20
Mar
10

Various things

Visiting my much-neglected blog earlier, I felt really sad that I’d let things slide so much. Could it really be so long since I blogged? Life has been insanity recently. There are no hours in the day, for anything, it seems!

So much recent news. My business is great- I’m working so, so hard, but there’s lots of quality time with the kids too, and the rewards are infinitely worth it. I’m earning more than I did when in my old job, for fewer hours, WAY more flexibility, and, best of all, I get to see my kids grow up. On the downside, oh…wait…there isn’t one.

The house still looks like a shit heap, but what am I gonna do. :p

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My pony, Morning, had to be put down, three weeks ago. I haven’t been able to bring myself to write about it yet, and it’s really too painful for words.

I know a few of you will be wondering why I am so upset over the death of a horse- I would say to those people, you’ve clearly never had a very special animal in your life. To my family, animals ARE a part of our family.

Her legs gave up. She was pretty well in herself, but she had been having some mobility issues, and this Friday she just couldn’t get up in her stable. The vet discussed it with us, and we knew it was time to let her go. She was 28- quite old for a horse. I don’t want to go into the process too much. She was too big for an injection. The vet shot her. I knew that this is how it would happen, but it was just awful. I don’t think I’ll ever really get over it.

Morning had been with me since I was eleven years old- a child. We grew up together. We were partners in crime; like minded people. She loved to jump and hated flat work- so did I, though we grudgingly worked at it.

We didn’t know very much about competing when we bought Morning- but through my teenage years, we had huge success in the fields of eventing and showing. She was so beautiful, and so clever. She also could be a complete bitch if her mind wasn’t on the job, or if she felt like taking the piss.

We had a lot of success, and I owe her a lot. I’ll always remember her most for her sense of adventure, though. We’re going to Donegal in a few weeks and the beaches there will be filled with the ghosts of Morning, my Mum and our dog Jamie. May they all be running together somewhere better.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

The kids are gorgeous; I am so, so lucky, even though they make me crazy sometimes. Rob’s speech is spectacular, for a two year old, and he’s hilarious. Ricky is just sooo beautiful, and boy, does he know it!

Here are a few pics, from St Patrick’s Day. We took the drive up the stunning Antrim Coast Road and stopped at Ballintoy Harbour, which has chalk stone on one side and some kind of igneous rock on the other- the world famous Giant’s Causeway is only a few miles down the road and you can see the similarity in the rock formations (finished Suzy, lamely, having forgotten all of her 3rd form geography lessons).

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Nice-

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Nasty-

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You can nearly feel the lava below the surface there!

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They’re pretty good kids. :)

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I have a new website, I’ll share it in due course, though most of you know about it already. It’s still in development, but I am very excited about the year that’s to come.

Love to all of my friends out there who have been horrendously neglected recently. I am truly sorry.

22
Dec
09

It never rains but it snows…

We never really get snow here in Northern Ireland, and around 1/2 cm is likely to bring the whole country to a skidding (literally) halt. We’ve had a bit of snow here in the past few days. Not enough for a snow man, but enough for me not to drive anywhere because the roads are too dangerous. Northern Ireland’s mighty army of approximately one gritting lorry has been constantly on the go for days, but let’s face it, he’s only one man!! :D He’s doing his wee best. Only kidding, but not too much- we just aren’t equipped to deal. Why would they bother spending money on more resources for snow, when we get maybe 3-5 days of snow every year?

The snow has coincided with Ricky’s school holidays and I am home with both kids for the holidays for the first time. Snow’s obviously great with small kids, but mine are still a little too small to really get much benefit from it- they just freeze too quickly no matter how much you layer them up.

Also, Ballygowan is a small village with few local resources and, despite them installing a new playground which is surprisingly brilliant, there’s only so long you can spend there, and from my point of view, it’s mind numbing. I prefer to go for a walk and do something that will stimulate me as well as them, but what you gonna do!

There’s been a lot of lounging around in jammies in our house these past few days. Ricky’s obsession with playing Lego StarWars on the Wii is getting totally out of hand. We’re going to have to introduce an egg timer of some kind, I think.

Worst of all, Ricky has now got a dodgy stomach and can not be trusted any further than 10 feet from the toilet, so our ability to leave the house is now fully compromised.

So, I guess we should just baton down the hatches and do nothing!

That said, there’s only so much children’s television I can take. One more episode of “Big Cook, Little Cook”, possibly the campest tv show ever invented, and it might just tip me over the edge of reason.

Thank goodness for adult intervention in the form of a dinner invitation to my dear friend Heather’s house tonight. Her sister Emer is in town, and ever time she’s home it is customary for us to treat her like visiting Royalty, mainly by meeting up and (me) getting paralytically drunk. I’ll take some pics, but they’ll be early in the evening before my eye make up has spread itself too far down my face and I am still capable of clicking the “take photo” button instead of the “on/off” button. Tomorrow, with luck, you may laugh at my increasingly dodgy hair do, which without the aid of hair straightners looks like some kind of Granny ‘Fro, and even with straightners, looks awful. Part of the process I guess…

21
Dec
09

Recent news

OK, enough from me in the whining “but this time I really am going to post more often” tone that you’ve all come to loathe, and that I hate myself for later when I break it. Let’s just take it slow and see what happens, ‘kay? :D

The last number of weeks have been incredibly busy, I’ve hardly had a second to think about anything except for work and family.

Work, by the way, is now officially my ebay business. I left my job as engineering controller for a telecoms company about three weeks ago. It has felt a little like taking a running jump off a cliff and not really knowing if there’s water or solid ground below you for you to land on. I’m absolutely terrified by the fact that it’s not a hobby or an evening’s pastime now- I have to make it work. Signs so far are encouraging though. I’ve just achieved Powerseller status and also gained a Top Rated Seller badge- this was an amazing amount of hard work on my part, and maintaining that badge will be even harder. The standards required are incredibly high and it only takes a couple of assholes for you to lose it. We shall see…however, all is going (touching a whole great chuffin’ FOREST) pretty well on that front.

Me and Robbie have been home alone in the mornings since I left work and it’s been fairly harmonious. I have targetted myself on getting ten listings done per day. He’s quite happy to play in the background while I photograph the clothes and take measurements, and there’s lots of time left for snuggles in between. He is the most gorgeous child (not that I am biased at all) and very easy to live with.

So, that’s my mornings at the moment. Me and Robbie go and collect Ricky at 1.30pm and then we do something fun in the afternoon. It doesn’t have to cost any money- in fact 9 times out of 10 it doesn’t- we go to the park, for a walk or to the museum. I’ve had some really memorable afternoons with them already.

One afternoon in particular (I will curse myself for the rest of my life for forgetting my camera) it was an incredibly still and perfect, clear winter afternoon. I had made a chicken pie the day before and left my Dad in some of the spoils, before taking them to one of the many beaches near his house, at Kilclief Bay on this beach. We spotted seals on the rocks and in the water, examined the rock pools, and, despite the cold temperatures (though it was pretty mild), the kids waddled in the completely flat calm sea in their wellies. Of course, they both ended up totally drenched. It was truly one of those Calvin Klein-ad, perfect, afternoons, and it made me realise that there is NO comparison and that everything I am doing is for the right reasons at the moment. I will never get this chance again, and I don’t ever want to be able to look back at my life and think “what was I doing?” when I think of their childhoods, and my lack of involvement in it.

As you know, Robbie is now 2 1/2, so I’ve already missed years of that time. I’m not taking anything away from mothers who work- I did it myself and never thought anything would change that- I was very settled in my job (until June this year) and had no plans to leave. A variety of circumstances changed that. I think maybe dealing with cancer HAS changed me, and HAS changed my outlook on life and my priorities therein. So whilst all of this has and continues to scare the living shit out of me, the cancer has taught me- in no uncertain terms- to feckin’ well grow a set and live out my life as if every day was my last. I don’t spend nearly so much time these days worrying about what other people think, that’s for sure. Though I do still spend some time worrying about that. Old habits die hard.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’ve become a domestic Goddess since leaving work- that’s not going to happen, I don’t have it in me. However, I am definitely making slow inroads in terms of the house, and the kids have been helping me cook every day, which is both fun and frustrating at the same time. I’m fairly competent in the kitchen and a bit of a Prima Donna, so I am having to learn new levels of patience with them. Their enthusiasm is wonderful, though, and Robbie loves to clean too, so his job is hoovering the living room every day, ha ha! He actually manages to do a fairly good job, mainly because I let him have at it the whole time I am cleaning the kitchen… :P Maybe Robbie will be a domestic God. There are too few of those in the world.

I never saw myself as being much good at the stay-at-home and keep house and kids kind of thing, but it’s just “right” for now. Maybe I won’t be good at it. Certainly, doing this is MUCH harder work than my job was. I feel good that I am still bringing some money in whilst I do this.

The whole thing is a massive life change, and while it’s really, really scary, it’s also exhilarating. If it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out. That said, I’m grabbing it with both hands.

02
Nov
09

Where to start, where to start?

Hello, friends. It’s been more than two months since my last confessions… :D

I actually do **really think** that this time, my blog is back for good.

A lot has happened recently. It’s hard for me to even begin to put it all in a sequence, or to try and make sense of it all. Suffice to say, it’s been nigh on impossible for me to think straight enough to actually blog.

I handed in my notice in work today. I’m not going to go in to detail here, at least for the forseeable future, so if you want to know, email me privately. The company I work for have been wonderful to me, very supportive through my illness, but various circumstances recently have made it impossible for me to continue working there. The decision to leave was very painful for me, but I think essential.

So, this evening, I’m feeling a bit ambivalent, to be honest. My wee ebay business is going from strength to strength- long may it last. It’s going to be paying the bills from now on, and that both excites and terrifies me!

I’m really looking forward to spending more time with my kids. Ricky is absolutely DISGUSTED that he still has to go to primary school while me and Robbie will be at home. I have tried to explain to him why it’s necessary, but I think, although he really enjoys school, he sees it as some kind of punishment!

I’ve just got back from an absolutely wonderful three day trip to London with my Aunt- definitely a post about that coming up in the next few days!

I do have a lot- an awful lot- to write about at the minute. I leave work at the end of November- the whole “blog therapy” thing will no doubt be invaluable to me around then!

Blogging might be a little bit intermittent over the next week or two, and I will have to work hard to get back to speed with those of you whose blogs I read. I cannot begin to tell you how much I have missed all of my blog friends- I hope you might still have a place for me.

Before I go, there are a few people I want to send shouts out to.

Firstly, regular reader Emma C has just had her first baby, a gorgeous wee girl called Kitty! Congratulations Emma!

Secondly, equally regular reader Emma G has announced her second pregnancy! Woohoo! Emma G has been massively supportive to me, and gives the best advice ever. She should seriously consider charging for her services. :P

Thirdly, can I publicly thank my friend The Taoist Biker for sending me some truly fantabulous CD’s for my car. They are as long and varied as they are enjoyable, and have been on constant play ever since!!

Finally, you might remember that a while ago, my friend Kristi found out that her beautiful daughter Gabriella needed a new heart. Very sadly, Gabriella recently suffered a stroke. She’s making absolutely incredible progress, but the whole family is constantly in my thoughts. If you have a few minutes, head over to Kristi’s website to read the whole story and marvel at this incredible little girl and her strong will to fight back.

More to come in a few days!

24
Aug
09

Open day at the Ulster Aviation Society

We were invited at the weekend to attend the Open Day for the Ulster Aviation Society which was held, rather bizarrely, at what used to be the Maze Prison but which is now a demolition/regeneration site. I’ve (thankfully) never had cause to visit the prison before, which closed some time ago. The closest I ever got before was driving past it, ominous on the horizon, on the Motorway! It kind of epitomises the “Troubles” here- I actually hope they make some kind of museum there because it’s a part of our heritage and history that should be preserved, sinister and unpleasant though it is.

ANYHOW- it was a bright sunny day, and only the watch towers and some high walls seem to remain!

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Our day was centred around a cleared area and some aircraft hangars outside the old prison walls. I have to say, it was a very surreal atmosphere in which to have a fun family afternoon!

Ian used to be in the Royal Air Force, and can fly a small aircraft. He’s flown in helicopters before, so the afternoon was probably particularly of interest to him. However there was much for all the family to enjoy!

Around sixteen helicopters flew in from all over the Province, of varying sizes and styles (can you tell I know absolutely piss all about helicopters!!!!!)

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It was actually very exciting watching them come in to land- hearing them first, having the kids guess where they would appear (they were coming from all directions!) and then watching them come in to land.

OK, OK, so my only proper landing shot picture, I royally ballsed up. I hit the off button on my camera instead of the take picture button, and it was pretty much too late by the time it was back on, but whatever. You’re all used to my substandard photography by now, ha ha!

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We all had great fun inspecting the various helicopters. I have to say- can you SAY “rich man’s toys” in a lot of incidences, but it’s nice to see how the other half live from time to time! Some of them were the height of luxury- as big as a limo and with soft looking leather upholstery and loads of legroom. Some looked more like your average family saloon- empty crisp packets, half drunk bottles of water and crumpled looking maps- and one, I kid you not, looked barely flight worthy, I was nearly scared to exhale near it in case it fell apart (though I am sure it is someone’s labour of love and is of extremely sturdy construction!!!!)

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Highlight of most people’s afternoon was the helicopter of the PSNI- it drew the biggest crowds of all and the policemen who fly it were inundated with questions about what they did and how all the vast array of gadgets worked!

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The nearby hangars housed a fantastic display of WW2 memorabilia and aircraft, and was, for me, the highlight.

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I haven’t taken pictures of some of the displays because they related to many of the fallen soldiers who had lived locally- their relatives were there to look at the displays and it was very humbling to witness their pain even after all these years. I didn’t feel it would be respectful to take photos.

It really brings it home that WW2 was NOT that long ago- and that really we have forgotten the horrors that those soldiers went through to ensure all of our futures. I learned a lot from the displays, and was grateful for it.

The kids loved looking at the various aircraft on display and it was a fantastic day out. Thanks to Ian’s boss, Garry, for inviting us!

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24
Aug
09

Wise words

A very good friend, in response to my protected post yesterday, emailed me the following words of wisdom, and I think they are worth sharing! ;)

To that very good friend, thanks for everything. No, really. If it wasn’t for you, I’d probably have cracked up by now and Ian would have stopped talking to me because he’d be sick of listening, if you know what I mean… :P

There was a very cautious man, who never laughed or cried.
He never risked, he never lost, he never won nor tried.
And when he one day passed away, his insurance was denied,
For since he never really lived, they claimed he never died.

23
Aug
09

Protected: The future

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