Christmas shopping

It’s that time of year, when I start looking for appropriate gifts for friends and family. I work out what I think people would like, and what I think they might need. My BF is quite difficult in many ways, as he buys what he needs as soon as he needs it. The trick is to buy him something that he doesn’t realise he needs…but I’ve never really been successful in that…yet!

But, this is also the time of year when I feel guilty and sad. My Gran is in a home in Yorkshire – close to the extended family – where she wanted to be, but no-one is taking her out of the home for Christmas. She’ll be on her own. That’s terrible. No-one cares enough to go get her, spend the day with her and share the family day with my Gran. I wish I lived closer. I would pull the stops out to show her the kind of Christmas that she deserves.

I also feel sad that the family is so spread out. My sister is in Berumda, and my parents are in the North of Scotland. My boyfriend and I live in Surrey. My gut tells me we should go home for Christmas – to Ardchroskie – before it is sold. But, it’s never that easy is it?

I don’t actually know what to do for the best.

My sister (the wise one, you know), says I need to do what’s best for me. But, I’ve never done that.

Next year, Sis and I have a plan to make sure we’re all together somewhere. I hope that will include dear old Gran, but I might be hoping for too much.It depends on a lot. My sister living closer; Ardchroskie not being on the market; BF having a definite answer about the boys; and various sets of parents being fit to travel.

Christmas is such an important family time. It really is…



I’ve been feeling tired for a while now. Quite a while actually. I thought it was just a combination of starting a new job, getting used to the long commute, and the elements of stress that seem to plague my every day and now I’m not so sure.

I’ve never been good at sleeping. I can easily fall asleep, but never stay asleep all night. My mum, gran and uncles are the same. (My sister breaks the mould though). At the weekend I take a sleeping pill so that I ‘catch’ up a little bit and try to decrease the sleep deficit. But, why am I still so tired?

Yesterday, something happened that made me think about my health. And without wanting to sound like a complete hypochondriac, I think I’m anaemic. 

Add to that the fact I’ve been monitoring my food recently and yesterday only consumed 990 calories, I’m not really helping myself.

It’s time to rethink my nutritional plan & the way I do things to pull me out of this (hypochondriac speaking here) unhealthy, unwell phase in life. First things first – get to grips with the diet. Stop eating cereal when you can’t be bothered cooking anything or using lack of time as an excuse. Plan menus for a week in advance and stick to it. NO PROCESSED FOODS AT ALL. Oh, and live a little. 

Sounds easy doesn’t it?

Another birthday approaches

I can’t quite believe that it’s time to prepare for another birthday (well, not the birthday, but the party/drinks evening we will have). Another year, another few wrinkles and lots of changes in life.

I look back over the year with mixed feelings. I’m healthy, OK just got a new job, and I have a great boyfriend, but the year was full of challenges…redundancy, Gran’s illness and move to Yorkshire, mum’s illness, my sister’s nightmare emergency surgery, and, and, and…ugh. What a year.

I’m hopefull for the next year. The year that will take me to a milestone. Am I ready for that one ? (See earlier entry about ticking clocks…;-)).

If you’re reading this and haven’t had an invite to the drinks, send me an email to remind me I forgot. (I’m getting older…see!).

My first Christmas…

on my own!

Yep, I’m nearing and big 4 0 and for the first time in my life, I’m going to be on my own for Christmas. First. Time. Ever. OK, so let’s just caveat the ‘on my own’ – technically, I’ll have BF, his parents, sons and brothers, so not really on my own. The real difference is I’ll be without my mum, dad and gran. 

Gran is in Yorkshire and will be with Tuck and his family. Mum and Dad will be in Scotland, at home in the Glen. Wierd. Bizarre and very, very odd.

My wee sis even sent a text saying ‘I can’t believe we’re spending Christmas apart, we’re actually all in the same country.’

Many of you are thinking, why is it so weird. Well, Christmas is about family. It’s about tradition. It’s about what you do together and how you do it.

I’ve never woken up and not gone to wake my mum & dad. Since being a little girl, Christmas morning has been about waking them & gran, preparing buck’s fizz, eating Quality Streets in bed, and then the present giving…my sister and I taking it in turns to hand out gifts.

So, what happens this year? I don’t know. 
The big risk is that I’ll drink all the bucks fizz on my own before anyone gets here.


My sister’s BF is a bit of an extreme sports fan…well, not just a fan. I’ve been white water rafting with him. I’ve seen video of him kayaking in some interesting rivers across the globe…but I’ve never seen him do anything quite like this…

Really wonder what he’d make of it…?

Positive Signs?

The last 8-10 weeks have seen very little to laugh about, but with a bit of positive news in the last couple of days, I’m starting to see the funny side of what’s happened/happening.

Gran’s funding has finally been allocated. Next Friday, the Granster will move to her new home in Yorkshire. I haven’t seen her for a few weeks, but apparently this news has resulted in her being more upbeat, and so much happier than she has been in a long time. For my mum the news has been well received, even though she’s going to miss gran terribly. She’s really pleased that gran finally gets her wish to be nearer the extended family. Christmas seems to be taken care of too, with Aunty S. taking control of the arrangements to ensure gran isn’t on her own at all during the period. Had plans been complete, we would have been there to take Gran with us to mum & dad’s new place at the coast…but that’s not going to happen, not this year at least.

So, mum, sis and her BF left me on Thursday to journey back up North. Sis was dreading the temperature difference…of all things. Here it’s averaging 13-16 during the day…there, they have snow and minus temperatures. It’s a big leap from the summer time she thought she’d face in NZ!

What of NZ? Well, her BF still awaits news. Sis still wants to go. Who knows what will happen there…?

I mentioned the funny side…well, every time I think of the hospital incident I think of morphine and how it took away the pain in an instant. My sister was high on morphine…her face, her mood, the manner in which she spoke were all affected by morphine and now I can look back, it was funny. And the nurse who gave her the morphine as so funny. There were other really funny incidents to do with pain meds and where they had to be administered, but you’d have to know my sis to understand why it’s all so funny.

And, now that I’m on my own again in the house, the cats roam free…but, I’m three mugs, and one glass down – victims of a stressful few weeks. I have to find replacements for the mugs sooner rather than later. I also need to restock my beer cider, vodka, whisky, wine, & soup supplies. They seemed to just evaporate during the last few weeks.

So what next?
I guess time will tell, but I hope the signs are positive for everyone.

No news…?

Well, the rollercoaster ride seems never-ending.

My gran is still in hospital, funding yet to be allocated. For gran, who doesn’t understand the reasons she’s in hospital, it’s like a living hell, while she waits to move to her new home. Cruel to be kind…really…but so hard on gran and mum – in so many ways. Mum’s like a tortured soul over the whole thing.

Sis and her BF are still with me. The NZ embassy have not yet called with news of his work permit – good or bad – there’s no news. In the meantime, sis has been very ill. Three different visits to doctors, nurses, x-ray and hospital resulted in no diagnosis. It took her to be SERIOUSLY ill for anything to change. We spent the day in A & E – from early morning to early afternoon – where sis received a cocktail of pain killers to ease the most horrendous pain I’ve ever witnessed anyone suffer. Ibuprofen, Codeine, paracetamol, tramadol and finally, a little bit of pain free living with morphine. Yes, morphine. She was finally admitted to a ward in the late afternoon after being seen by no less than six doctor’s, five of them surgeons and various nurses. 

24-hrs later, mum had arrived (driven through the night to get here) and sis was on the operating table. 

Thankfully, sis is making a great recovery, but as she’s had surgery and needs a consult in two months, she won’t be able to travel to NZ after all. What does that mean for her and her BF? Well, as there’s no news from the embassy, they too are living in limbo.

So, the rollercoaster is getting faster, right?

I wrote recently about “the Glen” and how the family home was sold? Well, it’s not. The buyers have pulled out. Or rather, not pulled out, they don’t want to pay the fair market value for the house. 

What can I do to help? Nothing, I’m as good as useless. 
This situation…this rollercoaster just won’t stop to let them get off. And, they need to get off. Soon.

Another Wee Bit of Good News?

The interest rate has been dropped by the Bank of England. As someone in the middle of a re-mortgage I’m hoping that this rate change will be adopted by my mortgage lender as soon as possible… I’m sure there are many other people in similar situations, so lots of you will understand.

But, that’s where it stops really. My sis and her boyfriend are still waiting. There are another few days before the end of the ’10-working days’, but it’s agonising for them. Every day wasted is costing them money. It’s a bit of a nightmare for them both.

And, Mum’s just had a bit of a blow from the so-called ‘buyers’ of their house. We’ll see what happens from here on in, but Mum needs to be strong. Very strong in the face of the rubbish being thrown her way today. And Dad, wee Doody (as my sis would say), he’s very quiet. He just wants the next phase of their life to start and it’s still on hold.

I’m looking forward to them being able to do holidays when they want (make the most of this nightmare timeshare I have), play golf, do tango lessons (my dad…hmmm…maybe not), do pottery classes or whatever!!

8 Weeks Recovery Time

It seems that the past few weeks have been filled with drama, emotion and bad news. This week has been no exception. My cousins received some bad news about an Uncle, my sister isn’t in NZ, my Mum is still not doing too good and my Gran is still in hospital. So, to add to the doom and gloom the financial market crashes when I’m trying to remortgage and get a good deal, I find out the pain in my hand is a stress fracture, and it looks like our company is about to “suffer losses”. Oh deep joy.

According to the hospital my stress fracture will take a minimum of 8 weeks to recover. During that time, no golf, no Concept II, no lifting, etc. etc. wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwah! Not good. I’m hoping though, that 8-weeks will be a good marker for there to be some other “recovery time”. Has it started already…?

Yesterday, we had a little bit of good news. The Gran is going to get her wish. In two weeks she will move back to Yorkshire and will be safe and secure. Everything as it should be…? Mum’s missing Gran already. After 22 years of having Gran in the home – it’s a big rift for her, a big hole.

Even so, I sincerely hope that this is a turning point. That we (the family) can start to recover during the 8 weeks…that Mum finds herself again and that things become normal (whatever ‘normal’ is). 

A little bit of good news goes a long way, so let’s just make sure we get little pieces of good news regularly, no matter how small, it all counts.

Look Out New Zealand

My sister’s coming back.

Flights are booked, plans have been made and on the 28th of this month, sis and her BF are flying back to NZ to start afresh.

Best of luck to them both! I shall miss her being readily available – but, will look forward to hearing of her new adventures in life, of her BF’s exploits rafting, and hopefully, visiting next year.