Posts Tagged ‘Dad


Weekend randomness

OK, so it’s now mid week, and I am pleased to report that I am feeling pretty good today. πŸ™‚

Firstly can I thank my not-so-wicked Mother In Law, Phyllis, for a gorgeous belated birthday present. She had ordered me a gorgeous Willow Tree figureen called “Quietly”, which depicts a mother and two children who are very similar in ages to Ricky and Robbie. I am very touched and love it.


Next up, thanks to my Dad for THE most gorgeous Sunday lunch…roast beef with all the trimmings, including spinach with cheese sauce which is one of my most favourite things. I ate so much that I felt bad that evening, which says a lot, in all the RIGHT ways, about the quality of my Dad’s cookery!! Bernadette was staying with Dad this weekend, and it was lovely to see her. She had made a delicious apple sponge and an apple tart which Ricky had two helpings of. Thanks to all concerned for a lovely afternoon- I am only sorry I was in such a bad mood and didn’t contribute more… 😦

Before we went to Dad’s, I took the kids to Mount Stewart, an estate not far from where we live. It is absolutely gorgeous. I wanted to give Ian a bit of time to himself because he’s been so massively over worked recently. It must be very hard keeping a cheerful face on at all (well most) times, when your partner has a disease that makes her temper absolutely FOUL for ten days out of every three weeks, and you’re having to look after two small kids pretty much single handedly, do all the housework and take care of a very demanding full time job as well. Once again, Ian is DA MAN…I don’t know how he does it.

Anyhow, Ricky wanted to take some pictures and I am hoping they will distract you from the below-


Ricky took this one- random, huh? He is Soooo pleased with it….


Silly faces…


YES, I am well aware I have put on bloody weight, I know you’re thinking it, thank you very much. I have so much FECKING dieting to do when the cancer is dealt with. Hmppppphhhh… the little bugger wouldn’t let me take my glasses off. Crouching is never very flattering, is it. At least that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. The camera adds 10lb. Yes it does. And no, there were NOT ten cameras. I only wish.


OK, so now that you’re all fully distracted by how fucking fat I’ve got, here’s a delightful story about our walk round the lake at Mount Stewart. I realised, too late, that the second cup of coffee before I left the house was not a good plan, that we were quite a distance from the main house, and I needed a wee. Badly.

Luckily, I spotted a disused cottage deep in the undergrowth beside the path, and hurriedly ushered the kids behind it.

Hunkering down and telling everone to BE QUIET, I was merrily relieving myself when Ricky pipes up, “Mummy, WHAT are you doing!! Mummy, are you doing a POOOOO!! Mummy, are you ALLOWED to do that here?!!”

We were not far off the path, and it was a Sunday. How all the passers by must have laughed…


Weird stuff

OK, I still have a temperature, but lay low today and actually feel OK if I have pain killers, so things are, I hope, improving, despite my “woe is me” posts of the last few days. Sorry about that! πŸ˜€

Can you tell that mentally, I feel a bit better too? I never was good at keeping these things to myself!

Couple of silly things tonight, apart from my complete u-turn on my “I feel like shit and want to pass my misery on to AAAAALLLL of you” post of yesterday!

Firstly, can I thank my Dad for calling at the house today with a spectacular and very delicious homemade spinach and cheese lasagne for me. He’d heard that spinach was a great anti cancer food, and hand picked his own home grown veggies before cooking it for me. Believe me when I say that fathers DO NOT get any better than my Dad. He is the best person I know- always there when I need him, with love and support, kindness and wisdom, willing to overlook myΒ foul temper and forgive my many shortcomings. Plus he’s a killer cook, great company, whisky connoisseur, and outstanding person in every way. Love you, dad. The lasagne is, in the words of Robbie, DEEEEEEE-di-dous. πŸ˜€

Next- my cat is making me very jumpy. Those of you who are regular readers will be familiar with the fact that my cat Max is huge, ginger and white, and as lacking in brainpower as he is lacking in nastiness. He’s scared of Robbie, who persecutes him relentlessly, but he never retaliates, and acts in a very sweet and self sacrificing manner with the kids at all times. Max is not a particularly demonstrative cat when it comes to me. He’s very big, and I am not. Therefore, he finds sitting on my knee normally to be an uncomfortable experience which is best avoided. In his 8 years, he’s maybe sat on my knee three times, for a period of about 30 seconds at a go. Now- the past three days, Max has been on my knee ALL THE TIME. Plus, I’ve not been well, so have been in bed most of the time, and he’s been constantly at my side. Florence Nightingcat. What the hell is the deal? Cats are meant to have ESP- does he know something I don’t??? It’s making me TWITCHY!!!! If I find out at my next scan that there is a spread of this bloody thing that they hadn’t found before, I’ll bloody well know that HE knew first!!!

Lastly, the weather. We have very temperate weather here- it doesn’t get very hot, it doesn’t get very cold. Pretty much the same shit all year round. It rarely snows.

Well, this is the scene from Ricky’s bedroom window yesterday afternoon. It’s not the best picture in the world, but it was snowing pretty good, and although it didn’t really lie, I thought it was blog worthy just because it’s October, and when I was a kid, we regularly went into the sea in Donegal at Halloween!! Crazy for this time of year!


Anyhow- hopefully I won’t whine too much for the next few days. I’m going to try and work tomorrow…

Now- off to reply to all your many comments, which I have been neglecting! πŸ™‚


All change, yet again

The hospital where I am having treatment for breast cancer can never seem to make a plan and then stick to it! On a number of previous occasions, I’ve thought I was all set, only for them to change their mind at the last minute. I got less than 48hrs notice before my surgery, for example. I went to get blood tests so I could start chemo (the last time…sigh) and when I got there, they told me they’d changed their minds and I’d be getting the surgery first.

So- I guess nothing surprises me now! Certainly not when they called me last night to say there had been a cancellation and could I start the chemo earlier than planned!

I am now going for bloods tomorrow and will probably (nothing is ever certain with these guys) start chemo next Tuesday. I just want to get the next few months over and done with.

I’m mentally still feeling OK. I think my hair coming out is the **big** challenge to this. I’m prepared to admit that it seems like one of worst things about this all (how pathetic!) and I feel tearful and angry when I think about it. I’m absolutely dreading the trip to the hairdressers to get my hair taken away when it starts to come out, but the only other option is pulling it out in clumps in the shower, which seems even worse. I pity the hairdresser who ends up having to do it, because I’ll be a basket case! πŸ˜€

Still, I am definitely tackling this head on, there is no other option! πŸ™‚

One other thing- today would have been my Mum and Dad’s wedding anniversary. My Mum died last October and I know my Dad is missing her very badly (we all are), so today is hard for all of us but especially for him.

I know he reads my blog sometimes, in between working for the brent goose project!! Loads of you know him- if you’re reading this, please give him a shout out! Heck, even if you don’t know him, send him some PT’s anyway. He’s the best guy ever. πŸ™‚


A lovely anniversary day

It was Ian and my 12th anniversary today, an occasion which also clashes weirdly with the death of one of my favourite dogs, and with a massive fall out (never fully recovered from) with one of my closest friends. So, although it should normally be a day which I can concentrate on fully, sometimes I can’t forget the past!

The day started like most others- Ricky and Robbie getting me out of bed at 6.30am…however once Ian was up, he got the kids dressed and took them to the park for a while, so I went back to bed with the cat (who occasionally has his uses- not often, but sometimes!) and slept for a while. A massively rare, lovely treat, as those of you with small children will know! πŸ˜€

After lunch, we decided to go for a walk up to Scrabo Tower. Those of you from Northern Ireland will immediately know where I am talking about. For those of you who don’t, it’s a tower built in the 1850’s to commemorate a local earl, which makes it a “folly”. It sits on a very prominent cliff face/hill and can be seen for miles around. In fact we can even see it from some rooms in our house! πŸ™‚

I found this amazing link, which will give you a 360 degree tour of the views- which are staggering-

Sadly however, whoever took this shot didn’t visit on any clearer a day than we did- you can see the Mourne Mountains in the distance and see across the sea to Scotland. Today we could see Scotland well and see the snow capped mountains of the highlands in the distance. Heaven!

Here are a couple of pics-



For the first time EVER that I have visited, the tower itself was OPEN!!!!! Which meant that to my total delight, Ricky and I were able to climb the 122 steps to its summit and take in the astounding view from the top. This is something I will remember for the rest of my life! The views are great and it was SUCH a rare treat. I think they only open a few days every year and we just got lucky! Ricky had so much fun too! Robbie and Ian stayed at the bottom because of all the steps and Robbie played around in the grass! πŸ™‚

Afterwards, me and the boys headed to my Dad’s to feed my horses, while Ian headed into Belfast to collect some stuff for dinner. The weather was really mild. so me and Dad and the boys played in my Dad’s gorgeous garden for a while before we came home.

The boys have just gone to bed and Ian is cooking me a delicious roast chicken dinner at the moment. I am truly a blessed, blessed girl! πŸ™‚ Life is good!



Some Recent Ricky Funnies

Being three years old, Ricky is of course massively entertaining! I love how the mind of a three year old works- the logic which can be so hard to constructively interfere with… πŸ™‚

I was selling a pair of jeans on Ebay yesterday. They are those fashionable “slouch” jeans which I have decided are really more suitable to a twenty something than a thirty something! I feel like mutton when wearing them. So, I thought they could do with a new home. Ricky was looking over my shoulder as the listing neared its end last night.

Β Ricky- Are you buying those, Mummy?

Me- No honey, I am selling them.

Ricky- Why?

Me- (thinking honesty was the best policy) Because they are more suited to a younger person.

Ricky- why don’t you give them to Daddy? He looks much younger than you! πŸ˜€

Also, my Dad loves to wind Ricky up, telling him that Robbie is called Fred (don’t know why…sigh!) He was doing this on Sunday to Ricky, and sometimes takes it a little bit too far, so Ricky will be yelling “He’s ROBBBBBBIIIIEEEEEE!!!!” and I have to step in…

After my Dad went to walk his dogs, Ricky said to me, “Mummy, why does Grandpa say Robbie is called Fred?” and I said “He’s only winding you up, love, don’t worry about it”, to which he responded “Well, I wish he wouldn’t wind me up. It makes me TIRED!” πŸ™‚

Oh, and I couldn’t work out why, when I was mucking out my horses on Sunday, he kept asking me for a paint brush. Only after about 15 minutes did I find that he had emptied a large bucket of engine oil (jet black, thick and gloopy) over the floor of the barn and would presumably have set to work on redecorating if a paint brush had been immediately available- YIKES! My bad for not keeping a closer eye on him! I could see him and hear him at all times, but I was working away and he was just pottering about like he always is- I had no idea Dad had left that there!! I’m scared that next winter, Robbie will no longer be content to sit in his buggy and watch while I muck out!

Ughh…when I started writing this I could think of a lot more things! πŸ˜€


Egg Decoration Approaches!

Yup, it’s that time of the year again! This weekend we will no doubt all be completing that time honoured tradition of decoration hard boiled eggs with our little ones.

My friend Sara over atΒ (one day I will learn how to put a hyperlink into one of these posts, but apparently that day isn’t here yet) wrote a cool post today about how she solves the problem of the eggs splitting during cooking. It’s something my Mum used to do when we were kids as well- putting a small hole in the bottom of the egg with a needle before cooking. It lets the air out of the egg so it doesn’t split. A cool trick!

Her post made me think back to my own childhood. We used to go out early on the Saturday morning of Easter weekend and collect the yellow flowers from the gorse bushes which grow only too easily here in Northern Ireland. They are huge, prickly bushes which grow very readily and have to be managed carefully here, but with their dark green, thick foliage and abundant small yellow flowers, they are a pretty splash of colour at this time of year.

My Dad has gorse bushes in the hedgerows around his fields. Maybe me and Ricky can relive some of my own happy childhood memories and pick some of the flowers. You then put them in the water with the eggs as they boil and it turns them a pretty yellow, perfect for painting over! πŸ™‚

Wishing everyone a happy and fun filled Easter weekend!


Happy St Patrick’s Day!

Hope everyone is having a great St Patrick’s day today. I see some of my NZ friends are feeling a little homesick because (In Lou’s words) St Patrick’s Day there is even more cheesy than here!

I am at work. That’s one of the peculiarities of living in Northern Ireland- only some companies shut for the day…leaving the rest of us wallowing in self pity while others have a day off. Ian is off, and the kid’s daycare is shut, so he’s home with the kids today. It’s a gloriously sunny day so I hope they can get out and about and enjoy themselves.

I plan on drinking coffee, furtively surfing the net and generally doing as little work as possible.

It always amuses me that other countries around the world seem to make much more of a deal of St Patrick’s Day than we do here. I hope my Stateside friends will enjoy their green (YUCK- think of the chemicals!!) beer and their parades. I know there are parades here, especially in Downpatrick where my Dad lives, and which has close ties with St Patrick, but nothing on the scale of some places around the world.

Noone ever answers me this when I ask it on my baby boards- so maybe someone will here- I once read that they dye some of the rivers in the States green on St Patrick’s Day. Is this really true? How does that work out environmentally, it sounds rather scary!

Anyhow, hope you have/had a great day! Post and let me know what you got up to (even if you don’t know me- c’mon, don’t be shy, I need something to alleviate the boredom in work!! πŸ™‚ )

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