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Famalam times in the sun

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A most pleasant weekend to be had this Bastille Day/France winning the World Cup weekend.

Vive la France.

Watched the best performance of Romeo and Juliet I’ve ever seen at an amazing ‘pop up’ theatre.  Just fabulous.  Well done Rose Theatre York!

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No “I bite my thumb” Tee shirts. But they did have ones that said “Puck You!”

Such a hot day in York that I was forced to buy a floppy Stepford Wives hat. I may wear it to work every day for my last 8 days.  We also accidentally sort of joined an anti-Trump protest rally, which was nice…we were only trying to cross the street to find Primark.


I’m a very lucky girl… I’m a very lucky girl

Today it was the annual Anson family summer shizzle at my folks’.  Bman won the star prize on the bingo of a bottle of lemon drizzle Sipsmith’s gin. I won a terrifying jiggly ball thing that bounces about and giggles.  I thought the cats might like it…  They don’t!

I was second to last in the sack race because I was given a child-size sack due to being a dwarf these days. I beat my brother and Bman in the inflatable pugilist sticks contest but lost in the final against my eldest Childerbeast.  I gained Brownie points from my neicelings for getting way too involved in the paddling pool Total Wipeout shenanegins – to the point of having to come home in a pair of my mum’s shiny pyjamas with my piss-wet-through clothes in a Tesco bag!



Good family times!  And that’s what matters most.


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Pappy & Ashley’s turn







Just a typical Saturday

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So I overslept this morning and woke up to the sound of a chupacabra crawling about in the wall cavity above the front door.

It may have been a bird. Or a mouse, or a rat.  Either way, my daughter heard it too so I know it wasn’t me going nuts (again).  It’s gone quiet since so it’s either escaped, died, or is lying in wait to peck or claw its way out in the early hours and suck our blood.

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Meanwhile I’ve been into Sadford two days running and now feel like I need therapy. And by therapy, I mean beer.


You’ll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy than …. Bradford


The bus journey there on my Mum mission to exchange the too small short shorts was very much full of people like this.


Ashtray’s a girl’s name

I hoped I didn’t blend in.

I also prayed none of them were going to buy short shorts.

Primarda was like a scene from Dante’s Inferno. Clammy, hot, swarming with lost souls, eyes aglaze as they bustled through the racks of tat on their individual quests for sweatshop made, hotwash intolerant garments of ill-advised fashion.


Abandon hope all ye who enter here (especially on a Saturday)

I then went to the pool to observe some lessons to gain some teaching tips. This would have been a very helpful exercise had I gone on the right day.  It was meant to be next weekend FFS!  What a dingus. My mentor wasn’t even there – she’s in London.


So then I set off for home and had to run for the bus. Not a pretty sight for anyone witness to such a thing. Even more so when it wasn’t even my bastarding bus. 


In my head I looked like this.


The reality was probably closer to this.


Particularly whilst wearing an oversized men’s ‘Wyld Stallyns’ * vest with one boob peeping out of the sleeve. (I was at least wearing a bra).

So I’ll leave you with that image.,,

You’re welcome!



*Bill & Ted fans – next Saturday is ‘Speak like Bill & Ted Day’.  Sixty-Nine Dudes!


Happy Half Term

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Had a bit of  a soiree last Saturday with some work pals, past and present. 

This included a gazebo, a lit chiminea, all the spare chairs, an ice bucket full of grog and everyone interpreting the answer to the question “What snacks should I bring” as crisps… Fuck loads of crisps. More crisps in fact, than soft Mick’s crisp factory full of crisps.

I perhaps should have been more specific.

Next time I shall say Quorn cocktail sausages. They’re are my new favourite but you don’t get nearly enough in a pack.

Good times!  It also seems that you don’t need to be able to understand the rules or the concept of Cards Against Humanity, or even be able to read the cards out properly – and you can still win!


A most successful evening with the gazebo intact in the morning and no chiminea injuries. Bonus!
The kids have been eating crisps ever since – which may explain why I’m having to go back to Primark tomorrow to exchange the shorts we bought today for a larger size. Or possibly because they were made by underpaid, overworked juveniles in a sweatshop in Indonesia. (Maybe a bit of both).

Meanwhile, my back garden bush has been most active with bees this week.  Check it out!




Who’s that knocking on your door?

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Our quest to check out the world of alternative worship continued earlier this week.

A midweek visit to the a local Spiritual Church.  What could go wrong?  Well… funny story.

My friend had been to these services before so warned me what to expect.  I was fully primed to hear a lot of vagueness along the lines of, “Does anyone here know someone called John?” or “Today is a good day to buy a green headscarf” – that type of thing.  But we had to get there first.

Saltaire spiritual church.  Off we went. Parked up. Crossed the road (looking both ways of course). Door ajar and in we went.  Mister on the very clinical looking Reception was on the phone. I was impressed at how smart it all looked in there.  However it was not to be. Mister told us the Spiritual Church hadn’t been at that address for about 2 years! No wonder it looked like a clinic. It probably was a clinic. There is a vasectomy clinic in Saltaire as it goes. I think that might have been it!


Bit of googling later and we found an alternative venue a few miles away, so off we went, hoping for the best.  The signs were all good, particularly when we passed this inspirational bush en route.


 We had time to kill, even after turning around to drive back past the Jesus bush so we could take this picture, so we had a toddle round Aldi and bought some chocolate.

My friend can’t eat nuts in the house due to her daughter’s allergy, so we sat in the car shovelling Whole Nut chocolate and staking out the Spiritual ‘church’ –  AKA a small cottage in the middle of Royston Vasey until it was time to go in.  We pretended to be Cagney & Lacey and then became convinced we were being watched while we were watching, (now they know that we know, that they know that we know). Like something from the Truman Show.  

They’re heeeeere!

We had a plan to try trip up the Mediums by sowing the seed of misinformation before the ‘open circle’ of messages from the beyond began, just to see if this affected any messages we may or may not receive.


Meanwhile we were distracted by a van delivering props to the local Stage School. All kinds of backdrops and baskets of mysterious items.  I have to say they were lucky nothing went AWOL as they kept leaving the back of the van open as they trooped various props and whatnot across the road in front of us. I had my eye on a large backdrop of a stained glass window but I didn’t think it would fit in the car discreetly.

The time came for when this ‘open circle’ was meant to begin, so off we popped across the road to the house we’d been staking out. It all looked a little quiet but my friend rattled the door handle while I peered in through the window saying “It just looks like someone’s house”.  “It’s locked” says my friend. “Do you think it’s actually on tonight?”  It was at this point that we realised that it looked like someone’s house because it WAS someone’s house. So off we scuttled, laughing away down the road like the oldest players of Knockadoor Run ever, before the poor owner answered the door – disturbed from watching Corrie!


We then decided to go into the local pub to see if they could help us.  That was a tumbleweed moment in itself.  Strangers in town and all that. We asked the whereabouts of the local Spiritual Church.  The barmaid referred us to Tony in the corner, who might know.  He did indeed and pointed us in the right direction, as his cohorts eyed us with a mixture of mistrust and derision. We didn’t help ourselves when we were in such a hurry to leave that we both got stuck in the doorframe together – bouncing off one another in our haste to escape.

Can I get another FFS please?

So we found the right place. We’d been parked on the wrong street. So now we were late.  Too late to put our plan into action because the show had already started.  We crept upstairs, hunched over trying to slink in unnoticed, Bit tricky as the stairs led right to the front of the open circle, right in front of this veranda thing where the Mediums were all seated as they waited their turn to ask out for anyone who might know a John.

Poker faces on, we took a seat and pretended like we’d been there the whole time.

Then it all went a bit Shirley Ghostman then when the youngest looking Medium sought out a lady on the front row and told her that her son was a growing lad and needed his own private time. He should therefore be left alone in his room to crack on with whatever it was he was doing in there that teenage boys liked to do so much.

(me whispering:) “Did she just tell that woman her dead mother watches her teenage son wanking?”

She then moved on to another lady who she said had recently had an operation. The lady agreed. Yes she had.  “You keep looking at them in the mirror  don’t you love?”  “Well let me tell you that they’re not as bad to look at as you think” (as she made cupping gestures towards her own chest).
I maintained a straight face as I felt like I was on that episode of Phoenix Nights with Clinton Baptiste.



Marjory?  Mary?  Miriam?  Mavis?  Maureen?


I’m not convinced that I was convinced by any of the vague messages from the eternal other side.  They were all a little vague for me. Even though some of them seemed to make sense to the recipients. Something about cats and walking though leaves.  The usual guff about a missing watch or a move.  A less than impressive “I’m getting told that your mother has recently passed?” to a woman with a tattoo reading MUM RIP 2016 on her shoulder.  Well done Derek Acorah – I could’ve told you that!

Despite sending out all the right vibes, I was not lucky enough to receive a vague message about a cat or a rabbit or that my cousin’s uncle’s mum’s budgie was now in a better place.

Maybe next time.  It was very entertaining so I’d definitely go again but perhaps get there on time.



Praise be

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In the spirit of investigative journalism and channeling our inner Louis Theroux, my ghosthunting pal and I went to church last night.

Not any old church. The Life Church no less.

We wanted to see what the buzz was and whether it smacked of the old Jim Jones Peoples’ Temple.


We were welcomed into the car park of the aircraft hangar-esque building by a young lass in a Hi-Vis vest waving some kind of glow stick at us, as loud music pumped out of speakers on the building.  It put me in mind of arriving at a festival at gate opening time. 


We sat in the car a while trying to decide whether to use false names (Regina Falange style) or a suitable backstory if we were interrogated or had to register.  My pal started spluttering with laughter before we’d even got inside and had to pretend to rearrange her car boot in order to compose herself.

We strolled straight in. Could have been anyone packing anything! Socks full of semtex ready to blow the infidels to kingdom come. Not so much as a bag check or divine pat-down.
One of us got a high five from a lanyard-wearing greeter in a baseball cap, who was merrily dancing away in the doorway.  I would not have been surprised to hear a DisneyLand styl
e, “Hi. How many in your party today Maam?”


Welcome. Welcome. Join us on a FastPass to Jeebus

The foyer area was like a youth club.  Pool tables, people drinking coffee and greeting one another like they’d not seen each other for years.  We went through into the main auditorium . There were probably about 500 seats set out in rows. Each with a prayer form, an envelope for your donation (cash, cheques, direct debit, Standing orders all welcome – you could even pay on the app you could download to your phone or text an amount of your choice!)




We took a seat somewhere in the middle. I moved the other side of my pal as I got scared at being too close to the aisle. I feared for being made to participate in some way, like at a pantomime or when the Woman in Black rustles up next to you, or at a performance of Cats when they crawl up the aisle and paw at your trouser leg.  There was a huge LED screen with a countdown to when the service was to begin.  The young musicians and singers took to the stage and the evening commenced, all filmed for live streaming on GodTube or whatever.  Lots of singing. Quality singing to be fair and good musicians (just with ‘jeebus loves you’ lyrics).


To maintain our cover, we occasionally whooped and put our arms in the air, nodded vigorously and said things like “Awesome!” “Amen” and “That’s right!” (which was what everyone else was doing).
We got slightly alarmed when it came time for the One Minute Mingle and a giant stopwatch appeared on screen and everyone was encouraged to meet someone new.  Speed dating for the Lord as it were.  I panicked when approached by a lady who came down the aisle hugging people and I told her my real name instead of saying Bubbles DeVere or Marjory Daw or whatever.


Like a rave – but with less class A drugs

FFS!  I was logged into the guest WiFi too so they’ve got me for sure now by the short and curlies.  Probably reading this as we speak and sending a black Sedan or a flatbed truck full of armed, dungaree-clad ‘communards’ to lurk outside my house or go through my bins for my bank statements.

Paranoid much?

We shared a furtive look when it came time for the collection. Armed with black buckets emblazoned with the word LIFE, helpers manned the aisles.  I realised that the auditorium doors were now shut and guarded.  The fire exit was manned and two men who hadn’t been there before had suddenly appeared, sat either side of me and my friend – the one on my side smelled funny and soon fell asleep (or did he? He may have been a stooge sent to listen in to see if our devotion was genuine).

We were penned in and I had no wallet nor any intention of donating even if I had.

Luckily my pal found 85p in her pocket so we maintained our cover a bit longer.

The pastor dude came on and did his bit.  What I took from it was that if your life is shit, it’s God’s will.  If your life is going well then that’s God’s will too.  Whatever happens – it’s the will of the Big Man and his big plan.  You shouldn’t sit with ‘mockers’ and ‘ridiculers’ and that, as we all know, the devil will make work for idle hands.


The demographic was a lot younger and more diverse than I had imagined – which goes to show (just like the song) that You Never Can Tell.
Young and old were embracing the Lord and shouting Amen and holding their arms aloft and I won’t lie, I could see the appeal… and that’s what scared me the most. 

 I have raked about in some dark and creepy places in my time (usually with the same mate) 😀 but last night was probably the most afraid I’ve ever been on one of our investigations.
   One day you’re lost and lonely. You find a warm welcome and a new ‘family’ and before you know it you’ve handed over your passport and you’re on a one way ticket to the back of beyond with all the KoolAid you can drink.

I’m sure it’s nothing like as extreme,  and everybody was very friendly and seemed really happy (that’s possibly why I didn’t trust them, me being such a maudlin auld miseryguts).


Doesn’t mean I’m going back.

So we left before we could be persuaded to partake of the free coffee for first timers, but we did have a gander in the gift shop on the way out.  You heard me. A motherfucking gift shop y’all!  Tee shirts, mugs, DVDs of the sermons, keyrings and a very wide selection of books – some of which I found quite alarming if I’m honest.


They didn’t sell the LIFE buckets, which was a shame. I would’ve liked one to use as a pisspot for when we go camping. It would appeal to my heretic nature. Because let’s face it, if I’m wrong and there is a heaven and hell, we all know I’m taking the down escalator!


 Next stop – a local Spiritual church just to see what goes on there and then who knows?  Mosque, Gurdwara, Synagogue – bring it on in the name of scientific interest – because I have a mind as idle as my hands and we all know that Satan loves a lazy ass slacker.

Ciao Ciao MoFos and remember – Be yourself!


Let’s go round again…

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Went to watch ‘Ghost Stories’ at the cinema on Saturday after my swimming lessons. A beautiful early summer’s eve.  Everyone out in the beer gardens getting tanked up in the sun. 

There’s a bar now at the local Odeon, so I treated myself to half a Peroni while I waited for my pal. I  took a seat and watched the local constabulary putting some restorative practice into play with the local Asian teens, who appeared to have had some kind of foyer-based rumble among the popcorn stands.

Ahh Bradford.

What a dive!

I enjoyed the film.  A few decent jumpscare moments. One of which sent my mate’s popcorn flying to the floor and another sent my empty pop bottle bouncing noisily down the aisle.  My pal whispered at one point, “As if you’d go wandering about alone in an abandoned place like that in the dark”  Then laughed as we both then said, “What? like we do all the bloody time?”

You would think a couple of time-served investigators like ourselves wouldn’t bat an eyelid at a mere film, but there were a fair few “OH!” moments and clutching of one another’s arms in the dark, then sniggering like Mutley.



If you like a good old fashioned tense ghost story then this is for you.



As I’ve said before.  The dead don’t alarm me. It’s some of the living who are the ones to fear.




Anyway, it’s back to the routine of work now for the next half term.  It’s Day 1 and I’m still smiling.  I have put in a written request to go part-time from September. So watch this space for any update on that!

Ciao Ciao XX






Someone tell me what to do

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If anyone could sort me out with winning lotto numbers so I can stay home watching ‘Bondi Rescue’ and ‘There’s a ghost up my arse’ or whatever, while doing my step machine and occasionally ironing, then that’d be great.


I’ve been researching other potential career prospects.  So far this is my list:-

*Continue being a HLTA.
*More swim teaching (skin & hair getting buggered up).
*Retraining as a Retained Reflexes Therapist.
*Setting up own ghost hunting company (market pretty saturated right now though).
*Hiring self out as Humanist celebrant (clashes somewhat with supernatural beliefs.
and also costs a stupid amount of money to ‘train’ to write ceremonies).
*1:1 TA work for SEN pupils.
*Write bestselling novel & sell the movie rights – relocate to LA.
*Setting up mobile beer van with pal “Oldies with Coldies” & doing the festy circuit.

My list of credentials is a sorry state of oddities indeed:-

*8 GCSEs.
*2 A levels.
*Some Secretarial qualification I forget the name of that included a proficiency.
certificate in the art of ‘WordStar4’ (a long defunct word processing program).
*NVQs in Childcare Learning & Development and Support Teaching & Learning.
*Higher Level Teaching Assistant status.
*ASA Swimming National Curriculum Training Program Levels 1&2.
*STA Award in Swim Teaching.
*STA Pool Safety Award.
*Diploma in Parapsychology (I shit you not).
*Diploma in Demonology (fact. It’s true – bring it on Beelzebub).
*Am also an ordained Humanist Celebrant (god bless the Internet).

I must be able to do something different with that lot – surely Shirley? Or a mish-mash of it all – a bit like I am now, but with more structure & less hours.
The thought of being self-employed scares me though. What about holidays? Tax? Sick pay? But I don’t want to work for some big corporate gig either.  


I do need a change though. I need to do something exciting. Am starting to feel a little stagnant – like an old pond.


Maybe I need to invent some kind of anti-snoring device (before I throttle Bman with the cord of my MP3 headphones, because seriously? I can still hear you man).