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So long and thanks for all the…

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The last night of the year and indeed the decade!

So what’s gone on?  Let’s briefly recap 2019.

Visits to Brighton, Windsor (to genuinely meet the Queen), also my old stomping ground of Bishop’s Stortford reconnecting with old friends.
Tenerife and of course Shambala Festival. Ghost hunts and being invited to join my favourite paranormal team next year.  A new niece born in November and a nephew currently under construction over on the dark side of the Pennines. My business is still running and doing ok.  Yes, it’s wank that Bman got the shaft from Northern and is still out of work but it could be worse. Nobody’s ill and nobody died.

Good things will come. I have to believe that or I’ll go insane. Bman will get some work. He has to, or I think he’ll go insane.

So let us forget that the Universal Credit system both sucks and blows. That to apply for a job online you now have to complete a personality test that assigns you an animal before you get anywhere near an application – one which you only have 60 seconds to complete. Let us forget that we’re rounder, creakier, furrier of the arteries and more depleted in cognitive ability. Forget that a satsuma in a wig has his finger on the big red button in the US of A.  And our government is more chaotic than a chimp’s tea party with LSD in the tea. And let us focus on marriages and births. Changes in careers. Academic successes and the joy of being alive despite all the odds.
Hurrah for Shutterfly. Absorb my favourite snapshots of the last 10 years of weddings, holidays, festivals and family gatherings.  Or don’t. It’s up to you.  Whatevs.

May your 2020 right through to 2030 be blessed and full of laughter, food in your bellies and money in your pocket, the return of the Scoop Shop on the High Street and maybe, just maybe, the invention of the flying car or those hoverboards that were in ‘Back to the Future Part 2′. Who knows, Brexit may even have happened by then.






When we holidayed in a haunted chateau in the South of France


My lovely mama



Probably my favourite photo ever


Bye Bye Degus


Bye bye Gollum







Was meant to be hosting a NYE moot tonight. A soiree if you will. But plans change. So now I’m writing this while watching Corrie and dropping cheesecake down my poncho.  ‘Village of The Damned‘ is on shortly on Horror Channel – that’ll do for me.

Party on Dudes and see you in the next life Xx




Tickling joysticks in the dark with my mate

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It’s been a while, but last night my ghostbusting sidekick and I went on another investigation.  This time to an air museum and ex RAF base. We like the group we went with, but I shan’t name them.  Needless to say, they are much more scrupulous than the outfit of southern cunty hunters I experienced in Brighton. 

So, we’re in the welcome area and I’m looking around in hopeful anticipation of Kay Nambiar or Zak Bagan showing up to join us, because who wouldn’t like to be locked down in a tight cockpit area with these two?… but alas, not this time.



Why thank you. I believe I will

I think we were possibly two of the youngest there, again. certainly in maturity anyway.  Because I am a childish, immature horrible person with a twisted sense of humour, who gets the giggles at the most inopportune of times. Imagine the scene when who did arrive, but a seriously disabled man in a wheelchair.  Wrapped in a blanket and being rammed through the doorway by his carer and almost getting stuck in the door frame.  They had to use the other door (the outer door) which was wider, but meant the team had to move all the tables full of kit etc in order to wheel him in.  The two new arrivals then join the circle to take part in the requisite love and light protection bit, calling out to the spirits and asking them to light up the K2 etc.  “Can you make a noise for us please?” someone calls out. At which point our friend in the chair lets out some involuntary moans and groans. My mate grips my hand in the dark and I am eternally grateful that the lights are off so nobody can see us trying desperately not to laugh.  I’m not sure I can cope at this point.
People continue to call out, inviting spirits to join us.  Some of the K2s start to light up and our friend in the chair now lets out all sorts of guttural snorting sounds and I realise after almost choking whilst trying to bite my tongue, that he is laughing.  I immediately think he is fabulous and clearly a piss-taking cunt like myself.


I want to make it clear that I do think there are such things as ghosts and shadow people. I’ve seen them and heard them.  (And it hasn’t always been in my head, before you say it).  But I do think there is some kind of scientific explanation that, as shallow humans who only use a tiny percentage of our brains, we haven’t worked out yet.  I’m trying to obtain some kind of proof or explanation.  I don’t go to these things to take the piss.  I enjoy these visits, I find them fascinating, from a psychological and people-watching point of view and, if nothing else, it’s an excuse to rake about in the dark in places you wouldn’t usually be allowed in at that time of night.  I’m sure I have probably said so before.  Between us, we’ve probably debunked more odd happenings than anything else, but that’s because we’re scientists. I’ve got a Biology GCSE, a Psychology A-level and an internet obtained diploma in Demonolgy,  so it must be true.

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It didn’t take us long to find a room with dressing up clothes and some of those standees you can stick your face into like on a seaside pier.  It was time to let the seriousness of the investigation begin…




I like this one I photobombed and look like a minion.



My favourite part of the night was when we got to the main hangar before the rest of our team for the last part of the night and took the opportunity to pretend we were WW2 fighter pilots and fondle a joystick to see if we could pick up some psychometric vibrations – because who wouldn’t right?


My partner in crime thought it would be great to see how long we could hide, secreted aloft in our cosy cockpit perch before the rest of the team noticed we were missing.  I was more preoccupied with the pareidolia in the joysticks that made them look like cute little froggies or characters from Star Wars.  Also couldn’t resist this one because mentally I’m about 14.



I caved after about 10 minutes and announced our position from 5ft above the heads of our team when one of them went off to look for us.  The poor lad had already had a hard time earlier on when it had all gone a bit “Hello Cleveland” from ‘Spinal Tap, when he had tramped round and round the other hangar, looking for a light switch so we could do our vigil in the dark.

Luckily the Team Leader seems to like us, so after a sigh and “Oh it’s you two” whilst shining a torch at us, we were allowed to remain in our cockpit.  It was weird sitting up high and watching the others do their human pendulums and ouija boards.  Somebody’s grandad supposedly came through (or possibly the Big Lebowski, because he was apparently drinking white Russians in the afterlife). I’m not sure why grandad couldn’t have contacted them in their own home rather than trekking all the way to an aircraft hangar in South Yorkshire, but what do I know?  I was pretty knackered by this time.  Linda nodded off for a few moments at one point.  I thought I saw a few shadows in the darkness but we decided it could just have been our friend in the wheelchair doing an Andy from ‘Little Britain’ after getting bored being laid in his wheelchair staring into space. – “How did you get up there in that cockpit?” / “I fell!”  Or possibly it was just my failing eyesight.



No headless airmen or creepy children in gasmasks asking for their mummy (Doctor Who fans). Just a few shadows, bleeping tech (some of it debunked), the odd clunking noise and a sigh in the ear (possibly an actual spirit voicing despair at the pair of us) but otherwise nothing definitive.
Better than the ‘walking’ tables and profanity-laden ouija board we got in the police cells at Brighton though. Would rather have nothing but have good laugh than a lot of chicanery and faking.

Can only apologise to anyone who was using the sound enhancing headphones and could hear me and Linda whispering utter shite to one another in the cockpit of an old  Percival Provost.  Particularly the part where Linda (I forget why) started pretending to be Wacko Jacko and saying “Course I fucked those little boys, what did you all think? ” etc etc

Don’t ask! 

I’ve still to listen back to my EVP recordings (I need to listen to them from Brighton too actually) but I suspect it will be the usual 1 hour of dead air spattered with Muttleyesque sniggering and random whispered quotes from ‘The League of Gentlemen’, ‘Little Britain’ or ‘Fonejacker’.  I’m amazed they let us back.



Clearly, I’m probably going to hell for appearing to mock the deceased and the disabled.  But I think we know that my place downstairs was reserved a long time ago – early bird ticket style.  I’m not mocking. It just made for an even more amusing evening that I needed to write about even though I appreciate that you kind of had to be there.


It’s not the children you should be worrying about – it’s the parents

Catching up. Growing old.

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Just had a weekend in the countryside with old pals, which was most pleasant.  Fresh air, good laughs, horses, dogs.  Good times. 

My friend has marks on her kitchen doorframe of the heights of the children and some of the grown-ups throughout the years.  It is confirmed.  I am shrinking. Check out the difference since last year! And no. I did not have shoes on last year and bare feet this time around.  Not sure what happened inbetween.  What’s that thing about being taller in the morning than the evening?  Maybe it was something to do with that.




Today is my youngest childerbeast’s birthday.  I’m not sure she was on board with me busting out the Teletubbies birthday banner I’ve had since eldest child’s first birthday.  Like a true Yorkshire woman, I do like to get my monies worth.



She is currently downstairs with her new nose piercing, playing Cards against Muggles with her pals.  A far cry from my 14th back in 1980-something.  I invited ‘boys’ round with expectations of what? I have no idea. They brought a couple of shit videos and my friends & I got ourselves Shirlied-up like dogs dinners. Pink eye shadow times.


Die Antwoord cake.  Zef!

I am upstairs feeling old and decrepit, out of touch and preparing to feel even more so once ‘The Brits’ starts in half an hour and I can torture myself by watching it and not have a bull’s clue who anyone is.  Very much feeling surplus to requirements at the moment. In more ways than one.

Going to London tomorrow to see ‘Magic Mike Live’ where I can also feel like a has-been. Safe in the knowledge that there is a 99% chance that I will not be selected for audience participation.  * Do NOT even think about it!*
This was arranged months ago and am now wondering what on earth I was thinking.  Am sure it will be fine…

Onward from there to Brighton and I’m hoping that some southern sea air and setting the world to rights with an even older friend will take the edge off before I tip over the edge.  Not sure why we’re going all the way there.  Other supposed pal, a resident of the gay capital of the UK is being, is quite frankly, a dick and we’re highly probably not even going to meet up.

Just another friend who has decided I am no longer worthy of bothering with.

Nobody likes me.

Everybody hates me.

I think I’ll go eat some worms.


(Have already switched ‘The Brits’ off.  Watching ‘The Goldbergs’ instead).

Ciao Ciao Xx



New Year & the Queen is (not yet) dead

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So we’re a day into 2017 and it seems to be much the same old, same old. Multiple fatalities in shoot-ups and fires abroad. A 12-year-old killed on NYE in a hit & run in Oldham. (Shame on you driver. Turn yourself in and face your responsibilities).  Was fairly quiet round here.  I fell asleep watching a movie in bed with eldest child while Bman (who’d got a flyer from work so was home early) did his DJ bit downstairs.  I woke up after an hour and we all saw in the stroke of midnight together on the couch.   The TV offering was, as per, utter shite.  Robbie Williams and an indecent amount of money spent on fireworks, which could have been spent on the homeless. Or Jools Holland & whoever was still left alive to appear on the show  (I bet he had about 3 back-up lists).

I didn’t stay up much later than that.

I think, this year, I might put 50p in a jar every time I hear Bman talk (or sing) about having a shit! I reckon I could have enough for a holiday by March.  This morning’s rendition was something about “Though I walk through the valley of death, I shall shit no evil”. 

I bet you do though love.

Hell if I saved 50p everytime he took a shit aswell, I could retire by June.  The man needs specialist medical help or an industrial strength colonic or something.

Nurse!  The screens and a large wheelie bin please!


Weighed myself this morning to see how much timber I’ve put on since we broke up. Only 1kg! So am all good to shovel a few more Quality Street today while we watch a family movie together – namely ‘Suicide Squad’. (Gone are the days of the likes of ‘Elmo saves Christmas’ or ‘Ice Age’).


 *Festive family viewing


Have managed to arrange half a Crap Posse visit in February up to Farndale (with emergency liver transplant required for the next week no doubt).  

 Trying to sort Brighton but may need to just invite self, as cunty friend is unsociable and reclusive (or possibly is just avoiding me because I am annoying).
  Also n
eed a Scarborough visit too.  Sea air and appeasing the MiL & all that, although am sure that a fortnight with her in Florida in April should top up her piggy bank of grandchild time for the entire year!  

Have floated suggestion to Bman of implementing some kind of Date Night. He looked alarmed & lacking in enthusiasm but I’m working on it.  Am also working on tuning out the white noise of negativity & criticism this year. “La La La **fingers in ears** I cannot hear you. Your words will not dull my sparkle in 2017″.



Got an appointment with dermatologist soon to have some moles checked out. Sure it will be fine but heads up that if it turns out to be terminal, shit’s gonna get real in 2017 because I won’t go quietly. I may take some of you down with me.  I’ll keep you informed y’all.

Ciao Tutti! Xx

*I quite enjoyed it actually

High 5 yourself if you’re still alive after 2016

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So it’s the final day of the year 2016 and time for my annual review.


Essentially, in the words often used in our house, when we were kids, when providing a synopsis of a film plot – “Everybody died”.  The day is still young so there is still time for Death to pull more names from his hat of finality.  This year has seen him taking rather too many for my liking.  For now though at least, I am still here and so are my nearest and dearest, which is what matters.

Despite the celebrity death toll, 2016 hasn’t been completely unfortunate for me.  I  have survived a cull of a different kind at work (for now at least), which saw other friends sadly fall by the wayside. My role has changed. It’s busier and often more stressful but do you know what? I still have a job and in these harsh times, I am grateful for that.

We have a new Prime Minister. Brexit happened – sort of – not yet – who knows when that shit will get sorted out!  There’s a new & controversial President of the USA. We lost British Homes Stores and it looks as though we lost Bea Smith on Wentworth too.


Socially I have reconnected with old friends not seen for many years, and that has been a highlight for me and reassuring to know that after all these years, they are still cheeky, lovable cunts. I may not have a massive circle of friends and I may not go out all that often, but I love the friends I do have.  I have even been asked to perform 2 marriage ceremonies for 2 different friends in 2017!


I have spent quality time with my girlies. My youngest is now in High School.  We’ve done a festival with my sibs.  I finally visited Brighton after threatening it for years. Had a great family holiday to Tenerife.  I have a new niece in Liverpool.  Bman and I have managed another year of not killing one another. We have a new kitchen (and another cat to shit in it). 

What’s next for 2017?  

     Investigating a haunted house next week.  Hooking up with old friends again in Bishop’s Stortford in March. A family holiday to Florida in April. A mum & girlies week in Tenerife at the end of July.  A return to Shambala festival in August and two weddings to officiate.  Also hoping to do Brighton Pt2 – The Return of the killer hangover, and get to see the lovely ‘Crap Possee Official’ at some stage, because it’s been far too long.  Looking forward to a Cards Against Humanity rematch including Bman, my brother & his girlfriend.  If only to see if we can possibly top my bro-in-law whispering the words, “erm, it’s dick cheese Paul” to my dad.


What could go wrong?

So, to summarize, in traditional picture form:-





Essentially how I have felt all year!


Baby Alan Lickman




Big fat Alan Lickman – in festive attire



Remember to trust your cunt in 2017!



Stay alive y’all. Be happy. Don’t take any shit. Brush your teeth. Try not to be too much of an asshole and remember that a little bit of what you fancy does you good.


I went on holiday and it wasn’t a mistake (WARNING this post contains the C-bomb)

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Song Lyric of the Day:  “Feeling all of forty-five going on fifteen” – W.O.L.D. Harry Chapin

Movie Quote of the Day:  “How about a greasy pork sandwich served in a dirty ashtray?” – Weird Science

On Wednesday I set off for my much anticipated 48 hour child-free jolly. Shirking parental responsibilities to the charge of the Bman for 2 days. Cash in my pocket and ready to drink to excess, get tattooed and skinny dip off the end of the pier in Brighton. Possibly running away with a lesbian,  as long as she looked like the Mother of Dragons from Game of Thrones or Shirley Manson from Garbage circa 1996.

I can’t tell you how ridiculously thrilled I was to be on the train with my MP3 on full blast of mishmashed eclectic musical taste; with a Greggs tuna crunch baguette, a cappuccino & a bag of mini ring doughnuts. (Usually I spend my money on the kids’ food and don’t get myself anything when we do a train journey).

It was actually quite tragic how happy this made me.  So sad that I made a mental note to add Beck’s ‘Loser’ to my next playlist.

Finally got into London after 3 hours on a train that rarely seemed to travel faster than walking pace until we’d gone past Doncaster.
I negotiated the tube to Victoria like a native (have Oyster/will travel) and was on a train to Brighton by 2:30pm. 

I was very excited.  I’ve never been to Brighton and I was meeting one of my oldest, bestest friends for a big old catch-up/therapy session.  Got there for 3:30pm and after a brief flirt around the town I found my hotel, opposite the pier.


Time for a shit, shave and a shower before meeting my good friend, who will remain nameless for the purposes of this blog for legal reasons, even though they have allowed me to refer to them as ‘Cunt’ – but I won’t, even though it is a great word. (By legal reasons, I mean not getting busted that they blobbed off work for the next 2 days because they can’t handle a few beers).



Anyway, off we went, ready to set the world to rights, starting with our own lives, our pasts, our regrets, (never regret the things you did, just the things you didn’t!) Guilts (too many in some cases – you need to let that shit go man!)

I do regret forgetting to take any pictures of the evening.  No comedy selfies or glamorous poses to post all over social media.  I’m pretty sure though that if I had, this is what we looked like:-


Or possibly more like this:-


We started with a drink at The Mesmerist then went for eats at Bella Pasta where I ordered a Mojito, but was told they could only do it without mint, as they’d run out.  Not a fucking Mojito then is it pal? So I settled for a Bellini instead.
Bellies fully lined we went to the Mash Tun then down the sea front to the Fortune of War where it was seemingly karaoke singalong with the band times, while we continued to set the world to rights one vodka and orange / beer at a time.  At this point I did take some pictures, but not of us looking philosophical,  mature, wise and fabulous
. Instead I took pictures of profound graffiti spotted on the back of the toilet door on one of my many trips for a wee.






I misread this one as ‘Trust your cunt’.  Either way, it’s good advice.


We then moved on to the gayer side of town and ended up in a place next to a shop selling PVC chaps and peephole basques. It was called The Bulldog and I was promised it was open 24hrs.  (What could go wrong?)  It wasn’t actually as scary as I imagined, although I was slightly distracted from conversation with my drinking partner by the lady infront of me on a bar stool doing a wordsearch with a loaf of cut-price bread infront of her (reduced to 10p!). Had she popped out Micky Flanagan style for bread and milk and ended up going “Out Out”?  I needed to know, but was afraid to ask.

It soon became apparent that the bar was closing and not 24 hours at all, so a new plan of attack had to be formed.  With help from our old friend Google and guided by our new friend – an old gay man in a bucket hat, clutching a plastic bag and sporting fresh hospital identity tags, we headed to the sea front to Legends.  After furnishing our guide with a Malibu & Coke for his troubles we settled in for further drinking and lively conversation. Topics included, lesbianism, marriage guidance, matchmaking and my suggesting that this probably wasn’t the best place to say several times out loud that life would be easier if you were gay.  It was like a beacon attracting the local homosexual community to your heterosexual drunken flame.

Our new friend it seemed had been hospitalized the day before after having suffered a stroke. He’d discharged himself, hence still sporting the tags. The plastic bag had a Tupperware box of homemade chocolate cookies within.  A gift from some students on the bus apparently.  I asked if they were special cookies for grown-ups but he said no, so I didn’t have one.  He also introduced us to another local elderly gay man whom he thought I might like to talk to as he was also from Yorkshire.  If he had been able to string a coherent sentence together we may’ve got on. But I guess I will now never know.  I hope I am as bonkers as those two when I am 60 years old!

Before we knew it, it was 3am so we decided to call it a night. I headed back to my hotel, where I was let it by the Night Manager who was more Charles Hawtrey than Tom Hiddleston, more’s the pity.

I awoke several hours later but not later enough for my taste, thanks to the room next door’s phone alarm going off at 5am and the housekeeping chick vacuuming the landing at 9:30am.


I loafed about in bed watching Homes under the Hammer and chuckling at their use of one of my favourite ever Pulp tracks –  Sheffield Sex City (but careful of course not to include the lyrics). 

I coaxed my drinking buddy out of their pit by text and made them come out and meet me again so we could go for lunch.  For a change and goodness knows how – presumably due to the OJ in my vodka – I was considerably less fucked up than them.  My fragile pal seemed barely on the edge of functioning.  Neither chips, sea air,  hair of the dog, coffee refills nor the sight of a naked man stood on the beach staring pensively out to sea, seemed to help.  So we gave up and resorted to the only known remedy – going back home to sleep.

Nana naps rule y’all!  Except when you are rudely awoken by the dulcet sound of the occupants of next door and the occupants of the room above enjoying some teatime delights – and I’m not talking tea and scones here.
I wasn’t sure whether to be disgusted or envious.  Fortunately for me (but perhaps not for those involved, it was over very quickly).

Ding Ding. Round 2 drinks later that evening was a decidedly less lively affair, less gay, but still enjoyable. I think I broke my friend. Sorry about that you soft southern cunt.


Love you really dude.


So, no further tattoos and it was a bit too parky to skinny dip and no lesbian fling – although I’m told there was some interest in my direction from a pair of sturdy gals at the bar in Legends.

Maybe next time. And there will be a next time. You can count on that.

If the break taught me one thing (& it taught me a few) it’s that I don’t get out enough. I don’t have enough fun. And I am fucking fun. I am fucking fabulous and if you don’t appreciate me then fuck you!   And, like the ladies frequenting the loo at the Fortune of War have kindly pointed out – you need to live the life you love, you need to learn to use your amazing power, and more importantly you need to trust your cunt gut.

Ciao bella MoFos Xx