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Viva España

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Let the post-holiday blues commence after our trip to Tenerife.  I’ve already had a meltdown this week about feeling useless because I had the oven on too high the other day.

Holiday was great.  A bit Nimbo Cumulus on first couple of days, which was rather disappointing. (See Poula Fisch of Fast Show – Nimbo Cumulus) but then it was back to the usual scorchio times.  I am nicely baked.  Even Bear who usually goes nutmeg after 10 minutes of sun, was a bit burnt in places.  Youngest one got quite burnt then stayed covered up and in the shade for the rest of the jolly.

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Who tans better?

Highlights included,  an enormous breakfast buffet and having separate rooms for the kids, who I think enjoyed their relative independence (and neither were kidnapped by paedophiles, which is always a bonus).  Also, jumping off a sailing boat into the Atlantic was good fun.  Bloody sea was warmer than the hotel pool aswell.  Although we were a bit nervy after being told just before we threw ourselves in, that 40ft squid can sometimes be seen in the area and they get into fights with the sperm whales.  I was like “Pardon me Maam? What now?”

 

We also saw Bernie from ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’ on board – so that was nice that he’s still getting about.

🙂

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Other comedy moments included Bman attempting to transfer an old spray nozzle to a new sun lotion bottle and failing quite spectacularly.

#jizztastic

Was all over my back aswell. And on the ceiling!  Just glad he did it and not me. I’d never had heard the end of it.

I watched English and German tourists swimming in the choppy cover from my balcony. Gin in hand and wondering how long I would have to leave it before I had to go all Mitch Buchanon and run down the beach to throw myself in and rescue them.  Note to self people.  If your toddlers in armbands are getting battered against the rocks, it’s probably time to take the headphones off, put down the can of Dorada and hotfoot it into the surf and get them out.

Usual end of holiday threat to do a Shirley Valentine and not get on the plane.  Bear says she’s going to get a job being the person who returns all the confiscated beach rocks from the airport to the beach. Then she’s going to paint them and sell them to tourists on the other side of the security scanning area.

Just realised that the only picture we’ve got of all 4 of us is this quality helado based selfie.

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Awesome!

Until next time.

Adios todas Xx

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That time I played bingo in a stinky cow shed

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Haven’t been feeling mentally great for a while. Don’t know why really.  Cancellations and overdue payments from some swim parents haven’t helped.  The state of the nation in general and the fact that my offspring are growing up & making me feel surplus to requirements, also not conducive to a happy mind.

So, a night out with my sister was in order.  Wasn’t sure what to expect and was slightly nervous, but last night we went to Bongo’s Bingo in Leeds.  It’s been a long while coming.  I’ve talked about going for years, since Jade first went in Manchester a very long time ago.
These days it’s on in cities all over the country, every weekend and sometimes during the week.  ‘Johnny Bingo’ must be sitting at home now in a bath of Buckfast laughing away as he checks his bank balance.

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This was not your Saturday night session at Mecca with the jam making brigade that were the mainstay of my Pops’ working life in the bingo industry back in the day.

So Bman dropped us off at Canal Mills in Leeds which smelled a bit like a cow shed TBH.  We got a seat on the end of one of the many crammed-in long tables, because Jade said not to get stuck in the middle of them otherwise we’d have to clamber over everyone to go to the loo or the bar.  We’d paid £8 and this got us a book of 6 games to last the night.

 

 

 

There was a good 2 hours of drinking time before the first game began. Plenty of time for the 200+ Love Island posse to get fully tanked up and start dancing on the benches.  

It was compared by a lively DJ/Caller and ably assisted by glamorous helpers – i.e. 2 young men dressed as a slutty French maid and slutty nurse, who did a lot of dancing, occasionally stripped off inbetween displaying prizes and checking calls.

The prizes, none of which I won, but most of which I coveted, included a life size cardboard cut out of Ross from Friends (won by the boys on the table next to us). Bottles of spirits, cash prizes varying from £40 up to £500! Double ended dildos!! Inflatable Pokemon costumes, giant fluffy unicorns, Henry hoovers, karaoke machines and big boxes of coco pops for people to throw around.

There was much cheering and dancing when anyone won.  False calls greeted with jeering pointing and chants of “you fucking dickhead”.  The young girls next to us had no clue what they were doing and I kept having to explain how they could win.
Certain numbers involved dance interludes, but you had to be lively to get back in the game or you’d miss out on hearing/seeing the numbers come up.  TBH I’m amazed anyone won anything as the night went on and more alcohol was consumed.

Despite fierce concentration on our part, we didn’t win a thing. We needed my brother – he always wins when we play bingo at home with my Pops.  I think he would have enjoyed it actually.  

 

 

 

Not a place for the faint of heart (or liver) or if the prospect of an on stage ‘dance off’ in the event of a tied call fills you with fear.  Be prepared to join in or face sitting there covered in spilled wine and airborne coco pops.  Definitely worth a visit if you can get a ticket and just want to act daft for a couple of hours and may even, if you’re lucky, bag yourself a decent prize.

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It made me feel better anyway and was just what I needed.  Let’s do it again sometime.

Ciao Ciao MoFos XX

Bit of a swingamajig and an apology

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I feel I ought to apologise to the ‘Electric Swing Circus’. They seem like nice people but tonight they dared to “step a little bit closer to the edge”.


My daughter has talked about them for a few years now. I saw them for the first time last year at Boomtown Fair in the absolute pissing rain. Then a couple of times at Shambala Festival and then again this year when the girls wanted me to take them to Swingamajig
festival that they organise and run in Birmingham.  

I recently saw on Instagram that amongst their recent tour dates, they were scheduled to play locally as part of the ‘Bradford festival’ and a free gig to boot.  Not sure how they managed to pull that short straw whilst the equally cool ‘Dutty Moonshine Band’ are a few miles up the road at Beatherder.
Anyway, never one to look a free gift gig horse in the mouth, off we went after I’d got in from work.

 

 

We felt that we should go and support them, as I feared for what sights might greet them in the craphole that is Sadford Town on a Saturday night. Centenary Square on a stage in front of Wetherspoons, where most locals’ idea of music is gangster wannabees in balaclavas, riding gypsy horse carts through streets, singing “I don’t fink so” on Youtube.

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The bands’ instagram feed has showed them in lovely places around Europe with bouncy crowds of smiley happy hipster people.  I feel like they may have looked out over the motley bunch tonight and mistakenly thought that it was a homeless spice tramp convention, or like that scene in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest when they sneak hookers in for a party.

 

A man in a Pink Floyd tee shirt who looked as if he had been drinking all week cheered them on as they warmed up, applauding the sound check and shouting for one more tune.       A small man in a running vest, also the worse for wear for something and reeking of Lynx, sidled up to me at the barrier at the front and tried to rub himself against me.  I booty-bounced him away from me and the Childerbeast and gave him a look that strongly said, “Back the hell away from me and my kids”

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I love that you’re here… but why?

The childerbeast kept their dancing and jumping to a minimum with the self-consciousness of being teenagers who are out locally and might see a teacher or someone from school.  My friend, asked if they were the type of band who did the old selfie with themselves and the crowd at the end of the gig.  I said, “Sometimes, but I suspect, not tonight”  They probably didn’t want to alarm their parents into thinking their musical offspring were playing gigs at a jobseekers festival for the pharmaceutically addicted and criminally insane, on the island of Doctor Moreau.

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Good to see the security fully on top of the old unattended backpack situation at the barrier right infront of the stage aswell. 

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See it. Say it. Sort it.

I was convinced I’d seen a one-armed security person at one point – quite possibly due to a previous unattended bag scenario.

Poor crowd turnout aside – the band played a cracking gig, giving it 110% regardless. Not quite the glamorous speakeasy of Shambala Festival or a gazebo in my back garden (the offer still stands guys).  If they’ve any sense they will be already on site at Beatherder sharing tequila shots with Dutty Moonshine.  I was astounded they did an encore TBH. If it had been me I would have been back in the van quick smart, shouting “Leave the equipment, we’ll get more. Just put your foot down and get the hell out of dodge FFS!”

So well done ESC.  I look forward to no doubt seeing you again at Shambala next month.  I’ll get Rhona to bring her mini pan pipes so she can play along.  That’s providing we’re still alive living round here, where the rules of the road do not apply. We all had to run to cross the road when heading back to the car park. The green man was still lit when some tosser flew down the road through the lights at about 80mph, not even attempting to slow down!

Asshole!

Welcome to Bradford. You may never leave. (Although you really should!)

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Serendipitous times

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Today I couldn’t go for my usual Friday pre-work brew & chat with one of my (remaining) friends. Consequently, I was home when the lovely local Avon lady knocked on with my order so I got to talk to her about her upcoming house move. And it meant I was home to a brief random flying visit from my baby bro and my sister from another mister.  They had a cuppa and dropped off some chocolate giftage.  Because he’d popped by, I couldn’t walk as usual to work, so he dropped me off near the bus stop.  While at the bus stop I met an old friend not seen for months and months, complete with her little babba and birthday boy of an eldest son (an ex pupil of mine).  Wouldn’t have seen her if I’d gone my usual way to work.

Successful evening at work and this old song came on my mp3, Sun is Shining putting a grin on my face, reminding me of a corking night (this one time) in Liverpool with my sister and her Uni pals. When sofas were danced upon and may have fallen over in the process. We shouted at a tramp out of the window. I forget why – something to do with a stolen wallet.

🙂

Then I came home to see a rainbow, with its end firmly planted above my house.

Tonight I had a conversation with Bman about a Latvian family buying a local property and then spent 5 minutes explaining that this didn’t mean a family of tiny toy squirrels in waistcoats or dresses would be moving in round the corner.

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And sometimes the lords and ladies of the universe just let you know that you’re alright.

RAINBOW

Keeping my own company & not needing a black dog for company thanks

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So what’s been occurring? 

I’ve been feeling a bit like a dinosaur this week and a sad solitary one at that. There’s a lot going on in the world that I don’t understand and at this stage, can’t be bothered to learn about.

Why do people talk on their mobiles so loud? and so constantly? Not everyone in the street wants to know your business. Be quiet y’all!
Why is my life ruled by sodding passwords and memorable words?  Don’t have the same password for everything they say? Yet I’m meant to remember 50 different passwords when I can’t remember what day it is most of the time?  Couldn’t read a bloody email yesterday because I had to log in with a username, password and memorable word just to read a flipping text from Scottish Widows.  FFS!

My kids tolerate my ‘mumness’ with love, but often make me feel like a clueless fuck-up because I don’t understand what they’re saying half the time. My husband tolerates my ‘wifeness’ most days, but also sometimes makes me feel like a clueless fuck-up. (Or maybe that’s just me listening to the inner demons).

I’ve realised that the only human beings I have actual face to face conversations with regularly are my children and my husband. Not that there’s anything wrong in that of course.
I do have the occasional conversation with swim parents but mostly the sum total of my weekly conversations are more like instructions, along the lines of;
“Kick” “Blow bubbles through your nose” “push and glide”  “front crawl, let’s go!” – that sort of thing.  Also not complaining about that, because it sure as hell beats the old me of the permanently strained voice and grumpy face and getting cross at unruly children.

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My old teacher face

So, no, I am not missing the school teaching.  Had a nightmare about being back in school the other day. The children were wild and one kept punching me in the nose.  Senior leaders were telling me “It’s fine, just ignore it, there’s no point telling him off” while I was going apoplectic with rage at the injustice of it all.  I woke up in a sweat.

😦

I had a niggling feeling earlier on this week whilst in the midst of sorting swim certificates, medals and timetables (if people could stop changing their mind about bookings or timeslots – that’d be great!) that I was forgetting something important.  I realised that due to the date being so close to the end of term, I was thinking I should be practising leavers assemblies, planning French story assemblies – ‘Le Chennile qui fait de trous’, ‘Les oeufs vert au jambon’ etc. Buying bottles of wine and other miscellaneous thank you gifts and all that sort of thing. But nope, not for me that stress this year.  Just my certificates to award and swim school insurance to renew next month. **and breathe**

🙂

One bonus of abandoning ship and going solo is leaving behind the stresses of having to deal with children who perhaps, shall we say, might have benefited from a little more discipline.  A downside is that I have no work friends. Just me, myself and I.
Unfortunately most of my work friends while I worked in school turned out to be my only  local friends (for local people).  This is what happen when you live and breathe school.  Out of sight out of mind though and not for the first time, I realised this week that I’m not as likeable as I thought.  Always considered myself a bit of an irritating cunt and it turns out I was right. (Possibly because I use words like ‘cunt’)

😀 

Definitely feeling rather surplus to anybody’s requirements this week. Perhaps that could be my epitaph? “Here lies Kit. She was good…But annoying”.

These thoughts brought on by the kind of petulant teenage behaviour I’m always talking to my eldest about – I got the huff for about 2 seconds when I saw pics on FB of some pals all gussied up for a night out. I let it slide, thinking, fair play to them, enjoy! Until the next day when I realised that even more of them had met up and gone out than I first thought. I was now looking like Malificent,  left out of Aurora’s christening.

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So then I felt somewhat ostracised from the group and I tried to brush it off because I’m a 47 years old and not a 15 year old girl, but I won’t lie, it still stung.  Particularly as this wasn’t the first time this had happened.  Felt marginally better when I found out that I wasn’t the only one who didn’t have the requisite requirements to warrant an invite Still a bit miffed TBH.

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Meanwhile, I had a CT scan* this week too. That was fun. If your idea of fun consists of wearing hospital gowns, getting dye fed into your veins through a cannula which leaves a bad taste in your mouth and makes you feel as though you’re weeing, all whilst lying inside a noisy Stargate type machine while a bunch of nurses loom over you, asking if you could manage to keep your heart rate down a bit please.

*routine test booked by GP family dudes.  Don’t start planning my wake just yet (nobody would turn up anyway I expect)

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Just checking if anyone likes you – it’s a negatory I’m afraid 

Welcome to the new age (to the new age)

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Whilst the Bman and I were regaling the offspring with tales of our youth yesterday, the question came up of “What ever happened to New Age Travellers?”.  I was trying to explain to the kids that back in the early 1990’s there was nothing more feared by the government and your average Daily Mail reader than the scourge of the New Age Traveller.  Not to be confused with what they would think of as a traveller today – Perma-tanned, fancy caravan dwelling, possibly of Irish or Roma descent and all in favour of the big wedding at a young age.  I’m talking more thrifty garmented, ambulance dwelling, vegetarian crusty juggler types.

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This type of traveller

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Not this type of traveller – although there were some of these at the festival in 92

 

Did the New Age become the Now Age and these people have integrated seamlessly into society, living among us, hiding in plain sight like the Autobots?  Giving up their old school buses for basement flats in London. Or are they all living in a commune somewhere up the top of Mount Snowdon? Or did they get bored, get haircuts & slink back home to mum and dad? Their previous personas only showing by their love of quinoa, tofu, hairy jumpers and a nose piercing?

Anyway, due to being a smartly dressed office worker at M&S Financial Services by day and raver by night, I ended up attending such a gathering of travellers once.  Not the legendary Castlemorton gathering of May 1992 that went on for days and instigated the passing of the Criminal Justice Act  but one a few months later.  All arranged before social media mind, or many people had a mobile phone.  A friend of ours had a ‘rabbit’ phone (remember them??)  You could only ring people if you were in a ‘rabbit’ zone (which were scarce to say the least).  Pretty useless TBH.
Anyway, I’ve no idea how we knew it was happening. But I went with my then bf and, I won’t flower it up for you folks, It was fecking dreadful from go to woe!  Needless to say I had an epiphany whilst squatting in a beck to have a pee as dawn broke over the Welsh hills and thought “What the actual Christ am I doing here?”  To this day I believe that Jarvis Cocker must have been at the same event to have come up with that line in ‘Sorted’ when he says “
You want to call your mother and say Mother, I can never come home again”.
I will say this kids.  Probably best not to accidentally swallow 3 purple oms if  you get pulled over by the dibble and then sit in an old Ford escort, hotboxing skunk with a bunch of bucket-hatted scallies and a Penfold lookalike woman who deliberately tries (and succeeds) to wreck your head with stories about worms inside bananas.   That shit is NOT your friend!

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Just say No kids

Mercifully I have no photo evidence that this shit ever happened and I can find very little about it online other than these few links and a couple of news pictures on Google and these old news articles …This one time back in 1992 

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Courtesy of Google images


I do have pictures of us at the Northern Green Gathering circa 2008, which was possibly the last time I was in the company of so many ‘Crusties’ as we used to call them back in the days when you were allowed to use affectionately insulting nicknames.
We were welcomed into the fold of a family of said Crusties and offered campfire stew and homebrewed cider.  We reciprocated by sharing a bag of pineapple chunk sweets with their children, who made us promise they were animal product free. Then they hid them in their pockets in case their mum saw and furtively glanced around every few minutes to check if they were being watched, before taking the sweet out, licking it and hiding it back in their pockets. Meanwhile I thought I might get beaten over the head with fire poi by an irate militant vegan with dreadlocks down to her knees, berating me for poisoning her children with sugar.

Good times.

When my babies were babies and enjoyed cwtching up with their mama in the tent to keep warm.

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Nice Flumps hat there Bear

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One of my all time fave pics of Allie

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Aww Noddy Wellies & tiger coat combo

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Bit of free dance around the standing stones

So here’s to the New Age Traveller, wherever they are now. I shall always vaguely remember that never-ending weekend in July 92 when Spiral Tribe failed to appear as promised, chickens and goats ran amok. Gypsy children jumped on our car bonnet refusing to stop until we gave them cash or food (I threw a packet of KitKats at them out the window and shouted at them to Fuck Off) and I left an important part of my brain somewhere in a field in Powys.

Nice One, Top One. Get Sorted. Xx

 

That was the week….

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What’s been occurring people?

I had an appointment this week for an echogram scan thingumy on the old ticker.  No need for alarm parent dudes – just an MOT.   This is what I do for a hobby now that I work part time – go for random medicals tests I’d never get chance to do if I was still working at school, because a granted Leave of Absence form only appeared every hundred years (like Brigadoon).

Of course, only I could be having a scan thing to check my heart rate when the frigging fire alarm goes off at St Lukes!  “Should I be worried about that alarm?” I asked, as I lay there covered in wires and stickers on my bare chest.  “No no, it’s fine says the nurse, we only need to worry if it changes pitch”.  I try to ignore the very loud alarm and keep a calm steady heart rate.  The alarm doesn’t stop so nurse says she’ll pop outside to check.  She draws the curtain around me and leaves me there as I listen to the shouts of people in the corridor yelling “Everybody out!”
If this was a horror movie I would have eventually unpeeled my stickers and unplugged myself from the machine and wandered outside to find everyone had been taken up by the rapture, beamed up by aliens or reduced to a zombified state.  I expected nursey to crash back into the room and eat my face off any second. 

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When she did return I held my breath to see if she began to snarl but no, all was well and she continued with the examination asking if I was ok?  “Sure, cool as a cucumber” I replied with a whiff of sarcasm.
She dutifully carried on and finished the exam before allowing me to go.  Alarm still blaring, through the now empty corridors and out into the carpark, where I was greeted by about a hundred staff and patients all looking at me like I was a hostage being released from a siege.  (Before, you wonder – I had got dressed and wasn’t striding outside with hospital gown flaring open and bosom akimbo!)

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FFS!

Later in the week after a couple of days of horrendous rain and unseasonable cold it was eldest offspring’s Prom!  Even with fancy pants nails and hair (thank you Shona Louise Bradley at Natural Beauty and Gemma at Lil Gemz) we got off lightly expense wise.  No ludicrously expensive dress, fake tans, limos or house destroying after-party.
She looked just lovely in her mini dress and silver doc martens even though I am biased of course.  

I’m just glad it went well and she enjoyed herself and it is now over!  Now I can stop my mind running off course and imagining all sorts of horrors happening.  Terrorists deciding to strike a blow for their religion of choice by taking it out on a room full of 16-year-olds. Or disgruntled students plotting some ghastly revenge. Buckets of pigs blood. Telekinetic meltdowns, that sort of thing…

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No prom queen crown but I think this award is probably better …

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She’s meant to be going on some citizenship scheme thing on Sunday which we booked back in November for £20.  Essentially they all go off to Jonestown or Waco or similar with Jimmy Savile and Gary Glitter to learn how to plant vegetables, cook, paddle canoes, get washed downstream whilst being led by YTS volunteers and paedophiles, while we have paid for the privilege. 

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All welcome…

This was meant to be some last hurrah for them all after their exams had finished and they parted to attend different Sixth Forms.  Naturally, being 16-year-old girls, their ideas have changed and some of them aren’t even speaking to each other. So she’s changed her mind and isn’t going.

I’m kind of glad TBH.  Then I don’t have to wonder if she’s being molested in her sleep in a hostel somewhere in Shrewsbury, or that the last we see of her is when she boards a bus before being shipped off to an eastern European sex slave cartel.

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Kool-Aid anyone?

Meanwhile, the weather has changed and it’s been a scorcher.  Don’t be a dick – slap on some sunscreen and drink some water!

Ciao Ciao XX