing!  So, all good!

Just Daniel left now to start Uni.  Sadly his Grandfather passed away so he is in Manchester with his family there. I'm non the wiser as to what he has to take to his halls, and what is provided, although what they charge per room per week, they should be feeding these students too! It costs about £20 less a week to rent my four bedroomed house!  I've hit B and M and bought him some bedding, a duvet, pillows, and I've started a food box.  By that I mean noodles.  We'll just have to wing it, at the end of the day it's not like he hasn't got a home and bed three miles away!  

Tomorrow we're back down the A55 to Wrexham to watch Crusaders last home game against York.  Crucial game in keeping their play off hopes alive.  Up to now my sister in law and husband are coming from Wigan to see the game too. Early bird Season tickets are on sale tomorrow too, so I might pack my credit card ;-)