Monday, 22 December 2008

And finally...............

The lady owner of 288 has released the rights to the plot. She visited last Monday and through the tittle tattle of the monumental sculpture we discovered she has got herself another plot in the old part of the cemetery next to some other family members and she is delighted, apparently there were no lairs left in the old part when she bought her lair and since the expansion and release of all the new plots some lairs in the older part were exchanged. We are just happy it is all settled in time for Christmas, the headstone was re-erected as soon as she confirmed the release of the plot.

I have yet to go and see it as I've had a sick boy, I am fighting of the first signs of flu, have fallen out with the hubby because he upset me and have been ignoring him for the last 2 days and 3 nights and so I am feeling slightly fragile, slightly fragile that's a laugh, I am a walking emotional time bomb and fear a visit to the cemetery will flood the whole of Glasgow for Christmas.

I have ordered a wreath to take on Christmas day so I will have to face my fear by then.

I'm off now or the great flood may start sooner than expected.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year to you all. xx

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

The never ending story

I finished the last post.....

'yours emotionally mended'

I spoke too soon, I should know better!

My mum received a letter on Friday to confirm the monumental headstone had been erected at my Granny's grave. This for me was the final symbol and full blown confirmation that my Granny has passed and her grave marked, I would have to do the next visit to the grave alone for emotional reasons. My mum promptly visited the cemetery on the way to my house to watch the kids after school that day and was disappointed to see no headstone was erected, she went to the monumental sculptures unit and it was closed, typical! The next morning she called the monumental sculpture and he confirmed the headstone was indeed erected and perhaps she had been at the wrong grave, my Gran's grave is the only unmarked one next to the path so that was highly unlikely. My mum doubting her sanity again visited the cemetery and it definitely wasn't there, she visited the monumental sculpture who confirmed they had checked that morning after speaking with her and it's definitely there. They visited together and my mum stopped at the graveside as he walked right by her onto the grass and pointed at the headstone diagonally opposite where my gran was buried, 'plot 228' he confirmed 'yes' said my mother feeling the colour draining from her body, 'but my mother's buried over here' my granny owns plot 228, the plot her headstone has been erected, but she has been buried in plot 288.

The emotional turmoil we have been through over the weekend has been horrendous, luckily we were pretty sure due to the depth the grave had been dug to that it was indeed a new lair. We had unanswered questions and were anxious.....

would she need to be moved?
but she's not in the plot she chose!
if she's moved, the funeral has been a farce and would there need to be another?
as if she's not gone through enough!
as if we've not gone through enough!

We had an anxious wait until Monday morning. My mother received a phone call from the graveyard supervisor 'Don't worry she won't need to be moved and don't worry about the paper work we have everything on our records' was he suggesting we keep the lair certificate we have and when the owner of 288 needed to be buried they would simply use our plot 228, nobody would ever know the difference - aye right! My mother went right to his boss, who also confirmed there was no need to move her and they would contact the owner of the plot. He was proactive and confirmed they had somebody going to visit the elderly lady to explain the situation and offer her a swap or any other plot of her choice but we would have to give her time to consider. Can you imagine how she must feel, it's invasive, someone else's mother in your grave!

Fortunately it was a new lair and there were no other occupants or her body would have to have been exhumed, with paperwork to the home office for permission. I have got over the upset of her not being in the final resting place of her choice as to move her would be far worse and I know there are far worse situations in the world, but of all the things we did in the 9 days after she died to make sure everything was done as nicely as possible for a good send off, never for one minute did we think about checking the plot was the right number!

For everyones information, plot numbers are always etched on the side of headstones so you can see what plot number is next to you for confirmation. Interesting info given by the monumental sculpture while he tried to make it noted he had got everything right.

I personally hold responsible the gravedigger who did not double check the number and coinsidently only 228 & 288 were the 2 unmarked graves left in that area. But a little bit of me holds the undertaken responsible you would think they would also check.

We eagarly await confirmation that the other owner will release her right to that plot. If not then it's a legal battle, one I gather we would win as exhuming is a last resort.

Rest in peace - that's a bloody laugh!

Friday, 5 December 2008


I started my 'journey' in October 2007 after my dear friend's father died and I had to attend his funeral. I say 'had to' because it was the right thing to do, I would have chosen not to, but the hubby said I 'had to, it was my friend and it was only right.' I don't want to recap completely but the journey started due to my complete devastation at dealing with other peoples death, being in a worst state than the family themselves lead to embarrassment and therefore I avoided funerals at all costs. Having laid out my life story for all to read, my being an only, lonely child and having an alcoholic father and a very interesting evening with medium, I realised through my 'journey' that I was grieving, grieving for my father who chose alcohol over me and subsequently died when I was 19 in 1991. I only stared grieving in 2001 when my father paid me a visit through a medium, a friend, a person who does this for free, there was no con. I have now come to the conclusion that is why I get myself into such a state because I am expressing my own bottled up grief. I promised the medium I would write him a letter, a letter about me from me, detailing how I feel about his love for beer and whisky over me, she pointed out quite clearly this should not be about others, purely about me and my feelings. It was right she should point this out as I automatically think about how my mum as a mother must have felt and how she feels now, on her own, without having ever found love again or even a companion. The words the medium said to me that night, I believe, started the grieving process. 'Write the letter and he will heal you' she said, those words have rung in my head for over 7 years now, I didn't know I needed healing until that point and I have felt sad and empty ever since. The post before I was ready to write the letter was written and the next step was to write it, I felt ready, I knew exactly what I wanted to and needed to say and then the sad and empty feeling left and all of a sudden the letter didn't seem important, it was as if writing my whole life story down was enough. Everything had been said.

My life has changed again since the death of my granny and in a more positive way. I suppose anyone who has dealt with the death of an elderly relative must feel like this but for me it's a revelation. It has been 3 years since we cleared her house and she went into the home and at that point I naturally started grieving, grieving for the woman that once was and then spent the rest of the time dreading the day she dies and yet when that day came she was so old and frail and ill that it was an absolute blessing and I no longer felt worried about the grief because it was such a relief and now, silly as it may sound, I feel that she can be with me once again in spirit and I am comforted by that. I was also comforted by the cards and kind words that people wrote to me, I have had to leave shops on occasions when trying to buy a card with nice words because I get all emotional and I never thought for one minute I would be able to read cards sent after the death of a loved one but I did because the words were true. The funeral was 9 days after her death, 9 days we had to make sure everything was done to the best of our ability to give her the best sent off and I believe we did. I didn't dread the funeral the way I have others and I did cry - from the moment I passed the cemetery on the way to the funeral, to my mum's where she showed me a lovely bouquet of flowers, to the funeral parlour, into see my granny, through the service, strangely stopped in the funeral car, restarted at the graveside and finally dried up at in the funeral car on the way for the meal. But not once did I sob uncontrollably the way I have at others, I say others, I've only been to two, but they were enough and I don't feel the same about death and funerals as I once did and I believe that's because I no longer dread the day my granny dies!

Yours emotionally mended
Windy xx

Friday, 7 November 2008


Been AWOL for a bit because I have been so busy with work and life in general, but I'm back and will be catching up with you all soon.

One of the days I have dreaded all my life has finally happened, on Wed 15th October 2008 at 12.05pm my dear granny passed away with myself and my mum by her side.

We had headed off for our October school break holiday, our only holiday this year, excited we were taking the kids to Butlins in Minehead Mon to Fri and meeting with my favourite sister-in-law, brother-in-law and 3 kids, who were going from Fri to Fri. We decided as it's a long way from Glasgow to Minehead to leave on Saturday and spend the weekend where ever we landed, we landed in Stoke-On-Trent and had a great time at the local Splash pool on Sunday, followed by a cosy evening in the Premier Inn watching Mary Poppins. My mum called on the Sunday night to confirm that Granny really 'wasn't good' she had been bedridden for a few months and had been non responsive for more than a week. My main concern at this point was to get my family to Butlins and then I could make my way home, selfish it may seem but there had been a few times we thought 'this is it' and Granny had rallied round, although each time a little poorer. I decided a good nights sleep was in order if I was going to have to travel home in the morning. In my head I thought, I could fly home, hire a car, anything but as long as the kids could get to Butlins. After a phone call to my mum on Monday morning I decided we should continue and headed to the first service station to have our breakfast, it was at that point the obvious came to me, if you want to fly you need i.d. if you want to hire a car you need a driving licence and guess what I had nothing apart from a Costco card and my credit cards, the only option was a train. After the 'what do you mean you carry no i.d.' conversation with the hubby I got a text to say 'not good, can you get a refund on your holiday' from my mum. At this point it was clear we would have to go home. I called her and cried as I watched the sheer disappointment across the kids faces, my daughter cried, but at the same time they said nothing, just knowing it wasn't good.

5 hours and 20 minutes later I was by my Granny's side, she had been on morphine for over an hour. I think I sobbed quietly most of the journey home wondering how I could ask the kids if they wanted to come and say goodbye to their Granny Betty. My mum had gone home to freshen up as she had been there all day after receiving a 'you better come now' call that morning. As we arrived at the home I blurted 'do you want to come and see Granny, she'll just be sleeping' and it literally was a blurt as I imagined the words 'say goodbye to Granny' that would inevitably happen when they were to leave, not surprisingly my daughter burst into tears and they both shook their heads, obviously as children they must have been scared and upset given the public emotion I was displaying. So I went it alone. And she was just sleeping, I spent the next hour saying all the things I wanted to say, tears and snotters all over the place but I had my time and my space and it was my Granny and I could cry if I wanted to. My mum later joined me and we cried a little more. Given her stable state we decided to go home, reassured the home staff would call if there was any change. We went back to the home on the Tuesday and she was definitely worse it really was a matter of time so we spent the whole day talking, crying and believe it or not laughing, reminiscing, thinking what my Granny would say the state we were in. Her favourite words were don't cry!! We stayed into the early hours and again as she had remained stable all day went home to rest, returning again on Wednesday. I arrived at 11.20am and at 12.05pm she took her final breath, it was a blessing.

God Bless you Granny and may you rest in peace - I love you. x

Saturday, 9 August 2008


School Uniforms aaarrrghhhhhh!

One week left arrrrggghhhhhhh!

Customers aaarrrrgghhhhh!

eBay aaarrrggghhhhhhhhh!

Picture the scene, Unit full of boxes, boxes that contain polo shirts, sweatshirts etc etc, all sorted into schools and me working to clear these boxes and deliver uniforms to all my waiting customers. Each customer is given time, my undivided attention and leave with complete, unmistakable confirmation that I will call when their uniform is ready for collection before the schools return on the 18th August. The phone goes, I ignore it if I have a customer, you see there is an answering machine, the purpose being to allow the caller to leave a message, but no the caller calls again because the first time they didn't want to leave a message but then decides maybe they will and so they call back, by that time I've nearly broken my neck falling over boxes to answer the bloody phone. I stop the machine to hear the customer and we have a typical conversation which goes like this;

'Hello Windy'
'It's Mrs Brown'
'I was wondering if my school stuff was ready yet?'
'What school is it?'
'it's The Primary School'
'Have I called you?'
'Well guess what? your f**king uniform's not ready yet'

Obviously that's not the conversation, but by God I would like to have that conversation. I am grateful to people and their business and these are only the newcomers that do that, they don't realise by calling me constantly that they are in fact holding up their own uniforms. As the years go by they will learn to trust that I will have their uniforms ready in time for going back to school.

Just a mild touch of stress at this time in the year, hence release on the blog.

Hope you're all fine and I'll be over to visit soon. Take care. xx

Thursday, 31 July 2008

Our Angel returns

Yesterday at 12.50pm, as the kids got ready to return to the afternoon play scheme, I heard my son say 'there's a cat' Through the glass panel on the front door I could see a cat meowing hard to get in, my stomach jumped as my son opened the door and in came our Angel. There were cries of 'Oh Angel, where have you been? I'm so pleased to see you!' Angel made her way right past us and straight to the food cupboard. Typical.

I gave her a quick look over and although hungry, a good bit thinner and tired she has no sign of injury, I can only assume she has been locked in somewhere. God bless her she has the most pathetic meow.

I was so relieved to have her back as soon as the kids were out of the door I cried - again. She later wanted out to answer the call of nature but that was not happening, until she has her strength back, so it was litter tray or nothing. She finally opted for litter tray. She slept next to me last night and I had no objections to being wakened by her at 2.35am as she took a wonder up my body and around the bed til she was comfy.

Micro chipping and a new collar will be arranged asap.

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Complete devastation

As if life is not tough enough Angel has gone missing.

We let her out as usual last Friday (18th) night at approx 11.30pm, went to bed and she has failed to return. She is only 11 months old, she has no distinguishing marks, she is black all over and had only just lost her new pretty pink collar 2 nights previous. She was not micro chipped as I hadn't quite got around to that and decided to get the new kitten and her done at the same time.

The Vet has confirmed she is more than likely locked in someones shed or garage, but it's been a full week and I am so worried about her being frightened, alone, starving and dehydrated. I cried on and off for the first 3 days, the kids are sad, but we are happy we have Tia. It would be so much worse if we didn't have her. An empty bed, empty food bowls and a cupboard full of food and litter to remind us of her missing pet.

I have informed the Vet and the local rescue centre and we have put fliers into our immediate neighbours and the Post Office, I haven't managed to put them into the local shops yet for fear of breaking down to the poor unsuspecting shop keeper, but I think I will manage that on Monday.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

I'm not just a pretty face.....

I have been a self employed woman now for 4 years, it certainly has it's ups and downs but all in all each year I gain a little more knowledge, I become more confident, not within myself, but as a 'business women' Each year I take a little more risk, spend a little more to accumulate a little more and so it goes on - slow & steady. I started my business due to my dissatisfaction with the local school wear supplier who has had the monopoly in the area for at least 20 years and the schools school wear supplier let me down. I decided there must be friendlier, more reliable suppliers in the town who catered for our school. There wasn't. There are plenty of places to buy polo shirts and sweats shirts. Asda, Tesco, Woolworths, M&S to name a few, but they don't have the school logo on them. At that point I realised there was a gap in the market and in June 2004 I became that friendly, reliable business.

I work alone from an industrial unit 8 minutes from my house. The unit is kitted out like a basic shop, there are no frills and no expensive high street rates to pay. There is parking right outside the front door. I have a single head embroidery machine which basically means I can embroider one garment at a time. Up until recently I embroidered all garments myself and for corporate customers I still do, customers who comes back annually and others who come back only every now and again, but each customer comes back and that, my dear people, is vitally important. I only advertise in the Yellow Pages and on and of course I have my great idiot proof web site, but tend to find people come through referral. It may not be the most modern, fancy, well laid out shop, but the location and service seems to please most customers. I am based in the unit but do attend parents evenings at 3 schools to takes orders from parents nearer the end of the school term.

I started dealing only in school wear and personalised baby gifts, but quickly realised the school wear would not be enough to keep a business going all year round and started dealing with corporate customers which sounds all very grand but tends to be small businesses with perhaps only one or two workers looking to enhance their image with polo shirts and fleeces with their business logo embroidered on their work wear, these corporate customers spread quickly and I now deal with hundreds of small business, bowling clubs and charities.

Schools work in different ways, many order uniforms in bulk which they store and sell directly to the parents, others offer a supplier service like I do with 3, I attend the school on parents evening, giving parents the chance to order and see the garments for quality and others leave the purchasing of uniforms up to the parents to attend the local 'monopoly man' who lacks customer service and fails to offer refunds. Each logo has to be digitised in embroidery format so that the computerised machine knows where to put the stitches, these logo's are dealt with via email, I email the picture or drawing and the digitisers (people who digitise) email me back the formatted logo, customers obviously pay for this digitising process. With the school logo's it is slightly different and I have to cover the cost of each logo initially, I started out with only 3 school logos and I now have 17. This may not sound many but when you are dealing with the parents and children from 17 different schools during a 6/7 week period, alone, trust me it is many. Couple this with the continual run of corporate work not to mention trying to up keep an ebay shop. Did I mention I do all this alone.

Why not get someone in to help you? I hear you say. Quite simply because I do not trust anyone enough to give the service the way I do. Originally I wanted to work from home as I really like caring for my home and my family - sad I know, but I like it and people often mentioned ebay selling to me, at that time it wasn't right for me and now having found suppliers and contacts I do both and I would really like to grow the ebay business. I have found may fantastic suppliers and deal with 2 for my standard school wear such as polo shirts, sweat shirts, cardigans, fleeces, jackets etc. A few years ago I realised it was becoming impossible to meet the demands of the school wear required, I could get the garments no problem but embroidering them on time meant working the last couple of weeks of the summer holidays from 6am to often 11 or 12 at night. I didn't mind the work but did object to neglecting my children. This was when I found my second main supplier who offer an embroidery service, I place the order and the garments arrive all embroidered, with the promise of a 7 day turnaround, no other supplier can meet this demand and last year for the first time I put them to the test. After the initial set up and approving of logo's I placed my first order and exactly 7 days later the order arrived all embroidered, this from a business point of view is fantastic and allows me to take a massive step in growing the business, the only issue I have is their garments are not just as good as my other supplier but they are still good.

This company also offer a pre order service and if you place your order before christmas for the following summer, you get 10% discount on the total order, half price embroidery, get to specify a delivery date and also an invoice date, so that you are only paying once you have sold the garments and then to top it all if you pay the bill on time they give you a further 2.5% discount. This is my favourite supplier and they are now guaranteeing a 5 day turn around during the summer months - Fabulous. Garments arrived this year on the 9th June as requested, all present and correct. The other company realising this is an essential service for smaller businesses last year decided to offer a similar pre order service and given that they do a colour of polo shirt and jackets that the Fabulous company don't I placed a smaller order with them for delivery on the 9th June, they could not meet this demand and after much complaining and phoning I finally received the order on Thursday 26th June. I was sorely disappointed, unfortunately they do not have their own in house embroidery machines and therefore have no control over that part of the process. They will have to make massive amends before I will use the pre order service again. The Fabulous company are working on a new jacket and nice gold colour polo shirt and if they continue to be as Fabulous they could take my business to new heights. Sometimes it's hard to know what direction to take in business, but it usually finds it's own way. I have chosen to go down the slow sensible route and next year who knows. I started stocking only the top half of clothing but now offer skirts, plimsolls, belts, socks, tights, tank tops & slip overs it has taken time to find good suppliers of quality items and only buy what I would use on my own children at prices I find acceptable.

I had a huge order from one of my charities which had to be completed for Wednesday this week, this involved working til 2 am on Tuesday morning, back in for the normal 10-3 shift and back in at 6am on Wednesday but home for 12 as this was my day off and I promised to do something with the kids. I went home, knackered, could hardly keep my eyes open and the kids wanted to go swimming, who was I to say no, I had promised. So if I am missing from the blogging circuit for a few weeks you'll all know why, but I will be lurking when I have a spare 5 minutes.

This is my favourite time of year, dealing with the parents and the children, offering advise because I not only know the schools but I have primary school children and know what is acceptable and trendy in the age groups. Every parent of a new start spends at least 30-40 minutes here trying, discussing, looking and touching, I value this time as I know they will leave happy with their purchases, I do not allow them to over spend when there is no need. They spend a lot of money with me and if they are happy then they are a customer for at least 7 years, spreading the word on what a great shop it is to come to. And that makes me very proud.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Where are you Driving?

It seems that the blog Driving with the brakes on has been removed. Where are you Nicole?

Have you removed the blog, moved the blog, does anyone know?

Please get in touch and let us know.


Thursday, 19 June 2008

Tia and the conservatory blinds

Well I need not have worried, I arrived home to find Tia in her bed in the living room and as usual Angel who spends the night out and sleeps all day only to appear as soon as I walk through the front door, so I don't think they had been near each other.

Angel still growls and gives the occasional hiss if Tia walks towards her and then runs away to the safety of a top bunk, she has been spending a lot of time on top of the kitchen wall units observing the new little ball of black fur and even went as far as entering the living room while the kitten was present and had a little sniff at her bed, she even had a nibble from her food bowl yesterday so hopefully they will be friends soon enough.

Yesterday I experienced the most traumatic event ever, Tia was walking round the conservatory window ledge and caught her leg in the sting of the vertical blinds, being so small she managed to flip herself which meant she was well and truly caught, as she tried to pull away she started squealing, the most blood curdling squealing I have ever heard, I grabbed at her to stop her pulling, the way she had flipped herself the full weight of the blinds was pulling at her leg, luckily my son was home and I shouted on him, trying to remain calm I explained 'you have to hold her tightly, she will bite and scratch but I have to untangle her leg' at that she scratched him, causing him to let her go, she swung down hanging by the leg, squealing, I fumbled to grab her and my poor boy started hitting mild hysteria, screaming and crying 'I'm sorry mum, I'm so sorry, SORRY SORRY SORRY' by this time my heart was thudding, I'm reassuring him 'it's ok, it's ok, go and get me the scissors' I held on to her, not letting her escape my grip for fear of her breaking her leg, she scratched and bit and finally I managed to snip the string, she jumped out of my gripping hand and had a little run about on the floor, giving the occasional shake to her little leg, my son disappeared to the living room and I took a minute to breath, I was shaking like a leaf it was the longest few minutes of my life, once it appeared Tia was ok I went off to find my little traumatised boy who was sobbing in the living room, I big mummy cuddle, still required at the age of 11 and reassurance it was ok, she was ok and it wasn't his fault, he too had got such a fright with the blood curdling screaming, knowing his new little bundle was in such pain and so frightened, after tending to him I checked the kitten again and she seemed ok. At this point I could have burst into tears, I was glad I was home, although she would not have been in the conservatory if I wasn't home and I was glad my son was home, although traumatised he was able to get the scissors I'm not sure what I would have done if he wasn't home as the string was so tight the only option was to cut it.

I am again traumatised after living that all over again so I will leave it there for today and go and have a cup of tea!

Monday, 16 June 2008

Angel v Tia

I have 2 bits of news today;

We got another kitten yesterday, she has the same mother and father as Angel, you may remember just recently I talked about him, the big black Tom Cat who must be the lightest cat on his feet around our way judging by the amount of kittens born next door alone!

Tia is the new arrival, she is black and has a small white triangle just under her chin, this may be handy as she gets older so that we can tell the difference if necessary. Angel was none to fussed and has growled and hissed at her, causing the 'wee yin' to hiss back and arch her back, all 6 inches of her - it's so cute! As Angel is now officially a night cat, we left the wee yin unattended in the living room as Angel enters via the bedroom window and then takes residence at my feet. The wee yin slept safely behind the couch where she was safe from Angels view. I took the wee yin up to my room this morning to ask Angel to be nice to her and Angel lifter her head, had a look and went back to sleep, this filled me with positive vibes and I left them both the free roam of the house, knowing the wee yin could run behind the couch and the big yin, being a bit of a woose, can go out of the window. All was well and I was happy with my decision until I started googling 'how to introduce the kitten to the older kitten' almost every thread I came across suggested separation until they are used to each other and in the event they draw blood contact the vet. So now I'm shitting myself that the wee yin couldn't run fast enough to get behind the couch and the big yin's drawn blood. I normally only work until 2pm on a Monday and I stupidly told someone who is coming to collect their work wear that I will be here until 2.30. In a desperate attempt to pass the time I am writing this post.

I hadn't told the kids of the hubby about Tia and let the kids decide on the kitten as there were 2, one was so timid we opted for the not quite so timid one. We set her up in the conservatory, food, water, bed etc and on returning from work, the hubby who keeps his working boots in there said and these are his exact words;

What the fuck is that? stating the obvious at the little black ball of fur
No fucking way!
That's not staying!
We're not having another cat!
It'll be gone by the end of the day!

He drew breath long enough for my son to say 'her name is Tia' proudly

To which he replied 'What kinda name's that for a cat'

Needless to say, the wife wins again, the kitten's still with us - well here's hoping.

I'll keep the other news for tomorrow as I've passed enough time.

Friday, 6 June 2008

No time for a funeral

It was Saturday the 10th of May and we had loaded the bouncy castle into the car to take to the MIL's for a party for the newly weds son's first birthday. The boys had started on the back garden, clearing the grass, dirt and slabs, a lorry had just arrived to take away the rubbish and off load some 'type one' a technical term for stones which are used underneath the paving blocks. We used this day to practise the daughters hair, ready for her communion the following week, I was just adding the finishing touches when the phone rang, it was my mum;

'I'm just about to go to the hospital, your gran is being taken in' she said 'I'm going to meet the ambulance there, I thought I should let you know' this time her voice breaking into tears.

'What's happened' I asked

'She was being taken for her lunch and she just slouched, her tongue and her lips went blue and the home have phoned an ambulance as it took them a while to rouse her' she explained

This is it I thought, the phone call I have been dreading, I don't think I can cope with this today, dealing with a funeral and a communion. 'I'll meet you there' I said. By this time I was in tears which makes the children worry, my son went to get his Daddy and my daughter wiped my tears. Typically our car was parked behind the lorry, which had its stabilising legs out and was blocking the whole road. But the hubby being my knight in shining armour advised the driver he would ne' ae shift his lorry as the wives granny wisnae well. I hurried out of the house trying to hide my scarlet, teary face while thanking the boys without making eye contact. On one hand if my Granny was to slip away I wouldn't want her to be resuscitated, at the age of 86 with the severe dementia she has, I don't think it's fair, but on the other hand, this is my Granny and I wasn't ready to part with her. The whole journey to the hospital I gave myself a good talking to, she was 86, she'd had a good life, she has no quality of life at the moment. But it didn't stop the tears flowing. The only one passing comment I could make to the hubby being;

'I don't even have a tissue, you would think being a mother I would carry a pack of tissues' sniffing back the snot.

The hubby dropped me at the door and said he would come back up after dropping the kids at his mothers, I couldn't even say goodbye. I managed to tell the girl at the reception desk that my gran had been brought in by ambulance and gave her name. The girl then politely said

'She already has a relative in with her and we only allow one relative' in the kind of tone that one wants to smash her face in.

My immediate thoughts were, only one relative, is that good or bad, is it because she is so ill that they only allow one, but I was able enough to confirm that would be my mum and could someone tell her that I'm here.

A few minutes later a female nurse came to the door and ushered me in and with a sympathetic arm around me she lead me through, she'd obviously died, I could tell by her reaction and the fact they are letting me in, with this I took a sharp breath in and let out a big sob. The nurse at this point said 'She's ok, she's right in here' pushed the door open and there sat my mother with the same red, teary face. 'It's ok, she's ok' said my mum and at that my Granny, in a big loud voice, said 'I'm ok' I was so relieved.

I then had to explain to my mum and the nurses that I thought due to the sympathetic action of the nurse that she had passed away. It turns out the nurse was in fact my Gran's new carer from the home, I had just seen the uniform and assumed it was a nurse. The hospital staff were fantastic and keep apologise for keeping us waiting, they gave us tea and sandwiches and were very understanding of the dementia. We have come across many people who have never dealt with dementia and start to raise their voice when my Gran fails to respond with the answer to their question. One thing she is not and that is deaf! Granny under went all sorts of tests that day, several ECG's, blood tests, a chest X-ray, a sample taken from an artery in the wrist which was extremely painful for her and for us, practically having to pin her down to have it done by a young nervous doctor. She arrived in casualty at approx 1.15pm and finally at 7pm she was admitted to a ward. The ward was particularly quiet that evening and the staff nurse spent a good bit of time with us, allowing us to explain all her dementia issues, meaning we could go home and relax knowing that she would not be left unattended with the bed rails down.

During her time in casualty the nurse came in to tell me that my husband was outside. Standing waiting with a packet of tissues, ready to take the emotional outburst. I was emotional but by then it was a relieved gibbering. He would have stayed but due to the one person restriction I sent him to reassure the kids.

Granny was released the next day with confirmation that she had a Urinary Tract Infection and a course of Antibiotics.

As usual things always come in threes and on Monday there was a follow up appointment at the hospital as the X-rays had shown something the doctors wanted to discuss. We knew it had to be something of concern. My mum attended the appointment and basically to cut a long story short my Gran has a small mass on her lung which they can only assume to be cancer. Given her age there will be no operation or treatment and nature will take it's course they will of course keep her comfortable. The last X-ray she had was approx 2 years ago and there will be another X-ray shortly to determine growth. At the moment it seems to be causing her no pain.

As I am trained in Reiki I have been sending distant Reiki since Monday, in cases cancer has been known to go completely with continual Reiki treatment, although with me the jury is still out on that one. I do not wish to rid my Gran of cancer to prolong her life, but merely to make sure she doesn't suffer.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Father of 11, that we know of and not a bit of maintenance paid

Well the big black Tom cat about our way has certainly been putting it about a bit. Our kitten Angel was a result of the frolicking of next doors black cat, or kitten as she was then, with the big black Tom cat, being so young she only had 2 kittens, one male, one female. You would think being the responsible owner of 3 female cats and 2 unexpected kittens it would be enough to have any owner run all three cats immediately to the vets for spaying, but no, there seemed to have been more important things on the agenda like a new flat screen TV which required a new TV unit and of course new curtains and a matching rug, not to mention the annual girlie holiday.

Only just 8 weeks ago the second oldest black & white cat gave birth to 3 kittens, 2 black & white and one grey & white, 2 female and one male. I was absolutely smitten with the grey & white kitten and suggested to the hubby we get it. His response was somewhat unexpected, lets just say I tend to get what I want, he may refuse to begin with but pretty soon he gives in, but this time it was a categorical, unarguable, definite NO! I was shocked. Moi, being told no, that was a first. For weeks I tried to shame him into giving in, but he didn't. Meantime Angels mother took a sudden middle spread and 4 weeks ago became a mother for the second time, 3 kittens, 2 female and one male.

At my daughters communion, the kittens provided great entertainment for all the kids and my lovely niece's boyfriend left with the little black & white male kitten. One down 2 to go before the next lot were ready for dispatch. I took the grey & white one to show everyone my new kitten, to which the hubby just raised his eyebrows, but still he told my neighbour

'she's no gettin' it!'

After a particularly bad night kept awake by the hubby's snoring I decided bugger it, I'm having that kitten, after work I'll confirm with my neighbour and surprise the kids. Sitting to have our dinner, me, my children, the hubby and my mother and my son announced;

'Well that's all the kittens gone'

'Gone' I stammered, my heart sinking.

'Yes, they've been taken by the neighbour's sister and a friend' he confirmed.

Well, I could hardly eat my dinner for tripping over my big petted lip. After dinner I took the communion photo's in to show my neighbour and confirm the kittens were in fact gone. They were.

'You said you weren't to get one' she said.

'I know, but I wanted that grey & white one' I said like a two year old.

She was so apologetic, but it wasn't her fault. No, it was the hubby's fault. So having talked myself into the fact I would shortly have 2 cats I put a reserve on one of Angel's sisters, they will be ready in about 3 weeks and this time I will surprise the kids. I put on a brave face, went home and announced I would never forgive the hubby, there would never be another grey & white cat like that, it was one of a kind and I didn't get it because he said NO, as you do when you are tired and irrational. To which he responded and quite rightly I might say;

'When have you ever listened to me, I thought you would just have appeared with it anyway'

This made me feel slightly better about the fact I had just gone behind his back and reserved another one, so we'll see what his reaction is when another little black kitten appears soon. Perhaps he won't even notice.

Meanwhile, and this is a true story I am not making this up, the third and final cat, the ginger one also took a middle spread and on Saturday night gave birth to 3 kittens, a ginger one and 2 black ones, or so we thought until yesterday when we got a closer look, they have white faces, black bodies with ginger stripes and ginger markings on their legs, sex still to be confirmed.

When the hubby heard the ginger cat was expecting he announced he would like a ginger cat so that he could call it Garfield. Bloody typical.

As there are a couple of people interested in the kittens I thought I better have a look at them and reserve mine, I had only seen them just after they were born and didn't take much interest in them as I was having the grey & white one from the first litter, so last night I went in and had a full study of all three of them, the male I eliminated straight away as I am not having any 'goings on' under my roof without a marriage certificate. This leaves the 2 females, one completely black with many stray white hairs down her left front paw and one with a little white patch under her chin. The one with the white patch is a nosy little thing, as soon as someone talks, she sits down, raises her head and ears and becomes alert, all 6 inches of her, sooooo cute, but she has a funny little face, resembling a little gremlin, while the other has a fuller face.

I have no idea which one to go for, I like the idea of the little nosy one, but prefer the face of the other one and my main concern is the nosy one becomes a little to nosy and inquisitive and scales the curtains and the furniture and is generally a lot to handle after getting our placid little Angel.

Any advice on How to choose your kitten would be gratefully received.

And Tom cat, well he better watch out, it'll be cheaper to get him neutered than the 3 females, if we can catch the b*****d....

For the record I confirm Angel was spayed at 5 months before she was let out the door

Thursday, 22 May 2008

First Holy Communion

Being the very proud mother of a new First Holy Communicant, I am going to obviously do the proud mummy bit and show off a few photographs, there will be a couple more to follow as I have just had another spool developed, yes developed, I still use my old faithful camera!

So here she is, the very sweet, very innocent, Little Miss Windy......

Can you believe it rained on Saturday morning, hence the indoor photograph and deflated bouncy castle (wet bouncy castle) in the background.

After the event, photo's taken in the chapel as it was cold and damp outside

Side view to show off the hair - did I make a good job or what?

Finally back home and it brightened up, stopped raining and we rattled through the photo's so that she could get the dress off and get on the bouncy castle. Brother and sister in harmony for a moment.

"Sweet and innocent now, just wait until tomorrow when I'm knackered"

Still smiling

Mum & dad and the proud girl.

Apart from the rain and the cold wind the day dried up and the kids had a great time, I didn't do much at all. On arriving back from the chapel my SIL's had set out all the food, the hubby attended to drinks, my niece attended to tea and coffee and I sat with my daughter while she opened her cards and gifts. When it was time to eat my SIL cooked the pizza's and Miss Windy's godmother heated the 2 pots of soup. Despite not being able to sit outside everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, the boys took residence in my son's bedroom, occupied by the PlayStation and the girls played contently in Miss Windy's bedroom. The bouncy castle was turns each, boys then girls, we only had 2 injuries, a staved thumb for my son and a winded godson.

I was eternally grateful for my conservatory as squeezing just sort of 60 people in would have been a struggle without it. I enjoyed the day, my daughter thoroughly enjoyed her day, the house was gutted and looked good in it's newly decorated state, the garden looked good and of course my daughter....well she looked fabulous. I am also glad it's over, I can enjoy the summer knowing the house is in order, the garden is in order and I am only left with the normal things in life, like washing, ironing and housework.

It was not cheap, but it was worth it, one day, her day, a day to remember for the rest of her life. The beginning of the rest of her life as a member of the church family. Amen

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Reality check......

This morning I was feeling a little bit stressed. The housework schedule is on plan, the shopping list is ready for Friday, everything else has a time and day to be collected, dusted, hoovered etc. I went to the shops and got my Triplicate book and new pens ready to take orders at the school tonight, I bought a communion card for my daughter, birthday card for my son from us and a brother card for my daughter to give her brother, I bought a 50th card for my SIL, an anniversary card for the hubby and 5 cards for a £1, handcrafted, lovely cards as there is always a birthday in our family. I love The Card Factory! I exchanged the shoes I bought on Saturday as they were a bit small and bought a mini cardigan as I don't think the weather is going to be 'all that' on Saturday. I have arranged my parents evening appointments to take place before everyone else this evening and my mum is coming to babysit as the hubby is on night shift. Sorted. And then I came into the unit this morning, looked at all the boxes and the orders that need to be ready for Monday and had instant panic. I am not going to make it and I am taking Friday off to get and do the food for the communion so I am a day short this week .................... aaarrrgggghhhhhh.

I decided to get it off my chest by doing a post, but before I started I thought I would check in on Nicole over at Driving with the brakes on who's little angel Quinn was born at 21 weeks and 3 days gestation and was sadly taken by the angels. This gave me a reality check, so what if the order is a few days late, so what if my living room isn't dusted, does any of it matter? The answers is quite simply no. Nicole has posted all the details of Quinn birth and passing, I have read and wept and prayed for her and her family. If you are going over for a visit I suggest you read alone and with a big box of Kleenex.

My stress has gone......who cares, it'll all work out in the end. For now I remain content that I have my family close by me.

Friday, 9 May 2008

The final countdown

I am on a count down to Saturday the 17th May, not only is it my 36th birthday and my 12th wedding anniversary, it is also the day my daughter makes her First Holy Communion. The house has now been completely decorated and all that remains is housework.

We decided to get a price to have the back garden completely mono blocked in a desperate attempt to have a maintenance free household, the price was to good to refuse so the work started last Saturday and will be complete this Saturday and Sunday. The wooden, collapsing shed has been removed and we have opted for a plastic, maintenance free, shed, although it is unlikely to be delivered before the communion, so we will leave the bikes etc etc hidden in the neighbours garden for the communion, hidden by our new 5 foot fence. I am going to enjoy myself this summer, the house fresh and the garden mono blocked, the fences painted, only housework will remain. I am going to have the most sociable summer I have had in a long time in my new maintenance free world. I know people love their gardens and spend hours looking after them, if I do have hours to spare I want to sit in the garden or play with my children, I don't want to paint fences and cut grass. The only thing that remains to be attended to in the house is the bathroom, but that is next years work and perhaps making the loft into a room that I can use as an office.

Everything is scheduled, the favours are ordered to be collected on Wednesday, the cake to be collected on Friday, my daughters dress is away to be steamed and I will collect it on Friday. We did a Costco trip last week and bought all the fizzy juice, fruit shoots for the kids, plates and bowls. We were fortunate in that we over bought bottles of spirits for my son's communion and therefore still have many unopened bottles left, well scene my father is no longer with us and we might find the bottles no longer contained alcohol, he will be turning in his grave to know all that alcohol has been there, all this time, untouched, if fact he will be turning in his grave to know that my children are catholics, he never saw that coming! An Asda trip for beer is planned for the weekend. I am going to take the day off work on Friday and do the final Costco trip for food, collect the dress and the cake and all being well the house will be sitting perfect and I can concentrate on preparing the food, and than I woke up.

I do have the slight inconvenience of parents evenings, as our schools main uniform supplier I attend all parents evenings with the uniforms for parents to order ready for August. Parents evening being the 13th and 14th of this month, 6-8pm, along with my own appointments on Tuesday. Needless to say I could really do without it this week, so I will have to be super organised.

We also have my son's birthday on the 18th, have I mentioned before I spent my first wedding anniversary and 25th birthday in labour, the whole day, only for him to make his appearance at 1.08am on the 18th. Midwives were delighted I had waited and the baby had his own birthday, I can assure you I wouldn't have minded sharing the day.

I still need to get something to wear, have you seen the fashion lately, the smocky look is ok if you don't have a permanently bloated tummy, the strappy tops all have triangles to put your boobs in and unfortunately being a FF (boast, boast - NOT) my boobs do not fit in these tops, well they might but it's hardly appropriate for my daughters communion. I will have to get my son a present and a cake, the wee soul said the other day 'I don't mind waiting until the summer to have a sleepover with my friends mum' he's such a considerate boy.

One of these days I will have no plans, no decorating, I will be calm and unstressed, relaxed and enjoying life to the full. But for now adrenaline keeps me going.

Monday, 5 May 2008

The Wedding Finale

A few more drinks and the children were called for dinner, they were eating in the dining room next to the bar accompanied by my beautiful niece and her best friend. I was relieved as my daughter was becoming unbearable through starvation. A short time later and we were called to dinner, each person accompanied to there seat. The meal was sensational, I have never enjoyed a meal at a wedding as much as I enjoyed this one, I later discovered the meal was £37 a head. What! Vegetable soup, followed by a sorbet to cleanse the pallet, which sent our men into turmoil, we do not have the most classy family and I think their immediate thoughts were 'have we missed the meal?' I opted for chicken, which was stuffed, wrapped in bacon, with an array of seasonal vegetables, an amazing sauce and boiled and roast potatoes, delicious. To top the meal off raspberry cheesecake.

The children were then brought back to join us for the speeches, they sat all the way up one side of the hall on window seats. The bride not wanting to put pressure on her father, who has the on-set of dementia had asked her brothers to do a speech on his behalf, they carried it off very well. They of course started off with the English - Scottish language barrier and confirmed they had the groom watching Eastenders to pick up the London lingo and that they had been watching Take the High Road, given that Take the High Road has not been on TV for a long while their joke was slightly wasted and perhaps River City would have received a bigger laugh, but they pulled it back quickly when they said the reason for them doing the speech was due to their dad being Irish (which is true) so nobody would understand him. Speeched out of the way and we headed to the Drawing Room for tea and coffee, while the staff cleared the dinning room.

By this time it was nearing 8.30 and I was keen for the dancing to begin to liven us all up as we were beginning to wilt, but it was not yet time for the dancing, it was time for a Celtic Blessing and guess where it was, yes it was back to the great hall, I decided I couldn't face the cold, so I stayed warm and cosy in the Drawing Room with some of the younger children. They returned some 30 minutes later and it was out to the terrace for fireworks. My son, who only had his Gilly shirt on, came back from the Great Hall frozen, luckily I had been wise enough to bring his jacket for the journey home. We watched the fireworks which seemed to go on forever and finally they stopped and the first waltz was to begin. It was 10.15 pm, I was ready for my bed!

The hall was long and narrow with only perhaps 7 or 8 tables set up with 8 to a table, there were approx 80 guests + children and no where near enough seats, the dance floor was mainly taken up with the band and after the initial waltz the band started with the Gay Gordon. My husband and I took to the floor and I think we did the Gay Gordon on the one spot the whole way through. My daughter danced a bit with her cousins and then decided she was too cold and she too got her coat on and went to play for a bit. She returned to my side at 11pm with a sore head, so her and I retired to the Drawing Room where 2 of my sister-in-laws were, she lay her head on my knee and within 15 minutes was asleep, happily sucking away on her thumb with her silky ribbon, taken from one of the favours, oblivious to those around her. We were then joined by my son, who sat wide eyed listening to all the gossip from his Aunties.

The bus came promptly at 12.30, for which I was eternally grateful. A bus full of drink fuelled people and of course the usual sing song starts, it was great, more fun, laughter and enjoyment on the way home than there had been for most of the evening.

I may sound ungrateful and I suppose in a way I was. When the wedding had first been spoken about, the bride, who had said she would never remarry had confirmed it was to be a child friendly, informal wedding. I was lulled into a false sense of security, it was very grand and I'm sure it spiralled out of control the way most weddings do, my husband doesn't come from a grand family and I mean no disrespect when I say that. They are not a couple who have an abundance of money, they have not won the lottery and they have 4 children. To me it seems such a lot of money, thousands of pounds they spent on a grand day, just one day. They could have had a simple, just as meaningful day, one marriage ceremony, no fireworks and a party at night, followed by a holiday for all 6 of them. Instead they are having Barcelona for 4 days with the gift money they received for the 2 of them.

Each to their own I suppose.

Monday, 28 April 2008

The Wedding - Part 1

It seems like such a long time ago that the wedding of the oldest nephew and his English girl took place. It was an unforgettable wedding or should I say a wedding that we will never forget.

The bus collected us from the Travelodge at 1.20 pm, all dressed up and raring to go, hats, fascinators, high heeled shoes, dresses, suits, kilts and flowers, an impressive sight I thought. The bus arrived at the entrance gates of the castle and took the long narrow, mile long, tree lined, stone path to the castle, we all breathed in as the bus passed through the narrow gate pillars along the way. Although I guess the driver had done it before.

The bus drew to a stop outside the castle, my daughter was immediately disappointed to see what looked like the side of an old square building. We entered quickly as there was a cold wind in the air. A dark castle door lead into a circular brick porch area, through dark wooden double doors and into a large L shaped foyer, I was immediately drawn to the toilet sign on the left, pointing down a small set of stairs, I was glad to see it was slightly brighter down that set of stairs. The walls were completely panelled with dark wood and had an array of weapons on display from axes to swords, there was the occasional deers head, stuffed and hung proudly above the doorways. Straight along the foyer on the right were the double doors that would lead us to the dining room, there were 5 or 6 wide stairs leading up to the rest of the foyer on the left. A photographer, these ones who take 'action pictures' was bent on one knee at the top of the stairs causing everyone to freeze, trying to establish who or what he is snapping and then trying to act casual as you walk passed him. He then informed us he was taking pictures of 'the moment' and basically to ignore him! Getting to the top of the few stairs I was aware it had become lighter, brighter and more spacious, there was another dining room to the left, next to it was the lounge (with the bar) opposite the few stairs was a full windowed wall with door, we named this the back door, leading out onto the balcony, well they called it a balcony, I wouldn't have called it a balcony more a terrace, it ran the full length of the outside of the foyer and the drawing room, which was on the right, there were real pillars, flowers & plants, a row of seats and wide steps leading into the stunning grounds. I was given a menu and a children's menu and we had to pick our meal there and then, the menu was quite fancy but I was glad to say I liked it and the children even got to have chicken nuggets & cheeseburgers. The meal picked and the children off to explore the castle we hit the bar, I think we managed 2.5 drinks before we were called to make our way to the Great Hall for the marriage ceremony. As the castle was exclusively for our use we were advised by the bar staff to cover the drinks with a bar mat and they would be there on our return - very classy.

We were lead through the back door, onto the balcony, down the stairs and onto the stony path, that in high heels was an achievement in itself, around the side of the castle, through an archway and then a cobbled court yard, back onto a stony path, up a small set of outside stairs to a door way where we halted behind the queue of people that had gathered. And the reason for the queue was the single spiral uneven stair way which lead via a turret to the Great Hall! The turret had small square windows at stair level, with no glass, which caused the wind to whirl in that area, each woman carefully maneuvering up the widest part of the stair, holding the small uneven handrail, handbag, any small children while trying not to have a Marilyn Munro moment. I was glad I had trousers on. Bearing in mind the guests included my 73 year old MIL, oldest nephews other granny, who has sever dementia, lives in a home and had been brought by 2 carers, a 9 year old boy with severe cerebral palsy who was in a wheelchair and a couple of babies. Who in there right mind would have their wedding.............anyway! The Great Hall really was a disappointment, it was freezing cold, there were no seats and I don't mean no seats left, there were no seats, you stand for the ceremony, the kids were put in a turret area where they had a perfect view, the crying of the bride and grooms unwell 11 month old baby echoed around the room. Did I mention they have four children? 2 from the brides first marriage age 13 and 11 or there abouts and 2 together age 2 and 11 months. We all awaited the arrival of the bride, the wind whirled and whistled around my freezing feet, the baby cried and then she entered, accompanied by her dad, who also has dementia. She looked lovely, an ivory dress, her long black hair curled, she was followed by her little girl in an ivory dress with a black sash, her big girl and another 2 bridesmaids in black with the ivory sash all wearing ivory fur stoles (if that's what you call them) the groom's sister sneaked out with the baby to let his parents concentrate on getting married. I forgot all about my freezing feet while I watched and listened to the ceremony, a little tear in my eye, this was quickly brightened by the grooms other Granny shouting Fuck Off repeatedly towards the end of the ceremony. Getting up the stairs had been easy in comparison to trying to get back down them, the carers had started to take Granny down, she was terrified, routed to the spot, they encouraged her and finally got her moving, meanwhile the groom's sister was at the bottom of the stairs trying to get back up with the baby for the photo's, the bride kept sending people to get the baby, by this time I was half way down the stairs and ordered the person at the top to stop, go back, not let anyone down until the baby was up before both the bride and the groom's sister had a fit. Sorted. I can't be doing with folk faffing about, poeple need order and direction so that's what they got.

We headed back to the warmth of the bar, where we were greeted with a pink cocktail punch, it was lovely, so lovely we got the men to go and get us their share. My daughter announced she was starving, she doesn't eat ordinary crisps it has to be Skips or Quavers, they had none. It was announced dinner would be at 6pm, it was 3.45pm. I knew then it would be a long night.

And as usual there has to be a tragedy to balance the world, another niece, the one who has just announced her engagement had been sat with us the night before telling us about her fiance's dad, he had been unwell and had developed lumps on his head he had been taken into hospital on the Friday night, they decided to come to the wedding as there seemed nothing to worry about. After the ceremony he called home to see how things were and was told he should make his way home as it didn't look to good. There was instant panic on the poor boys part, but my SIL stepped in and went to arrange a taxi, my niece had not been drinking luckily so they only needed a taxi to the Travelodge to collect their car. Kindly and under the circumstances a member of staff from the castle took them to the Travelodge to collect their car. They travelled the hour and a half journey back to Glasgow and we were told just after dinner that the man had died. He had slipped away even before his only child had spoken to his mother but she obviously couldn't find the words to tell him over the phone and make his journey home any worse.

Friday, 18 April 2008

Let me put you in the picture.

A few pictures from the Wedding and confirmation. In no particular order........

Darling daughter and her favourite closest cousin.

Me & the hubby, and no I am not sporting a huge head-dress, although I have to say it tones in very well!

Me & the hubby, minus the head-dress. Also note the hubby is not a giant but standing on a step higher than me!

Me, Hubby, handsome son and darling daughter.

Handsome son and his favourite closest cousin (brother to my daughters favourite cousin)

These boys are only 9 months apart!!

My mum and her favourite girl.

The Windy Family.

Must remember to close my legs and change out of my slippers for photo moments.

My MIL with her youngest Granddaughter (out of 19 grandchildren)

My beautiful niece & darling daughter

Notice Angel the cat, photo opportunity moment!

Me & my friend, it's not wine honest, it's Lambrusco!

The hubby and his 6 sisters, he also has 2 brothers but they were unavailable for this photo moment.

My hubby has a favourite song that gets played at every family party and he changes the words accordingly it goes........

"We are family......

I've got my 6 sisters with me"

A little insight into the Windy family. I will continue with the wedding story soon.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

The Wedding Story weekend - part 1

I am delighted to say that a further shopping trip with the 8 year old and we managed to get her a pink dress, cardigan and shoes that suited her much better and that she will get more wear out of. I had already purchased socks for her communion and decided she could wear them to the wedding and if they survived she could wear them to her communion and if not I would buy another pair. £5.99 for socks! don't get me wrong, lovely fancy socks, with a diamante on each lacey drop, but £5.99. For socks. The socks did survive the wedding, they came back white and came out of the washing machine white and in good condition. Great, I thought. Not so great when I noticed one sock only had one diamante left and the other had 3. I had wondered what the noise was as I pulled clothes from the washing machine, a dropping sound on the tiles but with no visual evidence. I have since found at least 8 while tidying. My mum suggested I should have hand washed them - smart arse.

Now I'm not sure what your idea of a good wedding would be but let me tell you mine. You get dressed up, you watch the happy couple tie the knot with a little tear in your eye, you have a wee drink, in the middle of the day, scandalous. You eat, laugh at the the speeches and then get the party started and drink a wee drop more, laugh a big bit more and dance the night away. Simple but most enjoyable.

The wedding was 9 miles outside of Dumfries on the Sunday at 2pm. We left on the Saturday and had booked into a Travelodge, most of the family had. A leisurely journey, only an hour and a half, arriving at 3.30. The Travelodge had no eating/drinking facilities so we took the short journey across the road to the Premier Inn. It was very sociable and quite exciting. Now I hope I don't confuse you in my telling of this story as my hubby has 6 sisters and 2 brothers all of whom are married, bar one, who stays at home with her mother. The wedding was the oldest sister's son. So we had our family, the other side of the grooms family and the brides family all congregating in the Premier Inn, there certainly was a buzz about the place. They were arranging an 'en mass' booking for dinner at 7pm, but we decided the kids couldn't wait that long and we went back to the Travelodge to unpack. We had a great set up, my favourite SIL next door, her kids are 15, 11 & 10 the youngest being the closest in age to my 2 and practically inseparable and my MIL & SIL in the room directly opposite, we had these automatic closing doors, which we held open with hangers and you knew if the door was held open it was a family member or at least someone going to the wedding, we were all sick of knock, knock, knock. The kids had a ball, dotting from room to room, we had at least 15 rooms booked. My favourite SIL, MIL & SIL had all eaten late afternoon so we sneaked over into a quiet corner in the Premier Inn and had our dinner, just the 4 of us. On our return to the Travelodge my MIL & SIL informed us they would watch the kids and we could go out for a drink! Whoooo Hooooo a night out. All rooms in the Travelodge have a double bed and a couch and pull out bed, so my MIL took the 2 girls in her room and my SIL took the 2 boys in our room. This time we walked across to the Premier Inn, landed a booth with a SIL, BIL, niece and her fiance. Make mine a Vodka and fresh orange, I haven't drunk vodka for over a year and a half, in fact apart from the odd Baileys and 3 Smirnoff Ice at New Year I haven't drunk at all. The rest of the masses were having dinner so we had a nice chat and a laugh and a bit of a bitch about the 'brother and SIL' that I don't talk to. As the masses finished their meals, the men gradually made their way to the bar and the women squeezed up in the booth, at one point I was surrounded by 5 SIL's, 4 nieces and 3 nephews and take a moment just to look round them all laughing and joking. It's not all rosy in the family, mainly triggered by the actions of the brother and SIL. But blood is thicker than water and they have something I will never experience, an unseen bond, related to each other, 8 siblings. I am quickly drawn out of my thoughts by another drink. I had a great night, sauntering back to the Travelodge with the SIL's, the men trailing behind as usual. The kids were still awake when we returned, my daughter deciding she wanted to sleep in our room, so we turfed out the nephew back to his room and my niece, she stayed quite happily with her granny & auntie.

The fact that the kids were still wakened, started to grate, they need routine, they need a good nights sleep or else they will be miserable, it's a long day tomorrow. But I gave myself a good talking too, it's only one weekend, it'll not do them any harm, get over it. I think the vodka helped.

The next morning and it was all go, we went to the Little Chef for breakfast, nice big cooked breakfast. The bus was collecting is at 1.20 so this was the only food we would get until dinner. This also sets my OCD into overdrive, no lunch, the kids can't go without lunch, but again I control it, telling them to fill their stomachs to the max. I don't think the Little Chef knew what had hit them, at least 30 people hitting them for breakfast at the one time, plus the other guests, who must have wondered what was going on, laughing, joking, shouting, did I ever mention shouting. I think it might be a big family thing, nobody talks, they all shout, quite possible trying to be heard, a small voice in a large crowd. The breakfast was extortionate, we decided Morrison's cafe would be ideal on the Monday morning.

We then got suited and booted so to speak and off we went in the bus, a pleasant journey, we entered the gates of the castle and took the mile long driveway to the castle, all breathing in as the bus went through 2 very narrow sets of brick pillars. The castle is a medieval castle and so everything inside was dark wood panelling, suits of armour strategically placed, I apologised to one for bumping into it only to see as I turned around it was in fact a tin man. The grounds were beautiful and plentiful, the kids went immediately to explore outside, starting with the dungeons! I noted how cold it was as the door opened. We were given menus to choose our meal right there and then, a beautiful menu and a kids menu, the kids were even eating in a separate room, watched over by my beautiful niece and her joined-at-the-hip-friend. We were then informed the marriage ceremony would take place at 3pm, nearly 45 minutes later. Apparently we had to be there at 2pm so that everyone would have placed their food order before the ceremony. I knew at that point this was going to be a long day. Vodka and fresh orange for me, I requested.

Monday, 14 April 2008

Shoot me now!

I don't know where to start, there is such a lot to say. As I've said before 'it never rains but it pours in the Windy household!' In fact it's p***ing down continually at the moment.

We enjoyed the Easter weekend, the hubby he worked as usual, I took the kids including the next door neighbour to church and then up the hills to roll their coloured eggs. I seem to remember from years ago something about rolling your eggs before 12 noon, now whether I made that up or not I'm not sure, but as I thought out loud and mentioned it to the kids, the 8 year old asked

'How, what time did Jesus roll his at?'

And here was me thinking she was receiving good religious education at school, not to mention her grammar! She has frequent blonde moments like these.

After the Easter story we headed of into Glasgow to try and kit the 8 year old out for the wedding. After looking in every shop and then trying every dress on in BHS we settled for a lilac dress and cream cardigan, I was not pleased with the choice but it was the best of a bad bunch to say the least and at least she wouldn't have to go naked!

At some point after the Easter break I became ill and I mean ill, it was a flu virus, some nights I had hot sweats, others I was so cold. The hubby, well he was on nights! At one point I thought I was going to have to get the 10 year old up in the middle of the night to make me a hot drink as I couldn't lift my head and I was so cold, shivering non stop for hours. Doped up on paracetamol I made it to work as I was so busy, for 4 days I struggled and finally I began to feel better, I was so pleased I was coming out the other end and then I woke up covered from head to toe in a blotchy rash. A visit to the doctor confirmed a viral rash and with that came the onset of another bout of viral reactive arthritis, (all the symptoms of arthritis but no lasting effect and no evidence of it in your bloods.) But I am wise to it now and had started on the anti-inflammatory drugs, this was a particularly fierce flare up, so much so I started planning what I should do with the business and how I could run it differently. My bloods were clear as usual, fortunately the doctor as 2 other patients with the same thing and she knows it is not all in my head.

As I recovered my daughter became unwell with the same thing, like me she was ok during the day but struggled at night. As she recovered she took very rosy cheeks, I sent her to school as she had no other symptoms, the school were not happy and asked me to have her looked at by a doctor. I was angry with the teacher, who said to her,
'I don't want what you have got, go and ask the office to phone your mummy and find out what's wrong with you!'
Well, the cheek, as if I would sent her to school knowing she was unwell. I marched to school and removed her, took her straight to the doctor, who very kindly saw her and confirmed she had Slap Cheek, a very infectious virus, infectious to other children and highly infectious to women in the very early stages of pregnancy, well to the baby and she must remain off school for the rest of the week. Whoops. It was 5 days before the wedding, the week before the school broke up for 2 weeks, she was delighted, 3 weeks off school. I phoned the school with my tail between my legs and confirmed the situation. And all I could think about was who was going to look after her, I had so much work on. I managed to convince the hubby to take some holidays which he did and he looked after her, it was the first time in her whole life he has had to take time off to look after her. She then came out in the same rash that I had, confirming to me that although adults don't get Slap Cheek, her symptoms were exactly the same as mine and I had obviously passed this virus on. By the Thursday night my son was overcome with nausea and dizzyness, I decided at that point if we were going to make this wedding he should have the Friday off school to rest and prepare himself for the weekend.

I have really struggled over the last few weeks with where I'm going in life and what's best for my family, hence no blogging. When I worked in the evening I was there for the kids all day and somebody else paid me, now that would not be practical due to the homework and evening activities they do, I prefer to be there in the evening and work during the day and with the hubby usually on nightshift then I have to be there at night. What I do struggle with is when the kids are not well, when I'm not well, when things go wrong, like this morning my boiler broke down, I had to take the morning off to wait for the Gas engineer and school holidays, the hubby has taken the rest of the week off to allow me to put more hours in at the shop and try and catch up on the hours I've lost. I have a queue of customers waiting for things to be embroidered. Ideally I would like to be more home based, I am considering continuing with school wear from the unit in the summer and obviously any other embroidery work that comes along but increasing my eBay business dramatically, I always have the eBay shop running, but it does become a bit neglected due to lack of time. I need to have a serious think and make another plan. I have started to increase my eBay listings in preparation for the summer as I missed the boat last year.

In amoungst my business planning we are trying to finish decorating the house for the communion in 5 weeks time, I have an ironing pile nearly as tall as the 8 year old, the kids have more colds and sore heads and won't stop fighting with each other. On the plus side I have gutted both children's bedrooms so that's a start to decluttering my life and mind.

And the wedding, well that's another story, I am collecting pictures on Wednesday so I hope to post some pictures along with The Wedding Story.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Family Wedding

We are soon to go to a family wedding, he is the oldest nephew in the family and is marrying an English girl, the English girl has been married before and has 2 children, they have gone on to have another 2 children together and now decided to marry. All very nice, a family wedding, everyone loves a family wedding - don't they?

They are getting married in Comlongon Castle, near Dumfries, which is set in the most beautiful grounds, a picturesque, perfect wedding setting. As they are marrying on the Sunday at 2pm we are travelling down on the Saturday and staying in a Travelodge the Saturday and Sunday, to avoid arriving crumpled on the day of the wedding, £120 ca ching!

When it was his sister's wedding, the first of the nieces/nephews to marry, we went all out, I must have spent nearly £200 on my full outfit, shoes, hat, bag etc, my daughter was a flower girl and my son a page boy, all the cousins were involved in the bridal party, I felt it a bit ridiculous, there were 4 bridesmaids and 6 or 7 flower girls + page boys. I made very good use of that outfit as I had many occasions that year, all with different company, so I definitely got my monies worth. This time I have no inclination to go 'all out' I grudge the money, mainly because I don't have any! Two years ago when it was my son's and my niece's communion, within a 3 week period, plus my son's confirmation we had to shell out for 2 suits for the hubby and 2 outfits for me + shoes, bag, you know how it is! I managed to get a nice white trouser suit, from Tesco, after hunting all shops known to man for a nice trouser suit, I saw this suit while doing my shopping. I wore the trousers, a nice red top with white crochet cardigan, lovely wedged red patent sandals & white bag for my nieces communion and then 3 weeks later for my son's I changed the top and added the jacket and nobody noticed it was the same trousers, shoes and bag!! Or nobody cared. This year I have the wedding and my daughters communion and the hubby's 40th, so I am thinking of wearing the white trouser suit to the wedding and then I can worry about my daughters communion when I get back. I thought I might add one of these pin on cloth flowers to the outfit, in red, to make it more weddingy and save myself a fortune.

So we have the cost of
  • the Travelodge - £120
  • the dinner for 4 + drinks on arrival - let's say £60.00
  • hubby's kilt - £47.00 + insurance £4.50
  • son's kilt - £40.00 + insurance £4.50
  • daughters outfit + shoes - £??.?? still to be bought
  • my pin on flower - £?? still to be bought
  • haircuts all round - £20.00 (girl comes to the house)
  • nails done - £? (hairdresser who comes to the house also does nails, I have no idea how much as I am never this vain, but decided if I wasn't getting an new outfit I should have my nails done)
  • eyebrows & moustache waxed - £10.00
  • half bottles of vodka to take to wedding, due to excessive prices of alcohol in Castle - £12.00
  • drinks at wedding, that we can't avoid - ca ching, ca ching, ca ching!!

On a plus point the bride and groom have specifically said on the invitation that they are not accepting wedding presents due to the expense of having to travel and stay in accommodation - RESULT. But oh no sorry, can't possibly go without a gift of some description + a card and some very nice wedding paper - £20

I am hubby family partied out, when you have 6 sisters and 2 brothers this inevitably leads to many nieces and nephew's and more outfits. My hubby is 8th out of nine children and as the family stands at the moment his oldest sister is 53 and youngest brother is 34, oldest nephew, out of 19 grandchildren, is 29 and youngest is 8 (my daughter), 2 great nieces age 3 and 2 and 1 great nephew, nearly 1, not forgetting the 'add-on children' who come with a parent who marry's a member of the hubby's family of which there are 6. So every year brings a mass of celebrations of varying kinds, 50th, 40th, 30th, 21st, 18th, special wedding anniversaries, communions, we reach the last communion hurdle in May and just when you think there can be no more, the mass of children in their 20's start to meet people and want to marry!

As well as the money and the outfit dilemma, I am apprehensive as the 'sister-in-law' who caused all the bother will be there and she makes my blood boil, that coupled with the fact her husband, the hubby's brother, is being a complete TIT can send me into a complete rage. My sister-in-law who stays at home with her mother has had an operation, I took the kids to visit her when she came out of hospital, one of the 'add-on children' was there and was due to be collected by the TIT, her stepdad, he saw my car outside and phoned into the house to have the 'add-on child' sent out. He is not man enough to come in and face me, he thinks I have done all these terrible things to him and his wife, because his wife said so. I find this deeply offensive considering he has known me for near on 17 years. I wanted to run outside the house that night and scream


aaahhhh does that feel better. But of course I wouldn't lower myself to using such language in front of the children and my mother-in-law might have something to say.......

But I am an adult, I will stand tall, I will smile and I will enjoy myself if it kills me. I will not let these underhand, lying individuals get the better of me.

I came home to discover one of hte nieces has just got engaged - hooorrayyy another family wedding - eventually....can't wait.