Our weekend celebrating in Dublin

In April this year my eldest son turned 21 and it was also our 25th wedding anniversary. Instead of having a big family party for both ( which my son would have hated, and my husband would have hated) we decided to do a shared celebration with just us four. I’m not being funny but with the amount you spend on a party ( with food, drink and decorations etc) we have always been the type to put the money to a better use ( for us anyway) to go somewhere and have an experience instead. The amount of effort involved with food alone would put me under pressure illness wise and by the time I would have done all the organising for it I would probably be too exhausted to actually enjoy it! Anyway, we decided before Christmas that¬† a weekend in Dublin was our plan and so we all had something to look forward to.

I’ve been to Dublin many years ago with a group of friends and had a great time, but as I’m from Belfast myself it’s always been a place I wanted to take my boys and we agreed we would wait until they were old enough to drink legally! So we decided we would combine the celebrations and take ourselves away for a long weekend there as a family. We were actually looking forward to going away with our boys who are now 21 and 18 years old, it’s a whole other experience when they are this age. Less arguing, less faffing, less stress, more fun, more easy going and well, more enjoyable!

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It’s been a while!

Well it’s certainly been a while since I have been on here!

It’s not like there hasn’t been anything going on for me to write about it’s more like I haven’t had the urge to write, but lately that has been changing. So rather than bore you will loads of catch up posts I thought I would do a quick run through everything that has been going on.

So this year I have had more hospital imput for my M.E/ Fibromyalgia than I have over the last 8 years since being diagnosed. Finally I managed to get physio treatment for the Carpel Tunnel in my left hand which has helped ease some of the numbness at least. I have also been referred onto a pain management course due to start late September for 7 weeks and I hope that helps me with at least pacing any activity I do ( I am absolutely rubbish at saying ‘No’ to anyone and generally end up overdoing things and then crashing afterwards!). The course will run me up to almost Christmas when I have been told I may get referred onto an exercise class suitable to help with my illness.

Excitingly, earlier this year a ‘dream job’ sort of fell into my lap via a good friend of mine. Dream job in the fact I can do the job in my pj’s, at anytime of day, keeping my own time! Sounds bloody good eh? It comes in the form of running a social media account for a local clothing boutique called Kimmicass¬†(would love you to come and give us a follow) that sells amazing womens clothing that you just cannot find in the high street shops (and will be looking to expand and sell online as well as open more shops too). This one account actually led to a second account for a London florist who lives locally but works independantly for clients like the V&A! This account is a slow burner and is not fully up and running but is definitely getting there and should be more active before Christmas. So how great is that? Literally a dream job for me as with my illness its difficult to predict health wise how I will be feeling on any particular day, but this job does not require me to be anywhere in particular for any length of time! So I get to work from home in my pj’s which I am loving ………….total result!

Also, we had an amazing surprise with my youngest’s sons GCSE results. His plan was originally to do a Level 3 Early years Childcare course at college which he needed 5 passes including English and Maths. Now hes a clever boy so we knew he would get the 5 passes unfortunately his worst subject is maths so we were extremely concerned ( as was he) that he wouldn’t pass that and therefore not be able to do his course. So the results morning was literally the most stressful time ever and I had lots of contingency plans running through my head should he not get his maths. Well talk about a total surprise, not only did he get a level 5 in his Maths ( the new marking system is numbered!) but he also passed ALL 10 GCSE’s and did so well was offered a place back at the school’s 6Th Form!! He was so gobsmacked he literally didn’t know what to do with himself and although he still went over to the college to enrol he ended up taking the place at 6th form to do A levels instead. As you could imagine it was total surprise all round so we ended up going out to his favourite restaurant to celebrate………….it would have been rude not to!

alex meal out

Then it was birthday celebrations for my husband who was turning 50 at the end of August…………….50!! Now he’s not one for big parties etc although is more than happy to go to others he hates being centre of attention himself. So I came up with a cunning plan to use the money that a big party would cost and instead take him away to somewhere I know he has wanted to go to for a long time- ROME! So I managed to find a little family run boutique hotel in the centre of Rome for 4 nights and booked that and some flights etc for early October for the two of us. However, because this was going to be his only present , except for a few bits from the boys, I wanted to make it a little special. So, I came up with the idea of putting some clues together to put inside a cabin size suitcase and then wrap it all up. So I numbered the clues…

  1. A picture of a fountain and some Euro coins (for the Trevy Fountain)
  2. A spanish style fan with a picture of some stone steps ( for the Spanish Steps)
  3. A rosary (hopefully making him think Catholic!)
  4. A dvd of Sparticus with a small Italian flag!! (The Colosseum obviously)

Each clue was wrapped up and numbered and then his present was a gift of 2 guide books for Rome with the flight tickets inside.

present box

suitcase clues

suitcase pic

Now my hubby is not one for showing emotion at ALL but as he opened the guide books his eyes did well up and his hands were physically shaking which showed me he literally had no clue up until that point of what his present was. I had even gone behind his back to one of his work colleagues to help me book his time off work and get it approved (he is in the police so it’s not an easy thing to do without him finding out)……………..BUT I BLOODY DID IT!

rich and present

It was a tough thing to make all the decisions on my own with regard to the flights, the hotel and when to go so I was actually quite relieved when it all seemed to work out. Thankfully now I can relax as I know he will sort everything else out from here- he has already done our medical cards and booked airport parking! The only time throughout that I gave myself a total heart attack was when my Mum asked me on the phone if our passports are in date! For anyone who doesn’t know us we never go away anywhere abroad as we cannot afford it normally and the last time i used my passport was when he took me to Venice for my 40th birthday 7 years ago……………………………………..SO THANKFULLY THEY WERE IN DATE!!

**So if anyone has any recommendations for Rome please let me know**

We also took my eldest back to uni last weekend (sobs) and helped him move into his new shared house ( which is a total state and will be another blog post on its own!) so I am missing him already sitting with us for dinner etc.

Next up is my youngest 17th birthday in a few weeks time before we can get really excited about our trip.

Anyway, it’s lovely to be back and have the urge to put things down in black and white again and would love to hear what you have all been up to. If

Another year another Birthday!

When you get into your 40’s (refuses to admit it) birthdays and the years actually seem to fly by. That can’t just be me surely?

I have just endured mourned celebrated my 43rd birthday this week ( Jaysus pass me another Gin!).

This isn’t a special birthday of any sort so the kids were at school as normal and the OH worked his normal early shift. I spent the morning in bed ( M.E related and not just spoiling myself LOL) and then got ready for the day. The boys were home early as they had their sports events that day, but being teens they just grunted as usual when they came in, raided the fridge for food and then disappeared into their room without a second’s thought.

So I decided I could either sit in and wallow or take myself out into the sunshine on my own. That’s what I did. I headed out to the local park where they have water activities going on, a lovely cafe and lots of people passing through to watch as I enjoyed a yummy cappuccino. This sounds quite sad but actually it was lovely and relaxing, sitting by the lake and watching the world go by. So after chatting to my mum and thanking her for my fab new Tassimo coffee machine ( love a Costa latte and cappuccino) I sat in the sunshine, switched my phone on silent and just enjoyed the hour or two on my own!

When I did get home, everyone was in so I got to open my pressies. Now I don’t know about you but I’m not really one for big expensive stuff, I don’t really do brand names or designer stuff and generally am happy with little bits as I like the thought that goes with it.

Therefore I was chuffed with my Tassimo machine that my mum and brother got me via my exclusive deal with Costa were it only cost a 1/3 of the normal price!! ( Oh I love a good bargain).

Tassimo in action with a Costa Cappuccino!! ADDICTED

I was chuffed to get a super duper electric toothbrush from my MIL ( something I have always wanted but refused to spend out on). Then came the pressies from my OH and boys:

Les Mis DVD……LOVE IT

New V shaped support pillow…..LOVE IT AND NEED IT

A new Ladyshave………..SO NEEDED IT

**** and a surprise**** an MP3 player……………LOVE IT………I DONT DO IPODS!!!! LOL

Then my friend popped round with a new Cath Kidston purse and sunglasses case……………SO LOVED IT AND HAVE CHANGED MY SMALL PURSE INTO MY NEW BIG ONE!! I will never go back to a small purse ever again.

Thankfully I didn’t have to cook ( seriously that would have just been WRONG) so we popped up to Bluewater and into Wagamamas, one of my favourites.

By the time we got home I was too tired and full to do birthday cake, so in true diva fashion I extended my birthday and we planned a day out to Whitstable the next day (without arguing kids), were we enjoyed a fab plate of fish ‘n’ chips and the required Mr Whippy ice creams!!

 

Gotta be done at the seaside.

After a cold Kopperburg in the garden I then had room for 2 big slices of b’day cake ( well it was my birthday after all).

Thankfully they didn’t put all 43 candles on it otherwise my face might have melted!!

All in all a good birthday was had and I know that the next one will come round far too quickly!!!

 

Will you live until your 90?

Would you actually want to live until you are 90?

I recently had a family visit to Belfast for my nan’s 90th birthday. It was a great trip as I went with my youngest from London, my mum flew in from Exeter and my brother and his youngest flew in from New York. So it was great to all get together for a long weekend.

The hotel was amazing ( and that’s all thanks to my mum for booking…….and paying!), with a swimming pool, a great bar restaurant, plush rooms with king size beds and amazing breakfasts. Need I say more?

Anyway the whole reason for going was to have a get together to celebrate her 90th birthday.

Here she is with me and my youngest on the day we arrived when we popped up to see her. I think she looks amazing for 90 years old, don’t you?

But that got me thinking………………………how many people would actually want to live to that ripe old age?

I’m not sure I actually would. I’m 42 now *cough* and therefore that would mean another 48 years to go. If I was fit and healthy then I would probably accept the deterioration in mobility and possibly memory and feel darn lucky to get to that age.

However, after 4 years with M.E which sees overwhelming fatigue and chronic muscular pain that is part of my everyday living (along with headaches, IBS, nausea, photo and phono sensitiveness…………………………..and that’s a good day LOL ) I’m not sure I would want to get to that grand age.

No, correct that, I KNOW I wouldn’t want to live another 48 years with all those symptoms as a daily occurrence. The last 4 years have been relentless enough without contemplating another 48!!

I must admit though it was a great excuse to all go over there, see family, visit a few sights, eat lots of food and drink and live in a bit of luxury for a while.

So, what about you?

My son turns 15………….how did that happen?

That is the question I have pondered this week. Why? Well I woke up yesterday morning with the realisation that I am know old enough to have a 15 yr old son!

YES……………………15!

Again I ask ‘How did that happen?’

It seems like only months ago I came home with my firstborn, tiny and crying, cuddly and gorgeous.

Now that cute and cuddly baby has somewhere along the line turned into a grumbly, mumbly, spotty, hairy 15 yr old.

ONE IS NOT AMUSED………………………..of course it’s all about me!

He was happy with his tickets to go see Bon Jovi at Hyde Park in July!! Yay
His cake is quickly becoming a fire hazard!!

I don’t feel any older than I did in my 20’s so I cannot comprehend how those 15 years have just gone past in the blink of and eye.

WHY DOES THE TIME GO SO QUICKLY?