Monday, July 30, 2007

Musical Monday # 19

This song always reminds me of two things, the movie Trainspotting, and the first year or so that Pete and I were together. We spent quite a few weekends driving all over the country going clubbing(only had the one child then you see), and only had one dance music tape in the car. This song was on that tape and is one of our favourite tracks, so when I stumbled across it on You Tube I thought I'd better post it.

Underworld ~ Dark and Long

Thursday, July 26, 2007


I feel totally let down by my Dad. I've tried my hardest to ignore it up to now, but now that there is a collection going around at work for me, and the committee is paying for some of my reception catering, it has made me realise what an arse my father is. I'm sure my boss has only done all this out of pity, as we were talking about it today and he seemed really angry for me. This isn't about monetary value, my Dad could've given us £50 or £500, it's about the gesture, which obviously means nothing to him. I'm his only daughter, his only child, and he's shown no interest at all in my wedding. I'd understand if he hated Pete, and didn't agree with us getting married, but they've always got on well. He just has no feelings about me either way and doesn't give a crap whether I feel supported by my family, or not. I'm not surprised, and I find myself making excuses for his behaviour, which just makes me look like a moron. The thing that makes me upset the most, is that all these people around me have lost respect for my Dad. None of us feel the same way about him now, and before this he was always one of my favourite people. Pete, my friends, the boys, my work colleagues, the rest of my family...they all think he's an idiot. Elderly men and women whom I look after at work, who survive on pittance a week, have put more money into our big day than my own father has.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


The weather in Jamaica for the last week and the coming week has been thunderstorms every day. Not good at all. Although, they get rain there every afternoon for about an hour, so I've been told, so it doesn't ruin your holiday as such, but it might ruin the wedding day. Bugger.

We went to the Basildon Festival on Sunday, which is a free event put on by my wonderful employers Basildon Council, and the whole day is completely lost on the uncultured and unwashed masses, who all go for the beer tent and that alone. Taylor had a go at laser paint balling;

And Isobel threw a tantrum because she wanted to go on a slide and couldn't wait for more than a second, goddammit!

The best part of the day was us bumping into one of my old friends who I'd lost contact with. We'd been friends since I was 14 and she was 17, and when Pete and I first met we were inseparable. Unfortunately, she started dating a man that Pete took a strong dislike to(he tried to force me to kiss him at a party once, he pushed me up against a wall, not a nice man at all. Pete wanted to kill got ugly). They were together for 4 years and we lost contact about 3 years ago, in fact when I was pregnant with Isobel was the last time we saw her. I'd heard they'd split, but I'm not one to call up out of the blue and say "Hey, you dumped John, want to be friends again?". Anyway, we swapped numbers, I'm going to call her tomorrow night for a chat. Maybe we can restart our friendship. Seeing her made my day.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Musical Monday #18

I forgot to do this on Monday, so I've backdated it. I've had one of this artists songs as my choice before, but as I listen to her first album almost constantly on my MP3 player, I had to choose this one too. I think she is one of the greatest singer/songwriters around, and doesn't get enough recognition. She's also incredibly beautiful and mesmerising to watch.

Gemma Hayes ~ Let A Good Thing Go

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Problems in the garden

All over the country, allotmenteers and commercial growers are losing their potato and tomato crops to blight. I thought I'd escaped because I'm sheltered in the middle of a housing estate, but today I found some suspicious
looking black patches on a stem. If it's spread by tomorrow then it's the beginning of the end. :(

I had a bit of a palaver with my wedding ring on Thursday. It was quite weird how it came about actually. I'd picked out the ring I wanted last year, and last week it was on sale so we ordered it online, but they only had large sizes. I was told by the jewellers that we could get it re-sized for free, but when I went into the jewellers to arrange the re-sizing they backtracked and said it wasn't possible due to the style of ring. I was really upset as it was the one I'd set my heart on, but they opened the wall case so I could have a look at some others to exchange it with. I tried on a tiny thin band with diamonds set into it, one that I would've never picked up before, and on my finger next to my engagement ring they just look like they were made for each other. I'm really pleased with it(it's actually an eternity ring, but shhhhhhh, don't tell anyone!). It should be ready on the 27th, and that is the last bit of organising we need to do.
Here is my ring, then Petes:

Pete had a stag do to go to yesterday, at a go-karting place, so I went and did my final bit of shopping. It's all done now, I got far too much, so much for packing light! All we have left to do now is finish packing, get some insurance and speak to the DJ and Jim about the catering. There is lots of whispering and sneaking around going on at work at the moment as they are doing a massive collection for me on the sly, and not doing a very good job of it. I really hate surprises so I'm glad I've realised so I can prepare myself for the embarrassment of them presenting it for me. Seventeen sleeps to go!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Where is our summer?

I'm so sick of this weather now. It's meant to be nice tomorrow and I'm at work, stuck in a windowless cave of an office all day.

Pete threw a complete hissy fit on the way to Ryan's presentation evening as we only had £18 to spend on drinks(food was included anyway), and he was too embarrassed to sit there with only one coke each all night. We talked him round, and when we got there the drinks were free anyway. Duh!
As predicted, Ryan got an extra award for his outstanding football this season. The manager says a few words about the winners before he says their name, and he said loads about Ryan. He said they never win games without him, that he is amazing to watch on the pitch, and compared him to John Terry! Of course, my camera chose the exact moment that he went up to collect it to run out of batteries, so no photos. We all had a good time, but on the way back out to the car Ryan dropped his league trophy(the one that all the boys get), and it smashed all over the floor. We had to laugh, the little footballer on the trophy had lost his arms and legs, so we gathered him all up and drove off. It wasn't until we got home that we realised we'd forgotten his head!
Today I went to the seaside with Sam & Harvey. We got all the way there and Sam realised she'd forgotten her purse, so we had to turn around with two moaning toddlers in the back, because of course they'd seen the beach by then. They weren't happy bunnies! Finally we got back and got settled on the sandy part of the beach, and then it started to rain. We hid under a climbing frame for about 30 minutes, we must have looked like right nutters. You certainly don't expect to be constantly sheltering from downpours in the middle of July.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


I took these sunset pictures last night. When Pete saw them he said "The estate is on fire!". My first thought was "Shame it isn't!". That would be one way to raze it to the ground.

I popped into the newsagents yesterday, and noticed they had a paper round going. I sent Ryan over there when he got in from school, and he got the job. It's a morning round, he has to be up at 7am(he's an early riser anyway), and he'll get £14 a week. I think that's loads! He'll have more spending money than I do. I would never ever have an average of £60 a month to spend on what I liked, plus he gets about £20 pocket money. Lucky bugger!
We have his football presentation tonight, hopefully he'll win a few awards as he carries the team a lot of the time. He couldn't play last week and they got stuffed, as usually happens. I don't know what it is, as he isn't an outstanding player, or a goalscorer, but they just seem to hold it together better when he is there.

Taylor has been really upset this week as his best friend Josh has gone to stay at his Dad's for the whole summer holiday, then when they get back his Mum will have moved away so he will obviously not be coming back here. He's cried loads, bless him. Here are two pictures of them on Saturday night. They're a bit blurry because I took them at dusk.

I have also added some new pictures from my Hen Weekend, here. I can't take the credit for them, Allie took them, I've just pinched them off her Facebook page!

Monday, July 16, 2007

My big girl

Isobel has got huge lately. The first thing Pete noticed when he got home from Newcastle was how tall she'd gotten in three days! Her growth seemed to have slowed right down, so maybe she's had a bit of a growth spurt this week. She's only a year ahead in clothes at the moment, and her and Taylor have always been two years ahead. Hopefully she'll stay at a steady rate now and not end up too tall. Five foot ten would be nice, I don't want her to be six foot like me. Taylor is never going to stop, it seems, and wears age eleven clothes at eight.
I took these pictures yesterday.

Musical Monday #17

I know this song got played to death recentlty, but as I don't listen to the radio, I never got bored of it. It's just fabulous!

Mika ~ Grace Kelly

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Vegetable Garden

It dawned on me on Friday that next year I won't be able to grow any plants. Come February/March, when I should be digging and planting seeds, I'll be packing up our stuff and getting ready to move. This thought made me very sad, how on earth am I going to resist the temptation to plant things? Thankfully, I'm going to annoy the hell out of a friend who just bought her house and is thinking of growing some veggies, so that should take away my need to garden.

Here are some pictures of whats been going on in the garden recently;

One of my sweetcorn cobs. We have 6 or 7 cobs, not bad considering the complete lack of sun so far this summer.

My white onions. They grow to gargantuan size eventually, but some of them have already faced the chop and gone into pasta dishes and on pizzas. I have no patience.

My 'Alicante' tomatoes, then my 'Gardeners Delight'

I have about eight Parsnips, which I'm dead chuffed with as the germination rate was quite poor, and the slugs had a munch, and as I'm the only one that likes them eight is plenty. Roasted parsnips are the food of the gods.

My French Beans are still chucking out loads of pods. We've just had a roast dinner, and that's our 4th meal we've got out of the beans.

Lastly, our organic, carrot powered lawn mowers, Fergal & Elvis.


I've had a marvelous evening. I had a bottle of champagne left over from last weekend, so I've been plotting all week to send the kids to bed early and drink it all to myself. Finally, at about 9.30pm, I packed them all off, popped the cork, and settled down to a Vince Vaughn film.

My aunt Marion called earlier to confirm she was coming to the wedding. It was lovely to talk to her, and something she said struck a chord with me. She said she felt sorry for me, that my Dad is so antisocial, as her and my Uncle Bob have always had close relationships with their kids. They are really involved with their grand kids, and are in contact almost daily. What went wrong with my Dad?

Taylor's football tournament today was a nightmare. I realised that we couldn't get the bus as it would mean walking for ten minutes along unpaved country lanes with a pushchair, which just isn't safe, so we had to get a cab(costing £15!). We were told to be there at 9am, and we did. Then, it didn't start until 10.30am. If you could see how unruly Isobel is when it come to being near football pitches, the thought of this would fill you with dread. She is awful, she just wants to play on the pitch, and sitting there for 5 hours bargaining with her, bribing her with sweets, and shouting at her, at the cost of £35 in travel and expenses for the whole day, was not my idea of fun. Taylor enjoyed himself, but the team were rubbish(they won their league this season but today were particularly bad). Taylor was a substitute for a lot of the games so the losses weren't his fault, but the other parents made him feel like it was his fault for being new. I'm not sure we are going to send him to play for this team, the other parents and children were rude, had bad attitudes, were far too competitive(it's supposed to be fun!)and just generally left me with a bitter taste. I got bad vibes from them, as did Ryan, and I'm not paying £100 a year signing on fee for Taylor to hang around with arseholes. One particular woman soured the whole day for everybody. She moaned, stuck her nose in the air, and generally looked down on everyone, yet it was her younger boys who were swearing(at 4 years old!) and causing trouble. If the manager asks me why we don't want to sign Taylor up I shall tell him! Ryan remarked that she reminded him of his Mum, which can't be good!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday again

I can't believe it's been a week since my hen weekend, but of course that also means we are a week closer to the wedding. Twenty six more sleeps until we fly! Pete is on his Stag do in Newcastle this weekend, he left this morning. I hope they aren't being too mean to him.
We recently had to re-apply for our Working Families Tax Credit, everyone has to do it around this time, and Pete had a phone call saying there was a problem regarding Ryan. We think Sian has tried to claim for him and the Inland Revenue have picked up on it. We've had him here for two years now and never had a problem claiming before, so why now? She's a cheeky cow. Once Pete spoke to them and straightened it all out they put the claim through, I do hope she gets a phone call.
I was off work today so took Isobel to Wat Tyler with Sam & Harvey. It was surprisingly hot, I put suncream on Isobel and she still went red. It's not like her at all, although she's blonde she isn't necessarily fair. Her skin is quite olivey like mine, and she has grey green eyes. We've also got my Mum's tough skin.

Now I really must go to bed, it's 12.30am and I have a football tournament with Taylor tomorrow at 9am, and it's a few miles away. We have to leave at a stupid time in the morning, 7.45am or something, to catch a bus. We are never going to make it!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Busy little bees

We've all been busy with wedding stuff this week, I've finally finished my invites so will be posting the last of them this week. I sent some to my Dad's family that I bumped into at the presentation a few weeks ago, and they've emailed me and they are all coming. I was so pleased when I saw that.
We had our injections for Hepatitis A today, that was fun. They didn't have enough, so Ryan has to go back next Friday. We also bought our wedding rings online yesterday, which was exciting. I have to get mine made smaller as soon as it arrives as they'd sold out of my size. I'm off work sick with a virus tomorrow, I just can't face going in. Pete had it at the beginning of the week and has given it to me, my muscles are all aching and I can't stop sleeping.
Taylor had a football trial for a huge local team last Saturday, and they've asked him to play in a tournament for them this Saturday. Hopefully they'll want to sign him up. It's going to be a pain getting him there as Pete is on his Stag weekend, there are buses that run that way but I'd rather be in the car! Hopefully it won't be long until I pass my test and I can have the new car we've just bought. Ryan is at a trial for Southend United youth team right now as I type, Pete is just picking him up. Hopefully it went well.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Hen weekend

I've had such a good time, it went better than I could've ever expected, and I wouldn't change a thing.

On the Saturday morning, Allie's boyfriend Martin picked up those of us that stayed over, and took us to Wickford station in the camper van. The other two were going to travel on the Fenchurch line and meet us in London.

We got there first, so we walked from Liverpool street to Tower Hill, and got an ice cream and sat down by the bridge. Allie works near there so we had a guided tour of some cool buildings. I'd never been this close to the gherkin before, it's huge!

This building has been demolished from the ground up, and the remaining staircase holding it up looks like two legs. It looks like it's about to walk off!

We got to the final destination at about 2.30pm and walked to our hotel. I was shitting myself at the state of the hotel, I was expecting a right dive for £30 a night. It was great, just like Faulty Towers. It had that whole shabby chic thing going on, I'd definitely stay there again. The rooms were much better than we expected.

I'd planned to go to an Italian with a set lunch menu, but as the lunch menu finished at 3.30pm and we'd missed that, we sort of just wandered around Kensington looking for another, but nothing took our fancy. Most of the restaurants couldn't even spell their menu's right, which doesn't fill you with confidence! One was serving 'Frech Lobster', and as we weren't sure what 'Frech' actually stood for, we gave it a miss! We ended up walking to our planned original restaurant anyway, the Il Falconiere, and we were all so glad we did. It's honestly one of the best Italians I've ever had, and the manager let us still have the lunchtime set menu. The Tiramisu was the best I've ever tasted. I bought a bottle of wine, and then Becky secretly ordered a bottle of champagne which everyone chipped in for. I'm addicted to the stuff, it's like a drug to me, so that was a nice treat. At some point I went to the loo downstairs, and I knew they were up to something as I could hear them whispering. Up till this point we hadn't had a theme for the hen weekend, like most people do. There is normally a common theme, like school disco outfits, or pink ladies, but we hadn't done anything like that. What I didn't realise, is that while Claire and Laura had been late they had been secretly buying 7 pairs of huge ridiculous 70's sunglasses in Basildon(I already had a pair to go with my outfit), and when I came up the stairs they were all sitting there grinning like Cheshire cats with them on! Of course, I'd left mine at the hotel so had ruined the 'look'. After that, we all wore our sunglasses everywhere, and this theme kind of developed from nowhere. We got some right funny looks walking down the high street.

As we left the restaurant the owner looked me in the eye and said 'I like your shoes'. How is that for random? I only had my converse on! Maybe that was his best chat up line. Here is the stud muffin himself!

We went back to the hotel for a snooze(yay for no kids!), then started to get ready. When I went into the bathroom, Claire and Laura decorated my room with balloons and banners and sparkly stuff. Everyone came up to our room and we had a party. I did Sam & Allie's make up, and Becky curled Allie's hair, we had three bottles of booze and some shots and had the 70's tunes blaring out.

It was probably the best bit of the weekend for me, it was so much fun. We all covered ourselves in glitter, and finally headed out to face the public dressed up to the nines.
Here we all are about to leave(with me looking scarily like my Mother 20 years ago!)

These are photos of us all out having it large, stolen from Allie. They've come out all double exposed, but I think they look kind of cool! The club was really good, not as pretentious as I'd thought, and the music was good. I had a really good time, even though the men in there were creeps. I had hands up my dress on more than one occasion, and we all got propositioned at some point(especially Allie, poor girl!). Becky got suckered into dancing with the smelliest man on in the whole club, possible on the whole planet, so we had to rescue her.

Unfortunately, the drinks are really expensive, and by 2 am we'd all ran out of money. I made the decision to leave before we got bored, so we got some munchies and jumped in a cab back to the hotel. We all came up to my room to carry on drinking, and as I laid down on my bed I realised that Claire had put a giant dildo under my pillow. I think I screamed. Two random men then knocked on the door and asked to come to the party(they probably heard my screaming). I just shut the door in their faces, weirdo's. Of course, I felt a little bad when they got in the lift the next morning. I'm not quite so bolshy once the booze has worn off.
We went down to our English breakfast at 9.30am, and prepared ourselves for a fight, as we'd paid for 9 beds but there were only 7 of us, but goddammit we wanted our 9 breakfasts! The poor woman couldn't understand a word we were saying, but eventually the two spare breakfasts came out with what I can only describe as a stamped on sausage on the plate. It had either been run over, or put through a mangle. Surprisingly, we didn't eat it. I had a hair in my mushrooms, but other than that we all survived the food(no one's died as of yet anyway). We left Faulty Towers at 11.30am and started the trek home.

The journey home was just as much fun as the one there...

...but then we said our sad goodbyes to Claire, Laura and Leigh at Tower Hill, while the rest of us carried on home to Wickford.

It was one of the most fun weekends of my life, I'll remember it for ever and I'm sure we'll all be talking about it for a long time to come. No one there really knew each other at the start, and by the end of it we'd all bonded and never wanted to go home. I laughed so much I cried all my make up off, more than once, and everyone treated me like a queen. Thanks girlies!