Sunday, 19 December 2010

Santa Baby....

Another Silent Sunday. One picture, no words - head over to Jay's at Mocha Beanie Mummy for the photo fest...

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Writing workshop - Hold me up

I’ve got these thoughts running through my head. They never let up. I lie in bed and they jab through the peace of my dreams. I drive to work and they spool behind my eyes, causing me to jump the lights and overshoot the roundabouts. I go to work - they leap out from their lair and make me scuttle around the building looking for somewhere to hide. I laugh with my friends and they poke me in the back and remind me of sorrows. I play with my son and they invade our games, unwelcome visitors in our world of make believe. I lay in the bliss of love and they pounce on me and remind me of what I have lost and what I may never get back.

They make me cry. They make me panic. They make me angry. They distract me from living my life.

I’m trying to force them out. For a long time I didn’t even recognise them as the interlopers they truly are. I thought these thoughts were part of me, but they’re not. I have lived with them for so long that I believed I was them, that they defined me.

I’m on to them now. I am worn down by these thoughts and I’m going to need help to oust them. Perhaps they’ll never really go, but I’m going to try and push them out from centre stage. They are not me, they are part of what went before and I am determined to make them retreat. So much of life is being sucked away by these thoughts. I didn’t get through it all to live a half life, worn down by thinking of things that can’t be changed.

I will do it. I am trying so hard. All I ask is that you let me take my time. That you take my hand and try to let my angry tears wash over you. That when it's tough, you give me your support, grab me tight and do your best to hold me up.

Black and white - spot the difference...

This one's for the Gallery over at Tara's. I've had a little rummage and there are some amazing photographs this week. In fact, they are really fantastic every week! Please pop over and have a look...

Spot the difference between these two little boys. One of them is my son, the other is his dad. Loads of people say that O is a little mini-Mel, but here I see that he really is his daddy's son...

There is the same cheeky glint in the eye. The wayward hair sprouts perkily on both of them and they are both sporting glorious knitwear. How things run through the generations.

M is going through some tough stuff at work at the moment. He's weighed down with cares and worry and is very quiet and introspective. When I look at his baby picture, I see the boy he once was and I see the gleam in his eyes and the happiness in his smile and I long more than anything for the light and life to return to them.

 Meanwhile, we'll get through as best we can...

Saturday, 20 November 2010

An Autumn wander...

A few weeks ago me, M and O went for an Autumn wander through the woods and around the lake. It was one of those perfect Autumn days - cold and fresh. The trees were so beautiful - after looking through these pictures again, I feel mournful for the loss of that beauty. It did seem to be a particularly stunning Autumn this time around - I think it may be my favourite season. Plus I don't have to worry too much about shaving my legs - hurrah for black opaque tights...

The teeth are coming in!

I cannot describe the whirling that occured here...

My Autumn boy

Hard at work in 'The Library' (a tree named by the children where much fun is to be had)

Creeping through the trees...

I also took some moody black and white ones - the troll bridge is particularly sinister...

*spooky music*

Looking up through the canopy

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Show me the funny - O's comedy thang

It's Gallery time again over at Sticky Fingers and this week Tara's asking us to tickle her funny bone and spread the laughter throughout the internet. So without further ado, here's my funny, gurning, daft little O doing his comedy thang...

Wearing Great Gran's comedy teeth

The Egyptian

Mother and...gurn

Still smiling after throwing up in the maze and taking half an hour to find our way out...

Even his socks are funny...

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Hot priest alert...

I'm finding myself flitting from one book to another lately. It's not like me. I tend to have two or three books on the go, but usually finish one off before getting immersed in the others. However, at the moment I am leaving a trail of unfinished books in my wake and it's starting to bother me. Am hoping it's a blip - I need to get my reading mojo back...

I've always been a retro reader - going back to old favourites again and again, but recently, I've been doing this more and more. Am not sure why - perhaps its comfort in the familiar or maybe I just need something simple. When I was in hospital with my fractured skull earlier in the year, there was a copy of Flowers in the Attic in the scabrous old patients' lounge. This book was one which I read over and over again when I was 15. It was a craze - all the girls in my year were crazy for the titillating tale of Cathy and Chris and their doomy incestuous attic-based loving. How wholesome. As I mouldered in the orthopaedic ward, I took a break from helping the nurses out with the old ladies and speed-read my way through the book, marvelling at the sheer wrongness of the whole thing. It was strange going back to it 20 years later and realising how much I still knew off by heart and how overwhelmingly emo I must have been during the teenage years...

I think it must have sparked sort of yearning in me. Last week I ordered a copy of The Thorn Birds off Amazon and am about to delve once more into its depths. Does anyone remember The Thorn Birds? Catholic priest, Father Ralph and his relationship with Meggie? Inappropriate, forbidden, hot loving? Oh, how I adored it. I remember when I was a little girl and mum was gooey-eyed over the mini-series back in the 80s. I recall the cringing as she swooned over Richard Chamberlain and reminisced over his glory days as Dr Kildare back in the 60s. I eventually got over this horror and read the book during the same emo teen phase as when I read Flowers in the Attic. And, true to form, I was captured by the same obsessive devotion to the paper Father Ralph as my dear mother was by the small screen version.

I had a look on YouTube for some clips of the mini-series based on the book and came up with a number of  steamy scenes. Inspired by ShitMummy and her pervular blog, I bring you one of the best. It appears I am my mother's daughter, as I now have a raging and disturbingly fierce crush on the gorgeous Richard Chamberlain and his smoky, sexy voice...

In celebration of this delightfully filthy video, I shall post my new badge, handed to me by ShitMummy..

Must go. Got a priest to seduce. I'll be in the barn if you need me...

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

The Gallery - the one she begged me not to post...

Hello! It's Gallery time once again and this time Tara's gone with 'A Smile'. Please do pop over to Tara's Sticky Fingers blog to check out the other entries.

I have loads of pictures of my smiling boy - although these days his smile looks like a broken dry stone wall as he's losing teeth on what seems like a weekly basis. I was so tempted to post one of his grinning chops.

Then I thought of the photo my darling little sister, K, hates with a passion. It is crying out to be posted. It is one from my mum and dad's 25th wedding anniversary party. From the brief, happy time when I was the thinner sister and she was a little chunkier than normal. How we have laughed over this picture...

It is fondly termed 'the Chinese picture' and has gone down in family lore, along with other seminal works:
  • the one where the school photo lady combed K's hair and she looks like she been in a wind tunnel 
  • the one where I have a Jackson 5 perm
  • the one from 1971 where Dad is wearing purple swimming trunks - shudder...
  • the one where we've both been forcibly sat in a tree and I'm smiling through ill-disguised tears
 I have just come off the phone from talking to my lovely little sister and have told her that this is going on the blog. I am sorry to report that she used offensive language which I cannot possibly print in a respectable family blog. I hope you all enjoy her picture and please, do comment freely. I will be happy to share your words with her when she next pops over...

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Back to school - The Gallery

This is for the wonderful Tara Cain's Gallery. Please pop along and have a look at the treasures posted this week.

Two pictures. Thirty years apart. Two four year old children on the start of an educational journey.

This is me aged four in 1979. I loved school - loved the reading and the writing stories and playing with my friends. I didn't like being teased - that used to make me cry and retreat into my shell - a shell I still struggle to come out of on occasion. But I was a happy child and loved learning.

Education for me has been an up and down experience. A bright, top of the class girl for most of it until I reached GCSEs and A-Levels. Then I messed about, didn't try and carried that on until my degree, when I didn't get my 2:1. It was a colossal wake-up call and when I did my Masters, I really gave it my all and did myself proud. I don't think I'm done with education, but the thought of studying again brings me out in a cold sweat. Never say never though...

I look at the little girl in this picture and I can remember the picture being taken. I loved that dress with the embroidered flowers on. Mum must have picked it especially. I look at her eyes - my eyes - and think where life has taken that little girl that was once me. It has been so hard since breast cancer, but I think life's still good. I wouldn't have picked this path I've found myself on, but I'm trying to kick my heels and dance the rumba once in a while as I trundle along it.

And what about this little man, pictured at the same age in 2008? (Love that Geoff Boycott side-smile). What does life hold for him? He's happy and enthusiastic and enjoying being a big boy of six at the moment. He's been through a lot in his short life already - when this Reception picture was taken he'd been through a very tough time. It's hard for a three and four year old to see Mummy bald and poorly and sobbing as she fights to beat breast cancer. But he's come though all that with the help and support of my wonderful M and my family and friends and is cheerful, kind and cheeky.

I look at this picture and I see the promise of my boy. I want so much for him, but most of all I want him to be happy and healthy and surrounded by love. Just like he is now.

I want more than anything to see the man he will become. When I'm laid in bed at night, thinking the bad thoughts, that is the thing that grips my heart with fear the most. The possibility that I might not make it to see him grow up. This is the reason for my blog. Just in case I don't make it, I hope the things that are written here will help.

*This post took on a life of its own - was not supposed to be this maudlin. I can only apologise!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Tonight, he's a rock 'n' roll star

Following on from the Gallery post I did about Oasis and Loch Lomond, O and I have been listening to the Oasis back catalogue in the car, as I relive those happy days. We love to sing along together, giving it our full 'Liam' as we drive to soft play places, the park, Granny's house, the supermarket - you name it, we're singing Oasis as we go there. He's particularly enamoured of 'Wonderwall' and 'Cigarettes and Alcohol' (bad mother alert) and really throws his heart and soul into the singing and rock and roll posturing.

I was a child who grew up in a music loving household. My dad was a lover of classical music, opera, rock and the blues. Music was all around us and I have fond memories of the Sunday dinners where Dad would slap a bit of 100 Ton Chicken, Rolling Stones, Maria Callas or Jimi Hendrix's 'Electric Ladyland' on the turntable as I tried to force the brussel sprouts down my reluctant throat. The music was amazing - the sprouts less so. 

Does anyone else remember that Hendrix fold-out LP sleeve with all the naked women on? It seemed so risque back then. I would creep to the hi-fi cupboard and sneakily peer at the saucy women while my little sister giggled in the background and threatened to tell on me. There was the Roxy Music album as well. Dad - I'm appalled!

I do feel so lucky now that I had the opportunity to experience all this different music, although that was not the always the case back in the old days. When Dad dug out the Emerson Lake and Palmer 'Pictures at an Exhibition' LP, my mum would protest vigorously, my sister and I would cover our ears and endure the prog rock stylings with a very bad grace and some terrible squealing until he took it off. Poor Dad...

It seems right to pass on this rich musical heritage to little O, especially as his daddy also loves music and has a splendid record collection going right back to the Swinging Sixties. O has inherited his Grandad's love of a good blues riff and a stonking guitar solo and loves to bash his mini drum kit in the style of Matty from the Arctic Monkeys who is his drumming hero.

When we're listening in the car, he knows that when I turn the music down and la-la-la over it that there are 'bad words' and happily accepts the need for the censorship. I am not sure how long this will be endured - but I'm hoping that it will be a while. I can do without him singing along to 'the band were f****** w*** and I'm not having a nice time' (Fake Tales of San Francisco, Arctic Monkeys).

This one's for you, O. Toniiiiiiight, you're a rock 'n' roll star!

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Memories - Oasis and ice cream drinks...

Oh, something was needed to kickstart a slacker-blogger out of inertia. Thank goodness for Sticky Fingers' weekly photo Gallery from the lovely Tara. It's now Week 23 and the theme for this week is A Memory. Beautiful. So simple and yet so challenging. I've had a difficult couple of months and still trying to find my feet again, but things seem to be on the up. I was driving home from work on Monday and thinking about my poor barren blog when the light went on and my 'memory' was there. I couldn't wait to get back home and post - it's been weeks since I felt like that.

So - the memory. The photo is of (from left to right) Track, me, Wee and M, on 4 August 1996, up at Loch Lomond watching Oasis in concert. The photo is old and a bit blurry as I was holding the camera and M looks a bit distracted, but the joy of that weekend all floods back for me when I see it.

A wonderful two days, filled with friendship, drinking (but not too much as poor Wee was recovering from salmonella) and the joy of seeing Oasis live and lairy and full of Mancunian swagger. We danced and sang ourselves hoarse, I swooned at Liam's ape-like charms and we marvelled at the amazing fireworks at the end of the concert. Sod Knebworth - this was where it was at...

But the trip up to Scotland wasn't just about the Oasis concert, although that was the main reason for going. My mum's side of the family used to live not far away from Loch Lomond up in Gourock and I'd spent happy summer holidays up there staying with the family at my great-grandad's house.

They were such happy holidays. Great Grandad was gruff and old, funny and sarcastic and often a bit scary, but how I loved visiting him and playing in his garden where the wild raspberrries grew.  The last time we were leaving after another holiday, I remember waving goodbye to him through the car back window and suddenly my gran was crying and saying "I'll not see my dad again" and I felt a grip of terror. Such a vivid memory - it is as clear as a bell. She was right too - he died in July 1981.

So, a pilgrimage to Gourock seemed like the right thing to do whilst we were up there in 1996 and so on the Saturday before the concert, M & I drove through Port Glasgow, through Greenock and along to Gourock, following the River Clyde all the way.

Memory - such a powerful thing. In all my life I have never felt the rush of buried memories returning like I did as we drove through the main road through Gourock. It had been 16 years since I'd been there and the torrent of emotion and remembrance took my breath away. It was visceral and strange, but somehow exhilarating at the same time. I have never experienced anything remotely like it since.

Mum and Dad used to take me and my little sister for ice cream drinks when we were up visiting Great Grandad in the summer. I never had such luxurious delights at home and the glamour and magical taste of fizzy lemonade mixed with vanilla ice cream was something to be savoured (come on, it was the late seventies - times were hard!).

So when M and I were in Skipton with O last week on our wet caravan week in the Dales, I was delighted to see that the cafe we had picked for much needed refreshments served ice cream sodas. Hurray - ice cream drinks! It was O's first time.

The look on his face in this picture is priceless and I can feel the passing down of a special tradition has begun. The memory of the fabulous ice cream drink of my childhood is something shared and special and I can confirm that the Skipton 2010 is just as good as the Gourock 1979 vintage...

Monday, 16 August 2010

Camping with the NCT ninjas...

We had a fab, if slightly moist time up in Nether Wassdale on our NCT camping trip. It was so good to get back under the canvas with the gang and see the children rediscover their friendships and develop new ones. O was so happy that the 'little' boys were now able to play cool games like warrior ninjas and secret agents and spent ages running about with Laura's four year old and assisting in his muddy scab development. There were also endless games of cricket and football, played with verve by the secret agents. Here are several of the daring ninjas on the shores of Ennerdale.

One of the men of the party devised a child friendly two mile walk (with the help of Albert Wainwright), which in reality involved scary stepping stones and wading and a long, fairly tortuous slog up one of Scafell Pike's foothills. There was hardy walking, piteous weeping and domestic drama, but the children made it. Here's a picture of them celebrating their achievement. Even the cool teenagers are looking pleased with themselves in the background.

While we were on the shores of Ennerdale, I took some footage of the waves lapping against the stones with my phone. When I'd been ill I had some hypnotherapy and the sound of the water in the Lakes was the soundtrack of my 'special place'. I thought I'd capture this sound and drift off there again. Sadly, this footage is marred by the sound of Laura bellowing soothing entreaties to her children...

Other honourable mentions are:

The ladies toilets in the pub, with their pictorial and vaguely disturbing homage to the female bottom.

Our virgin camper, Solicitor Friend, getting down and dirty with the campers, but still bringing olives and hummous to the picnic table. After two days picnicking on curled-up cheese sandwiches we fell upon this bounty like campers possessed.

Peanut, the hapless and adorable hound, who endured gender confusion for the whole trip. "She's a SHE!" was the oft-repeated cry of the Drivers.

And finally, TFMo3 who entertained ten children for over an hour at bedtime with the power of songs and one chocolate biscuit each.

I can't wait for the next one...

Friday, 16 July 2010

Birthday boy - O's hit the Big Six!

Wow - I've got a six year old. That little blue baby who was placed on my tummy, not breathing or moving or making any sound on 16 July 2004 is today a big boy of six. He's mad on Sonic the Hedgehog, looking forward to the freedom of summer holidays and the heady promise of being in Year Two.

It seems like an ideal time to revisit some of O's best bits - his show reel if you like. I've said before that he's got a cracking sense of humour, tinged with the faintly absurd and downright odd. Without further ado, I give you O...

Aged 2 and a half
Me, O and M are in the car, travelling up to a bunk barning weekend, listening to The Smiths' Greatest Hits. 'How Soon is Now' is playing. Morrissey sings the classic lines:

"And you go and you stand on your own
And you leave on your own
And you go home and you cry
And you want to die"

A little voice pipes up from the back seat, "That's like pre-school."

Aged 3 and a half
"It's a good job I've got bones in my legs. I need to run for a wee-wee."

Aged 5 and 363 days
Me, O and his best friend, W, are in the car on our way back from swimming. The talk is of being six, the funeral rites of W's newly deceased goldfish, Sonic, and all manner of things in between.

O: Mummy, what year will it be in 95 years time?
Me (calculating wildy whilst negotiating sharp bends): Errrrr, 2105.
O: W, if I live to be 100, 2105 is the year that I will die...

Happy birthday, O. Here's to the next 95 years!

Friday, 9 July 2010

Mother's pride...

O's coming to the end of Year One. He's had a really good year and I can see the huge changes in my boy since September last year, not least the fact that he suddenly seems to be so much taller and wrestling is definitely much of a challenge.

This boy used to scream and cry if water went in his eyes or ears when I washed his hair. Now he disappears underwater for ages at his swimming lessons and is grinning when he finally emerges. He's even been picking bricks up from the bottom of the pool and finally managed to pluck up the courage to jump in with abandon this week. Such huge strides in such a short time.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Another six months...

So there it is. Another six months under my belt. Another milestone in the difficult journey away from breast cancer. I had my six month check up today with my smiley consultant, the one who took away the cancer that could have killed me, reshaped my breast and saved my life. He's lovely, human, smiling and has Motorhead's Ace of Spades as his mobile ringtone. An all round good sort and a rock-lovin' man to boot.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

My new perfume? Yes, it's eau de cat pee...

I have just been out with Glamorous Friend and her chubby little godson for a coffee and a toasted fruit teacake at the local garden centre. We had a lovely time catching up and playing with baby H and all was rosy. As usual, Glamorous Friend was looking good - eye make-up and accessories matching subtly with her pretty summer top. She looked good. I looked alright, it was just a bit upsetting that I had pink arms from wrist to mid-forearm where I'd accidentally caught the sun on my gothically pale skin yesterday. I'd been painting the shed and got carried away, forgetting that I should be wearing Factor 4000 and hiding under a parasol...

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Two front teeth...

Five year old O's top two front teeth are super wobbly. He's already lost two from the bottom, but these were quickly replaced by the new teeth and you really can't tell they've gone. I am in premature mourning for the top two teeth - they seem to represent the difference between his babyhood and him growing into a big boy. I don't feel ready to say goodbye to my boy's baby face just yet.

Introducing Sno Hey Noods Fansant Hey... The Gallery

Or to give her full title, Sno Hey Noods Fansant Hey Meanchod Sackad Hey. She is a cuddly polar bear and was once called Snowy and once had pure white fluffy fur. Now she is grey and ruffled and has the most bizarre name ever given to a bear...

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Motherhood - The Gallery

This week, I didn't think I was going to do The Gallery - I'm doing this so late, I'm almost wondering why I'm posting. The theme is Motherhood - emotive, precious and guaranteed to whirl up a maelstrom of emotions. I looked through the photo archives - there are so many photographs of my boy, but not so many of my boy and me. I remember sobbing on Friend from Way Back's shoulder a few years ago as I lamented the lack of photographs of me and O in his babyhood. I was too tired, too fraught, too caught in the headlights to want to be in photographs when he was tiny. And now I wish I'd just said 'sod it' and poked my weary face into the pictures a little more.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

F******* toads and light to medium flow - the perils of phonic reading...

I am an insatiable reader and always have been. I was the kind of child who was always being urged to 'go out and play, it's a nice day'. All I wanted was to sit in my room and read about Darrell and her adventures in Mallory Towers, or hide away up in the bower with Katy and the rest of the Carr children and drink weak vinegar-and-water. I lived for Thursdays when my Mandy and Judy and Tracy comics would be delivered by the paperboy.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Two little boys...

Another week, another Gallery! This week the theme is friendship. I'd mentioned my friendships a few posts back, so thought I'd take a different tack with this one. O has a friend, a best friend whom he's known since he was weeks old. They met, along with their mums at post-natal group and have grown to the ripe old age of nearly six together. Although they are chalk and cheese, they are close as close can be and W is a special person in O's life. Here are some pictures of this fabulous twosome...

These boys are so small they can't even sit up! O is the chubby cheeked one on the left.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

A sea of bluebells, a dwarf's arse and a dandelion clock...

We had the best day yesterday, just me, O and M. An impromptu picnic in the woods just up the road from us, complete with blue skies, a carpet of bluebells and shortbread biscuits. Sheer heaven.

The bluebells were wonderful - I needed to take pictures and made O stand in a patch of them, much to his chagrin. I can see he is slowly but surely changing into a BIG BOY and standing in flowers looking cute is not something that BIG BOYS do. However, the finished results did show that he is still willing to indulge his mummy, as long as there are no observers to witness his shame.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

A thank you from one dazed and slightly overwhelmed blogger...

I wrote the most personal blog post yesterday and posted it to Tara's Gallery over at Sticky Fingers. I received some wonderful comments, both here on my blog and on Twitter and Facebook. I was going to reply to all the comments one by one, but I am just overwhelmed by the kind and frankly tear-inducing things that have been said and thought I should respond more fully.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Self portrait - the hardcore version... The Gallery Week 12

This is my entry for Tara @ Sticky Fingers' Gallery Week 12. It's been a tough one for me but I am so glad I did it. I am sure there will be some fantastic entries this week. Please go and have a look at the other entries, as the Gallery is always full to bursting with wonderful photography.

May 2006. This first photo is a bit of a cheat, as I did not take this picture myself. But this was me, with my finger looking like it's stuck up my nose and my hair shiny, long and lustrous. I'm allowed to say that, as by November 2007, I'd been diagnosed with Grade 3 breast cancer and facing chemotherapy. The consultant who broke the dreadful news actually said, "Oh, your beautiful hair". I didn't think that the loss of my hair would be so hard to bear, but it really was.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Friends, phallic objects, skinny dipping and a cheeky child...

Good old Laura from AWNTYM tagged me in this award, which I'd had a go at previously. However, this one said I had to pick seven interesting things using only the medium of photos. I felt I had to accept the challenge.

One of the rules is that I have to thank my nominator. Many thanks, Laura, esteemed Facebook Wife. I have enjoyed the challenge and will need a full body massage to recover from the epic photo trawl I have just completed. It's hard going this blogging malarkey...

I'm not sure if the thing are interesting, but as I picked my pics, the people in them seemed to be the ones that sent out a siren call to me...

So, without further wittering, here are my seven photos...

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

My skills are superior...

There's nothing like a good bout of Sonic and Mario's Winter Olympic Games on the Wii to get the blood pressure rising and the red mist descending. I have a reputation as something of a competitive sort which I know you may find hard to believe. Beneath the mild-mannered librarian exterior beats the heart of a raging warrior who DOES NOT like to lose. This competitive spirit is usually under control, but there is something about playing on the Wii which brings out my inner tiger. More specifically, it is downhill skiing and figure skating which turns me dizzy with rage.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

The thoughts of O, aged 5 and 3/4

I've no broadband so I'm posting via my phone - so challenging, but couldn't let the blog hiatus linger any longer. It's been another long and difficult week in head injury land, but I'm not dwelling on it. Instead, here are a few random thoughts from my boy...

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

A Granny's joy - Gallery Week 7

It's Gallery time again over at Tara's Sticky Fingers - and this week the theme is joy. I am sure there are going to be some cracking posts submitted - I can't wait to get reading. The Gallery is one of my favourite bits of the blogosphere - there is so much going on there!

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Seven things you might not know about me...

I was tagged for this Kreativ Blogger award by Dara over at Readily A Parent and was giddy as a kipper as I've never done one of these before. Now I feel like a true bona fide blogger. Hurray!

In her post, in which she outs herself as a truly strange sort (!), Dara asked why Kreativ Blogger was spelt in this way. The librarian in me had to find out, so I had a quick look on t'internet. Apparently, the award started over at a Swedish blog called Husfruas Memoarer and the post with photographs of the making of the award is here. It is lovely to see it take shape.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Update on this life...

So, I've blogged since January and thought it might be time to do a 'catch-up' post, especially as I've been sore of head and wobbling about all over since the head injury. This has not been conducive to blogging in the slightest and I feel like I need to tie up a few loose ends. So, without further ado...

Thursday, 8 April 2010

The one where I stalked a cardboard man...

Back in the bad old days of 2007 and 2008 when I was going through the torment of breast cancer treatment I needed something to take my mind off the general crappiness of life. I did not choose anything artistic, character-building, charitable, or anything particularly noble. I needed something that was completely unrelated to what was going on in real-life and that something was a television programme.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Tentacles of doom - Gallery Week 6

Tara @ Sticky Fingers has given us a tough Gallery assignment this week. The theme is UGLYand I was really struggling to think of a photograph to fit the brief. Most of the photographs I've taken since O was born have been of O and my friends' beautiful children and the great places we've all visited together, so no joy was to be had in the archives. I didn't want to put a photo of me looking grim up as it would look as if I was touting for 'no - you are beyootiful' comments. However, I would welcome these if you feel like sending them.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Head injured, post-cancer blogger feeling sorry for herself...

I've got blog posts in my head, but no energy or spark to write them. I feel drained and droopy and altogether too sorry for myself. I'm struggling at the moment and am nowhere near the traditional image of the strong and perky 'breast cancer survivor'. The recent head injury and the resulting suspected labyrinthitis (dizziness caused by ear problem) are making me miserable. I can't drive, am still signed off sick from work, which is worrying as I am already in the HR system for managing attendance due to last year when I was off after catching every bug going. I feel generally worn out and brought down by the whole thing. I suppose being 'poorly me' again has bad connotations from before and I'm starting to brood and mope.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Blog hiatus due to rollerbooting horror - warning does mention skull fracture...

Out of necessity this is a short post. I apologise if some of it makes little sense and the grammar/spelling is poor. I am injured, damaged, not quite myself...

My dear sister has bought us both a pair of roller boots in a vain attempt to make up for virtually stealing my old pair off me when we were just young lasses. She promised to come roller-booting with me and O on the local viaduct, where people bike, walk, ride horses and roller-boot like crazy motherfuckers so that I would not look like a fool on my own. On Sunday it was a lovely sunny day - the kind of day where you think, "Let's get the roller boots on and watch the years roll back!". Sadly my beloved sister backed out, leaving me, O and my other half, M, to go it alone.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

A rant about school

I am so angry this evening - school-based incompetency has got me hopping mad. As I'm a part-time working mum, O goes to after-school club one evening per week. They pick him up from school, walk him across the road to the village hall and look after him until I come to collect him after work. This week I'd changed one of my working days, so he was due to go to after-school club today instead of his usual Friday.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Five things that O said this week...

1. Driving to swimming lesson. Five year old O, in indignant tones: Mummy, do you know that you're polluting the planet right now?

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

85, 35, 5....

This week the theme for Tara's Gallery over at Sticky Fingers is Numbers. I thought long and hard about this one - so many options and photos to choose. There are some fantastic posts up already - it is such a treat wandering through them.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

The one where I bought a shopping trolley...

We've been to IKEA - and I enjoyed it. It seems wrong to be typing that phrase, but there you have it. It was not as much fun as the time I went to IKEA with O and my three pregnant friends and we played in the little rooms, pretended to cook, lolled about on weirdly shaped chairs and generally lived the Swedish existence of our dreams.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Beauty - for the Gallery @ Sticky Fingers

Tara at Sticky Fingers has started a new feature called The Gallery. The idea is for bloggers to post photographs on a particular theme. There is a new theme every other Friday and the idea is for people to be able to view some of the really good photography that is out there in blogland.

The theme for the first Gallery is Beauty. Some wonderful photos have already been posted on a variety of topics.

Sex, violence, bad language and Curious George

O's off school today with a sickness bug. It started yesterday when we were at the dentist and he nearly chucked up on the poor dentist. I endured my scale and polish in an agony of dread, thinking that hurling was imminent - luckily he managed to keep it down. I think they might have taken away his Batman 'no cavities' sticker if he had chundered.

Monday, 1 March 2010

My real mummy...

I'm a bit obsessed with my hair of late... *avoids cries from nearest and dearest who have put up with my hair moans for the best part of two years*

The weird thing about my post-chemo hair is its excessive curliness. I was a long-haired gal with a slight wave before the evil chemo made it all fall out and I liked it. There are many stories to be told about the day my hair went and the day my lovely friends held my hand, held me tight and helped me through the shock of having it all shaved off, but I think that's for another time.

Sunday, 21 February 2010


O is gurning. This is not a new thing. I do have many pictures of him with his face pulled into various unedifying shapes. One noted example looks as if his face is stretched out with a coat hanger.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Notes to self re Pancake Day 2011...

1. Do not attempt to make pancakes on a gas hob whilst wearing a woolly poncho. The smell of burning wool will put you off pancakes for life.

2. Remember that your smoke alarm is as highly strung and sensitive as a thoroughbred racehorse and will emit piercing shrieks every time you open the kitchen door to hurl another slightly charred pancake at your offspring.

That is all...

Monday, 15 February 2010

The Cat's eye

We've been to the vet again this evening. The Cat has uveitis in her left eye and has been shuttled back and forth from the vet's since May last year with poorly eye-based traumas. It seems we are getting to the end of the road with treatment and we're on the final roll of the dice before we have to bow to the seemingly inevitable step of our brave kitty having her eye removed to save her any more pain.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Googolplexes, infinity and beyond...

I've had to come upstairs to bed to rest my head. I'd just enjoyed an episode of America's Next Top Model (don't judge me!) and then to instil a sense of balance into my viewing, I started watching the Horizon documentary which explored the troubling concept of infinity. I lasted ten minutes and then fled from the television, chased away by the mindblowing horror of a googolplex. My head is seriously woolly from being at a critical appraisal course all day - I am dazed by confidence intervals, P-values and absolute risk ratios and the googolplex has sent me over the edge. How can a number be too big to be written out because there isn't enough space in the universe?? *cries*

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Driving through the fog with Jim Morrisson

It's reet foggy here in West Yorkshire tonight - a proper pea-souper, thick and ghostly. Me and O were driving over the hills on the way back from Granny and Grandad's and it was a wee bit scary. We were listening to the 'Best of the Doors', grooving to Roadhouse Blues and trying to follow the white line as we ploughed through the gloom.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

The joy of....bubble baths

Before O was born, I used to love to soak my cares away in a big, deep soapy bubblebath. Such a cliche, but it was the one thing that could clear my frazzled mind, ease niggly period pains and generally put my little world to rights.

After O was born, luxuriating in the bath was not generally an option, but I'd take my opportunities when they arose, even having the odd 3am bath when the nights were long and the baby was wailing. I'd like to say these nocturnal baths were as mentally soothing as before, but sadly I think it would have taken more than a bubblebath to sort my post-natal head out...

Monday, 1 February 2010

The one where I sat next to the catflap

Last night I spent a freezing and fruitless half hour sat next to our back door, holding a cheesy chicken cat treat and trying in vain to coax the Cat to stick her head through the catflap...

Please let me explain. The Cat is eleven and is familiar with the concept of 'catflap'. However, the swaggering tom who has moved in next door is also au fait with the concept and is taking full advantage of this fact by coming into our kitchen and swiping my poor girl's meaty breakfasts. My elderly neighbours who are very fond of the cat (mine, not the swaggerer) told me that Netto's had a special magnetic catflap for sale. This magical device would stop Swaggering Tom from sauntering into my kitchen but allow ingress for the Cat as long as she wore a magnetic blob on her collar (red velvet, diamante - meeee-ow!).

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Age is just a number...

We've all been to my gran's 85th birthday party today. Granny Grace is a feisty, funny woman - Scottish and sarky. She's had a tough couple of years healthwise and is getting increasingly thin and frail, but her tough Scottish spirit shines through it all. She spent her early childhood in Malta, grew up in Greenock in Scotland, worked in a munitions factory during the war and moved to Yorkshire in the 1940s. I love her stories of the war years - the tough Glaswegian women she worked with, her dad scraping her illicit nail varnish off with a penknife and her shameless flirting with the GIs...

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

The start of something special?

I've been toying with the idea of starting a blog for ages, but always seemed to find a myriad of reasons to put it off. I suppose the main reason is fear - fear of exposure, ridicule, flaming (that always seems terrifying) or really being too up my own arse and inflicting hideous rambling upon any poor unfortunates that may accidentally stumble upon said blog.

Anyway, I think I've put it off for too long. I have been following my good friend, Laura, on AWNTYM since the beginning and also dipping in and out of other blogs along the way and have felt inspired and intimidated by turn. It's time to take the plunge and see how it feels to put myself out there. *dips toe*