True love to me means growing happily and contentedly old with someone I can rely on.
The snippets of conversations between the elderly couples on When Harry Met Sally.
The humorous lyrics of the song I’ve used to title my post.
Honesty, safety and companionship with a best friend you couldn’t imagine life without.
This elderly couple are on the bus everyday when I go to collect The Boy from school on an afternoon.
He rings the bell and then helps his wife up from her seat.
He aids her descent from the bus.
And then they stroll arm in arm down the road-him always on the outside edge protecting her from the traffic.
I can’t help but feel drawn to them.
This is love.
On Wednesday Jean, The Boy, Geeg and myself went to visit Dinosaur Discovery in Tong Village.
It’s not really that far away but when you’re reliant on public transport and your own two feet, a journey like this can take some time.
Two bus rides and a considerable walk later we found ourselves stood outside the entrance with mounting excitement.
You see, both Geeg and myself have harboured a fixation with dinosaurs ever since I can remember. We will happily sit and watch the likes of Jurassic Park 1, 2 and 3 over and over again and never get bored.
Their advert states:
The attraction is Jurassic park type walk thru interactive attraction with mixed animated dinosaurs, statics ,walking dinosaur puppet and mini dinosaur costume kids can wear and have a go, we have also have a sand pit where kids can dig some fossils.
Reading that back now and noting the poor grammar, missed words and added extra ones, I really should have had an inkling as to how this would pan out but my eyes hit on the words ‘Jurassic Park‘, ‘interaction‘ and ‘animated‘ and I envisioned something quite spectacular.
Plus one of their advertisement pictures looks like this:
Pretty cool, right??
Wait for it…
It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and we were all in high spirits-even Jean who’d just finished his night shift was pretty chipper.
As we entered the ‘park’, the guy behind the kiosk window handed us a blurred photocopy of all of the dinosaurs and a pen, instructing us to identify them on the way around in order to be entered into a prize draw at the end.
Intrepid explorers away!!
The first dinosaur we encountered was some kind of fur covered creature that jerked pathetically from side to side like it was having a mild fit. (Incidentally, this was the only thing that was actually animated in the entire ‘park’).
A sign to one side instructed us not to touch the dinosaur.
Of course, The Boy went straight up with arms outstretched until I grabbed him back and jokingly said, “Careful, he might bite!”.
That really was the wrong thing to say to him.
For the rest of the way round the ‘park’ he kept his distance from anything remotely interesting and refused point blank to have a go on any of the ‘interactive’ ones.
‘Interactive’ actually involved a sawn in half dinosaur constructed from a wire skeleton covered in fabric, speared through it’s belly by a metal pole like some macabre medieval display and then bolted to the floor. Where it’s rear end and tail should have been instead housed a set of bicycle handlebars that protruded from it’s innards enabling one to twist the grotesque display from side to side.
It really was bizarre.
We saw what I can only assume (because half of the signs supposed to be giving you information about what you were observing had been wiped blank by the weather) was a sabre toothed tiger propped drunkenly against a tree.
A sad looking pterodactyl with torn and holey wings perched precariously on a branch.
A caveman (which I’m pretty sure wasn’t around at the same time as our dino buddies) sat in a wigwam construction with a blue wire leading up to a control panel on the walkway we were stood on, looking to all the world like he was rigged up to a bomb ready to be detonated. Jean and I grinned at each other and promptly began messing with the buttons in the hope of making him do something. Sadly, he remained resolutely motionless.
The entire walk around the ‘park’, which was basically a stroll around a large pond at a leisurely pace, took all of ten minutes.
No T-Rex, velociraptors, stegosaurus, brontosaurus or sandpit full of fossils in sight. And the ones that were appeared to be half dead, drunk or decapitated.
I fear if they don’t smarten themselves up and throw some much needed money at the place then Dinosaur Discovery will be extinct within a couple of years.
It was a serious disappointment and I thanked the Lord that I’d paid for it using a voucher deal costing me significantly less than their advertised prices.
Despite all that we did have a fantastic time.
But that was down to the company.
The easy banter and joking between us all making it a brilliantly fun afternoon.
The highlight for me was watching The Boy throw pieces of his sausage roll into the mouth of a dino head poking up out of the lake.
We wandered around the adjoining garden centre, I made a few purchases in the form of vegetable and flower seeds and then we headed up the road to the local farm shop where we drank a much needed coffee and the kids ate ice cream whilst getting acquainted with the farm animals in the field next door.
I took loads of pictures.
But that evening my phone decided to crash and I lost them all before I’d had a chance to download them :(
*FYI, NEVER perform an iTunes update when your phone is plugged in to the computer. (Why don’t they give you a warning?!) It froze my phone and then I had to do a full restore, lost all my pictures and half of my contacts. Curse you Apple!! Grr!
So that was our day.
The only picture I have is one that I’d uploaded to Facebook earlier.
We encountered this friendly trio at the farm shop. I love the one on the right who appears to be having a good old chuckle at my expense (probably because he knew I’d just spent money at Dinosaur Discovery):
Mercifully the school holidays are almost over and I don’t have to find anything else to occupy The Boy.
Both my wallet and sanity are breathing a sigh of relief and performing jigs of happiness at that statement.
Roll on Wednesday when normal life will resume.
T-minus 5 sleeps and counting ;)
This is just a short post to let you all know that I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and have just signed up for BlogLovin’
I’m not quite sure how I feel about this little expedition yet.
Plus learning to navigating a new site is something I don’t particularly relish.
I’m going to give it a go.
What’s the worst that could happen?! ;)
This last Thursday we all took a trip over to Blackpool for the day.
The Boy was in his element on the train ride over, commenting (loudly) on everything he saw both inside and outside the train.
Kenneth, after finishing a night shift that morning, was finding it painful keeping his eyes open. Although with The Boy constantly chuntering away, it wasn’t too much of a problem.
And Geeg, dressed in her usual black with a face to match, sat silently in the corner giving us all daggers (family days are so damn painful when you’re an angst ridden teenager, don’t ya know?!)
All went well until Kenneth told Oscar to stand on his seat to see if he could spot Blackpool tower.
He couldn’t make out the tower but what he did spy was the red, emergency stop lever located enticingly just above his head.
His hand shot out, I screamed “NO!!!!” and managed to grab him, literally milliseconds, before he grounded the train.
With my heart pounding, I pulled him back down, regarded Kenneth accusingly and attempted to explain to a wriggling Boy why he must never, ever pull that lever, all the while directing my laser beam gaze between an apologetic Kenneth and Geeg who had collapsed into hysterical laughter the moment she’d spotted her brother’s intentions.
(FYI he did successfully ground the escalator the previous week in the market when we’d gone shopping. Big red buttons really appeal to him, it seems).
We disembarked onto a cold and rainy platform and headed straight to the sea front.
After everything I’d been through with The Boy at Alton Towers, I’d decided that this time I wasn’t taking any chances (should he go into meltdown mode) and so I’d secured him safely in his wheelchair.
I’d also had the forethought to go dressed in my waterproof winter coat and thank the Lord I did because damn, that place was freezing!
The only one of us who wasn’t prepared for the weather was Geeg.
She had sacrificed comfort (and dryness) in the name of fashion and spent most of that initial walk complaining bitterly about the rain and chasing her baseball cap down the street every time the wind picked up (much to my secret amusement).
We arrived at a completely deserted beach.
The waves were roiling and grey, the sky was dark, the wind blew ferociously and the rain pelted down.
The minute the kids hit the sand, none of it mattered.
I watched as my grumpy, surly, “I don’t like anything!” teenager shed all of her pretences and morphed into my sweet little girl once again, right before my eyes, skipping happily across the sand- innocent and free- looking for shells.
And The Boy.
Well, he’s never seen the sea before.
Initially, he was…reluctant (shall we say?) to even step foot on the beach and so I left him with Kenneth to follow in Geeg’s wake.
The moment he saw me wandering off, he was pulling at his straps and demanding to be let loose.
From the second his feet made contact with the sand, he was in Heaven.
He studied every sand pool we encountered in minute detail with awe and enthusiasm.
He threw stones.
He chased seagulls.
We found a frisby and he took great joy in hurling it at Kenneth.
It was fantastic to witness them both taking so much pleasure from such a simple experience.
I wanted to cry with happiness at their innocent excitement.
It was a perfect memory made.
We strolled along that deserted beach for a couple of miles before we all decided it was time to take shelter and warm up.
The Boy even clambered back into his chair himself, pulling down his rain hood as he went, and once he was comfortable he announced he wanted some “hot dog chocolate”.
I’ve no idea where he got hot chocolate from-he doesn’t have it here- but it tickled us all as his demands became more insistent.
A unanimous vote decided that Fish and Chips would be the order of the day, since we were at the seaside and all, and so we made our way to the nearest chippy.
The Boy ordered his hot dog chocolate but when it arrived it was way too warm for him to consume, so I put it to one side and kept blowing on it whilst we waited for our meal.
Once it had cooled sufficiently, I offered it to him with serious unease.
“Let Mummy hold it?” I asked, having an inkling something bad was about to happen.
But he shook his head vehemently, grasped the polystyrene cup and took a heafty swig.
Now Oscar isn’t used to drinking warm beverages.
As soon as he realised it wasn’t cold, he spat his chocolate straight back into the cup and promptly dropped it onto the tabletop.
As the base of the cup hit the marble it had a kind of volcano effect.
Everything, including the contents of my handbag that was open and placed on the floor under our table, got soaked in hot chocolate.
Geeg set off with her insane giggling again.
The Boy regarded me in stunned silence for a second and then swiftly enquired with a whisper, “More hot dog chocolate please?”
I nodded with a sigh and got up to order another at the counter whilst Kenneth did his best to mop up the last one with paper towels.
(He had a straw with the next one which made things a Hell of a lot easier).
After lunch we took a leisurely stroll along the pier.
The rain had eased and it made for a pleasant walk.
We bought some rock to take home and The Boy sampled his first ever candyfloss.
Geeg and I sniggered like school children over the ‘adult’ rock section and played a heated game of air hockey together.
We all attempted to grab a teddy-with no luck.
We visited the lifeboat centre and were amused to discover their boat is named after Geeg.
We watched children scream with delight on the rides and a man bravely feeding seagulls from his outstretched hand.
On the way home, everyone fell asleep-The Boy resisted for sometime before he finally succumbed to the urge and collapsed on my breast.
It truly was a fantastic day.
It didn’t matter about the wind and the rain.
It didn’t matter that I didn’t have a fortune to spend.
We all had a fabulous time in each others company and money certainly can’t buy memories like these.
I will treasure this day for the rest of my life.
Last week was pretty hectic:
- I took the kids-and Kenneth- to Blackpool. They had a fantastic time, the story of this requires a full post all of it’s own though.
- I’ve been desperately trying to find a new home for Bubbs (sob).
- The Boy and I made two trips to the garden centre (his new favourite place) to procure some more flowers and a bird house-at his insistence (I have serious reservations as to whether we’ll actually get any birds nesting in it over the winter having three cats and all but one can hope).
- Kenneth and I went to see a brilliant covers band at a pub then ended up in our local gay club, Candy, where I made a new friend who was enamoured with my boobs and didn’t hesitate to jiggle his face in them at every given opportunity. Plus he drunkenly informed Kenneth several times what a lucky, lucky man he is to have me (which, admittedly, was nice to hear coming from someone else’s mouth other than my own). We danced until 4am and made our way home with a greasy kebab. The highlight of my night had to be witnessing Kenneth who, rather comically, did a pretty fabulous impression of a windmill before he barrelled backwards off the (high) dance floor. He didn’t injure himself-his bottom and drunkenness cushioned the fall.
- We all met up with Kenneth’s cousin and her children and had a fabulous meal at a restaurant called Moo (beautiful food for carnivores) followed by a long walk in the park where The Boy and Kenneth’s niece got the chance to run free and let off some much needed steam.
- I mucked out the chickens, renewed my passport and got two quotes for paving a patch of unused grass down by the chicken enclosure.
- Plus Rach came round for a night of wine and gossip.
If last week was considered a full and productive week then this week is going to be the exact opposite in comparison.
Kenneth is working tonight and tomorrow and then is heading off to London for three days so I’m going to be on my own for most of the week.
Correction, I’ll be on my own with The Boy and no adult conversation to look forward to for most of the week.
I won’t have to start pulling my hair out, I can already feel it loosening itself at the roots, strand by strand, of it’s own volition.
I have bills to pay this week and pennies are tight so I can’t take The Boy off to the garden centre or anywhere else for that matter.
Neither can I afford to buy myself materials for my next project, so I won’t have anything to keep myself entertained on an evening either.
Plus the weather forecast for the week is pretty dire meaning there will be very little garden time for either of us.
The rain brings up another dilemma too-what to do with Hubbell. Even though he has a pretty stunning kennel in the garden he refuses, point blank, to take shelter in it. So there’s no way I can put him outside (I just can’t live with the guilt of knowing he’s getting soaked) but neither can he stay holed up in Geeg’s room all day long. And he can’t be downstairs around The Boy.
I swear several hairs have just floated down to land on my keys as I typed that last paragraph.
If we all make it out alive by Friday, the little shred of sanity I have left remains intact and I don’t end up bald then I will be more than impressed.
I will happily sacrifice my right arm in thanks to the Powers That Be for their graciousness.
Now I’m off to perform a sun dance and Gaffer tape The Boy to a chair.
Happy Monday people ;)
This post is so very hard to write and I spent yesterday evening crying over the decision I’ve just had to make but I know that in the long run it will be best for all of us.
I have to find a new home for our beloved Hubbell.
Two weeks ago Hubbell was sat by my feet at the kitchen table and The Boy came up to talk to me. As he came close, Hubbell’s nose darted forward and he attempted to nip Oscar. It happened so swiftly that I questioned what I’d just witnessed.
Did he really go to bite?
Was he trying to sniff him?
Had The Boy accidentally trodden on his paw?
Afterwards, an uneasy feeling grew inside me and from then onwards I kept a closer watch on Hubbell’s behaviour.
On Wednesday Hubbell was tied up in the garden on his ground spike and chain taking in the sun and The Boy was happily playing by himself in the garden.
Hubbell began barking in an unusual way and so I stepped quietly outside to observe the situation.
Oscar was pottering around close by to Hubbell and Hubbell was going mental but not in an “I want to play too” kind of way, in an “I want to rip you limb from limb” way.
His teeth were bared, his ears and tail were flat, saliva dripped from the corner of his mouth, his chain was pulled so tight it was almost strangling him and his body was a bundle of taught quivering muscles as he fought to get to my son.
I called Oscar up to the house and he tottered slowly up the decking ramp smiling, completely oblivious to the danger below him.
The minute he entered the house, Hubbell’s snarls and growls of malice stopped and he resumed his usual snuffling in the ground, ears perked up and tail wagging.
That night, as Hubbell sat curled on my knee regarding me with his big, loving eyes, I realised he had to go.
For whatever reason, Hubbell has decided that Oscar is a threat.
I no longer feel safe with the two of them being around each other.
And my son has to come first.
But that doesn’t stop me from feeling absolutely heartbroken at having to let this dog-that has been a member of my family now for almost three years-go.
He is a beautiful dog.
He is so doting and sweet natured when it comes to adults.
Although he refuses point blank to toilet on walks-saving it all up for when he returns to my garden-he’s pretty damn talented too.
He will sit immediately.
He will wait for food so well that I can balance a piece of ham on his nose and he won’t take it until he hears the word ‘gently’.
And then when he does, he is so delicate and attentive.
Plus, he will sing on command.
As a companion for adults, that can devote care, time and attention to him, he is the best dog in the world.
But when it comes to being around children (or cats for that matter!), he’s just not compatible.
I know I could send him to Dog’s Trust (because they never put animals down) but the thought of him being kept in a kennel fills me with so much pain.
I need to know he’s going somewhere where he’ll have a bed.
Where he will be cuddled.
And loved everyday.
Somewhere that is better than the home he has had here because, honestly, the thought of him missing us pierces my heart so much that I can’t bare it.
And now I’m crying again :(
My poor, poor Hubbell.
I’ve asked all of my friends on social media if they know of anyone who would be suitable to take him.
I have to be able to receive updates on him afterwards.
I’m going to need to know that he’s all right and that he’s happy and well.
So I’m going to ask you folks too.
If any of you know anyone who would like to adopt Hubbell, then please get in touch ASAP.
It has to be sooner rather than later, as the longer I leave it, the more risk there is to Oscar.
This decision has crippled me and the day that he leaves-and for some time afterwards-I’m going to be a mess.
But it has to be done.
For all of us.
Hubbell, despite not being suitable to have around children, is a beautiful, devoted loving dog and deserves the best life possible too.
Today has been a bit of a ‘none’ day really (and just the tinniest bit painful).
We took a walk down to the train station to book travel tickets for our day trip out to Blackpool on Thursday, which I didn’t end up purchasing as the guy behind the counter was trying rob me of almost £100.
For my American friends, £100 is extortionate for a two hour ride to the most tackiest place imaginable. It really is a dive (think drunken hen and stag parties, cheap booze in plastic cups and a sea you wouldn’t want to swim in unless you’d recently had a tetanus jab).
But, it’s cheap (or so it should be!), cheerful and a fun day out for the kids (Hell for yours truly).
We came back home with a seriously peeved Oscar (adamant that we were going on Thursday come Hell or high water) and I managed to book them online for almost half the price instead (no idea what the man behind the desk at the station was trying to do me!).
I gave my shed it’s second coat of paint and now it’s a lovely shade of lilac-everything is starting to come together nicely.
I watered my plants, had a brief consolatory chat with my disgruntled chickens after I caught The Boy
throwing trying to feed them pebbles and tidied up the kitchen.
Then I spent the rest of the afternoon twiddling my thumbs in an I want to do something now, damn it! But don’t have anything to do kind of way.
I had a nosey at The Land Of Dreams website (AKA Ebay) where I found a beautiful wooden windmill for the garden.
And then I looked for plans to make my own.
Then I quickly changed my mind when I realised I can’t cut a straight line with a jigsaw to save my life.
And then I stared at the wall some more….
Oh, and absent mindedly scratched my crotch.
No, I’m not turning into a bloke but I did have a spur of the moment stupid idea last night that backfired on me in a rather spectacular way.
Whilst sat on the loo yesterday evening, I glanced up and spotted Kenneth’s electric beard trimmer perched on the bathroom cabinet.
Since it’s been a while and I’ve developed a bit of a 70’s porn star look.
So I gave them a whirl and whipped it all off in under a minute.
“Blimey!”, I thought with a grin, “This is fabulous! If only I’d have known before I could’ve saved copious amounts of time and energy-not to mention the cost of razors and shaving gel!”
I skipped off to bed, feeling the wind between my legs and thought no more about it.
That was until I woke up this morning with an unbearable burning itch in my nether regions-and no, not in a good way.
So for the second time in my life, I’m walking around like John Wayne after doing something thoughtless to my poor pubes.
Shaving gel is there for a reason.
And I intend to use it in future, without question, regardless of how lazy I feel or how ‘quick and simple’ something appears to be.
Lesson well and truly learnt.
I haven’t told Kenneth.
I’m not sure whether he’d laugh at me or be really offended that I used his trimmer.
Either way it won’t make for a pleasant conversation.
I then spent the rest of the evening curled up on the sofa with The Boy, watching Friends and eating pizza.
I thought I was doing a reasonable job of not scratching until Oscar spotted me squirming, frowned and shot off into the kitchen returning with something in his hand a moment later.
He thrust it towards me and with much concern in his eyes, whispered seriously, “Mummy got a sore bum bum? Use the magic cream”.
Bless his thoughtful little head.
So now I’m back to twiddling my thumbs, planning the garden and contemplating taking a cool bath-I have to put this fire out somehow!
Fingers crossed tomorrow will be a tad more productive and a little less eventful ;)
Thanks goes to Multifarious Meanderings for today’s title ;)
I told you the other day that I’d been getting friendly with the glue gun, well this is why:
A few weeks ago someone asked me what I did for me.
The question flummoxed me a bit and I answered slowly, “Well, I write….“, kind of petered out and left it there.
Then I spent the rest of the evening deciding what I was going to do for me and my mind landed firmly on the garden.
As I said to you a couple of posts back, I haven’t had a big, physical, creative job to get my teeth stuck into since I remodelled my kitchen.
I spent the next few days scouring the Net for inspiration and what struck me the most was all the hand made, highly ingenious stuff people have done to spice up their little plot of land to turn into their own personal paradise.
So I came up with the idea of making my own hanging baskets.
Constructed of kitchen colanders, spray painted and decorated in about 1400 buttons in various sizes, shapes and chosen shades, I reckon they look pretty fabulous.
And I’m really pleased with how they’ve turned out-they are exactly as I had pictured in my head.
Today myself and The Boy risked a trip to the garden centre to buy plants to fill them.
I have absolutely no idea whether they will last this year, let alone come back again next but either way it’ll be a learning curve and if they don’t return well *shrug*, I’ll have fun replanting them next year :)
I’ve also made this funky clay chicken to hang on the Chicken Shack door:
The Boy has already picked off his eyeball (we had stern words over that one!) but he was fun to make anyway-and easy to fix, thankfully!
But whilst I’ve been freeing my creative spirit, I’ve also been giving myself third degree burns with hot glue:
Yeah, I know!!
But I can’t wear gloves because it made the tiny pieces I was working with almost impossible to handle.
I’ll let them heal up a bit before embarking on my next project.
So that’s why I was so insistent about scaling ladders whilst suffering with vertigo yesterday.
Patience isn’t one of my strong points-especially when the creative juices are flowing, man.
What to do next…?!
Farmer Farthing is not a well bunny.
Not at all.
The vertigo I thought I’d gotten rid of a few years ago has reared it’s ugly head again.
I rolled over in bed yesterday morning and my brain felt like it was sloshing around in water inside my skull. It took a good two minutes for it to catch up to my head and settle down.
All day I moved around like I’d suffered terrible whiplash-keeping my head as still as possible in order to control the horrendous motion sickness that was doing it’s best to make me vomit.
Right now, as I’m sat here typing, I can only look straight forward. I don’t dare move my head in any direction and I certainly can’t bend down or reach up. I’m supposed to be cooking a full Sunday dinner with all the trimmings this afternoon, that’ll be….interesting.
When it first happened, hypochondriac that I am, I crawled into the doctors office convinced that I was having a stroke or something equally as severe and begged the Doc to make it stop.
A week later I was booked in to have the Epley Manoeuvre performed.
As I lay on the surgical bed, my eyes literally spinning in their sockets, the doctor explained what was happening to me.
The medical term is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo.
When I heard the diagnosis I was convinced it had to be serious.
Thankfully, it’s really not.
It’s just small calcium crystals that detach themselves from the wall of your inner ear and make their way into the liquid that controls your balance sending the signals haywire and thus making you feel like you’re on a boat in the middle of a raging storm.
All the doctor had to do was rotate my head in a particular way to get the crystals to float back to where they came from.
Not nearly as scary as I’d imagined.
Then I had to sleep sitting up for the next two days to ensure the buggers didn’t escape again.
All went well and I haven’t suffered from it since.
However, they did warn me it could happen again.
So here I am feeling miserable and very, very sick.
“I am not going to barf”, appears to have become my mantra over these last two days. And it’s worked, although I haven’t really been able to eat much so I’m not sure if it’s down to sheer will power or the fact that my stomach is empty.
When I woke up this morning I decided ‘fuck it‘ and got on with the jobs I had to do regardless.
I’m not sure that climbing six foot ladders in the wind to drill holes in the wall for my new hanging baskets was the best idea but hey, it’s done and I’m still alive! (Believe it or not, I managed to keep my head on straight throughout the entire thing).
So first thing in the morning I’ll be on the phone to the doctors to get booked in for The Manoeuvre.
I’m not going to suffer with this for a moment longer than I have to.
I know I love boats and being on the ocean but damn, this is not my idea of sailing!
Don’t think Rod Stewart, think The Perfect Storm :(
Recently, Marvin, my Pachira Aquatica tree has been looking a little….shabby.
After some thorough research (AKA Googling) I discovered it was due to the many off shoots growing from his base preventing nutrients from the soil reaching his big, beautiful leaves at the top.
So I did a little pruning.
And decided to try and grow my very own tree from the cut offs.
I carefully plaited three of the fragile stems, dipped them in rooting powder, planted them and created a mini greenhouse dome from an upturned pop bottle.
I placed my new plant on the landing window sill and said a little prayer to the powers that be for it to take root.
That evening, as I wandered up the stairs, I glanced up and caught sight of this.
I just had to take a picture.
It reminded me instantly of The Beast’s rose under it’s glass dome.
A beautiful silhouette… how romantic.
Now where is my beast?!
Oh yeah, he’s working tonight.
Happy Friday peeps ;)