Tuesday, October 31, 2006
...or Halloween to you normal folk!
Well, I've been so busy today I now feel stressed to the max and want to be left alone for the rest of the evening. That's not going to happen so I'm likely to explode.
Today I've cooked Halloween cakes, an Apple Pie, carved two pumpkins, finished the kids costumes, gone trick or treating and made dinner. Whew!! I'm now chilling eating a slice of my first ever homemade apple pie, and it's scrummy.
We went out trick or treating for about an hour, the kids had fun and Bel eat too many lollipops.
I'm quite proud of Taylor. How many seven year olds do you know who when faced with a bag of candy, head straight for an orange? My son is weird. :)
Monday, October 30, 2006
That shop has gone, but another one is coming on the market in a few weeks so we have first dibs on it. We're going to have a look at a tiny arcade unit in Benfleet too, which if we went for we'd have to spend lots on advertising(not a problem), and focus more on business sales. Which means Pete could do what he does best and travel around as a Sales Exec getting customers, while I work in the shop. Also, Pete was told today he's getting made redundant next year, which fits our plans perfectly. We are so happy about it, he'll get a nice lump sum to put back into the business, and have spare time to do the sales work.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
We went to Pete's football this morning. It was a cup game against our biggest rivals. It got pretty heated, and at full time was 1-1 so it went on to extra time, then we lost on penalties. :( At least Ryan's team won 6-1, so they're still top of the table. Then we picked up my Mum and went to the Sealife centre in Southend, which Isobel loved as she's fish mad.
We took a detour on the way home to look for a shop in Rochford, but couldn't find it. Then, by some act of god we decided to go home through Rayleigh, and saw a shop we'd discounted completly because it was part of a shopping centre instead of an outside shop with parking. Well, to put it plainly, it's 'the one', and if someone beats us to it I will cry. Here is a picture;
I've checked for other similar shops in the area and there are none, so we have no competition and are hoping to visit it properly for a viewing tomorrow.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
I've got apple pie to bake tomorrow before my Bramleys rot and are unusable. I've had to store them outside as they were full of fruit fly and we always get them indoors this time of year. Of course I realised too late and we've been invaded, again. It happens every Autumn.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
We're still hunting for a shop, there are just none about with parking. The loan is almost ready, so we may be up and running by Christmas.
Ryan really doesn't want to see his Mum in December, but he's not feeling brave enough to tell her. She didn't call him for about two weeks, then was back on the phone getting Holly to talk about the meetings again. Family life here is fantastic right now and I just don't have the energy to deal with her shit. We're all having so much fun and getting along, for once!
I've been working full time this week to cover a vacancy, as one of the girls moved on to pastures new last week. My goodness it's been hard working everyday, and it's only Tuesday. I'm not getting anything done at home and I hate feeling under pressure.
I'm finally speaking to my Mum again. Just as I expected, she called me last night and said 'Well, you're obviously not going to call me so I thought I'd do it'. I didn't want an apology, I just want her to treat me like an equal. I'm not 12 years old anymore and won't be spoken to like that.
Isobel talks in full sentences now, you can have a proper conversation with her, it's very cute. She's also exceptionally bossy.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
We can appeal, but it could take 6 months, and we can't wait that long for the finance. Soooo, we've been accepted for an excellent loan, and the shop preparations have started as of today. I can't wait. We are still going to appeal, but are in no rush now.
I'm going to be working extra hours next week to cover my colleage Wendy, who leaves on Friday, so that's more pennies in the pot for Christmas.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Whew! It's been a busy few days. Yesterday I had a raging fever, I felt really rough. I don't feel great today, but heaps better than yesterday. Today was supposed to be the first day of Laney's Daycare, as I'm having Jake a few days a week. It went a bit tits up for Lara(and Rob)today, so she ended up not working all day. Bloody agencies! We did our usual Tuesday thing anyway.
The few hours I did have Jake here he was an angel, and didn't cry once.
It's payday tomorrow, not that we have anything left to spare, but even doing the food shopping is enjoyable when the cupboards are bare like they are tonight.
I'm covering a trip at work on Friday, I only found out today. It was supposed to be Jim's, but he's just come back today from a cruise with 50 of the clients and isn't up to it, so now I'm doing it. It's in Romford and I'm not entirely happy about going. It's where my Nan's flat was, and where I grew up, and it's still too raw. It's weird, we've visited the grave, in Romford. That was fine, it's the retracing of steps, childhood memories and stuff. I'm a bit of a sentimental old fool, and it's the memories that haunt me more than anything right now. I am so not over this, and it feels like the whole world expects me to be. I can see people rolling their eyes when they realise I'm still upset about it. I'm not looking forward to Christmas Day. :(
I haven't really told anyone this next thing, except for Pete one night in August when I was drunk and broke down crying. When I went round to the flat the day she died, I went in first, as we were expecting her body to still be there and my Mum couldn't go first. She wasn't there, they'd taken her, but there was a wet pillow on the floor beside her bed, where she'd lain for a few days probably, unable to get up. I stupidly touched where her head had been, and got a mental flash in my head of her last thoughts, and her thinking about all of us, and who was going to find her, and finally resignation and calm. I've never been able to do Psychometry before, but unfortunately for me this time, I did. Those feelings and images are now hovering around me and won't go away. I just get this panic inside me whenever I think about it. How long will this affect me for?
Most days I'm fine, but the thought of shopping in Romford is filling me with dread.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
This cracked the boys up when they saw it. Pete found it on Google Video.
Ryan's team won 5-2 today, so that was good. They are top of their league, so hopefully they'll go up next season. Taylor has his name on his clubs website now, so it's a proud moment for us, seeing his name there.
I was bored at football so took Taylor and Isobel for a walk in the woods to look for squirrels. Isobel loves them, they are really cheeky and will come right up to you. They were all out collecting their stash for the winter months. I picked a bumper crop of mushrooms. I got two small bags full, and was licking my lips in anticipation of munching on them at home. Then, as I put them in the boot of the car, I noticed that they were Yellow Stainer, the deceivers of the 'shrooming world. :( They taste like ink and give you the squits, so they won't be getting fried in garlic and butter any time soon. Bugger.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Taylor had football training today, but as Pete was away last night I took him on the bus. He has his first match on November 5th, we can't wait! He's getting really skillful with the ball now, bless him. Ryan has taught him a lot too. Ryan has a game tomorrow too, which we're all going to. Pete hasn't got any football tomorrow so we're all free to watch Ryan play for a change. Here is his Man of the Match trophy from last Sunday, which he'll have to present to someone else this week.
I found some mushrooms at last today, I was thrilled. The big ones are Shaggy Parasols, and I've never tried them. Apparently they make some people have a tummy ache, so the kids won't be eating any. More for me! The tiny white one is a Field Mushroom, much like the ones you buy in Tescos. Not much of a meal there though.
Friday, October 13, 2006
Work was busy this week, I felt really rough today too. I've been dizzy all day, I tried everything to get my blood sugar back up but it was having none of it.
I haven't spoken to my Mum yet. She's MSN'd me a few times, but by the time I've seen the message a few minutes have passed, I've replied and she's sent nothing back. I reckon as soon as she knows it's me on the pooter she turns it off, she probably wants to speak to Pete instead.
We've pretty much decided what to do about the shop, but I can't say too much in case people involved see it(not that they know about my blog, but you can't be too careful!). I will say, we are going for a smaller operation first, to test it out. We wont need to borrow any money yet, as there is no risk with this option.
I'm having Jake next week as it seems Lara may have found a job. I only spoke to her for a few seconds as I was at work so I'm not sure of the details yet. I'm looking forward to it actually, he's a sweet little thing. Isobel enjoys having him here too.
Sian called Pete yesterday and had the most adult and sane conversation she’s ever had with him.
She reckons she’s going back to work soon and will give us some money then. Pete told her she is upsetting Ryan by not paying, as it shows him she doesn’t care about his welfare. Pete also told her that the whole witnessing thing is the worst thing she can do, as Ryan hates it and it makes him dread seeing her. She’s promised to leave him alone, but we’ve had that conversation before.
I’m not convinced that there isn’t an ulterior motive to the whole thing; she doesn’t do anything unless she gains something back from it. She probably thinks that he’ll want to move back there if she starts behaving like a reasonable adult. He may well go back one day, but he’s silly if he thinks a leopard can change its spots.
I'm pleased she seems to be learning from her mistakes. At least her two little girls may stand a chance and wont have such a miserable existence if she learns to be a better Mother.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Not much going on today. Isobel has been good company today, making us all laugh. I'm back at work tomorrow and I really can't be arsed. Pete goes away on Friday afternoon so I'll be all on my own for the weekend. I can see copious amounts of booze in my future. :) I always drink when I'm bored and lonely. I need to hire some Vince Vaughn movies to keep me busy. ;)
Pete is supposed to be phoning Sian in a minute, to speak to her about maintenance. She still won't pay us anything, and is openly laughing at us. Pete wants to give her an ultimatum, pay or you don't see him.
She's not being a responsible parent, is she? She is gallivanting around spending money hand over fist while her own flesh and blood suffers. We really do struggle, and he does miss out. I'm not sure how that conversation is going to pan out. :-/ It'll be WW3 here in a bit, I'm sure. He is supposed to be staying with her again in December and he doesn't really want to go.
Video of Pete and Isobel;
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Your Five Factor Personality Profile
You have medium extroversion.
You're not the life of the party, but you do show up for the party.
Sometimes you are full of energy and open to new social experiences.
But you also need to hibernate and enjoy your "down time."
You have low conscientiousness.
Impulsive and off the wall, you don't take life too seriously.
Unfortunately, you sometimes end up regretting your snap decisions.
Overall, you tend to lack focus, and it's difficult for you to get important things done.
You have medium agreeableness.
You're generally a friendly and trusting person.
But you also have a healthy dose of cynicism.
You get along well with others, as long as they play fair.
You have low neuroticism.
You are very emotionally stable and mentally together.
Only the greatest setbacks upset you, and you bounce back quickly.
Overall, you are typically calm and relaxed - making others feel secure.
Openness to experience:
Your openness to new experiences is high.
In life, you tend to be an early adopter of all new things and ideas.
You'll try almost anything interesting, and you're constantly pushing your own limits.
A great connoisseir of art and beauty, you can find the positive side of almost anything.
Monday, October 09, 2006
There is more info here .
The boys are getting on really great lately, they have been for a few weeks. They have their moments, obviously, but Ryan has stopped nagging and bossing Taylor around so Taylor isn't so stroppy. It's pretty peaceful here right now. Ryan said I was the coolest parent yesterday because I was letting them have a water fight and fill their balloons up in my kitchen. None of the other Mums would let them. I'm glad they're having fun, they are kids after all. I don't care if they get wet.
We went and had a look at a shop this afternoon, just to be nosy. It's a perfect shop, but it has no parking. Here are some pictures of it. We wouldn't need to do any work to it at all, just change the sign and put in a counter.
There is a pet shop further up that isn't to let yet, but it does have parking. It needs loads of work though. Pete says the key to it is the location, so I guess we'll wait for the pet shop to come up.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
These last two weeks she's started it again. On the phone, round here for dinner, there is always something I'm doing wrong. I'm not putting up with it this time. I'm 26, not 12!
She has had the kids this weekend while we've been doing this shop stuff, so that's great and we appreciate it. She called me when we'd already left moaning that the raincoat I'd packed Isobel wasn't warm enough(she also had long sleeve t-shirts on). Then when I pick them up today she starts ranting that the shoes Isobel has on are too big. They're Kickers and are a 10, Isobel is a 9. Kickers are supposed to come up big. Then when I say she hasn't got new winter boots yet(these are from a friend who's daughter has outgrown them), she says I should've packed her sandals. What the fuck?!? One minute it's too cold for a raincoat, the next minute she wants sandals. Unbelievable.
I just snapped, and asked her if all the bullying and bitching was going to start again. I told her she has no right to question my parenting as hers left so much to be desired. She moaned that my priorities are wrong, to which I replied that yes, we are poor and people have to go without, but my childhood was no better. I'm not the one who spent all my money on cigarettes and bingo while her daughter went without. I go without all the time, my work shoes had to be super glued back together for a year as I couldn't buy new ones, and my hair wasn't trimmed for 2 years. You can't get much closer to the bottom of the pile than me.
I'm really angry as she started all this in front of the kids, and we never row in front of them at home.
I said that if she's upset about Nan dying that's fine, but don't take it out on me, because I won't put up with it this time. She'll have no one if she doesn't watch herself. I won't be speaking to her, I don't expect an apology as such, but if she wants to see the kids she'd better phone me and she'd better be in a good mood.
On Friday afternoon we packed the kids off to various places to go on a very important adventure! We went to stay with Becky in Coventry on the Friday night. She's having a tough time right now(exes, family, the usual stuff), so it was nice to see her and try and cheer her up. Her little baby Adam is the cutest little thing, he's so smiley!
We are opening a franchise business very soon, so went to the Franchise Exhibition in Birmingham on the Saturday to chat to the guys who run the venture. Pete has known them for years, which is a bonus obviously. At least we know they can be trusted. They were store managers where Pete used to work, they all worked together for years and basically got sick of always answering to someone else(much like Pete now). We've been discussing this for two years and are finally in the position to do it. Well, almost. We were considering buying one of the already up and running Midlands stores, but they are being viewed by someone next week so I guess they'll beat us to it. Once we've bought this house(probably by the end of November), we will be talking to the bank and finding a shop. We're kind of hoping for Wickford, as it needs to be roadside for passing trade, but there isn't much empty there right now. The right one will come up. We have requested a viewing for one, but it has no parking. It might be the one though, so we'll take a look.
We do feel like we are being guided by a big hand through all this, and as Pete said yesterday "We're just along for the ride!". Everything is just slotting into place and fitting just right. It's about time we had some good luck.
The main reason we're doing this is so that in 3 years time we will not be living
here. I want out, not for me, but for the kids. It's not so much the estate where we live. That's fine, the people here are great. It's the seemingly constant murders going on in Basildon right now, it's turning into Nottingham! You can't even go into town in broad daylight without watching somebody die. It's beginning to take the piss. I want to move to the 'burbs!
Pete has gone to football(I just heard from Jane and they're winning 2-0), so has Ryan, and my Mum still has the other two. Bliss, I tell you! I never want the peace and quiet to end.
We had a looong chat with Ryan last night, a nice chat. I think the way his Mum has behaved has finally dawned on him. He can see her true colours now. I think he's finally realised how badly behaved he was being a few months back too. He's been an angel this month, it's Taylor causing the trouble. We're pretty sure he's grieving pretty hard for Nanny Farm, so we aren't being too tough on him.
Ryan just got in, he won at football and got Man of the Match! Good lad!
This is an old picture of the boys, it must be 4 years ago now. It's one of my favourites.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Ryan wanted to show off his new seasons football kit, it's very smart. He's a happy chap in photos, isn't he? He's playing an Australian team right now, in this rain! They're on tour around the world, and decided to stop in Wickford, of all places. Which presents the question, "WHY?".
Isobel is driving us mad at night at the moment, to the point where I think Pete wants to kill himself. He doesn't exist very well on no sleep. It turns him into a raging nutcase. She just won't stop moaning, everything has to be in the right place in her bedroom or she cries. She wakes up at about 1am, and won't go back to sleep. Her dummy MUST be tied on to her PJ's properly, so you go and do it and get back into bed. You dose off, then she starts again. This time, her water cup isn't full enough. So you fill it up, go back to sleep, and then her nappy needs changing. Argggghhhhh... I'm suffering with insomnia anyway, so that added to her not sleeping for the last 4 nights means that I haven't slept more than 3 hours a night for over a week. I had a day off today as I have a raging temperature, banging head and I feel like shite.
We're off to Coventry tomorrow afternoon to a franchise exhibition, as we're thinking of opening a shop. It's all scary stuff at the moment, but this is going to happen and will change our lives. More importantly, it'll change the kids lives. Most of the shops in the franchise make £100,000 a year profit.
We had a bit of an art master class today, seeing as it was raining. Isobel is learning her colours now, her favourite is blue(or BOO as she says it). She can count to ten, and name most animals, so I thought it was time to work on the colours.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Right, I'm going to bed. Isobel has developed a cold today so isn't sleeping at all. Great!
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Lara has been talking about us both getting away from the kids and getting some hobbies(apart from clubbing!). We talked today about horse riding, so we're looking into it.
It's made me think about horses I've ridden in the past, and ones I've had. I thought I'd tell you about Rose. I started riding when I was 6/7. My Mum had horses years ago, and my step mum Pauline did too, so it is in the family. I had a few horses that I would ride regularly. It wasn't until I met Rose in 1993 that I got completely and utterly attached. She was a black Thoroughbred mare, about 16hh, and had been used in a few films before the owner of the riding school, Debbie, had bought her. Rose was used in the film Willow. :) I fell totally and utterly in love with her, and that was it. She was mine.
She had constant PMT, would bite you if you tried to tack her up, and hated having her hooves picked. But, once you were on her she was a dream. I used to love galloping bareback on her, it felt wild and free. We did lots of jumping, and did quite well, but I'm not going to brag about it. I wanted to tell you about a very special moment. It seems so clear in my mind, yet its so hard to describe what I actually felt. I'm not sure I can do it justice.
It was winter, and I had gone to the stables very early to take Rose out for a ride. It had snowed overnight, and as it was early and still pretty dark, the snow was really fresh. I tacked her up and took her out into the fields. I remember her breath misting up in the air, and the whole world seemed totally silent.
We stopped on this rise at the top of a field, and at that moment the snow started to fall again. All of a sudden I felt a shift in my consciousness, like the colours around me had changed or moved. She took a deep breath and turned her head round to look at me. I almost heard her say what a beautiful moment it was, and that she'd never forget it or me, but it was obviously a silent communication between us. It's probably one of the most beautiful moments of my life so far, it's right up there with giving birth to my two children.
Then the moment was over, and her feet started to crunch on the snow again and brought me back to reality.
The reason this has stayed so fresh in my mind is that she was put to sleep three months later. She had a degenerative bone disease, and had been existing on pain killers for a while. It was best for her to go.
It was a long time ago now, and it's still my most vivid memory of her. I play it back in my mind all the time, and find it more real than looking at photographs.
I'm sitting here with a glass of wine after a busy but productive day, listening to Vangelis. Because I'm weird.
Lara and I were interviewed for a TV programme/documentary today. Lara had her pregnancy and birth filmed and it's currently showing in snippets on Living TV. The lady from Goldhawk Media came to my house today with her camera and asked us lots of questions for another documentary. We also gave her tips on birth and motherhood. It was great fun. So I'm going to be famous. Ha ha!
Bernadette was lovely, we had fun chatting to her about all sorts of stuff. Isobel and Jake got to be stars for the day too. She even filmed my Guinea pigs and the kids playing together in the sand! It should be shown later on this year.
Now I'm listening to Chris Isaac, Soundgarden and Nirvana. I'm definitely in a weird mood tonight.
I took these pictures of Isobel in the bath this morning. Doesn't she look different without the hair?
Monday, October 02, 2006
I think Isobel may be a closet Trekkie. It's just started on Sky One and she is engrossed. She just keeps saying 'spaceship' over and over again. Taylor has driven me mad already today as he's wet the bed for the last 4 nights. He hasn't done it for weeks and weeks, and now he's being lazy again. I told him that he can change his bed and wash his sheets from now on. I've had enough. Seven years I've been mopping up his piss, I am done with it. He NEVER wets the bed round other peoples houses, it's just pure laziness. The major problem with it is the winter is coming and I can't get his sheets, duvet and pillows dry every single day. He'll have to start sleeping on a bare bed like a prisoner. I was so pleased when I thought he'd grown out of it, I really don't want to go down the medical intervention route. Bugger.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
What is it with kids and boxes?
We had a pretty boring weekend really. My Mum came over for tea last night, then we went to watch football today. They lost, again. I went for a walk with Isobel, looking at the leaves and berries. I did spot a few mushrooms popping up too, so I'll be out 'shrooming in a week or two. I'm particularly looking for Puffballs (I saw some tiny immature ones today, so I'll go back for them later), and Chicken of the Woods.
It's been thundering on an off all day, we just had another small storm pass over. I'm babysitting Jake tonight while Lara & Rob go to the cinema, so it'll be nice to have some peace and quiet away from my brood for a few hours.