Tuesday, 29 November 2011


Last weekend my husband ditched me for some verifiable hours of CPD down in Bristol.
Thankfully we had some replacements.....

Introducing Auntie Claire and Big Joe

Claire and Joe are the perfect Aunt and Uncle combo. Auntie Claire is as merry as Santa Claus and has as much energy as a nuclear explosion, whilst Big Joe is robust enough to endure the continuous lashings of the Octonauts. Unfortunately they live in the darkest depths of Essex so we don't get to see them as often as we'd like. By Friday evening the kids were at bursting point with anticipation. The eventual ringing of the doorbell pressed a psychological trigger. The Octonauts exploded with glee and immediately launched an all-out offensive on Big Joe that lasted most of the weekend.

In between the wrestling of Big Joe and the idolizing of St.Auntie Claire we had time to to sample some of the best attractions that Durham has to offer.

Teacups in Market Square

Thanks to Joe and Claire's 'accommodating' nature it wasn't untill Saturday evening that the kids realised their Dad was missing . Sunday afternoon they started the five hour journey home to Essex. Due to the damage sustained over the weekend, Joe's body would never be the same again.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Reality Check

For as long as I've known AC he's dreamed of celebrating his 30th birthday by chartering a boat in the Maldives for a once in a life time surfing session. His usual surfing haunt of the North Sea involves riding brown heavy slab-like waves in freezing conditions. Every piece of his exposed skin must be covered with unusually thick layers of neoprene to prevent death. In 'The Maldives Dream' he would be in shorts only, the suns rays warming his back, the cool water washing over his feet, gliding along hundreds of glassy blue waves with chattering dolphins as his guide.

Sennen 2008 - the nearest AC got to his dream

Everyone likes a dream. This dream conceived by a niave young man of 22 may be acceptable enough, but by thirty this man should know that our finances are destined for other things... like petrol, nappies, and transformers. However, being the perpetual optimist that he is he clung on to this dream like a child to it's blanket. It was time for a reality check.

Reality has its own natural way of asserting itself, like it did for AC that Thursday morning he turned 30. Instead of waking up to blissful sunshine and the sound of the gentle waves lapping on the hull of the yacht - he was greeted by the unearthly howls of a shrieking A-bomb on a dark morning in County Durham. The dream was shattered like a wave upon the sand.

The same face his dad pulled on waking up

Despite my lack of Maldive bound plane tickets I tried to put on as good a show as possible. I purchased the obligatory coco pops for breakfast. And because it's an extra special birthday I bought some all butter coissonts as well. Although I couldn't put alot of money into his gift I could still put alot of thought into it; memory foam pillows- two of them. To help bring added comfort to his ageing body (and stop his incessant complaining at the current quality of pillows on our bed).

His ride that morning wasn't a short-board on a blue barrelling wave, it was his '53 reg VW polo. As he departed for work I sensed his meloncholy, the pillows didn't go down as well as I'd hoped. I knew I'd have to do better so I spent the day wearing the kids out to ensure a smooth bedtime routine on the evening. There would be no jumping on the bed,  hiding under the bed, or sneaking out of bed. And no crying, screaming, or laughing at their dad.

AC returned that evening to a calm and serene home. The kids were sleeping soundly and I was slaving away over his birthday meal. Whilst I laboured away AC recounted his day to me. 'Work' it seemed had been rather generous in their gift giving... a little too generous. Whilst I was trying in my own loving way to show my appreciation for AC on his birthday, not to mention producing this...

For someone of my culinary skills this took an exceptional amount
of time and concentration.

'Work' had rallied together to present him with this...

A blummin Helicopter Ride

Outdone by 'Work'. Great.