Archive Page 2

23
Aug
09

Trying to get back on the horse!

Hello, hello! How is everyone? Do you even remember me? It’s been nearly two months, I can’t believe it! I’ve actually had a lot to blog about but somehow it hasn’t happened.

We had a lovely holiday- three weeks of not having to think about anything very much and enjoying spending lots of time with my family. It has really helped me make a lot of decisions about where I want life to take me in the next number of years, as some of you know. I’ll do a password protected post on that though! Password will be the same as last time but please don’t feel weird about asking me for it if you’ve forgotten it.

So, until I can come up with something more fascinating, here are a loose collection of tales from our travels. I keep getting grief from my family for not blogging about the kids because apparently it’s the only time they get to hear about silly stuff they’ve done!!

Ricky spent most of the holiday in the sea! Even though the air temperature wasn’t very high, the sea stayed comparatively warm through our whole break (the sea in Donegal could normally cause frostbite even in the middle of summer!) and it was great to see him really gaining confidence in the water. We bought him his first proper wetsuit and he LOVED it!

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It’s fascinating to me how all the kids on the beach are now wearing full body wetsuits- you hardly see any kid in a normal swimsuit at all any more. When we were kids we hardly even bothered to put a swimming costume on- you’d absolutely never see a butt nekkid child on the beach these days. I think it must be a combinating of fashion, protecting children from the sun, and, sadly, loss of innocence!

Ricky has also developed a new interest- kind of a strange one too. When out on a walk at a local Friary, we passed a shrine to Mary. Ricky was fascinated by it and wanted to know what it was for. I explained the principles behind it, and he was very interested. There was a little bench in front of it, and before I knew it, he’d plonked himself down and started doing this!

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Ricky tells me that he is meditating and that this is what they do in China. I was very surprised that, coming from our household which is not very religious, he grasped the concept of spirituality and prayer with incredible ease!

That walk came as a surprise to me, because I don’t believe I’ve ever done it before, and the views were so stunning that I feel compelled to post some pictures of them!

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As for Robbie, he’s my little animal guru- he’s totally mad about animals of all kinds at the moment.

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I think I blogged before about his obsession with horses, and that definitely continued during the break! We were able to send the kids out along the beach on ponies from the riding school across the road, and seriously, if we’d let Robbie stay on for as long as he wanted he’d probably still be sitting there now!

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He had THE best time and I will definitely have to arrange some riding lessons for him I think. Ricky enjoyed it but not to the same extent. I was just showing Robbie the pics from the holiday and he couldn’t stop talking about going out on the pony, and how much fun he’d had!

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We also took the kids to some sheepdog trials, which was actually much more fun than I’d been expecting. The sheepdogs were great, and it was very interesting to see them in action.

They were also showing sheep in a different part of the field. Now, I come from a background of showing ponies and horses, which is very civilised and elegant. Showing sheep involves a lot of men sweating profusely and swearing under their breath as they grapple with a sheep that desparately wants to get back to the herd and that definitely doesn’t want the judge to look at its teeth.

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The variety of sheep was amazing and some of them were as big as a shetland pony, which surprised me! Some were pretty and soft, some were ugly as sin with wiry wool.
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Robbie predictably thought it was absolutely brilliant- the child has no fear! He had fallen and hurt his head the previous evening, which is why he looks like he’s been duffed up!
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The eventual Champion of the sheep was crowned, and I managed to make a total pillock of myself by missing the photo opportunity- then, when I was surreptitiously trying to take a pic, they realised and went through the whole palaver of getting all the trophies and rosettes out again. To be fair they did this with a very good grace, but I felt like an idiot! So, here, for posterity, is a picture of the king of the sheep. Father Ted fans out there will know why I find this vaguely amusing.
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There’s loads more but I have rambled on for long enough! Hope everyone is well. I do want to blog more but time is really against me at the minute. I definitely need to get some stuff off my chest though and will do so later today, with luck!

Now the challenge will be to get caught up with everyone else! 😀

30
Jun
09

Tuesday randomness

I hate that my blog seems to have taken such a complete back seat at the moment! Some of you know that I suddenly find myself with extremely limited net access, which is the most spectacularly large pain in my arse…but that story is for another day.

I’ve had a lot of lovely emails recently from people who wanted to know how I am doing. I really appreciate these, thank you so much! J

I’m doing fine. I have been really trying hard not to think about the cancer at all, and now that I am feeling so much better, it’s been quite easy to do so! However, I got a letter telling me to come for some scans, and went for those yesterday. I felt very nervous about going. Every time I am forced to think about it all, I get that numb feeling in my arms and legs again…isn’t it funny how you can mostly feel fine, but blind terror apparently still lurks behind every corner!

If the tests show anything that looks dodgy, they’ll call me in very quickly. The next few days are going to be rather nerve wracking as I wait to see if the phone rings. They’ve said if all looks well, I’ll just see my consultant in September as planned.

In answer to a few recent questions- I still do not have “the all clear”, I am not in remission or anything like that. I still feel a bit in limbo as I wait to see if they can find any more of it. I’m not really sure how long you have to go with no evidence of disease before they will say you’re in the clear, I think it may be several years. In the meantime, I’m getting on with it! Time waits for no girl!

My business empire is, in the meantime, going really well! I’ve bought three bundles of clothes so far and all of them have sold for a good profit. I have my toe in the water! I have to say that this has been the steepest learning curve of my life- but a really good one. I’ve learned a lot in the past few weeks and continue to learn every day. It’s been a while since I felt challenged like this, and it’s very exciting! So far I have made almost £400 which is not bad for a week or so’s part time work! It will hopefully let me spoil the kids rotten when we go on holiday at the end of next week.

My pony Morning seems to be responding fairly well to the treatment they’ve given her for the sore muscles. We’ll have to wait a couple of days now that the treatment is finished to see how she does without painkillers. I am going down there tomorrow night to see how she’s coping.

Robbie has suddenly developed an obsession with the horses! Carly (my other mare) is retired but still fine for the kids to bounce around on, and she has recently displayed patience which normally results in Canonisation…Robbie will charge down the field yelling “Hello, Ladies!!” at the horses (which is what he hears me say to them) before insisting on riding Carly. She’s very big compared to him, but he’s totally fearless! He just sits on her back with me holding him by the back and leg, and she potters around the field eating grass while he yells “Hurry up, horsie!” at her- he is the cutest thing! When we’re away, I will definitely pay for him to have a ride at the riding school across the way from our holiday house. They have small ponies there which will be much more fun for him.

Ricky is also doing well. He’s now finished at nursery school and can’t wait to go into P1 this September. Leigh’s daughter, and Ricky’s great amigo, Sophie, is going to be in the same class as him, to both their great excitement! Ricky tells me that he will sit beside Sophie in class. He’s also planning on learning to drive as soon as he’s old enough so he can take her out!!! Is it any wonder that Leigh and I practically have our hats bought already!

Actually, Ricky’s daycare had to have a “word” with me, which those of you who are parents will know is never a good thing. Apparently, there was an incident involving Ricky, “Little Ricky”, and a bunch of six year old girls. I have now appraised Ricky of the fact that “Little Ricky” should remain in Knicker Land at all times unless for scheduled appearances…either way, two small girls practically threw themselves at him on his way out of the daycare last night, so clearly they haven’t been left mentally scarred by this incident. If anything, it seems to have increased his popularity! 😀

I am heading out for dinner with my great friends Heather and Jacinta tonight. I think this will let me blow off some much needed steam! The diet has taken something of a bashing this week. I don’t think I’ve gained any weight, but I’m just lucky about that! Still, I am about 15lbs down on where I was six weeks ago, which can’t be bad.

Oh, BTW there is a password protected post in the pipeline in the next few days. I will be using the same password as last time- if you need it, please don’t feel weird about asking!!! 😀

I had a lot of dreams last night about Donegal- we’re planning a holiday there for three weeks next month (YEE-HAAAAAA!!). You probably won’t remember THIS post, but I can’t wait to get to that beach, go in to the water and do exactly what I described in that post. You’ll think I’m insane, but one of the rocks has a smiley face on it- it’s clear as day- and every time I’m in the water there, I look at that rock and can’t help but smile too. That’s my main focus at the moment. Smile, and the world smiles with you. Stick your grumpy frown on, and that’s all you’re ever gonna get back!!

19
Jun
09

For you want-to-lose-weight types

My great blogfriends Kim and Laura have set up a great new blog based on shared experiences of folk who want to lose weight, get fitter, improve their diet and generally have a bitch about how hard it is to do all of these things!

I am lucky enough to have been invited to be one of the co-authors on this new blog, and it’s very exciting! Well, technically I think I might have kind of forced them to let me be one of the co-authors, but we’ll gloss over that for now… 😉

So, if you’re interested in that kind of thing, head on over and check us out! There are seven authors, all with very different perspectives, and all with very different objectives. There’s a lot to learn from everyone!

I’m honoured and excited to be taking part! Go, us! Woot!!! 😀

03
Jun
09

Feeling sad

Nothing I can talk about here, regrettably- I so badly need an anonymous blog, but my personality won’t allow it!

Two bad days+no net access= a dull girl

Sorry for not blogging or reading other people’s blogs. I have a plan to totally change all of this. I wonder if it will ever see fruition…

😦

01
Jun
09

Race for Life 2009

Well, it’s done, and we had a great time!

Leigh and I completed the Race for Life at Stormont Estate yesterday. It was a very warm day without a cloud in the sky, which was great in one sense but I think we could actually have done with a bit of drizzle by the end! Next year we should bring water pistols!! 😀

When I got to the site and realised the sheer scale of the event, it was a bit of a surprise. I knew it would be well attended but there was just a sea of pink everywhere you looked. You have to pin a sign on your back saying who you are running for. I have to say, this aspect of it was very moving- the people standing next to me as I waited to meet up with Leigh were running for a little girl with leukemia, and nearly everyone’s shirts mentioned someone close to them. The scale of the effect cancer has on society is really impressed on you and it would be a stony heart indeed not to be moved by seeing those shirts.

Leigh and I met up about an hour before kickoff. An Australian lady was giving a bit of an irksome pep talk over the loudspeaker. I kind of wished they’d gone for someone Northern Irish, she seemed rather out of place, but she seemed to be enjoying herself!!

Next, a Scottish lady who was one of the main organisers came on to the stage and she really was inspirational. She reminded us all of why we were there, but in a fun way.

Just before we set off, we had a warm up in the shape of an aerobics instructor who reinforced my belief that I can never take part in an aerobics class due to my slow wittedness and inability to follow basic instructions. My lack of coordination will probably appear sometime soon on YouTube, courtesy of another participant! 😛

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The route itself went all round the Stormont Estate. Regular readers will know that Leigh and I have struggled a bit with the dreaded Stormont hill- which is bloody steep! You find yourself fixated on the sight of the Carson Statue at the top, because he’s right at the top of the hill! 😀

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I have to say, I think we kicked that hill’s ass yesterday. We veritably strode up it and I was only a little bit puce in the face by the top. In the past we’ve both practically needed a lie down when we got to Lord Carson!

My Dad and regular commenter Bernadette had walked up the hill to try and see us on our way past, but somehow in the crowd we didn’t spot each other, which was a shame. Next year we should plan things better!

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I think everyone felt a real sense of achievement at the end. This is such a good cause- to date I have raised almost £800 for Cancer Research UK and hope to get close to £1000 by the time I am finished. You can still sponsor me online if you have a few pennies to spare.

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I feel very privileged to have taken part. I am also very lucky to have been well enough. The past year has been rough, but I am still here, fighting fit and taking no prisoners! Next month marks the anniversary of my diagnosis, and it seems amazing that it’s been so long.

And Leigh, we WILL run it next year!!!! 😀

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25
May
09

Life’s out of control

When my life gets busy, the blog is unfortunately the first thing that gets pushed aside. I’m hoping to be back on top of it soon!

Where to start? Well, my little guy Robbie turned two last Friday! We took a few days off work to try and get the house into some kind of order before his party on Saturday, but despite much cleaning and sorting, the place still looks like a bomb’s hit it. As soon as I don’t have vast daycare bills to pay every month, I am going to employ the services of a cleaner. This should have the desired effect of making me clean the house before he or she comes to clean. We really are the biggest pigs.

Anyhow, the weather sucked and Ian ended up cooking all the food on the barbeque in the garden whilst everyone crammed into our tiny house. Leigh’s daughter Sophie and my son Ricky disappeared to his room for an absolute AGE, but they are only four and the only evidence of any misdemeanour in there was the discovery of an empty family sized pack of dolly mixture later on. Apparently Ricky picked out all the pink and orange ones for Sophie. I can only assume that he ate all the rest of them himself.

It cheered up later on and the kids were able to play outside. My Dad had bought Robbie a swing set for his birthday, Ian’s Mum bought a sand pit which can double as a paddling pool, and we bought a slide. The garden is WELL kitted out now and the kids are ecstatic! It has the added bonus of not being inside our stuffed-to-bursting house too!

Robbie really enjoyed his party and I think he had a good birthday. I will post some pics soon but I’m in work and the pics are on Ian’s laptop. I’m only going to post pics of my own family here, but for anyone who’s interested and knows me, there’s lots more on facebook.

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My weight has got to the stage where Something Had To Be Done. My neighbour Lynn and her sister Jean have been doing Slimming World’s plan for the past year and have lost eleven stone (that’s 154lb) between them in that time!!!

I felt a bit weird about signing up but I have clearly proved in the past that I can’t do this on my own. I can generally lose about 2-2 1/2 stone (28-35lb or so) working alone, but then I have this awful tendency to start thinking “hey, I don’t look as bad any more!” after which I put it all back on again.

SO- I went Thursday two weeks ago for my first meeting. And it’s going very well!

I had my first repeat weigh in on Thursday last and had already lost 6 1/2lb, but I have to confess that I cheated a bit. On my weigh in on the first night, I wore heavy trousers and left my shoes on. This time, I wore lightweight linen trousers and took my shoes off. Shoot me now. 😛

I make it a loss of 4 1/2 lb or so- but for ten day’s work, bearing in mind I went for dinner with Heather and Jacinta one of the nights and had Robbie’s party in between- I am still pleased with that and will keep going.

There’s an element of competition in it that is good for me too. Those of you who kn0w me in real life know that I have a competitive streak a mile wide. Each week everyone brings a healthy food item with them (I brought a pack of wild rice) and it all goes in a big bag. Whoever has lost the most weight that week gets the bag and all the goodies in it. It’s a good incentive!

So I have a massive amount of weight to lose, but feel good that I have made a proper start now, after months of procrastination. I’m not telling you my weight now, but maybe I will if (WHEN!! 😀 ) I ever get down to where I want to be. 🙂

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Leigh and I are completing the Race for Life  this weekend. So, here’s another shameless plug for sponsorship! You can sponsor me at THIS page securely. Thanks to everyone who has already done so- it’s a fabulous cause.

We haven’t been as good with the training as we planned, so it’s going to be more of a fast walk than a run for me and Leigh, I suspect! That bloody hill at Stormont kills us every time we walk up it- running is out of the question, well, maybe DOWN the hill but I can’t see me running up it. Leigh is a nurse, so she can resuscitate me if necessary. I hope. 😛

Looking forward to it anyway! 🙂

ANYHOW- I hope to be back in the blogoshpere properly now as the hecticness in work seems to be calming slightly. I guess it’s pretty bad to be putting my lack of blogging down to being busy in work- I really should be working now!! It’s a bank holiday here but my company is still in. Ian and the kids are away to the open farm, and I wish I was with them!!

Hope my Stateside friends are all enjoying their Memorial Day weekend! 🙂

That’s all for now- this was a long post! If you read it all, you get the prize! 😛

16
May
09

Early starts and other things

On the up side, Robbie seems to be sleeping through the night a lot more, all of a sudden! Yay! On the down side, this means he now wants to get up at 6am every day! You win some, you lose. So, this morning he got me up early (Ian and I normally take a lie in each at the weekends. We agree in advance who gets Saturday and who gets Sunday- it saves swearing and arguments on the two mornings in question!) so he’s still in bed.

Ricky got up at about 7am and I then realised there was nothing for their breakfast- d’oh! So, I’ve already made a batch of fruit scones this morning! Before I even had a cup of tea! I am so industrious! 😀

The kids are now trashing the house while I try to ignore the mess and play on the puter… 😛

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WordPress bloggers- since they brought in the new stats dashboard, has anyone else noticed a drop in total stats? I’ve lost almost ten thousand hits since they did it. The stats are still correct if you go to “view summary tables”, but isn’t right on my actual site. It doesn’t really matter, but I’m a bit confused about it! I really don’t like the new stats thing but I guess like everything else I will get used to it! I’m not good with change! 😀

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Years ago, we bred from my Connemara pony, Morning, but we sold her daughter when she was three. I’ve been back in touch with her via her new owners this week and it’s been so lovely to hear how she’s been doing all these years, and see some pictures of her too! She’s in England now and has had a long and successful career in showjumping.

Her mother is still very beautiful and a shining light in my life. I should take some pics of her for the blog, as she, even in old age, looks gorgeous.

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Weather here is absolutely atrocious. Normally, May in Northern Ireland is pretty much as good as it gets here, and it tends to be sunny and warm. NOT this year, apparently. Robbie’s birthday party is next Saturday, and I had been planning to have his party in our garden, which would supply significantly more square footage than our titchy little house. I am getting increasingly twitchy as the day gets closer and it’s STILL raining!!!! I’m taking Thursday and Friday off to try and do some stuff to make our house even vaguely presentable, which believe me is going to be a massive uphill struggle. 🙂

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I had a weird night of dreams last night! Weirdest of all was a dream where I was a student again, living in scummy digs in Stranmillis, and (really bizarre) Gary Lightbody from Snow Patrol called round (I don’t really know what he even looks like in real life!!!) and although it wasn’t in any way a naughty dream, somehow I had no clothes on and he wanted to look at my scars?! Fair enough, Snow Patrol are from Northern Ireland, but I don’t have any particular interest in them and have no idea what THAT dream meant…my subconscious is up to strange things again!!!!! 😀

Actually I think I’m going to have to make an appointment to see the breast care nurse because the right boob, where I had most of the surgery, is hurting quite a lot and doesn’t seem “right”- I hope it’s nothing to worry about and I can’t find any lumps or anything, and it’s probably just fluid from my lymph nodes having been removed, but better safe than sorry. 🙂

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Right, I just looked up, and my living room looks like it’s been hit by a tornado. There are bits of scone all over the floor and both boys have removed their jammie bottoms for reasons that aren’t yet clear.

Have a great weekend everyone!




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