Thursday, 31 December 2009


Isn't it strange how obsessed people become with what everyone else is doing on New Years Eve?

I'm in work today and I m amazed at how many times I've been asked "so - what are you doing tonight".  I hasten to add, not in a chatty up type of way!  I'm staying at home with my wife, son, sister, nephew and mother in law.  I shall eat duck, and some party nibbles, as well as some splendid nuts. I shall drink one or two beers, then a fair bit of malibu.  There - it's out in the open now.  What's the big deal??

I like my new phone.  I got my Shamshung Jet yesterday and I've had a reet good meddle with it today and it meets with my approval.  The touch screen technology is particularly good.  Even the way it handles bluetooth file transfers is impressive. I'm going to stop there as I can feel myself slipping down the slippery slope of geekness.  One more thing, though, I have configured it to upload (and geo-tag) photo's when I take them, which is particularly nice. 

Out of my annual review, at work, I have a load of work to do over the next few nights, with a view to potentially handing over the reigns of my beloved WIKI to someone else to manage.  If I do relinquish it, I shall miss it a lot.  It's an awkward bugger to administrate, but the end user has a nice experience whilst using it.

Girls Aloud are on TV at the moment, singing "live" at Wembley.  That Sarah Harding is one diiiiiirty......

Righty Ho - everyone bar 4 of us have gone home now, so I think I'll while away the unnecessary last 2 hours and 15 minutes of my work in 2009 by watching silly video's on YouTube, and catching up on what the world is saying on Google Reader!

Tomorrow is the start of a photo a day.  I'm actally excited by that!  Not AS excited as the prospect of eating duck tonight!  :-)

See you next year.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

The Aftermath

Well - that really wasn't too bad!

Christmas day went really well. I overfed everyone if the truth be told!  I don't think I wrecked any of the food and everyone seemed to enjoy what they had.  Lovely.

Boxing day started with a very heavy frost.  It had rained overnight and then frozen.  The road outside was total ice.  No cars could get through, so my brother in law and I joined the few neighbours outside to help cut through the ice and break it up a bit.  That afternoon, I travelled to Wales to collect my children and bring them back to us.  On the way, I picked up my sister and my nephew so they could join us for Bank Holiday night, too.  I got back to discover my lovely wife had prepared a fabulous buffet meal for us. Cheers!!

The night of the 27th brought a visit from our very good friends from Blackpool. We had a right good go on the karaoke, and the wii, and everyone seemed happy.  When they left at about 1am, I remember our neighbours, Kath and Phil were out locally at a party, so I sent a text asking if they wanted to nip in for a sing!  15 minutes later, there they were, along with their daughter, Natalie.  We sang for another hour or two before calling it a night at about 3am.  That was a late one!

Christmas seems to have been so busy this far, and we've still got New Years Eve yet!!

I received lovely presents and am very grateful not only for them, but for all the time that I've been able to spend with loved ones. 

Back to work tomorrow. Booo. Snow and sleet are forecast for the next few days.  Snow I don't mind, but sleet's a pain in the arse. It's just messy.

I'm off to buy some batteries and a charger.

Goodbye 2009.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Deep Breath

My god I'm tired.

It's Christmas Eve, and I've spent most of the evening tidying, cleaning and putting away. Oh, and a bit of ironing, too.  But - I think we're just about there.  All beds made up, rooms cleaned, playroom tidied and reddied  for action, be it from children, or dart playing adults.

I've also sorted out all the karaoke CD's that we own, and ensured that the machine is in working order.  I was given 18Gb of cd+g karaoke files from a bloke I work with, so those 6,500 tracks, along with the dozen or so cd's we have, should ensure a good selection of songs!

Today I have truly felt the responsibility of tomorrows meal.  My beautiful wife has offered to prepare the starter (the one thing I was worrying about), so that took a load off my mind.  I'm fairly happy that I can do the rest. It will take time, but we have that - there is no rush.

Today is the first anniversary of this blog!  12 whole months, 60 posts, and one follower.  I'm happy with that!  Happy birthday blog.

It seems wrong to me that people choose Christmas as a time to spend with families.  Every day should be equally as important for families and loved ones.  I want to remember every day for whatever it brings.  In an attempt to do it, I am going to try my hardest to take a photo every day during 2010 and upload them to my Picasa album. Should be interesting!

Today, I was reminded of how lucky I am. I remembered back to when I lived with Dad at the house on Abbeystead.  It was Christmas day, and his electricity went off.  Not because of a power cut or anything like that.  He'd had a pre-payment meter installed because he wasn't paying his bills, and he hadn't bought any credit for it.  He drank it instead.  I walked to the only place in Skem that was open that sold the little strips of magnetic paper, which would turn his power back on.  I bought a £5 credit. With my own money.  I thought little of it at the time, but looking back, it was so sad.  I really am so lucky.  Doesn't make me miss him any less though.

We have a busy Christmas coming up, and I know it's all going to go well.  2009 has been a tough year for many reasons, and I look forward to what 2010 has to bring.

I think it's only fitting to take time to remember those who aren't here to celebrate Christmas with us.

Happy Christmas Keith.

Happy Christmas Mum.
Happy Christmas Dad.


Friday, 18 December 2009

The Calm Before The Storm

Greetings, reader.

I feel surprisingly calm today, considering that in 7 little days time, I shall be running round our kitchen like a loon.  Changed plans on the meat front - as I'm going to be popping my Christmas cooking cherry, decided to go for just one meat - Turkey. Bought just shy of £20's worth of it yesterday and it's currently in my freezer.  I just hope we don't end up like the Royle Family, trying to defrost the turkey with a hair dryer!

I think we've just about got it all sorted, anyway.  A nice smoked salmon starter, with cheese and crackers, Full works main course to include roast potato's, roast parsnips, carrots, sprouts, etc.  And for desert... I can't remember. A cake, I think.

It snowed last night. I think most parts of the country saw some, but, as ususal, the South-East had the lions share.  I feel incredible resentment towards the South-East of England. Any extremes of weather that are thrown at this country - they get it.  It actually angers me. It's ridiculous.

Luke and I ventured out to ASDA this morning to get a few bits off a list that has been floating round for a few days.  I approached a parent and child spot that was about to be vacated when I was stopped by a parking attendant who was stood in the middle of the road. She was a  lady who spoke with a Caribbean accent, who told me that I couldn't park there because it is for parents and "childs" only.  I told her I was aware of that, and pointed at Luke who was sat in the back of the car. She apologised, saying she didn't think I had a child with me.  She hadn't even looked!  Bizarre.

Tomorrow is the 70th birthday of my dad.  Stephen James Francis.  I was going to get all nostalgic again about how special Christmas would have been if he were still around. It would, of course, but he would want absolutely nothing to do with it.  To the best of my recollection, he didn't enjoy a celebration, my dad.  He would attend parties and functions, but he'd sit at the back, on his own - and he was happy with that.  All my memories of him sat in his local, The Almond Tree, are of him sat on his own.  People would often come and sit with him, and he would happily engage in conversation, but after a few minutes, they would return to their own seats.

I think I get my conversational ability from him.  I am crap at phone calls.  Ring me with a purpose and we can explore and ultimately achieve that, but don't expect small talk from me because I can't do it. Is that a Steve Francis thing, or just a bloke thing? I don't know.

It's going to be a "funny" old Christmas this one, but I know that we can get through it together, and embrace whatever 2010 has to throw at us. 

I replaced the bulbs in the lights that shine over our driveway today.  I've been wanting to put some of them energy saving fella's in them for ages, and today was the day.  I look forward to seeing how they compare to regular bulbs tonight, when it becomes dark.

My lovely wife has had two evenings out this week, attending various Christmas "do's".  She's a lucky thing, although, by her own admission, she was a little delicate after one of them. That's what a good do is all about, though - enjoying yourself!

Did I mention in my last post that we have a mouse living with us at the moment?  Well here's an update - he's been here for over a week now. He's a cocky little bugger and often walks through the room when we're sat in it.  I was SO close to ending his sorry life earlier this week, when I cornered him in the dining room.  I attacked him with the Thompson Local, but missed. He ran past me and I chased him down the kitchen. We currently have four traps baited and waiting for him to show an interest.  If he's not gone by sunday, I'm going to get some glue strips to put down near to where I think he's coming in and out. They're cruel - I know they're cruel, but he's not playing ball by letting me chop his head off the conventional way. Bastard thing.

I now have two hospital appointments in January. One for my umbilical hernia, and another for my dizzy spells.  I'm a wreck.

My phone - oh god my phone - is driving me properly mad.  Twice today it has decided to switch itself off.  It's completely getting on my tits.  I can take out an upgrade with 3 from the 26th December, or wait until my 18months are up on the 26th April, if I want to leave them.  I've done a bit of digging (surprised?), and have decided that if I'm not having an iPhone (which just isn't feasible, due to costings), then I want a Samsung Jet.  3 will do one for me for £25 with unlimited internet. I want to pay less than that, so I'll see if they'll do me some sort of deal when I call them after Christmas.

Last week, Luke and I spent a lovely afternoon in Wigan, feeding ducks on the canal.  I feel really lucky to be able to do that with him.  Photo's are here.  He is being very "huggy" today. He's also showing signs of tiredness which isn't good as we're off to Rhyl in half an hour or so. Looks like I might have to take the hit of him having a wee snooze. Ah well.

Finally, today is the end of a broadcasting era.  Sir Terry Wogan hung up his breakfast show headphones for the last time, and bowed out in the most gracious manner you could imagine.  I doubt his like will ever be heard again.  Watch here, for the last couple of minutes of his show.

I will do my best to squeeze another blog-ette in before Christmas.  I have 36 hours in work to do before the big day, finishing at 7am on the morning of the 24th.

Now - go and do some panic shopping and buy shitty stuff for people you love simply because you think you need to buy them more than you already have! 

Yours, walking in the air.....

Tuesday, 8 December 2009


Ay up.

Christmas is coming which can only mean one thing.  The goose must be getting fat.  No, that's not right. It can only mean that my arse is starting to get twitchy about feeding the family on Christmas day. I am going to visit my local butcher to ask for help.  I want to buy an appropriate amount of meat (I have decided on turkey and lamb), and appropriate cuts of meat, so I shall ask for assistance from my local butcher!

Last weekends visit from the children went well.  Didn't do anything massive, like take them for days out or anything like that, but I did get to spend time with each one of them in turn, which is equally important.  I sometimes think that I should do more when they visit, but doing more means less time spent with them.  I don't know what they want from the time we spend together, but all I want is to spend time with them.

Luke's been a bit coughy and sniffy and generally off-colour for the past few days.  Last night, it was suggested to me that I sleep in the girls room so I could get a decent nights sleep before work.  When I walked in, there was a note on Charlotte's bed, which read "I miss you daddy, love charlotte".  Not surprisingly, it made me cry.  Even now, as I type this, my eyes have filled up.  She is completely adorable.  The children are back in 9 days, which isn't too bad at all.

I am in work at the moment on night 2 of 4.  I booked night 1 off, which is always nice.  I have a doctors appointment later today, at 10:15.  It is to discuss the results of my thyroid tests that I had done recently.  Hope it's not too serious??!  I shall keep you posted.

I had a  bit of a tussle with another driver on my way into work this evening.  I noticed that this car ( a red corsa) was right up my arse whilst I was driving down a country road.  Whenever anyone does that to me, I slow down.  There was an opportunity for the driver to overtake me, but it didn't.  We arrived at a set of lights and only then did I notice that the driver was a young female!  I was at the front of the queue at the lights, so as they changed, I engaged sport mode and booted away.  She stuck to me like glue.  We entered a built up area and I drove within the speed limits.  At a roundabout, I noticed that a car was coming round, so I jumped out, leaving a reasonable distance, but not enough distance for her to join me.  She had to completely stop whilst I was away down the dual carriageway.  I won. I was pleased.

Right, I'm going to go and sleep for a short while on my break as I have to be awake for another 6 hours and without an hour's kip, it simply isn't going to happen.

As ever, it's been lovely.

Oh - the title of this post?  I was listening to Robbie Williams' album "Swing When You're Winning".  His duet with Jane Horrocks is one of my favourites!

Byzee bye

Friday, 27 November 2009

I Gotta Feelin

Yowser yowser it's been a long time.

I apologise for that.  I have been away for a week with Luke and my lovely wife, but I've been back almost another week and all week long it's been playing on my mind that I haven't blogged yet.  It was becoming a vicious circle in my head because I have always said that I'd never post for the sake of posting, but then again, I have got a fair bit to comment on. So - here we go!

As I just mentioned, I've been on me hols. We went to Corralejo, Fuerteventura, and it was properly lovely.  We stayed half-board at the Oasis Dunas apartments and they were brill.  When we booked it at Co-op Travel in Wigan, I asked for a pool view.  They didn't let me down.  Here is a Google Map I've just knocked up to show you where we were!  The weather was lovely, too.  We had one overcast day, and that was the day we went to the zoo so that wasn't too bad at all.  I drank Malibu, played on the beach, had a camel ride, and saw my wife naked loads. It was perfect! 

Luke was SO well behaved on the plane both flying out and coming back.  I felt a bit cruel on the way back. We didn't let him sleep all day, a feat that he'd achieved on his own for a few days whilst we were away.  However, our flight wasn't until 20:40 and each day he'd gone without sleep, he was asleep by 20:30 latest.  The bus trip to the airport from the apartments was about 40 mins and my word he struggled. His mum and I literally poked him to keep him awake.  His eyes were rolling as the bus pulled into the airport.

However - once there... he found his second wind.  They had a fantastic park area in the departures lounge and he loved it. Running round like a loon for ages and ages.  Our flight was delayed by approx 1 hour but still Luke kept going.  When we eventually got a gate, we put him in his buggy whilst we queued. Only then did he sleep - and very quickly it was, too.  He slept pretty much all the way home.  We were both so very very proud of him.

We got home a little before 3am on Sunday morning.  I was in work on the Sunday night. Proper boooo that one.  I decided that I'd stay awake and sleep Sunday afternoon before work. It didn't work. I remember it being 5:30, next thing it was 10am when Deb and Luke woke. Bugger.

We have also been for an appointment with Care at Manchester about our "free" go of IVF.  As I was typing that sentence, the delivery man called with the drugs.  Weird. Weird again is that Deb just rang!  Spooky shit man.

Oh - bought a PSP this week. 2nd hand one from Game in Wigan. £59.99! Bargain if ever there was one.  Got a free copy of Gran Turisimo thrown in, too. Very very pleased with that indeed. They tried to flog me a 2nd hand 2gb memory card for it for £14.99 but I resisted.  Found a new 4gb one on play for £13.89. Just need a case for it now - might have a lookski on ebay when I'm done blogging at y'z.

I am missing my children loads. I'm going to be seeing them next weekend but It has been so bloody long since they were last here, it's horrible.  Very.

I am really looking forward to Christmas this year.  I'm not normally one for Christmas and all that, but Christmas is being held in our household this year.  At least the Christmas meal side of it is.  I am both very very scared and excited.  See, I'm not a chef. Not by a long way, but I volunteered my chef-ing, so we'll see how it goes.  I'm confident I won't poison anyone, but they may not entirely enjoy the food that I present to them.

My beautiful wife had an excellent idea for a starter - Cup-A-Soup (Royle Family inspired).  We'll see.

Luke's getting really good with wee-ing in his potty at the moment.  The last few evenings, he's been running round nappy-less and whenever he's needed a wee - off he goes to his potty and does it.  We've even had 2 number 2's in there too! Well done, son!

Riiiiight - I think my work here is done.  I will try so hard not to leave it so long next time. 

Buene Suerte y adios!!

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Mission Complete

Hello there reader

Firstly, allow me to apologise for the gap betwixt blog entries.  I have stuff to say, that is a certainty, but for whatever reason, I just haven't came on here to say it.

Ok, as promised, here are some "snaps" of the newly decorated dining room.

We actually chose a different wallpaper initially, but my lovely wife had the sense to ditch it in favour of this floral number.

Those bloody walls took 4, maybe 5 coats of while emulsion to hide the BLUE paint that I discovered once I'd torn the old wallpaper down.  Thanks for that, Mick.

That smashing little boy that seems to live with us likes it, anyway.

I shall digress from happy things to things with have a) saddened, b) enraged, and c) made me feel melancholic.

a) Saddened

We had my children stay with us last weekend and it was ace.  I love how at ease they are when they're here and I love seeing how much they love Luke.  They really do adore him, and him them.  My lovely wife even gets the odd hug or two!  I took them back to Liverpool-on-sea on Sunday afternoon, the 8th November, and they will not be with us again until Friday 4th December.  That saddens me.  My shift pattern dictates that I am working every single weekend in November, and since I can only see the children at weekends, then I have to take the hit. Whilst planning dates for next year, now I know what the score is, I shall plan more wisely, and endeavour to get them here at least a couple of times per month.

b) Enraged

It was initially reported in the media at the beginning of October, but now that a sentence has been passed, it's back in the spotlight once again.

A 16year old boy raped a 7 year old.  His punishment?  A community rehabilitation order.  The child's parents are devout Christians and were able to somehow forgive him.  Judge Adrian Smith took this into consideration and dished out the most disgraceful "punishment" for the most disgusting crime.

So - 8 days later, armed with his rehabilitation order, he kidnapped and raped a 5 year old boy.  It makes me feel sick to the pit of my stomach that this rapist was allowed to walk the streets and 8 days later, did it again.  So the 7 year old boys parents were able to forgive him - well done to them.  Surely, knowing that such a heinous crime had been committed, he HAD to serve some sort of custodial sentence to "rehabilitate" him.

Everything is ok now, though. He has now been sentenced to serve a minimum of 3 years.  3 years and 4 months to be precise, but he'll be eligible for parole after 3 years as he's been under lock and key for the last 4 months.  The judge who presided over the 16 year old's 2nd rape trial also revoked the community rehabilitation order and sentenced him to ... 3 years and 4 months (to run concurrently) for the rape of the 7 year old.  Just to end my enraged section - he raped a 7 year old AND a 5 year old and will spend 3 years behind bars.  This country's judicial system is fucked.

c) Melancholy

I noticed on Facebook this morning that my one time best friend, Danny, recently got married in Cuba.  My earliest memory of Danny is us crashing into each other on our push bikes in 1980.  We both ran off in tears, only to be reunited a few minutes later by our mums demanding we each apologise to the other.

From there on, for the next 15 years, we were inseparable.  We met a few years ago for the first time in several years, at my nephews' christening.  He'd changed so much.  He used to have this hard exterior, but underneath was a funny lad who enjoyed a laugh.  He seemed like someone I used to know vaguely, which is a shame. I wish him well in his marriage, I am certain it'll last. They got together when we were still friends, back in (I think) 1992.

When my dad died in 1998, I was told my a female police officer whilst sat in the back of her car, parked outside my dad's house.  I felt completely numb.  I remember thanking her for telling me.  I then got out of the car, and wandered round the estate where dad lived.  Danny and (his now wife) Joanne, lived on the same estate. I went to their house, knocked, and Danny answered. I told him what had happened, and completely broke down on his doorstep. He hugged me for ages, then made me a cup of tea. I'm now trying to understand why I did that - why I went to his house.  We hadn't been close friends for some years at that point.  He was there for me as a friend when mum died 11 years earlier.  Continuity?  I don't know.

I have just read this last paragraph back and it is so typically me.  It's like I cling on to the past, and never look around me and enjoy what I have now.  I just learned something new about me.

Right - time for me to get a grip.  Myself, my beautiful wife, and my chatty son are flying out to Fuerteventura on Saturday and I am well excited.  I can't wait to spend loads of family time with them. I almost typed "relaxing" then, but I'm sure it won't be.  I am looking forward to spending busy days in the pool or on the beach (Luke really must overcome his irrational fear of sand), then relaxing in our apartment during the evenings.

So I'll be back in a week or so, hopefully, with some more snaps!

T'ra a bit.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Almost There Dear


Another work one, this.  Always makes me nervous, but I'm in a bloggy mood, so here we go!

I am missing all my people. My lovely wife and youngest son, are enjoying their second night at her mum's, whilst I work my last night.   I will see them tomorrow and that makes me happy.  My other four children seem so very very far away, and it's making me sad.

They stayed with us last weekend and I really enjoyed the time we had together. We even managed to have an extra bonus day, which was lovely.  After they'd gone, I was in the playroom, and I found Charlotte's (youngest daughter) calendar.  She writes all sorts of stuff on it, about friend's she's going to see, or TV shows that she wants to watch.  On the 1st October, the entry said "I miss my dad".  It felt like she'd reached into my chest and pulled my heart right out.  I won't lie - my eyes welled up. 

This morning, towards the end of my nigth shift, Abbey appeared online and started talking to me.  It was lovely to have 40 mins chatting away about insignificant things with her.  Then this evening, Robert did the same.  He told me he broke his nose yesterday by falling over in the living room and hitting a TV stand.  I never know if they really have suffered bad injuries, knowing how their mum likes to exagerate and dramatise situations.  Either way - I hope he feels better soon.

I am going to try and get the painting of the dining room finished during my 48 hours off work that I have this weekend.  There's a lot to do, but I reckon if left to it, i'll be reet.

I spent a while "chatting" with a girl called Claire during the night.  She writes a blog called "A Little Piece Of Me".  I've followed it for the last year or so and it celebrates it's third birthday today.  She's a fellow scouser and a fellow blue, too!  Her blog has been an inspiration to me, and I heartily recommend taking 10 mins to read through it.

I spent a while during the week, flattening my laptop and installing Ubuntu (again).  I gave it more time this time. Still, I'm going back to Windows yet again.  Ubuntu is so so so close to being perfect, but the complete lack of decent iTunes support and synchronisation left me wanting.  There IS iTunes support, but it's basic.  I spent bloody ages creating an "on the go" playlist on my ipod.  In iTunes, when I next synced the pod to the laptop, the on the go playlist would sync back onto the laptop.  Using Songbird (the best of the bunch of media players with itunes support), it just lost the list completely.  I've said before, In this age of technology, I shouldn't have to make sacrifices, and that is what I'll end up doing if I stay with Ubuntu. 

Sorry Mr Gates - please can I come back in?

Sunday, 25 October 2009


I was reminded by my lovely wife yesterday, that it's been over a week since I've blogged. Thanks wife - here we go.

Normally, something happens, a trigger if you like - and that inspires me to write about what is happening. This week has seen several triggers, but I don't feel that I can write about them in detail as they are too private and upsetting.

Last week at work saw my boss seemingly constantly pissed off. I can't remember if I mentioned it in my last post, but some of my colleagues got a little too involved in a multi player computer game and didn't notice that the arse had fallen out of the Wide Area Network in Manchester. As a result, the bringing in of laptops has been banned. Fair enough, but it's really tough going without one. I used to listen to hours of music and podcasts. Now I can still do that using my iPod, but it's not as easy to manage. Can't wait to be in a position to get an iPhone.

My children have stayed with us an extra night for this visit. We (Deb, Luke and myself) were originally supposed to be visiting my friend Jon and his wife and son yesterday, but Luke and Matthew were unwell, so we've postponed the visit.

This past week, I've stripped the wallpaper off the dining room walls, painted the ceiling and coving, sanded down the wooden panels, and given the walls a coat of white. The wooden paneling is going to be painted some sort of shade of brown, the walls given a "pecan" coloured paint, and Phil's wall is going to be papered. I'll post a pic when it's all done.

I only wish I wasn't in work this week as it'd be perfect to get it all done.

My laptop is really starting to piss me off now. The wireless card is knackered in it, so I need an ethernet cable plugged into it all the time in order to be online. The battery is also shot to bits so if i dare unplug the power cable from it, it sweeps it's virtual legs from under it and it switches off immediately.

I'm in two minds weather or not to delete this blog as it's been so uneventful so far.

The last two nights have been very strange, dream-wise for me. On Saturday night, I had a dream that involved me bumping into a girl I was at school with, Joanne Higham, in a nightclub in Wigan. Strange for a few reasons, notably because I don't go to nightclubs in Wigan anymore, and she lives in Spain! So then last night, I had another dream where I bumped into another girl I was at school with, this time in The Concourse shopping centre in Skelmersdale. I told her that I'd bumped into Joanne the night before, and she told me that she already knew because she was there and I'd been talking to her. So - I had a dream - about a dream. I don't think I've ever ever done that before. I'm wondering what I'll dream about tonight now!

I've just cut the hair of my two eldest son's in an attempt to get my youngest to engage in a hair cut too. It just wasn't to be. I think he thinks that I'm going to chop his head clean off. His fear of it is completely irrational. He's never been hurt or damaged with a hair cut.

Speaking of damaging my son, have I told you about his first trip to Accident and Emergency? Yeah - he was involved in an incident along with stairs and a large plastic garage. The garage assaulted my son, and his head bled. A lot.
As you can see from this photo, he was still a little shocked following the injury. Once he'd been seen at the hospital by a doctor who was at best fourteen years old, he was sent on his way and told he'd be 'reet.

I'm off to have a shower and to try and persuade my wife to let us go to Taybarns so we can eat like gluttons before taking the wee folk back to the land of dragons, leeks, and bestiality.

Baaaa for now.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Proud As A Peacock

Since my last note, my lovely wife's insides have been scanned and subsequently harvested. The slight mishap with the injections fortunately didn't have any serious consequences.

When scanned, she was found to have 5 follicles. Two days later we were at the hospital again, this time for the collection. It was at this point that we had to make a decision. To enable us to continue with the egg-share programme that we had originally started on, my lovely wife needed to produce 8 eggs. Each follicle "can" produce more than one egg, so there was a chance that that could be the outcome. However, we needed to prepare contingency plans. Less than eight eggs leaves you with two choices. You can either donate all of the eggs to the other couple, or keep all of the eggs for yourself. If you produce three eggs or less, you have to keep the eggs for yourself. "We" produced 5 eggs.

We had a good chat about what was the right thing to do. We evaluated everything, including the offer of a free cycle of IVF if we donated the eggs. Something else also borne in mind was the fact that another couple, who are unable to produce any eggs, have been waiting for this day for months, if not years. All things considered, and consider we did - we opted to donate them all.

I can honestly say, hand on heart that the last time I felt so proud of my wife was the 8th of May 2007, the day she gave birth to Luke. My heart feels like it is swollen. The last 40 odd days haven't been easy, not only the physical aspect of having to inject every day, nor even the lack of sleep involved in having to wake up at a certain time to inject, but emotionally, it's been really difficult. After all that, to agree to donate them all is an absolutely incredible gesture. I will never ever forget this week.

Given what happened regarding the IVF, one of the first things we did when we had the time together was to go and book a holiday. We are going to Fuerteventura in four weeks and one day. I am very much looking forward to having a nice, relaxing week away, and I'm sure my lovely wife is, too.

Tonight sees our return to Derby, to visit friends there. This is our first return since my flagrant drunken display back in July. Not only that, but the couple that we spent most of the night with, Dawn and Glen are going to be there too, tonight. We are all staying over and I'm sure it'll be a lovely evening. Who knows - I might actually be able to resist the urge to expose myself!

Tomorrow is my mother in law's birthday. It's going to be a tough one for her. I've spoken about the "firsts", following the tragic death of my father in law, and this is another one of them. It will be a relaxed day, hopefully a busy one, so as to give her less time to reflect. The important thing is to get through the day. Fingers crossed.

Then, back home on Sunday. I'm going to strip the wallpaper from the Dining Room when we get home. Maybe. I need to discuss that with my wife first. I've just planned it forward and I'm not sure when we can buy some new paper. Hmmm. Do we even want paper? Would it not be nicer to paint it? Decisions decisions....

Speak soon, reader

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Too Much Too Little Too Late

Greetings one and all.

It's been too long since I last posted, I recognise that and can only offer my most sincere apologies.

We have 3 of my 4 children who live in Wales with us this weekend. My now thirteen year old eldest looked a tad unwell on Friday, so decided she was staying at home with her mum. I do miss her.

Today has been a good day. Well - mostly a good day. In bed last night, my lovely wife thought that something was amiss regarding the IVF injections that I've been giving her for the last "ages!". This morning, she contacted the clinic who confirmed that for the last week, we should have been having 2 lots of injections instead of one. We "rushed" into Manchester, where they gave her a different injection and another to take home for me to stab her with later today.

When I say we rushed into Manchester, that much is true. However, once we arrived in the City of the funny accent, traffic ground to a halt. Who decided it was ok to a) have a rugby league final, b) close the A57(M) Mancunian Way, and c) have a shit load of (probably) racist protesters in the city, along with another shit load of protesters protesting against the first lot of protesters - ALL on the same frigging day! A total piss-take is what Manchester was today.

Eventually, we landed back home where we had a bite to eat and a nice relax before setting off for Blackpool. We only saw half the lights last time, so tonight was the night to see the rest. Also, my eldest son celebrated his birthday last weekend, so I wanted to treat him to a trip round the Dr Who exhibition. We got to Blackpool and paid a quick visit to our good friends Paul and Joanne (and their children). I was then taxi'd into Blackpool where Rob, Matthew, Luke and myself disembarked and went Dr Who'ing! Following that, we had a bit of a mooch round the town - laughing at the drunk people and commenting on the incredible number of scantily clad fluorescent hen parties that were circulating.

Back to Paul and Jo's after that, where Jo had made some pizza's for us. Paul and I visited their local chippy and got about 5lb of chips for the bargain price of £1.80. Seriously, I've never ever seen a bag of chips like that before. Awesome. Well done Mr Chang. Or was it Ying?

We left our friends at about 10 and took a quick poll of children as to weather or not we'd do the lights. YES was the answer, so off we went. By the time we'd reached Bispham, Luke and Charlotte had adjourned to sleep-ville. When we arrived back home at 23:55, only Robert was still awake. Will they lie in until 10am tomorrow? Not a cat in hell's chance.

I haven't had a drink of alcohol in earnest for some time now. I had two glasses of wine last night (and the last can of beer in the fridge), and woke up with a bit of a headachey thing this morning. Weather or not it's a phase, I don't know, but I really don't feel like having a drink of late. Maybe I've got used to not having any. Not sure. I'm sure there will be times when I want to drink, but right now - I'll pass thanks.

I started reading a book today that I loaned from my brother in law last year sometime. I'd really like to read it and get it back to him - it's playing on my mind now. Might start taking it to work with me and reading it in the lulls that happen every now and again.

Oh - we have new doors and furniture in our house. I am very very happy with them all. All expertly delivered / installed / fitted. Well done Safestyle and DFS.

It's late, and I'm hungry. Gonna down a piece or two of toast along with a lovely glass of... milk!!

Until next time....

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Good Grief / Bad Grief

Today we got back from Llandudno. Late Saturday night, I booked us two nights at the Grand Hotel in Llandudno as a last minute break away.

We dropped the children off in Rhyl on Sunday afternoon and drove an extra 30 mins over to Llandudno. We paid extra for a premier room with a sea view. I do like a nice view. The room wasn't exactly "premier". Woodchip wallpaper, shower that squirted water everywhere, refrigerator didn't work. I think it's fair to say that Llandudno is frequented by those of advanced years. All those pensioners proper let their grey hair down at night. They had a pensioner karaoke and my god they can belt out a tune. I know this because our room was right above the bar where they were singing. Not happy. Who'd have thought that me, the 35 year old would be lay in bed, all pissed off at the noise the pensioners were making!?

On our full day there, we went for an explore in the town. Found a smashing bookshop run by two children. From there, we decided to take a trip up "The Great Orme". Very impressive sounding it is too. We found the tram station that takes you on the first half of the journey up the side of the mountain, paid - and got on. It is another testament to Victorian engineering that that thing still moves. There is a wire between the tracks and the electric motors on the tram grab it, and pull the tram up. The gradient is mental and it really should not be able to move. It's only gone wrong once in over 100 years. 13 people died, but lessons were learned.

We got to the top and the cloud was... low. We couldn't see much but we still managed to spend a couple of hours up there. Luke and Deb enjoyed themselves, too - which is the main thing.

That evening, we ate out at a Wetherspoons that my (not normally) eagle eyed wife spotted during our initial mission of discovery. It was an incredible place. It is called the Palladium and (as you might have guessed) it used to be a theatre. We ate in the stalls!

After we checked out this morning, we drove home via the Welsh Mountain Zoo, which overlooks Colwyn Bay. Very nice it was too. At 10am, I think we were the first visitors to arrive, which was splendid! We had the zoo to ourselves. Luke was very impressed with all the animals and birds - especially the monkeys. He decided to call the monkeys Michael. All of them. After watching a display featuring some birds of prey, followed by some marching penguins, we set off home. "Back to Luke's house Daddy" was the call from the back of the car.

Called in at Costco on the way home and picked up some bits for our evening meal. "Days" by The Kinks came on the radio as we left Costco. I turned it off. I adore the song (albeit the Kirsty McColl version), but I knew the effect it would have on my lovely wife. As well as being played at my mums funeral, it was played at her Dad's.

Grief is a funny old thing. It's one of those emotions that you hope you never have to have any contact with - but we all do. More than any other, it manifests itself in so many different ways. Some people carry on as normal, bottling it up. Others have a huge release and then move on. Others simply can't accept that such a thing has happened to someone so special in their lives.

Why? Why is the one word question asked more than any other. And whilst it is only one word - there is no answer. Nobody knows why. It is one of those things in life that has no logic. It is not a cause and effect thing. It doesn't happen because someone has been bad or done wrong. It just happens. And it hurts so much.

I have spoken before about how I bottled up my grief surrounding my mum's death when I was 13. That wasn't right - and it wasn't wrong. It was my way of coping. I sometimes regard myself as feeling numb when it comes to grief, but I'm not. I certainly accept that I don't know what to say to help people deal with it. My lack of communication is open to misinterpretation, but all I have to draw on are my own experiences of "proper" grief and I'm not sure that what I did is the way other people "should" deal with it.

So yeah - you do what you have to do. You exhibit whatever emotions you have to. You will never get "over" it, but you will eventually get "used" to it. It's shit - but that's life.

Monday, 21 September 2009

The Longest Hours

I don't think people realise just how long a night can be until you've been awake during loads of them. They are OK up until around 2am. Sometime between 2 and 3am things really start to slow down. By 4, it's hard. It remains bloody hard through to 6am. From 6 onwards, the end is in sight and you can start to perk up a bit then.

I don't know about other people who work nights, but I use music to get me through the night. I spend quite a while deciding what mood I'm in, then I will build a playlist, or choose an album in iTunes and that should see me through. This evening, we (myself and 2 friends I'm working with), have had 5 hours of DMC Dance Classics. Every one was a winner.

After that, I chose my generic 80's playlist, and set it on it's shuffling way. It hit the bar a few times, but - it threw out some utter classics. Allow me to share a few of it's findings if you will....

Firstly - Sam Brown, with Stop.

I properly LOVE that song. It oozes emotion and tells an excellent story to boot!

I'll only post one more because I don't want to bore you TOO much!

Another properly good song, if not a little cheesy. Nothing too unexpected for those that know me, eh?

I remember when I was younger, going on holiday with my friend and his family. I can't remember if It was 1984 or '85. I suspect 85, though. Anyway - we stayed in a caravan in North Wales. I'd love to tell you exactly where, but for the life of me I can't remember. Inside my head now, when I look back at it - it was idyllic. My friend's mum was a good friend of my mum and I was treated like her own son.

It was during that holiday that I had my first proper crush on a girl. Helen, or Hayley or something like that. She had no idea, of course, because I wouldn't say boo to a goose, never mind "heeeelllooooo" to a girl! Myself, my friend Danny, Helen or Hayley and her sister hung round together for several days, playing pool and playing chase. It was all go, back then! Eventually, she went home to Widnes (I remember that detail, strangely enough), and we returned to Skelmersdale, with only fond memories of my first crush, and that Michael Jackson song running through my head!

Tangent coming up......

I spent a good while chatting with an old friend of mine from School last night via the miracle that is Facebook. Maria and I were not the closest of close friends at school, but we always got on really well. It was really nice catching up with her and hearing what she's up to with her life now. I love being able to do that. I made so many good friends at school, and I hardly see any of them now. I'm pleased that Facebook has given me that opportunity to keep in touch with those special people.

Not sure if I've mentioned already that we've bought Abbeys 13th birthday present for her? She is going to receive an 8gb ipod nano. It's WELL good. Pink, but WELL good. I am mildly jealous of it if I'm honest. I know she will love it, and I hope she looks after it. Thanks to Alan who I worked with a few nights back, I've been able to fill it with the complete shite that 12/13 year old's listen to these days.

I'm old.


Saturday, 19 September 2009

Reflective Nights

Something odd happens when I'm on a night shift. I almost always feel lonely. I think it's because more often than not, I have time to reflect, and that leads on to melancholic thoughts of my happy childhood and that in turn leads on to those who shaped and formed the person I am now - but are no longer with us.

I've just spent the last thirty minutes on Google Earth finding all the places that were special to me as a child. My nans' houses in Bootle and Huyton. The flat I used to live in with Mum and Dad in Bootle, and a park I was taken to by Mum as a child.

Looking at all these images made me feel really detached. Is that the right word? I'm not sure. Let me try again. I felt homesick. Which is odd because it's been 30 years since I lived in Bootle and even then I was only there for the first 5 years of my life. I think rather than homesick for Bootle, I miss the people that living there represents to me. Mum and Dad, obviously, but both of my nan's too. I looked at Dad's mum's house and remembered playing in the garden there. My first taste of Lilt was at that house, too. Dad's sister Rita (deceased) gave it to me.

I looked at the images of Mum's Mum's house in Huyton and I could smell the roast dinner. She had the smallest kitchen, but was perfectly adept at catering for 15 people without breaking into a sweat.

Bloody nights.

And now, I am missing my wife and children loads, too. Deb and Luke are coming home from two nights at her mums tomorrow and I can't wait to see them. My other children, I will see on Friday. I spoke to Rob and Charlotte this evening online, and they both told me they really missed me. I filled up. If only they knew that however much they miss me, I miss them so much more. I told Charlotte that we'd spend the weekend hugging each other. She was happy with that.

Abbey won't be joining us this weekend as it's her thirteenth birthday and her mum is taking her out shopping. I have arranged to take her out for tea on Friday when I go to Wales to collect the other 3. I'm looking forward to that.

I'd best go and do some work. Loads of stuff has failed whilst I've been writing this.

Easy now.....

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Hosepipe Ban

So yesterday was a glorious day. Maybe glorious is a bit OTT. It was nice. It was sunny and it didn't rain. There will no doubt be a hosepipe ban brought in within the week if this carries on.

We were supposed to be going to Derby to visit Lisa & James, but they all came down with some sort of illness and after a quick chat with my wife, it was decided it'd be best not to go. Luke is still getting over his cold that he had last week, and Deb's not long since started receiving a needle from me every morning to down-regulate herself in preparation for IVF treatment. So - we had a free Saturday.

We decided to take a walk into Wigan to collect some new glasses for Deb. We walked up the canal to Wigan Pier, then up Wallgate into town. It really was lovely. Luke had a smashing time seeing all the barges going through the locks.

As we walked past the train stations, a gentleman was flung out of a pub across the road from us. Another gentleman followed and they proceeded to assault each other in the street. Much is made of binge drinking (i almost typed minge then. that's a whole other topic), and it's association with youth, but this kind of fall-out has been happening for as long as alcohol has been around. The people around us reacted in a strange way. Everyone was tutting and voicing their disgust, but they almost all stood still and gawped. We hastily moved on, not wanting Luke to see that sort of thing. That aside, it was a nice trip into town.

On the way home, we discussed food, and I rang our local Chinese and placed an order. Deb took Luke home and I went to Peters. Strange name for a Chinese, but I don't care what it's called. It's boss.

Got home, watched x-factor, drank no beer, watched an Episode of Life On Mars on Virgin on-demand, and went to bed.

I really do wish Luke would re-gain an understanding of night-time and what is expected of him. Waking twice just isn't cricket.

Today we're off to Bollington to visit Emma & Andy for lunch. Everton kick off at Fulham at 4:15 and is on Sky Sports 1. Here's hoping I'm not too far away from an appropriately connected television at that time. Personally, I'd be happy to be home then. I could finish off my ironing mountain and watch the match. We'll see.

The flawless blue sky that was visible about 30 minutes ago is now a grey cloudy mess. I hate how unpredictable British weather is.


Wednesday, 2 September 2009


The weather is well iffy today.

Some of my friends from work have gone for a walk up Mount Snowdon for charity. Good on them. I wanted to go, but we couldn't spare the staff at work. No really - I did!

We found out yesterday that our next "go" of IVF is going to take place much quicker than we'd anticipated. Within the next month. My lovely wife rang me at work to tell me and I was, erm - surprised to say the least! I hope my wife didn't interpret my surprise in any other way. I was just genuinely surprised it's going to be so quick.

My head is going through some strange feelings over the last few days. I was thinking at lunchtime today how I could describe my feelings to you, and all I could think of is that I feel like I don't belong. Maybe I've spent too much time off work and the fact that I am now separated from my family for 13 hours a day isn't helping me. I just feel like I want to be with my people all of the time. I feel like I want us to all have a big hug and just hold it forever. Weird huh?

I've just had to put a fan on me, here in work as I'm SO friggin hot. I seriously do have some sort of genetic disorder, or malfunction that prevents my body from regulating it's temperature correctly. If I was a central heating system, I'd be replacing my thermostat. I'm not a central heating system, though, so I'll just melt instead.

I think my beautiful wife and child (and me) need a holiday. We have some time booked off work in a few months and I want us to go ahead and book something. Even if it's in this country that's fine. Let's get something booked, somewhere nice, and we then have some sort of R'n'R to look forward to as a family. Personally, I'm thinking London, but... I don't know. I just think it'd be nice to do "stuff" in the capital. Visit Tusauds, go on the eye - visit Liz's house. Usual touristy stuff.

My daughter Abigail and son, Robert, started their new high school in welsh Wales today. Charlotte and Matthew have started their new Primary school, too. I do hope they all got on ok. I will speak to them later today to find out.

Not had the most eventful day in work (so far). Just been on the phone to a Vauxhall dealer about getting cruise control fitted to our Zafira. They're calling me back.

Did you know the letter "n" ends all Japanese words other than those ending in a vowel?

I want to try and prepare a really nice meal for my wife tomorrow night. She is working tomorrow day whilst Luke is at his childminders. During that time I shall shop for ingredients and do some prep during the morning. Sleep during the afternoon, fetch Luke - then cook! If the rain holds off, might mow the lawn tomorrow morning, too. I can hardly cope with the excitement.

Vauxhall just called back. £140 for cruise control fitted. Including a new stalk.

Tempting...... but I need DAB and iPod first. Damn I need about £400.

Monday, 31 August 2009

Twenty Two

Just a quick one, this.

Twenty Two years ago today my mum died.

I still miss you, mum. It's easier now than it used to be, but it's never easy.

There are people there with you now, like you - who should still be here. That is the part that people find the most difficult to deal with. You were 40 years old when you were taken, and I'm 35 now. It's just wrong.

You should be here to see Luke, Matthew, Charlotte, Robert and Abigail grow up.

Sunday, 30 August 2009



I took my children back to Wales yesterday. I cried on the way home. I had to stop the car near Runcorn and compose myself. I wanted to get it all out before getting home. I feel like such a "fake" if I cry in front of my wife. It's a new feeling, though. In the past, I've been ok with it. It used to happen quite often to be honest.

I've been thinking about why I felt like I did yesterday and I can only put it down to this. My wife is still grieving for the loss of her dad. It still regularly upsets her, and that is a completely natural and normal way to react after such a devastating event. So me, getting upset because I'm not going to see my children for a few weeks seems completely lame. Sorry.

It's weird only seeing the children for short spells of time. I feel that I am having to adapt the way I parent them because I only see them for a short time. I see myself as a fairly strict parent, and that in no small part is thanks to my own dad. He was always strict with us, and that has certainly rubbed off on me. Apologies, children. So, anyway - adapt. I am aware that I seem to be on their cases about stuff almost all the time. It fills me with fear to think that they wouldn't want to come and stay with us because I'm always moaning at them. So I give in sometimes. I'm not sure if she's aware of it, but my amazing wife helps me out sometimes. She's said before about playing good cop / bad cop (me being the baddy), and quite often she'll rescue a situation to everyone's satisfaction. I do love her. And them.

Poor Luke has been asking where Matthew is this morning. Every morning for the last week when Luke has woke, Matthew has been sat downstairs waiting for him. Not watching TV, not playing on any games console. Just sat, waiting.

They are inseparable whenever my children stay with us. I got a sneaky pic of Matthew teaching Luke how to play something on the xbox. There I go again. Dammit. I think the distance plays a part now. Ok, happy things now.

Our friends from Paul, Jo and their four children came to visit from Blackpool Friday evening. We try to meet up a couple of times a year and all get along famously. Alcohol is always involved in varying degrees and this meet was no exception. We played Trivial Pursuit on the Wii and it was ace. We played a boys v girls game and we got beat twice. No justice. As the night went on, I decided it would be a good idea to try my new blueberry vodka with Paul. It was a bad idea. Very. I was given several lessons in how to down shots of it. The result? After they'd left, I was ill before going asleep. Oh deary me.

It's a (so far) Sunny day. It's the bank holiday weekend and we have not a single thing planned for today. I love days like this. We might end up staying here and having fun, or we could end up in a castle somewhere, or at a fairground, or maybe a zoo. Who knows?!

Righty-ho. I think I'll go and treat my son and I to bacon on toast for breakfast! Sorry Deb. You snooze, you lose!

Until next time, don't forget - the oven is hot hot hot!

Friday, 21 August 2009

Big And Heavy

Ay up.

So - I did it, I did it!

I was so brave. I did put my gown on the wrong way round, but that wasn't my fault. I was directed to do so by a nurse. When I was lay on the trolly thingy, I didn't even flinch as the needle thing went into my hand.

When I woke, my lovely wife was there. I was aware how how amazing I felt. I likened it to towards the end of the night, when you've been on the ale. You are aware you are drunk, but you think you're having really sensible con
versations with people. After a few minutes of babble, I asked Deb how long I'd been there and she told me I'd been spouting shite for best part of an hour!! Doesn't time fly when you're heavily sedated?!

The nads were plenty sore, so I was given some tablets to take. After I'd had a pee, I was allowed to be taken home.

I don't know why, but I was in a foul mood all evening. I don't know if it was as a result of the anaesthetic, but whatever it was, I want to apologise to my people for being such a grump.

I woke up with an erection this morning, which pleased me. I was concerned it might be broken, but all appears to be functioning correctly thus far.

It is now about 24 hours after I left hospital and I feel miles better. My lovely wife is at work (but finishing any minute now) and I can't wait for her to come home. My mother in law stayed over last night after looking after Luke yesterday, to give me a hand with him this morning. To be honest, I was a bit iffy early doors, but by mid morning I was feeling ok. She left early afternoon at which point, Luke had a kip. I rested my head for a few minutes, but not ages.

I'm having troubles with the PC that I use as a server at home. It keeps blue screening. As usual, the windows diagnostics give very little away. I have just downloaded the latest version of ubuntu. Once my wife's new laptop arrives, the server shall be flattened and Ubuntu'd. It's come along leaps and bounds in the few years I've been aware of it and it now happily shares printers and allows prints to be sent to it on a windows network. I'm looking forward to the challenge of setting it up, to be honest.

I am picking my children up from Welsh Wales tomorrow and am really looking forward to it! Can't wait to spend the week with them.

If SkyCard ever get round to giving us the money back that we're owed for the Land of Leather deposit that we paid, I've had authorisation granted to buy a new radio for the car. I'm wanting something that will allow me to plug my ipod in, and possibly something with DAB, too. Hmmmm. More browsing to be done me thinks.

I bought a lead today. A lead to allow me to transfer video from my Sony Handycam to my vista laptop. Sony appear to have dropped any sign of USB support for this transfer method, in favour of firewire. I've never had a firewire cable, so needed to buy one. eBay was the place I looked. I could have bought one from the UK for £5.99 delivered. Not a bad price. However, THE same lead, posted from Hong Kong was available for £1.87 delivered. The lad has excellent feedback, too. No choice to be made really, is there?

Nina and her nurons are on TV now. She is complete filth. Look at her, with her happy smiley Scottish face.

Right, I'm off to cook some chicken and use my new-fangled chip baking thingy! I shall report back when my head has stuff to say - until then, be young - be foolish, but most of all - be happy.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

It's All Bollocks

I am nervous. Very very nervous.

Tomorrow I am having a surgical procedure, which necessitates me having a general anaesthetic.

This evening I've been a shit at home. I've been bad tempered and snappy. I had to shave my testicles and I cut myself. Yep, you read it right - I had to shave my testicles. I've had to do this before for previous surgical procedures on the dangly fella's and it doesn't get any easier.

I am ridiculously worried about it, so much so that I'm pretty sure something is going to go wrong.

If I don't wake up, I want my wife to know just how much I love her. She means everything to me. She keeps me stable, keeps me happy. She is my best friend and I love her completely. I can't even contemplate having to say goodbye to my children. I simply can't do it.

I am over-reacting to this soooo much, it's silly.

Fingers crossed, I'll be back tomorrow to report on how it went.

Apologies for how small this post has been. I'll ensure tomorrows is bigger. And good. Soz.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

You Get What You Deserve

OK then here we go again

Welcome to another addition to this rambling that i call a blog.

Today, I write about the almost constant feelings of insecurity that I have. They never really go away. They subside sometimes, but rarely are they never there.

I cannot explain the feelings. I have a beautiful wife, and fantastic children. I know I am loved, it's not about that. I suppose it's the fact that I have all those beautiful people in my life, and I constantly feel like I don't deserve them. I'll leave that there because having just read it back, I'm not making a great deal of sense.

I'm running a fantasy league in work again this year. Done it for the last 3 years, but this year, I'm donating 25% of monies taken to The Christie Hospital in Manchester. I've got 18 people in this year, each paying £10 to play, so Christies will have another £45 in their coffers by the end of this month. It's not much, but even if it buys a few boxes of tissues, it all helps.

I'm in work with four people this evening. But I'm on my own right now. 2 have gone out to the pub and 1 has gone to asda. Not much going on at this time of night, so it's not a problem at all.

I got really stressed shortly before coming in to work this evening. I shouted at Luke for messing round. In fact, he's only two years old, so - that's what they do. If you ever read this Luke, I'm sorry son. I also apologised to my wife for being snappy. We've spent precious little time together over the last four nights that I've been working, and I feel so bad for being snappy instead of enjoying the hour or so that we get to spend together. Sorry.

I'm feeling quite low tonight (like you couldn't tell?). I have two days off now, and my lovely wife is straight into work when I'm off. I hate hate hate it when it pans out like this. Really pisses me off. So I have two days home alone again because Luke will be with his childminder for both days that I'm off. We have lots of ironing so that will keep me busy. I think washing clothes, drying clothes and ironing clothes is what my days off will mostly consist off. Boring, but necessary chores all the same.

Working here, you sometimes see funny things. There has just been a drunken couple having an argument outside. It's the second one of those I've seen today actually. I love watching drunk people argue. In fact, I just love watching drunk people. They are a very amusing bunch. You can see their desire to walk in a certain direction, or say a particular word, but 9 times out of 10, they just can't manage it.

I'm going to go now, and try and speak to my wife.


Thursday, 6 August 2009

Home Alone

Hello reader

Today and yesterday, I have been home alone. It's been weird, to be honest. Making drinks for one, not having to ask about putting music on. It's been lonely.

My quizmastering went really well on Friday. As did the lack of alcohol. I drank 3 pints of lemonade through the night, and not a sip of anything else. It's really odd being (probably) the only sober one in a room full of people who are leaning towards the drunk side of things. Especially towards the end of the night, you see things that would normally pass you by in a drunken haze. I enjoyed it. I have to confess, I loved being on the stage, and holding the attention of all those people during the quiz. The interactivity of it all brought those mobile DJ days flooding back. I wanted to take control of the music and make the night mine.

Luke is with Helen again today. Yesterday was the first day he didn't cry when I dropped him off. His bottom lip went a bit, but we didn't have any tears, which was brilliant! When I picked him up, Helen told me that they'd been out to play for national play day but Luke didn't much fancy playing on the bouncy castle's and other outdoor equipment. No, they had a DJ and he wanted to dance, so dance he did! She also remarked on how well he was able sing along to Lady Gaga's Paparazzi in the car on the way to the event. It really is bizarre watching him sing along to it. I tried to video him doing it last night but he won't perform for the camera. Luke also did a poo on a potty at Helen's house. Quite by accident apparently, but he did it all the same!

Yesterday also saw my lovely wife receive a letter from her workplace advising that she has been successful in applying to keep her job. God bless RBS for providing her with a job, and congratulations wife for keeping it! We celebrated yesterdays good news by eating crispy duck with hoi sin sauce, pancakes, and shredded spring onions and cucumber. Oh, and a bottle of Champagne! Classy, we are.

I spent ages "finding" the playroom yesterday. Sorted through all the children's accumulated crap, and "filed" it. Luke now has a piece of the playroom for his things, and I'm in the process of moving the rest of this things from the lounge into the playroom today. It's ridiculous that something like that genuinely is a two day job. I am really looking forward to it being done, though. I like what I've done so far, so another load of work on it today is sure to make an even bigger difference.

The Virgins have now added ESPN in HD for free to our TV viewing package, which means we'll be able to watch some football games in HD. I am looking forward to that. Also, the Sky people STILL haven't disconnected us, which means that we still have access to the Sky Sports channels on there, even though we no longer pay for them! (quite literally) Back of the net!!

I am thinking about choosing music to play whilst I work today, and I can't decide about the initial album. I am torn between the Dire Straights classic, Brothers In Arms, or the considerably more upbeat Madonna album, Confessions On A Dancefloor. My neighbours are going out soon by the looks of things, so I think I'll hang fire for a bit, then unleash Madonna.

I found out the day before last that my sister in law is pregnant. It's still really early days yet, but fingers crossed it holds on.

Cup of tea for me, then to tackle the lounge!

T'ra !

Monday, 27 July 2009

The Quizmaster

"The Quizmaster"

So - the dust has settled after the shenanigans at Derby. The missing suit Jacket has made it's way back to Derby, and I no longer walk like John Wayne after riding the bronco.

It has come to light that my lovely wife kissed someone at the party. Normally, that would be cause for concern, but - it was a girl, so that makes it ace.

Before coming into work tonight, I assisted the moving of a fish tank from the building that my lovely wife works in. The tank is approx 6ft x2ft x18inches, and weighs in the region of a tonne. Well, not quite, but sweet Jesus there was some weight in it. It took 6 men (I included myself in that category) to lift it, and each of us was struggling as we did. It took about 3 hours to move it 5 mins down the road. It only just fitted in the back of our Zafira, and I had to drive veeery slowly.

I have decided that I am going to make the investment in a DAB radio with iPod control for the Zafira this week. I might even give the car a wash and a valet and all that, so it feels shiny and new. I love it to bits when it's shiny and new, so that combined with digital radio and iPod-ness is sure to make me happy.

Luke is like a sponge at the moment. He hears every word that is said, and more often than not repeats it. It amuses us both very much when he does this, and our happiness is reflected in him dancing and spinning with happiness. I love him so much.

My other 4 children stayed with us for a week last Saturday to Saturday. I can honestly say it didn't seem like they were with us for a week. There have been times when the week has dragged and dragged, but this didn't seem to. They have moved to Liverpool-on-sea now, and as I drove away from dropping them off in Skem on Saturday, I had to stop for a minute to compose myself before coming home. The thought of them being so far away is horrible. I kept telling each of them to be careful, and to look out for the others. I do so hope that they will be safe there.

The CSA are a bunch of inept cretins. They rang me with the right arse claiming that I hadn't paid them an amount of money (which I had done - by standing order). When I told them I'd paid it 2 weeks earlier, they asked me to prove it by faxing a bank statement to them. My lovely wife offered to do this from her work place. When I contacted them two days later, they claimed not to have received the fax (despite me having the receipt confirming that it had been received), and asked me to send it again. I refused and expressed my sincere displeasure at their inability to manage the money that they are responsible for. After putting me on hold for a few moments,
the money mysteriously turned up and I was offered the sincere and heartfelt apology "sorry about that".

My lovely wife and I are attending her final work's do (before it closes) on Friday night in Horwich. These events have become legendary and I've never yet attended one that I haven't enjoyed. This one is going to be different because I have volunteered to host the quiz. I am going to be "The Quizmaster". I am REALLY looking forward to doing it, and if I'm honest, I want to do the disco, too! The lack of disco equipment prevents me from doing that, though. Bugger. I shall dress all smart and that on the Friday night, so I'll look ace. Hopefully photo's to follow!

Oh yeah - my latest general annoyance is to do with driving. Why don't people indicate? It gets right on my moobs and It's dangerous. Grrrrr
Until our path's cross once more....

Friday, 17 July 2009

Listen Up Kids...

Lesson One

Be Honest. Life does not reward someone who is deceitful. If something has gone wrong, confess. It doesn't always pay to try and cover it up and hide it.

The party we went to in Derby was quite fantastic. From the moment we arrived, I knew it was going to be special. My lovely wife looked at least 7 times more lovely than is usual, and I looked "alright". I did have to get help from several people in putting my clothing together, however.

My lovely wife assisted by securing the loan of a dinner suit from my brother in law, and she then went and bought me the dickie bow and dress shirt from M&S. Then when we arrived at Derby, the male host of the party helped me tie the dickie bow. I had spent about an hour studying
various help guides on youtube to assist me, but it was all to no avail.

So - here we are!

But then - then, the girls appeared. The girls with the bottomless bottles of champagne. Then they offered an assortment of amazing canapes. Then we were encouraged to visit the cocktail bar that had been set up in the house, and that - that is where things started getting a bit hazy.

I think I tried at least one of every cocktail on the menu, and I settled on one (who's name escapes me), which was particularly splendid. It is fair to say I drank it to excess. I have hazy memories of my lovely wife exposing her knickers, and me touching a lady's bottom (with
permission from her husband). Only the next day did the stories of my real escapades come out.

I am struggling to recall the majority of the 5 hour period from 11pm to approximately 4am. I was told that I had exposed myself. One of the other guests told the female party host that she had seen me walking about with the little fella hanging out. How classy is that? I am fairly confident that I can explain how it happened.

My lovely wife and I had befriended another couple, Dawn and Glen, and (somehow) the topic of underwear came about. Deb mentioned how I didn't have any on and someone said I don't believe you. So I dropped my trousers. Now then - I can only assume that I didn't zip myself back up properly, and that - is how the little fella came to be exposed.

I also managed to lose "my" dinner jacket, which later turned up at Glen's house, so at least it was located and is now on it's way back to Lisa and James'. So - yeah - an "entertaining" night!

I have just attempted to assassinate a wasp. Where I work we get a lorra lorra wazzies coming in at this time of year, and they are little frickers. They want nothing more than to sting us for no reason whatsoever. I saw one flying nearby so took a rather good swipe at it with an A5 notepad. However, I flicked it onto Alan's food. I was just trying to protect us from the evil that is the Skem wasp.

So yeah - having secrets or being dishonest is rubbish. It just makes you well stressed because you're constantly having to cover your tracks and remembering who you've told (because you will - you will confide in people just to ease the burden of guilt), and remembering who you haven't told.

Just don't do it, kids. Life life - love it, and be nice.

I want an ice cream.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Parrots, Parks, and Penises

Well what a day. It's been a busy old one, that's for sure.

This morning, I dropped my eldest daughter off at high school and found myself with 10 minutes to spare before my other 3 children were due at primary school. So, I took them on a trip to see where I used to live when I was their age.

As I pulled in to the cul-de-sac, a bloke who lives over the road from where I used to live appeared, so I had a brief chat with him. I converse with him on Twitter, but it was good to see him and his wife in person after a great many years! He had a box of baby parrots too, that was nice.

Took the children to school only to find that their large playground is being transformed with all sorts of brilliant things. A table tennis table has been planted, as well as a huge wooden adventure course thing and men with proper digging stuff are still digging and planting new and exciting things. Can't wait to see it when it's finished.

Went to Argos and bought a new car seat for Luke, and a charging station thingy for me Wii. I love it. It lights up blue.

My lovely wife woke up, and we went up to Bolton and bought a new leather suite! Almost £1900 lighter, we made our way home and baked bread. I say baked, they were part baked, and we finished them off. Still, I'm happy to take the glory for "baking".

My eldest son was taking place in a chess tournament today at a different school to his own. I was aware of this, but was assured he'd be back at school for the normal finish time. It just didn't happen. Typical as I had my lovely wife in the car, and she had an appointment in Wigan which meant there was little time for hanging round. I went into his own school to make sure he wasn't there and bumped into the girl who was my best friend at high school. Totally unexpected and it was a really nice surprise! I went to the other school and found my son who won his league in the tournament! Well done Rob!!

Got my lovely wife to her appointment on time, and went to Mesnes Park with all 5 children. I've never been there before and I'm gutted that I haven't. It's really nice. I bumped into my cousin whom I haven't seen for over a year and that was a nice surprise. The park is such a lovely, well kept open space, with a smashing childrens play area and lots of happy people using it! I shall return, of that I'm sure.

Bumping into Martin (my cousin) further enforced feelings that I'd had earlier in the day when I spoke to the man with the parrots. I really really struggle to make conversation with people. I think this is something that's happened over the last few years. I don't remember it being this bad, but my word it is bad. It's painful. If you ever see me - smile at me, acknowledge me, but please don't expect a conversation. I'm not being rude, I just don't know what to say.

Skipping back 24 hours, we watched a documentary on Virgin1 called "The Naked Office". It was properly ace. If ever it's repeated I can heartily recommend it. Well done all them people who were brave enough to strip completely naked in their office and spend a day that way.

I'd like to think I could do that. I actually think I could. It's like a nudist beach thing for me - if everyone else is doing it, I'd have no problem.

Right - I'm hungry, time for food!!

Can't wait for tomorrow night in Derby. Getting excited now.

See y'z.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

A Strange One

I'm not really sure how to start this, or what to put in it.

I am full of mixed feelings at the moment, and I want to write about them.

Monday saw the funeral of my father-in-law. It was a roller-coaster day of emotions, as is to be expected. There were many tributes paid to him throughout the day, none more so than that of his friend, Alan. Very funny and tremendously touching too.

Luke spent another day with his Childminder, Helen yesterday. He was, to say the least, very distressed at the mere thought of me leaving him. He's been varying degree's of fine every other time I've taken him, but yesterday as soon as I parked the car outside her house, he broke down. Poor little man. Helen gave me a tip about not following him into the house, but instead to just say goodbye at the door. I shall adopt that in the future. My lovely wife said she might be taking him this morning. It'll be her first time of dropping him off and I just hope that she is ok with it. I found it very difficult walking away from him crying this morning. It has to be done, though.

It doesn't feel like I've spent much time at home at all over the last 2 weeks. My garden is like a jungle and needs a good few hours spent on it, just to bring it close to being under control. Bloody thing. Surely there must be a refugee somewhere who'd be willing to do it for a loaf, or a piece of haddock?

The new North West England MEP, Nick Griffin has done what he does best, and outraged just about everyone - again. In a BBC interview, he has said that the EU should sink boats carrying illegal immigrants to prevent them entering Europe. He does make me laugh. He seems to take a fledgling idea, then blows it up to be something completely ridiculous. Brilliant.

My lovely wife and I (sans Luke) are off to Derby this coming Saturday night to celebrate the 5th wedding anniversary of some good friends of ours. It's a red carpet, dinner jacket-y kind of affair! I'm very very excited about it. My wife has the most amazing dress to wear, and I know she is going to look double lovely with it on. I think it will do her good to let her hair down a little. I hope she enjoys it as much as I hope to.

I'm becoming more confident doing blog posts in work now.

I've started following quite a few blogs using Google Reader of late. I like Reader a lot. It's good and useful and all Google-y. I like Google. I want to use Google Wave, and I want a pc running the new Google Chrome OS.

I'm tired now, so I shall sign off.

So long as I'm saved - we shall speak again sometime.