Friday, 27 June 2014

Mad, Sad and Glad

The mad.  Up at 5 am after an appalling night's sleep.  Again.  I can't sleep when I'm like this. I'm not being cryptic here, I'm not often lost for words but how to even begin to explain why... I don't know where to start.  A massive story.  And it's not even over yet.  Meh.

The sad. The knock on effect of the above.  A few posts ago I mentioned that Mr G and I had been together for nearly 15 years.  It was the last weekend of June when we met, so we hoped to spend this weekend celebrating with family and friends.  I also preempted disaster, when I said that when I plan something, it usually goes wrong.  So I've had to cancel my little soirĂ©e until a later date. Tell my friends before they start baking and making dishes for tomorrow.  Because today, I should have been doing the same. Instead, due to a certain company and their appalling service and lack of customer service, I am going to have to spend the day trying to help Mr G source what seems to be the unsourceable in our local area.  Because by the end of today, if we're successful, I won't feel like baking and cooking, and if we're unsuccessful, the only thing I'll feel like doing is getting mullered.  So. That's peed me off big style.  I know this is awfully cryptic, so if you're reading this and were one of those people who were coming, I will email you a link later that explains it better.  Look to reschedule for two weeks tomorrow, all being well.

The glad. Well, the week hasn't been all bad. We had mostly lovely weather. Daniel finally finished 6th Form. His last exam was horrific, but it's done now. He knows he won't be going to Uni with his friends, he wanted and still wants to get on the Computer Science course in Bangor University and after his subjects disaster, didn't have enough UCAS points.  He was only about 30 short.  However, to his credit, he had a back up plan, and this week interviewed successfully for an Electronics course in college. He will make his points up there, plus gain another qualification, and although later than he hoped, there's nothing stopping him going to Uni in two years time on the Computer course. So I'm very proud of him, that he took it on the chin, and chose an alternative.  Due to his Aspergers, education hasn't been an easy thing for him. He has always been clever, but getting this on paper, out of his head, in more than one word answers... Concentration was also a problem.  By the time school finally pulled their fingers out and gave him help, he was at the age that the help was embarrassing and he surrendered it.  Kids can be cruel. So he has sat his final GCSE year, AS year and A Level year with no help but a little extra time in his exams.

On Tuesday he had his Leavers Ball at a hotel in Caernarfon.  He looked very handsome in his suit and tie, scrubs up quite well!  He took his camera and he and his friends looked lovely, especially the girls with their pretty dresses.



We had our official invite from Steph and Nigel for their wedding.  And inside, they had put this...



What a fantastic idea!  I know some people might find it cheeky to request a cash gift, but I don't.  I'd rather give a couple cash, or a voucher, than waste my money on a toaster, or kettle that they don't need?  Unless of course, they specifically asked for an item.   It was a situation I was in when I married Mr G, we'd been together nearly three years by that point, our home was set up already.  A lot of people used their initiative and gifted us cash and vouchers, and we were able to buy a tumble dryer (which was practical), and a camcorder (which was a luxury).  Two items we wouldn't have been able to afford otherwise. 

The venue they've booked looks nice on the website.  We're all really looking forward to it now.  And the day after the wedding, we're going to come back via Corwen and go to our favourite little pub there, The Berwyn Arms, it's Adam's birthday the next day and he's requested his birthday meal there.  Probably the nicest pub food I've ever had.  I wish we lived closer to it, but probably better for my waistline that we don't!  I'm going to order my dress soon (the black one!) and really try to stick to my healthy eating plan for the next four weeks.  Half a stone off so far, but this week has had me so stressed...  Toying with the idea of getting my first ever spray tan, but Ross Geller keeps popping into my head?  Haha! 

I'm an EIGHT!?

Well, at the moment the shade I am is minus eight.  Especially my legs.  Which never see the light of day, they were so bad the other day, I looked like I had UGG tights on.  I was so ashamed of myself that I epilated them, to teach myself a painful lesson.  So if I'm wearing a dress, and don't want to be wearing tights in July...? 

Off now to sob and rock in a corner.
     

Monday, 16 June 2014

Happy Father's Day and Phase One complete!

Although a day late - Happy Father's Day to the fathers, step-fathers, grandads and those who have to play both roles.  As always love to those who are missing someone special today.  An extra special Happy Father's Day to my Dad and also to my lovely husband, the wonderful Mr G.  My love, my best friend, my rock. I hope you all had a special one. 

Sat on his England flag #jinx

We've been at it again all this week.  We also managed to get some gardening done inbetween.

Sorry #filth #mybad

Just sneaking a peek at my last post, where I talked about our garden plans.  Two plans.  I was bemoaning the fact that it was probably going to be an eternity for the recycled one to come to fruition?  Well... I was wrong.  I know, right?  Me?  Wrong?  Practically unheard of.  Woman?  Wrong?  Same sentence?  Does not compute.  Ha!  

I'd spotted something on Facebook a few weeks ago and I thought 'Oooooooooh!'.  I sent the picture in a message to Mr G and he said that he'd certainly try to make something similar for me.   Our friend Doug came up with the materials we needed this week, in fact he came up with more than what we needed.  And... it's done!  Eight days after wondering when I'd ever be able to get it started, let alone finished... and it's done!  My husband is a little star.  As is Doug.

Pallet furniture for the decking at the bottom of the garden.  I saw it.  I wanted it.  I now have it.  Here's a few photos to show you the start to finish.










I love this man!

I am so, so pleased with this that I can't put it into words.  It's cost us next to nothing to make, the only cost being the cushions and seat pads, and even those we had at ridiculously low prices from Bangor Market and discount stores.   It's one thing to go out and buy new furniture - I know, I've done it myself this year for the top of the garden - but to have something you know that you've made from scratch - and cost you peanuts, well - that's the sort of thing that makes me smile!  Especially taking into account how much the second phase is costing us.

So from the middle of this week, our time is going to be taken up with the second project.  And I am dreading it to be fair.  It's going to be hard, hard work.  But Mr G is so excited about it that it's going to be worth every ache and pain afterwards just to see him happy.   It's something he's wanted for years and years.  This and a drum kit.  This was the quieter option...  

We actually managed to have a night out together on Friday, at the 80's disco in The Bulkely Hotel in Beaumaris that my friend Helen was organising to raise money for her Brownie troop's new hut.  It was nice spending time with some old friends, I met up with a girl that I hadn't seen since school so 22 years since I'd seen her!  The fancy dress was brilliant, and there was a hog roast (beyond amazing) and really good raffle prizes.  I won a family ticket to Welsh Mountain Zoo, so that will be a good day out for the minions in the summer holidays!

Off now to take my husband and my father to Snowdonia Parc for a belated Father's Day lunch! 

M x

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Time...

I can't believe it has been a week since I went to watch One Direction.  It's actually worrying how quickly time is passing by, this year seems to be flying by faster than ever, anyone else think that?

The garden is coming together slowly.  After having so much that we needed to do, and working through it bit by bit, we've hit a bit of a plateau now.  Our friend came and cleared all the weeds where the trampoline was and arranged for someone to come and take it all away for us.  He's a star and I'm going to make him a fantastic cake to say thank you.  It's five layers tall ;-)   So now, we're good to go for the next stage of the garden overhaul.  We have two projects at the 'plotting' stage.  One - expensive, the other - at it's most basic level is free, and really pleasing to my 'green' side as it's a recycling project.  The expensive one, is proving no problem in coming together, the only thing hindering us at present is the time frame.  The recycled one... is a pain in the ass.  That is going to take weeks purely for the materials we need, coming to us in dribs and drabs.  So, short of a miracle, we're in limbo at the moment.   It can technically be 'made' but that would defeat the object of the project?  Although I do have to say Mr G has been like a chubby, Northern, moustache-less Poirot this evening searching online, and he may have come up with a lead to follow up on tomorrow!   Eeep!  Aside from that, we've got a bit of work getting old roots up from the now clear massive patch at the bottom of the garden, and then levelling it out.  Then we wait... *drums fingers impatiently on table*

Mr G and I are coming up to our 15th anniversary of getting together.  Fifteen years.  I can't believe it's been that long since I stole his heart and his Mint Imperials.  They do say time flies when you're having fun.  And it has been fun, I must admit.  Yes, we've had our ups and downs, sadness, hard times, health issues but so far - touch wood - nothing has impacted on our relationship.  That shows how strong we are as a couple.  We've supported each other through everything we've had to face, and when one of us needs to be stronger than the other then that's how it goes down.  

Technically, we shouldn't be together.  We shouldn't have met that weekend.  As we've gone over and over the story this last fifteen years, it still amazes us.  There were so many things about our story, that one minor decision made differently, one wrong turn, and we wouldn't be here now, together.  It's a long story... and he tells it so much better than I do.  But we really, truly believe that because of all these little things, all these obstacles that should have kept us apart that weekend, we were destined to be together.  I couldn't ask for anything more from him, as a husband, as a best friend, as a father to our children.  He's the butt of so many jokes and the bane of my life at times on my blog, but it is all tongue in cheek.  Life would be so dull without him, and although he does drive me mad most days, I wouldn't want him any other way.   He's my biggest fan, my biggest supporter, and that's no mean feat because I am bloody hard work most of the time.  I love him more than I can put into words and I genuinely love him more every day.   Awwwwwwww :-)  *passes the sick buckets out* ;-)

So hopefully on the weekend following our 'anniversary' we'll have a get together of sorts with family and close friends to celebrate, seeing as I had to forego my birthday party this year.  Maybe a meal, maybe a barbecue, I'm not going to make any concrete plans because something usually crops up to ruin them when I do! 

We're both on a health kick again, trying to lose at least a stone each before we head to our friend Steph's wedding in Wrexham in July.  I've seen a dress I like.  You cannot comprehend the magnitude of this statement.  Me.  In a dress.  I didn't even wear a dress to get married.  But I'm making an effort lately to try new things... we're only here once.  I went on a rollercoaster last year.  See?  I'm trying.  So, yeah.  Me in a dress.  I'm a bit torn as to which one I like the most, it's the same dress, but there's three patterns I like.  I'm going to team it with a bolero jacket to hide the bingo wings.  And the other minor issue is a halterneck bra that will support major boobage.  And I means major.   I won't ask Mr G for his input because his suggestions are likely to involve 'No more Nails' or 'Sticks like Sh*t'.  Not helpful. 


So it's going to be one of these three dresses.  At first it was the purple flower, then I changed my mind to the red flower, and now I'm veering towards the black dress.   

Me.  In a dress.  Lol.  Wish me luck.  You won't see a photo... Delete!  Delete!  Delete!

M x

Monday, 2 June 2014

Carnivals, Boybands and another Manic Monday

Well, my feet have barely touched the ground this weekend, or today for that matter.  Throw very little sleep into the equation and you'll understand why I am walking around like a zombie.  A ruddy-cheeked zombie though, because I seem to have burnt my cheeks.  I look like I'm permanently blushing.  And those of you who know me personally will know that very little will embarrass me to the point of blushing.  Apart from, maybe, my husband twerking in Stermat.  That will do it every time. 

Saturday heralded the return of Menai Bridge Carnival after an absence of twelve years.  The day started off quite overcast, and we were quite disappointed, but hoped that the rain would hold off.  Cait went off to get her hair done and get dressed, and had to leave the house at 11 am to get down to the car park in the village, as they were leading the procession of Queens and Princesses after the band.  Mr G, myself and the kids left the house and went to the side of our street to watch the parade and walk up to the local Secondary School where the event was taking place.  Almost on cue, the sun came out, and blazed away all afternoon.  

Proud father!

Menai Bridge Stars in action

On the Sizzler

It was an amazing afternoon, all the little children looked beautiful dressed up in their finery.  Plenty of stalls with food, and homemade crafts.  Round the back of the school there was a fun fair set up, including a mechanical bull - Ryan had to have another crack at it, and did very well with a time of 93 seconds!  Caitlin and the troup performed their routine again in the circle.  After we'd spent up, we came home, had some tea and then went down to the Carnival Disco for a few hours to finish the day off.  We couldn't stay longer as I had a busy Sunday ahead...

My beautiful daughter ready for the disco

...going to see One Direction live at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester.  I'd had mixed emotions about this in the year since I ordered the tickets.  At first Mr G (aka 'Boyband whore') was going to go with her.  Then my attitude towards them softened.  A bit.  And I decided I wanted to go myself.  But as the date drew closer, I started feeling a bit panicky about being in charge of a child, with no Mr G for back up.  But I had committed myself and I don't think Mr G would have been up to the day health wise.

We left Bangor at 1.30 pm.  Despite my initial protests that there was no need surely to leave that early, I see now why we had to.  Traffic into Manchester was the usual nightmare.  Getting into the Stadium car park was a nightmare.   Queueing for everything - yes you've guessed it.  Nightmare.  Toilets.  T Shirts.  Food and drink.  Finding where we were meant to go in.  Nightmare.  I have never seen so many people in my life, it was madness.  The weather was boiling again, the sun beating down on us. 


We finally got to our seats, not long before the support act came on, a group called 5 Seconds of Summer.  We had really good seats, 12 rows from the front and about half way along the stadium.  Perfect view of everything.  They were absolutely brilliant, a lot of support acts can be hit and miss, but they really got the crowd going, and the teenage girls were all singing along with their songs. 

Five Seconds of Summer

Then the main event.  One Direction.  Who were, it has to be said, absolutely amazing.  Whether you're a fan or not, it was an experience.  I am deaf from the screams (and I mean SCREAMS) and I am hoarse from singing along to my favourites (which can, embarrassingly, be picked up on the little clips of video we took...).  They wouldn't have needed to sing a note all night, as they were backed up by a chorus of thousands.  The photos are a bit hit and miss but I got a few good ones...






This was my type of concert for several reasons.  No faff - just fireworks here and there, graphics on screens, no cheesy dance routines, just them performing for the duration, up and down the stage into the crowd.  No 'interval' and no 'encore'.  This gets my goat up, the night is long enough as it is, all over and done with in one fell swoop.  We found our coach (after mild hysteria that they'd left us behind... but apparently no, the coach was in the same place as it had parked up).  The journey home was quick once we'd left the City Centre, which was a trip down memory lane for me as the driver took me past places I'd once lived, streets where I had friends, many moons ago now.  We arrived back in Bangor just after 1 am.  Ready for bed.  But with not enough hours to sleep for today...

... where Mr G had a follow up appointment with his Consultant in Wrexham Maelor about his ankle.  We were up at 7, to leave the house at 8.  Making good time, until we turned off on the A55, and a road sign said there was an accident at our turn off for the hospital.  A quarter of an hour before the appointment time it was apparent that we weren't going to make it in time, and I phoned the Orthopaedic Department to let them know, and apparently a lot of their patients that day were stuck in the same queue.  When we finally arrived at 10.30, a nurse came out and told us that the clinics were running an hour late.  We finally got in to see the Consultant about 11.45.  And the words 'another operation' were mentioned, yes.  At which point my face looked a lot like Jenna Marbles' 'The Face'...

Not... another operation?

So he's been referred for a course of physio.  Again.  One of the tendons that had been repaired isn't working as it should be, restricting his movement and causing pain.  And if the physio doesn't work (I'm starting taking bets, if anyone wants in?) it's another operation. Either way it looks like his football career is over.  He told me to write that.  Trust me, it was over a long, long time ago...

Hospital selfie - check

By the time we left the hospital we were both half starved after no breakfast and a very rushed cup of coffee.  So, being so close to Wrexham centre, we decided to go and get a bite to eat.  We passed the Racecourse ground where North Wales Crusaders play.  We think we may have passed the Premier Inn that we're booked into when we attend a wedding in Wrexham in July.  And then we hit the maddest driving we have experienced in our lives.  We've driven through Liverpool, London, Manchester and all other manner of places, but Wrexham was nuts!  I was gripping the door side rails and silently praying to any God who would listen.  We eventually found somewhere to park, outside a chip shop called 'Everland', bought some lovely Cod and Chips and sat in the car eating them, before taking our lives into our own hands again getting back to the A55. 

Lunch, a la car...

About 20 minutes from home, my phone rings.  Primary school.  My heart sinks, because every time they phone, it usually means an A&E visit.  But no, thankfully, Adam had lost the screw from his glasses and his lens had fallen out.  So, we can add Optician to the list of 'Things to do tomorrow'. 

Bed!  Here's to a quieter week!  If the height of excitement this week for me is housework, then I embrace it with open arms. 

M x